Welcome to a new school year! The start of the school year is always an exciting time, and with each new year, we welcome new students to our program! This academic year, we also welcome new faces to our leadership team.
We now have two fantastic, dedicated, brilliant Co-Directors who have been with the program since its very first year: Professor Deborah Porter and Mel Wensel. Professor Porter designed and teaches one of the ISS thematic courses: JSIS B 416: Putting the World on the Couch. She also teaches ISS 401: ISS Capstone. She is enthusiastic, committed to the mission of our program, and is familiar with online learning and the needs of ISS students.
Over the past three years, Mel has served as our Director of Academic Services. ISS students may also know Mel as their ISS adviser or as a virtual campus tour guide in the ISS Orientation. Mel is the ultimate Husky and is extremely passionate about ISS and student success. Her expertise lies in her vast knowledge of UW and skill in mentoring and advocating for students. She also played a huge role in creating the ISS program and in setting the standard for high quality advising in an online program. You can learn more about both Mel and Professor Porter on their staff pages.
In addition to celebrating our new Co-Directors, we are happy to announce Professor George Lovell’s appointment as Divisional Dean for the Social Sciences. Dean Lovell was previously chair of the Political Science Department here at UW. Learn more about Dean Lovell through a recent news announcement from the College of Arts and Sciences!
We also bid a fond farewell to our founding Program Director, Professor Matt Sparke. Those of you who started our program prior to Autumn 2017 are familiar with Professor Sparke, who helped design and build Integrated Social Sciences and taught JSIS D 323: Globalization and You. We owe so much to the guidance and leadership of Professor Sparke, and we will miss him. His contributions to ISS cannot be overstated. And, we will miss both Professor Sparke role as an instructor in our program.
Professor Sparke left some big shoes to fill, but the Dean’s office took the search for new leadership in ISS very seriously. The appointments of Professor Porter and Mel Wensel highlight the value the Dean’s Office places on both teaching and academic services for the benefit of our students. We will be in good hands with Professor Porter and Mel Wensel, and I hope you will join us in congratulating them both!