Dr. Sheilah Shaw Horton has been named vice president and dean of students at Wellesley College, and will begin her new role July 3, 2017. She is currently vice president of student development and dean of students at Loyola University Maryland, in Baltimore. She serves on the President’s Cabinet and leads a division of 15 different departments, spanning such areas as residential life, public safety, counseling, wellness, alcohol and drug services, recreational sports, services for students with disabilities, and other student support areas.
Dr. Horton knows student life from many vantage points. A seasoned administrator with over 25 years of experience, she has taught undergraduate and graduate students, is a trustee of her alma mater, Emmanuel College, and is herself the parent of a college senior. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Boston College.
At Loyola, her accomplishments have included establishing a Title IX compliance and sexual assault response structure; supporting the development of a summer program for first-generation college students; co-leading a university wide discussion on the vision for diversity at Loyola, the results of which were incorporated into the university’s strategic plan; helping strengthen wellness initiatives and leadership engagement.
Prior to joining Loyola, Dr. Horton spent 25 years at Boston College, serving as associate vice president and dean of students from 2008 to 2011. Specific accomplishments there included chairing a campus task force for reduction of alcohol problems, which developed an action plan to address alcohol concerns on and off campus; administering the personnel system for a division of 200 employees with a personnel budget of over $7 million; chairing case meetings and behavioral evaluation teams related to serious student behavior, which entailed coordinating the efforts of campus police, academic deans, residential life, judicial affairs, health services, and the counseling center; and implementing a technology plan.
Dr. Horton’s time at Boston College also included nine years as associate director of AHANA Student Programs, providing retention and social support services for students of African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American backgrounds. Prior to that, she spent four years as an assistant dean for student development, working as an advisor to student activities/student government, disabled student services, and alcohol and drug education.
On a national level, Dr. Horton is on the board of the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities. She has served as an editorial board member for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice and as the chair of the Conference of Multicultural Affairs for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
In 2010, Dr. Horton received the ACE Emerging Leaders Award from the Massachusetts American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.
Dr. Horton is married with two children, one a senior in college and the other a college graduate. In her spare time she likes to read, listen to music, especially jazz and gospel music, and spend time at the beach.