Lawrence creates new staff positions; changes in cabinet over Fall Term

Lawrence has seen a number of staff changes since the end of last school year. Among the new hires are Dena Reuben, the new Dean of International Student Services, Lisette Cruz-Jiménez, the new Director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center (D&IC) Kristi Koshuta; the new First Year Dean Steph Knoppa; the new Director of Residential Education; Jeanette DeDiemar, the Interim Senior Associate Vice President for Communications; Ken Bach, the Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing; Cory Puuri, the Associate Director for Web Communications, Deanna Kolell; as well as the Assistant Director for Social Media. Professor of Gender Studies and First-Year Studies Helen Boyd Kramer took on the role of Affinity Group Coordinator.

Vice President for Student Life Chris Clarke, who took over in an interim role in July after the departure of former Vice President for Student Life Chris Card, has been promoted to an official role. Provost and Dean of the Faculty Peter Blitstein has also been elevated to an official role after taking over in the interim after former Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Kodat left in June.  

Former Interim Vice President for Enrollment Tom Crady has stepped away from his role, and enrollment coordinator Mike Frantz is stepping in until an official replacement for former Vice President for Enrollment Ken Anselment can be found, a process that is already underway. Finally, former Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Institutional Research Eric Mayes stepped away from his role in October and has been replaced by Kenneth Emmanuel Yarbrough, who will come to campus in mid-February. 

Reuben took over the role of Assistant sean of International Student Services after the departure of Leah McSorely in March, beginning at Lawrence in mid-July. As Dean of International Student Services, Rueben oversees the handling of immigration compliance and programming events, as well as acting as caretaker for International House as a whole. Rueben said she is passionate about bringing people together and growing the Lawrence community. Currently, she is working on programming for the Lunar New Year event taking place on Saturday, Jan. 28 alongside other staff members and student groups. 

“My goal is to support international students,” said Rueben. “I had people that were supporting me when I lived abroad and that really made a difference, having that one person. I hope that I can be that for international students.” 

Cruz-Jiménez has been the Director of the D&IC  since late October. She seeks to foster a safe and friendly space in the Diversity and Inclusion center, partly through programming  such as arts and crafts. A big priority for her position right now is to promote a sense of belonging for students, according to her. 

“What I’m looking to accomplish is expanding, growing the sense of belonging for our Black and brown students at Lawrence,” said Cruz-Jiménez. “Connecting our community together. Bridging that gap, a little bit more.” 

As Vice President for Student Life, Clarke aims for Student Life to facilitate student growth and provide students with impactful events. According to Clarke, his job entails facilitating collaboration between different departments at Lawrence in order to provide students with important services. Clarke positions Student Life as an impactful department that has a responsibility to support students and ensure that Lawrence is providing a strong education and college experience.