Meet Dr. Leah Hoover

Interviewed by Public Relations Intern Simeon Pogue

Hometown: Hartselle, Ala.


B.A. (double major) in Spanish and Public Relations, University of North Alabama – Florence

B.A. in Education, Spanish P – 12, University of Alabama-Birmingham

M.A. in Collaborative Education and Special Education, University of Alabama-Birmingham

Ph.D. in Special Education, University of Alabama


  • Mother of three daughters, ages 23, 20 and 18
  • Previously worked at UAB and University of Alabama as an adjunct professor
  • Previously taught summer school workshops for educators around the world at the University of Connecticut
  • Came to Wesleyan in 2007 – first responsibilities were the design of the Learning and Behavioral Disorders (LBD) Program
  • Hobbies include reading fiction and biographies, restoring furniture and collecting albums of the Osmonds (Donny and Marie!)

Tell us about the Wesleyan Education Program.

“We are proud of the fact that our graduates secure jobs. Our program is prestigious, and schools throughout the Commonwealth seek our graduates for employment. We prepare our students for challenging careers that allow them to make a significant impact on people and the future of society. Service to local school and youth organizations begins early in the teacher education experience, and although students are required to complete 200 hours of field and clinical experience (depending on the major and area of emphasis), many students far exceed this requirement.”

You obviously love what you do. Reflect on your responsibilities at Wesleyan.

“Every time I step into the classroom, I am reminded that this is ‘my thing.’ It is my love and my passion. It is so gratifying to see our students grow and gain confidence. I treasure their excitement as they gain more classroom experience. Most of all, I always find commencement to be a thrill. It is a joy to see them graduate and find their place in the world.”

Describe a special Wesleyan memory.

“As director of the Office of Disability Services, I find it particularly rewarding to celebrate the graduations of our students with disabilities.”

You are new to the position as chair of the Education Department. What are your plans for the Education Program?

“We are involved in a new Teacher Education Academy with the Daviess County Schools, Owensboro Public Schools and Owensboro Community and Technical College and Brescia – great community collaboration. This program recruits students who are high school seniors for our teacher education programs. The hope is that after college graduation, they will go back to their original school districts to teach. We will continue to grow this program. We are also going to expand our ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions for our students with guest speakers from across our education communities.”

What are your strengths?

“I am organized, detailed and punctual. I am collaborative, and I enjoy and appreciate achieving goals through teamwork. I’m also a good listener and a problem solver.”

How do you live the Wesleyan Way?

“I seek to treat our students the way I want my daughters to be treated. Also, I don’t always have the answers, but I am quick to admit when I don’t, and I will follow through to get the answers.”