Getting to know the Deans...

Annamaria Wenner, Dean of Students/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Serving as the Dean of Students/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Wentworth Institute of Technology is a true privilege.  In my role, I serve as an advocate for the Wentworth students, work with the four colleges on intentional  interventions to assist students and oversee support services and involvement opportunities designed to enhance the college experience.  I am fortunate to oversee the Division of Student Affairs, which is comprised of nine (9) offices/departments:   Housing and Residential Life, New Student Programs, Student Leadership Programs, Career Services, Counseling and Disability Services, Community Standards, Wellness Education, Health Services and Flanagan Campus Center. 

Since being named Dean of Students in 2006,  I have been privileged to be a part of significant changes at Wentworth, contributing to the student-centered environment promised in our Mission Statement.  Under the leadership of Dr. Zorica Pantic, Wentworth has increased its support for first year students, students with mental health, physical, and learning disabilities, student from underrepresented populations, commuter students and residential students.  I have witnessed Wentworth Student Government grow in size, strength, and scope, working closely with administration to ensure the student voice is heard when institutional decisions are being discussed. 

I have been asked to bring the students Affairs voice to table during two Strategic Planning processes, Visioning exercises, and Vice Presidential searches.  Most notably, I was invited to join the Vice Presidents for Business and Finance on the Oversight Committee of the William H. Flanagan Campus Center project.  From design to construction, the Wentworth students’ wants and needs were paramount in each decision and detail.  Working with Spagnolo Gisness & Associates and Shawmut Construction and Design proved to be a rewarding experience, especially because many of the project team members were Wentworth alumni.  It was such a pleasure seeing the Wentworth degree in action. 

While I have had many amazing moments during my 15 years at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Monday, March 12, 2012 was without a doubt the best day of my career, as it was the day we opened the door to the ground floor (Phase One) of the Flanagan Campus Center.  It took 5 years and a lot of design and location iterations from the first conversation about the Campus Center to opening the doors on Phase One.  But watching the excitement and happiness on the students’ faces was well worth the time and effort.  There are few things that could bring a dean of students more joy than hearing students say “this is what a real campus should feel like.”  (watch this video for more student reactions!)

I am confident that the next few years will bring more moments like this, as Wentworth continues to keep its vision focused on student success in and out of the classroom.  I look forward to being an active part of this progress and bringing the students point of view with me each step of the way!

To read the Dean's Welcome to new and prospective students, click here!

Peter Fowler, Associate Dean of Students

The first day of school is my favorite day of the year. I love the energy on campus.  It’s a day full of smiles, lost students looking for Dobbs Hall, backpacks, and lots of new faces. People are eager to get to class, catch up with friends in the campus center, or hang out on the QUAD. That first day is just one step on the amazing journey called college. As Associate Dean of Students, I am incredibly fortunate and proud to be on this journey with you. 

My own journey at Wentworth began over 15 years ago working in the Student Activities Office (now called Campus Life) in a building that doesn’t exist anymore (torn down to make room for 610 Huntington Avenue). In that time, I have worked with clubs and organizations, leadership development, orientation and first year programs, and diversity.  Now, I provide support and guidance to any student who may need it. Some of my favorite conversations with students are around finding opportunities to engage and connect with our campus community.  Other times, I work with students to talk about how they can achieve their goals and succeed academically.  It is always amazing to me the determination and drive Wentworth students have, despite the challenges and obstacles life tries to put before them.  I do a lot of “check-ins” with students to see how they are doing.  If you ever want to check-in, stop by our office in Rubenstein Hall.

Educational access and equality are important values for me.  I whole-heartedly believe that education is an important tool for social justice.  For this reason, I am committed to efforts on campus around diversity and inclusion.  I would love to see you at the next meeting of the Student Experience Diversity Committee.  In our meetings, we talk about upcoming programs and issues that are important to folks on campus.  There are lots of opportunities to get involved with this committee!

I supervise the offices of Campus Life, New Student Programs, and Diversity Programs. Working alongside the staff in these departments is such a rewarding experience.  If you haven’t had the chance to meet them, you definitely should – visit them in the Flanagan Campus Center!  In addition to my primary role as Associate Dean of Students, I am happy to serve as an instructor for First Year Seminar and a facilitator for Wentworth Leadership Institute. I hope to see you in one of my classes. 

If we have met before on campus, I am glad we did. If we haven’t met yet, let’s do something about that. 

Jenn Kosses, Assistant Dean of Students

Since returning to Wentworth in September of 2012, I have enjoyed the many types of interactions I have had with faculty, staff and students.  During my time in Residence Life and Housing, I spent a lot of my time on the other side of the tracks and did not always experience the life and excitement that happens on the quad or in the Campus Center.  It is great to have a new perspective and return to a campus that is growing and thriving.  In my role, I oversee the student discipline process which enforces the student code of conduct.  To me, conduct is not about right or wrong, it is about the conversation and learning from every experience and every decision we make.  I typically end my conversation with students saying; “we can’t change what happened, but we can learn from it and make a different decision in the future.” 

I pride myself on building strong relationships with those I work with in order to bring the best programs and services to our students.  In addition to working with the student discipline process, I have the pleasure of chairing a committee that helps to welcome new members to the Division of Student Affairs.  This has been a great experience to ensure that everyone who joins us feels welcomed and ready to jump right in.  I also oversee the Student Leader Selection Process which is a great opportunity to see what the future brings at Wentworth.  Seeing a new group of student leaders each year brings so much energy to the campus and they truly are some of the best!

Outside of my work at Wentworth, I am very involved in an organization for Higher Education Administrators called NASPA.  This organization has introduced me to many great colleagues and ideas that I have used in my work.  I have served in a leadership position with NASPA since 2004 and I am very appreciative of the opportunities it has provided me. 

When I am not at Wentworth, I am home with my husband and three boys, who are usually playing video games (yes, all of them).  I am a runner (or at least trying to be one) and a lover of HGTV.  My favorite season is fall because I love leaves, sweaters and apple picking.  I only drink tea, preferably green tea.  And may have a slight obsession with Pinterest.

It is great to be back home and be able to work with colleagues who are very motivated to see Wentworth students not only succeed but are not afraid to challenge them and have the important conversations.  There are an amazingly talented group of people working in the Division of Student Affairs and I excited about being able to help lead them as we face new challenges and experience new growth.

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