About Gwen

An accomplished speaker, leader, and educator, Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy served as executive director of NASPA from 1995– 2012. In her capacity as a national advocate for students and student affairs in higher education, Dr. Dungy pursued a number of initiatives designed to enhance the association’s role in public policy, research, professional development, and student learning and assessment. She initiated NASPA’s signature program on civic learning and democratic engagement, and she remains a champion of NASPA’s undergraduate mentoring program. Since 2003, she has had a particular interest in the readiness of colleges and universities for the returning student veteran.

Before joining NASPA, Dr. Dungy was associate director of the Curriculum and Faculty Development Network and coordinator of the National Diversity Network at the Association of American Colleges & Universities. Previously, she was a senior administrator at the County College of Morris (NJ), Montgomery College (MD), Catonsville Community College (MD), and a counseling faculty member at St. Louis Community College (MO).

Dr. Dungy’s primary interests since retirement have been to use her years of experience and continuous learning to deepen her understanding of leadership for change in a context of changing demographics and porous geographical boundaries. She works with colleagues in student affairs and academic affairs within the U.S. and internationally to review programs and services in order to increase their alignment with the mission and goals of their college or university, particularly in regard to student learning outcomes, career success, and diversity, inclusion, and equity.

She has had extensive national and international travel to provide workshops for student affairs staff related to the professional competencies of the field. She has given speeches at conferences and meetings about student learning outcomes, new student populations, the co-curriculum redefined, first-generation and low-income college students, and innovation in higher education among other topics.

She has served for several years as faculty for AAC&U’s well-regarded High Impact Practices institutes. Currently, she is a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. She also serves on the AAC&U Journal Advisory Board.

During academic year 2014-2015, Dr. Dungy assumed the role of interim senior vice president for Student Services at Montgomery College, the largest community college in the state of Maryland with 60,000 students. In her senior leadership role at Montgomery College, the college-wide deans responsible for enrollment, financial aid, recruitment, welcome centers, the ACES Program, student engagement, counseling and advising, disability services, veterans, TRIO, EOC, athletics and all other areas of support services for student success fell within her area of responsibility.

Dr. Dungy’s newest volunteer experience is serving as a member of the Army Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Dungy has served as a member of the board of directors of HEADS UP – A University Neighborhood Initiative in Washington, DC; the Association Mutual Health Insurance Company; the American Association of University Women’s Legal Advocacy Fund (AAUW); the AAUW Educational Foundation; the Morris Shelter and the Morris Museum, and as a trustee of Berkeley College in NY and NJ. She is serving in her tenth year as a member of the Board of Trustees at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Dungy is the author of numerous articles in books, journals and magazines and co-editor of several books in higher education. She co-edited a book with Dr. Maggie Culp titled Increasing Adult Learner Persistence and Completion Rates. She also co-edited, with Dr. Maggie Culp, a book titled Building a Culture of Evidence in Student Affairs; She co-edited with Dr. Shannon Ellis Exceptional Senior Student Affairs Administrators’ Leadership: Strategies, and Competencies for Success. She also initiated the oft-cited Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience and coordinated the collaborative and was a contributing author of Learning Reconsidered II: A Practical Guide to Implementing a Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience. She also writes a blog titled About Students.

A licensed psychologist and a nationally certified professional counselor and career counselor, Dr. Dungy earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Eastern Illinois University, the M.A. degree from Drew University in New Jersey, and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. She also received honorary doctorate degrees from Gettysburg College, Berkeley College, Mitchell College and Eastern Illinois University. In 2017, NASPA honored her as the inaugural recipient of the Bobby E. Leach Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

updated February 2017

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