Welch heading to Norwich University

Chair of Environmental and Health Sciences department Amy Welch will be leaving at the end of the semester for a position at Norwich University.

Welch came to the US from England in 2006 after completing her Ph.D. in exercise science, with an emphasis on exercise and health psychology, at the University of Leeds. She has taught at Iowa State University, and has been at NVU-Johnson for seven years.

She will be teaching as well as taking up the role of chair of the Health and Human Performance department.

Due to some rearranging of the Math and Science departments at Norwich, new positions opened up and she jumped on the opportunity for a new challenge. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to develop more leadership skills and head down the road towards more of a leadership position,” says Welch, “It’s interesting. Sometimes life throws things at you. I wasn’t looking to make a move at this point, but this opportunity arose and I definitely wasn’t looking to leave Vermont so, it’s really the only position I would have considered at this point in my career and in my life.”

“I always think life is more interesting when you present challenges for yourself and kind of go outside of your comfort zone,” says Welch, “This is a new opportunity and a new opportunity for change and growth and I think I have a tendency to find myself doing that kind of thing.”

Although she looks forward to this new opportunity, Welch has enjoyed being a part of the NVU-Johnson family for the time she’s been here. “One of the best things about this place (NVU-Johnson) are the students,” says Welch, “and the opportunity to get to know them really well.”

She has a very student-focused way of teaching and enjoys being able to have one-on-one time with students so she can help them through whatever they need. “I think that’s such an important part of a faculty’s job,” says Welch, “I think we should do more than just teaching and doing our research and keeping ourselves to ourselves. I think that’s what most of the faculty at Johnson are like and that’s why I think it’s been a good fit for me.”

Although Norwich University is a lot different in ways, she thinks that she will be able to provide them with the same kind of support. They are also a smaller school, which she likes, so she will be able to have more focus on her advisees and get to know them just as well as the ones she’s had here.

It will be a change of course, moving from a liberal arts university to a primarily military university. She did grow up in a military family, but Welch acknowledged it will definitely take some adjusting to get used to how things run at her new job. Of course, growing up in Britain, she had to wear a uniform every day so she says that will be easy to go back to in her new position.

Welch indicated she is excited by the research and mentoring opportunities that will be provided as the changes are happening in the department at Norwich. “[Norwich University] is prioritizing that, so they’re putting a lot of funding into student and faculty opportunities to provide those research mentoring experience,” says Welch.

Welch will be missed by the students and staff alike. Heather Perry, one of her advisees, says she can always go to Welch with any problem that she has, academically or even personally. “Dr. Amy Welch has been an amazing professor, advisor, and mentor to me over the past 3 years,” says Perry. “I remember when I first took one of her classes and in that one class, she taught me more about life, the world, and how to accept myself than I had ever learned before.”

One of her colleagues, Professor Brad Moskowitz, is dismayed by the prospect of Welch’s departure. “She has just been an awesome asset to this institution and this university and it’s really sad to hear that she’s leaving,” he said. “But on the flip side, she’s got a great opportunity and I can’t fault her for wanting to take this opportunity to work at Norwich University, to chair their department and to have this increased level of responsibility. I’m very sad that she’s leaving and very happy for her. I’m happy to know that she will still be local and will hopefully remain in touch with us.”

There will be no immediate replacement for Welch this coming year, but a search has been authorized for a replacement starting in the fall of 2019.