Dr. Robin Magruder defines her life template with one sentence: “I start each morning reading a chapter or two from the Bible, and I try to do my best every day.” And it shows, as her work in the School of Education at Campbellsville University continues to produce high quality results.
Dr. Magruder began her journey here at CU in the fall of 2013, and has been the undergraduate chair for six years. She leads nine full-time faculty, six adjunct faculty, and oversees numerous dual credit teachers of education classes.
With the ongoing growth, Robin had to think for a minute on remembering all of the options the undergrad program currently provide. ”We have an associate of education degree…We offer 12 options at middle school level (one subject or combos of two)…We offer five 8-12 degrees–three of these can become 5-12…We offer five P-12 degrees…And we offer P-5 combo with special education (SED) and early childhood (IECE). Students in all of these programs are very important to the school of education.”
“Since I have been here, we have expanded the P-5 and SED programs to Louisville, Harrodsburg, and Somerset. In January 2022, we added P-5 and SED online. This is causing tremendous growth. We have the largest number of undergraduates in the history of the school of education, and around 80 new students in online alone.”
Magruder is quick to point out that the health of the undergrad program is due to a unified, collaborative effort. “Not only are our students in all programs important, but students in all locations are important to us. We do not consider them main campus students, or regional or online students, we consider all of them education students first.” And she deflects credit for the undergrad’s success to her team. “I am very thankful and blessed to work with a wonderful group of caring faculty and staff members who are experts in their fields.”
The Dean of the School of Education at Campbellsville, Dr. Lisa Allen, praises her undergrad chair. “Dr. Magruder is a valuable member of the SOE faculty, modeling not only effective instruction and assessment for her students but also a scholarly research-based lens for her practice. During her years at CU she has included her students in a variety of research studies evaluating instructional practices and programs, helping them develop skill with action research and providing opportunities to add to the knowledge base of best practices for teachers.”
In 2019, Robin was named the Distinguished Faculty Member (the highest award granted at CU by the Board of Trustees to a tenured faculty member each year). She explains her passion in sharing her twelve years of experience with the preservice teachers: “Teaching the next generation of teachers is my pleasure. I enjoy challenging these students to think about math conceptually, to make connections as they learn about history, and to learn actively as they learn about science.”
Magruder models for her students and colleagues a never-ending thirst to keep growing professionally, which benefits the university in significant ways. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021, Robin served as the Faculty Forum chair for the university. In 2019-2020, she served on the Prichard Committee Task Force on Teacher Preparation and Professional Learning. This group created a report with recommendations to help support Kentucky teachers.
She also serves as the CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) chair for the School of Education, and each academic year she volunteers as a reviewer for other CAEP institutions. And, she is the Teacher Education Committee chair. These meetings facilitate a conversation between the School of Education and the disciplines across campus.
In addition, Magruder has won grants through Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP) to purchase iPads and Swivls for CU students. She is currently working on a KEEP grant with Dr. Valerie Flanagan and Dr. Lisa Fulks, through which the team was able to purchase Second Steps Social-Emotional Learning kits to train faculty and students. Robin is also a four-time winner of the Earth Stewardship Award at CU and has used these funds to purchase Project WET, Project WILD, and Project Learning Tree curriculum for students in her elementary science methods courses.
Magruder earned her doctorate in instruction and administration from the University of Kentucky, and has been married for 30 years to her husband Jamie. The couple has three children (Tyler, Evan, and Lindsey), all of whom are CU graduates.
Always learning, always exploring, Robin loves a mix of hobbies—but especially traveling. “I enjoy reading, crocheting, exercising, and traveling. My favorite vacation spot is Disney World, but I love to travel around the world as well. I have co-led groups of students to Belize, Scotland, England, Italy, and Greece. We are planning a trip next May to Spain and Portugal. In 2019, I traveled to Nigeria to present at an international education conference.”
An accomplished research author and presenter, Magruder has been published in Teaching Children Mathematics (the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), Science and Children (published by the National Science Teachers Association), and also in Kappa Delta Pi. *See her complete listing of publications and presentations in her bio here, and her embedded video.