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WATERVILLE, Maine—María Tucker, a visionary administrator and specialist in student leadership and outcomes, has been named dean of students at Colby College, Dean of the College Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94 announced today.
“I am pleased for our Colby community that María has accepted the offer to become our new dean of students,” said Burrell-McRae. “Her passion, commitment to students, her ability to listen and ask important questions, and her drive to enhance inclusive excellence will serve us well.”
Tucker, whose work as founding director of Pomona College’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships was well known for focusing on diversity and inclusion, will broadly oversee student affairs at Colby, including residential life, community engagement, and leadership initiatives.
“The search committee was highly impressed with the work María has done in developing student leadership, both in residential life and through community engagement,” said Professor of Biology Russell Johnson, a member of the search committee. “Her experience and commitment, together with her passionate support for students, will allow her to make a real impact toward creating a stronger and more inclusive community here at Colby. We are so excited to welcome her on board.”
Student Government Association President Matt Hawkins ’17 also served on the search committee. “María’s inherent drive to maximize the college experience of every individual is clear,” he said. “She has the related experience, global perspective, and motivation that this position demands, which is why I’m so excited to see her join our community.”
Tucker has been associate dean of students at Pomona since 2009. There, she led the California liberal arts college’s process for designation as a Carnegie Community Engaged Campus. She also worked with students at Cornell University and the University of Michigan, as well as other California institutions.
“Maria’s calm and reflective demeanor will work well with students, staff, faculty, trustees, and members of the Waterville community,” said search committee member Mina Amundsen, assistant vice president for facilities and master planning. “Her personal story is compelling and she seems able to reach across different cultures, a valuable quality at Colby now and in the future.”
A first-generation-to-college student, Tucker graduated from the University of California, Riverside, and went on to earn a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
“The passion and commitment of students, staff, and faculty were palpable and energizing on my visits to the College,” said Tucker. “That, coupled with Dean Burrell-McRae’s and President Greene’s outstanding leadership and vision, drew me to Colby. I am thrilled to join the community at this historic time for the College.”
Tucker begins at Colby March 1, 2017.