Dr. Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy is UVI's first Dean of Innovation and Student Success. By THE UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The University of the Virgin Islands has announced the creation of a new position — Dean of Innovation and Student Success — and Dr. Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy will serve as the new position's inaugural dean beginning in the upcoming Fall Semester.
According UVI, the position will further UVI’s strategic plan, “Greatness Through Innovation” goals, and will help to position the University as an innovative institution, and as a place that fosters innovation.
“As we launch our new Research and Business Innovation Center and improve our innovative efforts in improving the academic success of our students, Dr. Moolenaar -Wirsiy’s expertise and background is a natural fit,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall. “We believe that she can help move both of these critical mandates to the next level at UVI. Georgia State University has been a model for us in innovative student success, and we wanted someone from that institution who can bring those same insights and expertise to UVI.”
UVI said that with a thorough understanding of the academic programs and policies of higher education institutions, Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy brings experience and expertise to the position of Dean of Innovation and Student success. At Georgia State University-Perimeter College, she previously served as campus dean (interim) and managed the college’s Performance Enhancement for Student Success retention initiative. She also served as director for their Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy is often described as a creative and innovative professional and recently served as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in residence at her alma mater, Hampton University, according to UVI. As an ACE Fellow, she chaired the working committee that subsequently submitted a grant that resulted in the establishment of the Virginia Workforce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in 2020.
In this new position, Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy will lead with the development and implementation of innovative curricula and pedagogical approaches, and oversee the implementation of a holistic student support, and intentional student professional development in order to cultivate an ethos that enhances student success in a measurable manner throughout the institution, according to UVI. She will also lead the launching of the new Business and Research Innovation Center that will serve as a catalytic resource for the integration of creative and innovative academic approaches across both campuses.
Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology/immunology, and a master's degree in public administration. She currently serves as associate dean of Faculty Affairs, and tenured professor of Biology at Georgia State University-Perimeter College. Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy is a native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School.