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May 14, 2018 | EdD, Education, News

New Instructional Design instructor brings incredible experiences to the classroom

Photo of Wendy Gentry with Baker University logo

Wendy Gentry is not your typical instructor.

Before joining the Baker community, Gentry was employed as director of project planning and performance for an environmental services organization with operating subsidiaries in Bosnia, Croatia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, and Taiwan.

Even as a graduate student, Gentry was looking for new and exciting opportunities to be involved in.

“[I served] as project manager and instructional designer for a service learning project during grad school,” said Gentry. “Our team created online modules to prepare employees and volunteers working in the development sector prepare for a project management certification exam. The course has been released in five languages to over 70 nonprofits serving over 10,000 learners around the world: Samaritan’s Purse, World Wildlife Federation, Habitat for Humanity, and International Justice Mission, and more.”

Numerous adventures and awards later, she’s arrived at Baker to teach courses for the Doctor of Education in Instructional Design and Performance Technology (IDPT).

“While I loved my work and colleagues in corporate, I felt my purpose was in education,” Gentry said.

Gentry is familiar with the Baker community. In fact, she was a part of the committee that created the IDPT program.

“I was honored to serve on the curriculum development committee for the new IDPT program a few years ago,” she said. “I saw first-hand, the university’s commitment to excellence and knew there was no other place I’d rather serve. The program is aligned beautifully with my experience and education. It is truly a dream come true!”

Gentry is thrilled to be surrounded by other faculty who share her enthusiasm for instructional design.

“Our faculty and staff have diverse interests that encompass all aspects of instructional design and performance technology,” Gentry said. “The department is committed to supporting students as they develop into a successful career of their choice.”

Supporting students in their dream career is just one of many aspects Gentry enjoys about teaching.

“The students bring with them a world of experience from industry, travel, and all the people they’ve met from along the way,” she said. “When their stories collide in the classroom, either online or in person, magic happens.”

Above all, Gentry hopes her students learn the value of an education, like she did. She recounted the story of how her dad became the first person in the family to graduate from college, all thanks to the kindness of a high school coach from Harlan, Kentucky.

“I don’t know where I’d be without that coach from Harlan but I sure wouldn’t be here,” said Gentry. “Each of us has the ability to make a lasting impact if we lead our lives with purpose and a kind heart.”

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