Ann Filemyr, Ph.D., is the fourth President of Southwestern College following four and a half years of service as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean. She also serves as the Director of the Ecotherapy Certificate.
Dr. Filemyr was the Academic Dean at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe prior to joining Southwestern College. Prior to that she was a Professor of Cultural & Interdisciplinary Studies, then Vice President of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Her commitment to higher education is connected to her belief in the power of human beings to thrive and flourish as part of creation. Her own educational journey includes a Bachelor of Philosophy in the Creative & Performing Arts from Thomas Jefferson College, an alternative college in Michigan; a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Communications.
Ann has also studied holistic health, herbal medicine, massage, counseling, and meditation. Her educational path connects her passion for creative expression with a concern for healing ourselves and the Earth. She is motivated by her understanding that we must transform our own lives in order to address our concerns for others and for the world we inhabit.
Ann was trained as a traditional healer by the late Keewaydinoquay Peschel. She served as Kee’s graduate teaching & research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and as her personal apprentice or ‘helper’ for 20 years. Kee was a culture carrier, storyteller and healer. In the Midewiwin tradition of the northern Great Lakes, Kee served as an Anishinaabeg Mashkikikwe (Ojibwe herbal medicine woman). Ann continues to live and teach from this tradition.