As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Thuswaldner serves as an active proponent of the value a liberal arts education brings to the workforce and prepares students to ultimately land jobs. At North Park, Thuswaldner dedicates his expertise towards increasing the interdisciplinary connections among the humanities, social, and natural sciences. He works closely with North Park’s department chairs to strengthen existing programs and implement new programs to enrich the educational experience for the North Park student studying the liberal arts.
When Thuswaldner is in the classroom, he empowers his students to apply themselves to their fullest potential and provide the academic foundation towards achieving their goals. Students will discover that Thuswaldner’s classes intertwine different but relatable topics such as religion and literature and language and culture. According to Thuswaldner, one cannot study culture without language as linguistics is intercultural by definition—an important aspect to his classes which cover topics from an intercultural perspective.
Dean Thuswaldner joined North Park after serving as a Professor of German and Linguistics at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he also was Senior Fellow and Interim Director of Gordon’s Center for Faith and Inquiry. At Gordon College, he received the Distinguished Junior Faculty Award in 2006. He is also a Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts, an independent non-profit organization. A native of Salzburg, Austria, he studied German and English at the University of Salzburg, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Vienna. He then pursued and earned his PhD in Germanic Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published seven books and has written numerous articles and book chapters on literary theory, linguistics, German and Austrian literature, culture, history, politics, religion, and higher education.
He is an elected member of the European Academy of the Sciences and the Arts, and PEN American Center and PEN Austria. He is an active member of several academic and professional organizations, including the Modern language Association, and serves on the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Committee of Metropolitan and Urban Universities. Dean Thuswaldner is also President-elect of the Austrian Studies Association (ASA), he chairs the Board of Directors of the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA), and serves as an elected board member for the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD, the Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL), and the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts. He is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Austrian Studies (University of Nebraska Press). Delos: A Journal for Translation and World Literature(University of Florida Press), and The ACAD Leader (American Conference of Academic Deans). Dean Thuswaldner is also a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.