James DeVita

April 23, 2019

In addition to being a full-time faculty member, James DeVita has been a dancer since the age of three. He’s been able to integrate dance into his teaching and is collaborating with Hoggard High School for a performance that will take place on April 25 at Cameron Art Museum. He has also performed in Dancealorus (an event affiliated with the Cucalorus Film Festival) and in venues such as Kenan Auditorium, Thalian Hall and the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College.

“Wilmington has provided me with opportunities to keep performing and teaching that I wouldn’t have in most cities,” he said.

When DeVita arrived at UNCW in 2012, he was the first faculty member hired to teach in the higher education concentration of Watson College of Education’s M.Ed. in Education and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program.

“It wasn’t easy to develop a new program as a small group of faculty members, but our collaborative nature and the support we received from leadership helped us create a curriculum that encourages the development of critical and engaged professionals,” he said.

DeVita’s interests also include serving as associate director of applied learning for Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning (ETEAL). He believes “learning by doing” raises the stakes and pushes students to develop skills that lead to further personal and professional success. According to DeVita, the collaboration among various units across campus, such as the Center for Teaching Excellence, Honors College and the Career Center, combined with support from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, is “invaluable to the success of ETEAL.”

This year, DeVita is striving to find more ways to integrate and engage graduate students in applied learning initiatives. “Graduate education is a significant and growing aspect of UNCW that has so much potential to positively impact our campus overall,” he said.

Through his work as an administrator, in the classroom and on the stage, DeVita is grateful for the sense of community that connects students, faculty and staff across and outside of campus. “Opportunities for applied learning, community engagement and service learning are well-supported, and UNCW provides a unique learning environment that few other institutions in the state can match.”

-- Caroline Cropp