New name, new mission for Adelphi ed/health college

Name that school: Harvey Hall, long the home of the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, now houses Adelphi University's College of Education and Health Sciences.

Ruth S. Ammon, we hardly knew ye.

Actually, no – Ammon, a gifted teacher, 1942 graduate of Adelphi University and longtime namesake of the Garden City university’s School of Education, is well-known to many in the Adelphi community and beyond.

But the education school that carried her name has outgrown its original mission, leading to a reorganization with ripple effects across the Adelphi University system.

The former education school steams into 2019 with a new tag – the College of Education and Health Sciences – and a newly diversified mission involving a multitude of distinct university departments. Adelphi’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management (yes, that’s one department) all have a stake in the new college.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction will adopt the name “Ruth S. Ammon School of Education,” while the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and that last mouthful department – known now as the more concise Department of Health and Sport Sciences – will form the new School of Health Sciences.

Essentially, the new college restructures all those disparate departments into “two schools under one umbrella,” according to College of Education and Health Sciences Interim Dean Anne Mungai, who offered kudos to “faculty, staff and administrators who worked deliberately and thoughtfully to realign our curricula, programs and internal structure to better meet the needs of our students.”

“This restructure will facilitate the growth and further development of our world-class professional education programs,” Mungai said Wednesday. “We are excited to see what the future holds.”

Ruth Ammon: Still teaching lessons.

Born in 1919, Ammon is remembered as a gifted second-grade teacher and inspiration to her daughter, Adelphi University Trustee Carol Ammon. An Ammon family gift established the Ruth S. Ammon Chair in Childhood Education, the first fully endowed faculty chair in the School of Education.

While the Ammon name will live on within the newly structured College of Education and Health Sciences, it is the college’s multifaceted potential that has university administrators most excited, according to Adelphi Provost and Executive Vice President Steve Everett.

The provost trumpeted a “unified school administrative structure” and “robust intellectual environment where human health is an important component of our research and teaching strength.”

“I am confident that this naming will be instrumental in highlighting and promoting the range of the excellent teaching and research occurring throughout the college,” Everett added.

The new and improved College of Education and Health Sciences marks the latest in a string of programmatic and infrastructure upgrades designed to reposition Adelphi University in the hearts and minds of potential recruits.

Among other moves, Adelphi has announced a new accelerated dual-degree program focused on the business of science – students earn a bachelor’s of science degree and a science-focused MBA in just five years – and the in-development Adelphi Innovation Center, a 2,000-square-foot research laboratory planned for the Swirbul Library. Both of those new pieces are slated to go live in the Fall 2019 semester.