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Wilkes University Names Bonnie Culver On-Site Executive Director for Mesa, Ariz., Initiative

Contact: Vicki Mayk

Wilkes University Names Bonnie Culver On-Site Executive Director for Mesa, Ariz., Initiative


(WILKES-BARRE, PA – Sept. 19,2012) -- Bonnie Culver, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., has been named on-site executive director in Mesa, Ariz., where Wilkes University will offer master’s degree programs starting in January 2013 and undergraduate degrees starting in fall 2013.


“Bonnie’s expertise as a former dean and current program director and faculty member makes her an ideal person to lead this next phase in Wilkes history,” said Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy. Culver will help plan the University’s participation in the Mesa Center of Higher Education, where Wilkes is expected to locate by fall 2013, while managing the day-to-day operations at a temporary site.


Culver has assumed various leadership roles in her 20-year tenure at Wilkes. She is director of Wilkes University’s graduate creative writing program, which she co-founded. The creative writing program is one of the largest low-residency programs in the country, offering a master of arts and master of fine arts degree in five genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting. The program enrolls students from across the country and is one of several programs launching in Mesa this January.


In 2011, Culver was elected to the national Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs , an organization representing creative writing programs nationwide. She is currently president of the James Jones Literary Society, a board member of Etruscan Press and the Norman Mailer Society, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Culver is a successful playwright, having more than 20 of her plays produced.


"The Mesa initiative is a great experiment in education. I am honored to be part of this adventure as a Wilkes ambassador," said Culver.


In addition to the creative writing program, Wilkes will offer master’s degrees in:


·         Business Administration. The Wilkes MBA provides students with graduate-level knowledge in the fundamentals of a business, and the skills needed to make informed decisions as a leader of an organization.

·         Engineering Management. This degree serves industry professionals preparing for a leadership position in an engineering or manufacturing field, combining practical engineering concepts with organizational leadership.

·         Teaching English as a Second Language. This program qualifies graduates to instruct populations whose first language is not English and includes ESL endorsement in Arizona.

·         Classroom Technology. Core education concepts are combined with courses in classroom technology to prepare teachers to integrate emerging technologies into their curriculum, allowing for higher level student engagement and performance. 


Starting in fall 2013, Wilkes is scheduled to offer undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering, accounting and entrepreneurship as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.


Wilkes officials signed a memorandum of understanding at the Mesa City Council meeting in July. Under the memorandum, Wilkes will operate in the Mesa Center for Higher Education, 245 W. Second St., with occupancy by fall 2013. Initial programs will launch at a temporary location in January.

For more information, visit www.wilkes.edu.
About Wilkes University

Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. It’s main campus is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Recently named one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilkes offers doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees; more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing; and 37 undergraduate degrees. www.wilkes.edu


Published On: 9/19/2012
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