A Letter from the President

Dear all,

Thank you for your interest in the President’s Administrative Fellows Program. This program is an exciting opportunity for both professional and personal growth for recent Vassar graduates. Our goal is to expose recent graduates to a range of experiences and prepare graduates for future careers in higher education administration. Over the course of the year-long program, Administrative Fellows will report to a senior administrator at the college and work on central projects and programs that are poised to make Vassar a better institution for our students, faculty, administrators, alumnae/i, and community partners.

I hope you will consider staying at Vassar after graduation as part of the President’s Administrative Fellows program. In doing so, you will learn from administrators who will have your professional development at the forefront of their minds, as you work on projects together and continue to share your talents with the college.

Thanks,

President Bradley

Program Description

The President’s Administrative Fellows Program is a year-long program that exposes recent Vassar graduates to roles in higher education administration. At the end of the Fellowship, Administrative Fellows will have both a broad understanding of how institutions of higher education function and a deep understanding of the area in which they are placed. The Administrative Fellows Program will prepare students to take on leadership roles at Vassar, other institutions of higher education, and organizations in other sectors.

Administrative Fellows are full-time paid employees and are placed in a variety of offices across the college. Administrative Fellows are placed in offices that are overseen by individuals in senior leadership roles at Vassar. Over the course of their fellowship year, Administrative Fellows will engage in activities ranging from the management of administrative tasks to strategic program development and implementation. As part of the program, Administrative Fellows will be members of a cohort and will have exposure to a number of different professional development opportunities. These opportunities include lunchtime conversations with the President, Dean of the College, Secretary and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Vice President of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development, Vice President of Communications, and other individuals in leadership roles at the college; one-on-one alumnae/i mentoring between Administrative Fellows and alumnae/i whose current careers align with the Administrative Fellows’ placement or future career goals; and specialized professional development sessions focused on benefits and retirement, financial planning, and navigating career changes.

The Administrative Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for recent graduates to add to their Vassar experience and prepare for a meaningful career in higher education or other sectors in which a deep understanding of issues in higher education can be helpful. See below for more information on this year’s placements and information on how to apply.

Apply

If you are interested in applying to the President’s Administrative Fellows Program, please send a cover letter and resume to administrativefellows@vassar.edu by Sunday, April 4th, 2021 at 5:00pm EST. If you are interested in being considered for more than one Administrative Fellow role, please note that in your cover letter and indicate how you would rank the roles in which you are interested.

If you have any questions about the Administrative Fellows Program overall, please contact Wesley Dixon at wdixon@vassar.edu.

If you have any questions about individual placements, please contact the supervisor of that particular placement. 

Current Fellows

Damian Zapien, Office of Communications, lzapien@vassar.edu

Kate Titowsky, Office of Alumnae Affairs and Development, ktitowsky@vassar.edu

Ivanna Guerra, Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center/Transitions, iguerra@vassar.edu

Loizos Karaiskos, Career Development Office, lkaraiskos@vassar.edu

Placements

The Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center & Transitions Administrative Fellow will support the programmatic efforts of the Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center and Transitions Program. For the Center, this includes; heritage month programming, student organization and student leader training and development, Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center Leadership Academy development, as well as faculty and community outreach and engagement. For the Transitions Program, this includes; working on the Hermanx Mentoring Initiative (Vassar community) and Beyond the Gates relationships (community groups), student leader oversight, as well as retreat components.

More broadly, the individual will periodically engage in college-wide activities for the Student Growth and Engagement area. The fellow also represents Center and Transitions on campus through activities and initiatives, and, specifically, develops partnerships with offices such as the CDO, the LGBTQ and Gender Resources Center, and works to help identify other potential campus collaborators. The fellow works to support the work of all 15 of the Center- identified student organizations and assists in the supervision of our ten student interns. The fellow would be a welcome addition to the Transitions Program given the large team of student leaders (18-22 per year), four work study positions, evening and weekend activities, and individual student meetings.

The Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center and Transitions Program both sit within the Office of Student Growth and Engagement. As a result, the fellow will also work with other centers and offices on campus life matters and student engagement. The fellow may also work closely with The Office of Student Growth & Engagement on large-scale events, such as Orientation Week and the First Year Experience (FYE). As the portfolio of the Center grows, it would be more than helpful to have an additional layer of support for the Center’s programming efforts as well as for our students.

