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A Message from President Cassidy, Dean Burrell-McRae, and Dean Jenkins

April 16, 2024

The message below was sent to undergraduate students on Friday, April 12. 

Dear Students,
In late January, we wrote an email acknowledging places of pain that exist on campus – especially around the crisis in the Middle East. We also shared ways we hope all of us can continue to move forward together in empathy, care, and respect for one another.
In particular, we named ten specific actions and would like to update you on our progress to date:

  • Restorative Practices Trainings – we have partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s Restorative Practices Program to launch an intentional restorative approach on campus. The Penn Program will deliver a set of trainings so that participants will have the knowledge and skills to help implement restorative practices across a number of campus experiences. We will have several cohorts beginning with a training for 15 staff and faculty members in June, and a cohort of 15 students in August. We will also conduct a one-day workshop for members of our community to learn more about restorative practice. For more information or to get involved, contact Courtney Newkirk at
  • Dialogue Project – the fifth cohort of the Dialogue Project launched on March 7 with 12 participants. Plans are underway for a possible summer session for staff and faculty and for a new Level 2 Program for those who have already participated in the project. The goal of the Dialogue Project is to equip a broad range of students, faculty and staff with tools to help engage in difficult conversations and to be resources on campus when struggles emerge. For more information or to get involved, contact A.T. Ortíz at
  • College Endowment Investment Information Session – was held on April 3, facilitated by SGA President Bryn Osborne with participation from Chair of the Board of Trustees, Cynthia Archer, and President Cassidy. 16 students and 4 staff members attended this session.
  • Expanding Dialogue and Input Sessions between Students and Staff – Dean Karlene and Dean Tomiko will begin meeting this month with a variety of student groups during their regularly scheduled meeting times to engage, listen, and gather input about a variety of student achievements and concerns.  For more information, contact Liana Henrie at
  • Opportunities for Holding Space – the Impact Center offered opportunities to hold space for groups particularly impacted by the conflict in the Middle East on March 21 and April 4. Upcoming events are scheduled for April 11, April 18, May 1, and May 2. For more information or to get involved, contact Candice Love at
  • Connections Lunches at Wyndham – free lunches for small groups of 10 people are scheduled at Wyndham on April 25 and April 30 from 12:00-1:00 pm. These lunches are a space to engage in informal conversation with students, staff, and faculty members to build relationships and share about life experiences. Registration is required and links can be found here: April 25May 1 and in the Daily Digest closer to the dates. If you have questions or would like to get involved, contact Angie Sheets or Katie Krimmel
  • Support of Free Expression and Activism – over the course of three protests – on and off campus – on January 26, February 10, and February 18, Campus Safety worked with Lower Merion Police Department to ensure that students were safe and unhindered while marching on public streets. The College also worked with Campus Safety and other staff to ensure student safety while on campus.
  • Community Organizing and Activism Training – Dean Tomiko, together with staff from Career and Civic Engagement Center and the Impact Center organized a focus group of students on February 22 to learn more about what topics students would be most interested in around activism training that will take place during the 2024-2025 academic year. For questions or to get involved, contact Ellie Esmond at
  • Educational Sessions – This semester we attempted to create a mini-series of lectures by outside speakers with area expertise. We recognize that speakers who present a full view of the broad context of historical issues in the Middle East are in high demand across the country. Despite our outreach efforts, we did not succeed in confirming speakers this semester. We will continue our efforts for the fall. The Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, however, did offer a workshop on Trauma Stewardship on April 2, aimed at supporting students as they navigate the experience of moral distress in the face of academic and work responsibilities. For questions, please contact Richie Gebauer at

We hope that this update is helpful to you. We have been working on these action areas throughout the semester and will continue to pursue them into the coming academic year. We will also continue to assess when it would be best to plan for a community gathering. Supporting students in difficult times and creating opportunities to strengthen community are central values of Bryn Mawr. We thank you for the ways in which you are engaging in this shared work of connection and care.
Kimberly W. Cassidy
Karlene Burrell-McRae
Dean of the Undergraduate College

Tomiko Jenkins
Dean of Student Life

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