Dr.  Barbara Iannarelli

Dr. Barbara Iannarelli

Chairperson, Dept. of Leadership & Counseling and Assistant Professor of Education

Office Location:
Academic Complex, 323F
Office Hours:
Contact for Appointment


I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY and attended the Niagara Falls Public Schools. My parents were very intelligent but did not finish high school. They raised five children who acquired eleven degrees including two Ph.D.’s. I learned to never confuse intelligence with education.

The Niagara Falls area is important to me. I care about its future and the surrounding area as well as the schools. My 32 year career in the Niagara Falls City School District as classroom, reading specialist, grant writer, central office administrator and finally as principal of Hyde Park School. This was the pinnacle of my professional experience. Everything up to that position only prepared me to be the school leader. I was destined to be in that school for ten years and it was the hardest job I ever had emotionally, mentally and physically. But it was the job I loved the most. Where can you work and get 600 hugs a day.

Teaching at Niagara University after a career in the public schools has afforded me the opportunity to share knowledge and experience with future leaders. Teaching at Niagara University meets my needs in all areas: "head, heart and hand." I am learning every day from colleagues and students as well as from the professional development opportunities provided at Niagara. The catholic tradition and the Vincentian Mission of this university provide me an opportunity to grow spiritually and serve the community I love. My service to the community as well as my commitment to the teaching profession provides the opportunity to "give back" for all that I have been given.

Focus of Teaching

I consider teaching my "drug of choice." Teaching provides me with such energy and enthusiasm that I cannot see myself doing anything else. I work to be constructivist in my teaching, to create engaging learning experiences and to always learn from the students I teach. I would hope that students I work with leave as: better people; better teachers and colleagues; and learners with an unquenchable thirst for thinking, learning and continuous improvement.

I think I bring an understanding to the education of graduate candidates that they are “juggling many plates.” They usually have several years of teaching behind them and demonstrating their leadership potential in their schools and districts. They often have little children and can have older parents whose health is failing. I hope to teach them how to balance all the pressures in their lives by sharing what I call “my five fingers philosophy.”

Current Research

My research interests are in the area of leadership and professional development. I am continuously refining content and pedagogy in teaching the leadership courses.

I assisted with the development and implementation of an 18 hour graduate program in Teacher Leadership.

In addition, I am currently researching the application of differentiated learning to the professional development of adults in schools.

Educational Background

MS Elementary Education State University College at Buffalo

MS Literacy from State University of New York at Buffalo

Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation from State University of New York at Buffalo

Certifications: NY Elementary P-6, NY Literacy K-12 and NY Educational Leadership.

Current Involvement

I coordinate the Educational Leadership Program which is 100% on line and includes five separate certification programs.

I serve on the Board of Directors of the Niagara Falls Education Foundation and the Local chapter 47 of Phi Delta Kappa, International.