The ideal candidate would be familiar with first generation, low-income, students of color, and undocumented students. The fellow should have prior student leadership or experience in a mentoring relationship. At the end of their employment term, the fellow will have an improved understanding of community outreach, program creation and follow-through, with an introduction to higher education best practices for first generation, low income, students of color, and undocumented student populations.

The Career Development Office has housed an Administrative Fellow for 9 years (beginning in 12-13). The position is partially grant-funded, with a restricted expendable gift (Smart Family Foundation) contributing $25K per year toward the salary/benefits for the Fellow. The position is well-established, and the Administrative Fellow serves as a key member of the Career Development team.

Scope of Responsibilities/Job Description

The Career Development Office (CDO) at Vassar College invites applications for a one-year post-baccalaureate fellowship focusing on the coordination of outreach to student populations. The primary responsibilities of the Administrative Fellow include communications, outreach, and advising functions.

The Administrative Fellow will manage publicity, marketing, and communications for the Career Development Office by developing and implementing effective campaigns to students and other constituent groups through the use of digital and print outlets. The Administrative Fellow will also support the mission and operations of the office by serving as an advisor for students during daily drop-in hours in the Career Studio and facilitating programs in the residence halls, etc.

Key Communications Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and implement creative strategies to promote CDO events, services, and resources using a variety of media including email, e-newsletters, targeted marketing, social media, and print
  • Manage program-specific marketing timelines by working closely with CDO staff
  • Design print marketing and informational pieces such as posters, flyers, email blasts, programs, etc.
  • Advocate for and promote the CDO on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Moderate social media platforms and respond to comments and/or messages sent to the CDO via social media
  • Update web content using the CMS 

Key Outreach and Advising Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with student leaders, house teams, administrative offices/centers, and other campus constituents to increase awareness of CDO resources and programming
  • Introduce students to the resources and services of the CDO through drop-in appointments, tabling, open houses, programming in the residence halls, and other events
  • Provide current students with resume and cover letter reviews, as well as basic information about job/internship searches, interview advice, etc.; recommend relevant resources and make referrals to career counselors as needed
  • Partner with CDO staff to deliver workshops on topics such as resume writing, internship search, interview skills, etc. 

For more information, contact Stacy Bingham, Associate Dean of the College for Career Development, stbingham@vassar.edu. 

Reporting to the Director of the Office of Community-Engaged Learning, the Fellow will help to brainstorm ideas for and develop an organizational structure to support co-curricular community and civic engagement opportunities for Vassar students as well as co-ordinate these opportunities. The Fellow will spend several hours per week working with organizations in four of the following sectors in Poughkeepsie for a period of 8- 10 weeks in each sector: 

  • Governmental sector (e.g., town, city or county office),
  • Non-profit sector (e.g. Housing, Arts, Environment etc.),
  • Social enterprise or small business sector (e.g. working with an artist etc.),
  • Grassroots and/or advocacy organization, and
  •  One that aligns with the Fellows interests and belongs to one of the thematic clusters of the Mellon-Community-Engaged Intensives in the Humanities grant.

During these placements the Fellow will work on projects assigned by the organizations as well as develop ideas for possible avenues of curricular and co-curricular engagement between these organizations and Vassar. This position will give the Fellow an immersive experience in place making, community engagement, and the role of anchor institutions in community development. 

The Administrative Fellow in the Office of Community Engaged Learning will also serve as a Lead for Poughkeepsie Fellow (as part of the Lead for America organization). As a Lead for Poughkeepsie Fellow, the Admin Fellow will participate in trainings and other professional development opportunities with a cohort of other Lead for Poughkeepsie Fellows who are serving throughout the City of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County. 

