On top of Quandary Peak, 14,265 feet
Dr. Jim Wohlpart is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of English at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Office of Undergraduate Studies was established in Fall 2011 to advance student success and engagement and to highlight the outstanding work of the faculty and staff in undergraduate studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Dean’s position includes oversight of the following offices: the Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE), the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), the Honors Program, the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and the Writing Center. In addition, the General Education Program and a university-required course entitled the University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future are a part of the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
Wohlpart chairs the University Assessment Council and the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan for 2015-2020, co-chairs the Labor Management Committee, and is a member of the Bargaining Team and the Food Forest Advisory Council. He directs the Step Ahead Program, a summer math program designed to prepare students for college-level mathematics. He is Senior Scholar with the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education and a Professor of English, with a specialty in Environmental Literature.
Wohlpart came to Florida Gulf Coast University in 1994 and held the positions of Chair of the Division of Humanities and Arts from 2000-2005 and Associate Dean for Planning and Assessment in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2011. Under his leadership, the Division of Humanities and Arts, which included programs in Art, Communication, English, Philosophy, Spanish, and Theatre, grew from 20 faculty members to 47 faculty members. In his role as Associate Dean, he successfully led the college through accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, Wohlpart participated in the development of the Liberal Studies degree and the Interdisciplinary Core, an innovative, interdisciplinary program required of all students in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was also a part of a large community of faculty who developed the University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future, a university-wide upper level course on sustainability that seeks to develop an ecological perspective in our students.
Wohlpart has also been instrumental in developing the First Year and Transition Experience at Florida Gulf Coast University. Working with a group of innovative faculty, he developed a learning community for first year students, called the Learning Academy, which linked three courses to develop an integrated learning environment. He also led a team of faculty from across the university to create and implement a First Year Reading Project and to design the inaugural First Year Convocation featuring James McBride that led to a significant increase in overall retention of first year students. He provided leadership in transforming the First Year Reading Project into a One Book, One Campus project. He has also been involved in the University Lecture series, co-chairing the event in 2006 with Mikhail Gorbachev and chairing it in 2007 with Colin Powell, and he has been successful in fund-raising and grant-writing.
Wohlpart has regularly taught Environmental Literature, an interdisciplinary course in the English, Envfironmental Studies, and Communication programs, and an Honors course titled EcoLeadership. Both courses are discovery based as the class works together to engage important questions. In the Environmental Literature course, the class develops an understanding of how we are “placed” in the world and how we might be “replaced” in order to more fully understand what it means to be a human connected to Earth. In EcoLeadership, which Wohlpart co-teaches with his wife, Sasha Wohlpart, an instructor in the Environmental Studies program, students and faculty work together to develop an innovative model for leadership of any organization or community that is founded on ecological concepts.
Holding a Ph.D. and a B.A. from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. from Colorado State University, Wohlpart pursues scholarship on Native American literature, women’s literature, and environmental literature. He has published essays on Dickinson, Whitman, Hawthorne, Douglass, and others in American literature. He has published two co-edited books: A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to the Earth Charter (with Peter Blaze Corcoran; University of Georgia Press, 2008) and unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast (with Susan Cerulean and Janisse Ray; Red Hills Writers Project, 2010). His latest book, Walking in the Land of Many Gods: Remembering Sacred Reason in Contemporary Environmental Literature, is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press (Spring 2013).
In his free time, he enjoys walking Earth, as gently as possible, often with family and friends, but sometimes alone.