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Dr. Celeste A. Wheat

Dr. Celeste A. Wheat

Associate Professor

Celeste A. Wheat, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration

Program Coordinator of Student Affairs M.Ed. Program 

Department of Instructional Leadership and Support

Julia S. Tutwiler College of Education


Dr. Celeste A. Wheat earned bachelor of arts degrees in Sociology and English Literature from The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). She also holds a master's degree in Sociology from Georgia Southern University and a master's degree in English Literature from USM. In 2012, she earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, with a minor in Student Affairs Administration, from USM; her award-winning dissertation is entitled Women’s Pathways to the University Presidency: A Qualitative Inquiry into University Women Leaders’ Career Paths and Presidential Aspirations.

Dr. Wheat is a tenured, Associate Professor of Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration in the Department of Instructional Leadership and Support at The University of West Alabama (UWA).  In her faculty role, she serves as the Program Coordinator for the Student Affairs in Higher Education M.Ed. program and the undergraduate minor in Student Affairs Leadership. She is also the lead faculty for the Higher Education Administration track in the Ed.D. program in Rural Education.

From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Wheat served as the founding Director of the College of Education’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). In 2015, she served as a co-primary investigator in writing a 2.3 million dollar funded U.S. Department of Education Predominantly Black Institutions Competitive Grant to create a UWA Center for Achievement, Retention, and Enrichment Services (CARES). Also in 2015, she was a co-primary investigator in writing a Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant. Among a competitive pool of 550 grant proposals submissions from the U.S. and Canada, UWA was one of seven universities awarded a Steelcase Active Learning Center Grant, valued at over $50,000.00.

Her research agenda focuses on the experiences of top-level female leaders (e.g., deans, vice-presidents, provosts, and presidents) in university settings. She also conducts research that examines the relationship between student-centered pedagogies, active learning spaces, and technology integration influences on college student engagement and learning.

Dr. Wheat has co-authored a book chapter in Comprehensive Problem Solving-Solving and Skill Development for Next Generation Leaders and Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Higher Education Leadership. She has also published articles in the several peer-reviewed journals including: The Qualitative Review, Research in the Schools, and The Journal of The Scholarship of Teaching And Learning.