Key Activities:

  • Research models for co-curricular community and civic engagement in peer institutions and develop a model for Vassar.
  • Work with four local organizations to understand local assets and points of mutual benefit between campus and community.
  • Identify opportunities for community and civic engagement and coordinate student participation in these activities.
  • Work with the VassarVotes initiative to support civic engagement efforts on campus.
  • Liaise with Vassar student organizations and Campus Activities to understand and map the landscape of community engagement opportunities offered by these organizations.
  • Liaise with other stakeholders on campus (athletics, Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center, First Year programming, Vassar Education Collaboration, Environmental Coop), EPI - Bridging Campus and Local Communities group to develop events or programs that engage our local community and that will be held annually.
  •  Create a web presence and social media presence for community and civic engagement at Vassar such that all campus members and community organizations can easily find ways of collaborating.  
  • Help to develop materials for ethical and responsible community engagement and share these with students.
  • Help to organize a speaker series that features community members.

Key Goals:

  • Create a proposal for how Vassar may develop an organizational structure to support sustained and responsible community and civic engagement opportunities for Vassar students beyond those provided through community-engaged learning.
  • Create a web and social media presence for community and civic engagement for all campus members as well as well as well as members of the wider Poughkeepsie community. 
  • Create an “asset map” of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess county that can be shared with all students doing community-engaged learning.

The VPFA is responsible for all finance, business, and facilities functions for the college. The team is tasked with creating efficient processes for monitoring budgets, maintaining facilities, processing transactions and business controls. There is currently a need for an Administrative Fellow to assist in optimizing these tasks for the team. Some of the most important goals are as follows:

  1. Research and identify the current Capital Project process. Then propose changes to the process to ensure clear and efficient process and appropriate controls. The goal is to improve upon the current process with an “end to end” document which would be available for all of the campus to understand the capital planning process.
  2. Identify and review all Gifts and Endowments with restrictions which are too restrictive for current operations. For example, there could be an endowment which supports an academic class that is no longer available at Vassar College. The goal would be to identify the funds and evaluate the appropriate path to change the restriction for the use of the funds which could include negotiation with the donor or their family, senior officer or board approval, or legal proceeding to enable such a change.
  3. Work closely with the Study Abroad office to evaluate the operations of jointly run programs to improve the transparency of programmatic requirements and the financial obligation of the college related to these requirements. The goal is to improve the understanding and financial oversite of these programs.
  4. Analyze various expenses for expense reduction initiatives. For example, the college pays real estate taxes. An analysis of assessed values for comparable properties could yield favorable changes to assessed values resulting in lower property taxes. This is just one example of an initiative.

This role requires leadership of cross functional teams within the VPFA organization as well as working with other divisions of the College. The fellow will learn:

  • to navigate the different priorities of the organization
  • about the budgeting, accounting, and facilities planning functions of the College
  • to analyze and develop processes for a large organization

The Administrative Fellow in the VPFA Office would report to the Director of Budget and Planning but meet regularly with the VP of Finance and Administration.

The Grants Office at Vassar College invites applications for a one-year post-baccalaureate fellowship focused on supporting grants at Vassar College.

Vassar receives millions of dollars in grant and fellowship funding each year from government sources such as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and New York State agencies. These funds support innovative faculty research and scholarship as well as a host of institutional programs.

Behind each of Vassar’s grants is a highly competitive proposal, accurate and detailed budget, and dedicated project director or principal investigator, all of which are supported by the Grants Office. The Administrative Fellow will gain a deep understanding of and contribute to the team’s efforts in all of these important areas.

In addition to pre-award grant activities, including researching potential funding opportunities for a range of exciting projects and assisting with the preparation, submission, and tracking of grant applications, the Administrative Fellow will support Vassar’s innovative institutional grant programs such as the Mellon-funded Community-Engaged Intensives in the Humanities (CEIH), Engaged Pluralism Initiative (EPI), Consortium on Forced Migration and Displacement; HHMI-funded Grand Challenges initiative; and Luce Foundation-funded Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment.

This is an exciting opportunity for a post-baccalaureate who is interested in working in any field or setting – academia, medicine, non-profits, etc. – where federal and private foundation grants play a major role. The Administrative Fellow will develop hands-on experience with a variety of tasks and topics, including:  

  • Supporting strategic planning, in collaboration with faculty, administrators, institutional grant project directors, etc., to identify funding and/or engage networks that might support short- and longer-term goals;
  • Developing competitive proposals and detailed budgets;  
  • Providing project- and activity-based support to institutional grants;
  • Communicating grants-related accomplishments to the broader community as well as opportunities to engage faculty and students; and
  • Assisting with the effective stewardship of grant awards through the development of tracking and reporting systems and processes. 

