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Student Deans

Every Swarthmore student has an assigned student dean. Your dean's name is listed in the Degree Audit section of mySwarthmore. 

Why might a student reach out to a student dean?

  • you are trying to find balance between your academics and your other responsibilities
  • you are looking for mentors here or beyond
  • you are having a serious medical problem and are trying to figure out how to approach your academics
  • you are figuring out how to navigate Swarthmore and your various communities (home, service, identity, adoptive, global)
  • you are experiencing personal challenges that are affecting your academics
  • you are considering taking a semester away from Swarthmore
  • you had something really wonderful happen and want to share the joy

The student dean model at Swarthmore

I. First-year students
  • international students are assigned to Dean Jennifer Marks-Gold, Assistant Dean and Director of International Student Programs
  • all other students are assigned to Dean Karen Henry, Dean of First Year Students
II. Beyond the first year
  • international students stay with Dean Jennifer Marks-Gold
  • other students are reassigned to Student Deans Liz Derickson, Imaani El-Burki, Rachel Head, Karima Bouchenafa, Nathan Miller, or Michelle Ray, who will remain their dean through the remainder of their time at Swarthmore 
  • incoming transfer students are assigned to Dean Liz Derickson

Dean Nathan Miller functions as a coordinator for Student Deans. Dean change requests can be made by emailing Dean Miller.

Student Deans

Karima Bouchenafa

Asst Dean & Director, Black Cultural Center

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8455
  2. Black Cultural Center (Robinson House)
Karima Bouchenafa

Liz Derickson ’01

Associate Dean, Academic Success

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8475
  2. Parrish Hall 109
photograph of Dean Liz Derickson smiling and standing outside of Parrish Hall

Imaani El-Burki

Assistant Dean & Director, Intercultural Center

Intercultural Center


  1. Phone: (610) 328-7360

Reach out to Dean Imaani El-Burki for needs related to:

  • First point of contact for questions about the IC in general 

  • Campus and community partnerships

  • Representation on behalf of the Intercultural Center

  • Funding requests

  • Support as your student dean

Rachel Head

Associate Dean & Director, Student Engagement

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8362
  2. Sharples Commons 170

Karen Henry ’87

Dean of First Year Students

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8169
  2. Parrish Hall 130
Karen Henry

Eric Jensen

Walter Kemp Professor in the Natural Sciences

Dean of Academic Success

Student Affairs

Physics & Astronomy-Astronomy


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8249
  2. Science Center 123/122
  3. Parrish Hall 108

Research interests: Extrasolar planets and planet formation, particularly in binary star systems.

Jennifer Marks-Gold

Assistant Dean & Director of International Student Programs

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8361
  2. Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center 110
Jennifer Marks Gold

Nathan Miller

Senior Associate Dean, Student Life

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8354
  2. Parrish Hall 108
nathan miller

Michelle Ray

Associate Dean & Director, Case Management

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 690-5299
  2. Parrish Hall 116
Michelle Ray

Tiffany Thompson


Associate Dean, Inclusive Excellence

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 690-5767
  2. Parrish Hall 140

Reach out to Tiffany Thompson for needs related to:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Trainings and Workshops
  • Advocacy