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Embracing new beginnings at the Warner School

Front of LeChase Hall

Dear students,

As I step into the role of interim dean at the Warner School, I am filled with a profound sense of excitement, loyalty, and pride. My journey in education, which began over 30 years ago and includes 18 years at the University of Rochester and nearly a decade as a dean, has now come full circle. Before joining the University in 2006 as a faculty member and researcher in psychology, I spent six years as a K-12 school counselor, and my passion for education at all levels has never wavered.

I am now honored to be a part of a school that prepares the next generation of school and mental health counselors, teachers, educational leaders, policymakers, and researchers to be change agents and leaders in their fields. When former dean Sarah Peyre announced she would be leaving Warner for a new leadership position at the Medical Center, I was asked to lead the Warner School as interim dean. Without hesitation, my response was an immediate and enthusiastic YES! Read more about the leadership announcement

Although I come from outside Warner, I have always admired the remarkable work emerging from the School. The Warner School is at the forefront of creating a more just and equitable world through its diverse initiatives, groundbreaking research, innovative teaching and practice, field-advancing leadership, and community outreach. The work here has always inspired me.

As we look ahead, I encourage you to dream big, strive boldly, and never settle for the status quo. In the spirit of our shared promise of Meliora, you have the ability to bring ‘ever better’ to classrooms, clinics, and communities everywhere. 

My door is always open, and I look forward to working with you as we embark on a new academic year together — one I assure you will be filled with new beginnings, growth, and promising opportunities.


Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD
Interim Dean, Warner School of Education & Human Development