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Wendle starts as new dean of students

ISSUED: 12 January 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has started the spring semester by welcoming a new dean of students. Dr. Ann Wendle, who started on Monday, January 9, comes to Shepherd from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where she served as an assistant dean, director of drug and alcohol services, and co-director of veteran services.

In her new position at Shepherd, Wendle will oversee disability support services, the counseling center, the health center, multicultural student affairs, international students, veterans support services, the student conduct board, and Title IX compliance. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits federally funded universities from discriminating on the basis of sex.

Wendle, who has been teaching as an affiliate graduate faculty member since last August for Shepherd’s Master of Arts degree in college student development and administration, said she is happy to be on campus full time.

“Every bit of interaction I’ve had with Shepherd has just been so pleasant, welcoming, professional, and kind,” Wendle said. “I think that Shepherd is a good fit for me because, in my experience, people here are very forward thinking and collaborative and there’s not a campus-community line. It’s like the town and the university have similar goals and you feel like you belong.”

Wendle, who is a U.S. Army veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm, has a Doctor of Philosophy from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in higher education with concentrations in law and cultural competency. She also has a B.A. in English with a concentration in secondary education and an M.S. in counseling with a concentration in college student personnel from Shippensburg University. She previously worked at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville as resident director of family housing and Alpha Phi Alpha and at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in various positions, including director of student activities, interim assistant dean in multicultural affairs, and acting dean of students.

Wendle’s research has focused on topics such as women’s experiences in higher education, the experiences of graduate student resident directors and resident advisors, and how well first-year students transition to college and socialize.

“If we understand students better socially and transitionally, then we can help them take their college experience and apply it to their regular life after college. It contributes to their success, our retention, the attrition rate, and their development,” Wendle said.

When Wendle’s not at work, she enjoys being outdoors and creating with ceramic, metal, and wood in her art studio in Shippensburg, which she shares with another artist. Wendle also enjoys dance.

“I’m a trained classical ballet dancer, so I dance when I can,” she said.

When Wendle lived in Norfolk she had the opportunity to work with an instructor who had been one of the principal dancers for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

“He has adult dance classes and he has proven the theory that we don’t stop moving until we stop moving,” she said. “I was dancing en pointe with retired professional dancers who were 85 years old and they were just so limber. Your body can learn at any age.”

Wendle said she doesn’t have the opportunity to take dance classes in this area, but she has a ballet barre in her house and she continues to dance. And while her current focus in art leans more toward sculptural works, she has created functional pottery like plates and bowls. One of the mugs she made sits on the desk in her new office.

Listen to the interview HERE.

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