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Michelle Knight-Manuel named Dean of Morgridge College of Education

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Mary Clark

Announcement  •
Michelle Knight-Manuel Headshot
Michelle Knight-Manuel

It is with tremendous delight that I share, with the concurrence of the Chancellor, that Dr. Michelle Knight-Manuel has been appointed our next dean of the Morgridge College of Education (MCE), effective July 1. Knight-Manuel’s areas of research and teaching expertise include curriculum and teacher education, equity and urban schooling.

She comes to us from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is an education professor and executive editor of Teachers College Record, the nation’s oldest leading education journal. Dr. Knight-Manuel previously was associate dean of Teachers College. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she has maintained a robust research agenda in culturally relevant education, inclusive pedagogy, college access and immigrant youths’ civic engagement. Her two books, co-authored with Joanne Marciano, are Classroom Cultures: Equitable Schooling for Racially Diverse Youth, and College Ready: Preparing Black and Latino Youth for Higher Education through a Culturally Relevant Lens. DU and MCE will greatly benefit from Knight-Manuel’s expertise and insights in these important domains.

Michelle Knight-Manuel earned her PhD in curriculum and teaching from the University of California at Los Angeles, her MS in TESOL at Monterey Institute of International Studies, and her BA in French and secondary education from Franklin and Marshall College. She has spent much of her academic career at Teachers College, also serving as director of Culturally Relevant College and Career Readiness in the New York City public school system.

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the University of Denver as the dean of the Morgridge College of Education,” Michelle Knight-Manuel  said. “It’s a dream come true to be able to lead and partner with the amazing faculty, staff, students, alumni and community stakeholders at DU and MCE who are engaged in positive educational and social change to better serve the public good.”

She and her husband, Tim, greatly look forward to moving to Denver. They are excited to make Colorado their home and to begin this wonderful new chapter of their lives.

Michelle Knight-Manuel will succeed interim Dean Bruce Uhrmacher, professor of teaching and instruction at the Morgridge College of Education, who has so ably served the college during this interim year. I am deeply indebted to Uhrmacher for his graciousness and demonstrated commitment to MCE in stepping into this role, and I look forward to celebrating and thanking him for his thoughtful leadership.

Finally, I am delighted at this time to offer my profoundest thanks to the MCE dean search committee for their tremendous time, thoughtfulness and insight.  It was a great honor to partner with such a hard-working committee.


  • Devadrita “Tanya” Talapatra, associate professor, School Psychology Program, Department of Teaching and Learning Sciences, and member, Faculty Executive Committee, Morgridge College of Education (MCE)
  • Shelly Smith-Acuna, dean, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Duan Zhang, interim associate dean and associate professor, research methods, MCE 


  • Mary Albertoni, executive assistant to the Dean, MCE
  • Elaine Belansky, research associate professor and director, Center for Rural School Health and Education, MCE
  • Jillian Blueford, clinical assistant professor, School Counseling, MCE
  • Susana Cordova, DU trustee and deputy superintendent, Dallas Independent School District
  • Norma Hafenstein, clinical professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Teacher Education Program, Teaching and Learning Sciences, MCE
  • Craig Harrer, director, Ricks Center for Gifted Children, MCE
  • Nicole Holland, associate director for Accreditation and Assessment, MCE
  • Michael Nguyen, assistant professor, Higher Education, MCE
  • Jayson Richardson, professor and chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, MCE
  • Lolita Tabron, assistant professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, MCE
  • Jessica Webb, executive director of Development, Sturm College of Law

Please join me in welcoming Michelle Knight-Manuel to DU. Together, we have a very bright future!


With best regards,

Mary Clark

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor