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NSU assistant dean Allyson Watson named dean at University of South Florida St. Petersburg

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) -- Northeastern State University College of Education Assistant Dean Dr. Allyson Leggett Watson has been appointed dean of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg College of Education.

Watson developed the NSU Teaching and Urban Reform Network, a project she said is one of her proudest moments. She is also NSU’s first named endowed chair.

During her time at NSU, Watson has been recognized frequently for her outstanding work. Her accolades include The Mayor’s Commission on Women Pinnacle Award in Education, Williams Company and Tulsa Shock Women’s National Basketball Association “Women of Inspiration” Nomination, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Digest 2014 Genesis Scholar Inaugural Class Award, Outstanding Faculty Service Award from NSU, 40 Under 40 Most Influential People in Oklahoma from Oklahoma Magazine, Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from NSU, Gates Millennium Scholar Award and American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Holmes Scholar Award.

Watson said serving NSU for the majority of her career has been rewarding personally and professionally.

“NSU has prepared me to be the very best as an educator and a leader,” she said. “I've learned from some of the most talented faculty, administrators and students. Each year I've been overjoyed by the NSU students who have graduated and gone on to do great things. We have amazing teachers, principals and superintendents across the state of Oklahoma, and I feel fortunate to have taught many of them.”

NSU Provost Dr. Mark Arant said Watson’s move into deanship was inevitable, and that her career in higher education will include many more accolades.

“NSU's commitment to excellence comes with a price,” Arant said. “Our leaders that we have among our faculty, staff and students will be called upon for increasingly larger roles. It is our honor to contribute to their preparation for the next step. Dr. Watson is a great colleague and friend. It has been a complete privilege to have worked with her. I wish her great success and greater happiness.”

Dr. Debbie Landry, dean of the NSU College of Education, said she wishes Watson the best on her new journey.

“She has significantly impacted the forward and progressive direction of the college and will be greatly missed by her COE family,” Landry said. “This is an incredible opportunity for her to continue to affect the future of education with her research and focus on urban education.”

Watson said she’s looking forward to sharing the vision she has built from her work at NSU with USF-SP.

“Now more than ever the teaching profession needs a boost of confidence and a new way of thinking,” she said. “I’m happy to draw from what we do at NSU and make a great mark in the future.”

Watson said she’s thankful to Turner, Arant and Landry.

“I will cherish my friends here at NSU and remember each person’s impact on my life forever,” she said.

Watson holds a doctorate in educational administration, curriculum & supervision and a Master of Education in Educational Administration, Curriculum & Supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Her Bachelor of Science degree is in Elementary Education from Bethune-Cookman University.

Watson will begin her new role with the USF-SP on July 1.

Published: 3/29/2017 1:13:23 PM

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