Dean of Students Liz Braun recently named Tomoko Sakomura as the associate dean of academic affairs, effective August 1, 2017. Sakomura will take on the post held since 2009 by Associate Professor of Educational Studies Diane Anderson, who will resume her teaching and research full-time.
“The search committee was very impressed with Tomoko’s thoughtful approach to advising and supporting students, her understanding of the complexity of the student experience, her ability to facilitate strong collaborative working relationships, and her deep knowledge of and commitment to the overall mission of the College and the liberal arts,” says Braun.
Sakomura, who joined Swarthmore's faculty in 2005, is an associate professor of art history in the Department of Art and has served as department chair since 2013. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University and has worked on a number of committees including the Committee on Faculty Procedures, the Council on Educational Policy, the Committee on Academic Requirements, and the Committee on Fellowships and Prizes. A specialist in Japanese art history, she recently published Poetry as Image: The Visual Culture of Waka in Sixteenth-Century Japan.
“I've been reflecting on various challenges I encountered as a student - intellectually and emotionally exciting ones as well as difficult ones,” says Sakomura. “I am here today thanks to the support and encouragement I received from family, friends, acquaintances, and teachers, and this opportunity gives me the honor of being on the side of support. I can't wait to learn more from students about their academic experiences.”
She adds, “I'm thrilled to join the fabulous Dean's Office team, and I very much look forward to connecting with students, staff, and faculty and collaborating on academic affairs at the College.”