The division of student life is pleased to welcome Harmony Cross as the new dean of student success. In this position, Cross is responsible for supporting the college's strategic goals through oversight and leadership of the Center for Student Success and the implementation of a comprehensive student retention and persistence strategy.
An innovative and forward-thinking leader, Cross is passionate about student success, and excels in creating department structure and designing sustainable practices that promote efficiency. Prior to joining the Oberlin community, Cross served as the dean of student development, engagement, and inclusion at Holyoke Community College (HCC), where she provided leadership to cocurricular areas and led student success initiatives. Most notably, Cross redesigned her division during a time of institutional realignment to meet the diverse needs of HCCs students. Cross led the strategic plan linkage pilot project for her division, which provided clear goals and metrics for her staff. She also led the inception of HCC's student development department, which aimed to increase the retention of its participants.
Previously, Cross served as the director of the New York State Education Department's Higher Education Opportunity Program at Marymount Manhattan College (MMC), where she managed and developed holistic services and high-impact practices for academically and economically underserved students. She created specialized leadership and professional development opportunities for this population, which led to an increase in student recognition and participation in prestigious fellowships. During Cross’s time at MMC, she was appointed as the New York City Representative for the Higher Education Opportunity Program Professional Organization, overseeing the largest region in the state.
Cross is passionate about removing barriers for marginalized populations, cultivating a sense of belonging and safe space, increasing students’ social and cultural capital, and providing relevant opportunities for students to be fully engaged in the collegiate experience.
Cross earned her M.Ed. in educational leadership, higher education concentration, at Temple University. She received a bachelor's degree in public administration at North Carolina Central University. She is currently working on her Ed.D. in higher education administration at Bradley University.
Cross enjoys spending time with her loved ones, attempting new plant-based recipes, practicing therapeutic self-care methods, and traveling the world. Her office is in Wilder Hall 208, and she can be reached at 440-775-5356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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