Ask-Me-Anything Lunches With Senior Leaders Continue

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A new round of lunchtime chats has been scheduled for winter term.

President Philip J. Hanlon '77 and Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith talk with students at a lunchtime series with senior leaders that begins again this week. (Photo by Eli Burakian)
President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 and Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith talk with students at a lunchtime series with senior leaders that begins again this week. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 and senior leaders have scheduled another round of lunchtime chats to be held in the Class of 1953 Commons dining hall. The events, called “FoCo AMA”—short for “food court” and “ask-me-anything”—began in the fall and will continue through winter term.

Beginning tomorrow, students are invited to drop by and ask the top administrators questions, chat about life at Dartmouth, and learn about administrators’ roles. All are welcome and no appointment is necessary. The lunches are scheduled to begin at noon.

Here’s the schedule of sessions:

Jan. 16: Rick Mills, executive vice president. Mills is Dartmouth’s chief administrative, business, and operating officer, overseeing all aspects of financial, administrative, human resources, campus services, investment, and information technology functions.

Jan. 23: Laura Hercod, a senior administrator in the Office of the President. Hercod is President Hanlon’s chief of staff and secretary to the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees.

Jan. 24: Gail Gentes, who has served the College in several roles. She is married to President Hanlon.

Jan. 31:  Elizabeth Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Smith has responsibility over all matters pertaining to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including the undergraduate curriculum.

Feb. 4: Kathryn Lively, dean of the College. Lively provides direction on student inclusivity and diversity issues, strategic planning for admissions and financial aid, and oversight of student affairs, which includes student academic support services; residential life and the house communities; student life departments; offices and centers that support students’ cultural, spiritual, and professional development; the health service; and community standards offices.

Feb. 6: Harry Sheehy, director of athletics and recreation. Sheehy oversees 35 Division I varsity sports—17 women’s, 16 men’s, and two coed—as well as 35 club sports and an extensive intramural program. At Dartmouth, 75% of undergraduates participate in organized sports.

Feb. 18: Alexis Abramson, dean of Thayer School of Engineering. A mechanical engineer and a leader in sustainable energy technology, Abramson oversees all aspects of the engineering school, including the courses taken by undergraduates.

Mar. 3: Joseph Helble, provost. Helble is Dartmouth’s chief academic officer and chief budget officer, responsible for overseeing the overall academic integrity of the entire institution and for those operations transcending the work of a single faculty. Dartmouth’s graduate schools, major academic support units, and several other offices, academic centers, and institutes report to the provost.

Mar. 4: Justin Anderson, vice president for communications. Anderson oversees the Office of Communications and manages the institution’s strategic institutional communications. He works with communications leaders in the graduate schools and in divisions across Dartmouth.

Brelynn Hess can be reached at

Brelynn Hess