Farewell to Dr. Frances Hensley, Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies
A native of Ocean, WV, Dr. Frances Hensley came to Marshall as a freshman in 1966. She earned a bachelors and a masters of arts in Social Studies Education before pursuing a Ph.D in History at The Ohio State University. In 1983, Dr. Hensley returned to Marshall to join the History Department faculty. As a faculty member she has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Women in U.S. History, Seminar in Women's History, American History to 1877, American History 1877-Present (Honors), America Matures 1900-1945, In Our Times: America Since 1945, American Social Movements, Methodology, The Sixties: Honors Seminar, and Vietnam: A T.V. History.
Dr. Hensley's transition from a full-time professor to an administrator was gradual. Her first administrative experience was half-time; she taught 6 hours and served as the associate dean of Liberal Arts. When she accepted the position in Academic Affairs, she continued a 25% teaching appointment and also worked with graduate students. Although Dr. Hensley eventually became a full-time administrator, her love for teaching kept her in the classroom until last year. She taught honors courses, in the Yeager Seminar, and UNI 101. When asked, she remarked "I love teaching. I have remained friends with many of my former students and I still see students I taught in the 1970s! I am always amazed that they remember me! I am even more amazed when, with a little help, I can recall them as students."
Looking back over her years spent at Marshall, Dr. Hensley cannot choose a single "fondest" memory, but rather states, "I have been here off and on since 1966. I met my husband here … My daughter got married here on campus … I met most of my best friends here. But the most rewarding experience was getting to know all of the great people who work at Marshall and getting to work with some wonderful students while I was in the History Department."
Even though her list of retirement plans includes knitting, sewing, crafting, and writing novels, Dr. Hensley admits that she will probably spend the first several months catching up on sleep. She also plans to travel, read, and be a grandma to her three grandchildren (ages 6, 4, and 1).
Dr. Hensley was honored yesterday, Thursday, April 19, 2012, at the "Women of Marshall" celebration. She received a lifetime achievement award for her efforts to include women as part of History, as well as in Marshall's current and future faculty and administration. MU-ADVANCE thanks Dr. Hensley for her dedication to the Program, but also for her dedication to the institution overall. In the words of Joni Mitchell, "So here's to you, may your skies be blue, and your love blessed, that's [our] very best to you."
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