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Getting to Know Dean Annamaria Wenner
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!