Georgia Gwinnett College names Winterhalter dean of the School of Liberal Arts
A French writer, philosopher and activist once noted, “Books saved my life.” If you ask Dr. Teresa Winterhalter, “books and good teachers” saved hers. From an early age, the Belmont, New York, native saw how education expanded horizons, transformed lives and fueled dreams.
Her zest for education and its transformative power is what called Winterhalter to teach. The knowledge, skills and successes the seasoned educator gained in her decades-long higher education career led Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) to name Dr. Teresa Winterhalter dean of its School of Liberal Arts.
Winterhalter comes to GGC from Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong campus, where she is an associate dean in the College of Arts and Humanities. While overseeing eight departments and several interdisciplinary programs, she developed faculty recruitment and retention strategies; prepared areas for assessment and accreditation reviews, including Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation; developed community outreach programs and assessed performance of faculty across the college.
Winterhalter spent nearly 25 years at Armstrong State University. She began at the Savannah-based school as a professor of English and moved up the ranks, serving as the founding director of the Gender and Women's Studies program, director of faculty development, assistant dean and associate dean. She was named dean of Armstrong's College of Liberal Arts in 2016.
“I was excited to develop many important academic programs on the Armstrong Campus that served the changing needs of our students and our community,” said Winterhalter. “I'd say I'm proudest of the ways I was able to use our existing institutional resources to address those needs.”
She earned a number of academic honors and awards. Among them are fellowships with the National Endowment for the Humanities, an award of distinction from the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory, and a Georgia Governor's Teachers' Fellowship, as well as securing a major grant from the Teagle Foundation for the Liberal Arts. Her favorite adventure among these achievements, however, was the Nippon Foundation grant she won, which promoted study abroad and exchange programs with Japanese universities. Sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Winterhalter was one of eight representatives across the U.S. selected to serve as an ambassador in the program.
A scholar in her field of Victorian and Modernist literature, Winterhalter has written numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reviews, and presented on diversity, narrative theory, feminism and ethics topics.
While at GGC, Winterhalter’s first order of business is to get to know those around her.
“People are key to any endeavor, and so building relationships with those at GGC will be one of my first initiatives,” she said. “Under the threat of COVID-19, I also feel a responsibility to check in (virtually) on everyone with whom I will be working and with those who will look to me for leadership during this time.”
Keeping her work and personal time as balanced as possible, Winterhalter practices yoga, plays tennis and enjoys chatting with her son, who is the editor of an online publication that matches scholarly research with current events.
Winterhalter earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the State University of New York, Brockport, her master’s degree in English at the State University of New York, Cortland and her doctorate in English at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York.
She begins her new role July 1.