Gansemer-Topf named Director of Iowa State University’s School of Education


AMES, Iowa – Ann Gansemer-Topf has been named the director of Iowa State University’s School of Education and Frances S. and Arthur L. Wallace Professor in the College of Human Sciences, following a national search.

She is currently the director of graduate education and a professor in Iowa State’s School of Education as well as a faculty affiliate in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Her appointment as director will begin on July 1.

“Dr. Ann Gansemer-Topf is a successful leader and nationally recognized scholar who brings a strong vision for working collaboratively with faculty, staff, students and partners to this role,” said Laura Jolly, Dean and Dean’s Chair of the College of Human Sciences. “She is a champion for student success and her innovative approaches to teaching and learning will create an exciting future for the School of Education.” 

As director, Gansemer-Topf will oversee all facets of Iowa State’s nationally known School of Education. Robust undergraduate programs prepare hundreds of future teachers, master’s and Ph.D. programs educate leaders at all levels of the education system and high-impact research contributes to national conversations on education and improved student outcomes.

“I have benefited tremendously from the faculty, staff and students at Iowa State and in the School of Education and I am honored to serve in this leadership position,” said Gansemer-Topf. “I look forward to working with Dean Jolly, continuing collaborations and building partnerships to ensure that the exceptional work of our faculty, staff and students uplifts our land-grant mission of making a better place for students, Iowans and the world.”

Gansemer-Topf has served in several leadership roles in the School of Education since she joined the team in 2012 as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on assessment of student learning, student success, effective teaching and learning strategies and educational policy related to enrollment management.

Earning the moniker, “Dr. G-T,” from the hundreds of students she has advised, mentored and taught throughout her career, the deep connections Gansemer-Topf creates and her passion for education have been honored with College of Human Sciences Mid-Career Teaching Award and the Iowa State Alumni Association Faculty and Staff Inspiration Award. She was also recently inducted into the Iowa Academy of Education.

“Education is critical in empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge to enrich their lives and the places and spaces in which they live and work,” said Gansemer-Topf. “It’s the gateway for innovation and the foundation for strong and healthy communities.”

Gansemer-Topf brings an interdisciplinary lens to leadership and education having previously worked in residence life, served as an academic advisor and directed institutional research and strategic planning initiatives.

She is engaged at the national level through service in NASPA, a professional organization in the field of student affairs, the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Association. Her research profile includes more than 70 publications, 100 professional presentations and numerous invitations to speak to various educational associations.

Gansemer-Topf holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loras College, a master’s degree in professional studies-higher education from Iowa State University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University.

She will succeed Interim Director of the School of Education, Mary Gresham.