UST Alumnus Improves Educational Systems in New Role
By Brittani Wright
Former Assistant Professor and Alumnus, Dr. Robert Lundin ’02, has been named assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Education.
“I’m honored and humble,” Lundin said. “I consider myself a teacher at heart, so to be able to enrich the impact of teachers and students across the state is very gratifying. I’m going into this with the goal to improve educational quality in every school in the state of Tennessee. If we offer robust educational options, and influence the quality of school systems, I will find myself proud of what we will have achieved.”
Lundin strives to strengthen equality and opportunities around all school districts of Tennessee. His first year of service includes an intentional focus on funding for students in low income cities to enhance school offerings.
“My department works to spread the word to participating schools,” Lundin said. “Our goal is to get about 5,000 students opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise pursue. Some schools in the state are rock stars; others need help with consistency. We are determined to set the standards of operation, and get a good grasp of what’s working.”
Lundin’s Legacy: Houston Education System
“It was a natural fit,” Lundin said, “to bring my experience of work to the state of Tennessee and apply lessons that I learned at UST and Houston.”
Lundin has worked with Houston Independent School District, and surrounding districts to make a difference in Houston education. He has spearheaded multiple projects, including establishing the YES College Preparatory School-Southwest in 2004. The campus was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School, and rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 25 high schools in the nation.
“Dr. Lundin worked in the Educational Leadership Program at UST,” Dr. Virginia Leiker, assistant professor said. “He eagerly shared his instructional strategies and material so it was a distinct pleasure working with him. He is very committed to helping the neediest student as one could see in his work with HISD. His high energy and enthusiasm for helping students will make him very successful in Tennessee.”