Juilliard has a new dean: in September, Jennifer Awe was appointed to the newly created position of dean of student affairs. As such, she will oversee student activities, residence life, and international advisement and will work closely with the senior administration and leaders of the Dance, Drama, and Music divisions to develop programs to promote student leadership, cultural competency, and social responsibility.
Awe (pronounced Ow-ee), a summa cum laude graduate of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received her doctorate in higher education in 2011 after receiving her master’s in education and bachelor’s in exercise physiology and biomechanics from the University of Wisconsin. She has spent the past eight years at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., most recently as associate dean of students and student life operations. A member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Foundation, she has served as its knowledge chair for G.L.B.T. advocacy.
In a phone call with The Journal, Awe expressed excitement for her move to New York. “I want to be in a city that’s just full of diversity,” she said. But for all its benefits and charms, New York City poses special needs for college students, she added. “Do the students have the community support they need? In such a busy city it’s hard to feel welcome and at home.”
A committee of 18 staff members, students, and senior officers interviewed candidates from a pool of 120 applicants throughout the summer. In an e-mail to The Journal, Joan D. Warren, the vice president for enrollment management and student development, commented on the significance of Awe’s hands-on approach to working with students. “Dr. Awe was selected because of her outstanding background in student affairs and her more than one decade of direct work with students and parents,” she said. Awe, who is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (E.M.T.) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, was “especially attractive to us for her strong background in health and wellness,” Warren said.
Awe will co-chair the Juilliard Assessment and Care Team and manage its hotline while attending to other student-related medical and psychological matters. She’ll also serve as Juilliard’s Title IX compliance coordinator and as such will oversee the School’s efforts to comply with federal laws prohibiting sexual misconduct, discrimination, and related matters of policy.
Awe, who typically rises at 5 a.m., says that it’s students who motivate her to get out of bed and in to work. “I really feel that my connection with the students is one of my biggest strengths, and also one of my biggest pleasures,” Awe said. “The students are why I do what I do.”