To arrange a time to talk with one of our deans, please call (617) 253-4861.
David Randall, PhD~ Associate Dean, Student Support Services: David leads the Student Support Services team and provides personal and academic support to students in the MIT community. David was trained at Penn State and Brown University in clinical psychology where his PhD research focused on the challenges associated with making the transition from high school to college. At MIT, David sees students whose personal circumstances are intersecting with their academic life in challenging ways. David tries to pay attention to the whole student (e.g., personal, social, academic) in providing support and in thinking about the best places to make helpful referrals. In addition to meeting with students, David advocates on their behalf and frequently collaborates with other offices throughout the Institute. David is an avid sports fan and during his free time can often be found running up and down a basketball court or cheering for his beloved New York Yankees.
Arnold Henderson, Jr. ~ Associate Dean, Strategic and Special Initiatives: Arnold is committed to assisting and supporting students during their challenging years at MIT. He came to S3 from Brandeis University where he was a class dean in the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office. He has taught English and history at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, and was a counselor for first generation college students at Salem State College. He serves with the Committee on Academic Performance and has also worked for extended periods with the Committee on Discipline, the first MIT ADA/Disabilities Services Committee and The Martin Luther King Committee. In 2009 he received the MIT Excellence Award for Diversity. He has a longstanding interest in jazz and enjoys collecting recordings, especially bebop and hard bop.
Ayida Mthembu ~ Associate Dean: Ayida provides personal and academic support, advice, and assistance with referrals to the general student community of MIT. In addition to those general responsibilities, her additional duties include establishing and providing academic skills development workshops and cultural diversity and arts programming for minority students their organizations and the larger MIT community. Prior to coming to MIT in 1989, Ayida worked as an educator and academic advisor both in community-based adult education/cultural arts programs and in higher education. She also had extensive experience as a direct care provider, advisor and educator in publicly funded children’s shelters and homes, and in AIDS Education programs. Ayida is also an Associate Housemaster in Eastgate Dormitory.
James Collins ~ Assistant Dean: Since 1997, James has been providing support and advising to MIT students facing a wide range of personal and/or academic issues. He brings with him a deep respect for the process of growth and learning that comes with facing the things that challenge us. He is part of the MIT LBGT community and interested in issues related to providing support to LBGT students.
Miri Skolnik, PsyD ~ Assistant Dean: Miri supports students around personal and academic matters, helping them to use their inherent strengths to meet their challenges. Miri was trained at the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Prior to coming to MIT, Miri worked for eight years in Community Mental Health, specializing in helping students and families at risk. Appreciating the many outside influences that affect people's lives, she believes it is most effective to work with individuals collaboratively within a larger community. Miri co-leads monthly luncheons for first year women students and graduate women students. Personally, Miri finds it helpful to approach life with a sense of humor, humility, and a strong cup of coffee.
Laura Maxim ~ Staff Associate: Laura provides general support to students who are seeking out the services of S3 and also coordinates the readmission process for students who are applying to return after a withdrawal. As part of her work with students returning from withdrawal, she co-leads the semesterly Returning Students Group. Prior to her arrival at MIT, Laura worked in college admissions where she developed a passion for working with students. This interest led her to pursue her master's degree in education with a concentration in higher education administration. While in graduate school she particularly enjoyed advising and mentoring students through academic and personal challenges. In her spare time Laura enjoys traveling, visiting living history museums, and cooking for friends and family. She is also an enthusiastic Francophile who loves French films, language and cuisine.
Nicholas Kaempf ~ Administrative Assistant: Nick joined Student Support Services in 2011, where he provides administrative support to the Deans and Staff Associate, and is the first point of contact for the office. Before coming to MIT, he spent a year teaching English in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and led alternative spring break trips to New Orleans while he was a student at UMass Amherst. Nick enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and rooting for all Boston sports teams.