Petty to assume new responsibilities, report directly to LeBlanc in new position

Dean of the Student Experience Cissy Petty will take on additional roles in her new position as vice president of student affairs and dean of students, according to a release Friday.

Petty, who joined GW in 2018, will now oversee the first-year experience and New Student Orientation, operations on the Mount Vernon Campus, the Marvin Center’s student activities, Lerner Health and Wellness Center and the CARE Network, which supports students facing issues ranging from academics to mental health, the release states. Officials said the move will give students more say in the University’s upper-level departments.

“Cissy has demonstrated exceptional dedication to our students and will be an even stronger advocate for them in her expanded role,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release. “This realignment will ensure student voices are central to decision-making at the highest levels of the university.”

Petty, who will continue to manage residential life, housing, student organizations and the Colonial Health Center, will now report to LeBlanc and “serve as a member of the University’s leadership team,” according to the release.

“Our students are an engaged, active community, and we are here to do whatever we can to help them achieve academic success and personal growth,” Petty said in the release. “I am excited to build on the progress we have made to the student experience during the past year, especially our ongoing efforts to enhance community space, programs and a sense of belonging at GW.”

In her first year at GW, Petty spent several weeks last year in three residential halls to better understand residential life and worked with officials to hire 27 additional resident advisers. Petty also helped launch the District Connections program in the spring, allowing freshmen to attend D.C. events free of cost.

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