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Joy Gaston Gayles Named Head of Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development

Joy Gaston Gayles

Joy Gaston Gayles, Ph.D., will be the next head of the NC State College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD), effective July 1, 2023. 

Gayles is currently an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Higher Education and Senior Advisor for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Education. She is internationally recognized for her research and scholarship on women and people of color in STEM fields and her work in the area of intercollegiate athletics in higher education. Issues of equity, inclusion and justice undergird the collective body of her work. 

“I am excited about this leadership opportunity within our college. Our department has so many amazing faculty, students and staff,” Gayles said. “I have been at NC State for 15 years and a faculty member for 20 years. I’ve learned a lot about NC State and higher education institutions during this time. I’ve also built community and connections across campus and nationally. The opportunity to bring it all together to support ELPHD and champion the great work in our department is also exciting to me. My goal is to lead and learn guided by humanizing values that honor who we are as people as much as the good work we accomplish.” 

Gayles is one of the primary thought leaders in her field of study and was recently named as one of 25 innovative women leading higher education in DIVERSE: Issues in Higher Education magazine. She served as the 2022 President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the primary professional association for studying post-secondary education issues.

She is nationally known for her work in partnership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), the largest faculty development center in the United States. She has coached well over 100 faculty members across the country and has conducted numerous campus workshops on topics such as mentoring, tenure and time management, mid-career faculty success and writing through resistance. 

“I am excited that Joy will be the next leader for the ELPHD department,” said NC State College of Education Dean Paola Sztajn. “Her experiences as a faculty member, well-recognized researcher and, most recently, as the president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education will contribute to her success. I look forward to working with her and having her in the college leadership team.”

Over the course of her career, Gayles has won numerous awards for her scholarly contributions and for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. In 2020, she received the Chancellor’s Creating Community Award for Outstanding Faculty at NC State and was named University Faculty Scholar in 2018, two of the highest faculty awards at NC State University. She also received the Zenobia L. Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award for advancing the development of young women of color in their pursuit of excellence. She is a community builder at heart and values engaging in work that makes a real difference in the lives of others. 

Gayles joined the College of Education faculty in 2007. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Higher Education from The Ohio State University, her Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University and Bachelor of Science in Adapted Physical Education and Kinesiotherapy from Shaw University. 

Professor of Counselor Education Marc Grimmett will continue to serve as interim department head of ELPHD through June 30.