Connie Watjen selected as the new Campus Dean of GHCs Paulding and Douglasville sites
Connie Watjen has been selected as Georgia Highlands College’s new Campus Dean of Paulding and Douglasville sites.
Watjen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University.
Before joining GHC in 2008, Watjen worked for AT&T, Coca-Cola, and as an entrepreneur and freelance writer. She moved from a part-time GHC instructor of English to a full-time instructor of English in 2009, and in the following year progressed to an instructor of Learning Support English. In 2016, she became assistant professor of Learning Support English, which she held until her recent appointment as campus dean in May.
As a learning support instructor at GHC, she assisted in the redesign of GHC’s development English class (English 0099), the design of GHC’s co-requisite English course (English 0999) and the design of GHC’s developmental course that combines reading and writing (English 0989).
Watjen is originally from Gainesville.
She said she was working as a freelance writer when she received an email stating GHC was seeking new English instructors.
“Within weeks of teaching English for the first time, I realized I had found my true calling,” she said.
Watjen stated that she has fallen in love with GHC.
“The opportunity to work with people who are as excited as I am about the opportunity to change lives is what I love most about GHC,” she said. “I once heard a presenter say that those of us who work in higher education are really in the ‘hope’ business. We offer hope to students from all walks of life.”
Watjen explained helping students succeed is something she is looking forward to continuing on a larger scale as campus dean.
“My goal as campus dean is to be that gentle nudge so many of our students need to persist, despite life’s constant demands and challenges. The nudge is gentle because it takes place in an environment of trust where every student knows we have their best interest at heart,” she said. “It’s a nudge because our goal is to help students realize their own potential and become self-reliant, not to do everything for them. By providing students with outstanding support, resources, guidance and instruction, we ensure that a student’s first step inside our doors is the first step on the pathway to success.”
GHC President Don Green stated he was happy with the new campus dean selection.
“Connie provides us with a strong background in instruction, due to her years of experience on faculty here at GHC and a great background in entrepreneurship, marketing and promotion from her time as a business owner,” he said.