Following a thorough search process, Shauna Harris, who has worked in student and academic affairs for the past decade, has been selected as the School of Education’s new assistant dean for student affairs.
Harris starts work at the School on Aug. 31.
“We’re thrilled that Dr. Harris will be joining our team at the School of Education,” said Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. “She comes to us with experience that will empower her to engage with students and our faculty and staff right away, helping build programs that support our students, helping them thrive during their careers with us.”
Harris joins the School after serving for the past three and a half years as associate director for student life and leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Union. She’s also served during the past two years as an adjunct instructor in the School of Education and has served on the UNC Thrive@Education Advisory Board.
Before coming to Carolina, Harris worked in a variety of positions in student affairs at North Carolina Central University and at the University of Georgia.
She earned a B.A. in history at Clemson University. She earned an M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia.
Harris is active in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), currently serving on the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Board and previously as co-coordinator for the Dungy Leadership Institute held at Carolina last year. She regularly presents at professional conferences on topics regarding cultural competency, leadership, issues involving underrepresented and multi-racial students, and helping students navigate undergraduate and graduate admissions processes.
“I am excited to join a team committed to helping students be the next leaders in our society as they prepare to be transformative educators in our communities,” Harris said. “This is a critical time in education across our country, and it is important that we are working together to ensure our students and communities are provided the knowledge, access to resources and support needed to educate our students.
“I look forward to advancing the mission and strategic plan through collaborative efforts with faculty, staff and students.”
At the School of Education, Harris will oversee functions that include undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, admissions, advising, and registration and course scheduling.
Harris said she strives to foster a holistic development of students and works to support a sense of belonging for students while they are in college.
“I am an educator and a mentor, and my work goes beyond the classroom,” she said. “I love working with students; focusing on their strengths and talents that will help them achieve their goals. Some of the most rewarding moments are seeing students I have worked with overcome challenges and walk across the graduation stage with a smile on their face and more confidence in themselves.”
Harris has won several professional awards, including being named a recipient of an American College Union Association Women’s Leadership Institute scholarship and a NASPA MultiRacial Knowledge Community Award.
Harris replaces Anne Bryan, whose 24 years at UNC-Chapel Hill included 15 years working at the School of Education.