As the search continues for a permanent director for the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Abby Wightman will fill the role for the fall semester until a permanent director is hired.
The Spencer Center offers service, study, or volunteer abroad opportunities, as well as service-learning and international education resources for faculty. It is also a forum for dialogue on an array of civic and global topics, offering guest lectures, faculty-development seminars, and panel discussions on topics such as hunger, healthcare, and human rights. The Spencer Center hosts a study abroad fair and community service fair, and a bimonthly “international café” dialogue series.
Former director Grande left his post this spring to join the faculty at James Madison University.
Wightman received a BA in history and anthropology from Miami University of Ohio, an MA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. After completing her doctorate in May 2009, Wightman joined the faculty at Mary Baldwin in August 2009. Wightman has researched and written about the culture and history of Oklahoma, gender, kinship, and culture change in Native American communities, photography and anthropology, and the lived experiences of marginalization in native communities and beyond.
“I have already come to know the respect Dr. Wightman enjoys among her colleagues and her students,” said Mary Baldwin interim provost Oliver Evans, “and her extensive experience with the Spencer Center, together with her commitment to its mission and role within Mary Baldwin, assured me that while the search for an ongoing director continues, Dr. Wightman will ensure that the Center continues to sustain its mission and its quality.”