Dean Phillips spends much of his time advising students – discussing academic, social, and personal challenges and achieving personal goals. He works with individual students, professors and even parents, to support students in their pursuit of a positive learning experience.
Dean Phillips provides guidance and support students to the 750 students in the Class of 2020. He’s a source of information on academic standing; major choices; graduation requirements; university policies and procedures; and services, opportunities and resources available at the university and surrounding Middletown community.
“What I like about my job is that I get to work with the whole student rather than just a particular aspect of a student’s life,” Phillips says. “That’s my mission as a class dean. I really want to get to know each student on an academic and personal level.”
Dean Phillips was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but has a special bond with the international community. Because his father worked for the State Department as a Foreign Service Office, Dean Phillips did not grow up in the United States and considers himself an international student, having lived and attended schools in Peru, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, and India before returning to the United States to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art (photography and printmaking) and a master’s degree in Comparative Social History.
Dean Phillips earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “Art for Industry’s Sake: Halftone Technology, Mass Photography, and the Social Transformation of American Print Culture 1880-1920.” Prior to arriving at Wesleyan in the summer of 2000, he was an assistant professor at Bennington College, where he taught American history. With wide-ranging academic interests in social history, cultural studies, studio art, and the history of technology, Dean Phillips is well-suited to advise students across the breadth and depth of Wesleyan’s liberal arts curriculum.
When he’s not in the office, Dean Phillips enjoys cooking, working on home improvement projects, photography, duplicate bridge, playing guitar, and going for walks at the Portland reservoir.