Five Questions with David Dower and Ruthanne Madsen

The President’s Council is a senior leadership advisory group. Learn more about the President’s Council members in this new people@Emerson series. Each month, two members will share what guides their work at Emerson.

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David Dower
Vice President, Office of the Arts

Q: How long have you worked at Emerson?
A: I started in April 2012.

Q: What department(s) do you oversee?
A: Office of the Arts, home of ArtsEmerson, HowlRound, and I Dream: Boston

Q: Why did you choose to work at the College?
A: The opportunity to help build ArtsEmerson, and to create a home for HowlRound, was the first draw. But once I heard Lee’s vision for the College around civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, global perspective, and innovation, I realized that all the things I would be wanting for ArtsEmerson and for HowlRound would actually be advancing the strategic development of the College. And that synergy between what my personal values are, the values of ArtsEmerson and HowlRound, and the values of Emerson College remains a powerful draw for me.

Q: What values guide your work?
A: There are personal values that underpin the values in my work. I am deeply committed to the pursuit of a just and equitable world, to leaving the world better than I found it. I value respect, civility, integrity, and transparency in my interactions with others. I believe that the arts are for everyone, and that the arts are intrinsic to the health of any community and every life. In my work, I attempt to live out these values and to serve as an effective steward of the resources under my care on behalf of the whole community. And I respect the power of learning, endeavoring to learn every day and mentor others at every opportunity.

Q: What is one change you would like to see at Emerson that would make it an even better place to work or study?
A: I would love to see our College more immersed in the daily life of our city, attuned to and reflecting the world around us in terms of our diversity, our civic engagement, and our creativity. Emerson is fostering tomorrow’s storytellers, and story has a unique capacity to reframe and refocus the world toward equity and justice. With our downtown campuses, we have the ideal opportunity to engage, understand, and impact those challenges of our time that can only be tackled through imagination, innovation, creativity, and communication. I see so many people here committed to these values and efforts, so we’re already well down this road. I would love to see this progress continue, deepen, and become woven into the fabric of what it is to be “So Emerson.”

 

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Ruthanne Madsen
Vice President, Enrollment Management

Q: How long have you worked at Emerson?
A: I started at Emerson in October 2011. I just celebrated my fifth year.

Q: What department(s) do you oversee?
A: Enrollment Management comprises seven areas. I oversee the Offices of Undergraduate Admission, Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Student Success, Enrollment Services and Support, and Enrollment Data and Technology. I am fortunate to work with very dedicated and devoted team members as part of the Enrollment Management division.

Q: Why did you choose to work at the College?
A: I have worked within higher education since 1994 and decided early on that this would be my life’s work. I enjoy being a part of a vibrant college environment. I chose to work at Emerson College after my family relocated to the Boston area for my husband’s career advancement. We moved to the Northeast from Florida, where Emerson College has a very strong brand and reputation. Emerson is a place where impact can be made and meaningful relationships can be built.

Q: What values guide your work?
A: Making a difference is what matters most to me. I truly believe that one person can change the course of another’s life in a positive way. I value integrity, compassion, inclusion, responsiveness, and collaboration. I was the first in my family to go to college and I know the difficulties that come with taking on the unknown without assistance or experience. I believe in taking action when needed, speaking up for those without a voice, and caring about others.

Q: What is one change you would like to see at Emerson that would make it an even better place to work or study?
A: Increasing support of students through greater fundraising efforts and collaborative partnerships would be my answer. Enrollment Management has been partnering with Institutional Advancement to ensure that students’ stories and needs are known to potential donors. The opportunity to increase financial aid offerings and connect students with donors through stewardship would be a change that I would like and hope to see in the coming years.

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