Mark Bandas named dean of students, emeritus

by Anna Thomas

Associate Provost and Dean of Students Mark Bandas will become dean of students, emeritus, effective May 17, after 27 years of exemplary service to Vanderbilt University. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente announced the title and presented Bandas with a Lifetime Achievement Award during a virtual awards ceremony for the Office of the Dean of Students.

Among Bandas’ accomplishments is assisting in the planning and implementation of Vanderbilt’s residential colleges system, beginning with The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons in 2008 and continuing through this academic year with the newly opened Nicholas S. Zeppos College. He also established the K.C. Potter Center for LGBTQI Life in 2008, the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response in 2014, the Center for Student Wellbeing in 2016, the Student Center for Social Justice and Identity in 2017, and the Student Care Network and Office of Student Care Coordination in 2018.

Through all of this work, as one nominator stated, “Bandas has been a leader in helping students’ voices be heard. He has worked tirelessly to advocate for students and to help them achieve their academic and personal goals.”

Another nominator wrote, “There is no historical precedent on how to coordinate a highly residential and high-touch community in response to a global pandemic. Witnessing how Dean Bandas navigated the realities of our limitations and advocated for student and staff safety and well-being is a living case study in action.”

Screenshot of Mark Bandas receiving award virtually
Screenshot of Mark Bandas receiving award virtually

The Office of the Dean of Students presents awards each spring, recognizing student services staff members for their exceptional leadership and service. Other Dean of Students staff members honored during the 2021 awards ceremony are as follows:

Anchor Award

Greg Broome, security systems technician, Housing Facilities

 Excellence in Collaboration Award

  • Courtney Williams, University Counseling Center athletics liaison and psychologist
  • LaToya Favre, University Counseling Center athletics liaison and psychologist

 K.C. Potter Outstanding Service to Students Award

Andrea Capizzi, associate professor of the practice and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Special Education

Graduate Assistant of the Year Award

  • Renee Sample, graduate assistant, Office of Student Accountability
  • Danielle Recco, graduate assistant, Reservations and Events at Vanderbilt

 New Student Affairs Professional Award

Megan Raymond, program coordinator, Student Care Network

Outstanding Performance Award

  • Jamye Hardy, student care coordinator, Student Care Coordination
  • Kerrie Turney, area coordinator, Housing and Residential Experience
  • Wil De Los Santos, program coordinator, Student Organizations, Leadership and Service
  • Anna Thomas, assistant director, Training and Communications

 Servant Leader Award

  • Clayton Arrington, senior director, Student Organizations, Leadership and Service
  • Heath Garton, director of housing facilities

 Standing Ovation Award

  • University Counseling Center Medical Team: Dr. Bhupendra Rajpura, psychiatrist; Heather Hemmeger, nurse practitioner; Zsanett Williams, nurse practitioner; Brian Pollock, nurse practitioner; Mati Massaro, nurse practitioner; and Michael Hopkins, psychiatric nurse
  • Nadine De La Rosa, assistant director, Housing and Residential Experience
  • Antonella Valdivia, program coordinator, Student Center for Social Justice and Identity

 Team Innovation Award

  • Office of Housing and Residential Experience