Claudia Arias-Cirinna is bringing over 25 years of experience caring for students to her position as the associate vice president and dean of students at Georgetown University.
On Aug. 14, Arias-Cirinna joined Georgetown’s Student Affairs team as the associate vice president and dean of students. She worked at the University of Connecticut for the past nine years, first as the assistant dean of students, then as the associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Care and Concern.
Arias-Cirinna said her experience in higher education — from residential life to athletics liaison — has prepared her to support all students in her new role at Georgetown.
“I’ve had the ability to see so many different student experiences that really impact my work and how I work with students,”Arias-Cirinna told The Hoya, “I’ve seen wonderful student experiences and student experiences that weren’t so wonderful, and I really believe that the reason why I’m here, specifically, is to take all those experiences and be there for students.”
The previous dean of students, Jeanne Lord, also took on the role of interim vice president for student affairs during the pandemic. When the university hired the current Vice President for Student Affairs, Eleanor Daugherty, she and Lord discussed separating these roles once again.
According to Daugherty, separating the dean of students from her own position will allow the new dean to dedicate more time to Georgetown’s student body.
“I wanted to ensure that we are really building care and love around our students, and that is greater than the colleagues who have great intentions and care for our students,” Daugherty told The Hoya. “The dean of students role is one that I think is beloved on many college campuses. I really wanted us to bring that back and have that role be a symbol of how we can connect and support each other and ourselves, as we care for students.”
Daugherty said Arias-Cirinna’s care for students makes her the right person to bring back the role of dean of students.
“That is really the joy of bringing Claudia to Georgetown and bringing the role back on its own. It allows us to steal all of her strengths,” Daugherty said. “Georgetown is one of the most caring institutions I’ve ever been affiliated with, so I couldn’t think of a better pairing than bringing this professional who cares so much for others into an institution that is defined by that care — as a symbol to our students, staff and faculty about how we do this work together.”
In addition to her role as dean of students, Arias-Cirinna said she will support the Georgetown community as associate vice president for student affairs.
“That role of associate vice president is coming in, overseeing some of the processes and procedures and streamlining them. I’m assisting my colleagues in doing our best work, and there are so many colleagues on this campus that are working so hard in their specialized areas,” Arias-Cirinna said. “It’s easier for me to assist in those areas when I’m not in them, when I’m not supervising 20 people, when I’m not so busy that I can’t review stuff.”
Carmen Araujo (CAS ’26) said she looks forward to how Arias-Cirinna’s new perspective might foster connections on campus in the upcoming year.
“I am excited to see how she implements her holistic approach and connects with her students,” Araujo wrote to The Hoya. “I hope she brings a new positive perspective to Georgetown.”
Arias-Cirinna said her goal as dean of students is to ensure that all students feel their success is supported and recognized on campus.
“I will do whatever I can to ensure that I’m committed to students and their success, making sure that they feel a sense of belonging and being seen,” Arias-Cirinna said. “It’s all about being seen, whether you’re a student, staff or faculty member. To do your best work, you want people to see you — that you have something to give, that you are needed — and I think that’s what I try to do for students.”