by Lauren Carr & Luke Hartman, Editors
When Tiffany French came to Manhattan College in July 2014 as area coordinator for Horan, little did she know that in a little over a year she would become one of the most recognizable faces on campus as Assistant Dean of Students.
“This job actually came about because a lot of state and federal legislation…mostly Title IX legislation and in New York the Enough is Enough law. There is just a lot of work to be done in this field so it was necessary. This position is really to start addressing all of the aspects of the new legislation,” French said.
While she may be fairly new to MC, and new to the office of the Dean of Students, she has ample experience working with students especially in terms of academic administration. While in her undergrad at Adelphi University she worked as an RA and later worked for the office of Residence Life. These positions are really what opened many doors for her, including one at Manhattan College as an area coordinator. Because of her dynamic work she was promoted to her current position. “When I came as an area coordinator it was a really busy time but also a good time. Both of my bosses, Dr. Kerry and Andrew Weingarten, gave me a lot of latitude and room to grow,” she said.
Students and staff who worked with French were excited for her promotion, but also sad to see her move on.
“For me personally, Tiffany’s promotion was a truly bitter sweet moment,” Resident Director Stephanie Brooks said. “I was beyond enthralled for her, however I knew that there was still so much I could have learned from having her as a direct supervisor.”
“Her optimistic views on several aspects of student life, and what it means to be a student life administrator, have definitely not gone unnoticed. She believes in the students, and she puts our needs above her own,” senior Jo-Ann Mullooly said.
“Tiffany is exactly the right person for the job because she knows what matters to the students. She’s all about giving students a voice. She’s incredibly attentive to the concerns of the students, both on and off campus, and she cares more about us than I’ve ever known an administrator to,” Mullooly said.
The aspect of her new job that French is most excited for is her responsibility for the new Green Dot, or bystander intervention, program on campus. “It is a really cool program working towards a comprehensive culture change,” French said. “It looks to establish two norms that violence is not okay and everyone has to do their part. It is a huge issue that we have to tackle, but it can be done manageably.”
The program is meant to be a campus-wide initiative and is all about students and faculty wanting to get involved for themselves.
“It is all training based, so we are firstly looking to train faculty and staff. We work directly with the national Green Dot training program and we came back to then train staff here at the college. We want everyone to be a part of this,” French said.
“We are working with a few student groups specifically, and it is a really fun training program. There are two different trainings, an overview and a six hour bystander training, but it is really fun and is extremely interactive. It is mostly practice and really letting students know how they can be involved,” French said.
It is no doubt that due to her more direct contact with students, she will continue to make changes on campus and positively impact the lives of students. Students who have worked with her have nothing but positive things to say. “Tiffany is an extremely level-headed person. She’s always able to see both sides of the coin, a trait that is painstakingly important in a senior level administrator. Tiffany always checks any bias that she may have in regards to a case–prior knowledge, professional relationship with a student, etc–at the door,” Brooks said.
“She’s become one of my greatest role models, because of the way she always knows the next step to take, and is quick to provide an alternative solution,” Mullooly said.
Looking to the future French said she is “looking forward to seeing Manhattan grow, especially since we seem to be in such a great spot. We are slowly transitioning into a more residential campus, which is really cool to see. It really just great working with students in general.”
“It’s refreshing to know someone like her, and have someone like her looking out for the distinct needs of the student body. She has the experience beyond her years, and is well equipped for our community here at Manhattan College. She will add a fresh, young perspective and she knows how to get students excited about student affairs and activities. I’m so excited to have her representing us, and I’m so excited to see all she will accomplish,” Mullooly said.