Betha Whitlow holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, and an M.A. from Washington University in Saint Louis. She heads the Digital Art History Lab, and is the primary contact for all university faculty and students who wish to enhance their teaching and research through the use of visual culture and technology. Her position emphasizes the development and use of technology in teaching, learning, and research; digital curation; instruction in visual literacy; and forwarding digital initiatives, including trend forecasting. In addition to serving as instructor of record for the graduate-level course "The Digital Art Historian," she also regularly presents the "Tech Savvy Academic" series. She co-chaired the Social Media Working Group under the Chancellor's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative at Washington University in Saint Louis, Washington University's Student Online Speech and Social Media Committee, and the Social Media Working Group within WUSTL's Committees on Freedom of Expression and Inclusion. She is the author of the online module "Responsible Social Media Use," used for the training of undergraduate teaching assistants. She was a 2015 participant in Washington University's Global Diversity Overseas Program in South Korea. In 2016, she was named a WUSTL Unsung Hero, and in 2019 she received the WUSTL Graduate Student Senate Outstanding Staff Award, both of which are selected by students to recognize contributions to their lives on campus. She is the former Co-Chair and Chair of the Danforth Staff Council. During her DSC tenure, she worked on a successful initiative to establish robust family leave for staff members, and advocated for a broader understanding of the intersection between parking and equity, among other issues.
In 2002, Betha co-chaired the first joint national conference of the Art Librarians Society and the Visual Resources Association. She has served as the Visual Resources Association Vice President, co-chair of the VRA Strategic Plan Task Force, Chair of the VRA Education Committee, the chair of the VRA Publishing Advisory Group, co-chair of the ARLIS/NA-VRA Summer Educational Institute, and on the Visual Resources Association Foundation Board of Directors, for which she developed a successful Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant-funded initiative to offer quality regional programming in cultural heritage information management. She is the current co-chair of the VRA Identity Task Force. She is the 2018 recipient of the Visual Resources Association's Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor in the profession.
Her research interests emphasize the digital campus, design thinking and innovation, new approaches to teaching, and management strategies, all of which are reflected in her professional talks. These include “The Web 2.0 Student” (Colleges of Further and Higher Education Conference); “Space Planning for the Digital Transition” (Southeast College Art Association Conference); “Digital Image Myths” (College Art Association Conference); "Building and Communicating Value: Creative Marketing Strategies for Visual Resources Centers and Academic Libraries” (Art Libraries of North American/Visual Resources Association Joint Conference); “The Future of the Visual Resources Profession” (Art Libraries of North America/Visual Resources Association Summer Educational Institute); “The Trophy Kids Grow Up: Hiring, Training, and Supervising the 21st Century Student” (Visual Resources Association Conference); "Best Foot Forward: How to Give a Great Presentation" (Visual Resources Association Conference); "Ahead of the Curve: Analyzing and Using the Horizon Report" (Visual Resources Association Conference); "The New You: Workshop Leader Too" (Visual Resources Assocation Conference); "What Is, What If, What Wows, and What Works: Design Thinking for Leadership, Innovation, and Professional Growth" (Visual Resources Assocation Conference); and "The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself: Public Speaking for Introverts" (Visual Resources Association Conference.) She also speaks regularly at Washington University in Saint Louis as part of her "Tech Saavy Academic Series," most recently on technology trends in higher education, privacy in the digital age, and apps for academics. She is a former food critic for the Saint Louis Post Dispatch. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, visiting farmer's markets, traveling, trail running, bike commuting, gardening, her side gig selling antique rugs, and spending time with her friends, her husband Dave, her dogs Lee Marvin and June Carter, and Walter the Very Shy Cat.