School of Education and Human Development

Move forward and make a difference in education.

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Why Choose Fairfield’s School of Education and Human Development?


Programs grounded in engaging classrooms, field experiences, and internships to prepare you to be confident and successful in your classroom.


Build an extensive support network through student services, alumni services, and alumni connections.


We engage with the broader community through strong partnerships with schools and agencies to facilitate impactful service and learning.


Build personal relationships with supportive faculty who offer individualized attention to meet your unique goals.

Our Seasoned Practitioners

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Bob Hannafin, PhD

Dr. Robert D. Hannafin serves as the Dean of Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. Prior to joining Fairfield, he was the Dean of the College of Education, Information, and Technology at Long Island University's Post Campus. Dr. Hannafin's rich background in higher education and his deep understanding of Jesuit education make him a vital asset to the Fairfield community. 

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Ryan Colwell, PhD

Dr. Ryan Colwell, a former second and third-grade teacher, now serves as the Director of the Elementary Education Program and the Education Minor and 5-Year Teacher Preparation Program at Fairfield University. Dr. Colwell remains committed to exploring how elementary school teachers can enhance writing instruction and use children’s literature to help students process and understand real-world issues. 

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Anna Cutaia, EdD

Dr. Anna Cutaia is a seasoned educator and the current Superintendent of Schools in Milford, CT. Dr. Cutaia's commitment to education extends beyond academia, as demonstrated by her involvement in local organizations such as the Milford Chamber of Commerce and the Milford United Way. With a rich background in educational leadership and a passion for community involvement, she was honored as the Connecticut Parent Teacher Association 2021 Superintendent of the Year. 

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Paula Gill Lopez, PhD

Dr. Paula Gill Lopez, an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychological and Educational Consultation at Fairfield University, is an expert in self-care and mindfulness in education. With a rich background as a school psychologist, she now directs the school psychology program and has made significant contributions to dropout and bullying prevention, mentoring, and social-emotional learning. 

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Josh Elliott, EdD

Dr. Joshua Elliott is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Educational Technology program at Fairfield University. Dr. Elliott has spoken at national and regional conferences, and is a Google Educator, Apple Teacher, and ISTE Certified Educator. He runs frequent professional development workshops structured to provide teachers with strategies for effective technology integration.

Craig Tunks

Craig Tunks, Director of Tech Integration & Innovation at King School, leads EdTech and IT teams, driving classroom-focused decisions. A Connecticut Education Technology Leaders (CTETL) founding member, he advances statewide tech integration in classrooms, drawing from 25+ years in finance, schools, and municipalities. With a computer science master's and doctorate, Craig teaches IT as an adjunct college professor, fostering NETS, AASL standards, and social networking integration across education.

Emily Smith, PhD

Dr. Emily R. Smith, Professor of Educational Studies & Teacher Preparation at Fairfield University, focuses on mentoring and faculty development. Since joining Fairfield in 2003, she has worked closely with students pursuing certification and Master's degrees in English Education. Dr. Smith's extensive publications include research on effective mentoring, teacher induction, and literature-based discussions. 

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The University of Difference

Our nationally accredited School of Education and Human Development is committed to providing our students with a forward-thinking education aligned with community engagement and rooted in engaging classrooms, specialized programs, and a myriad of field experiences. We design our programs around your interests and schedule to best achieve your career goals.

Fairfield Mission

Visionary by nature.
Jesuit Catholic by origin.
The driving force of Fairfield is our mission — to impact the world. It prompts us to ask important questions, to embrace our social responsibilities, and to lead by example. And it’s what has made us a premier institution in the Northeast. Let the mission be part of your journey.

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