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Marlyn Delva Joins GS As New Dean Of Students

GS has tapped Marlyn Delva as its Dean of Students amid a series of new staffing appointments, Dean of General Studies Lisa Rosen-Metsch announced in an email Wednesday.

Delva, who formerly served as the Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, will be joining GS in the fall 2019 semester. She brings to the role multiple awards for her accomplishments, including the 2019 Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Student Services Excellence Award for her “extraordinary dedication in working with students.”

“Having worked with Dean Delva at Mailman, I am certain that she will bring that same energy, creativity, imagination, and dedication to GS,” Dean Rosen-Metsch said.

Delva’s appointment comes after previous Dean of Students Tom Harford’s sudden removal last fall from the position, due to “unacceptable conduct.” Harford was later that week implicated in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. Interim Dean of Students Ivonne Rojas has since fulfilled the position for the 2018-19 academic year.

Dean Rosen-Metsch also provided the following updates and staffing announcements in her email:

  • James Colgrove, Ph.D., MPH, has been named as the Dean of the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program at GS. Like Delva, he also arrives from the Mailman School of Public Health, where he was a professor and the interim chair of sociomedical sciences. Among many journal and book publications, he is also known for teaching the undergraduate class “Social History of American Public Health.”
  • Daniel Rodriguez, formerly the GS Associate Director of Educational Financing, has been promoted to Director of Educational Financing. One of his first initiatives will be to hire additional financial aid staff, according to the email.
  • Amber Griffiths, who was previously the Senior Associate Dean of Students, has been appointed as Associate Dean for Wellness. This is a new position, first announced in the spring and created in order “to support holistic student well-being.”
  • A newly consolidated and redesigned GS website, accessible at, launched on August 1.

The full email from Dean Rosen-Metsch is included below.

Dear GS Students,

I am writing to welcome all of you to the fall 2019 semester and to offer a special welcome to the more than 700 new GS students who are beginning their first semesters here at Columbia this week. I am sending this welcome back message before classes begin because I have exciting updates from a busy summer here at Columbia GS.

First, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Marlyn Delva, EdD, our new Dean of Students. Dr. Delva was selected after a national search and comes to us from the Mailman School of Public Health, where she was a beloved Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Student Affairs. She has received numerous honors and accolades for her accomplishments, teaching, and leadership including most recently being awarded the 2019 Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Student Services Excellence Award for her innovative and forward-thinking practices and extraordinary dedication in working with students. Having worked with Dean Delva at Mailman, I am certain that she will bring that same energy, creativity, imagination, and dedication to GS. In welcoming Dean Delva, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Ivonne Rojas for the amazing work she has done over the past year as Acting Dean of Students. Dean Rojas will remain an essential member of the GS leadership and I look forward to her continued support of the entire GS community. I also want to thank the alumni, students, and staff who participated in the search and on the search committee.

Additionally, I am thrilled to introduce you to James Colgrove, PhD, MPH, our new Dean of the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, who also joins us from Mailman. An accomplished scholar, teacher, and author, Dean Colgrove has written several books on public health including Epidemic City: The Politics of Public Health in New York (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011) and State of Immunity: The Politics of Vaccination in Twentieth-Century America (University of California Press, 2006) and has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Science, Health Affairs, the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, and the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. He also is an award-winning teacher known for his popular undergraduate course,  Social History of American Public Health. Dean Colgrove will be working closely with Andrew Sunshine and the Postbac Premed advising team to build upon our foundation as the oldest, largest, and most prestigious postbaccalaureate premedical program in the country.

Over the summer, we also made some important internal staffing changes that will help us better meet the needs of our students. Daniel Rodriguez, who has wonderfully served our students for the last nine years, will be moving into the role of Director of Educational Financing. Daniel’s commitment to GS and our students is unparalleled and we are delighted that he will be making this natural next step. One of the first goals the Educational Financing team will address under Daniel’s leadership will be to initiate a search for additional financial aid staff. This added staffing will be essential in more effectively meeting the educational financing support needs of all our students. In addition, Amber Griffiths, formerly Senior Assistant Dean of Students, has been selected as our new Associate Dean for Wellness—a position I announced in the spring. In this role, Dean Griffiths will focus on new initiatives to support holistic student well-being.

Finally, as many of you have already seen, our new GS website launched on August 1. The redesign process included significant feedback and input from students, alumni, and staff, in coordination with our communications team and CUIT. The new is now a central website for all GS students—undergraduate and Postbac Premed—that we are confident will be a valuable resource for you.

Combining these new additions with our already stellar students, faculty, and staff makes clear that the future of our School has never been brighter. I wish you all a successful and rewarding fall semester!


Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

Photo via Women 4 Women Columbia

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  • Fun Fact says:

    @Fun Fact Dean Delva is younger than 75% of GS students.

  • Why the national search? says:

    @Why the national search? “Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find that what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.” – Swift (2009)

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