AMHERST — Amherst College named Angie Tissi-Gassoway its new chief Student Affairs officer (CSAO) and dean of students. She will be responsible for all functions of the Office of Student Affairs, including residential engagement and well-being, housing and operations, identity and cultural resources, counseling and mental health, student activities and leadership, health and community safety services, accessibility, case management, community standards, new student programs and orientation, and immigration and visa services. The appointment is effective immediately.
Tissi-Gassoway has served as the interim CSAO since February, before which they served as the interim chief Equity and Inclusion officer for 14 months.
Tissi-Gassoway joined Amherst in July 2012 as an area coordinator in Residential Life and, since then, has held various roles in the offices of both Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), including director of the Queer Resource Center, assistant dean of students and director of Identity and Cultural Resources; and associate dean of students for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. During that time, she co-led new-student orientation and co-developed the social-justice leadership LEAP program, founded and served as the inaugural director of the Queer Resource Center, and helped to establish a structure and expansion of the college’s cultural and identity resource centers, including the creation of the inaugural affinity-based graduation ceremonies, which have become a cherished tradition at Amherst.
To reinforce the college’s commitment to inclusion and community, Tissi-Gassoway spearheaded the “I Belong” campaign, the Day of Dialogue on Race and Racism, the Amherst Reflects series, and the Cultural Heritage Committee. In the past year, they co-created and launched the Civil Rights and Title IX Office in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and worked side-by-side with the provost’s office to recruit and retain a diverse faculty. They also currently chair the recently formed Campus Safety Advisory Committee.
Tissi-Gassoway has dedicated the last 20 years of their career to student affairs and diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Prior to their tenure at Amherst College, they served in Mount Holyoke College’s Health Education office. Before that, Tissi-Gassoway worked at Oregon State University, where she first found her passion for community building, equity, and student engagement. She earned a master’s degree in education in social-justice education from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in public health and bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.
“I am honored to serve as Amherst’s chief Student Affairs officer and dean of students,” Tissi-Gassoway said. “It is a true privilege to work with our remarkable students, engage our collective community, lead the extraordinary team of Student Affairs, and collaboratively advance the work of community, equity, and belonging at the college.”