Cindy Hensley McCain, who received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in special education from USC, joined the Board of Councilors for the Rossier School of Education last week.
The 20 board members are tasked with providing support, advocacy and advice for the Rossier School of Education.
“The education and experiences I gained at USC Rossier have been invaluable throughout my life,” McCain said in a press release issued last Tuesday. “It is an honor to be able to play a part in leading the school toward its mission of improving education for all children.”
While studying at USC, McCain was involved in pilot programs examining movement therapy, now considered a standard for working with severely disabled children.
“Mrs. McCain has made a career out of doing extraordinary work on behalf of children in need, beginning with her work as a special education teacher and continuing through her philanthropy for children around the world,” said Barbara Goen, assistant dean for communication at the Rossier School of Education.
McCain, who worked with disabled children as a teacher at Agua Fria High School in Arizona, founded the American Voluntary Medical Team, an organization that provided medical assistance worldwide to children in poverty from 1988 to 1995.
“@USCRossier I am honored and proud to be a part of school of ed,” McCain tweeted in response to the press release, which the Rossier School of Education posted on its Twitter account.
As part of the Rossier School of Education’s centennial last February, McCain was honored with the Dean’s Alumni Achievement Award. McCain’s husband, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), presented the award at the school’s gala.
At that time, the school established the Cindy Hensley McCain Global Educator Fellowship.
The award is granted to “aspiring teachers who will face global challenges in meeting the learning needs of children and youth,” according to the press release.
“We are thrilled to have such a tremendous advocate for education and disadvantaged children join our board,” said Karen Symms Gallagher, dean of the Rossier School of Education, in the press release. “Mrs. McCain will be an important asset to the leadership of our school as we continue to grow and have even greater impact in improving urban education locally, nationally and globally.”
The Board of Councilors officially meets two or three times in the academic year. The next board meeting is scheduled for September. At the meetings, Goen expects McCain will participate in person or via teleconference.
“We will eagerly welcome Mrs. McCain whenever she can be on campus,” Goen said.
McCain also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Hazardous Area Life-Support Organization Trust, a non-profit organization that works to clear landmines, and on the board of the Eastern Congo Initiative. She also travels often with the World Food Programme and Operation Smile.