The Administrative Fellow in the Grants Office will develop competence with various online systems and work with multiple departments across campus. The Fellow can expect to leave this experience with a solid understanding of how grants are sought, secured and administered and how institutional grants are supporting innovative research and pedagogy at Vassar as well as deep knowledge of the broader fields of – and career opportunities within – development and sponsored projects administration.

Department: Cross-Departmental Opportunity

Division: Office of the Vice President for Technology and Human Resources

About the Office of the Vice President for Technology and Human Resources

Vassar College is amongst the only higher education institutions to identify the value of coordinating the administration of Technology with that of Human Resources. As technology strives to enhance and facilitate the teaching, learning and administration of the College, Human Resources strives to engage current employees and attract a diverse and talented workforce to continue to make Vassar College an incredible place to work, live, teach, and learn.

Both depts have the shared vision of minimizing process barriers to make the administration of the College as effective and inclusive as possible. 

About The Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Technology and Human Resources

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Planning & Engagement, you will have the unique opportunity to directly impact the student and employee experiences at Vassar College by contributing directly to the objectives of both departments.  You will help to develop the college’s mobile strategy and other programs to enhance student and employee engagement while developing valuable skills in effective communications, strategic planning and creating a supportive and inclusive workplace.  Read on to learn more about how, together, we will transform the work of the College to enable our community members to engage with the Vassar experience in a deep and meaningful way.

With support and guidance from College administrators, you will impact the future of:

  • Mobile Strategy
    • Impact the development of Vassar’s mobile strategy by identifying gaps and opportunities and surfacing new approaches to providing equitable and inclusive access to student resources
    • Identify areas for mobile growth and adoption amongst all audiences
    • Play a central role in working groups to define a multi-phased approach to mobile strategy and content development
    • Inform our outreach and communications plans by using analytics and feedback to identify opportunities for improvements to content, cadence and channels
  • Student Success
    • Collaborate with teams in CIS, Dean of Studies, Dean of Students and Dean of the College offices to increase the focus on equity and access throughout the digital student experience
    • Be an active member of a variety of teams related to student information system projects
    • Transform the student experience by identifying tools and processes improvement that will enable more paperless, mobile and automated processes
    • Foster a culture of collaboration and communication that incorporates the student perspective through feedback, focus groups, and testing strategies
  • Employee Engagement
    • Support the adoption and understanding of Vassar’s digital workplace program by helping to create communication and engagement plans
    • Socialize the Digital Workplace program including technology and available services
    • Design new programs that will leverage technology to enhance the employee experience by identifying opportunities and surfacing new approaches to successfully engage all types of employees
    • Work to formalize and promote skills development across our workforce by supporting and identifying new opportunities for the Human Resources Employee Professional Development programs
    • Impact the policies and processes that allow us to refine our commitment inclusive hiring and equitable employee development through research and collaboration with other similar institutions

What your journey will look like:

30 days: The first 30 days, you will familiarize yourself with the multi-year plans of the Computing and Information Services and Human Resources departments and attend meetings related to the goals and objectives of those plans. This will help you to get a broad understanding of how best to engage with the various teams and initiatives. Throughout, you will shadow the Assistant Vice President for Planning and Engagement and other members of the Office of the Vice President for open dialogue and ongoing support .

60 days: The next 30 days, together we will identify the best initiatives for you to focus on and develop a plan for how you can be most impactful during your time in the position.

90 days: Well established in your role, the next 30 days and beyond will be spent being an active member of various teams, working groups, and projects, contributing to and having a direct impact on the direction of these initiatives.

What you will gain from this experience:

This role will serve as an unparalleled professional development opportunity where you’ll gain skills in leadership, culture, engagement, communicaiton, and planning,while developing robust knowledge of the administration of campus technology, business processes, organization development, and engaging regularly with senior campus stakeholders. These skills will serve you well on whatever future career path you choose.

We are extremely proud of our departments’ culture of collaboration and reputation for being trusted partners across campus. We are service-minded teams who continually strive to put the experience of our community members above all else and would be thrilled to have you join us!

