Longtime CAD leader Rene Dahl to retire

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Professor and Chair of Child & Adolescent Development (CAD) Rene Dahl will be retiring after leading the department for 15 years — six years as program director and nine as chair. Her retirement is effective August 21, 2017.

Dahl joined the faculty at SF State in 1989 as associate professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism. In 2002, she began leading CAD, then a small interdisciplinary program with about 30 students. Since then she has witnessed and significantly contributed to the strong growth of CAD, now a department serving almost 500 students, with approximately 1,500 graduates. Prior to coming to SF State, Dahl was a research associate at The Johns Hopkins University in the Center for the Social Organization of Schools.

Dahl has been ceaseless in her work supporting students and faculty. She contributed greatly to the department by tirelessly engaging in substantial curricular changes, overseeing various off-campus projects and international programs, as well as collaborating with several partner programs. More recently she has put a lot of work into the 7th cycle review and the Teagle curriculum redesign project for the department. This work helps to ensure the high quality standards of the CAD department. She is still working on the reauthorization of the CAD School Age concentration as a Subject Matter Waiver program for the CA Teacher Credentialing Commission.

She also contributed to the field itself, particularly in California, as she was responsible for the creation of the State of California’s assessment project of early childhood competencies, along with colleagues from CSU and community college systems. In addition, she served on boards of directors for agencies such as Community Network for Youth Development, the CA School Age Consortium and the Coastside Chldren’s Programs. She was also an adjunct researcher with Stanford’s John Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities on its community schools project.

Associate Professor Soyeon Park, who is succeeding Dahl as chair, addressed her at a retirement celebration: “Rene, you have established a remarkable legacy and one which will remain with us for years to come. I’d like to say, you’re not retiring, but you’re graduating. Every year at our department recognition ceremony, you tell our graduating students that their formal education may be over but their learning continues.”

Dahl has many talents and interests, including birding, knitting, quilting, wild elephants, cats of all kinds, collecting a variety of objects from nature — sometimes even bird nests — and dancing Zumba and Hula. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology of education from Stanford University; an M.A. in sociology and another in administration and policy analysis, both from Stanford; an M.S. in recreation from San Jose State University; and a B.S. in recreation administration from San Jose State.