A longtime Gardner-Webb University English professor will soon assume a new role, after being named the inaugural Fay Webb Gardner Chair of Student Success. Dr. June Hobbs, a 24-year veteran of the GWU Department of English Language and Literature with a proven track record of extraordinary investment in students, will begin her new role in the Fall 2018 semester.
Recently, the Gardner Foundation committed a generous, three-year gift to the University to launch the “Fay Webb Gardner Master Mentorship Program.” The program includes the creation of a new endowed chair—the Fay Webb Gardner Chair of Student Success—to center exclusively on mentorship as a means of enriching the undergraduate experience of students who demonstrate superior academic potential. In this role, Hobbs will provide individualized attention towards student research and internship projects, fellowship applications, and career guidance.
“Given her extensive experience in promoting achievement and academic excellence among our students, Dr. Hobbs is ideally prepared to serve as the first of what is hoped will become many ‘Lead Mentors’ across campus,” shared Dr. Ben Leslie, GWU provost and executive vice president.
In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Hobbs also serves as the GWU Director of Undergraduate Research and is the faculty sponsor to the University’s chapter of Alpha Chi, a national collegiate honor society.
“I am excited to assume this new responsibility, which will allow me to develop some in-depth ways to mentor students in the English department,” Hobbs explained. “We refer to English as ‘the all-purpose degree’ because it can lead to a wide variety of career paths. I plan to expand the mentoring I already do with my own advisees and with students across campus as Director of Undergraduate Research and as Alpha Chi sponsor. I will encourage our students to engage in undergraduate research projects that will make them attractive to graduate schools, test potential career paths, and develop the critical-thinking skills crucial for all kinds of careers in the 21st century.”
Hobbs is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Okla.). She holds an M.A. from the University of Louisville (Louisville, Ky.) and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.).
“The Gardner Foundation has been bold in allowing us to venture into this area and explore how we can expand student mentoring in a way that few other colleges in America are trying to do,” observed Dr. Joseph Moore, special assistant to the president for Academic Enhancement and assistant professor of history. “The model at most universities in the country is to place researchers in the most prestigious positions and support their own research. Our program makes the prestigious positions the ones that support studentresearch. GWU is already better than most schools in the nation at mentoring undergraduate students. Through this program, we want to create an even more intentional focus on what we are passionate about.”