Meet Our Admission Deans

  • Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez '96

    Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Hawaii, Australia, Oceania, Latin America, New Zealand.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.615.3924

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Spanish Harlem, New York City, The Loomis Chaffee School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) by Digable Planets because they rocked Spring Fling my senior year on Foss Hill.

    FAVORITE BOOK: I’m an avid reader of non-fiction and autobiographies are my “jam”. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Other Wes Moore, and My Beloved World by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor top my list.

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Puerto Vallarta is a long-time fave, but since Sultan’s Kebab Express opened up last spring it has quickly become a contender. For a city of Middletown’s size the range of terrific and authentic ethnic food is outstanding.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Few colleges afford the opportunity to take advantage of the breadth and depth of our academic programs in such a dynamically diverse community that promotes collaboration over competition. I was drawn to Wes as a student because it is exceptionally balanced in terms of size, location, educational philosophy, co-curricular opportunities, and more. The students are intellectually curious, socially and politically active, and invested in making positive impacts on the world regardless of what occupations they ultimately pursue.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Remember that the college application process does not reward either the modest or the arrogant. Be your own best advocate and trust that it matters far less where you ultimately enroll than what you do while you are there. Your college outcomes are not accurate measures of either your self-worth or potential. Do your part and let the rest take care of itself.

  • Chandra Joos DeKoven

    Director of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: New York (Manhattan), Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.879.3286

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Milton, NH; St. Thomas Aquinas 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Uptown Funk, Bruno Mars  - I've been banned from Karaoke after an unfortunate debut at an undisclosed location in Upstate NY - As a act of Civil Disobedience I would quietly sing this as my  "walk out" song : )  

    FAVORITE BOOK: The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Haveli's lunch buffet - everything is tasty and it will satiate you and friends' varying dietary needs.  

    WHY WESLEYAN? The Open Curriculum, advising system, and one-on-one engagement with the faculty will introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, push you outside of your academic comfort zone, and allow you to grow as an engaged scholar and socially conscious community member.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Applying to college is a process; your education leading up to this point should not.  In fact, your years leading up should be punctuated by curiosity, creativity, and challenge; a comfort in taking academic risks and the important lessons learned from mistakes; stretching personally; valuing authenticity; and investing in your personal relationships and community. High school should not be seen as a stepping stone to college; rather, an as a highly formative opportunity to fully develop as a caring and contributing human being.  

  • Taylor Brown

    Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.0620

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Warren, NJ. Watchung Hills Regional High School 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen 

    FAVORITE MOVIE: Shawshank Redemption, Back to the Future.

    FAVORITE TV SHOWS: TV Shows—Ozark, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon.

    FAVORITE BOOK: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: La Boca! I recommend the garlic, boneless wings! 

    WHY WESLEYAN? I could say many things: the freedom of the open curriculum, the strength and enthusiasm of our theater and film programs, the robust science research opportunities…but at the end of the day it’s the tight-knit community and the people that make Wesleyan great. The students have unparalleled enthusiasm, boldness, and creativity.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: It is important to know that when it comes college search, the journey is just as important as the destination. You will learn a lot about yourself and your priorities in the process. And remember, while the college application process is important, don’t forget to enjoy being a high school senior too! 

  • CJ Cruz '21

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: they/them

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.467.0785 

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Miami, FL - Hialeah Gardens Senior High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Booker T por Bad Bunny

    FAVORITE TV SHOWS: VENENO dramatizes the life of Spaniard trans trailblazer La Veneno. If I’m in the mood for a heist, La casa de papel; if I’m feeling a dark comedy, Search Party.

    FAVORITE BOOK: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi tells a story of migration and nonbinaried, multiplex identity through the lens of Igbo spirituality.

