College hires five deans to fill new and old positions

This fall, the college brought in a number of deans to cover existing positions and fill new ones.

The new positions include the associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, the dean of the senior class and judicial affairs coordinator, assistant dean of academic affairs and graduate assistant in residential life.

“We’ve delayed making some hires for the last couple of years in order to get a better sense of current student needs and how best to restructure positions to meet those needs,” wrote Dean of Students Elizabeth Braun. “The result is that we did some restructuring to create the Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development position and the Dean of the Senior Class and Judicial Affairs Coordinator position.”

The associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, Liliana “Lili” Rodriguez, has oversight of new student orientation, residential life, student activities, greek life, international student advising and religious and spiritual life.

“The associate dean will be charged with helping to further advance Swarthmore’s enduring mission to cultivate a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and intentional community,” wrote Braun. “The associate dean will help to insure that diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into all aspects of student life, college operations, and community culture and establish the College as a recognized leader in these areas.”

Rodriguez formerly served as the director of the Davis Cultural Center at Williams College.

In addition to Rodriguez’s new position, the college has also instituted the position of assistant dean of the senior class and judicial affairs coordinator, which has been filled by Nathan Miller.

As assistant dean of the senior class, Miller’s role is similar to that of other class deans.

“This position will solidify the ongoing implementation of our class dean structure and will result in there now being a dean dedicated to the academic and overall success of each class year.  The assistant dean will provide academic and personal advising to students and programming specifically for seniors,” Braun said.

In addition, Miller will also serve as judicial affairs coordinator and will oversee the College Judiciary Committee and issues related to the college’s policies. The CJC, a committee of two students, five faculty members and three staff members oversees cases of academic dishonesty.

“I am so excited to be part of such a wonderful community at Swarthmore,” Miller said. “Having a brother who is an alumnus, I have always had a fondness for the College.  Though I entered the College at a busy time, I have been so impressed with the amount of dedication and collaboration that the College has engaged in, to address such important issues.”

This year, the assistant dean of academic affairs position was also established. Liz Derickson ’01, former assistant dean of residential Life, will serve this role.

Her role as assistant dean of academic affairs will include advising and supporting students throughout the learning process.

“As an alum, I know the ins and outs of Swarthmore. And Swarthmore is a very meaningful place to me,” Derickson said. “I can relate to students’ experiences, having lived in the same dorms, faced the same challenging academics, and tried to find balance in this intense environment. I also understand that students’ lives at Swarthmore vary widely, based on their experiences, identities, and a multitude of other factors.”

In addition, Charlie Huntington will serve as graduate assistant in residential life, supporting the residential life office and the resident advisors.

In addition to the newly created positions, there are also new deans filling existing roles that were previously occupied by former employees of the college.

Mike Elias will serve as student activities coordinator. In his role as student activities coordinator he will oversee new student orientation, student events, party permits, party associates (PAs), the fraternities, student organizations and social spaces.

Working alongside Elias, Allie Emmerich is student activities event planner and will support student organizations and events. Emmerich also works in the Lang Performing Arts Center.

Brianna Serrano was hired to be program administrator for the Intercultural Center, where she will work with the director of the Intercultural Center on different aspects of the Intercultural Center such as planning events and working with student groups. Serrano is currently finishing her Masters of Education at Pennsylvania State University.

Although there are many new faces in the dean’s office this year, Dean Braun feels confident that they will all be assets to the Swarthmore community.

“I am thrilled with all of our new hires and I think they all bring experience, dedication, and a deep commitment to supporting students,” wrote Braun. “They have already all been busy making connections with students and finding ways to collaborate with them so I hope that students will seek them out and share their feedback and ideas.”