UMass Boston

About the Dean

Dean Parker


Dr. Parker has been a member of the UMass Boston community since 2005, when she arrived as an assistant professor of higher education in the department of Leadership in Education. In the intervening years she has earned promotion to full professor and served with admirable distinction in a number of leadership roles, including seven years as chair of her department and most recently as interim dean of CEHD. A skilled collaborative leader who is dedicated to promoting anti-racism and inclusive excellence in higher education, Dr. Parker brings deep insight into and a dedication to UMass Boston. She is a leader of integrity who has elevated her department and CEHD, including being “the OC” (the Original Convenor) of the Cypher at UMass Boston, while also contributing significantly to the entire campus community. Prior to joining the faculty at UMass Boston, Dr. Parker worked as a student affairs administrator and earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from New York University, her M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota, and her B.A. in Communications from Marist College.

Dr. Parker is an accomplished scholar whose research focuses on race, equity, and success in higher education with an emphasis on the application of critical race theory to higher education, the experiences and contributions of faculty of color, and the influence of public policy on developmental education. A collaborative scholar, she is the co-author of three books, multiple peer-reviewed articles and chapters and has served as principal investigator on multiple grants and contracts from sponsors such as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Lumina Foundation. Dr. Parker’s scholarship has been published in the Review of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, the Journal of College Student Development and the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. She has presented her work in Canada, China, Mexico, Thailand, and throughout the United States. Dr. Parker was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2020 Presidential Medal by the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) for her influence as a local change agent. She is active as a leader beyond UMass Boston and currently serves on the editorial board of the American Educational Research Journal, is a member of the board of directors for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and is on the governing board for Another Course to College, a pilot high school in the Boston Public Schools. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Message from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at UMass Boston. At CEHD we are deeply committed to enhancing education and lifelong learning through high quality, socially just, and inclusive teaching, research, and community engagement. Our work informs and is informed by our urban home in a diverse world-class city, advancing education and inclusion while engaging our students as they prepare to enter increasingly complex and diverse communities in a broad spectrum of professional roles that promote inclusive human and social development. Through research, teaching, and community engagement, the CEHD faculty, staff, and students make a significant impact in addressing educational equity, inclusion, achievement and well-being both locally and globally.

CEHD relies on strong local and global partnerships that enhance the experience of our students while simultaneously contributing to the quality of education and inclusion in those settings. By translating research into action, promoting the role of culture and community in education, being champions for inclusion, and engaging in reflective practice, our graduates are prepared to be leaders in a wide range of transformative professional roles.  

CEHD is the proud home of three academic departments and one school:

  • Department of Counseling and School Psychology
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Department of Leadership in Education
  • School for Global Inclusion and Social Development

Each department and school offers a broad range of opportunities, including:

  • Massachusetts state licensure programs;
  • master’s and doctoral degrees;
  • Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS); and
  • undergraduate teacher preparation. 

CEHD also provides leadership for five centers and institutes:

  1. Center for Science and Mathematics in Context (COSMIC)
  2. Institute for Community Inclusion
  3. Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation
  4. Institute for International and Comparative Education
  5. Institute for New England Native American Studies

We invite you to become involved with our vibrant community of talented students, outstanding faculty members, dedicated staff, and engaged community partners as we work together to transform lives through the continuous enhancement of human and social development for lifelong learning and education.