Eberly College of Arts and Sciences professor Janice Spleth has been named interim director of West Virginia Universitys Center for Womens Studies. She replaces Barb Howe, who recently stepped down as director and continues to teach in the Eberly College and contribute to womens studies.

Spleth, a faculty member in both the Department of Foreign Languages and the Womens Studies Program, hopes her expertise on women in an international context will enable her to build on the centers accomplishments in that area.

As interim director, I will work to maintain the standards set by the achievements of the previous directors and strive to meet new challenges facing womens studies in the 21st century,said Spleth, who has long been associated with the center.

She has served regularly on committees and taught courses for the womens studies major and its graduate certificate.

During the past decade, WVU s Womens Studies Program and the center have undergone significant growth. The center developed the Judith Gold Stitzel Endowment for Excellence in Womens Studies Teaching and Learning in 1998 and an associated annual residency program in 1999. The womens studies graduate certificate was approved in 2001 and the womens studies major in 2003, and the center and faculty associates across campus helped develop the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center National Center of Excellence in Womens Health.

In addition, the program has expanded its outreach to faculty and students in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines by cooperating with the West Virginia chapter of the Association for Women in Science and its Expanding Your Horizons program, as well as with WVNano. Spleth said she looks forward to continuing these initiatives.

Spleth received her bachelors degree in education from the University of Arkansas in 1967 and her doctoral degree in French from Rice University in 1973. Prior to joining WVU in 1974, she taught French at the University of New Orleans.

Much of her recent work at WVU has focused on womens studies. She hosted a conference onConstructing and Deconstructing Motherhoodin 2004 and served as one of the core faculty for an interdisciplinary statewide National Endowment for the Humanities Focus Grant on Women and Islam in 2002. The grant was administered by womens studies and the West Virginia Consortium for Faculty and Course Development in International Studies.

In 1992, she directed a colloquium on literature and film on the subject ofRace, Gender and Marginality,and her research on women and gender has appeared in national and international journals.

Spleth was appointed to the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professorship in the Humanities for her work in Francophone literature and culture in 2006. Other recognition includes the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award and a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council for the Conference on African Literature and the Cultural Dynamics of Globalization, a national conference which she co-directed with Sandra Dixon, assistant professor of Spanish at WVU .

Center for Womens Studies on the Net: http://www.wvu.edu/~wmst/