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News Briefs


President Miller has announced the appointment of two faculty members to fill vacant directorships for First Year Experience (FYE) and Winter and Summer sessions.

Dr. Rebecca Hooker is the new Director of First Year Experience. Dr. Hooker is a Batten Associate Professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Carleton College, a Master of Science in Education for College Student Personnel Administration from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature/Letters from the University of New Mexico. She has been at the College since 2008. Dr. Hooker will lead the The First Year Experience (FYE) which is designed to help students prepare for the transition from high school to college. FYE programs often foster the participation of students in co-curricular events such as common reads, concerts, art exhibits, and guest lectures. “As we know from research, engaged students are likely to remain enrolled,” says President Miller. Additional advantages of the FYE include sharpening students' study skills and exposing them to unfamiliar topics that may spark interest in pursuing a particular academic field.

Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson is the new Director of the Winter and Summer Sessions. Dr. Gonsalves-Jackson is an Associate Professor of Biology at Virginia Wesleyan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Randolph College, a Master of Science in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from Florida Atlantic University, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has been at the College since 2006. She will lead VWC's Winter and Summer Sessions which are usually concentrated/unusual course offerings focusing on close interaction, field experiences and study away. Although fall and spring semesters are the core of the Virginia Wesleyan educational experience, Winter and Summer Sessions can enable students to experience the College from another perspective.

According to President Miller, “Expanding Winter Session will improve cohort graduation rates and build supplemental revenue. Increasing Summer Session offerings, including recruiting students from other colleges living in this community over the summer, will enhance revenues, utilize campus facilities on a more year-round basis, and give students academic options they need for on-time graduation.”