December 3, 2013

Wendy Hill to Become Head of Agnes Irwin School

Wendy Hill, provost, dean of the faculty, and Rappolt Professor of Neuroscience, informed the campus today that she will complete her service at Lafayette June 30, 2014, at the conclusion of this academic year. She will become head of The Agnes Irwin School, Rosemont, Pa., on July 1.

Provost Wendy Hill

Provost Wendy Hill

“I have been honored to serve as provost for these seven years,” Hill said in a message to faculty and staff. “I will, of course, miss the many colleagues I have come to know and respect during my 25 years at Lafayette. Until my departure at the end of June, please know that I will continue to work with energy and dedication to advance the many important ongoing initiatives at the College.”

“Lafayette has been extraordinarily fortunate in having Wendy Hill as provost during some very challenging times in higher education,” said President Alison Byerly. “Having known and respected Wendy for years prior to my arrival at Lafayette, I was delighted at the opportunity to work with her here, and I know that she will be a wonderful leader for the Agnes Irwin School.”

Hill has served as provost and dean of the faculty since July 1, 2007. Among other accomplishments, she helped lead the development of a new common course of study for all students in addition to curricular advancements in the arts, the life sciences, environmental studies, global education, and the integration of engineering and the liberal arts.

Under her leadership, the faculty has made sweeping changes in the tenure and review policies and has adopted interdisciplinary faculty appointment and review procedures that have enhanced the interdisciplinary initiatives of the College’s strategic plan.

The size of the faculty has been increased, and Hill has instituted new procedures to attract, retain, and support excellent teacher-scholars. She has advanced innovative methods to infuse diversity and inclusive pedagogies throughout the curriculum. Working with her deans, Hill has also advanced new, dynamic approaches in admissions and greater support for academic and career advising for students.

A member of the Lafayette faculty since 1989, Hill holds the William C. ’67 and Pamela H. Rappolt Chair in neuroscience. In 1999, she was named Pennsylvania’s Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The honor saluted her extraordinary dedication to teaching and exceptional impact on and involvement with undergraduate students.

Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with honors, from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. in animal behavior from the University of Washington. At Lafayette, she served as Metzgar Assistant Professor, an endowed position, from 1991 to 1995, when she was promoted to associate professor. She became full professor in 2000 and was appointed to the Rappolt Professorship in 2002.

Hill played a leading role in the development of the College’s interdisciplinary bachelor of science degree program in neuroscience and was its founding chair. She has developed several introductory and advanced courses and has involved more than 100 students in her research program, many of whom have coauthored papers with Hill published in scientific journals or collaborated with her on conference presentations or published abstracts. Her recent research with students on the hormonal basis of attachment in humans has been featured in national and international print and electronic media, including ABC World News, CNN, MSNBC, Scientific American Mind, U.S. News & World Report, Discover, Chicago Tribune, The Independent (United Kingdom), Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Money Times (India), and many more outlets via the Associated Press, BBC, and Reuters.

Hill has received research awards from numerous organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, the American Ornithologists Union, the Fulbright Commission, and the Sigma Xi Research Society. In 2003, to support her sabbatical research, the James McKeen Cattell Fund honored her as one of four national fellowship recipients. In addition, she has received funding support for enhancing the neuroscience program from the National Science Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and Alden Trust.

Hill is the recipient of three major Lafayette awards, the James E. Lennertz Prize for Exceptional Teaching and Mentoring; Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award; and Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award, in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship.

posted in Faculty and Staff, News and Features


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