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Dr. Brandon Wallace’s Journey in Educational Leadership

Brandon Charles Steven WallaceAssociate Professor, Montgomery College 

May 17, 2024

Dr. Brandon Wallace graduated from Drexel’s EdD in Educational Leadership and Management program in 2023. Since then, he has inspired others using the skills he learned at Drexel whether it be in his job as an associate professor at Montgomery College or in his role as a father.

What would you say are some of your favorite things in your current occupation?
I love working with students and preparing them to become educators within their respective content areas.  I enjoy enhancing curriculum to ensure that teacher education preparation programs are embedding new and emerging technologies. I enjoy working with other dedicated higher education professionals, as we create the brace space for educational equity. 

Throughout your time in college, what led you to choose the career you are in now?
I have always been a teacher. I’m the middle of seven siblings, and I was always figuring out a way to teach, particularly, my younger siblings. I enjoy research and writing and inspiring the next generation of educational learners and leaders, as I see that as an offering I can provide for the amazing educators that have inspired and helped me within my journey. 

What made you choose Drexel?
Drexel has a rich history of excellence. After taking classes at Bowie State University and Johns Hopkins University, I wanted to continue my journey to find a globally respected and recognized institution. Moreover, my background has been dedicated to learning urban educational systems, and Drexel, within the Philadelphia metropolitan area, was a great fit for me.

How did the coursework you experienced at Drexel impact where you are now?
The coursework at Drexel helped me shape new and innovative mental models to illuminate the strong foundation that I already had prior to attending and graduating from Drexel. At Drexel, it was easy to find student-peers who wanted to grow within the field of education and to identify and work with professors who were willing to meet my needs, especially during the dissertation writing process. The coursework was strengthened by having both peers and professors who were engaged in solutions and asset-based trajectories to assist the underserved, a focus that strongly resonated with us all. 

How were the professors/mentors that you worked with during your time in the School of Education significant in aiding your transition from college to your career?
I still communicate with my cohort colleagues, who have truly become like family and who doubled as mentors throughout my engagement with the program. Additionally, I still communicate with my dissertation committee chairwoman, Dr. Hill. In all sincerity, I was fortunately blessed to be within the program and meet the amazing, supportive people that I encountered during my program attendance. I could not have asked for a more perfect combination of staff, faculty, and student supporters throughout my entire time at Drexel. So proud to be a dragon!

How did your time in Drexel’s SoE prepare you for where you are now?
The preparation that Drexel gave me, especially in my current role as a full professor, has been invaluable. Now, I am more crystalized and clearer in my research agenda, and I have made significant connections and contributions to literacy and special education.

What would you say has been your greatest achievement since entering the working world? How did the School of Education prepare you for this?
My greatest achievement since entering the working world is being a father to my daughter, Zora Elizabeth Naanyakua Wallace. Although the School of Education did not technically prepare me for this role, I am affirmed that the preparation that I have been given from Drexel, especially in the areas of research and network advancement, has created opportunities that will afford me more experiences to ultimately give to our little Zora. With that stated, Drexel’s School of Education has shaped my workflow and willingness to take on projects that, at first, seemed a bit daunting. With the education that I received from Drexel; I can confidently share that I am well prepared for all that an institution of higher education can bring my way.

What advice do you have for others who are just starting their educational journey in your field?
My advice for others who are just starting their educational journey is to be graceful, gracious, and giving. Think about the ways in which you have achieved your successes and learn how others, especially the students you serve, might be able to improve their own lives by ensuring that you dedicate yourself to learning more and perfecting your craft. Nothing easy is worth having, so give yourself the gift of acquiring as much as you can as best as possible. Lastly, lean on family, friends, spirituality, faith, friendships, and all the things that life gives us to be our best selves. No one makes it alone.  One last thing: read, read, and read again! Read your assigned coursework, of course, and be sure to sneak in a little Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, James McBride, and Colson Whitehead from time to time. Smile. 

Brandon Charles Steven Wallace, EdD ‘23
EdD in Educational Leadership and Management
Associate Professor, Montgomery College