At the end of last semester, President Paula Johnson took an important step in shaping the future of student life on campus with the hire of Sheilah Shaw Horton as Wellesley’s next vice president and dean of students. “A remarkably accomplished professional with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Horton brings strong leadership skills, strategic vision, and a deep dedication to supporting and working with students,” Johnson said. The new dean will begin her role at Wellesley on July 3.
Horton, who holds a master’s and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Boston College, is currently in her sixth year at Loyola University Maryland, where she is the vice president of student development and dean of students. She leads 15 Loyola departments that provide a wide array of programs and services designed to enhance students’ academic and personal success. She has focused on developing new models of integrated programming to connect the academic and co-curricular lives of students on a residential campus.
Horton also spent 25 years at Boston College, where she held a number of key positions with increasing leadership responsibilities, including associate vice president and dean of students, from 2008 to 2011. She is a trustee of her alma mater, Emmanuel College—which was a liberal arts college for women at the time she attended.
Horton was selected following a national search. Brenna Greer, Knafel Assistant Professor of the Social Sciences and a member of the search committee, said that Horton made a strong impression when she described the dean of students role as “an opportunity for her to ‘double down’ on the things she loves: promoting wellness among young women and contributing to a community characterized by its commitment to equity, in addition to diversity and inclusion.”