A student's at home work station desk

Despite being in an online learning format due to the pandemic, we saw The Dean Difference shine throughout the Fall 2020 semester from the hard work of our dedicated faculty and staff to our resilient students. The goal of this semester was to maintain frequent contact with students to offer not only academic support but allow them to feel the Dean community, even in their own homes. Along with classes each day, our students had the opportunity to attend workshops and virtual events to expand their knowledge and network with members of the Dean community and industry professionals. Read on for 10 highlights from our Fall 2020 semester.

  1. U.S. News & World Report Ranking. This semester, Dean College ranked 34th in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings in the Best Regional Colleges, North category. This is the tenth consecutive year that Dean College has received the Best Colleges honor. Additionally, Dean placed 6th in the Best Regional Colleges, North category for Best Undergraduate Teaching; 45th on the Top Performers on Social Mobility list; and was named to the list of institutions with the Least Debt for Student Debt Load at Graduation.
  2. Dean Leadership Institute Speakers. Dean College was proud to welcome Jeff Mann, General Manager at Live Nation Entertainment - Xfinity Center; Representative Jeffrey Roy, State Representative, 10th Norfolk District; and Dr. Gregory Chiklis, CEO at MRN Diagnostics, to speak to our students virtually as a part of the Leadership in Action series. Students joined the Zoom call from across the country to hear these speakers’ stories and valuable tangible takeaways.
  3. Career Oriented Events. From virtual career fairs to career panels, students had plenty of opportunities to hear from working professionals about how to break into their field of choice. Career panels included topics in Arts and Entertainment Management, Communications, Careers in Student Affairs, Social Sciences and Exercise Science. Students listened to a panel discussion about how to break into the field and had their questions answered from the experts.
  4. Guest Speakers in Class. Many of our professors brought guest speakers to the virtual classroom to give advice to our students. John Rooke, the Director of Dean College’s Center for Business, Entertainment and Sport Management, brought in industry professionals from Kraft Sports + Entertainment to discuss career preparation, job market potential, the spirit of entrepreneurship and more. In addition, Professor David Rowell hosted the “Storytime With…” series, a weekly talk show format with special guests from the entertainment industry. Guests included Ken Davenport, Tony Award-winning Broadway and Off-Broadway producer; Elizabeth Dennehy, educator, director and TV, film and stage actress; Wayne Bryan, producer and director and more! Students had the opportunity to interact with these special guests and hear their stories.
  5. Clubs, Organizations and Student Activities. Nothing stops our students from engaging in their clubs and organizations! Our clubs and organizations have been hard at work meeting with new and old members to further form their foundations in the Dean community. Dance and performing troupes held auditions and created their semester teams. Our Black Student Union held many virtual events like Virtual Mic Night, dance classes, movie nights and more! Most clubs met weekly via Zoom to engage with their members and made the most out of being in an online format.
  6. Events for First Year Students. Our first-year students met new friends in their “color group” during New Student Orientation. Throughout the fall semester, they had the opportunity to reconnect with these color groups through virtual hangouts. The “First Year Friday” program focused on allowing our students to meet their classmates outside of the classroom while learning new topics, practicing wellness tips, watching movies and more. Our Resident Student Association hosted a “First-Year Hangout” weekly event for students to learn about programming and get to know their classmates. The weekly “First-Year Community Space” program created an additional space to meet friends, connect and socialize.
  7. Student Recognition. This semester, the Dean College School of Business (DSB) students hard work paid off when they won the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Virtual Case Study Competition. The four student competitors, coached by DSB professors Alan Adams and Kelly Rys, were given a case and three hours to analyze, research, develop recommendations, design and develop a PowerPoint presentation to solve a real-world business challenge. After presenting and answering a series of questions by judges, our students were announced the winners of the regional conference!
  8. Giving Back. Every year members of the Dean College community purchase gifts for the Santa Foundation, located in Franklin, MA. The Santa Foundation was established 30 years ago to help families in need during the holiday season. Through the Foundation's Wishlist our community purchased gifts for these families. Our community also helped to put a hot meal on a family in need’s plate during the holiday season by donating virtually through The Franklin Food Pantry’s online wishlist. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) raised funds to contribute to the Salvation Army’s “Dress A Live Doll” campaign.
  9. Fitness. Our students got up and got moving with our virtual weekly fitness classes! Each week a licensed fitness instructor taught an hour-long fitness class like Pilates Fusion, Zumba, Yoga and more! These classes focused on building strength and having a space to unwind. In addition, students were hard at work, putting into practice what they learned in the classroom. Exercise Science students were tasked with creating demonstrations of fitness drills as a part of their Fundamentals of Fitness and Conditioning course.
  10. Mental Health. Our students’ mental health and wellbeing is of the upmost importance to us. Each week we hosted virtual events to help our students with their mental health including meditation classes, managing anxiety classes, wellness workshops with Wayside Trauma Specialists and more. This provided an outlet for our students to discuss wellness practices and learn how to create a better relationship with their mind.

We appreciate the Dean College community for sticking by us during this virtual semester. We cannot wait to see all the great things that our Spring 2021 semester will bring! To learn more about what’s happening around campus, visit our Dean College News.