Minnesota State Mankato Names Mwarumba Mwavita Dean of College of Education

May 15, 2024 | Featured

a person in a suit and tieMankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs David Hood announced that Mwarumba Mwavita (pictured) has been named dean of the University’s College of Education, effective Monday, May 20, after a national search.

Mwavita joins Minnesota State Mankato after serving since 2012 as a founding director for the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation at Oklahoma State University, where he also served as a faculty member since 2005. Mwavita was interim associate dean for research and graduate studies within Oklahoma State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences in 2021-22.

“Dr. Mwavita will provide innovative, equity-minded and creative leadership,” said Hood. “In his higher education experience, he has engaged in international collaborations that led to partnerships and capacity-building workshops in institutions in Africa and Central America. He is a renowned methodologist, leading statistics short courses in the nation and internationally.”

As a founding director of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Educational Research and Evaluation, Mwavita has conducted program evaluations for federally funded projects – the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health and NASA. He has served as an evaluator for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation academic and enhancement program, the Research Experiences for Undergraduate in material science and the Exploration of Virtual Environments on Early Childhood Learning, all funded by the National Science Foundation.

Mwavita has also conducted a number of evaluation projects with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the impact of funding to recruit, retain and graduate underrepresented minorities to enter the NASA and STEM workforce.

Mwavita joined Oklahoma State University as a faculty member in research, evaluation, measurement and statistics in 2005. He was an assistant professor from 2012-2016 and was promoted to associate professor in 2016 and professor in 2022.

Mwavita’s more than 20-year career in education includes experience in grades K-12 as a high school science and math teacher, a coach, deputy principal and principal. He also served as the director of research and school improvement in an inner-city school district in Oklahoma and as a board member of a private school.

Mwavita earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the Research, Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics (REMS) Program at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He earned a master’s degree in school administration from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, and a bachelor of education degree in science, with majors in education and physics and a minor in mathematics, from Kenyatta University in Kenya.

Mwavita will succeed Jean Haar as dean of Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Education. Haar plans to retire from the University on June 30. She joined Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member in 2002, was appointed interim dean of the College of Education in 2010 and became permanent dean July 1, 2012.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,635 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 26 colleges and seven universities.

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