Earlier today, Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 announced to the community that Danica Tisdale Fisher has been appointed as St. Andrew’s dean of inclusion and belonging, effective July 1, 2022.
As dean of inclusion and belonging, Danica will be responsible for developing diversity and equity objectives for the school, and designing and implementing inclusion and belonging programs for all St. Andreans. This programming will support students in their formation as ethical, engaged citizens; engage employees in work around issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, cultural competency, anti-racism, and anti-bias; and provide our entire community with opportunities for learning, critical thinking, challenging conversations, growth, reflection, and action. In addition, Danica will manage the Leadership and Equity Program for new students; serve as faculty advisor to the Student Diversity Committee; and work with the Advancement Office to create alumni programming.
Danica comes to St. Andrew’s with a wide array of experience and academic accomplishments. She has served in leadership roles at a variety of colleges and independent schools, including Phillips Academy (Andover), University of California, Davis, Tufts University, Claremont McKenna College, and most recently, Yale University, where she currently serves as assistant dean for diversity in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work at Yale includes Title IX and discrimination and harassment coordination; the implementation of recruitment, outreach, and retention initiatives; and driving the integration of inclusive and equitable practices throughout the graduate school. She holds a Ph.D. in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Emory University, as well as a master’s in English from Temple University and a bachelor’s in English from Spelman College.
“From the moment I stepped foot on St. Andrew’s the campus, I knew it was a very special place,” Danica said. “I am honored to join the St. Andrew’s community as dean of inclusion and belonging and am thrilled to align with an institution that has centered access and equity since its founding. I am equally as excited to work with students and colleagues who are deeply committed to advancing inclusive practices and to building and sustaining a culture of belonging.”
“Danica’s contributions to the Yale University community have been many and invaluable toward creating a more inclusive and supportive campus environment,” said Dr. Michelle Nearon, senior associate dean and director of the Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity at Yale University. “Her efforts have taken the Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity to a higher level of visibility and accessibility. She has an amazing work ethic and promotes a culture of learning that graduate students and her peers respond well to. She will be greatly missed, but we wish her the absolute best in her future endeavors.”
“I’m delighted that Danica and her family will be joining our community. Everyone who met Danica during our search process said that they learned something from her in their conversations. It was clear that she is the educator, leader, and colleague St. Andrew’s needs to lead belonging and inclusion programs in the coming years,” said Head of School Joy McGrath regarding the appointment.
Danica was identified as St. Andrew’s next dean of inclusion and belonging from a talented field of applicants. She succeeds current Dean of Diversity Education Devin Duprey ’10 in the role; Devin will depart St. Andrew’s at the end of this school year to attend graduate school.