Supported by dual career paths in education and activism, Lois Deimel Whealey was inspired to enter academia by her mother, who was also a teacher. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in history from Stanford University in 1951, Ms. Whealey served several schools throughout the nation as an elementary school teacher between 1952 and 1956 before being stationed in Oxford, England, with the United States Air Force as a teacher of adult basic education. Remaining there for one year, she went on to serve as an educator in Michigan until 1959. From thereon, Ms. Whealey departed from her professional career to pursue a well-rounded family life, and subsequently returned to her vocational endeavors in the 1970s. Beginning in 1974, she excelled as an administrative assistant and part-time instructor for Humanities conferences at Ohio University until 1983.
During her tenure in education, Ms. Whealey pursued higher education at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Master of Education in 1955, and Ohio University, receiving a Master of Arts in political science in 1975. Decades later, she returned to Ohio University and obtained a Master of Science in social sciences in 2007.
Following her departure from the academic realm, Ms. Whealey has concentrated her efforts on informal education and citizen activism, having been a citizen activist in Athens County, Ohio, for many years. Her community service endeavors focus on human services, youth leadership, municipal government and various faith-based organizations, such as Unitarian Universalist, where she has been active since the 1970s and served as the past co-chair of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Additionally, she has excelled in myriad executive-level roles with the Athens County Regional Planning Commission, the Athens City School District Board of Education and the Tri-County Career Center School Board.
To add to her extensive resume of civic activities, Ms. Whealey is a past AmeriCorps VISTA with Rural Action and a former member of the boards of Organize! Ohio, the Ohio Alliance for the Environment, the American Association of University Women and Ohio Women, Inc. Although her career has been filled with highlights, she is especially proud of working with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Demonstrating versatility in her field, Ms. Whealey has further contributed several articles to professional publications and hosted a weekly show, titled “Women Today and Yesterday,” on Athens Community Television Channel 1017. As a testament to her success, as well as her unwavering dedication to social justice, she received a Social Justice Achievement Award from the United Campus Ministry at Ohio University, as well as a Nora Price Award from the SEOH Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, Ms. Whealey has been the recipient of the Spirit Award from the League of Women Voters of Athens County, an Award for Individual Contribution Over a Lifetime from the Ohio Alliance for the Environment and a Woman of Achievement Award from Girl Scouts of Black Diamond. Impressively, she was recognized as a Peacemaker by Appalachian Peace & Justice Network and an Outstanding Feminist from the Athens Herstory Celebration, among other honors.