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Sweet Harmony has the best coffee on Main Street! Try the Milky Way Mocha and, if you’re hungry for more, the Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Learning at Wes goes above and beyond the classroom. It can look like student activists planning a campaign at the University Organizing Center, or artists collaborating on a ‘zine in The Workshop, or student farmers harvesting kale at Long Lane Farm, or a professor asking you what YOU think of their research. Take a walk through campus in the middle of the semester and you’ll hear clusters of students passionately summarizing their readings, teaching their friends concepts they just learned that week. The open curriculum, academic resources, and funding opportunities at Wesleyan empowers students to love learning and to treat their education as a collaborative, community experience. Students here challenge themselves and others - to listen and do better, to think of the bigger picture, and to imagine more than the status quo.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: The college application process can be a whirlwind of tasks, deadlines, and the competing voices of your family, educators, and community. Before you’re in the trenches of what can be an overwhelming journey, separate your perspective from the ones around you. Journaling - even if just creating a list - can bring you clarity about what you prioritize in your education and personal growth. When it gets tough, look back at your own words to be reminded of your values, your potential, and your passion. Regardless of the college you grace, be comforted that you have the GRIT to make the most of it.

  • Julia Fondiller

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.467.1388

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Scarsdale, NY, Edgemont Jr. Sr. High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Be the Hero from Big Fish the Musical

    FAVORITE BOOK: The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: O’Rourke’s Diner - their Banana Bread French Toast is incredible.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Wesleyan immediately struck me as an environment that values students' creativity, knowledge, and uniqueness. Additionally, each student I've talked to has raved about special housing options that are available and the seemingly endless opportunities to get involved with the Middletown community. The Admissions staff has welcomed me with open arms and I am so grateful to be a part of the Wes community!  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Reach out to current students and be open to hearing about their experiences- both the good and the bad. This is an incredibly helpful way to learn about a specific school because those students might end up being your classmates, teammates, and friends!

  • Sebastian Ivory

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Lousiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.854.1765

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Boone, North Carolina (Watauga High) 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel 

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: Breaking Bad/1984 (Orwell)/Boyhood 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Haveli, Chicken Vindaloo (extra spice) with Garlic Naan and a Mango Lassi.  

    WHY WESLEYAN? The open curriculum at Wes is the epitome of the liberal arts experience. Wesleyan students come to campus with a mind open to risk and exploration across the curriculum leading to extraordinary cross-curricular collaboration.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Ignore the rankings: look for a university where you’ll be challenged and grow. 

  • B. Noble Jones Ph.D

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Connecticut (Fairfield Co.), New York (Westchester)

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.1861

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Brookfield HS, Brookfield, Ohio 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT / WHAT'S YOUR WALK-UP SONG: Cannot imagine a worse singing voice than mine, so I’ll exercise the right to not sing. Walk-up song: Blinding Lights by The Weeknd 

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: At the moment, I’m obsessed by Peaky Blinders and Ozark and have re-streamed them both a number of times. I like to reread books and regularly revisit Catch-22 and A Confederacy of Dunces. Showing my age, but I’ll always stop to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Shawshank Redemption, and Napoleon Dynamite. 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Celtic Cavern and their crispy Brussels sprouts 

    WHY WESLEYAN? Our students wear their hearts on their sleeves and pursue a healthy definition of success that includes the well-being of others, not just themselves. 

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Abandon the notion of a “perfect fit” or a “dream school.” Keep an open mind and realize there are so many colleges and universities out there, and they can all serve you well. Your college experience, wherever it may be, will largely be determined by how you personally engage your faculty, staff, and classmates, and leverage the resources that exist on that campus to make the most of your time there. 

  • Chris Lanser

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: California (Greater Los Angeles), New York (Long Island)

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.0615

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    HOMETOWN:  Greenwich Village in NYC 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: I would not subject friends or strangers to this voice, but would stride confidently to Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World 

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: The Last Waltz 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Udupi Bhavan, Middletown’s all-vegetarian Indian restaurant; Masala Dosas  

    WHY WESLEYAN? Because the students create an incomparable culture of commitment, creativity collaboration and caring. 

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Embrace the process rather than stress it.  Seize the opportunity for personal reflection, think about who you are and who you want to be, and identify colleges that will nurture and propel the personal and intellectual growth you want to see in yourself. 

