Kirsten Bartels has been named director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University effective July 1. Her appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Bartels has been director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors Program at the University of Illinois for the past two years and was associate director of the program for one year.
“What attracted me to the Scholars’ College was the people,” said Bartels. “When I am involved with recruiting events, I tell students to use their heads to collect all the information that they need, but then let their hearts decide where they go. And that is really why I am now at Northwestern State. I explored a variety of options, but NSU felt right.”
Bartels was selected after an extensive national search. As part of the interview process, Bartels had an opportunity to meet and talk with Scholars’ College students who made a strong impression on her.
“What really sealed it for me was meeting with the students during my interview,” she said. “Not only were they amazing, but the fact that the search committee scheduled me to teach and time to talk with the students showed how important students are — their thoughts and opinions are valued at NSU and in Scholars’. My personal values align incredibly well with the school and the commitment to students. Every one I met on the faculty and in administration is student-focused, and supportive of the Scholars’ College and that is incredibly important to me.”
From 2010 to 2013, Bartels was a member of the Frederik Meijer Honor’s College Scholar’s Institute at Grand Valley State University where she served as the first faculty fellow in residence; and team coach, co-facilitator, co-director for their Scholars’ Institute.
Bartels earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and a master’s in ancient philosophy and mythology from the University of Wales, Lampeter. She received a doctorate in English literature from the University of Wales Aberystwyth.
As a faculty member, Bartels has made more than a dozen presentations at local, national and international conferences. She has had research published in peer reviewed and edited publications. Bartels received the Alpha Sigma Alpha Award of Excellence and Pan Hellenic Society Excellence in Teaching Award at Grand Valley State.
Prior to becoming a career in academics, she was executive director of the Lakeshore Children’s Museum in Grand Haven, Michigan and worked as a safety and environmental compliance consultant, environmental specialist, environmental geologist and project manager.