The study and writing of poetry requires imagination and careful attention to details.
And this rigorous devotion and creativity are among the many qualities that made Kathy Whitcomb a superb choice to serve as the permanent Associate Dean of Central Washington’s College of Arts and Humanities.
As readers of LaunchPad know, our college encompasses many different groups and stakeholders. We knew that we needed a leader, who would build a strong, united, integrated community.
As CWU’s former Faculty Senate Chair, it was clear that Kathy Whitcomb had the skills, knowledge, experience, and wisdom to help us achieve this goal.
It is with great pleasure that I removed the “interim” tag from Kathy’s title this past February. She has been a wonderful and critical addition to the CAH leadership team.
During the past 13 years at Central Washington University, Kathy has taught poetry, creative writing, multi-genre writing, poetics, genre studies, and professional writing. Her skills in the classroom merited her selection as the 2016 Distinguished University Professor of Teaching.
Kathy received her terminal degree, an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, in 1995. Even more impressive, she was one of five poets selected to receive a two-year post-degree Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University from 1996-1998.
The Appleton, Wisconsin native didn’t immediately start her professional endeavors in academia. She began her career in publishing for Penguin Books and Simon & Schuster, keeping her ties to the written word, especially fine writing and editing.
Not surprisingly, Kathy is an accomplished author. Her books include: The Daughter’s Almanac: Poems in 2015, The Art Courage Program in 2014, and Saints of South Dakota and Other Poems in 2001. She has also dozens of other publications and presentations during her impressive scholarly career.
Kathy knows that liberal arts skills are in constant demand by corporate leaders, who are on the lookout for lifelong-learners adept at creativity and problem-solving. These required skills are exactly our focus in the College of Arts and Humanities.
For example, Kathy pioneered our nationally ranked online undergraduate degree in Professional and Creative Writing. And now for the first time this coming fall, the College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of English will debut an online Master’s degree in Professional and Creative Writing.
Kathy’s innovative skills will be very important as she continues to foster teamwork, collaboration, and mentorship within, between, and among our departments and programs. Her respect for teamwork, deep knowledge of the university, and commitment to excellence will help raise the College of Arts and Humanities to an even higher level of achievement.
We are delighted to make Kathy a permanent member of our leadership team. Her accomplishments, creativity, wisdom, and experience make her the perfect addition.
Please join me in welcoming Kathy Whitcomb as our associate dean.