This year, Tim Foster and the Office of Student Affairs welcome the new Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Kimberly Pacelli ’98. She will replace Margaret Hazlett, who left the College in June.

Bowdoin is familiar territory for Pacelli, an alumna who earned her master’s degree in education from Harvard in 2003. That same year she returned to Bowdoin as the director of Residential Life, a position she held until 2008. After earning her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law, Pacelli spent the 2012-2013 academic year working at Harvard College as an associate dean of student life. 

“I sat in a central place in a system that was very much decentralized. I oversaw all of the housing events that were going on from house-to-house, and then I was also working on a project to revitalize and renovate all of the undergraduate housing,” said Pacelli. 

She decided to apply for the opening in the Office of Student Affairs earlier this year after hearing of Hazlett’s intention to accept a position as Dean of the College at Franklin & Marshall.

“Looking long term, I knew that I wanted to work at a small college. I wasn’t planning to make the change just yet, having spent only a year at Harvard, but then Dean Hazlett left, and it seemed really hard not to seriously explore the opportunity to come back and work at Bowdoin,” said Pacelli. 

Foster said that he was pleased to learn that Pacelli would be among the applicants.     
“Kim immediately came to mind,” said Foster. “She really knows Bowdoin, but also has the advantage of having stepped away and gained some other experiences, which allows her to bring a fresh look at things.” 

In her new position, Pacelli will be responsible for supervising the day-to-day activities in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. She will also oversee the College’s health and counseling services. 

Pacelli said that she thinks student involvement is integral to her success. 

“While there is so much about this place that is timeless, I find that every generation of Bowdoin students make this place their own,” said Pacelli. “What I think can be expected from me, always, is an understanding of the students on an individual basis, so that we can figure out what the Dean’s office can do to support every student’s Bowdoin experience.”