Anges Irwin Names New Head of School

Wendy Hill will assume her leadership post in July 2014.

Wendy Hill will take over leadership of Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont. Credit: Agnes Irwin School
Wendy Hill will take over leadership of Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont. Credit: Agnes Irwin School

Agnes Irwin School submitted the following news release: 

Wendy Hill, a nationally recognized academic and college administrator, has been appointed as the next Head of School by the Board of Trustees of The Agnes Irwin School, effective July 1, 2014.

Hill will succeed Mary F. Seppala, whose leadership over the last five years resulted in an extraordinary building project and capital campaign that brought a sweeping new Athletic Center and Student Life Center to the school. 

Hill will join Agnes Irwin from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, where she has served as provost and dean of the Faculty since 2007, the William C. '67 and Pamela Rappolt Professor of Neuroscience since 2002, and a distinguished member of the faculty since 1989. As an administrator, Hill has been among the drivers of Lafayette’s success, helping to articulate and implement the college’s 2007 strategic plan, which called for significant new academic resources and curricular initiatives.

Recognized by her peers as a “scientist who is interested in the arts,” Hill has more than three decades of higher education experience. In her post at Lafayette, she spearheaded new programs to attract, retain, and support excellent faculty.  She has been a strong advocate of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning and has advanced innovative methods to imbed diverse and inclusive pedagogies throughout Lafayette’s curriculum. 

“We are delighted that our intense and far-reaching search for the next Head of School has culminated in the appointment of Wendy Hill, a distinguished scientist, mentor, teacher and proven academic leader,” said Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, Chair of the Board of Trustees.  “Hill’s tenure will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our long history, building upon the energy and success of the last five years with Dr. Seppala at the helm.”

A tenured professor of psychology and neuroscience, Hill has taught widely on a variety of scientific subjects, and has authored and published dozens of scholarly research papers. She has been honored with a number of awards at Lafayette for both teaching and mentoring, and in 1999 was selected as the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Her research has likewise been frequently recognized, garnering awards from numerous organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, the American Ornithologists Union, the Fulbright Commission and the Sigma Xi Research Society.

Before joining Lafayette, Hill conducted postdoctoral research and then taught in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University for three years. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington through the Department of Psychology’s Animal Behavior Program, with a minor focus in zoology/ecology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Douglass College, a women's residential college at Rutgers University.

Hill and her family will move next summer from Easton to Rosemont, where she will reside with her husband, Tom, and their daughter, Maisie, currently in the fifth grade, in the Head’s residence, adjacent to the school.


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