The dean of the Graduate School of Education, Virginia Roach, Ed.D., and associate professor of political science and American studies Christina M. Greer, Ph.D., were honored as two of the top 35 leading women in schools across the nation who have “made a difference by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a positive difference in their respective communities,” in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine’s ninth annual special report recognizing the contributions of women to higher education. The 2020 report was published this March in honor of Women’s History Month.
“We are of course pleased that Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine has chosen to honor Dean Roach and Professor Greer,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Their scholarship, and their contributions to the life of the University and the public discourse, are numerous and invaluable, and we join Diverse in saluting them.”
Roach became dean of the Graduate School of Education in July 2015. At Fordham, she has supported faculty research, strengthened the University’s relationship with the local community, and diversified the student and faculty populations. In her nearly five years as dean, the school’s research portfolio has grown four-fold. Her own research focuses on educational reform, especially in special education and women’s leadership development. Roach has also mentored many women through career counseling, conducting mock interviews, and helping them to identify and pursue their career goals. In addition, she helped create an annual program that hosts hundreds of middle school students from New York City Catholic schools at Fordham to help them envision themselves on a college campus. In a 2015 Fordham News Q&A, Roach spoke about the importance of “the whole child, not just the test score number.”
Roach began her career as a special education teacher, and went on to serve as dean of the Graduate School of Education at Bank Street College, associate professor and department chair at The George Washington University, and deputy executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education. In addition, she has served as editor of Educational Planning from 2009 to 2011 and as a board member for the International Society of Educational Planning, the United Nations International School, and the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate.
Greer has worked at Fordham for more than a decade. Her research and teaching primarily concentrates on racial and ethnic politics, American urban centers, presidential politics, campaigns, and elections. She has often offered political advice and commentary to the campus community, including a podcast primer on the 2017 New York City elections and, most recently, a short video explaining what’s at stake in the 2020 U.S. census. She is also a frequent political commentator for media outlets like MSNBC and NY1, and is often quoted in media outlets including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
She was the 2018 Fellow for the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where she broadened the conversation about issues including inequality, social, and racial justice. In 2014, she was named to City & State’s Class of 2014 “40 Under 40 Rising Stars,” which honored 40 individuals under age 40 who work in New York City government, politics, and advocacy. That same year, she was awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists for her book Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream. She is also the co-host of the New York-centered podcast FAQ-NYC; the producer and host of The Aftermath and The Contenders on Ozy.com; an author and narrator for the TED-Ed educational series; and the author of a weekly column for The Amsterdam News, one of the oldest “black-owned and -operated media businesses” in the U.S.