Investing in student success

Amber Douglas has been named Mount Holyoke’s Dean of the College and will lead a new student success division.

By Christian Feuerstein

Mount Holyoke College announced that Amber Douglas, professor of psychology and education, has been appointed Dean of the College. In that capacity, Douglas will lead a new student success division, report directly to President Sonya Stephens and join the presidential cabinet.

The student success division will encompass the offices of Academic Deans, Fellowships and AccessAbility Services. In this role, Douglas will lead the future development of the division, support peer-to-peer collaborations with the College’s other divisions and develop and build programs that support student academic success. 

“Amber brings five years of trusted leadership in the Office of Student Success and Advising to this role,” said President Stephens. “She is well equipped to lead new and collaborative efforts in support of our students, especially given our focus on future enrollment patterns, changing demographics, financial aid, integrated advising and a student experience that foregrounds academic excellence and resilience.

“I look forward to Amber joining the cabinet, and to all of the work and the close collaborations that the re-imagination of this role and this new division make possible.” 

Douglas is a clinical psychologist whose research interests include stress, trauma and resilience. A Mount Holyoke College faculty member since 2005, her scholarship contributes to the understanding of psychological adjustment, well-being and mental health.

“My goal is to continue our work in improving our students’ academic experiences on campus,” said Douglas. “The office becoming a College division will enhance the integrated approach to advising for students, where students are getting their needs met and they feel like they have support to get the resources they need from within our advising structure. We will continue to develop our advising model and work in partnership with other departments and offices across the campus.” 

The change comes as Mount Holyoke College is developing the structures and processes to map out the College’s next strategic plan. The planning process will begin this fall, and build upon the current five-year strategic plan

Douglas was the inaugural director of the Office of Student Success and Advising when it was established in 2016. Before that, Douglas was the faculty director of student success initiatives. Both positions were previously in the Office of the Dean of Faculty.