Associate Dean of Off-Campus Commons Named
Cary Dresher, formerly interim assistant dean of students in the Office of the First-Year Experience, has been appointed to serve as associate dean of the off-campus commons. In his new role, Dresher will assist in providing vision and leadership for all aspects of programming and services associated with Rensselaer students who live off-campus.
“As we move forward with implementing the CLASS initiative, it is important that we find ways to reach all students, including those who may live in Troy or commute to campus from elsewhere,” said Timothy Sams, vice president for student life. “The newly created position of associate dean of the off-campus commons provides us with an ideal opportunity to develop programs and initiatives that will enhance the quality of the off-campus student experience.
I am pleased that Cary Dresher will be serving in this role, and I know that my colleagues in Student Life and others on campus look forward to working with him as we explore innovative ways to connect our off-student population with the Rensselaer campus.”
Dresher’s nine-year career in the field of education spans leadership and teaching positions at the high school and collegiate level. He began his career teaching classes in Advanced Placement American and European history, constitution, and government, in addition to courses in economics, 20th century American history, and ancient and medieval history. Prior to going into education, Dresher worked in the field of sales and marketing for several software Internet companies.
Dresher received a bachelor’s in political science from American University, and a master’s in education from the University of Southern Maine.
“I am excited and honored to serve in this new position that provides an opportunity for me to also incorporate my marketing and sales background,” said Dresher. “My goal is to not only focus on counseling and advising students, but also to develop programs and initiatives and work with various internal, external, and community constituents. I want students to know that I can serve as an advocate to assist them with any issues they may face in the community, as well as to make them more aware of their rights and responsibilities as tenants and members of the Troy community. Most important, I hope to create programs that will bring students and members of the community to campus.”
Within the first few weeks of serving in his new role, Dresher has carved out time to meet with off-campus students and community residents by holding a weekly neighborhood “walking office hour.”
Every Monday from 10 to 11 a.m., students and community members may find Dresher walking around different neighborhoods, accompanied by other members of the Rensselaer community. He also plans to host coffee shop “office hours” at area cafés that will provide students with an opportunity to meet with him to discuss issues or concerns.
Future plans include developing housing standards that will ensure that every Rensselaer student is living in a safe environment, and working with Troy business leaders to increase off-campus student awareness of Troy offerings. Dresher also hopes to create a council of off-campus students, neighbors, and landlords to meet regularly in order to discuss issues, and develop ways to continually build their relationships.