Dr. Allyson L. Watson serves as the dean for the College of Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Prior to her arrival at USFSP, Dr. Watson served as assistant dean and Northeastern State University’s first named endowed chair. Her educational background includes master’s (M.Ed.) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in educational administration, curriculum and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Her baccalaureate degree is from Bethune-Cookman University in Elementary Education. Prior to her career at NSU, Dr. Watson served as assistant director at the University of Oklahoma-Center for Educational & Community Renewal (now K-20 Center). Additionally, her educational career and experience includes teaching 1st-8th grade in urban areas. Dr. Watson has focused her research on urban education, faculty of color in higher education, and urban school and university partnerships.
In 2015, Dr. Watson coordinated a team of educators from across the US to help establish the first ever robotics lab for girls in north Haiti. The sustainable work has empowered girls and women in STEM. Through this innovative initiative, Haiti sent the first competitive girls team in the history of the nation to compete in the VEX World Championship Robotics Competition. In the Summer of 2018, USFSP College of Education launched an inaugural STEM robotics camp for students in 5th through 8th grade to enrich academic and experiential learning within the St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay region. This coming fall, USFSP’s College of Education will celebrate the grand opening of a state of the art innovative STEM lab for all future educators, educational leaders and organizational partners to engage and experience creative and innovative discovery first hand.
Dr. Watson is an inaugural alumnus of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, former (2010-13) national alumni president and 2014 past president of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association. Dr. Watson is committed to her community and impact through service, and serves as a member of the Alpha Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She believes that her job as an educator is to empower others to believe in themselves and their capacity to reach their true potential.