Two familiar faces are leading the Department of Curriculum and Instruction during the search for a new chair.
Werderich will oversee undergraduate programs and the Master of Arts in Teaching while serving as the coordinator of Elementary and Middle Level Education programs.
Wickens will oversee graduate programs, which include three different M.S.Ed. programs and the Ed.D., while maintaining her role as reading coordinator for the reading/language arts unit.
Laurie Elish-Piper, dean of the NIU College of Education, calls Werderich and Wickens “a dynamic duo who will provide excellent leadership for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.”
“Donna and Corrine are both great teachers, researchers and colleagues, and they have a strong commitment to NIU, the College of Education and to Curriculum and Instruction,” Elish-Piper said.
“They have both served as program coordinators, chairs of committees and task forces, and in leadership roles in professional organizations,” she added. “They bring a perfect balance of history and vision for the future of the department.”
A member of the College of Education faculty since 2007, Werderich is grateful for the opportunity to lead the department and to facilitate and supportive, collaborative environment.
“I want to help support teamwork, encourage collaboration and the building of meaningful relationships so that we can continue to work together toward the common good of all,” Werderich said.
“We have a department filled with diverse skills, talents, knowledge and expertise. I hope to seek out ways to help members realize their potential as they are our greatest resource who will continue to strengthen and positively affect the future,” she added.
“More than 20 years ago, I entered in to the teaching profession with a love for teaching and strong desire to serve and make a positive difference in the lives of students and the broader field of education. I feel very fortunate to be able to continue on this path by serving alongside a cadre of dedicated and talented colleagues.”
Wickens, who joined NIU in 2008, is excited to help lead a department with “so many great opportunities and yet untapped potential.”
“We have a new doctoral cohort in U-46, a flourishing ESL/Bilingual unit, new opportunities in Elementary Education with new pathways in the program and articulations with local community colleges,” Wickens said.
“We also have a first group of candidates scheduled to graduate in spring 2018 from the new Middle Level Teaching and Learning program, a new online program in the MS Ed Literacy-Reading program, growth within the ALL postsecondary unit and the recent and successful Social Justice Summer Camp,” she added. “Donna and I hope to continue to support the innovative practice going on within these diverse areas within our department.”