MEDIA, Pa. — James Berkey, associate professor of English at Penn State Brandywine, was appointed associate director of academic affairs (ADAA) at the campus, effective Jan. 3. As the ADAA, Berkey will help manage and supervise part-time faculty and oversee all general education classes.
“As ADAA, because the role spends so much time working with part-time faculty, and so many of our first-year students take classes with part-time faculty, one of my goals is to really help move the needle on various student success initiatives and helping with retention,” Berkey said.
Between overseeing Brandywine’s Writing Studio and helping develop and coordinate the first-year seminar program, Berkey has significant experience with administrative and academic initiatives. He enjoys thinking about different institutional problems and wants to help make a difference.
“I’m really invested in the Brandywine community, and I’ve always liked jumping into service opportunities as a faculty member. I feel like becoming ADAA will allow me to support the campus in a new way and give me a chance to make things happen,” he said. “I like that, and instead of just reacting to what the University does, I can help institute changes or make things more streamlined.”
“I’m really invested in the Brandywine community, and I’ve always liked jumping into service opportunities as a faculty member. I feel like becoming ADAA will allow me to support the campus in a new way and give me a chance to make things happen.”
—James Berkey , associate director of academic affairs
Director of Academic Affairs Wiebke Strehl said Berkey’s varied experiences were well suited for the academic leadership position.
“James is bringing years of administrative experience, a deep commitment to student success, advising experience and an understanding of ‘the bigger Brandywine picture’ to the table,” Strehl said.
In addition to his role as ADAA, Berkey will continue teaching various English courses at Brandywine and will oversee the campus Writing Studio and Brandywine Learning Center through the spring semester.
Berkey earned a doctorate in English from Indiana University-Bloomington and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University. His research and teaching interests include 19th- and 20th-century American literature; war literature (particularly the literature of the Civil War); print culture, periodical studies and the history of the book; American studies; and writing studies.