Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

New First Year Experience Director Announcement

May 8, 2018
Kate McCarthy, Interim Dean of Undergraduate Education

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ellie Ertle, Political Science, to the position of Director of the First-Year Experience (FYE) Program, effective July 11, 2018.

Ellie joined the Political Science faculty in 1999 and has served as faculty coordinator of the Town Hall Meeting, one of FYE’s signature Public Sphere Pedagogy programs, since 2009. Ellie has participated in CSU system-wide and national presentations on Public Sphere Pedagogy and co-authored several publications on Chico State’s innovative work in this area. She was also among the first faculty to develop and teach U-Courses—interdisciplinary, peer-supported and project-based courses for first-year students that join classroom learning with civic purpose. Ellie served the campus as the Director of Civic Engagement from 2013-2016.

Ellie is finishing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at UC Davis this spring, with research focused on student success and equity in the Graduation Initiative. Her deep understanding of the challenges faced by first-year students and the responsibility of institutions of higher education to provide a successful transition to college life will be critically valuable to both FYE and the wider campus community.

I would like to extend special thanks to Interim FYE Director Nate Millard, who has capably led the program since January, including advancing an ambitious program assessment plan, leading a campus collaboration to develop a more purposeful vision of General Education for first-year students, and successfully coordinating the upcoming transition of FYE to its new location in Whitney Hall.

Thanks to search committee members Susan Roll, Gary McMahon, Kim Jaxon, and Dawn Frank for their thorough and thoughtful work in the selection process.