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* Timothy Sams

Timothy Sams
Photo by Kris Qua


Former NYU Official Joins Rensselaer as Vice President for Student Life

Timothy Sams, former associate dean of students at the New York University Abu Dhabi campus, has joined Rensselaer as vice president for student life. Sams is an experienced leader, student life authority, and senior administrator.

“Dr. Sams is an experienced leader with superior team-building skills, and an outstanding ability to enhance community and collaborate with multiple constituencies,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in bringing about progressive change to the undergraduate experience — both nationally and internationally. I look forward to his joining Rensselaer at this time, as we continue to implement the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) program, our residential college model for undergraduates within a technologically rooted research university. I am confident that Dr. Sams will continue the momentum needed to elevate the breadth and quality of the CLASS program at Rensselaer.”

“I was drawn to Rensselaer by the energy and the dedication to students that was demonstrated by everyone that I met during the selection process,” said Sams. “I am eager to work with my wonderful colleagues in student life and across campus who every day help students to reach for and to achieve their potential, and who teach students to live and lead meaningful and impacting lives. Coming to the Capital Region is a ‘full-circle’ experience for me. I attended undergraduate and graduate schools in the area, and it is where I cemented my commitment to access and excellence in higher education. As I walked across the Rensselaer campus during my visits, I was reassured of these principles as I witnessed a vibrant and diverse campus rigorously in pursuit of educational and co-educational excellence.”

“I was drawn to Rensselaer by the energy and the dedication to students
that was demonstrated by everyone that I met during the selection process.”—Timothy Sams

Sams joined NYU in 2010, assuming the role of associate dean at the new Abu Dhabi campus and responsibility for creating new and comprehensive student life programs there. As a member of the NYU leadership team, Sams also assisted in crafting the strategic direction for the Abu Dhabi campus.

Prior to joining NYU, Sams worked for 12 years at Swarthmore College, serving as assistant dean of the college and director of the Black Cultural Center. While at Swarthmore, he also served as a class dean, and held a number of administrative and leadership positions.

From 1994 until 1997, Sams served as director of the Multicultural Center at Williams College. During his tenure there, he was involved in extensive supervisory, fiscal, and programming duties. He earlier served as coordinator of Minority Student Services and counselor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program at the College of St. Rose in Albany.

He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Community Partner Award from Swarthmore College, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Union College, the Award for Recognition for an Outstanding Commitment to the Principles of Diversity and Multiculturalism from the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities, and Adviser of the Year from the College of St. Rose.

Sams received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University, a master’s in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, and his bachelor’s in history and sociology from Union College.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 13, September 9, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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