Interim No More, Garrity Tabbed for Senior Associate Dean Role

December 15, 2023
Sarah Garrity

Sarah Garrity has long said that being a Head Start administrator was the hardest job she ever had. She directed a center with 13 classrooms, serving children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, that operated from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. — all while navigating the intricacies of welfare reform.

While that still may hold the top spot on her ranking, Garrity’s past two years as interim senior associate dean in San Diego State University’s College of Education provided a worthy challenger.

But she was clearly up to the task.

"I think that I'm most proud of learning the intricacies of all the different programs — it's really, really complicated,” said Garrity, a professor and former chair of the Department of Child and Family Development. “I feel like I’ve finally started to wrap my head around all the nuances of it so that I can really provide support to empower people to be successful and enjoy what they do."

With her newfound comfort level comes one change — dropping the interim tag from her title. 

After a search, COE has selected Garrity to serve on a permanent basis. Her appointment begins on Jan. 2, the same day new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Samuel Song joins the leadership team as well.

“Sarah has proven herself to be an outstanding administrator since taking over the interim role in November of 2021, leading our efforts to support our student success initiatives and all academic programs,” said Y. Barry Chung, dean of the College of Education. “I have so appreciated working with her and I greatly value her energy, ideas and collaborative spirit.”

Garrity said she is eager to continue the work of ensuring students, faculty and staff have the systems of support they need to succeed. In her two years on the leadership team, she has been impressed with the excellence and integrity she sees throughout the college.

"This place would not run without the staff,” she said. “They're so knowledgeable, student-centered and just good at their jobs. I'm continually blown away with the research endeavors of our faculty. And I've always been impressed by the lecturers, as well, who just contribute so much. 

“People here are just so committed to student success.”

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