Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

Kristin Gehsmann named dean of Clemson University’s College of Education


After a nationwide search, Kristin Gehsmann has been named dean of the Clemson University College of Education. Gehsmann, currently serving as director of the School of Education at Virginia Tech, begins her new position September 1, 2023.

I am delighted to welcome Dr. Kristin Gehsmann to the University after what has been a very competitive national search. Under Kristin’s leadership, the College of Education will continue to serve the state and nation in a very significant way, in the number of students and programs offered, impact of its research and national reputation.


About Kristin M. Gehsmann, Ed.D.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, Ed.D.

Prior to her appointment at Virginia Tech, Gehsmann held leadership positions at East Carolina University and Saint Michael’s College. She holds three degrees in the field of education; a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (K-8), a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education (birth-age 8) and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (PreK-20+).

Named by Virginia Business Magazine as “100 People to Meet in 2021,” Gehsmann is credited with $20 million in sponsored research and outreach over the course of her career. Her leadership accomplishments include increasing externally funded research and scholarly output, creating and implementing innovative certificate and degree programs, improving the national rankings of the School and its programs, and increasing opportunity, accessibility and affordability in higher education. A champion of educational excellence, she has led more than 20 public school-university partnerships focused on improving learning outcomes for PreK-12 students.

Gehsmann is a frequent advisor and consultant on state education policy and research-based practices. Her contributions to an online continuing education program for Pre-K-12 teachers (“Words Their Way® Online Workshop”; Pearson; Savvas Learning) was recognized with a CODiE Award, the software industry’s highest recognition. She is an advisor for DreamBox Learning, a leading educational technology provider of digital reading and math solutions, including “Reading Plus” for which Gehsmann was a contributing author. Her contributions to “Reading Plus” have improved reading fluency and comprehension for students nationwide in grades 3-12 and resulted in many prestigious awards including an Ed Tech Breakthrough Award for “Adaptive Learning Solution Provider of the Year,” a CODiE Award for “Best Personalized Learning Solution” and Tech and Learning Magazine’s “Award of Excellence.”

Gehsmann is also credited with leading the Provost’s Task Force on Online Learning at East Carolina University, the recommendations of which informed the university’s pivot to emergency remote teaching during COVID. She currently serves on a national education policy/legislative board, several editorial review boards and a university lab school advisory board in North Carolina. 

A nationally recognized expert in literacy development, instruction and intervention, her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, blogs, encyclopedias, newspapers, websites and books, including a recently released second edition of her leading teaching methods textbook, Teaching Reading and Writing: The Developmental Approach (PreK-8) (Gehsmann & Templeton, 2022; Pearson).

In addition to serving as the chief academic, financial, and operations manager of Virginia Tech’s School of Education, Gehsmann held the rank of tenured professor of literacy/reading education there and had served as the interim head of the Office of Educational Research and Outreach.

Clemson University’s College of Education is a well-recognized leader in education and allied fields in South Carolina and well beyond. I am honored to join Clemson, and I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students and other community partners to build on the College of Education’s considerable success and expand its impact in South Carolina and the nation.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, Ed.D.
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