  • Tara Lindros

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Massachusetts, International

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.365.6841

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Middletown, NY, Middletown High School 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT:  So What by Pink 

    FAVORITE BOOK: My current favorite books (I try to read 50+ per year) are Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips and Circe by Madeline Miller.  

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Nardelli’s, Italian Combo Sub with Everything (yes, including the hot sauce!) 

    WHY WESLEYAN? I am a graduate of a small liberal arts college and when I entered the admission profession after graduate school, I wanted to represent an institution that embodied the values that were so central to my own college experience and life beyond. Wesleyan’s commitment to access, equity, and inclusion work, as well as deep pedagogical commitment to the liberal arts educational experience, made it a great fit for me and my personal values. As to why I stay at Wesleyan? I am consistently impressed by the commitment to making change among our students, and way Wesleyan as an institution uses its resources to support that work.   

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Your time in college should be a transformative experience, not simply a credentialing one. Find a school that makes you at least a little uncomfortable, but where you can see evidence that it facilitates growth and change in its students, and sets them up to find meaningful work in the world after they graduate.  

  • Janet Ortiz

    Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: California (Central Coast North to South Bay Area), New York (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan), Caribbean, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.0921

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: New York City, The Packer Collegiate Institute

    FAVORITE TV SHOW: I slowly watch every season of Gilmore Girls throughout the year, and when it is over, I just start it again from the beginning!

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Typhoon, my go-to order is the Tofu Green Curry Fried Rice

    WHY WESLEYAN? As someone who graduated from a college that also had an Open Curriculum, I know how truly powerful and transformative it can be. As students navigate the Open Curriculum, they will learn just as much about themselves as they will about new and interesting course material. At Wesleyan, you will have the freedom and flexibility to be the true driver of your own education. 

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: The application process is just the start of your college journey, and do not worry, it will soon be over! And once it is, I push you to challenge yourself to choose a place that excites you and scares you at the same time, it will be in this place where you will experience the most growth.   

  • Dawrin Silfa

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: California, New York

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.852.4077

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    HOMETOWN: Inwood, NY

    HIGH SCHOOL: Church Farm School in Exton, PA

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: "Pepas" by Farruko. It was a summer bop, and you can't go wrong with this one (thank me later)

    FAVORITE BOOK: "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Typhoon on Main St for sure.

    WHY WESLEYAN: Wesleyan provides an environment of collaboration, spontaneity, and humbleness that encourages all members of the community to take chances and risks with support right behind them. Being a part of the process to select the next set of students to change the world is a gift and a pleasure.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: As a first-generation low-income college student, I never believed in the possibility of higher education being attainable to me and almost felt impossible to master a sense of belonging when I arrived. I realized that who I am in this world is the only version of my existence; no other human alive could ever be ME. Ever. And within that fact comes the beautiful gift of a unique being filled with so much to offer to the world, starting with college. It is not about where you go to college, but more about what you do in college. Who do you want the world to see you as? Become the interpretation you see for yourself and trust that the leaps you take will grant you with soft landings filled with opportunities to excel in any passion you pursue. You are here for a reason. Show the world you are worthy. Make your future yours and enjoy the journey every step of the way.
  • Kate Applegate Thompson

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Alaska, Delaware, DC, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Virginia (Northern VA and Fairfax Co.), Canada.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.788.4529

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Granville, Ohio | Granville High School  

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Anything by Carly Rae Jepsen 

    FAVORITE MOVIE: The Princess Bride 

    FAVORITE BOOK: Whichever book I’m currently reading or have just finished, though generally I am drawn toward works of fiction. 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Steamed – love their shumai! 

    WHY WESLEYAN: While I did not attend Wesleyan as an undergraduate, I did attend a similar small liberal arts college. I believe strongly in the power of this type of academic and social community and want to make it an accessible opportunity for all those who are interested. This was also the place where I was asked the most interesting and thoughtful questions during my interview process – from that experience I knew that I was joining a community that would continue to push me both professionally and personally.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Focus on finding institutions whose admission policies align with the values they claim to hold.