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Memorandum August 31, 2017

To:
AU Community
From:
Sylvia M. Burwell, President
Subject:
Appointment of Fanta Aw as Vice President of Campus Life

I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Dr. Fanta Aw, to become the next vice president of campus life, effective September 1.

As vice president of campus life, Dr. Aw is a member of the president’s cabinet and is responsible for the executive leadership of 15 departments focused on Health and Wellness; Student Development and Learning; Student Engagement and Intercultural Learning; Residence Life and Housing; Orientation; Transition and Retention; and University Conference and Guest Services.

She has been serving as interim vice president of campus life since April 2017, upon the departure of former vice president Gail Hanson, and prior to that was assistant vice president of campus life.

With three AU degrees and 25 years of service to AU, Dr. Aw is widely respected on campus by students, faculty, staff, and alumni whose lives she has affected in positive ways. She also has a strong national and global profile for her work in student services, multicultural affairs, and international education.

With the range of student issues growing—such as diversity and inclusion; immigration; cost and affordability; and the quality of the student experience—no one is more qualified to lead AU in this important role.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Kogod School of Business in 1990, Dr. Aw worked for Price Waterhouse and for Ernst & Young as an auditor in Senegal. She returned to AU in 1992 to work with international students, an important thread throughout her professional career. She earned an MA in public administration in 1994 with a focus on organizational development and a PhD in sociology in 2011 with concentrations in social stratification, transnational migration, and international education.

Dr. Aw’s professional career in international education and multicultural affairs includes service as director of International Student and Scholar Services, and eventually she served as assistant vice president of campus life for 10 years. In that capacity, she was responsible for the leadership and supervision of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion; International Student and Scholar Services; Kay Spiritual Life Center; University Center and Student Activities; and the Center for Community Engagement and Service. She is known as an extraordinary teacher, and was promoted to Hurst Senior Professional Lecturer in the School of International Service in 2013. Notably, she designed and delivered Center for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL) curricula for faculty development on inclusive pedagogy and co-facilitated the first faculty learning community on race.

Dr. Aw’s expertise in organizational development and her experience with students prompted her appointment as co-chair of the Reinventing the Student Experience (RiSE) effort. In addition, as president and chair of the board of directors of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, she is the longest serving executive for this 10,000-member global association.

Please join me in congratulating our long-serving and dedicated colleague, Dr. Fanta Aw, as the next vice president of campus life.

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