Brenda Bretz '95
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Office: West College (Old West)
Brenda Bretz began her duties as vice president for institutional effectiveness in September 2021. In this role she provides leadership to support the culture of evidence-based decision-making, supports the strategic planning process and on-going monitoring/reporting, oversees assessment activities and serves as the liaison to the Regional Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). She is also currently co-chair of the Self-Study for Reaccreditation. Bretz holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Dickinson College, a master’s in American studies from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in sociology/administration and leadership studies from Indiana University of Pa. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Higher Education. Having worked at the college since 1982, Bretz has served in a number of roles, most recently as VP for Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusivity and Interim VP for Information Services.
Website: Institutional Effectiveness
Catherine McDonald Davenport '87
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions
Office: Waidner Admissions House
Cathy Davenport has worked in Dickinson’s Office of Admissions for 30 years and has served in a variety of roles ranging from admissions counselor to executive director of admissions and in July 2014 became the dean of admissions. She became vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions in March 2019. Davenport graduated from Dickinson in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minors in religion and political science. She earned her master’s degree in education in 1992 from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Davenport also holds a secondary school counseling certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is involved with several professional associations including the PA Association for College Admissions Counseling (PACAC) and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC).
Karen Neely Faryniak '86
Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College
Office: West College (Old West)
Karen Neely Faryniak began her duties in the Office of the President in August 2010. As chief of staff and secretary of the college, she works with the president of the college to further institutional goals, serves as the main liaison to the Board of Trustees and oversees the operation of the Office of the President. Having worked at the college since 1986, Faryniak has served in a number of roles, including those in alumni relations, major gifts, reunion giving and annual giving. Prior to her work in the Office of the President, she served as the associate vice president for enrollment and communications, where she oversaw media relations, publications, Dickinson Magazine, the college's Web presence, photography and videography. She graduated from Dickinson with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Jill M. Forrester
Chief Information Officer and VP of Information Services
Office: South College
Jill Forrester began her duties as interim chief information officer and interim vice president for information services in September 2021 and became the CIO and VP of Information Services in March 2022. She oversees all areas of information technology services, including academic technology, enterprise systems, user services and infrastructure systems. Her team works with the entire Dickinson community to provide information technology services that meet the evolving needs of today’s students, faculty and staff. Jill has worked at Dickinson since 2002 in roles ranging from associate director in admissions to associate vice president for information services and director of enterprise systems. She holds a master’s degree in mathematical sciences with a specialization in operations research from Clemson University. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.
Website: Information Services
Debra F. Hargrove
Vice President for Human Resource Services
Office: 55 N. West St.
Debra Hargrove joined Dickinson as associate vice president for Human Resource Services in 2015 and became vice president for Human Resource Services in October 2021. Hargrove’s department is responsible for developing and managing all programs and policies pertaining to Human Resource Services, including training and development, organizational development, recruitment and staffing, performance management, employee relations, compensation and benefits, human resource information systems and workers' compensation. Her previous leadership positions include vice president of human resources and professional development at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas, and director of human resources at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology-based human relations from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in human-resource management from Webster University.
Website: Human Resource Services
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Office: 50 Mooreland
Connie McNamara leads the marketing and communications team that works to enhance the national and global reputation of Dickinson as a world class liberal-arts college. She provides strategic communications advice to senior leadership throughout the college. McNamara joined Dickinson as the executive director of marketing and communications in October 2012. Her team tells the story of Dickinson across online, print and multimedia channels. She oversees the website, Dickinson magazine, communications to prospective students and parents and to alumni, as well as outreach to media. McNamara holds bachelor’s degrees of history and journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Previous leadership positions include vice president of communications for Hershey Trust Company, Milton Hershey School and executive director of The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation.
Website: Marketing and Communications
Annette Smith Parker '73
Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration
Office: West College (Old West)
Annette Parker rejoined the senior team as interim vice president for finance and administration in October 2021. Parker served Dickinson in various financial administration roles from 1988 through 2010 when she retired as vice president and treasurer, a position she had held since fall 1998. Upon retiring from Dickinson, she formed Causeway Consulting LLC, focusing on mission-driven strategic planning, branding, finances and investments with non-profits, private colleges and independent preparatory schools. Her consulting led her to Richard Bland College of William and Mary, where she became vice president for finance and administration in early 2013. In August 2014, she moved back to independent education as chief financial and operating officer at Cape Henry Collegiate, a large nationally ranked day school in Virginia Beach. In summer 2016, she returned to private higher education as Ursinus College’s vice president for finance and administration until returning to her alma mater in 2021. Parker graduated from Dickinson with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and art history and earned an MBA in accounting from Shippensburg University.
Website: Financial Operations, Facilities Management, Dining Services, Conferences and Special Events, The Children's Center, Mail Center, Bookstore
Vice President for College Advancement
Office: 50 Mooreland
Carlo Robustelli joined Dickinson as vice president for college advancement in October 2020. Robustelli leads the Division of College Advancement, which is responsible for building the relationships and securing the philanthropic resources needed to move Dickinson forward. Robustelli comes to Dickinson with over a decade of experience in higher education and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he served as the assistant vice president for advancement at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) where he provided strategic and managerial leadership to the advancement team and oversaw the cultivation and stewardship of major donors. Additionally at IWU, he served as director of major gifts, director for grants and foundation relations and assistant director of annual giving. Prior roles included development director at WGLT Public Radio at Illinois State University and program director at the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also served as the university representative to the Bloomington-Normal Innovation Alliance, as an elected board member to McLean County, Illinois, and as chief of staff to the mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Robustelli graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in philosophy and political science.
Website: College Advancement
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Office: Holland Union Building
George Stroud joined the Dickinson community in July 2018 as vice president of student life and dean of students. With 25 years of higher education experience, Stroud oversees Residence Life & Housing, Athletics, Department of Public Safety, Women’s & Gender Resource Center, LGBTQ Services, Student Leadership & Campus Engagement, Intramurals & Recreation, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, Wellness Center, Spirituality, Service & Social Justice, the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, the Prevention, Education & Advocacy Center and Student Conduct. Most recently, Stroud was assistant vice president for student life at Cabrini University, where he was a member of the president’s cabinet and served on the Student Engagement Committee of the Board of Trustees. He was responsible for leading residence life, student diversity initiatives, dining services, public safety, health services and counseling services. He has previously served as assistant director for staff supervision, recruitment and training for residence life at the University of Pittsburgh, assistant director at the office of minority student affairs/cultural diversity at Slippery Rock University and as counselor for Carnegie Mellon’s Action Project at Carnegie Mellon University. Stroud has a doctorate in higher education administration from Widener University and a master’s degree in student personnel from Slippery Rock University.
Website: Student Life
Neil B. Weissman
Provost, Dean of the College and Professor of History
Office: West College (Old West)
Neil Weissman has served since 1998 as dean of the college and since 2002 as provost. Additionally, he served as interim president for the 2016-17 year. He joined Dickinson in 1975 as an instructor in history and went on to rise through the ranks of assistant, associate and full professor. He has served as chair of the Department of History; coordinator of the Russian and Soviet Area Studies, International Studies and East Asian Studies programs; director of the Clarke Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues; and project director for international education. Weissman received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude as valedictorian from Colgate University and holds master's and doctoral degrees in Russian history from Princeton University. He is a published scholar in the field of Russian and Soviet history, working on issues of government, policing and deviance.
Website: Dean's Office