Dana Fusco

Dean, Graduate School of Education
Dean, Office of

Headshot of Dana Fusco

Dr. Dana Fusco is Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. She comes to Lesley from the School of Education at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she was interim dean and a professor in the Department of Secondary Education & Youth Services. There, she led the School of Education at Queens College to a successful accreditation, initiated policy revisions to support student success, created a lecture series called the Will to Change that orients DEI work within a broader social justice framework, and launched the First Gen Scholars Initiative.

Prior to Queens College, Dr. Fusco spent twenty-one years at York College, where she held positions as clinical coordinator, department chair, dean of the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and professor. She has also held the position of the Howland Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota and Visiting Professor at the University of Tampere in Finland. Dr. Fusco currently serves as dissertation advisor and examiner at the University of Malta, Department of Youth and Community Studies and the Cardiff Metropolitan University, School of Education & Social Policy.

She is an active member of the American Educational Research Association and the International Sociological Association and is often called upon to serve as a peer reviewer for books, journal articles and tenure and promotion cases in the areas of afterschool education, out of school time, youth development, and youth work both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Fusco’s work crosses boundaries of P-12 education, social work, youth studies, and sociology to improve the professional education of teachers through strong community and school partnerships, culturally relevant educational theories that position social justice and relational care at the heart of teaching and learning, and ongoing faculty and student development and engagement. She has published 16 peer reviewed journal articles, written 7 book chapters, edited 3 academic books, and produced a video documentary titled, When School Is Not Enough. Dr. Fusco’s work has international acclaim, and she has been invited by Ministries of Youth Affairs to deliver keynotes in England, Ireland, Canada, and Finland, and the 3rd Commonwealth conference on youth work.

Dr. Fusco is a proud first-generation college graduate and a staunch proponent of quality public education as a pillar of addressing social inequalities. In her spare time, she loves to spend time outdoors, gardening, hiking, and playing with her four-year old “puppy,” Brylie.


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Teachers College, Columbia University. Center for Urban Science Education. 1999

PhD, Educational Psychology, The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, New York. 1995

BA in Psychology, Cum Laude, State University of New York, College at New Paltz. 1987

Psychology, Dean's List, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York. 1985-1986.

Selected Presentations and Publications


  • Fusco, D. (2021). Panelist in AERA Presidential Panel: From the Margins to the Center: Interrogating the Precarity and Possibility of Community-based Youth Work in Challenging Times. Annual conference, remote.


  • Alldred, P., Cullen, F., Edwards, K., & Fusco, D.  (2018). Handbook of Youth Work Practice. UK: Sage.
  • Heathfield, M. & Fusco, D. (Eds.) (2016). Youth and Inequality: Global actions in youth work. New York: Routledge.
  • Fusco, D. (2012). Advancing Youth Work: Current trends, Critical questions. New York: Routledge.

Chapters and Other Significant Works

  • Fusco, D. & Baizerman, M. (2019). The future of US youth work. In Bright, G. and Pugh, C. (Eds.) Youth Work: Global Futures. Rotterdam: Sense. https://brill.com/view/title/54667
  • Fusco, D. (2018). Some conceptions of youth and youthwork in the United States. In P. Alldred, F. Cullen, K. Edwards, & D. Fusco (Eds.), Handbook of youth work practice (pp. 44-58). Sage.
  • Fusco, D. (2014). The social architecture of youth work practice. In B. Belton (Ed.), ‘Cadjan-Kiduhu’ global perspectives on youth work (pp. 47-60). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Fusco, D. (2003). When School Is Not Enough: A video documentary on the role of afterschool programs in New York City. New York: Afterschool Productions.

Journal Articles

  • Fusco, D. & Heathfield, M. (2015). Modeling democracy: Is youth “participation” enough? Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 7, 12-31.
  • Fusco, D., Lawrence, A., Matloff-Nieves, S., & Ramos, E. (2013). The Accordion Effect: Is quality in afterschool getting the squeeze? Journal of Youth Development, 8, 4-14. Reprinted in Youth Today.
  • Fusco, D. and Baizerman, M. (Eds.). (2013). Professionalization deconstructed: Implications for the field of youth work. Child & Youth Services, 34.
  • Fusco, D. (2013). Is youth work being courted by the appropriate suitor? Child & Youth Services, 34, 196-209.