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Courtesy of Barnard College

Nikki Youngblood-Giles will begin as Barnard's new associate dean for pre-professional advising in January.

Director of Academic Success and Enrichment Programs Nikki Youngblood-Giles has been appointed as Barnard's new associate dean for pre-professional advising.

The position has been vacant since Abigail Lewis, former associate dean of pre-professional advising, left the college in August. In the interim, members of the Dean of Studies office have been providing students with supplementary pre-professional advising.

The associate dean position was created in response to a Spectator investigation which revealed that former dean of pre-professional advising Adjua Starks, who oversaw both pre-health and pre-professional advising, had been ineffective in her role. The position was subsequently split with Melinda Cohen taking over as associate dean for pre-health advising in February and Lewis being named associate dean of pre-professional advising.

[RELATED: Departure of Barnard pre-professional dean leaves gaps in advising for pre-law students]

In an email to the Barnard community on Thursday, Dean of Studies Natalie Friedman described Youngblood-Giles as an "integral part of the Barnard community" since she began working as the associate director of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program—a program designed to help financially disadvantaged students attain college educations—in 2008. Youngblood-Giles later became the director of HEOP and has been serving as the director of Academic Success and Enrichment Programs since 2013.

Youngblood-Giles, who is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in higher education administration at New York University, will begin in her new role this January.

"Ms. Youngblood-Giles brings years of experience advocating for students and connecting them to resources in and beyond college, and she brings years of advising experience to our office as well," Friedman wrote. "She will be an asset to our team as she helps us meet the ever-growing and ever-changing needs of our students." | @ACBandrowski ?

barnard nikki youngblood-giles pre-professional advising Dean of Studies