Susan B. Marine, assistant dean of student life and the director of the Harvard College Women’s Center, will leave Harvard at the end of June to become an assistant professor and program director of the higher education program in the Graduate School of Education at Merrimack College.
Marine, who described herself as “the head woman of Harvard” at a meeting of the BGLTQ Working Group on Wednesday, has been a catalytic force during her nearly nine years at Harvard.
In addition to co-chairing the working group—whose recommendations led to, among other things, the creation of the director of BGLTQ student life position announced this week—Marine was the founding director of the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and the founding director of the Women’s Center.
“She is very supportive and genuinely concerned about students’ interests,” Matthews K. Mmopi ’11, an intern at the Women’s Center, said of Marine. “I was very lucky to have her as a boss, as a mentor, and as a friend.”
After Marine leaves the College on June 30, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center Gina Helfrich will assume her role as director on an interim basis.
According to an email sent to College staff by Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds, Harvard has already begun a search for a new assistant dean of student life to fill Marine’s role.
“Susan has demonstrated a remarkable ability to create programs, and to build a strong foundation of support for students,” Hammonds wrote in her email. “The offices for which she served as the founding director have become important resources that are integral to today’s undergraduate experience.”
Marine came to Harvard in 2002 when she was appointed as a consultant to the Committee to Address Sexual Assault at Harvard.
During her time with the University, she has taught at the Extension School and served on the Board of Directors for the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus.
As an assistant dean, Marine helped with the evaluation of College’s specialty tutor program and launched Sustained Dialogue—a program encouraging students to discuss issues like class, race, religion, gender, and sexuality.
At Merrimack, Marine will teach courses on higher education and community involvement and will help create a curriculum for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in higher education.
“Susan Marine is perhaps one of the most remarkable people I know,” Dean of Student Life Suzy M. Nelson wrote in an email. “This is a great opportunity for her, but a real loss for Harvard.”
—Julie M. Zauzmer contributed reporting to this story.
—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at email@example.com.