PRINCESS ANNE, MD – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has named Dr. Nomsa E. Geleta as its new chair of the Department of Education.
Geleta's name should be familiar to primary - and secondary-level educators across Delmarva – she was the first chair of the education specialties department formed in 2007 at Salisbury University, where she was a faculty member for 14 years.
In 2011, Geleta joined the faculty at the School of Education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where as dean she supervised 70 people in a school with an enrollment of approximately 1,400 students. She also was a professor of middle and secondary education leadership.
“I am very excited to return to Delmarva,” Geleta said. “I am especially delighted to have an opportunity to continue to play an important role in preparing future educators and counselors during this very critical time – a time when the quality of teacher preparation is a national discussion. I look forward to joining the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.”
Geleta takes over an administrative post previously held by Dr. Karen Verbeke, another veteran educator who came to UMES' Department of Education in 1990 and was its chair for 13 years. Verbeke recently announced her retirement from a four-decade career as an educator.
“Dr. Geleta is a seasoned administrator who also happens to be a scholar and researcher. We are excited about her assuming the helm as Chair of the Department of Education and member the School's administrative team,” said Dr. Ray J. Davis, dean of UMES' School of Arts and Professions. “I look forward to working with her to ensure the department's tradition of excellence and national recognition.”
During 2½ years as dean at Edinboro, she focused on nurturing K-12 and community college partnerships, facilitated international student teaching experiences, created a Community Partners Advisory Council, and fostered a culture of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service with an emphasis on mentoring and advising.
She oversaw reorganization of the school to enhance program quality and capitalizing on faculty expertise,
Geleta envisioned and advocated for a multi-million dollar renovation of Butterfield Education Hall with state-of-the-art classrooms and technology, which was completed under her leadership. She also guided the school's preparation for accreditation, which resulted with a successful review.
Erin Gruwell of the Freedom Writer's Diary and Naomi Tutu, daughter of the Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu of South Africa, were among guest speakers Geleta brought to Edinboro.
Her experience as a grant writer over two decades as an educator has produced more than $1.5 million in awards to support collaborations with school districts and university partners.
Geleta earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education (administration), a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University, and a bachelor's degree in history and Zulu from the University of Zululand, South Africa.
While at Salisbury, she received the 2003 Distinguished Award, the 2008 Diversity Award and the 2009 Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award in recognition of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. She was recognized by the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania with the 2014 Education Champion Award for her role in promoting financial literacy in the Erie School District.