College of Education, Wayne State University
Dr. Shields was appointed Dean of the College of Education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in July, 2011. Prior to her assuming the deanship, she has been a professor of educational leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the University of Utah. Dr. Shields’ obtained her bachelor’s degree in French and English and her master’s degree in French from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She earned her doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. She also holds Ontario specialist credentials in special education.
Her teaching and research focus on leadership for academic excellence and social justice, including the creation of environments in which democratic organizations can effectively prepare students for participation, engagement and citizenship in a pluralistic civil society and global community. While recognizing the importance of contributing to a body of theoretical knowledge, Dr. Shields has also been committed to research that has the potential to improve leadership practice and educational policy, and that contributes to a better understanding of how school leaders in diverse and multicultural contexts can create inclusive teaching and learning environments. Through her scholarly efforts she seeks to help leaders understand that social justice involves facilitating the academic success of students as well as attending to the impact of inequitable conditions in the wider society.
Dr. Shields’ research has resulted in over 100 publications in a wide variety of formats, including seven books, discipline-leading refereed journals, practitioner-owned publications, policy documents, invited book chapters, and consulting reports. Dr. Shields has also served as either editor or editorial board member of sixteen professional publications, and as reviewer for over twenty publications. During the past 15 years she has also made over 50 invited keynote and other presentations, and dozens of refereed or reviewed conference presentations both in the U.S. and abroad.
Her service activities include university service as well as community engagement. She has directed principal leadership institutes in British Columbia and in China, has been appointed to provincial ministerial advisory committees related to diversity as well as educational academic standards, and founded the School Leadership Center at UBC. Her community service includes founding a non-profit organization to send books to schools in need and membership on the British Columbia Leadership Council.
She has received many awards for her work, including a lifetime distinguished service award from the Canadian Association on for Studies in Educational Administration, and teaching and mentoring awards from the Leadership for Social Justice Special Interest Group under the auspices of American Educational Research Association and the University of Illinois. In 2004, she was elected Fellow of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management.
Dr. Shields makes her home in the historic Indian Village neighborhood in Detroit.