Office of the Vice Provost

Student Affairs Leadership Team

A headshot of Mary Pat McMahon standing in front of a stone pillar

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

Mary Pat McMahon is the vice provost and vice president for 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.


Dean Sue Wasiolek

Sue Wasiolek, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
101 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90959
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-668-3853
Fax: 919-681-7873

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 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.

Zoila Airall, Associate Vice President for 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, 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.

Caroline Nisbet, Associate Vice President
101 Bryan Center
Box 90951
Durham, NC 27708

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.

Chris Roby, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
036 Bryan Center
125 Science Drive
Box 90834
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-4741
Fax: 919-684-8395

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:
--Organizational change
--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

Li-Chen Chin, Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Programs
2022 Campus Drive
Durham NC, 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-5480

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. 

Title: Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs and Fannie Mitchell Executive Director, Duke Career Center
Portfolio Area: Students and Alumni in Transition
Degree: B.A. History, University of Maine at Orono; M.Ed. Student Personnel Services, Higher Education Administration
Location: Bay 5, 2nd Floor, Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950
Phone: 919 660-1050

William Wright-Swadel arrived at Duke in August 2008 with more than 25 years of experience in Career Services, the past 10 years at the head of Harvard University's career program.  Wright-Swadel believes accessing campus Career Center offerings early and often will help students successfully navigate present and future choices.

Each day, we're asking students to reflect upon and share values, interests, skills and other individual preferences that relate to professional and career decisions. We know that the ability to articulate aspects of your own life story, publicly and in professional settings, is one of the critical components in any job or internship search. Listen to a recording of an essay about one of MY beliefs that I hold strongly enough to share with you.

Learn more about the This I Believe project and you could even record your own essay!

Joe Gonzalez

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 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.