2014 Graduate Commencement Speaker
Wendy Waters MS '06
Wendy (Williams) Waters earned her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies-Humanities from Utica College and is currently a Secondary English/Journalism teacher on special assignment as an Instructional Coach in the Rome City School District. Her educational experiences at Utica College spanned nearly 30 years as she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations/Journalism in 1982, completed her Secondary English Teaching certification courses in 2001, and earned her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies in 2006.
Combining her love for sports and public relations, Wendy accepted a full scholarship to be the Pioneers’ Sports Information Director as an undergrad. She continued her work in journalism and sports for a Syracuse weekly newspaper group and later at Skidmore College as its Sports Information Director.
Wendy moved back to her hometown of Rome to marry Stephen, and raise their two children, Brad and Sarah. Her volunteer experiences in schools, church, Rome Memorial Hospital, and other community organizations inspired her to become a teacher. She witnessed how literacy broadened opportunities for individuals and strengthened communities. Wendy believed the most positive way she could impact literacy was to become a teacher, and thus began the second round of her UC educational experiences.
While working as a high school English and Journalism teacher, Wendy earned her mandatory Master’s degree and became the first person to complete the MSLS program at UC. Her thesis titled, The Life and Writing of the First Welsh Novelist, Victorian Daniel Owen, As They Relate to National Identity and Nationalism in Wales, was the culmination of extensive primary source research that began in a tiny town in Northern Wales, the hometown of Owen. That was the first stop on a nine-day research trip that traversed the sheep-dotted mountains and coastal villages of a country that struggled for a national identity during the Victorian period. Literature and literacy fueled Wales’ nationalistic fire, and that research experience strengthened Wendy’s understanding of the impact of literacy on individuals and society.
In addition to supporting literacy strategies in classrooms as an Instructional Coach, Wendy continues her community involvement to support literacy. She recently volunteered with the Literacy Coalition of Oneida-Herkimer Counties to unpack, sort, stamp, and distribute more than 30,000 books donated by Duffy Books in Homes to local schoolchildren. She is also a certified Writing to Learn trainer for the Leadership and Learning Center, an ELA grades 6-8 Ambassador for Madison-Oneida BOCES, and owner of Delta Educational Services, an SAT prep business.