Western Technical College announced Friday the selection of Dr. Kathleen (Kat) Linaker as the college’s vice president of academics. Linaker comes to Western from Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) in Utica, NY, where she is the assistant vice president of academics and dean for the School of STEM, Health, and Natural Sciences. She will begin her new role with Western on Aug. 27.
“We had a pool of great candidates from which to choose,” said Western President Roger Stanford. “Kat brings a vast amount of teaching experience along with 18 years of administrative experience. Her prior work as a leader and mentor in career pathways as well her connection to the Achieve the Dream network will help Western improve student learning outcomes.
Notably, at MVCC, Linaker has worked extensively with specialized and regional accreditors, developed a team that increased outreach to K-12 and employer partners, and worked to implement the nationwide initiative toward Guided Pathways®, which is resulting in increased recruitment, retention, and student success measures.
“I’m excited to be joining an institution that is deeply committed to student success and that plays such an important role in western Wisconsin,” said Linaker. “My family and I are thrilled to be returning to the Midwest and are looking forward to becoming active members of the community.”
Linaker was the first in her family to graduate from college. She holds two doctorates, a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Northwestern Health Sciences University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. She completed her bachelor’s in Biology at the University of Alberta, a radiology residency program at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Chicago, and is currently working on a master’s in Higher Education: Strategic Leadership from Messiah College in Pennsylvania.