Dr. Teresa Winterhalter’s presence on campus is hard to miss with how involved she is with the student body as she displays a pillar of self-confidence and unmatched intellectual wit.
Winterhalter grew up in the southwest corner of New York in a town with a population of two-thousand, one bowling alley, and the nearest movie theatre being twenty miles away.
Today she can see the worth of growing up in a rural community even if that was not always the case.
“Those little hometown roots, I value them a lot more than I did when I was like twenty five,” Winterhalter said. “That was something I wanted to put behind me and now I just see that my interactions with people and my sense of place and connectedness, and the support of all that, really gave me something.”
Winterhalter entered college planning to be a physical education coach, she quickly realized she had a strong interest for the liberal arts.
By earning her Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, she developed her personal philosophies, then in 1994 she brought them to Armstrong.
She recalls Armstrong as a completely different place with a curriculum that was not as progressive as she might have hoped. It didn’t take long for her, with the help of other incoming faculty, to take charge and change the face of the liberal arts program.
Dr. Winterhalter founded the gender studies program at Armstrong, first called women’s studies. She also founded the first student organization that focused on advocating women’s equality, called the Equality and Diversity League which later morphed into Feminists United.