Ann Marie McNeely
I’m Dr. Ann Marie McNeely, and I serve as Dean of Arts & Sciences. I’m a proud graduate of Western Piedmont Community College, and I also hold Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English from the University of Central Florida as well as a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Appalachian State University.
For 13 years, I taught college-level composition, literature, and communication courses at community colleges and universities in Florida, Iowa, and North Carolina. I worked as a freelance writer and editor in the textbook market for 7 years. My publications include the composition textbooks entitled 11 Essentials of Effective Writing (2000) and Writing for the Real World (2001), among others. I’ve also published poetry, essays, and magazine articles, and I served as the editor of the Western Piedmont Literary Review for 5 years. I’ve been an academic dean at WPCC since 2009.
I became an educator because I believe that quality education elevates us all. Contributing to human growth and development makes my life meaningful.
I believe the purpose of higher education is not just about helping students build career and job skills. It’s also about providing opportunities for people to gain the knowledge and skills that will assist them in:
- protecting and preserving our democracy and our collective cultural memory;
- creating healthy relationships, flourishing communities, and sustainable ecological systems;
- solving the problems that keep us from realizing a world of peace and social justice;
- expanding self-understanding; and
- discovering meaning in their lives.
The study of the liberal arts (academic subjects such as history, literature, philosophy, music, mathematics, and the social and physical sciences) moves us toward attainment of these goals by training our intellects, developing our understanding of and appreciation for diverse contributions to human culture (including artistic works, ideas, inventions, and scientific discoveries), deepening our understanding of our relationship to the natural world, helping us understand how our social structures influence our behavior, and teaching us how to communicate and collaborate with each other for the benefit of the group.
I believe that we construct new meaning and obtain new knowledge by interacting with others in community. The role of the teacher is to expose students to new information and ideas; challenge them to develop their critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills; and inspire them to positively contribute to their communities and the world.
I love spending time with my husband and children, reading literary fiction and non-fiction, enjoying the visual and performing arts, keeping up with news and politics, and writing non-fiction. I also love animals. My husband’s nickname for me is Ellie Mae (after Ellie Mae Clampett on the old sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies) because my favorite things include interacting with birds and animals in zoos, aviaries, and petting farms and snorkeling with sea creatures.
Find Your Way at WPCC!