What We Do

The Class Deans Office provides a Dean who is dedicated to the oversight and stewardship of each class year.  The Deans, listed below, are responsible for implementing academic policies and provide direct one on one support to students in their cohorts.  At times Deans work with instructors, advisors and colleagues across campus to support you.  Some examples of situations where you Dean can assist include, 

  • Academic challenges in a course or perhaps a challenge that is impacting your academic progress in one or more courses.
  • Formulating and succeeding in achieving academic goals.
  • Finding the best academic or personal resource.

The Class Deans Office is a valuable source of information on a wide range of topics.  You are invited to email your Class Dean about any of the above topics or if you have a question or concern and would like assistance in finding the answer or resource.  In brief, if you are thinking about reaching out to your Dean, please do!

Kiara M. Vigil

Kiara M. Vigil

Associate Professor of American Studies; Dean of New Students; Chair of Education Studies

Converse Hall Room 201-F

Dean of New Students Kiara Vigil has responsibilities for the personal and academic counseling of students in the Class of 2027 and first year new transfer scholars. She may be consulted on matters relating to the general and academic counseling of first-year students, college regulations and requirements, matters related to academic advising by faculty of new students, and the First-Year Seminar courses. She is also the Faculty Director of the Summer Bridge Program.

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Jess Caldwell-O'Keefe

Jess Caldwell-O'Keefe

Senior Associate Dean of Students & Class Dean

Converse 201

Senior Associate Dean of Students and Sophomore Class Dean.  

Charri J. Boykin-East

Charri J. Boykin-East

Senior Associate Dean of Students

Converse Hall Room 201E

Dean for the Class of 2026; Senior Associate Dean of Students

David E. Schneider

David E. Schneider

Georges Lurcy Professor of Music & European Studies; Class Dean

Converse Hall Room 201-C

Provides personal and academic counseling of students in the Class of 2025; Georges Lurcy Professor of Music & European Studies; Class Dean

Michelle L. Welles

Michelle L. Welles

Senior Academic Support Coordinator

Michelle provides all aspects of administrative support for the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Sophomore Class Dean Jess Caldwell-O'Keefe and Dean of New Students Kiara Vigil.  Michelle oversees the implementation of processes and policies used by the Team of Class Deans.  Michelle also provides support and training for the staff of Academic Support Coordinators.

Lakeisa T. Jackson

Lakeisa T. Jackson

Academic Support Coordinator

Converse Hall Room 201

Keisa provides administrative support for the 2026 Class Dean/Senior Associate Dean Charri Boykin-East and 2025 Class Dean David Schneider.

Students spread out across a large field in bright sunlight

Welcome to your first year at Amherst College!

July 15, 2024: Learn more about the Class Deans who are here to support your intellectual journey as you experience new academic and co-curricular opportunities, whether inside or outside of the classroom.

A group of students in Johnson Chapel

Dean of New Students Monthly Messages

Visit an archive of messages sent out to new students by their class dean. This page will be updated each month as new messages are sent out to students by Dean Vigil.