Tributes to the Dean

by Various Authors

“I am sincerely thankful to Dean Lesgold for allowing me the opportunity to join the faculty in the School of Education and to serve in a leadership capacity. It was clear from the beginning that we had common goals: to make the School of Education special and to strive for excellence. While the road ahead to achieving this lofty goal would not be easy, the journey would be exciting. On a personal note, Dr. Lesgold has inspired me to set high goals personally and professionally and to put forth the effort to make those goals a reality. Thank you, Alan, for being an inspirational leader, colleague, and friend to so many who worked closely with you during your deanship.”
JOHN M. JAKICIC, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center Director and Professor

“Most of my conversations with Alan have been focused on China. He is eager to expand international opportunities for the School of Education. It is impressive to see the level of respect that prestigious Chinese colleagues have for Alan and for Pitt’s School of Education. These relationships are not easy to forge; they are a result of many years of sustained work and a continuous drive for excellence. As a new senior director of international programs, I have been very fortunate to work with Alan.”
ARIEL C. ARMONY University Center for International Studies Director, Senior Director for International Programs, and Professor

“Brilliant. Energetic. Competent. Caring. No nonsense. Committed. Passionate. These are the descriptors that come to mind when I think of my dean. I am eternally grateful to Dean Lesgold for all he has done for the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, and Center for Urban Education. I have never met a leader more committed to improving the
life chances of students. Dean Lesgold is a mentor who leads by example—always trying to find ways to enhance and support those around him.”

RICH MILNER Center for Urban Education Director and Professor

“Alan Lesgold has been a transformative dean, as he has moved the School of Education forward along many dimensions. His commitment to research and scholarship as well as to the education of those who will enter and have already entered the teaching profession has been exemplary. His own international reputation as
a researcher also has given the school a great deal of visibility. He has served on important national and state commissions, and he has been instrumental in fashioning the School of Education’s enviable scholarly profile.”

ALBERTA M. SBRAGIA Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Professor

“When I took over as the Council of Graduate Students in Education president in 2012, I had a meeting with Dean Lesgold. We talked about my goals for the organization, and Dean Lesgold showed as much care and concern for the students and our organization as I had ever witnessed from an administrator. I would argue that his genuine care for the students’ experience and policies he put in place to support that experience is one of his most important legacies.”
AARON M. KESSLER (MAT ’06, PhD ’15) Concordia University Chicago Assistant Professor

“From his leadership at the School of Education and the Learning Research and Development Center, his work as a scholar and teacher, and his insightful contributions to the Council of Deans, Alan’s impact on the University and the broader community has been tremendous. We will miss his humility, generosity, and sense of humor (think red nose at commencement). Thank you, Alan, for being a wonderful colleague and for all you have done for Pitt.”
PATRICIA E. BEESON Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

“I first met Dean Lesgold after earning a master’s here, being in the field, and finding the courage to share my experience of an aspect of learning I believed was lacking and needed in the program. Whereas some people get defensive when critiqued, he welcomed it and immediately encouraged me into action to fill the void discussed. He proved to be the best go-to person for collaboration, support for new ideas, and belief in similar ideals. I feel quite fortunate to have had the privilege to work with and for him.”
ERIKA GOLD KESTENBERG (MEd ’94, PhD ’04) Center for Urban Education Associate Director of Partnerships and Practice

I sit down to write & type
instead “my window faces
the park the rows the roofs”
& I stop to think how quickly
we’re gone when we go where
we go then friends say do you
remember this or that until
we don’t ask anymore the
tangerines out of season
the leaves returned to trees
caught up in oh whatever is
restless in us & for me you
will always be those talks
we had day in and out the
subjects whatever they were
don’t matter now as much as
that they were

TONY PETROSKY Associate Dean and Professor

“After a five-decade hiatus, my wife (Renee, MEd ‘65) and I reconnected with Pitt and the School of Education, and prior to officially reconnecting, we did some research on Alan by contacting a few individuals who had worked with him over the years. Independent of one another, these individuals used almost the exact same words to describe Alan:
•    A leader respected by Pitt’s top administrators for being a positive force for change at Pitt
•    A scholar  
•    Compassionate toward society, especially those who fight a daily battle to survive
•    A nice guy

Now that I have worked with him for three years, I must thank my colleagues for giving me a perfect description of Alan.”

“With Alan as dean, the quality of academic programs and research produced by faculty and students increased tremendously. Beyond these accomplishments, however, Alan was remarkable in his accessibility and dedication to creating a respectful and caring community in the school. As one of his associate deans, I witnessed firsthand the many kindnesses he showed to faculty and staff on a daily basis. I am very lucky to have had him as a mentor, and all of us are lucky to have had him as our dean.”
LINDSAY CLARE MATSUMURA Associate Professor and Associate Dean