The University of Iowa

Susie Lagos Lavenz

Susan Lagos Lavenz, black and white photograph
Susan Lagos Lavenz is retiring after serving the College of Education since 2003. In her time with the college, Lagos Lavenz paved the way for innovation and ideas to strengthen the entire organization through her roles as clinical associate professor and associate dean of teacher education and student services.

In 2011, Lagoz Lavenz used her extensive experience in education as both a former teacher and principal to create the Teacher Leader Center (TLC), a comprehensive professional development center and learning commons designed to create the next generation of 21st-century teachers. The TLC was based on research, best practices, employer surveys, and feedback from educational leaders across the state and nation to determine what teachers need to know and what makes a teacher successful. The TLC has created programs such as the Teacher Leader Certificate, the Iowa iPad Project, and ISERVE — all helping to enhance knowledge and experience for students in the college.

In addition to her work with the TLC, Lagos Lavenz was influential in establishing the University of Iowa’s first completely “live” online master’s degree program. Through her innovation, Lagos Lavenz also contributed immensely to the success of the Educational Leadership program, which is now ranked among the best in the state and across the nation.

Lagos Lavenz was not only integral to the leadership and direction of the college, but of Iowa’s leaders in teacher preparation, educational leadership, and tackling issues involving diversity within schools.

“No matter where you go in the state, you are bound to run into several people who know Susie; not only do they know her, but it seems as if she has friends everywhere,” says Will Coghill-Behrends, director of the Teacher Leader Center. “This is a testament to her uncanny ability to build relationships. This has been Susie’s greatest gift to the college — building relationships across the state with a variety of constituents.”

Lagos Lavenz’s ability to connect and communicate has made her successful in the college, and in any professional setting.

“Susie is a masterful storyteller. This is why she was a captivating college professor and a memorable teacher and administrator,” says Coghill-Behrends. “She’s one of the best at what she does, and this college will miss her.”