Office of the Vice Provost

Student Affairs Leadership Team

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Mary Pat McMahon, Vice Provost/Vice President of Student Affairs
101 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90937
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
Fax: 919-681-7873
studentaffairs@duke.edu

Mary Pat McMahon is the vice provost and vice president of student affairs. As the chief student affairs officer at Duke, McMahon is directly involved in decisions that shape the undergraduate and graduate student experience, including responsibility for residential and dining services, student wellness services, specialized services for parents/families and student veterans, as well as other student-directed services such as student extracurricular support and the university’s identity and cultural centers. McMahon is a proven leader in student affairs, and is committed to student development, team leadership and building strong community, academic and student partnerships.

Before coming to Duke in July 2019, McMahon was dean of student affairs at Tufts University’s Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. There, she was broadly responsible for fostering meaningful growth and connection in students’ co-curricular experience, coordinating developmental, leadership and health and safety resources for students.

Prior to Tufts, McMahon served as associate dean of student affairs at Bowdoin College, where she helped develop a highly regarded residential learning program, oversaw the first-year experience, provided academic and personal advising to students and offered guidance for the judicial and sexual misconduct board hearing processes. 

Previously, McMahon was associate director of doctoral programs at New York University and assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale University. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from Yale University and a master of science degree in history of international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

 

John Blackshear Headshot

John Blackshear, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
101 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-668-3853

John Blackshear was named dean of students in Student Affairs in June, 2020. He will continue to hold the post of associate vice provost of undergraduate education. In that role, he helps coordinate shared priorities between Student Affairs, the university’s academic deans and the Office of Undergraduate Education

Blackshear previously was dean of academic affairs for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, as well as senior associate dean of academic planning in Trinity College.. Since 2001, he has served a wide range of essential support roles for students at Duke, including academic dean, supervising Duke’s low-income and first-generation scholarship and success programs, serving as clinical director of the Academic Resource Center, and working with Duke’s Office of Student Returns and Student Disabilities Access Office. He was Duke’s student ombudsperson from 2007-2015. Backshear also previously worked in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) from 2001-2007.

A clinical psychologist by training, Blackshear holds his doctorate in clinical psychology from Georgia State University, and a masters in community/clinical psychology as well as a B.S. in psychology from Florida A&M University. Blackshear has served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke since 2009, and will continue teaching.

Blackshear also serves as the Faculty-In-Residence (FIR) in Trinity Residence Hall. The Blackshear family--including wife Kimberly Blackshear, assistant director of programs for Family Connects International in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Center for Child and Family Policy, and their six children--have opened their home to first-year students in Trinity and Giles residence halls since 2016.

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Sue Wasiolek, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Senior Advisor
101 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
Fax: 919-681-7873
dean.sue@duke.edu

Sue (more commonly known as Dean Sue) was born in New Jersey, but actually grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Science Education and a Masters of Health Administration at Duke. While in graduate school, Sue was a Resident Advisor in Aycock and Hanes House. She worked in the Medical Center for 18 months and then, in 1979, joined the Student Affairs staff. Sue completed her J.D. at NCCU and her L.L.M. at Duke in 1993 and her Ed.D.in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1994, Sue joined the law firm of Maxwell, Freeman and Bowman in Durham where she practiced law for nine months. Although practicing law was challenging and interesting, Sue found that she truly missed working with students. Sue returned to Student Affairs in 1995 and has continued to thoroughly enjoy her life here.

 

Gayla Winstead, Administrative Assistant to Sue Wasiolek
101 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
Fax: 919-681-7873
gayla.w@duke.edu

Gayla is administrative assistant to Dean Sue Wasiolek. Gayla is an excellent resource for finding answers to your questions. She thoroughly enjoys working with Duke students, parents, and other members of the university community.

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Zoila Airall, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Campus Life
101 Bryan Center
125 Sciencel Drive
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
Fax: 919-681-7873
zoila.airall@duke.edu

Zoila Airall, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of experience in student affairs and institutional diversity. She arrived at Duke in 2002, and oversees eight departments within Student Affairs.

