PENDLETON — Tri-County Technical College welcomes three new deans to its divisions of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Industrial Technology and Student Affairs.
Dr. Alfred P. “Hap” Wheeler is the new dean of the Arts and Sciences Division. Wheeler comes to Tri-County from Clemson University, where he spent much of his 32-year academic career as a professor and the last 10 years serving as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
Dr. Dan Averette joined the College last year as dean of the Engineering and Industrial Technology Division. He has 27 years of teaching and administrative experience at the high school and college levels.
Tri-County’s engineering and industrial technology programs prepare students for careers in the world of manufacturing as a technician or supervisor.
Jennifer “Jenni” Creamer is the new transition to college dean. She provides leadership to this new unit, which includes high school engagement, TRiO, recruiting, Bridge to Clemson, Connect to College, admissions, comprehensive studies and college skills classes.
The new transition to college unit was formed to enable the College to provide a more cohesive transition experience that allows students to develop learning capacity within an educational environment that is engaging and positions them for success.
As chair of the department of biological sciences at Clemson, Wheeler had the administrative responsibility for approximately 1500 undergraduates, about 90 graduate students, approximately 50 faculty, over 15 non-grant staff, greenhouses, the herbarium (plant museum) and the vertebrate museum, an imaging facility (now a university core facility) and several aquatic animal facilities.
Prior to taking on the duties as chair, he was a regular faculty member in the biological sciences department (previously the department of zoology), since 1976.
While at Clemson, he maintained direct contact with students, serving as the co-coordinator of undergraduate programs. He also served as the graduate student organization faculty sponsor and managed the undergraduate intern program.
He maintained a funded basic and applied research program with both graduate and undergraduate students involved in the projects. In addition to authoring journal articles, including three in Science, book chapters and edited volumes, he was a co-author on a number of patents.
He led the development of articulation programs with local technical colleges, including Tri-County’s biological sciences and microbiology degree programs.
He served on the Clemson University Research Foundation Board from 1999-2001, was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for FoliA Inc. from 2000-2002, and chaired the Scientific Advisory Board for Aquero LLC from 2002-04.
His honors and awards include 2010 Douglas W. Bradbury Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Honors College, Class of ’39 Award for Excellence in 2002-03, 1997 Sigma Xi Research of the Year, Board of Trustee Award for Faculty Excellence in 1997 and the 1996 EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in conjunction with Donlar Corp.
Wheeler earned a Ph.D. in zoology (minor biochemistry) from Duke University and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and zoology from Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind.
Averett and his family moved to the area from Augusta, Ga., where he had been a physics and astronomy teacher at Greenberg High School for two years. Prior to that, most of his career had been working at the administrative level.
From 1986-99, he was dean at Augusta Technical College He also served as associate dean at Kansas State University, as well as dean of the engineering technologies division at Greenville Technical College for two years. From 2002-2005, he was vice president of instructional services at Southern Crescent Technical College. For one year, he was assistant department chair and coordinator of engineering studies at Georgia Southern University.
He has a bachelor of science degree in physics from Augusta State University, as well as a doctor of philosophy from Georgia Institute of Technology.
He is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, American Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has done consulting work for Gates Rubber Company, DSM Chemical Company, the Georgia Department of Transportation and E-Z-GO Division of Textron Inc.
Creamer has been director of Tri-County’s Bridge to Clemson program since joining Tri-County in 2009. Bridge to Clemson is a collaborative initiative between Tri-County and Clemson University that blends university transfer classes at Tri-County with Clemson campus life. It is specifically designed for recent high school students who narrowly missed admission to Clemson because of limited space and high demand.
A first of its kind in South Carolina, Bridge to Clemson was launched in the fall of 2006 with 231 students. To date, the program has served 3,647 students, including the 683 who enrolled in fall 2013.
Prior to joining the college, Creamer was employed at Presbyterian College, where she served as director of residence life and student activities from 2007-09. Prior to that, she was residence life coordinator at Wake Forest University for a year and was graduate hall director at Clemson University for two years. She began her career at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities as a residence life coordinator.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg and an M.Ed. in counselors education/student affairs from Clemson. She received the Walter T. Cox New Professional of the Year Award in 2008 and is treasurer and former director of member services for the S.C. College Personnel Association. She is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and a member of the advisory board for Clemson University’s graduate program.