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News & Events for the Smith College Community
News of Note April 15, 2021

Smith Names Joanna May VP for Enrollment

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Smith College President Kathleen McCartney has appointed Joanna May, associate dean and director of undergraduate admissions at Columbia University, as the college’s vice president for enrollment. Her appointment is effective July 15.

In her role at Columbia, where she has worked since 2005, May has overseen undergraduate admission operations from recruitment to enrollment, partnering with academic and administrative departments across the university. She works with the university’s financial aid and educational financing office on broad financial aid policy and strategy. Prior to her career at Columbia, she served in admissions roles at New York University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

During her tenure at Columbia, the applicant pool has expanded by nearly 140% and, as a result, its student body has become more socioeconomically, ethnically and geographically diverse. May supported Columbia’s undergraduate admissions office through critical periods of transition, including joining the Common Application process and launching several financial aid initiatives. She also focused on staff expansion, management and mentoring.

“Joanna’s understanding of the challenges of today’s admissions landscape as well as her experience in developing and applying new ideas to those challenges are impressive,” McCartney said in announcing the appointment. “She is well acquainted with the importance of financial aid in managing enrollment, which will make her a great partner as we work to equalize the student experience at Smith. I am so pleased that Joanna will be a member of the Smith community.”

In her new role at Smith, May will report to the president and serve as a member of the president’s Cabinet. She will provide institutional leadership for recruitment and financial aid in support of the college’s priorities of maintaining excellence and expanding diversity in its student body, and she will be responsible for all aspects of undergraduate student recruitment, selection, enrollment and financial aid.

“I could not be happier to be taking the helm of the enrollment office at Smith and to continue to build on Smith’s success in broadening the applicant pool and reaching students from diverse backgrounds around the globe,” May said. “It will be a privilege to work with President McCartney, her Cabinet and the talented admissions and financial aid teams to ensure a Smith education is accessible to all qualified applicants. I look forward to helping prospective students understand how they can contribute to the Smith community and how Smith can prepare them for lives of distinction and purpose.”

May holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree from New York University. At Smith, she succeeds Audrey Smith, who has served as the college’s vice president for enrollment since 2000.