Associate Professor and Department Head of Research, Outreach and Instruction Amy Harris Houk has accepted a promotion to Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning with the University Libraries. This appointment is Houk’s fifth position during her tenure at UNC Greensboro.
Houk graduated with a Masters of Library and Information Studies (now known as Library and Information Science) from UNCG in 2005. As a graduate student, she interned with the University Libraries as a member of the Reference Department and worked there until she was hired as a temporary employee.
Houk went on to become a member of the faculty at the University and was hired as a First-Year Instruction Librarian in 2006. In 2009, she accepted a new position as the Literacy Coordinator, and in 2016, she was promoted to Assistant Department Head of Research, Outreach and Instruction (also known as ROI). Houk would later become Head of the department.
Houk attributes her service to the University on the General Education Task Force as a catalyst for leading her to accept the position of Assistant Dean. From 2017 until 2019, the General Education Task Force was charged with revising UNCG’s general education curriculum. Following an intensive self-study and two iterations of the task force, the Faculty Senate voted to endorse a new UNCG general education program, Minerva’s Academic Curriculum, on October 19, 2019. It was later implemented in the fall of 2021.
Armed with a strong desire to bring positive change to the UNCG campus as a whole — not just in University Libraries — the welfare of UNCG students is an important part of Houk’s motivation.
During her 18-year career at UNCG, Houk believes that technology has been the one thing that has changed the most at the University Libraries. While the beginning of her career saw her with paper catalog books, she now finds herself teaching and helping students with information literacy workshops and research consultations. Overall, she is eager to take on this new challenge. “I love UNCG, and I am excited to take on these additional responsibilities,” said Houk.
One area that hasn’t changed and has remained at the forefront of the University Libraries is its dedication to student centeredness and commitment to providing excellent service to the community. When asked about how her academic experiences have shaped her professional journey, one of Houk’s favorite aspects has been building collaborative relationships across the University.
“I enjoy talking to people and finding out how the Libraries can support them; I also like connecting people to each other.”