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Haverford Appoints New Dean of the College

Denney graduated summa cum laude from Hamilton College with a Bachelor’s degree in French.  A Rotary International Fellowship enabled her to spend a post-graduate year at the Konservatorium fur Musik in Berne, Switzerland, where she studied the flute.  In 1988, she earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University before taking up a Mellon Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Study at Brandeis University, from which she earned her Master’s Degree (1995) and Ph. D. (2001) in Anthropology.

1n 1995, Denney was appointed Assistant Dean of Students for International Affairs at Colby College in Maine.  While at Colby, she completed her PhD thesis and began teaching in the departments of anthropology and education. Between 2000-2006 she served as the Director of Off-Campus Study and Academic Affairs, and as Associate Dean of the Faculty from 2000-2008. Most recently, she was at Georgetown University, where she has served as the Associate Dean and Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Services since July 2008.

“Martha impressed the search committee with the breadth of her experience,” says committee chair and Prof. Judy Owen.  “She has bridged the academic and co-curricular aspects of student life and we were impressed with the thoughtfulness that she brought to the table at each of our interactions, and the level of her motivation to engage our students in energizing and supporting their experience at Haverford.”

Denney says that this integration of the academic and extracurricular in a single Dean’s Office role was at the root of her interest in the position.  “This combines things in a way that is more consistent with the actual student experience, as they experience college as a whole.”  Beyond the job itself, Denney says that she was “amazed” by the level of commitment and enthusiasm shown by the many students, faculty members and administrators whom she met during the search process.  “I’ve worked with devoted and hardworking people, but this is a level of involvement in mission and spirit that is very compelling to me.  Everything I saw and heard when I was visiting confirmed all that I’d read and come to know about Haverford, from a distance.  You can feel it.“

“We could not be happier to make this announcement,” concludes Haverford President Stephen G. Emerson ’74.  “The diversity of her experience and concern for the whole student are matched by her energy, good cheer and empathy – she’s a great listener.  We’re eager to have her here and know that she’ll be an enthusiastic contributor as we develop new programs that will take the student experience – and, in turn, the College as a whole – to new heights.”

The opening was created when Greg Kannerstein ’63, Dean since 2006, announced that he will be moving into a new position, Senior Advisor and Lecturer, which will see him teaching and writing a history of the College.

Students cross in front of Founders Hall.

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