Recently named one of the most exceptional post-secondary teachers in Canada, Dr. Shelly Wismath has been appointed the first dean of the University of Lethbridge’s new School of Liberal Education.
The U of L’s Board of Governors approved the appointment last week, granting Wismath a five-year term that commences Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
“The U of L was founded on a philosophy of Liberal Education, and the work of the Liberal Education Revitalization Team over the last three years has ensured a recommitment to that philosophy as the basis of all our teaching and learning at the U of L,” says Wismath. “The formation of the School of Liberal Education formalizes that recommitment.”
Wismath first came to the U of L in 1983 as a lecturer, was named an assistant professor in 1988, associate professor in 1992 and then full professor in 2000, in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science. Her distinguished research career in abstract algebra includes three books and over 60 refereed articles published.
She moved to the Liberal Education Program in 2009, where she began focusing her research on the scholarship of teaching and learning and was at the forefront of revitalizing liberal education on campus. In February, Wismath became just the second U of L teacher to receive a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, one of only 10 named across Canada.
Her previous administrative experience includes serving as acting Chair/Coordinator of several departments including Women and Gender Studies and Native American Studies; service as an external member on over 50 STP cases and on a number of search committees for senior administration positions; establishing the Women Scholars’ Speaker Series and serving as ongoing moderator of the associated email list; serving on the formation committee of the Teaching Centre and as its first Board of Governors’ Teaching Chair; and most recently serving as coordinator of the Arts and Science Global Citizenship Program for its first two years.
Wismath has also served on the University Budget, GFC Executive and A&S Executive Committees, as well as the Senate.
She says the revitalization of liberal education on the U of L campus has been invigorating and she’s excited to champion the pillars of the new school, the breadth, integration of knowledge, critical thinking and civic engagement which make Liberal Education more vital than ever to educate our future leaders.
“It’s a great honour to be chosen as the first dean of our new School of Liberal Education, and I’m very excited about the many opportunities ahead to promote and further implement our model of Liberal Education to our students, faculty and wider community,” she says.