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Honors College


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Honors College

703 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-436-2996
Fax: 610-436-2620

Dr. Kevin Dean

Michelle Wills
Administrative Assistant


  • Kevin Dean
  • Director

As I begin my fourteenth year as the Director of the Honors College, it is thrilling to see where we have come and consider where we have yet to go. I remember an interview I had over seventeen years ago as part of my Kellogg Fellowship with the president of Marietta College in Georgia. Upon meeting me she said, "So, tell me, what's your passion?" Without hesitation, I can say that my "passion" today is the work that is happening in the name of West Chester University Honors. From our curriculum to our greatest asset, the gifted young men and women who hold membership in Honors, our College truly embraces the university's call for a "Plan for Excellence." Read More…

  • Dr. Matthew Pierlott
  • Assitant Director
  • Philosophy
  • 332D Anderson Hall
  • Phone: 610-436-2429

I am honored and humbled to serve as the new Assistant Director to the Honors College. I came to West Chester University in 2005. In 2010 I was invited to a teach course in the HON Seminar Program, “Ideas of Freedom,” and later another course on “The Concept of God.” I had already become familiar with the vibrant community of students through colleagues, like Dr. Ruth Porritt, but this was my first experience in the classroom with some of them. I truly enjoyed the engaging discussions from thoughtful individuals across varied majors. Even more, I was impressed with the positive, supportive and constructive interactions among the students.

In 2012, I joined the Honors Council and teamed up with Dr. Tischio in offering the HON 490: Capstone courses. It is such a privilege to work with the students one-on-one and in our group working sessions to realize their visions. So many students have shared with me their passions and their developed ideas to serve their community. It continues to be a tremendously rewarding experience.

As an undergrad at the University of Scranton, I also took part in a program in which a small cohort of varied majors took one or two classes together each semester. That experience was so important to me, and I am thrilled that our program has a similar model. But what is truly rare about our Honors College is the focus on leadership and service, and the carefully designed curriculum that provides the skills and opportunities to get out of the class and make a difference.

As Assistant Director, I look forward to finding new ways to strengthen the existing programs and initiating new programs and activities. Our Honors College is one of the many jewels of the University, and I hope to increase opportunities for more students to participate in our programs and activities and for more faculty to become involved in the future direction of the College.

  • Anita Foeman
  • Communication Studies
  • 508 Main Hall
  • Phone: 610-436-2283

Since 1992 I have been a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University. I received my PhD in Organizational Communication from the Speech Department at Temple University in 1982. Throughout my career I have examined diversity related to Organizational, Public, and Intercultural Communication. My current work is focused on examining DNA ancestral profiles and family narrative to explore issues of the social construction of race and identity. My work includes over 20 years of publication and consulting in these areas.

  • Charles Hardy III
  • Professor of History
  • 414 Wayne Hall
  • Phone: 610-436-3329

The senior member of the Department of History, I arrived at West Chester in 1990 after a decade working as a documentary producer. I like big projects, and creating opportunities for students to work on them. Our most recent one, the Goin North website, produced by Honors College students with Department of History undergraduate and graduate students in fall 2014 won the Oral History Association's 2015 Oral History in a Nonprint Format Award.

I have been teaching for 39 years. I've taught at all levels from elementary school through college. I have taught in both urban and suburban settings. I am involved in physical education teacher education as well as experiential education. I instituted the annual Katrina Relief trip to the gulf coast which is now in its fourth year. I have traveled to several countries including Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Trinidad - Tobago and South Africa. These trips have been both professional and personal. I have been married for 36 years and am the father of two wonderful daughters, Courtney, an art conservationist and Chelsea, a doctoral fellow at Cornell University in the area of social psychology.

I have taught at four different institutions--Miami University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, and West Chester University. The one constant that stretches across all of these positions is that I have been involved in intercollegiate forensics (competitive speech and debate), which I believe is one of the best co-curricular activities for developing leadership skills.

