“Education demands attention as a critical component of social justice,” said Carol A. Mullen, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the Virginia Tech School of Education. “And to truly advance education that is socially just, we must reimagine systems and norms, produce new knowledge bases by deconstructing existing ones, and collectively work toward inclusive, impactful interventions.”

Mullen, who has a long history of significant scholarship and publications in the education field, recently edited the Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education, a two-volume, 57-chapter, 1,369-page tome that explores interventions as critical components of social justice, transcending general ethical precepts.

Citing the university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Mullen, who wrote or coauthored 13 of the book’s chapters, noted that she interprets such interventions as “service in support of conscious, sustainable change.”

The incoming president of the University Council for Educational Administration, Mullen views her role as a researcher, scholar, and professional as continuing to unravel “possibilities for advancing intervention in international education as a transdisciplinary phenomenon that spans the social sciences and humanities.”

As a past Fulbright Senior Scholar, Mullen has conducted research in China, Canada, and Australia. An experienced higher education administrator, she writes about issues in education and leadership using social justice, equity, creativity, and policy lenses. She has authored more than 235 articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals and authored or edited 28 books, including most recently The Risky Business of Education Policy (2022, Routledge); Revealing Creativity (2020, Springer); Canadian Indigenous Literature and Art (2020, Brill); and Under Duress in Education? (2019, Springer).

Her many honors from Virginia Tech include the 2021 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research, the 2020 XCaliber Award for Excellence in Technology Assisted Teaching and Learning, and the 2019 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research.

Other honors include the 2021 Outstanding Book Award from the Society of Professors of Education; the 2020 Theodore “Ted” Creighton Publication Innovation Award from the International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership; the 2020 Excellence (OISE Leaders and Legends) Award from the University of Toronto; the 2017 Living Legend Award from the International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership; and the 2016 Jay D. Scribner Mentoring Award from the University Council for Educational Administration.

The current president of the Society of Professors of Education, Mullen earned her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.

“Dr. Mullen is a leader in teaching, research, and advocacy in the area of social justice interventions in education,” said Kristin Gehsmann, director of the School of Education. “This handbook was a monumental feat and will undoubtedly become an often-cited, seminal resource for scholars and practitioners for years to come. Dr. Mullen and the contributing authors are helping us reimagine a more equitable and just future for our field and society at large.”

The Virginia Tech School of Education is a global catalyst for individual and social transformation through education, applied research, and advocacy.

Written by Sharon Flynn Stidham