Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D. ’80Ed
A small book of African poems has had a place in the home of Dr. Cranston-Gingras since her days at St. John’s. A gift from a beloved professor from The School of Education, the book bears a treasured inscription:
You do St. John’s University proud! I hope you have the pleasure of having a student like you, and you will know the pleasure you bring to me.”
Through a career focused on the education of children and youth who are marginalized by schools and society, Dr. Cranston-Gingras embraces the privilege and responsibility of working with educators committed to improving outcomes for students who are most in need.
A 1980 graduate of The School of Education, Dr. Cranston-Gingras was a member of the President’s Society, an editor of The Torch, and a member of the women’s fencing team and several other campus organizations. She chose St. John’s because of its explicit social justice mission and the opportunity its urban location afforded to intern in schools with diverse student populations.
“It was clear that we were receiving an education rich with experiences that would help us use the abilities we had been blessed with to make a positive difference,” she said.
Following graduation from St. John’s, Dr. Cranston-Gingras taught high school and earned a master’s degree in Special Education from SUNY Albany and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Special Education from the University of South Florida (USF). She served as a professor of special education and department chair for three different departments at USF, teaching undergraduate and graduate students while working closely with doctoral students in their research.
Currently the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the USF’s College of Education, Dr. Cranston-Gingras also directs the Center for Migrant Education, a national center focused on the education of children from migrant farmworker families. She has authored numerous professional journal articles and book chapters and is the coauthor of the texts 147 Tips for Emerging Scholars: From Publishing to Time Management, Grant Seeking, and Beyond; Teaching Learners with Diverse Abilities; and Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education. During her career, she has obtained approximately $18 million in federal, state, and private funding, with much of it providing direct support to students.
While a career in education has many fulfilling moments, for Dr. Cranston-Gingras, it is the opportunity to encourage students as they discover and develop their potential that has fueled her motivation.
“As a St. John’s student, when I received the book from my professor, I really didn’t understand why she was thanking me. I felt like it was me who should be grateful to her. Now, of course, I understand and appreciate the rewards of sharing in my students’ successes,” said Dr. Cranston-Gingras. “As educators, we experience the passion and hope our students bring to their work every day. Together, we have the opportunity to affect change across generations. What an incredible gift!”