Wellman Named Dean of Professional Studies

Associate Professor of Education Debra Wellman has been appointed dean of the College of Professional Studies.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook) Associate Professor of Education Debra Wellman has been appointed dean of the College of Professional Studies.

Wellman has been an influential member of the Rollins community since she arrived on campus in 2000 as an assistant professor of education. She holds a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Toledo, a master’s of education administration degree from Eastern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science degree from Illinois College. Her academic career has been distinguished by numerous accolades, including being nominated to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, serving as president of Florida Reading Association, as well as authoring several published articles and presenting at national and international conferences on the topic of literacy.

“My master's in education administration was helpful to me as I started learning the skills needed to serve in an administrative capacity,” Wellman said. “I enjoy working closely with faculty to help them achieve their goals. My colleague from the education department, Al Moe, who has served as a dean, called to congratulate me on the position and said, ‘A dean basks in the reflective light of her faculty.’ I now understand how true that statement is.”

Tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2006, Wellman was invited to serve as associate dean of the faculty. Since then, she has served as dean of the Hamilton Holt School and interim dean of the faculty. In her new role of dean of the College of Professional Studies, she is responsible for overseeing the innovation of curriculum, faculty development and recruitment, academic operations and budgets, accreditation processes, and the development of international student and faculty experiences.

“My vision for the College of Professional Studies is that we are partners with Arts & Sciences in the liberal education of our students,” Wellman said. “I will reach out to my colleagues in Arts & Sciences and Dean Bob Smither to explore ways to reconnect with our common vision for Rollins. Rollins faculty members continue to teach across disciplines, and I will continue to encourage and support their participation in the general education curriculum.”