Wheaton College announced Tuesday the appointment of Dr. Laura Montgomery to the position of Associate Dean of Global and Experiential Learning (GEL).
In the newly created position, Dr. Montgomery will lead a central office that incorporates global and experiential learning as an essential part of students’ learning processes through curricular and co-curricular activities on and off campus.
“Dr. Montgomery is an outstanding leader with deep theoretical and practical knowledge of global experiential education,” says Dr. Jeffrey Moshier, Vice Provost of the College and Dean of the Graduate School. “As a dedicated Christian and professional anthropologist, she articulates a seamless integration between the development of intercultural competencies with growth in one’s knowledge of God, effective participation in the global church, and proficient service and witness to society worldwide.”
Dr. Montgomery earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) from Wheaton in 1978. She then completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State University. From 1984-1987, she returned to the College as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Associate Director of HNGR.
Dr. Montgomery is currently Professor of Anthropology at Westmont College, where she has taught for the past 21 years, including 10 as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology She has published and presented scholarly work on topics including short-term medical missions, cultural training for mission volunteers and intercultural learning experiences for developing world Christians. She is co-authoring a book aimed at providing tools for the design of effective college-level global education programs.
“While I was a student at Wheaton, the HNGR program was launched as a bold and innovative experiment to expand the campus’s global vision, and I was fortunate to be a part of the first group of interns,” Dr. Montgomery says. “My internship in Guatemala, coupled with my major in anthropology, remains one of the most formative and transformative intellectual, spiritual, and personal experiences of my education as I learned to understand the human experience from a cultural perspective quite unlike my own and gained a more expansive view of the Body of Christ and God’s work in the world.”
“It is with gratitude that I return to my alma mater to be a part of another groundbreaking effort to globalize the classroom and experiential learning opportunities for new generations of students and the broader college community,” she says.
“Dr. Montgomery brings a wealth of experience developing pedagogical “best practices” for global experiential learning opportunities and assessing student outcomes,” says Dr. Moshier. “Her combination of gifts, skills, knowledge and experience suits her for the leading role in developing and advancing a dynamic, shared vision for global and experiential learning at Wheaton College.”
Dr. Montgomery will officially begin her role at Wheaton College in January 2012.