G. Todd Vanek

Washington State University

Email: gtvanek@wsu.edu


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Washington State University
  • BA in Psychology, Norfolk State University


  • Program Management & Evaluation
  • Customer/Student Support
  • Process Improvement
  • Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting
  • Program Assessment

Professional Background

Todd is the Director of the Engineering and Technology Management (ETM) Online Master’s Degree Program and the Director of Online Learning Programs for the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture at Washington State University.

Todd’s leadership experience includes positions in the United States Navy, private manufacturing and retail, and local government. His fundamental belief of leadership is the inverted hierarchy. His view is that leadership supports, or “holds up” those closest to the customer. “It is the leader’s job to provide a realistic vision and then support team members to achieve that vision.” Todd subscribes to Former Herman Miller CEO Max De Pree’s vision: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant.”

Todd’s background in learning, assessment, and evaluation is extensive, ranging from qualifications as a US Navy instructor and Master Training Specialist, early childhood education and K-12 teaching, corporate training in process improvement, curriculum development, program evaluation, to undergraduate and graduate teaching. In his role in the Navy, he was part of a team that evaluated a ship’s combat readiness, the highest of high-stakes testing! But high-stakes testing is not his true passion, that lies in helping others discover the true power of self-motivated learning. “The only true sign of effective teaching is when the learner continues his/her curiosity outside of the classroom.”

Todd’s fit with the Engineering and Technology Management program is unique as not only does he have experience in leadership and education, but he also studied, used, and taught many of the concepts, tools, and techniques taught in the ETM program in the United States Navy and in private industry. At Decagon Devices, Inc. (now Meter Group) Todd worked closely with engineering, manufacturing, and leadership on process improvement, providing customer feedback data as part of the overall quality system for ISO 9001 certification. In the US Navy, he was a Total Quality Leadership (TQL) Coordinator, leading the implementation of TQL into Navy culture.

Todd earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Norfolk State University and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Washington State University.

Headshot of Todd Vanek.