It is with a heavy heart that I write this column for our Spring newsletter. At the same time, I am very excited about the upcoming opportunity. As many of you will have already heard, I am stepping down as the Director of the Virtual Campus and transitioning into the position of Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences. Coinciding with the start of the Spring VC term, February 23, Dr. Trish Trifilo will be assuming the top position here in the Virtual Campus. (See the Official Press Release)
Dr. Trish Trifilo was first hired by Wayland in May of 2012 to serve as our Distance Learning Specialist. Since then, she has served as our primary support for online faculty and those who teach online have come to know her well and know that she is perfect candidate for the job. She brings with her many years of expertise in teaching online and her credentials include a Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning. Prior to coming to Wayland, she served as the Director of Online Learning at Hardin Simmons University. The Virtual Campus will certainly thrive under her very capable leadership.
Dr. Herb Grover has served as the Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences since 2009, and recently announced that he will be retiring from this position at the end of the current term. Beginning with the Spring VC term, I will take over many of his duties within the School. Over the course of the next few months, Dr. Trifilo, Dr. Grover, and I will work to complete the transition of leadership. Most issues for the Director of the VC will need to be directed to Dr. Trifilo, while most issues for the Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences will be directed to Dr. Franklin. As needed, Dr. Grover and I and step in to help on issues relating to our current positions.
I will miss a great many things about this job, most of which are people with whom I have had the great honor to serve. Wayland could not ask for a more skilled and capable staff in handling the complexities of delivering online programs and courses to the thousands of students we serve each term. The Virtual Campus staff are the ones that have made me look good over the last three years. I will also miss the wonderful faculty, both full-time and adjuncts, that teach for us online. While I may not have met most of them face to face, I was constantly reminded of just how special of a place Wayland is when I saw their care and compassion for our students. It is our people that make Wayland the best place to complete a degree and the best place to work.
Those that know me well know that my heart has always been in the classroom, both the physical classroom and the online classroom, but more specifically the mathematics classroom. I have always had a passion for the study of God’s creation as a means to learn more about our Creator and how He works to reveal himself through nature. Mathematics is the language that has proven surprisingly effective in modeling the physical world around us and by God’s design, I was made to seek him through this language of creation. When I see God’s creation follow these discernible patterns written in mathematics, I become convinced that God created mankind to know him both through faith and through science. And when I see how faithful God’s creation is to these patterns, I catch a glimpse of God’s faithfulness to his children.
I look forward to serving in leadership of the School of Mathematics and Sciences so that we can continue to keep Christ at the center of our School, helping our students to see the study of science and mathematics as more than just a path to a career, but also as the study of majesty of God’s creation.
Thanks to all of you who made my time in the Virtual Campus special, you will be missed! (But, for the record, I’m still just an email away at the same old address.)