Meet the Staff
Mary Beth Grant
Oversees the office of care and crisis services, as well as strategic planning initiatives for the dean of students. Previously, Mary Beth served as judicial administrator at Cornell, worked as a civil rights attorney and a community educator with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and completed a stint in a law firm in Boston. Mary Beth earned her B.A. in social work and sociology from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.
Mary Beth makes her home with her husband in Ithaca, NY, where she enjoys walking through Cornell’s Botanic Gardens; running in Stewart or Cass parks; rowing on Cayuga Lake; singing in Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers; attending live music events on the commons, on Cornell’s art quad, at Bailey Hall or at the State Theater; volunteering in the community; sampling good food at one of Ithaca’s many eateries; relaxing with good fiction; or challenging her adult children to a game of Scrabble or Settlers of Catan.
Marla Love, the new Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity, works directly with the diversity units in Dean of Students to create an intersectional programming model that engages our students in new and innovative ways. Beginning in January 2018, she will chair the university’s Bias Response and Reporting system, for student-on-student bias incidents. She works closely with our partners in Campus and Community Engagement, as well as in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, Learning Strategies Center, and the Center for Teaching Innovation, to produce powerful synergies and collaborations that enhance the student experience and deepen our commitment to marginalized and underserved student communities. She also works closely with the Senior Associate Dean for Care and Crisis Services to find ways to blend our approach to crisis management with an inclusion model that keeps Cornell on the leading edge of campus-wide crisis management.
Marla comes to us most recently from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where she served as the Director of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs. Prior to her time at APU, she served as the Assistant Dean of Students at Scripps College, where she held broad oversight on a number of social justice programs, crisis management operations, and Title IX responsibilities. Marla has held numerous roles in higher education and worked across multiple regions of the country, including time at Phillips (Andover) Academy in Massachusetts. She holds a M.A. in higher education through the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan and a B.A. in psychology from Calvin College in Michigan. Currently, Marla is pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education.
As Associate Dean of Students/Senior Advisor to the Dean, “Dr. Renee” focuses on campus climate issues. Through her work with student communities, Renee Alexander’s efforts improve dialogue, collaboration, and understanding. Under her leadership, the Breaking Bread initiative – which brings participants together for a special meal and facilitated conversation – won the highly acclaimed Perkins Prize (2017) for its significant impact toward furthering the ideal of university community while respecting the values of racial and cultural diversity. Her contributions also include facilitating Town Hall meetings, convening the Leadership Roundtable of campus student leaders, working within and between groups to foster community and confront complex issues, resolving conflicts, advising students, and supporting students as they engage across the spectrum of Cornell communities.
A Cornellian, Dr. Alexander earned her B.A. in American History and Government, from the College of Arts and Sciences. She earned her MS.Ed in Counseling from Hunter College/CUNY, and Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University in Educational Psychology.
Responsible for all aspects of financial, information systems, human resource, and facilities management and planning for the department.