Avis E. Hinkson
Avis Hinkson

Avis E. Hinkson, dean of Barnard College in New York, has been selected as Pomona College’s new vice president for student affairs and dean of students. She will join the College Aug. 1.

Hinkson brings more than three decades of higher education experience in areas ranging from residential life to student recruitment to undergraduate advising.

As dean of the college at Barnard, Hinkson has led a staff of more than 100, overseeing academic advising, career development, registrar, health and wellness services, counseling services, Title IX services, residential and campus life, international and intercultural programs and diversity initiatives.

The new role will mark her return to Pomona College, where she was an associate dean of admissions from 1990 to 1994.

“I so look forward to returning to Pomona and having the opportunity to work with such a talented and diverse group of students, faculty and staff,” says Hinkson. “Pomona people are incredible – We’ll move forward together. I can’t wait to begin.”

A career spent guiding and nurturing students has taken Hinkson to roles as diverse as her first job as an admission counselor at Bowdoin College in Maine to her position as director of undergraduate advising for the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Letters and Sciences, where she oversaw services for more than 18,000 liberal arts students from 2004 to 2011.

In 2011, Hinkson returned to Barnard, her alma mater, where she works with colleagues to shape the student experience and campus culture while sustaining direct involvement with many of Barnard’s 2,500 undergraduate women and serving as a key partner in Barnard’s unique connection with Columbia University.

“Avis brings just the right experience, energy and high level of engagement to this crucial role,” says Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr. “She is someone who reaches out, listens and helps spark change where it is needed. Our students and the wider campus community will benefit from collaborating with her.”

Hinkson’s other roles have included dean of admission and enrollment planning at Mills College in Oakland, California; associate director of admission and director of minority recruitment at the University of Southern California; and associate director of admission and minority recruitment director at Cornell University.

Among her current professional activities, Hinkson serves on the board of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education as chair of the assembly for the organization of 35 highly selective private colleges and universities committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students.

In addition to earning a doctor of education degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Hinkson holds a master’s degree in student personnel administration from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Barnard.

She succeeds Miriam Feldblum, who departed in February after a decade of service to become executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a new initiative that advocates for the legislative interests of immigrant, undocumented and international students on college campuses.