Dr. Dean Yohnk joined the UW-Superior community in May of 2016 as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies and a tenured professor of communicating arts and theatre. Prior to joining the UW-Superior community of educators and scholars, he served as the Dean/CEO at UW-Barron County (2014-16) and as a professor of theatre and Dean of Arts and Sciences at UW-Parkside in Kenosha (2001-2014). Dr. Yohnk also served as a theatre professor and department chair at Viterbo University, his undergraduate alma mater, from 1992-2011.
Under Dr. Yohnk’s leadership, the UW-Parkside Theatre Arts Department was awarded the coveted UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award in 2005. During this time the Theatre Arts Department also received more than 50 Awards of Merit from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for production excellence, and Yohnk was awarded the KCACTF Gold Medallion Award in 2010 in recognition of his achievements in promoting excellence in collegiate theatre in America.
Promoting successful teaching, learning, and academic excellence is at the core of Dr. Yohnk’s professional vision and mission. At the collegiate level he has taught courses in multicultural theater in America, gender and sexuality on stage and screen, directing, playwriting, theatre history, dramatic literature, performance, and arts management. He was certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in the areas of theatre, English, and language arts and has continued to teach courses and workshops at the PK-12 level throughout his career.
Artistically, Dr. Yohnk has directed and designed over 100 professional, community theatre, and university theatre productions in the past 30 years. He has been active as a professional theatre director, actor, scenic designer, and educator and has worked at such nationally-known theatres as The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis), The Huron Playhouse (Ohio), and The Peninsula Players Theatre (Door County, Wisconsin). Dean’s favorite acting role is Benjamin Franklin in the musical 1776, a role which he has played in two professional productions.
Yohnk also served for more than a decade on the regional and national executive committees of the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival. He has also been an active member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Arts Wisconsin, and is also the Past President of the Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education and the Wisconsin Council of Theatre Chairs. He has been active in the UW System Liberal Arts Dean’s Association since 2010. Yohnk has been an active member of Rotary International for many years.
Academic Degrees and Certificates
- MA and Ph.D. in Theatre – Bowling Green State University
- BA in English and Theatre Education – Viterbo University
- Higher Education Leadership Certificate – Harvard University
- Strategic Academic Planning Certificate – Society for College and University Planning
- Multicultural Awareness Program Facilitator Certificate – University of Wisconsin Colleges & Extension
Favorite Courses to Teach
- Multicultural Theatre and Film in America
- Gender and Sexuality on Stage and Screen
- Dinner and board games with friends
- Adopting and caring for senior dogs
- Attending music, theatre, opera, and movies
- Singing in choirs
- 2016-2017 Graduate Council
- 2016-2017 Undergraduate Academic Affairs Council (UAAC)
- 2016-2017 Enrollment Management Committee
- 2016-2017 HLC Accreditation Committee & Criterion Teams
- 2016-2017 Strategic Planning Core Team (SPCT)
- 2017-2018 Graduate Council
- 2017-2018 Undergraduate Academic Affairs Council (UAAC)
- 2017-2018 Enrollment Management Committee
- 2017-2018 Strategic Planning Core Team (SPCT)
- 2017-2018 Academic Calendar Committee
- 2017-2018 Provost’s Taskforce on Guided Pathways for Student Success