Building on a legacy of ‘bigger and bolder’  

Dr. Shawn Wahl assumed the role of interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters in July 2017.

“It’s an honor to represent the departments of English; communication; art and design; modern and classical languages; music, media, journalism and film; and theatre and dance,” Wahl says.

“Our college offers such a diverse range of programs, combining scholarly innovation and creative achievement. And perhaps most importantly, we’re helping students gain the skills they need for successful careers in the twenty-first century, things like critical thinking, cultural competency, creative problem solving and effective communication.”

Wahl credits decades of expert leadership, at both the college and university levels, with this success. “We’re continuing to expand and build on the foundation that’s made the college what it is today,” he says.

As a result, “students can accomplish almost anything they want here. We emphasize applied learning experiences, which give them opportunities to build their professional skills and portfolios. We are successful at helping students land jobs across industries. This is one reason we see ourselves as a destination campus.”

In addition, Wahl values the role the college plays in the community: facilitating global perspectives, fostering dialogue and advocating for the visual and performing arts. “These initiatives,” he says, “provide important channels for the community to engage with the university.”

About Dr. Wahl

Wahl has a national profile in research, which focuses on communication education, college teaching, university leadership and the intercultural dimensions of higher education.

During his time as head of the department of communication, it earned the Outstanding Undergraduate Communication Program Award at the Central States Communication Association conference in 2015.

He earned a doctorate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2003, a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University in 1997.

Prior to joining Missouri State, Wahl was a professor of communication and head of the department of communication, mass media and theatre at Angelo State, and director of graduate studies at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.

He has written seven books, published numerous articles and completed a management development program fellow experience at Harvard in 2016.