Deborah Whitt retires after 37 years of service to Wayne State College

Kathryn Vlaanderen, News Editor

The chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Deborah Whitt, will retire after 37 years of dedication and excellence at Wayne State College.   

Whitt grew up on a farm near Columbus and Platts Center. Whitt spent time at Central Community College before she transferred to WSC where she received her undergraduate degree in 1979.  

While in college, Communication Arts was not Whitt’s first choice for a major.  

“I started out in pre-med… I thought I would be a medical doctor at one point,” Whitt said. “I loved biology, but I was drawn to the communication area, just because I loved it so much.” 

 After receiving her undergraduate degree, she began to teach junior high in O’Neill where she began to form her own passion for communication arts activities, alongside her students, such as speech tea and one act plays. From this moment she began to study for her master’s degree and eventually received both a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She then began teaching as an instructor at WSC in 1985, according to the WSC website.  

Throughout her career at WSC, Whitt said her two favorite classes that she has gotten the chance to teach would have to be intercultural communications as well as family communications because she finds the field of study and studying everyday speech interesting. 

 Whitt said she has loved seeing students grow and thrive to become more competent as public speakers in the Communications Arts Department at WSC. During her long career as the chair of the communications department, Whitt has been the faculty advisor for Lambda Pi Eta, the national communications honor society, as well as the women’s honor society, Cardinal Key at WSC, according to the WSC website.  

Whitt will officially retire at the end of the summer semester. Whitt plans to spend time with her friends and family, including her grandchildren. Whitt said the thing that she will miss most about the college campus are the students and encourages them to continue growing their skills in communication.