Rochelle "Shelley" Ingram, who held several positions as a
faculty member in the School of Education,
died of a neurological disease Oct. 1 at her home in Owings
Mills. She was 59.
Following a long career with the Maryland State Department
of Education, Ingram came to Johns Hopkins in 1996 as chair
of the Department of Teacher Preparation in what was then
the School of Professional Studies in Business and
Education. In 1999, when Ralph Fessler assumed the dean's
post, Ingram succeeded him as associate dean and director
of the Graduate Division of Education. She played a key
role in establishing partnerships with area school systems
and was the first chair of SPSBE's Committee on Civility
and Diversity. She stepped down from the associate dean
position because of health issues in 2003 but remained on
the faculty and coordinated urban school partnership
programs until additional health issues led to her
retirement in 2004.
"Shelley Ingram was an inspirational leader who brought out
the best in people," said Fessler, now dean of the School
of Education. "Her enthusiasm and commitment to quality
education for all children had a great impact on our
faculty and students. Many of our current programs in
teacher education and leadership development emerged from
Shelley's commitment to quality and creativity."
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Ingram earned
her doctorate in school administration from the University
of Maryland, College Park and was later on the faculty as
director of the Office of Lab Experiences. From the
mid-1980s through 1994, she held a number of posts with the
Maryland State Department of Education, most recently as an
assistant state schools superintendent, from 1994 to
Ingram began her doctorate after returning from India,
where she had worked for an organization trying to educate
the poor in Third World countries.
"That was a transformative experience for her," Ingram's
daughter Jordanna Shahraki told The Sun. "After that, she
knew she wanted to change the world."
According to Fessler, "Shelley lived a life of commitment
to diversity and social justice. This was reflected in her
personal life and in her professional activities. She had a
national and international network of friends and
colleagues who looked to her for leadership in this area."
Among those colleagues was Linda Adamson, an instructor in
the Department of Teacher Preparation. When she joined the
faculty in 1998, "[Shelley] also urged me to apply for the
new doctoral program in Teacher Development and Leadership,
telling me what a good growth experience it would be for me
and how many new doors it could open. She knew we shared a
strong commitment to improving quality education for
Ingram, who served as Adamson's doctoral adviser, took an
interest in her volunteer work with a rural Mayan community
in Guatemala, where few people can afford to educate their
children beyond third or fourth grade because of related
costs, and selected two girls to support through
scholarship funds. "One of Shelley's girls graduated from
ninth grade in 2006; the other is continuing into high
school," Adamson said. "Shelley's commitment to them
captures so much of who Shelley was, and how she lived her
In June, with the support of the Sylvan/Laureate
Foundation, a conference room in the Education Building was
dedicated in honor of Ingram's many contributions. "This
will now stand as a permanent memorial to an exceptional
leader who has made a lasting impact on the field of
education," Fessler said. "We will miss her."
In addition to her daughter, Ingram is survived by her
husband of 12 years, William B. Ingram; her son, William J.
Clemson; and her mother, sister, brother, stepson, two
stepdaughters and five grandchildren.