Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2006


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Bengochea joins CC community in a path-breaking role

Bengochea joins CC community in a path-breaking role
Photo by Nina Lentini

Mary Howard

"I have had my eye on Connecticut College for quite some time," says Armando Bengochea, CC´s new dean of the college community. "Conn represents for me an intellectual ideal I have tried to nurture at every institution I have attended — very tight connections between students and professors, so tight that individuals would be lost in discussion or argue with one another from the classroom to the residences."

A political scientist and academic administrator at Brown University, Bengochea joined the College community on July 1. In this newly created position, he serves as senior diversity officer and chief student affairs officer. He will explore and create new ways to advance diversity across the campus, including through the educational program, co-curricular life, faculty-student engagement and hiring.

"I will look at the College to find new ways to engage the campus in bringing people together. I hope to do this in a way that takes full advantage of the diversity that exists here today and that we will be able to build on in the future," he says.

Bengochea served for 20 years as an academic administrator at Brown University, where he directed university programs ranging from initiatives to deepen campus diversity to academic advising programs and curricular enhancements.

"He is a ´big idea´ guy," says Catherine Stock, professor of history and chair of the search committee. "He created the freshman seminar program at Brown, reinvented their advising system, and proposed a plan to better serve first-year students by bringing the academic deans and the student life staff together in an office to serve those students."

In 2002, he planned and launched Brown´s First Year Seminar Program, which included 22 new seminars and grew to include 60 seminars this past year.

Bengochea is also the coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program — a national initiative of the Andrew Mellon Foundation that seeks to support and promote the academic development of underrepresented students who wish to enter doctoral programs in the humanities.

He holds a bachelor´s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master´s and doctoral degrees in politics from Princeton. Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Queens, N.Y., Bengochea has academic interests in the Cuban Revolution, Cuban migration to the United States and Cuban-American politics in America. His teaching interests include 19th-century European liberalism, the political theory of the American founding and the contemporary liberal/communitarian divide.

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