Interim deans of the college—Dean of Studies Natalie Friedman and Executive Director of Residential Life and Housing Alicia Lawrence—have outlined several procedural changes and new programs, according to an email to the Barnard community sent Wednesday.
The changes come just over a month after former Dean of the College Avis Hinkson, BC ’84, departed the college to take a position at Pomona College in California. As the college searches for her replacement, Friedman and Lawrence will share the responsibilities of the position, which include overseeing services related to student life and the college’s academics.
As part of the restructuring of the dean of studies’ office, the roles of several deans have changed in an attempt to better serve the student population.
In an interview with Spectator, Friedman said that the shifting of roles in the office will help better meet student needs, in particular pointing to First-Year Class Dean and Dean for International Students Wendy Garay.
“We like that that’s a dual role where a lot of the population overlaps. There’s a lot of first-year students who are international students, and we like having someone who understands the whole picture,” Friedman said.
She said, however, that the dual positions, which all four class deans hold, will enhance the office’s ability to support students. In particular, she noted that Senior Class Dean and College Case Manager Rebecca Grabiner—whose position, like Garay’s, was reconfigured—will provide support to students needing leaves of absence from the college or returning to the college.
“Yes, our deans have dual roles but they’re not [separate] roles, they’re sort of facets of this same role,” she said.
Both Garay and Sophomore and Transfer Dean Christina Kuan Tsu have also been made senior associate deans of study as they assist Friedman in her work as Dean of Studies during the search for the new Dean of the College—titles they will retain to reflect their seniority in the office once the search is completed.
The email also stated that Associate Dean Jemima Gedeon has launched a new initiative to serve first-generation and low-income students in order to provide them with programming and support comparable to the Opportunity Programs, which is funded by the state and only available to residents of New York.
Friedman said that students who identify as first-generation or low-income and participated in the Opportunity Programs, such as the Higher Education Opportunity Program, are still eligible to participate in the college’s new programming.
Additionally, study abroad programs—previously managed by Garay—will be managed by Associate Provost for International Initiatives and Special Projects Giorgio DiMauro, who will facilitate increased cooperation between the college’s global initiatives and academic community on campus.