Whitman College President Kathleen Murray today announced the appointment of Daren Mooko as the college's new vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
Mooko, who is currently associate dean and Title IX coordinator at Pomona College, will take on this role before the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Mooko will lead a student affairs team that is responsible for Whitman's health and wellness, residential life, student activities and academic support resources. He will work closely with Whitman's active and engaged student body to advance opportunities for intellectual pursuits, community involvement and leadership development.
Mooko has more than two decades of student affairs experience, the majority spent at Pomona College. At Pomona, he has held a range of positions, including associate dean, Title IX coordinator and diversity officer; associate dean of students for student development and leadership; and director, Asian American resource center.
Mooko will report directly to President Murray and will sit on the president's cabinet.
"Daren's perspective on the field of student affairs, as well as the connections he makes between student affairs and the rest of campus, resonated with faculty, staff and students. His experience at Pomona gives him an excellent understanding of the role of student affairs at a residential liberal arts college. These insights and experience will serve him well as he helps build on the successes of our student affairs team," Murray said.
Mooko says he is eager to be joining the Whitman community.
"There is something exciting happening at Whitman College and I want to be part of it. The students, faculty and staff at Whitman struck me as incredibly committed to the tradition of a liberal arts education and to the work of building a community of deep learning and exploration."
The search committee, chaired by Alzada Tipton, provost and dean of the faculty, spent four months conducting a nationwide search for the new vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Tipton commented, "We had a very strong pool of candidates and we were fortunate to have some difficult decisions to make at every step of the process. At the same time, it was clear to the whole committee that Daren Mooko brought a tremendous range of skills, experience and personal qualities to his candidacy, and it was easy to recognize what a wonderful addition to the Whitman College community he would be."
Arthur Shemitz '17, president of the Associated Students of Whitman College and a member of the search committee, was pleased with the decision. "Dean Mooko's strong personal values and clear commitment to social justice were very well received by Whitman students, who share a commitment to deeply held moral principles."
Mooko holds a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State University, and a master's in higher education and student affairs from the University of Vermont. He will move to Walla Walla and begin his responsibilities this summer.