Dr. Fanta Aw named interim Vice President of Campus Life
Aw to take over for Gail Hanson on April 1
President Neil Kerwin announced in an email sent to the campus community Wednesday morning that Dr. Fanta Aw, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life, will be the interim vice president of Campus Life effective April 1, 2017.
Aw will assume the position after current Vice President Gail Hanson retires on March 31, and will serve in the role until President Sylvia Burwell makes a permanent appointment.
In the memo, President Kerwin wrote that Aw “is well known and widely respected by students, faculty, and staff. In these times, when issues such as diversity and inclusion, immigration, cost and affordability, and the quality of the student experience are so prominent on our campus, there could be no more qualified leader to serve in this important role.”
Aw has served at AU for 25 years, working with international students as well as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, International Student and Scholar Services, Kay Spiritual Life Center, the Center for Community Engagement and Service, University Center and Student Activities.
She is also a Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service, teaching graduate courses related to higher education policy, internationalization of higher education and immigration. She’s worked on inclusion efforts such as co-facilitating the first faculty learning community on race.
“AU has been my professional and academic home for a long time, so I’m really excited to serve my alma mater,” Aw said. “This is a place I really love, and I think the people and students here are truly amazing.”
Sara Bendoraitis, director of Programming, Outreach and Advocacy for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion, said that Aw has made great efforts in developing and working with CDI.
“We are super excited that Dr. Aw has been appointed to this position,” Bendoraitis said. “She really helped spur the creation of CDI. At her core, she’s always been about helping students.”
Hanson also spoke highly of Aw and her connections with AU.
“Campus Life has a very strong team. On that team, Fanta is a long-time member and has a deep love for AU, and that’s a very special thing she brings to this job,” Hanson said. “She’s a very talented educator and I’m confident she’ll be able to move the organization from strength to strength. She also has a strong network across campus and the students she’s worked with will support her so she’ll be in a very good place come April.”
Aw saidshe looks forward to building up personal connections on campus and creating unity among students.
“In particular I am looking forward to working with students to strengthen community at AU and create a sense of belonging,” Aw said. “I really want to provide an environment where students can have robust learning outside of the classroom.”