Jerome chosen as new Dean of Students

Jerome chosen as new Dean of Students

By James Meaney, Staff Writer

On March 14, Allison Jerome was busy interviewing in front of the school president and administrators for the soon-to-be-vacant Chaminade University dean of students job. But an unexpected power outage in the morning cut her off mid-presentation. Thankfully, due to her precise attention to detail and meticulous preparation, nothing, not even a lack of electricity, could stand in her way.

On April 5, CUH announced that Jerome has been chosen as the successor to Dean Grissel Benitez-Hodge. Jerome will leave her post as director of retention, advising, and career preparation who headed up student advising and begin her new role as dean of students starting July 1.

“I am honored and blessed,”said Jerome, who has been working in student advising at CUH for 12 years. “Chaminade has been a good fit for me. The size of the school is perfect for me to get to know the students. I’ve been here for a long time because I like being here. Becoming dean is a big responsibility, but I know a lot of good work has already been done and there’s a strong foundation for me to continue to build on and keep moving things forward.”

Jerome earned her master’s degree in student personnel administration from New York University and has been an essential component in student life here at Chaminade. Her involvement in student advising gives her an excellent rapport with CUH students, and she plans to expand on that connection more during her time as dean.

“I want students to feel like they can come by and say hello and try to make it a welcoming environment, which it is now, but I want to push that forward even more so,” said Jerome. “The feedback that students had for me directly was very humbling. A couple of my friends that are deans have discussed with me how they keep up with students, and I want to bring things to the position that are ‘me’ to help connect with students.”

It’s not just students who are ecstatic about the appointment of Jerome. Various faculty departments of CUH are also excited and looking forward to working with her as soon as she starts her new role. Danny O’Regan is the director of Campus Ministry and also works closely with undergraduates.

“Allison brings a wealth of experience, from here at Chaminade and further afield,” said O’Regan, who will be working closely with Jerome once she becomes the dean. “It’s nice that we know Allison and that she has a different vision of how to do leadership, and I think everyone’s excited that she got the position and looking forward to seeing what happens.”

Jerome anticipates the first few months as the new dean of students will be spent assessing what her points of emphasis will be.

O’Regan is confident that Jerome will be able to continue to lead Chaminade in the right direction while also adding her own vision to add to the students’ overall quality of schooling.

“She has a good presence; people feel they can come and talk to her about issues,” said O’Regan. “It’s always a challenge as a dean, as there are new responsibilities and times where you have to use discipline, but I think she’s going to bring a different approach. We’ll support her as staff members, and I think students are going to response very warmly to Allison as the new dean.”

Dean Grissel, as she has been known on campus, will be retiring at the end of this semester.