Dr. Joshua Wilkey is the associate dean of academic affairs for student success at Brevard College. From Dillsboro, North Carolina, he joined the Brevard College community in 2016 as an adjunct history instructor and has since served as academic compliance and assessment officer, director of institutional effectiveness and assistant professor of business and organizational leadership. He lives on a farm where he and his family raise a long list of animals and are in the process of developing an orchard.
He holds a bachelors of science and masters in history from Western Carolina University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.
In his final semester of graduate school at Western, an adjunct history instructor at Brevard College departed mid-semester and Wilkey was hired to teach a special topics class about the US Civil War. While deciding on a terminal degree path, he was invited to teach three courses a semester at Brevard College.
“I taught all throughout my graduate education, first as a teaching assistant and then as an instructor of record,” he said. “I knew I would pursue a career in higher education when I graduated, so the timing was perfect.”
Wilkey’s experiences with access to education influenced his professional and academic paths. After completing high school, he couldn’t afford to go to college. He spent a decade as a small business owner before he had the chance to begin college with the intention to attend seminary.
“I took a circuitous path to higher education. I was 31 the first time I stepped into a college classroom and I pretty quickly decided that I probably never wanted to leave. I fell in love with teaching and with serving students and realized that my calling was in higher education.”
Dr. Wilkey’s doctoral coursework and research on faculty perceptions of student learning outcomes assessment prepared him to be a better leader and to serve as a higher education administrator. Having completed coursework in 2020 and successfully defending his dissertation, he recently celebrated the completion of his doctorate by participating in graduation at the University of Alabama. “The best part was hearing JD, our three-year-old son, scream ‘that’s my daddy’ over and over as they called my name and as my major professor hooded me,” he said.
At Brevard College, Wilkey’s knowledge and expertise benefits students as well as other faculty, staff and administrators. His vision for the future of the college includes offering students additional opportunities through new majors rooted in experiential learning and liberal arts. He values the sense of community and emphasis on humanity, even in the face of difficult administrative decisions. “I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues who continue to shape my work as an educator and administrator,” he said. “I consider myself especially fortunate to have been mentored by David Joyce. I really don’t think I would be the person I am today, as an educator, a leader and a human in general, without my time here at BC.”
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