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Dr. Christy Wenger named director of Academic Innovation Initiatives

ISSUED: 8 July 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Dr. Christy Wenger, associate professor of English, has been named Shepherd University’s new director of Academic Innovation Initiatives. Wenger, who also serves as the director of writing and rhetoric, will work with academic program partners to develop new initiatives and populations of students.

Academic Innovation Initiatives uses new information, data, and best practices to develop new modes of learning and instruction with a goal of strengthening the quality of a Shepherd University education and enhance the university’s impact on society.

“Dr. Wenger brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and successful outcomes to her new role as director of Academic Innovation Initiatives,” said Dr. Scott Beard, provost. “Our writing program is a model for many across the country, and Dr. Wenger is recognized as a leader nationally on best practices. She has also been a part of recent grant efforts to bring academic programming and access to new populations of students. I am thrilled to have her assume these responsibilities.”

“I am very excited to take on a new leadership challenge as the director of Academic Innovation Initiatives and to join the Academic Affairs team,” Wenger said. “I hope to support new initiatives and projects on campus that help us expand our community reach and better serve our students.”

Wenger said she has always had both student-facing and teacher-facing responsibilities at Shepherd, so she understands how much student success is tied to instructor training and support.

“You simply cannot have one without the other,” Wenger said. “The academic community is an ecosystem so that the health and well-being of one population is intimately connected to the health and well-being of other populations. We often forget this because of the way we’re set up to function as separate departments and units, but it is essential for lasting success and meaningful innovation across campus. I am professionally driven by such connected ideas of community, mutual well-being and interconnected mindfulness and will use these ideas to guide my actions in my new position.”

Wenger has taught and served as the director of writing and rhetoric at Shepherd since 2011. She is widely published as an author and has secured funding for several grants. Citing her innovation and dedication to student learning, “The State Journal” named her in its 2018 Generation Next: 40 Under 40, a list of the state’s most influential young professionals.

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