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Dean, Joseph Baldwin Academy

Assistant Director of the Institute for Academic Outreach, Coordinator of Summer Academies and Institutes

The Dean of the Academy is Michelle Wilson. The Dean sets the curriculum, selects the faculty, and oversees the staff. Prior to working at the University Mrs. Wilson has worked with students and families in suburban, urban and rural areas of Kansas City, Missouri.  Additionally, she spent the majority of her summers working with and directing summer youth camping programs. Mrs. Wilson has a B.S. in Human Services from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Arts in Education and Integrated Learning from Drury University.

 Director, Joseph Baldwin Academy

The Director for the Academy is Connor Maguire. The Director oversees the day to day operations of the Academy.  Mr. Maguire has been teaching ELA and AP courses in the Saint Louis Public School district for 5 years. He has been working at JBA for 6 years, as a Preceptor in 2015, Hospitality Director in 2017, Assistant Director in 2018 and 2019, and Director from 2020-Present. He has a B.A. in Sociology and English from Truman State University and a M.A.E. in Secondary Education and M.A. in English also from Truman.  Connor is currently working towards his Doctoral Degree in Education at UMSL with a focus on social justice in schools.



Director of the Academy

The Director, who lives in the residence hall with the students, supervises all co-curricular JBA activities and creates an atmosphere that is safe, healthy, and fun.  The Director oversees the activities of the professional staff and Preceptors.  One of their primary responsibilities is communicating with parents on the phone or through e-mail during the Academy. The Director reports directly to the Dean of the Academy.

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director, who lives in the residence hall with the students, works closely with the Director and supervises the Academy whenever he is not available.  The Assistant Director’s primary responsibilities include student discipline and planning several of the Academy’s weekend activities, including an out-of-town trip to a nearby water park.  The Assistant Director reports to the Director.

Health and Wellness Director

The Health & Wellness Director, who lives in the residence hall with the students, oversees the health and safety needs of the students, dispensing any necessary medications and ensuring that students maintain a health lifestyle while at the Academy.  The Health & Wellness Director reports to the Director of the Academy.

Co-Activities Directors

The Co-Activities Directors, who live in the residence hall with the students, are responsible for planning and supervising the morning, afternoon, and evening activities.  Much of their work includes organizing materials and travel for each activity and training preceptors to work individually with students in a variety of athletic, intellectual, creative, and recreational activities.  The Co-Activities Directors report to the Director.

Residential Living Director

The Residential Living Director, who lives in the residence hall with the students, is responsible for housing assignments.  The Residential Living Director manages the hall desk and student banking accounts as well as overseeing telephone service, room repairs, and student mail.  The Residential Living Director reports to the Director


Preceptors — two or three per class — are Truman students who assist the faculty in the class room and work with students in their class.  The preceptors live in the residence hall and assist the Co-Activities Directors’ during the morning, afternoon, and evening activities.

All preceptors are nominated by a JBA faculty member to assist in their course and are interviewed individually by the Dean and the Director of the Academy.  Before the beginning of the JBA session, preceptors are trained by the professional staff, receive certification in CPR and First Aid, pass a van-driving test administered by Truman’s Department of Public Safety and complete background checks and are fingerprinted. Preceptors report to their faculty member for academic responsibilities and to the Director for all other duties.


The faculty are responsible for their classes.  They schedule each day’s academic activities, monitor each student’s progress, assign study hall, supervise the academic duties of preceptors and are responsible for class behavior.  The faculty report directly to the Dean of the Academy.

Recent Academy Graduate Feedback: 

  • “Our professor, Dr. Vazzana, was one of the most entertaining and positive teachers that I have ever had.” (Victor, age 15)
  • “She helped me develop my graphic novel creation skills and showed me how to do better.” (Kendall, age 13)
  • “My professor was energetic and helpful whenever we were feeling stuck or tired.” (Andrew, age 13)