Fairfield University names Dr. Elizabeth Boquet first Dean of Academic Engagement


Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Boquet, Professor of English and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, has been tapped to serve as the first Dean of Academic Engagement at Fairfield University.

In making the announcement on July 15 to the university community, Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Dr. Boquet will be providing leadership in all areas of student engagement, focusing especially on academic advising and academic support services. He said, "The Office of Academic Engagement will offer a seamless interface for students seeking assistance with their academic work by coordinating and strengthening the work of our many existing programs, such as Project Excel, the Dean of Freshmen, the Writing Center, Academic and Disability Support Services, and our intentional learning communities."

Located in the Kelley Center, a hub of activity for student services, the Office of Academic Engagement will work collaboratively with the Academic Deans and the Dean of Student Development in the Division of Administrative and Student Affairs. The Office will serve, initially, undergraduate students, based upon a developmental approach to academic advising, in keeping with Fairfield’s institutional mission and vision as well as national best practices in student-centered learning.

Under Dr. Boquet's direction, the Office of Academic Engagement will support and enhance advisement and mentoring across the spectrum of student need and interest, with the primary advising relationship remaining between the student and her/his academic advisor, a member of the faculty.

Dr. Boquet's commitment to individualized instruction and student-centered learning is well established, both on the Fairfield University campus and in national and international fora. She is the author of "Noise From the Writing Center," (2002) selected for the Outstanding Research Publications award from the Learning Assistance Association of New England, and a co-author of "The Everyday Writing Center: A Community of Practice," (2007) both published by Utah State University Press. In addition, Dr. Bouquet was one of 10 leaders directing the 2005 International Writing Centers Association Summer Institute, held at Kansas University and twice received the International Writing Centers Association Outstanding Scholarship Award, once in 1999 and once in 2008.

Dr. Boquet received her Ph. D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and joined the Fairfield University faculty in 1994. In her work as Director of the Writing Center at Fairfield University for 12 years, Dr. Boquet emphasized peer teaching and learning. She has come to be recognized as a respected expert on student-centered writing instruction and peer teaching through her scholarship, consulting, and program review work.

In her role as Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for the past two years, Dr. Boquet played a significant role in implementing core integration and living & learning initiatives. Throughout 2008-09, she facilitated conversations linking advising with teaching and providing intra- and inter-divisional opportunities for sharing models of successful academic advising practices.

Fr. Fitzgerald said Dr. Boquet's "wealth of expertise and experience, and her fine record of success in not only mentoring students but also in training student peer mentors, make her an excellent fit for this initiative. Dr. Boquet has deep institutional knowledge, and as illustrated in her record of leadership in service to the university, she has forged vital collaborative cross-divisional relationships that will be crucial to the success of the new Office of Academic Engagement."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 24, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 18

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