Published on September 6, 2018 by Sara Roman  
New Department Chairs

After a nationwide search, Orlean Beeson School of Education has selected two new graduate department chairs. Jeanelle Day has joined the school’s faculty as professor and chair for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the director of the M.S.E. in Secondary Education Fifth-year Nontraditional program. Mary Yakimowski has been named chair for the Department of Educational Leadership and the director of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program.

Day joins Samford from Eastern Connecticut State University where she served as a professor of science education for seventeen years and as department chair since 2014. Day earned a Bachelor of Science in comprehensive science education from the University of Alabama, a Master of Arts in comprehensive science education from the University of Montevallo, and a doctorate in secondary education: curriculum and instruction and science education from the University of Alabama. She is excited to return to her home state and serve within the community where she grew up.

Yakimowski will join Samford from Sacred Heart University where she has served as a professor since 2014. Yakimowski earned her Bachelor of Science in behavior sciences and history with a minor in secondary education from Bridgewater State College. She earned her Master of Arts, 6th year advanced degree and doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Connecticut.

Post-Doctoral, Yakimowski has furthered her education through the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Leadership Academy, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Hampton Road’s Leadership Academy, Supplemental graduate coursework in Strategic Planning and Zero-based Budgeting, Connecticut Intermediate Administration Certification (092) and Virginia Divisional Superintendent Certification. She hopes to provide vision, direction and professional development for the Educational Leadership Department.

Day and Yakimowski stepped into their new roles at the start of the 2018-19 academic year, but both previously joined the school’s Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) writing teams July 1.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Day as part of our faculty. She brings an array of leadership skills and CAEP experience that will be fundamental as we prepare for our accreditation,” said Bonnie Rabe, Orlean Beeson School of Education interim dean, “Dr. Yakimowski brings an impressive research knowledge base that will aid the growth and strength of our Doctor of Educational Leadership program and the entire Educational Leadership department.”


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report  ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.