Airall began her career in student affairs in 1981 as assistant dean and coordinator of counseling and testing services at Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va., where she served for four years. After that, she took a job as Assistant Dean in residence at the University of Pennsylvania, which she held for three years. In 1988, Airall was promoted to Associate Director, where she managed Residence Life Staff and developed a residential judicial board. In 1996, Airall joined Bryn Mawr and became Director for Institutional Diversity. At Bryn Mawr, she developed an infrastructure to address diversity challenges across the institution, established the college’s first multi-cultural center and developed of a women’s leadership course.

Airall holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology of Education from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ed.M. in Counseling and Human Development from Teachers College of Columbia University, and a B.A. in U.S. History and Sociology from Douglass College, Rutgers University. In addition to her responsibilities in Student Affairs, she also teaches courses in Anthropology of Education, and advises first year and sophomore pre-major students.

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Caroline Nisbet, Associate Vice President
101 Bryan Center
Box 90951
Durham, NC 27708
919.684.5450
caroline.nisbet@duke.edu

As Associate Vice President, Caroline is responsible for strategic management of the Division's assessment, financial, human, and technology resources.  She began her professional career at Cornell University where she held positions in admissions, financial aid and student employment as well as international student services.  As Cornell’s first director of student employment, she headed one of the largest College Work Study programs (>8,000 students) in the U.S.  She was instrumental in creating The Cornell Tradition, a nationally recognized work and fellowship program funded entirely by alumni.

Caroline came to Duke in 1985 to the Provost’s Office as the Director of Duke Futures, the University’s first undergraduate internship program supported by a national network of alumni volunteers.  She also established the Service Learning Project, a program of paid, community service internships and raised several endowments that continue to support these opportunities, now housed in the Career Center.  She has worked in Student Affairs since 1990 and serves regularly on a variety of institutional teams and projects focused on business process redesign and policy development. She has led a number of administrative reviews at Duke and other universities.

Caroline received a BA in Spanish and Portuguese from Indiana University, an MA in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University and completed additional graduate study in Clinical Psychology.  She has one adult daughter, two dogs, and enjoys cooking, knitting and reading.

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Chris Roby, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs
036 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90834
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-4741
Fax: 919-684-8395
christopher.roby@duke.edu

Chris provides leadership and direction for the Office of Student Activities and Facilities by establishing strategic goals and objectives and organizational structures and strategies. He oversees administrative support for student organizations on issues such as new group formation, recognition, advising, programming, organizational problem solving and funding. He develops and implements policies and procedures, and ensures resource stewardship and security for all student related, non-residential, social and student organization facilities (including the Bryan Center, the Brodhead Center and East Union, Duke Coffeehouse, the Outpost adventure gear station - home of Duke Bikes, and the West Campus Plaza). Additionally, Chris serves as the advisor for the Duke Student Government (DSG).

Educational Background:
--M.S. Management - National-Louis University
--B.S. Political Science - Eckerd College

Past Professional Experience:
--Director of the Oglesby Union, Florida State University
--Associate Director of the Oglesby Union, Florida State University
--Director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs, University of Miami
--Assistant Dean of Students, Eckerd College

Professional Associations:
--National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
--Association of College Unions International (ACUI)
--National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS)

Research Interests:
--Entrepreneurship
--Organizational change
--Service-learning
--Innovation and creativity

Personal Interests:
--Family stuff (Nancy, Jake, Zach and Emma)
--All Boston professional sports teams
--Going to art museums and antique stores
--Keeping my sense of the ridiculous

Headshot of Chris Rossi

Chris Rossi, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Strategic Engagement
Bryan Center
125 Science Drive, 101 Bryan Center
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
christopher.rossi@duke.edu

Chris Rossi joined Duke in summer 2020 from Tufts University, where he was most recently Dean of Student Life and Engagement. In that role, he supervised the Dean of Student Affairs Office, Campus Life, Residential Life and Learning, and all budgets and resources associated with the Division of Student Affairs, including health and counseling, identity and cultural centers, residential facilities, accessibility services, and the career center. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a BA from Bowdoin College. 

