Irma leads the University of South Carolina’s efforts to support students in integrating learning within and beyond the classroom through the university’s signature learning initiative, USC Connect. A key component of this initiative is the opportunity for students to graduate with leadership distinction by meeting experiential and integrative learning criteria as reflected in their required ePortfolios. As the former associate dean for academic and student affairs of the College of Education, Irma led efforts for the university’s recognition by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in meeting clinical experience standards at the highest (target) level. She is also integrally involved in coordinating work for the university’s continuing recognition by the Carnegie Foundation as a Community Engaged University.
Irma’s PhD is from Syracuse University in teaching and curriculum. She has twenty-six published articles, has been invited to speak at twenty-five presentations/keynotes, and has presented over fifty refereed papers at conferences such as the American Educational Research Association, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Rejuvenating Schools through Partnerships [in Hong Kong]. Her most recent publication will appear in the Peabody Journal of Education in 2014. It is entitled The Challenges Never Stop! Two Decades of Reaching for the Best in Clinical Practice.