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May 18, 2007
Hatch Named Wendt University Professor


Dr. Paula J. Carlson, director of the Wendt Center for Character Education, recently announced the appointment of Dr. John Hatch, assistant professor of communication, to a three-year appointment as the Wendt University Professor.

"Dr. Hatch is an accomplished teacher and outstanding scholar who will make a significant contribution to the Lester and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative at the University," stated Carlson. "I look forward to collaborating with him as the Wendt Center for Character Education continues to foster understanding of and commitment to leading lives of purpose and excellent character."

The Wendt University Professor's responsibilities include implementing overall campus character formation programs and advancing the awareness and importance of the Wendt Character Initiative on campus, in the academy, and in the community. During his three-year term as the University Wendt Professor, Dr. Hatch will serve as a Wendt Character Scholars Mentor, collaborate in the preparation and presentation of training materials that advance the discussion of character formation at the University, and assist in planning conferences, institutes, and other programs designed to advance character formation.

Hatch holds the bachelors degree in English from Western State College (Gunnison, Colorado), the master of arts degree in English from Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado), and the doctoral degree in Communication from Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia). Prior to joining the University faculty in 2003, Hatch taught at Tidewater Community College and Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado), and served as a visiting lecturer at Ahmed Yasawi International Kazak-Turkish University (Turkistan, Kazakstan). He is author of the forthcoming (Re)dressing Slaverys Wounds: Constructing a Rhetoric of Reconciliation - an invited volume for a new book series Race, Rites, and Rhetoric: Colors, Cultures, and Communication by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

"I'm honored to be given the opportunity to work with Dr. Carlson and my other UD colleagues to implement the Wendt Character Initiative in this more focused capacity, thanks to the Wendts' generosity," stated Hatch upon his appointment. "I see my role in this new position as coming alongside fellow faculty and the students (particularly Wendt Scholars) to facilitate our reflecting and acting on what it means to be ethical people in community. In my four years at UD, I've had the chance to explore such matters with students in class, and my scholarship on reconciliation has led me to investigate how societies can redeem their cultural character through words and actions that are simultaneously symbolic, spiritual, and substantial. Serving as the Wendt Professor will allow me to broaden and deepen my involvement in the conversations toward character that are happening all over campus. It's exciting to think about how these conversations can grow, touching the wider community and the future through our students."

The Lester G. Wendt and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative is an ambitious, comprehensive program whose goal is to enhance character formation across the campus among students, faculty, staff, and other constituents in a manner that nurtures a shared culture of character incorporating the virtues of truthfulness, honesty, fairness, and the Golden Rule. The Initiative is funded by a generous memorial gift from Richard and Nancy Wendt, the son and daughter-in-law of the late Lester G. Wendt and the parents of Michael Lester Wendt. With their gift, the donors wished to advance those principles of living and working exemplified by Lester and Michael Wendt for living lives of purpose and character.

The Wendt Character Initiative is comprised of faculty support, Wendt Character Scholarships, the Michael Lester Wendt Lecture Series, the Wendt Library Collection, and Dubuque Opportunity Scholarships.