Fales named Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs

headshot of Dr. Holly Fales

Dr. Holly Fales is no stranger to education in eastern North Carolina. From growing up in Pollocksville, NC and teaching for Greene County Schools to attending and now working for East Carolina University, she has experienced a wide array of rural education.

Those experiences uniquely positioned her to accept her new role as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Educator Preparation in the ECU College of Education.

“I’m really excited for the prospects for the future, like responding to different policies,” Fales said. “I’m passionate about education. I know that we need teachers. We need quality teachers and education is the foundation of our society.”

In her new role, Fales will ensure that ECU has a top-quality educator preparation program that meets all of the state requirements for licensure.

“There’s a lot of administrative work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that our candidates can actually be licensed,” she said. “We’re making sure all of that is happening from admission all the way to completion, and facilitating that so faculty can do their role in designing and delivering curriculum.”

Fales began her journey at ECU as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow in 1999 where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing education. After graduating in 2003, she continued her education and earned a master’s in business education from ECU as well as her doctorate from UNC-Wilmington.

“I think that school and education made a really profound difference in my life,” she said. “My parents really valued education, so they pushed me to do my best and pushed me to perform well academically and take advantage of all of the opportunities. For me, I saw education, particularly as a first-generation college student, as an opportunity to change your life and advance and reach your goals.”

While she taught for Greene Central High School and the North Carolina Virtual Public School for several years after graduating, Fales was drawn back to ECU.

“I like the ECU community and all that ECU does for our region,” she said. “Growing up listening to the commercials on TV when I was little, I always thought of ECU as this place that supports eastern North Carolina and is really just a part of eastern North Carolina.”

Fales is excited to begin her work as assistant dean and help advance ECU’s reputation even further.

“ECU is the leader and has been the leader in teacher preparation in our state,” she said. “I’m excited to continue that and advance that even more, not just in quantity but in the innovation of our programs and making sure that we are responding to the needs of the workforce.”

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