Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

: Caye Brundage Riley at (562) 907-4974 

Aug. 25, 2003    
Reference: 2003-04: 6                                               

Whittier College Names New Dean of Students

Tracy Poon Tambascia has been named Dean of Students at Whittier College.  Tambascia, formerly Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Cultural Center at Whittier, replaced Dave Leonard, who left Whittier to become Dean of Freshmen at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

“We are very sorry indeed to see Dave leave, but delighted for his new opportunity at Washington and Lee,” said Whittier President Katherine Haley Will. “Dave has accomplished so much and made many friends in his time at Whittier; he will be greatly missed. 

“His departure offers an opportunity for Whittier to undertake some major reorganization of responsibilities in Student Life and Academic Affairs, and to implement even more fully the vision in the strategic plan for an integration of the living and learning environment at the College,” Will said.

In her new position, Tambascia reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and is a member of the president’s senior staff.  She joined Whittier College in 1995 as the Director of Student Activities and assumed responsibility as Director of the Cultural Center and Associate Dean in 1998.

Prior to her arrival at Whittier College, Tambascia was the Director of Student Activities at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.  She holds a B.A. in psychology from Occidental College, and an M.A. in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. 

As Dean of Students, she will hire an associate dean of students who will also act as dean of freshmen.  The new associate dean will assume oversight of the Cultural Center.  In addition, Tambascia and Laura McEnaney, associate professor of history, will co-chair a new committee:  the First Year Experience and Retention Committee, which will oversee and integrate the college’s many retention and student success initiatives.

 “We’re very pleased about the partnership and team approach being developed

between Academic Affairs and Student Life,” Will said.  “With the new reporting relationship, the vice president for academic affairs and the dean of students will be able to work even more closely together, especially on issues related to the first year- experience, persistence, diversity and campus culture. 

“Enriching our campus culture and linking living and learning experiences are key elements of our strategic plan, and this reorganization moves us closer to our goal, particularly as we move ahead with plans for the Center for Academic Success and the office of Internships and Service Learning.”

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts.  Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927