Watterson came to Georgia Highlands in 2006 as chair of the Division of Humanities. She became interim vice president in 2008 when Dr. Virginia Carson left to assume the interim presidency of South Georgia College. Carson was recently named to that presidency permanently, creating the permanent opening for the academic affairs position.
Before coming to Georgia Highlands, Watterson served as dean of the school of liberal arts and chairperson of the communication department at Shorter College. Previous positions include associate professor of communication and director of the Master of Liberal Arts program at Henderson State University in Arkansas.
She holds a Doctor of Education in college teaching and communication studies, as well as a Master of Arts in interpersonal and organizational communication from the University of Arkansas. She received her bachelor’s degree from Shorter in speech and theater Additionally, Watterson received a Wall Street Journal/Newspaper Fund fellowship to study scholastic journalism at the University of Missouri, a grant in broadcast journalism/media ethics studies at the Poynter Institute in Florida and a C-Span fellowship in collegiate broadcast and public affairs journalism in Washington, DC. She also studied in Little Rock, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany under a Rockefeller grant for study of American and international education, innovation and change.
President Dr. Randy Pierce said, “As an interim vice president, Dr. Watterson stepped into a fast-paced and challenging role that quickly became more challenging still as state budgets faced a series of cuts. But she has more than met the test. She has led faculty strongly and ably to address the academic impacts of the budgetary crisis, and has made practical and strategic plans for the future academic strength, growth and continuity of this institution. I can’t think of anyone who is more suited to this position at this critical time.”