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Reflecting on the Day


This closing session will offer a time of reflection and discussion facilitated by a multidisciplinary faculty panel featuring Professors Traci Porter, Andrew Thomas, Charlotte Vail, and Elizabeth Wemlinger.


Professor Traci Porter

Dr. Traci Porter is Associate Professor of Biology, Director of Biology, and Director of Environmental Studies at Salem College. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She completed a National Institutes of Health funded postdoctoral fellowship in biology at the University of Maryland - College Park, studying bat reproductive behavior before moving to Winston-Salem, NC, at the start of 2001. She began in February of 2001 working as a part-time biology instructor at Salem College, followed by a one-year stint as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology. This led to her hire as a regular biology faculty member. She teaches courses primarily in the Biology program, along with some Psychological Science, Environmental Studies, and Salem Impact courses. Her current research interests lie in exploring the impact of a fungal disease called White-nose Syndrome on the bats of North Carolina.

Professor Andrew Thomas

Dr. Andrew Thomas came to Salem in 2007. He was born in Oregon, but mostly raised in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. When Dr. Thomas was a graduate student, he taught first-year German and a few history courses at Purdue University. The students and the historical ambiance of the college attracted Dr. Thomas to Salem College. Besides teaching upper-division courses in European history from ancient Greece to the present, he also teaches the world history survey courses and courses cross-listed with the health humanities major. When Dr. Thomas is not at Salem, he spends a lot of time with his family. His wife, Sarah Ann, is from Utah as well. Together they have three children. His family enjoys traveling, camping, cross-country skiing, backpacking, sailing, and bird watching.

Professor Charlotte Vail

As an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Leadership Program Director, Dr. Charlotte Vail fosters a leadership development environment at Salem where students can examine questions and issues in health leadership through a range of academic lenses. Her teaching and research interests focus on gender, leadership, identity, campus cultures, and the history of American higher education. Before coming to Salem College, Dr. Vail served as Associate Dean and Honors Program Director at Tulane University. In that role, she taught epistemology and research methods courses, worked closely with the faculty to develop and offer Honors courses, and oversaw a robust fellowships advising program for Tulane undergraduates, graduate students, and graduates. Dr. Vail earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of New Orleans. Her research focused on the intellectual development of college students through service-learning. Dr. Vail’s work is grounded in the liberal arts; she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in literature with an emphasis on the later Romantics.

Professor Elizabeth Wemlinger

Dr. Elizabeth Wemlinger, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, began at Salem College in 2015. She is currently the director of the Political Science program, Co-Director of the Health Advocacy and Humanitarian Systems program, and Co-Director of the Center for Action and Public Service. Her graduate work, with an MA in International Relations and Ph.D. in Public Policy, includes wide-ranging work on domestic and international equity issues. Her work includes studies that analyze the impact of women in leadership on equity outcomes both on the international level and in domestic organizations. She has continued this work in the exploration of the diverse ways that equity can be encouraged by the government, as well as nonprofits in the US and internationally. Her current research evaluates the framing of LGBTQ policies in the political and nonprofit environment.