Meet Pitt-Greensburg’s Vice President for Academic Affairs: Dr. Wesley Jamison
by Amanda Bateman
Sitting in Dr. Wesley Jamison’s office, it’s no secret that he loves Pitt-Greensburg. Dr. Jamison will be retiring from his job, and leaving the campus he loves so much, at the end of the spring 2016 semester.
Though, Jamison is fond of his workplace, he also holds his hometown, and his time growing up, in high regard. He grew up in Zelienople, Pa. He is the oldest of four children.
“My grandmother lived with us for a while. By the time I was ten, I had a paper route and I worked at the drugstore. I started working there when I was in eighth or ninth grade, restocking, sweeping, washing windows. I even helped with the prescriptions, which is probably illegal now,” he said, laughing.
Dr. Jamison is the person in charge of curriculum, faculty, and academic support services. Those academic support services include financial aid, advising, and admissions. An average day for him is full of meetings, phone calls, and writing proposals and memos.
“I try to walk around campus as much as I can,” he said. “Instead of email, I’ll go to look for people and visit places like advising and admissions.”
Carin Winters, an academic advisor for Pitt-Greensburg, works closely with Dr. Jamison. “He is always willing to help us when we have certain issues regarding classes and student schedules,” Winters said. “Dr. Jamison is very easy going and easy to talk to. He has always been extremely helpful to me and the other advisors. He stops by the advising office on a regular basis even though he is very busy. He stops in to talk to each advisor when he is in the office.”
Dr. Jamison started his career at Pitt-Greensburg as the first full-time faculty member for the information science program.
“The class dearest to me was Human Factors class,” he said. “It talks about ‘How do you design things like your phone so they’re compatible with the way people do things?’”
He’s teaching this class again this semester. It’s been awhile since Dr. Jamison has been teaching, but he says he’s really enjoying getting back in the classroom.
When asked about how teaching has changed since the last time he’s been in front of a classroom, he replied, “The technology is different. I think the last time I taught I was still using transparencies. Now I’m doing things from my iPad.”
Although he’s fond of his IPad, Dr. Jamison doesn’t embrace all new technology.
“I don’t do social media. I have a cell phone and do text messaging but that’s more to keep track of folks at home. I have an iPhone. I use it to coordinate who’s going where and who’s picking up dinner. I think that technology is important. We need to find ways of taking advantage of it without overdoing it. If your handwriting is as bad as mine, you’re much better off using technology than writing on the blackboard [laughs].”
When he’s not teaching, Dr. Jamison loves to travel. He and his wife, Margaret, who teaches psychology and women’s studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny, have taken lots of trips out of the country, some of them with the campuses they work at. They met while in graduate school together at Penn State. Together they’ve been to Greece, Egypt, France, and Puerto Rico to name a few. Their most recent trip was to England, where they visited Hadrian’s Wall.
From the many years he’s spent at Pitt-Greensburg, Dr. Wesley Jamison has plenty of wisdom to share with current students.
“I suppose it’s the advice I give to all the freshmen at SOAR. This is a time of opportunity. You’re not going to have the opportunity of college or the opportunities that college provides again. You have to be brave and willing to put in the time. Take advantage of the opportunities and respond to the challenges.”
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