An award-winning independent documentary filmmaker and scholar of women’s and gender studies will join The University of Toledo to lead the College of Arts and Letters.
She also is a familiar face on campus.Charlene Gilbert will return to UT from Ohio State University at Lima, where she has served as dean and director since 2014, as well as professor in the departments of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her appointment will be effective July 10.
Prior to Lima, Gilbert worked at UT for seven years as professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, founding director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and director of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.
“The University is excited to welcome Charlene Gilbert back to Toledo,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “Her excellent, diverse experience and enthusiasm for student and faculty success will be strong assets as dean of the College of Arts and Letters.”
“I am honored to have been selected as the next dean of the College of Arts and Letters,” Gilbert said. “This is an inspiring time for The University of Toledo, and it is clear to me that the College of Arts and Letters will be a critical part of the University’s highest aspirations for the future.”
Gilbert was a documentary filmmaker and professor at American University in Washington, D.C., from 2001 to 2007 in the School of Communication.
Her documentary films have been screened nationally on PBS and in film festivals across the country. Some of her best-known works include “Homecoming: Sometimes I Am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay,” about African-American farmers and their struggle after the Civil War to own and farm land in the rural South, and “Children Will Listen,” which is about elementary school children planning and performing a junior production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Her current projects include an experimental documentary on the international prototype for the kilogram and a documentary on Mary Fields, a female pioneer known as “Stagecoach Mary” who has ties to Toledo.
Gilbert is a past recipient of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Fellowship, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship and the American Council on Education Fellowship.
She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University and a master of fine arts in film and media arts from Temple University.
“The College of Arts and Letters has an incredibly talented community of faculty, staff and students,” Gilbert said. “I am looking forward to joining this community and building on the strong legacy of excellence that can be found in all of the departments and schools within the college.”
Once Gilbert’s appointment begins at UT, Dr. Jamie Barlowe will join the Provost’s Office full time as interim vice provost for faculty affairs.