Interim Dean, University College and Director of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Fowler joined VCU in September 2015 as associate dean for University College and as associate professor in the Department of English. Prior to VCU she served as senior director of networked pedagogies and professional development in the Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) program at Virginia Tech (VT). She joined VT in 2003 and served on the faculty of the Departments of English and Women’s and Gender Studies, and as interim director of Composition (English) and as a senior faculty fellow in the Honors Residential College. She served on the faculty and in academic leadership positions at Washington State University from 1992-2003. Dr. Fowler holds a BA in English from San Jose State University, an MA and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an MSW from Radford University.
Director of Program Development & Student Success, Associate Director of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Micol Hutchison has been a faculty member in the Department of Focused Inquiry since 2007 and now serves as Director of Student Success in University College. As an undergraduate and Master’s student, she had diverse academic interests, and wished she could figure out a way to connect them; it wasn’t until she was in a doctoral program that she discovered the beauty and utility of interdisciplinarity. Working with VCU's Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program, she hopes to help students find beauty and utility in their own multifaceted interests earlier than she did. Dr. Hutchison received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Oregon, and her Master’s in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill. She completed her PhD in Education, with a focus on higher education, in 2015. Her professional interests include first-generation college students, student engagement, student retention, and learner-centered teaching. She is passionate about education, teaching, and learning, and is proud to be part of the department and university.
Zach Hilpert has been a member of the Focused Inquiry faculty since the fall of 2011. A native South Dakotan who has made his home in Virginia for the last decade, he earned his Ph. D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary in August of 2014, specializing in public history, urban history, and visual culture. He currently teaches both UNIV 111 and UNIV 112, and has taught courses ranging from “The History of the American South” as an adjunct instructor at the University of Mary Washington, to “History and Memory in the Urban Landscape” as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at William and Mary. An enthusiastic teacher and historian, he works to draw real and sustainable connections between the vital skills built in the Focused Inquiry classroom, and the world outside the university’s walls.