Shurla Thibou, senior instructor at Western, has been appointed to the half-time position as the university's faculty director of Academic First-Year Programs.
"In this role, Dr. Thibou will play a key faculty leadership role in overseeing and evaluating all of Western's first-year academic programs such as Viking Launch and the First-year Interest Groups (FIGs)," said Jack Herring, vice provost for Undergraduate Education at Western. "She will also be an important voice in making sure that we are building these first-year courses to meet key strategic objectives, such as closing equity gaps for BIPOC students."
Thibou, who has a doctorate in Education (Leadership in Higher Education) from Seattle University, received master's and bachelor's degrees, both in English, at Western. Since 2006, she has taught at Western, including in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, where she also has served as academic faculty adviser.
Thibou also served as interim director of Women's Studies at Western from 2008 to 2010; as academic success coach for First-Year Interest Groups from to 2017 to the present, and as a facilitator of Equity and Inclusion Workshops from 2016 to 2017.
"I am honored to serve as faculty director of Academic First-year Programs. The fusion of my teaching, advising, and coaching experiences provide me with the knowledge and expertise to unceasingly elevate the course offerings, activities, and spaces available for our first-year students," Thibou said.
"I am especially eager to collaborate with the exceptional staff and faculty who already do a great deal to support our first-year students and I look forward to us working collectively to enhance the experience of our underrepresented student groups," she said.