With experience as an early member of the development team at HBX, Harvard Business School's online learning arm, Chris’s experience in online program development has proven instrumental to our division and to Duke as we develop online curriculum and programs for the 2020-21 academic year. Due to the extent to which all of our division’s strategic goals hinge on a collaborative and nimble residential program, he works especially closely with Assistant VP Joe Gonzalez. Directly supervising Strategic Initiatives, Data Assessment, and the division’s technology support, Chris partners with Associate Vice President Caroline Nisbet and managers across the division to identify and align resources that support the five key norms of the Division of Student Affairs: student health, wellness and safety; meaningful inclusion moving towards equity; professionalism and mutual respect; continuous growth and skill development of staff and students; and strategic collaboration within and beyond the division. 

Chris and his wife, CJ, a middle school science teacher, have two rescue dogs and they are excited to explore North Carolina’s mountains and forests. 

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Li-Chen Chin, Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Programs
2022 Campus Drive
Durham NC, 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-5480
li-chen.chin@duke.edu

Li-Chen is responsible for providing leadership for the development, implementation and assessment of intercultural programs and services in support of the strategic plan for Student Affairs and global mission of the University.  She oversees the operations of the Center for Multicultural Affairs, International House and Muslim Life at Duke.  She also serves as an academic advisor for first and second year students in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, and is an affiliated faculty with Program in Education. 

Li-Chen received her B.A. in music from National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei and her M.M. and Ph.D. in music education from the University of Oregon in Eugene.  Prior to joining Duke in 2008, she worked at Bryn Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University, and the University of Oregon.

In her free time, Li-Chen enjoys playing clarinet and piano, reading, cooking, crocheting, and spoiling her dogs. 

Gregory Victory

Gregory Victory, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Fannie Mitchell Executive Director, Duke Career Center
Bay 5, 2nd Floor, Smith Warehouse,
114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919 660-1050
gregory.victory@duke.edu

Greg came to Duke during the famed summer of 2020 from Tufts University, where he served Executive Director of the Career Center since 2016. Greg has experience developing innovative and enduring partnerships between the career team and other campus partners, including Alumni Affairs, the First-Generation Center, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Athletics. He successfully developed and launched a “Designing Your Life” course for first-year students and oversaw the creation of numerous career and student-alumni global networking events. He is focused on outreach to employers and alumni across a wide range of industries and nonprofit sectors and works to ensure that all students see themselves and their pathways represented in Career Center programs and initiatives. 

In his 25-year career, Greg served as Executive Director of Continuing Education at Rhode Island School of Design, where he was previously Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of the RISD Career Center. During nearly a decade at Syracuse University, Greg taught in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, led the highly regarded First-Year and Transfer Programs office, and served as a lead with employer engagement in the Syracuse Career Center. Greg has also held positions at Colgate University and Ithaca College and taught junior high school social studies. He serves on the Board of Regents at his alma mater, Le Moyne College.

One of Greg’s favorite jobs was serving as “Scooch,” mascot for the Syracuse Mets (formerly the Syracuse Chiefs), a AAA baseball club—the same level as the Durham Bulls. That position allowed him to “be as goofy as I wanted to be, to bring joy, laughter and excitement to fans,” he said. “It offers a glimpse of my spirit, energy and enthusiasm.”

In his free-time he enjoys traveling, food (cooking and exploring new restaurants), and spending time with his partner David and puppy Faya.  Greg is also a huge college sports fan and is excited to cheer on the Blue Devils.

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Joe Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean for Residential Life
Bryan Center
125 Science Drive, 101 Bryan Center
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3737
Fax: 919-681-7873
joe.gonzalez@duke.edu

Joe is responsible for creating a residential experience that supports the academic success of our students and is characterized by strong community, faculty engagement, intellectual discourse, and student wellness. This involves providing leadership and guidance for a team of over 170 student leaders and 16 full time staff members. Additionally, numerous collaborations with offices throughout the institution are utilized to offer our students the most exceptional residential experience possible from both a facility and educational standpoint. He has a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Student Development from Appalachian State University. He enjoys playing tennis, reading, and vacationing at the beach.