Two faculty members find themselves in the homestretch of their collegiate teaching careers.
Kitty Wasemiller, professor in the Department of Art and Design, and Dr. Tony Ash, professor in the College of Biblical Studies, will retire at the conclusion of the spring semester.
Wasemiller, program director of the interior design program, taught in the art and design department for over 31 years. She began her career in January 1984.
Since that time, Wasemiller has witnessed firsthand the evolution of art and design, especially within the realm of technological advancements. She said she believes the digital approach is a necessary step forward for designers, but the art of designing with pencil on paper should not be put on the shelf.
“There’s a connection between the mind and the hand that is not quite the same with the computer, and so the musings of the designer, the exploration of an idea, often is still going to happen with pencil and paper,” Wasemiller said.
Wasemiller said she and her husband, Gene, plan to move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area upon her retirement. Whether new teaching opportunities in the area open up or she gains professional clients of her own, Wasemiller said she plans to stay connected to the interior design business.
Mike Wiggins, chair of the Department of Art and Design, said the department is searching for Wasemiller’s replacement and hopes to fill the position by the end of the semester.
Ash’s career at ACU spanned over 50 years. He began teaching in 1962 and spent 10 years in the College of Biblical Studies before leaving to teach at Pepperdine University for the first three years of its existence. After a few years teaching in Austin, Ash returned to ACU in 1978 and has taught here since.
Ash is battling Parkinson’s disease and said he wishes he could continue teaching, but his body won’t allow it. He intends to stick around the campus on which he has spent nearly five decades teaching.
“I’m going to miss the students, and that’s why I’m going to try to hang around,” Ash said. “I really have loved the students and gotten to know them. Just being in this community has meant a lot to me.”
Ash was well known within the department for two thingsÂ – handing out candy in the hallways between classes and his teachings on C.S. Lewis. When he leaves his office for the final time at the end of the semester, his wall-to-wall bookshelf filled with Lewis’ writings and other books about the famed author will go with him.
“I was exposed to Lewis in a time of my life when what he had to say really resonated with me,” Ash said. “I went on and read everything I could find that he had written, and it’s just continued down through the years. He speaks to me, and I’ve found in reading that’s true for a lot of people.”
Dr. Ken Cukrowski, dean of the College of Biblical Studies, praised Ash and the work he’s done both within the school and outside of it.
“Dr. Ash has had a distinguished preaching career in a number of churches and lectureships across the country,” Cukrowski said. “And within the college, he is a beloved colleague who greets all the faculty each day traveling up and down the halls with his bag of candy to hand out.”
Cukrowski said the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry hired Amanda Pittman as Ash’s replacement. Pittman is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at Duke University and will not begin teaching at ACU until the fall of 2016.