Harrisburg University professor looks to help Harrisburg University continue to grow as new Director of Learning Assessment

Dr. Ru Wideman likes the thrill of a challenge.

When she was hired at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in August, Wideman came on as an Associate Professor of General Studies and Co-Coordinator of General Education.

But just a day after starting, a need popped up that seemed to fit Dr. Wideman’s vast experience, and she added Director of Learning Assessment to her list of duties.

A native of Toronto, Wideman previously worked for Regent University in Virginia, where she was hired in 2005 right after completing her doctorate. At the time, the southern university was primarily a graduate school with hopes of adding an undergraduate program.

After working as the Chair of Religious Studies, she moved on to Chair the General Education program where she helped develop 15 different subject areas into various departments and implemented different areas of assessment to monitor the growth and effectiveness of the undergraduate program.

“I enjoy working with new ventures and startup programs,” Wideman said. “My previous experience at Regent allowed me to showcase my leadership abilities and organizational skills in developing policies and procedures that can both enrich and help a venture grow.”

Dr. Wideman’s previous experience also provided insight to the tough task of seeking accreditation. Applying the lessons learned from previous experiences has made the transition into her position at Harrisburg University easier.

“The concept of wearing many hats is not new to me,” Wideman said. “I’m excited to see what I can bring to Harrisburg University as it continues to grow at such a rapid pace.”

While Wideman is devoted to both learning assessment and general education, she believes she’ll always have the desire to interact with students in the classroom.

As a former high school and NCAA volleyball coach, Wideman brings her “coaching heart” into everything she does – including challenging students to academically reach beyond what they think they are capable of doing.

Harrisburg University’s mission to give all students a chance at higher education also inspires Dr. Wideman, who encourages students to take pride in their ability to rise above their circumstances to better themselves. As an educator who tends to set the bar high, Dr. Wideman believes all students can build a better life for themselves if they work hard enough for it.

“I think my personal philosophy and those of Harrisburg University merge nicely together,” she said. “I look forward to building relationships with students and other faculty members as part of a team that is committed to make Harrisburg University the best it can be.”