The primary responsibility of the residential college Dean is to supervise the academic progress of students and advise them throughout the process of selecting courses, picking a major, and completing graduation requirements. Because academic success is often closely connected to non-academic concerns, however, the Dean is also a great resource for a wide range of other matters, including everything from personal crises to post-graduation plans. In cases of incapacitating illness or family emergency, the Dean is authorized to postpone deadlines for academic work or final exams, so it is important and wise to be in close touch with her as soon as possible when these things arise. The Dean also oversees room draw and student housing.
Dean Renita L. Miller
Renita L. Miller has just been named Dean of Berkeley College. She earned her Bachelors in Business Administration from Baylor University and her M.A. and PhD. in Political Science from Rice University with a concentration in public policy, racial and ethnic politics, and state politics. She has taught a range of political science and writing courses at Rice, Texas A&M, and Princeton Universities.
Most recently, Dean Miller was the Director of Studies of Forbes College and the Director of the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE) at Princeton University. As Director of Studies she mentored individual students while also creating academic programs that fostered student development and engagement within the university and the broader community. These programs included service-related initiatives that supported local families and nonprofits, faculty-student engagement programs that helped cultivate relationships between students and faculty outside of the classroom, and initiatives that focused on students’ honing of their leadership abilities. She is excited to bring the same spirit of engagement and attention to student needs and development to Berkeley College.
Dean Miller has been recognized for teaching excellence and has presented her work at various academic conferences. Her research focuses on understanding the influence of race and gender in political institutions with a particular focus on political rhetoric, deliberation, and leadership within state legislatures. She has also served as a research fellow for the Project of Equity, Representation, and Governance at Texas A&M and the Kinder institute of Urban Research at Rice University. A native Texan, Dean Miller professes that her southern roots have contributed to her deep sense of hospitality and her love of food (she is a proud foodie!). She hopes to continue to foster the wonderful culture that exists in Berkeley College in culinary and other ways. In addition to her love of art, theater, music, and museums - she is an avid reader and loves spending time in the library.
Dean Miller lives in the Dean’s Suite in Berkeley south court with her husband Will and three sons, Jackson, Caiden, and Mason. Will has worked in K-12 education for over 15 years as a teacher, coach, director, and college and career counselor; he holds a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Prairie View A&M University and is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in Higher Education from Columbia University. They are all very excited to join the Berkeley community!
Senior Administrative Assistant Damaris Cardona
Damaris Cardona is the Senior Administrative Assistant to the Dean. Damaris organizes student registration and oversees course schedule deadlines. She is often the first person to contact if you have questions regarding academic requirements. Likewise, if you need a copy of your unofficial academic record, wish to make a change to your course schedule, would like to apply for a tutor, or require an academic form of any kind, you should come to the Dean’s Office and speak to Damaris. You can also talk to her about the dossier service available at the Dean’s Office, by which your letters of recommendation can be kept on file and upon your request be mailed to law or graduate schools or places of employment. Need an appointment to meet with the Dean? Either phone or stop by the BKDO and she will arrange it. If you choose to stop by the BKDO for no particular reason, there’s always a great supply of candy available for those of you who have a sweet tooth.