Dina C. Walker-DeVose ‘13PHD
Curriculum and Instruction Supervision
Interim Assistant Dean of Recruitment, Retention, and Inclusion
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Georgia Southern University
While Dina Walker-DeVose ‘13PHD was working as coordinator of the birth through kindergarten (B-K) teacher education program at North Carolina Central University, she realized that throughout her studies, she had missed out on studying and learning about curriculum.
Having worked in early childhood and kindergarten classrooms, and with a bachelor’s degree in child development and family relations and master’s degrees in both family and child studies and educational/instructional technology, Walker-DeVose wanted to diversify her knowledge base. Familiar with the reputation of NC State’s education programs, she was inspired to enroll in the curriculum and instruction supervision program, where she earned her doctorate degree.
After earning her Ph.D., she accepted a position at Georgia Southern University, where she was hired to develop and establish a B-K teacher education program, which launched this fall. Walker-DeVose served as coordinator before being promoted this year to interim assistant dean of recruitment, retention, and inclusion in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
In her role, one of Walker-DeVose’s primary responsibilities is to look at how to recruit students and faculty, while making sure they are intentional about reaching underserved populations. She also is responsible for not just recruiting students and faculty, but looking at how to retain them.
“If we are seeking a more diverse student body than we have to have more diverse faculty to make sure that we can support those students. And then creating structures to support those students and faculty,” she said. “There’s recruitment and retention, and then the inclusion work weaves itself into everything that I do. It’s these separate but overlapping systems that work together in my role.”
Walker-DeVose also teaches a birth through five methods course at Georgia Southern, which allows her to stay connected to early childhood education and the program she established.
Her current research is on the impact of implicit bias on educational settings, such as early childhood settings, and on therapeutic relationships, which she studies with her husband. One of her most prized publications is a piece she wrote with her husband for the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), an organization that partners with several states to do a state-level report about Black children in those states. The Georgia report features her piece.
“I grew up in Raleigh and graduated from Broughton High School, right down the street from NC State. NC State was somewhere I was familiar with and it was always in the background of my mind. When I came back to North Carolina and was looking for a Ph.D. program, NC State was a natural fit and I had heard really good things about their education program.
I am a proud NC State graduate. My husband also graduated from the counselor education program. He finished his Ph.D. in 2015. We went through our doctoral programs together.
In my education courses, I was always the only one that really focused on early childhood education, so I had a certain perspective and a certain voice. I came into the college not quite sure of my fit, but Alan Rieman, Ed.D., [assistant professor and director of the NC State Model Clinical Teaching Program] always valued my unique perspective. He made me feel like I had something to offer this group of students who really weren’t familiar with the brain research that talks about how important those first few years are to a developing child. One of my really positive experiences was feeling valued in the classroom, in his class specifically. I felt incredibly validated in both my knowledge base as well as in what I had to contribute.
Jessica DeCuir-Gunby, Ph.D., [professor of educational psychology and head of the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences] was my dissertation advisor and was really instrumental in my learning. She teaches a Critical Race Theory class and that class, in of itself, really helped me to see all of the depths of the inequities. To understand the systems level and how those inequities are formed and how they create and replicate those systems of oppression, her class helped me see and understand that. If there is one thing that I take from my doctoral studies into my work on an everyday basis, it’s that.
I took some leadership and supervision classes under Dr. Rieman, and thinking about how we support people to move from one level of ability and skill to the next level, that is also something that I also see in my role and in the work I do with faculty. But I think on a larger level, my overall experiences at NC State have prepared me for my role. They just don’t leave.”