Leif has served as Dean of the College of Education since 2014 and is continually energized by the creativity, intelligence, and compassion of the faculty and staff.
Leif has a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Reading, Writing, and Literacy as well as a master’s degree in Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Before pursuing his Ph.D., Leif taught middle school language arts and history. While in his Ph.D. program, Leif worked with middle and high school teachers in West Philadelphia to design inquiry and project-based learning curricula as well as developed a reverse-mentoring program where high school students mentored pre-service teachers on how to be effective urban teachers. More recently, Leif has collaborated with K-12 public and private schools to design and implement writing-based curricula which positions teachers and students as writers living writing lives together out in the world. His research focuses on this kind of curricula as well as the intersection of improvisation, teaching, and learning, and how teachers find permission to take risks in their teaching. Leif currently serves as the President of the Oregon Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and as the Western Region Representative for the Advisory Council of State Representatives for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Prior to joining the College of Education at Pacific University. Leif served as interim Dean of the School of Education at Arcadia University. When not working with his amazing faculty and staff, Leif enjoys tromping through the woods with his unpredictable Aussie; watching Arsenal claw its way up the Premier league table; convincing his family yet again that they should make carnitas, basking in his kids’ myriad interests, and seeking his wife’s sage advice.
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