Dear Class of 2025,
Let me start with an introduction: my name is Dr. Tanesha Leathers, and I’m excited to serve as your class dean! During my academic and professional career, I’ve been a Pioneer, Eph, Terp, Blue Jay, and now a Cardinal. There are a few other key things you need to know about me, apart from the fact I come to you with over 20 years of experience in higher education. The following are in no particular order:
- There’s nothing like a New York slice, and I’ve met few cupcakes (or other carbs for that matter) I didn’t like.
- Sadly, I still root for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks, but don’t judge me if I go to a Nets game sometime in the future.
- I love to bake and create all manner of things, and I believe laughter is the best medicine for much of what ails us.
- I’m happy to wax (not so poetically) about a host of random things.
- And, I would love to get to know more about you!
My life’s journey began in Queens, New York, where I was born and raised. I attended public schools for my primary and secondary education, and found myself in the Purple Valley to earn a degree in anthropology at Williams College. I worked in campus life for The Sage Colleges in upstate New York and at my alma mater before I began graduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I earned my doctorate in American Studies. My doctoral work focused on parenting as activism in Baltimore, Maryland and the revolutionary potential of Black love. I’ve had the pleasure of working in residence life and advising at the University of Maryland and as an assistant program manager within the Summer Programs unit of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. (Here’s a shout out to any incoming student who went through CTY’s programs at Santa Cruz, CA or Chestertown, MD.)
As a class dean, I spend much of my time advising students – discussing academic, social, and personal challenges and how to achieve personal goals. I work with individual students, professors, parents, and other Wesleyan staff to support students in their pursuit of a positive learning experience.
I provide guidance and support to all students in the Class of 2025. I’m a source of information on academic standing, choosing a major, graduation requirements, university policies and procedures, and opportunities and resources available at the university and in the surrounding Middletown community. I may not be aware of every resource that can help my students, but I’m committed to learning about new things that can genuinely support students in my class.
The class dean model enables me to get to know the whole student during their four years here. You don’t attend a university like Wesleyan just to take classes and earn a degree, though that pursuit is paramount. Part of the draw of a place like Wesleyan is to engage with amazing members of our community inside and outside of the classroom, and to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.
Wesleyan has so much in store for you and your classmates, and let me be the first in a long line of people to encourage you on this amazing journey. I look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall, but don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help to you before your arrival.
Enjoy your summer break!