Rebecca Benard, associate dean and faculty member at the College of Arts and Sciences, began serving as interim dean for undergraduate advising beginning Nov. 1.
Benard comes to the office with a wealth of undergraduate teaching and administrative experience. She is the multiple nominee and one-time recipient of the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and multiple nominee for the Bruce Jackson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring.
Her demonstrated leadership and expertise as an associate dean in the college was called upon during summer 2023 to help execute the reorganization of student affairs and implement the new Unified General Education Requirement beginning in fall 2023. Benard was an instrumental partner working alongside the advising leadership team and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Whiting to establish policies and functions of the new Office of Undergraduate Advising Support (UAS) and four-year advisors.
“In a period of rapid transition, the UAS leadership team, Jennifer DeSantis, Audrey Fulton, Steven Scherger and Dorien Langezaal built a stellar team of four-year advisors and established an outstanding office culture,” Benard said. “I observed firsthand the level of care, attention and professionalism four-year advisors afford our undergraduate students, faculty and staff. It has been a privilege to be involved from the beginning. I look forward to continuing my work with the UAD team until a permanent dean is identified.”
Benard will split her time between her associate dean duties in the college and as interim dean for undergraduate advising while the national search to identify a permanent dean is completed.