I currently share my home with Sammy, my 3 year old Maltese, who is quite possibly the coolest dog on the planet.

  • Robert Maggio, Ph.D.
  • Chair, Department of Music Theory, History and Composition
  • Swope Music Bldg 330
  • Phone: 610-436-2646

I have taught music theory and composition in the School of Music since 1990 and have offered seminars in the Honors College on topics ranging from Improvisational Comedy to Music, Power and Politics. WCU is a dynamic and creative environment; as a composer and an educator, I'm inspired by all the amazing colleagues and students I interact with on a daily basis, whether it be in the classroom or at ensemble concerts and recitals. I have always enjoyed coming to "work" because it has always felt like an advanced form of "play," which is to say that I feel lucky that my job is to spend my day doing things that I enjoy and care about deeply in a place where the students and my fellow teachers are similarly engaged and enthusiastic about their shared passions. My creative work includes composing music for concerts, dance and theater, often in a collaborative setting. For more information, visit my website:

  • Gerardina Martin
  • Learning Assistance and Resource Center
  • 223 Lawrence Center
  • Phone: 610-738-0496

I am the Director of the Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) and I enjoy learning how students learn. My goal is to teach students how develop methods that adhere to their learning styles in order to help them succeed in college. I come across new challenges all the time, and I like to help students become independent, active learners, so they can help themselves succeed academically.

Fun fact: I have five children, including two sets of identical twins.

  • Dr. Paul Morgan
  • Professional & Secondary Education
  • 512 Wayne Hall
  • Phone: 610-436-6945

My scholarly work here on campus is devoted to exploring the historical precedents, philosophical rationale, and practical means of reorienting educational institutions toward sustainability. I am the directorof the undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in education for sustainability and I am a longtime member of the University’s Sustainability Advisory Council. I teach HON 312 and co-teach HON 314. I hold a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education from Columbia University, Teachers College.

  • Chris Penny, Ph.D.
  • Professional of Educational Technology
  • 517 Wayne Hall
  • Phone: 610-738-0531

I am the proud parent of three amazing little boys, Conner (11), Liam (9) and Keagan (7). I am gainfully employed as Professor of Education at West Chester University and a graduate of Penn State University. In a previous life I was a professional football (soccer) player. In 2011 I won the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for my excellence in the classroom, but there is a pretty good chance I was the only applicant that year. In 2007 I became an Apple Distinguished Educator, and in 2008 a Google Certified Teacher.

  • Dr. Denise Polk
  • Communication Studies
  • Main Hall 509
  • Phone: 610-436-2180

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. My teaching and research areas focus mainly in areas of interpersonal communication, work-family integration, conflict resolution and health communication. I serve on the Joint Sustainability Task Group, BLUER (Borough Leaders United for Emissions Reduction) and I participate on the Sustainability Advisory Council. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and working on my home in my free time, and am also a hobby beekeeper. I received my B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace Colege, my M.A. from Miami University and my Ph. D. from Kent State University.

I co-designed and team-taught the first HON 212 "Moral Choice in a Technological Age" course with Dr. Leslie Slusher in Biology. The Spring 2009 HON 212 students started the WCU chapter of National Students of AMF, a support group for students coping with the illness or death of a loved one. To encourage people with disabilities who want to pursue their artistic creativity, I serve on the Art Ability Committee at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.

I have learned much from my teachers.
More from my colleagues.
But most of all - from my students.

I never thought I wanted to be an English professor until I started teaching college composition classes as part of my graduate assistantship. I immediately fell in love with my students and with the project of teaching. I went on to pursue a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in composition and rhetoric as a result of having found this passion for teaching college-level writing. I still find studying writing--how it happens, how we learn it, why we write, what roles in plays in society--endlessly fascinating and have devoted my scholarship to looking at it from a variety of theoretical angles. I live in West Chester, PA with my husband, Bob, and two cats, Wally and Kitty Hawk. I like to cook and go to the movies.