In Memoriam: Associate Professor Emerita of Education

Judith A. Aiken, Associate Professor of Education Emerita, passed away in July of 2022. The College of Education and Social Service community held a moment of silence for the memory of our beloved colleague during a faculty and staff meeting on September 9, 2022.

Dr. Judith Aiken earned her doctoral degree from Rutger’s University in 1992. Following a distinguished career as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal and executive director, curriculum coordinator, and director for professional development, Judith joined the UVM faculty in 1996. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and served in multiple leadership roles, including over 16 years as program coordinator of our master’s and doctoral programs and four years as Associate Dean. Her leadership was characterized by her relational and collaborative style, and her mentorship was key to the success of many early and mid-career faculty. Her commitment to growing leadership capacity in Vermont was demonstrated through her efforts to establish and direct multiple off-campus degree-granting and professional development programs for aspiring Vermont leaders. Hundreds of UVM students and education professionals and leaders will remember Judith as an outstanding and inclusive teacher who had a unique ability to engender creativity, rich discussion, and reflection in the classroom.

Dr. Aiken's scholarship on women in leadership and social justice leadership includes two co-edited books and over 25 book chapters and articles. Her service to over 60 college and university committees was recognized through the Jackie M. Gribbons Extraordinary Service Award and the ALANA Diversity Excellence Award, among others. Beyond UVM, Judith devoted years of service to organizations such as the Vermont Principals’ and Superintendents’ Associations. Nationally, she served on editorial boards for the Journal of Education and the Journal of Women in Educational Leadership. She received awards from organizations such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and National Council of Professors of Education.

Dr. Aiken's many contributions will have a lasting impact on our college, university, state, and the field. She was a builder of bridges and a connector who touched so many of our lives. We will miss her unwavering dedication to inclusive and ethical practices, and her grace, kindness, humor, and quiet strength.


Gerstl-Pepin, C., Aiken, J. A., Tarule, J. (2015). Susan Brody Hasazi: A leader who embodied her ethics and advocated for equitable policies, and nurtured community of care. In S. Gross and J. Shapiro (Eds.), Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership: Reclaiming Reform. Routledge.

Smith, S., Aiken, J., Heading-Grant, W., & Sanchez, T. (2013). When the unexpected happens: Navigating difficult moments in higher education. In S. Harris and S. Edmundson (Eds.), Critical Social Justice Issues for Education Today. Michigan: NCPEA Press.

Aiken, J. A. & Gerstl-Pepin, C. (2012). Democratic school leaders advocating for ethical responsibility in a standardized context. Journal of School Leadership.

Gerstl-Pepin, C. & Aiken, J. A. (2012). Social Justice Leadership for a Global World. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Heading-Grant, W. & Aiken, J. A. (2010). Faculty mentors and their perspectives on cross-cultural mentoring relationships. In Harris &  Johnson (Eds.), Women of Color and Leadership: Taking Their Rightful Place.

Aiken, J. A. (2009). Curriculum reconceptualists. In T. Hunt, J. Carper, T. Lasley, & D. Raisch (Eds.)., Encyclopedia of Educational Reform and Dissent.

Awards and Recognition

  • College of Education and Social Services, John Dewey Excellence in Teaching Award (2013)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Outstanding Service Award from NCATE (2013)
  • ALANA Diversity Excellence Award from ALANA Coalition at UVM: This award was presented for service in support of diversity initiatives at the University of Vermont as recognized by the ALANA Coalition. (2012)
  • UVM Graduate Student Senate, Excellence in Teaching Award Nomination from Graduate College at UVM (2012)
  • Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society from Pi Gammu Mu National Honor Society: This award was made to acknowledge service and scholarship made to the educational profession. (2010)
  • Vermont School Board: Appreciation for Outstanding Work from Vermont School Boards Association: Service to the Vermont School Boards Association for the implementation and evaluation of Policy Governance in Vermont school districts (2007)

Associations and Affiliations

  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • National Association for Multicultural Education
  • National Staff Development Council (NSDC)
  • Pi Gamma Mu, The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)
Judith Aiken

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Ethical leadership
  • Inclusive excellence
  • Leadership preparation


  • Ed.D. in Curriculum Theory and Development from Rutgers University
  • M.A. in Counseling Services from Rider University


  • 802-656-3356