Koyama becomes vice dean of Educational Leadership and Innovation

Next month, Jill Koyama will become vice dean of the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Koyama is the Ernest W. McFarland Distinguished Professor in Leadership for Education Policy and Reform at the University of Arizona College of Education, where she is director of educational leadership and policy. She also directs the UA Education Policy Center and the Institute for LGBT Studies, and is an associate professor of graduate interdisciplinary programs.

Koyama earned both her master’s degree and PhD in anthropology and education from the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She also holds a master’s degree in multicultural education from the University of Washington–Bothell, and a bachelor’s degree in botany from UW–Seattle.

In 2010, Koyama’s book, “Making Failure Pay: High-stakes testing, for-profit tutoring and public schools” was published by The University of Chicago Press. Peter Demerath of the University of Minnesota called the book, “... a riveting and highly disturbing account of the unforeseen effects of [No Child Left Behind] in the New York City Public Schools … [that] demonstrates the full force of new anthropological approaches to the examination of educational policy.” Koyama is also co-editor with Mathangi Subramanian of “U.S. Education in a World of Migration: Implications for policy and practice” (Routledge Press, 2014), and her research and writings have appeared in the American Journal of Education, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Educational Policy, Educational Researcher, the Journal of Education Policy, and Urban Review.

Koyama says, “Gloria E. Anzaldúa reminds us to ‘do work that matters,’ and in the position of vice dean, I see great opportunity and responsibility to do work that matters, alongside others who are constructing equitable, multivocal, innovative and dynamic learning environments at MLFTC, and more broadly, at ASU. The social disparities, exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, demand that we, as educators, respond together in serious and sustained ways. To this effort at MLFTC, I’ll bring my scholarship on migrant and refugee education, as well as my experience in leading for social justice, inclusion and equity.”

In “Illuminating Diversity, Inclusion and Equity,” her essay for the vice dean selection committee, Koyama quoted from Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart’s 2019 book “The Hundreds,” and said, “I believe that ‘we need the weight of the world we fear.’ We need to cast the most intensely burning illumination onto that which we fear and cannot accept — on what our lives must change. I fear a world that thrives on division, hatred and inequity. Working in education, and being a leader, affords me multiple ways to scrutinize, and change, the ways in which I contribute to institutional and societal hierarchies and norms that perpetuate, and can often reify, the viability and persistence of these very things that I most fear. I want to be in education and community spaces in which I am held accountable for making change.”