Dr. Gwendolyn Harold (Fayetteville), Clayton State University professor of English, was recently named dean of the University’s School of Graduate Studies. This will be her eighth year at Clayton State.
“I came to Clayton State University to develop a new English program and to serve as the first chair of the Language & Literature Department; now the English Department,” Harold says. “I have had the privilege to develop and teach undergraduate women’s studies courses as well as undergraduate and graduate American literature courses, including several courses in the Masters in Liberal Studies, our first graduate program.
“One of my most exciting projects was directing the first graduate thesis in the MALS program.”
Harold has been teaching since 1990 and received a Ph.D. in American Literature, and American Southern Literature, from Florida State University. She is excited to be the dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
“This is an exciting time to be at Clayton State University, especially in the School of Graduate Studies, where we have the opportunity to make many positive changes for our students and our community,” Harold says. “We have eight graduate programs and plan to create more in the future.”
Harold has witnessed the University go through many positive changes, including the graduate program, which has grown tremendously since it began in 2006.
“Our graduate enrollment has increased by more than 2000 percent, and continues to grow,” she says.
Harold explains that the economic downturn has been the greatest challenge in higher education as well as community at large.
“Change always invites opportunities for innovation,” she says. “Employers of the 21st Century are demanding well-educated, savvy professionals. There is more demand for graduate education, and Clayton State University is poised to fill these demands in many areas, including education, health care, psychology, business and liberal arts.”
Harold also says she is fortunate to work with so many professional educators, who have been and continue to be invaluable to her transition in to administrative duties.
“Each graduate program director is vitally important for our continued success; therefore, I will work closely with each program director to build an effective strategic plan, in accord with the university’s evolving initiatives that will include a marketing and recruiting plan,” she says.