By Shane Donglasan
The New College community welcomes Anjali Cadena as the new director of Student Success Programs. Cadena brings decades of higher education experience in areas including residential life and community development.
Her passion for student success emerged from her own experiences as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she studied special education.
“I was an international student [from Calcutta, India] who only succeeded due to the support that I got from the staff and faculty at my institution, particularly the support services on campus,” Cadena said.
Before joining New College at the end of April, Cadena was the director for residential learning communities at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for 18 years where she helped develop student success programs that included the residential first-year experience and sophomore experience programs.
Cadena also helped initiate a diversity peer education troupe at UM Amherst called “Shaha: The Storytellers.” The troupe is made up of students from various backgrounds who work together to tell stories based on their own experiences as well as fellow students in order to start conversations around social justice issues.
Before her time at UMass Amherst, Cadena worked in a variety of roles guiding and nurturing students at Ithaca College and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her Master of Arts in student development at Appalachian State University.
Cadena said she was excited to be at a smaller institution after being at a large university for so long.
“My goals are to help students have a good experience at Orientation and to make sure they continue to receive the support they need,” said Cadena. “My role is to also support the faculty in supporting the students so they can be their most successful. We hope to develop programs that anticipate and respond to students’ needs and that takes concrete planning and providing.”
Outside of campus, Cadena enjoys being a “warm weather enthusiast” along with her 10-year-old twins.
– Shane Donglasan is the marketing writer/project coordinator at New College of Florida.