Dr. Wendy Wyatt, chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism at St. Thomas since 2012 and faculty member in the department since 2003, has been appointed the new associate vice provost for undergraduate studies. She will succeed Dr. Michael Jordan in this role, effective Jan. 4, 2016.
Dr. Richard Plumb, executive vice president and provost at St. Thomas, said, "I am incredibly thrilled to have Wendy come aboard in this role."
In her new role, Wyatt will be responsible for the overall coordination of the undergraduate academic experience at St. Thomas. She will work closely with the deans, the faculty, Student Affairs, Campus Ministry and the library in developing, coordinating and implementing curricular and co-curricular activities that focus on development of the whole person. She also will oversee academic advising, the Aquinas Scholars honors program and the Writing Across the Curriculum program, and will serve ex-officio on the Core Curriculum Committee.
Wyatt will lead development and expansion of an undergraduate research symposium and creation of the Student Success Center. As envisioned, this center will be an Academic Affairs and Student Affairs initiative coordinating living-learning communities, academic advising, career-development services, health professions advising, internships and student-retention efforts.
"I’ve spent the last 13 years in a department that has so many terrific things going on, and I know COJO is a microcosm of what’s happening all over campus. I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with colleagues from Academic Affairs and Student Affairs on the overall undergraduate experience – inside the classroom and out – mind, body and spirit," Wyatt said. "Since I’ve been department chair, I’ve considered all of the COJO students my students, and I often tell people that I have more than 300 kids. Now I’ll have 6,000. That’s pretty great!"
At St. Thomas, she served as co-chair for the 2013 Higher Learning Commission Self-Study and, since January 2015, has been co-chairing the strategic planning task force on Educating for the Future.
A media ethicist by training, Wyatt has taught her department's capstone course in communication ethics for 13 years. Much of her research focuses on issues of media and democracy, and she has particular interests in journalism ethics, citizen responsibilities to the media and media literacy. She is the author or editor of three books, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes.
Wyatt has a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Colorado State University.