PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University Center for Teaching,
Learning and Technology Director Mary Wack has been appointed interim
dean of the WSU Honors College. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2000,
through June 30, 2001.
In making the appointment, WSU Provost Gretchen Bataille said, “Mary brings
to the position a keen understanding of the role of the Honors College at WSU
and impressive academic credentials. She has established herself as an
energetic and insightful administrator both in the Department of English and in
her role as the director of CTLT.”
Wack will take the place of Jane Lawrence, who is leaving for a post at the
University of Vermont. Wack says the Honors College benefited greatly from
Lawrence’s leadership. “Jane Lawrence has laid excellent groundwork for
moving the college forward into the next century. I am committed to building
on her accomplishments to make the University Honors College a premier
attraction for talented students nationwide.”
Since 1996, Wack has served as senior fellow and then director of the CTLT,
whose mission includes faculty development and outreach, classroom research
and assessment, and instructional technology.
Wack earned a doctorate in medieval studies from Cornell University in 1982.
She taught in the Stanford English department as an assistant and associate
professor from 1982-92. In 1984-85, she was a fellow at the Stanford Humanities
Center, and in 1990 she won a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and the
Harry Levin Prize for best book in comparative literature.
At Stanford, she became interested in the application of computer technology
to teaching. She developed and piloted an innovative course called “Electronic
Chaucer” that used a variety of electronic tools to teach undergraduate
literature. In 1991, she won one of the first three-year Bing Teaching
Fellowships at Stanford, which provided $30,000 to develop a prototype digital
She came to WSU in 1992 as a professor of English and chair of the
department, where she continued her interests in electronic technology and
teaching with such courses as “Producing the Middle Ages in Multimedia”
and “Theory and Practice of the Electronic Classroom.” In October 1996, she
was the first faculty member ever selected to give the President’s Annual
Convocation with her talk, “To Create A Space for Learning.” In 1998, she
received a Contemplative Practice Fellowship from the American Council of
Learned Societies, and will be teaching “Contemplative Arts” for the Honors
College during the spring semester.
Gary Brown will succeed Wack on an interim basis at the CTLT. A search for a
permanent dean of the Honors College will begin next fall.