Maryville’s finest treasures: Dr. Finch

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Before she rose to become the vice president of Academic Affairs in 2007, Dr. Mary Ellen Finch held various positions in which she excelled as a leader. She began her educational career as a high school teacher in her native state of Ohio. After nine years, she attended Washington University where she received her doctorate in educational policy and program development. Her professionalism earned her the role as Teacher Education director, a position she held for 10 years.

Dr. Finch became an assistant professor at Maryville University in 1974, back when it was known as Maryville College. A program that only had three students at the beginning of her tenure at Maryville morphed into a School of Education with hundreds of students. “I think of myself first and foremost as a teacher and, in my current role as vice president of  Academic Affairs, I miss working with students,” Finch said.

At the helm of academic affairs, Dr. Finch acknowledges that it has never been an easy ride. She has faced many work-related challenges.

Outside of the academic world, Dr. Finch spends her time engaging in extracurricular activities and indulging in her must-have cup of coffee.

“Dr. Finch’s unique combination of higher education acumen, calm and joie de vivre are an inspiration to all staff at Maryville,” Jacob Beard, Maryville’s online medical librarian, said. “Her perpetually positive view on life, as well as her passion for work and learning, is simultaneously infectious and enviable.”

“Dr. Finch is a mentor and a role model. She has always been passionate, loving, caring and active to help the Maryville community,” Julissa Castillo, third-year physical therapy student, said. “As my mentor, Dr. Finch taught me how to be humble and strong. I do not believe in coincidences, she was chosen to awaken me.”

For more information about Dr. Finch visit her center for teaching & learning.

Dr. Finch spending time in her office replying to emails. Photo courtesy of Mahdi Salat
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