University Community | News and Announcements

Sara Helfrich appointed interim dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education

Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs has announced the appointment of Dr. Sara Helfrich as interim dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education beginning June 16, 2021. This appointment follows current dean Dr. Renée Middleton’s announcement that she intends to step down this June.  
Helfrich, who currently serves as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, is also a Professor of Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education in The Patton College of Education.  
“Sara brings a proven track record of success to this role,” Provost Sayrs said. “Her background in leadership, academics and research is a tremendous asset to our University, and she will serve as an effective advocate for continuing The Patton College’s many successes during this time of transition.” 
Helfrich joined Ohio University in 2010. Prior to working as Senior Associate Dean, she was coordinator of the reading program within the Department of Teacher Education. She has taught courses on reading methods, instruction and assessment, language and literacy development, and children’s literature. She has also been closely involved with the efforts of the Center for Clinical Practice in Education, working with undergraduate teacher candidates and graduate teaching fellows in partner schools in Southeast Ohio.  
Helfrich worked as Faculty Fellow for Graduate Student Professional Development, bringing the Three Minute Thesis competition to Ohio University, and was in the first cohort of the Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership and Development Program. More recently, she served as Vice Chair of Faculty Senate, Chair of the University Curriculum Council, and as a member of the Reimagining General Education Task Force. 
“The opportunity to serve Ohio University and The Patton College of Education as interim dean is a great honor,” Helfrich said. “I look forward to continued collaboration with our dedicated faculty, staff, and students as we advance the college’s long-standing contributions to educational excellence through teaching, learning, and research.” 

Helfrich will continue in the interim dean role through the end of the 2021-2022 academic year or until a permanent dean of The Patton College of Education is named.   

April 29, 2021
Staff reports