A graphic that says welcome, Dr. Judy Kawamoto, with Dr. Kawamoto's headshot.

Doane University will welcome a new vice president of student experience and retention — Dr. Judy Kawamoto. Kawamoto joins Doane from West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where she was assistant vice president for student development. She will transition to her role serving students on all of Doane’s campus locations beginning March 14, 2022.

“I'm thrilled to be joining the Doane University community, as I was so impressed by the campus and everyone I met during my visits. It's clear that Doane is a great place to be, and I'm excited by the prospect of working with the leadership team, students and all my new colleagues to further enrich campus life,” Kawamoto said.

As a strong student advocate dedicated to creating inclusive and supportive environments both in and out of the classroom, she brings extensive knowledge of building and assessing programs centered on student learning outcomes.

With more than 30 years in higher education at five institutions, Dr. Kawamoto has led student success, engagement and retention initiatives serving a variety of populations including multicultural, international and first-generation students on residential and non-residential campuses. Most recently at West Chester University, she served as the student affairs divisional liaison to academic affairs for student success initiatives collaborating with faculty, staff and university leaders to develop a co-curricular transcript focused on career readiness, community engagement, health and wellness, involvement and leadership, and social justice. Working with multiple campus partners, she created first generation student programs, residential theme communities and first year experience curriculum.

Dr. Kawamoto has been dedicated to leading diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and initiatives throughout her career and brings valuable experience to support Doane’s commitment to advance inclusive excellence. At West Chester, she worked directly with the university’s Dowdy Multicultural Center staff to plan programs and services. At Bryant University, she advocated for the creation of the Hochberg Women’s Center and was twice appointed to serve as interim director of the university’s Intercultural Center.

At Doane, she looks forward to fostering relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community and university partners to promote a comprehensive strategy for student retention and success on all campus locations. 

“Dr. Kawamoto's decades-long commitment to serving university students is admirable. I was impressed by her deep understanding of the complexity of student affairs and leadership integrating diversity, equity and inclusion efforts into the student experience,” said Dr. Roger Hughes, Doane’s president. “She has a strong record of building bridges with campus leaders across divisions to impact student retention, engagement and success. At Doane University, we build leaders and Dr. Kawamoto's leadership will help us reach the next level of excellence in fulfilling our mission.”

Dr. Kawamoto completed her bachelors and master’s degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her Ph.D. was completed at Boston College, with research focused on examining the impact of mentoring relationships for Asian American women administrators and women administrators of color. Throughout her years working as a student affairs professional, Dr. Kawamoto has also researched leadership in student affairs.

Doane’s search process for the university’s new vice president for student experience and retention began three months ago, in October 2021. A search committee sought and reviewed applications before narrowing to a pool of four candidates, who gave presentations to students and employees in December.