The Vassar Environmental Cooperative invites applications for a one-year administrative fellow who will support intersecting needs of the Environmental Cooperative, the Vassar Ecological Preserve and Vassar’s Office of Sustainability. 

Scope of Work:

The Environmental Cooperative and the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve are in the process of coordinating their programs and messaging to the Vassar community and the general public.  Efforts include developing a joint strategic plan, highlighting the importance of the Farm and Ecological Preserve to the College’s Sustainability goals, and communicating the critically important role that open space plays in the health of a community and its members.  

The timing for this process aligns with the Office of Sustainability’s efforts to assess and improve campus and community resilience to climate change impacts, a priority identified in the 2020 Climate Action Plan. The resilience assessment brings together partners from local governments, NGOs, and the community at large to identify areas of vulnerability and opportunities for partnership across dimensions of resilience including social equity, public health, and ecosystem services.

The successful applicant will play a key role in developing, coordinating communications for and marketing these interrelated efforts.  They will learn important transferable skills such as the communication of complex ideas to the general public, the management of various forms of online communication, and the development of creative ways to engage new audiences. They will also have the opportunity to serve on a national working group for climate resilience in higher education.

Key Goals:

  • To instill a conservation ethos in our students and community by engaging them in activities and learning opportunities sponsored by the Ecological Preserve, the Environmental Cooperative, and the Sustainability Office
  • To communicate the benefits of nature toward improving our well-being, mental, and physical health
  • To build ties between the campus and the community in building resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change
  • To increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in environmental, sustainability, and natural sciences fields 

Key Activities:

  • Help to coordinate consistent messaging between the Environmental Cooperative and the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve in collaboration with Vassar’s communication department.
  • Play a key role in the development of a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) plan for the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve and the Environmental Cooperative
  • Play a key role in strategic planning, marketing, and development of a new name for the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
  • Assist the Office of Sustainability in developing a community resilience assessment tool
  • Organize meetings, workshops, and town halls with stakeholders from local colleges, governments, NGOs, and the community at large on issues related to sustainability and climate change
  • Coordinate communications and messaging for the Environmental Cooperative and the Ecological Preserve through our websites, social media (Instagram and Facebook) e-newsletters.
  • Develop and implement creative ways to engage the Vassar student body and community in the programs and mission of the Ecological Preserve and the Cooperative.
  • Collaborate with student leaders, house teams, administrative offices/centers, and other campus groups to promote sustainability, environmental awareness and appropriate use of the Ecological Preserve.
  • Design print materials such as flyers, informational brochures, interpretive signage and posters.

Contact

If you have any questions about the Administrative Fellows Program overall, please contact Wesley Dixon at wdixon@vassar.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If I am selected as an Administrative Fellow, when would I start my Fellowship?
Answer: Administrative Fellows will begin during the summer after they graduate from Vassar. The official start date will likely be on or around July 15th, 2021.

Question: How will my alumnae/i mentor be chosen?
Answer: If selected as an Administrative Fellow, you will work collaboratively with the Program Director and your supervisor to determine what qualities are most important to you in a mentor. Your supervisor and the Program Director will work with the Career Development Office and the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development to find a suitable mentor for you based on your personal and professional interests.

Question: Is the Administrative Fellows role a paid position?
Answer: Yes, the Administrative Fellows role is a full-time, year-long, paid position.

Question: Is housing included as a part of the Administrative Fellows Program?
Answer: No, housing is not provided as a part of the Administrative Fellows Program. If you are selected as an Administrative Fellow, we encourage you to work with the Program Director and the Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources to explore affordable housing options in or around Poughkeepsie.

Past Fellows

ADMINISTRATIVE FELLOWS 2019–2020

Tamar Ballard, Dean of the College

Lily Berman, Career Development Office

Rori-An Chuck, Office of Alumnae Affairs and Development

Samantha Hoher, Office of Health Education and Promotion

Brian Hong, Office of Communications

Elaina Peterkin, Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center

Ezra Weissman, Office of the President

ADMINISTRATIVE FELLOWS 2018–2019

Udbhav Agarwal, International Services

Juleen Graham, Career Development

Alquan Higgs, Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center

Cecilia Hoang, Engaged Pluralism Initiative

Samantha Hoher, Health Education and Promotion