Longtime math faculty member, Kristin (Kris) Brandemuehl, is the new interim dean of the Math and Sciences division.
“It is a big change being a dean,” Brandemuehl said, “but I’m excited to continue to work with my faculty colleagues, now in a different role with new responsibilities.”
After growing up in Traverse City, Brandemuehl attended the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in math education. She initially taught middle and high school math and assumed her career would always be in secondary education. However, in the mid-1990s, when she was teaching at Dexter High School, some of her colleagues taught part-time at WCC in the evenings and encouraged her to do the same.
“I came to really enjoy teaching math to community college students,” Brandemuehl said. “It was just fun to teach where I didn’t have to write hall passes or call parents. I got to be a teacher.”
She taught part-time at WCC for five years and then, in 2001, a full-time math faculty position opened. She applied for it and was offered the job. Brandemuehl has been at WCC ever since.
In 2005, she became chair of the math department and held that role until 2013. “I like to be in leadership,” she mentioned.
As dean, one area she is excited about focusing on is faculty professional development.
“I know as a faculty member that it can be difficult to find the time to learn about the latest best practices and explore ways to fine tune your craft. As dean, I’d like to help faculty and advocate for their professional development,” she said.
Brandemuehl has devoted an extensive part of her career to designing and facilitating teacher professional development. She co-created the program Algebra for All, for which she led hundreds of hours of professional development for over 1,000 high school math teachers in the state. She is also an Intel Math instructor.
Brandemuehl was in a cohort of 12 developmental math instructors nationally to participate in the Global Skills for College Completion grant funded by the Gates Foundation. She is certified through Harvard University to observe and evaluate instruction using the Mathematics Quality of Instruction Tool. She has taught at the University of Michigan Dearborn in its math education program and has served on WCC’s Faculty Professional Development committee.
In her new dean role, Brandemuehl would like to find ways to reach out more to the community.
“There is some exceptional teaching that takes place here. It would be great to showcase that more, both internally and externally,” she said.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Brandemuehl has a master’s degree in sociology of education from the University of Notre Dame. She has plans to pursue a doctorate in community college leadership from Ferris State University starting next year.
Brandemuehl lives in Canton with her husband, Steve, and her two children, Allison, who will be attending DePaul University in Chicago in the fall, and Matt, who recently completed his freshman year at Greenhills School.