WMU News

New department heads named

May 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Acting at their May 17 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees approved the appointments of two new department chairpersons.

Dr. James K. Nelson Jr. was appointed chairperson and professor with tenure in the Department of Construction Engineering, Materials Engineering and Industrial Design. Dr. Janet E. Stillwell was named chairperson of the Department of Dance. Both appointments are effective July 1.

James K. Nelson comes to WMU from Clemson University, where he has been professor and chairperson of the Department of Civil Engineering since 1998. A Clemson faculty member since 1989, Nelson also has taught at Texas A & M University and the University of Houston. In addition, he has worked as an engineer for such firms as Exxon Co. USA and the Offshore Co. Nelson earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston.

Janet E. Stillwell, a faculty member at the University since 1967, has held a variety of administrative posts, most recently serving as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts. She had previously served as chairperson of the Department of Dance and is a tenured faculty member in that department. She earned a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan.

Trustees also approved the return to the faculty of Dr. Ajay Gupta, professor of computer science, and Nina Nelson, professor of dance, who had previously served as chairpersons.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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