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College of Education Names New Interim Deans

Georgia Southern’s College of Education has proudly named two new interim deans, Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D., and Jeff Garland.

Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D.

Williams-Johnson holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and teaches research methods in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University’s Statesboro campus. Her research interest includes exploring race and emotions and their influence on teaching and learning. Additionally, Williams-Johnson investigates the undergraduate research experience, efficacy beliefs, African American homeschooling and rural educational opportunities. 

Through planning, conducting, and publishing several research studies, Williams-Johnson has contributed to the larger body of knowledge and reported recommendations for high quality educational experience possible for all students. During her 17 years at Georgia Southern, she has served on several time-intensive university committees and throughout the larger Bulloch County community. Within each committee experience she also discovered ways to navigate through complex organizational structures. 

“I hope to bring what I have learned in my previous experiences and help where I can within the College of Education,” said Williams-Johnson. “I am very optimistic about the future of the college and look forward to working with Jeff, our faculty and staff.” 

Jeff Garland

Jeff Garland has served as the chair and professor in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University and is recognized for his collegial leadership style. Over the past five years, he has valued the collective input and effort of the faculty and staff, which has been integral to the department’s significant growth and creative resurgence. Working together through a period of significant academic evolution, they have seen enrollment and engagement soar, serving as a reflection of their collective capacity to adapt and innovate.

In his artistic work, Garland transforms expanded metal into sculptures that engage with the dialogue between human creativity and the elegance of nature. His pieces, inspired by the flora and fauna of the low country, exemplify the interconnectedness, sustainability, and adaptability that are hallmarks of his leadership philosophy.

“It has been exciting to be a part of the leadership in the College of Education working with the supportive faculty and staff as they stand united in their journey to enhance student experiences and shape a promising future,” said Garland. “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Williams-Johnson, whose guidance is instrumental as we navigate the path ahead with creativity and collegiality.”

Last updated: 2/15/2024