Dean Gocial Leaves KenyonGAMBIER, Ohio (February 20, 2009) Dean of Students Tammy Gocial has accepted an offer to become an associate vice president at a college in the St. Louis area and will leave Kenyon after this semester.
"I have a great new position where I will be able to combine my administrative experience with the opportunity to teach psychology," Gocial said. That institution will announce its new addition in the immediate future.
Gocial believes her proactive, forward-looking approach, her efforts to improve communication between students and the administration, and her work to weave the Student Affairs Division into the educational fabric have benefited the College.
President S. Georgia Nugent praised Gocial's commitment to advocacy for students, including her successful efforts to convince the College Trustees to commit to building new student housing. "In a short time, she has overseen the improvement of many, many areas of student life -- from a more effective housing lottery to increasingly responsible roles for community advisors to the re-organization of Student Health Services," Nugent said.
"Her goal has been to ensure that Kenyon provides a holistic educational experience, not only in the classroom and lab, but through all aspects of a student's life on the Hill, and she has consistently engaged students as responsible partners in that effort," Nugent said. "As the students who have come to know her can attest, she's also a lot of fun to work with. I will miss her greatly."
Gocial's philosophy has been to expect the best from students. "Kenyon is a special place where the students are really smart and very capable," she said. "We want them to take on more responsibility for their lives outside the classroom, to recognize that the critical thinking skills they have gained through their academic work should be applied in other areas as well. I think we have set the groundwork for that sense of responsibility."
She has also been an advocate for the role of Student Affairs staff members as partners in education with faculty and students. She noted the passion and commitment the staff brings to their jobs.
"It is the responsibility of a dean of students to work with the campus community to help facilitate student development in a variety of arenas - socially, interpersonally, emotionally, academically, and culturally," Gocial said. "That's our mission."
Gocial joined Kenyon in July 2006. She has worked in college administration and student affairs for more than twenty years. Before coming to Kenyon, Gocial was the assistant vice president and dean of student life at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
She earned a bachelor's in education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a master's in college student personnel at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She earned a doctorate in applied-experimental psychology, with a development/social emphasis, at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.