Teachers College has named Dr. Caroline Ebanks as its new Vice Dean for Research. 

In this position, Ebanks will provide leadership to foster interdisciplinary research collaborations across the College and between scholars at TC, Columbia, Barnard and other institutions. She will work with faculty to identify and secure federal and foundation support for high impact research, and develop innovative strategies for supporting student research engagement. 

“Dr. Ebanks joins us with extensive experience with federal agencies and grant-making and has long worked in collaborative relationships with foundations, mentoring research projects and establishing research partnerships that center equity and advance the public good,” KerryAnn O’Meara, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of the College, wrote in an email to faculty announcing the appointment. “Dr. Ebanks will build on the extensive work of Dr. Carol Hammer to build infrastructure and support for our research and for our faculty.” 

Ebanks joins the College after more than 20 years at the National Center for Education Research within the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, where she served as the team lead for early childhood education and the program officer of the center’s research grant programs. 

“Teachers College’s track record of raising the next generation of leaders to make a difference in the world is deeply inspiring, and I’m looking forward to supporting TC’s faculty in those efforts and their community-driven impact,” says Ebanks, who has a wealth of experience working on federal research initiatives aimed at improving early learning and development. “Supporting faculty in their pursuit of research funding in a competitive landscape is incredibly rewarding, and I’m excited to work closely with researchers to identify the best opportunities and positioning for their scholarship.” 

Driven by the importance of high-quality care and education for children and families, Ebanks is a leading early childhood expert whose extensive record across research projects, policy and practice reflects her belief in fostering relationships and collaboration across diverse groups. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. 

Ebanks will begin her role on April 15, 2024. Having grown up in the Bronx, Ebanks says she’s “coming back to the city that raised” her, and looks forward to joining TC scholars in their community-centered work. 

“Helping build a vision for a five- or ten-year research agenda is so rewarding, as is finding ways to get it done in an equity centered way from ideation to completion,” says Ebanks. “We’re doing research in a way that’s relevant to the communities that are being served.”