Chestertown, MD, December 22, 2005 — Washington College is pleased to announce the appointment of Mela Dutka as the new Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs. Dutka, who previously served as Dean of Students for Smith College, brings more than 20 years of experience in the management of student residential life and activities with a special focus on the needs of liberal arts institutions. She starts her new position July 1, 2006.
"Even among the exceptionally strong group of candidates that the Search Committee brought to campus, Dr. Dutka stood out," Washington College President Baird Tipson said in announcing the appointment to the campus. "Students, faculty, and staff praised her wisdom, her approachability, and her long experience in the various areas that comprise a contemporary student life office. I am delighted that she has agreed to join the Washington College community."
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Dutka holds a master's degree in student personnel services from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction, and administration from Boston College. Prior to overseeing the student life departments and programs for 2,800 undergraduates at Smith College in Northampton, MA, Dutka served as Dean of Students at Columbia College in Columbia, SC, from 1995 to 1999, Director of Housing at Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA, from 1987 to 1992, and Director of Housing-Residential Life at Menlo College, Atherton, CA, from 1985 to 1987. While pursuing her Ph.D. at Boston College between 1992 and 1995, Dutka was responsible for developing and implementing a Freshman Assistant Program and supervising 125 student volunteers to support the college's new student orientation.
"I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Washington College community," Dutka said in accepting the appointment. "I am impressed with what the College offers in terms of its overall educational quality and its strong sense of community. Even in my short time on campus, what stands out is the high quality of the students, staff, and faculty and their remarkable degree of engagement in the life of the College. All of this helps create a vibrant educational experience for students and a wonderful place to accomplish good work. I'm looking forward to working with the entire College community-and especially those in student affairs-in their on-going efforts to develop an outstanding student life program."
Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.