Mona Dugo has been named Northwestern University's assistant vice president for wellness and dean of students, Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier announced today. In this role, Dugo will oversee wellness and well-being initiatives for students.
“I am delighted and humbled by the opportunity to serve our amazing students as the AVP of Wellness and Dean of Students,” Dugo said. “In nine years at Northwestern, I have worked with students in some of their most vulnerable moments and have always been inspired by their character, intelligence and strength of spirit. I am committed to working to build the institutional partnerships and systems we need to support and enhance the wellbeing of each and every one of our students.”
Dugo has served as interim dean of students since August 2020, helping students navigate the complexities of University life through the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, she worked to establish partnerships with the Office of the Provost to provide additional support for students who take a medical leave of absence; changed the way in which wellness checks for students are implemented; and co-developed training for faculty and academic advisors on student wellness and well-being concerns.
"Mona is a strong relationship builder, is inclusive in her style and seeks out a variety of perspectives to help create better, more equitable approaches that center our most vulnerable students," Payne-Kirchmeier said. "We all look forward to her leadership and her care-focused work on behalf of our students."
Dugo, a licensed clinical social worker, will oversee the areas of AccessibleNU, Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE), Health Promotion and Wellness (HPaW), Office of Community Standards, Off-Campus Life, Parent and Family programs, and Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS).
“The Dean of Students office is a team of dedicated staff, and the decision to house all of the departments under one umbrella creates a unique opportunity to evaluate our approach to student wellness, looking at student experience through a lens of social justice and holistic wellbeing,” Dugo said.
A life-long resident of Evanston, Dugo began her career at Northwestern in 2012 as an assistant dean of students. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Indiana University and a master's degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. She also is working toward a Spanish language certificate from Northwestern.