Claudia Arias-Cirinna, a student advocate and leader in higher education, has joined Georgetown as the new associate vice president and dean of students, according to a university announcement. Arias-Cirinna has spent over 25 years in higher education, serving in leadership positions in student affairs, crisis management, health education, and residential life. Prior to Georgetown, she worked at the University of Connecticut (UConn) for nine years, serving as the assistant dean of students and more recently as the associate dean of students and director of UConn’s Office of Student Care and Concern.
At Georgetown, Arias-Cirinna will be a senior member of the Student Affairs team, which provides programs and services that support students and enrich their learning experiences. In her new position, she will collaborate across campus to develop holistic support that empowers students to thrive, ensure the university has procedures in place to help students in critical need, and review current practices so they align with the university’s Jesuit values of cura personalis, or care of the whole person.
“Claudia has worked tirelessly as an agent of change and fierce advocate for students throughout her career,” said Eleanor J.B. Daugherty, vice president for student affairs. “Her dedication to access, education, and holistic care for students embodies our Jesuit values and way of proceeding.”
A commitment to serving students
Educational access has played a central role in Arias-Cirinna’s life since early childhood, when she and her family fled Chile in the middle of the night after her father, a professor and journalist, was blacklisted by the country’s dictatorship. After being granted political asylum in Stamford, Connecticut, her family prioritized education for their children as they learned a new language and started their lives over again.
“My father, who also devoted his career to higher education, instilled in me a passion for education and its ability to create opportunity,” she said. “I understood from a young age that education was an invaluable gift–and one that could never be taken [away] once achieved.”
Arias-Cirinna says that, at Georgetown, she will continue to take a holistic approach to student support. “I will remain passionately committed to exemplifying the university’s Jesuit values, and more specifically, to promoting human dignity and caring for the mind, body, and spirit as we collectively seek to make a difference in the world,” Arias-Cirinna said. “I love challenges. I’m excited. I’m grateful. I’m ready.”
Read more about Claudia Arias-Cirinna and her new role.