Campus Life

Faculty of Education turns to Dr. Robin Bright

Dr. Robin Bright, one of the leading voices in the study of teaching and literacy, has been appointed the University of Lethbridge’s interim dean for the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Robin Bright will assume her role as interim dean on July 1, 2021.

Bright (BA’79, BEd ’82, MEd ’88), who has been in the University’s Faculty of Education in various capacities since 1988, most recently served as a professor of education and assistant dean of field experience. Her appointment takes effect July 1, 2021.

“Dr. Bright’s commitment to education and literacy over the course of her professional career has seen her as a teacher, researcher, professor, administrator and facilitator,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, provost and vice-president (research). “She has played a major role in shaping literacy education throughout our province and greatly enhanced the preparation of the teachers we have graduated from the Faculty of Education. We’re very fortunate to be able to draw upon her expertise for this important role.”

Bright earned her bachelor’s in French Language Education from the U of L as well as a master’s in Language Education. She completed her PhD at the University of Victoria, studying communication and social foundations. Her first teaching assignments were as an elementary teacher at Galbraith and Nicholas Sheran schools in Lethbridge. She came to the University on secondment as a master teacher in 1988 and began working as a tenure-track professor in 1992. Demonstrating her commitment to excellence in teaching across the University, Bright served as Board of Governors Teaching Chair from 2010-2012 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.

“I am really looking forward to this opportunity,” says Bright, who is currently finalizing the sixth book she has either authored or co-authored. “As interim dean, I see this as a way to bridge our Faculty into the decade ahead and all the challenges and worthwhile teaching and research opportunities that we will be exploring together.”

Her dedication to writing instruction, literacy in teacher education and beginning reading and writing has led to her being a highly sought expert for professional teacher development. She has done extensive work in the area of middle school education and technology and communication patterns amongst teens, and recently, on how to teach reading throughout the grades.

Bright is also involved in a new study supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada entitled, The Inclusion of Indigenous Perspective in the Classroom: Ten Bachelor of Education Programs and Schools Working Together. The project involves collaborative work with Bachelor of Education programs from throughout the province.

“I really see this as a continuing focus for our Faculty as we look ahead,” she says. “It’s much-needed work and will build off some of the excellent research activities initiated by my colleagues Dr. Craig Loewen, Don Shade, Dr. Dawn Burleigh and many others, which have been ongoing since 2014.”

Having been associated with the University’s Faculty of Education for as long as she has, Bright is more than aware of its reputation of excellence in producing the province’s most prepared teachers. She’s ready for the challenge of maintaining that standing.

“The Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge has a long-standing positive reputation among students, faculty, staff and the external educational community,” says Bright. “It is my hope to contribute to our culture of innovation, relationships and excellence, and to collaborate together on future goals in the coming year.”