Sabrina M. Brown, former interim executive director of academic engagement at Harris-Stowe State University, has been appointed director of the Deneb STARS program at Washington University in St. Louis, according to Anna Gonzalez, vice chancellor for student affairs. Brown joined the university in January. The Deneb STARS program was launched in 2016 by associate provost Anthony Tillman who departed last spring to serve as dean of student academic success and equity at DePauw University.
“Sabrina brings a deep commitment to serving and creating opportunities for students,” said Gonzalez. “Additionally, Sabrina brings a wealth of experience and an exciting vision that will help us build and strengthen the Deneb STARS community.”
The Deneb STARS program is open to all first-generation and low-income students. It provides academic tutoring and peer mentoring, connects students to university resources and helps students find meaningful work-study and professional opportunities. Brown will be charged with strengthening the program’s partnerships with academic departments, Habif Health and Wellness and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Brown also will oversee the Student Success Fund, which helps students with financial need cover emergency and educational enrichment expenses.
“As Washington University becomes a more inclusive campus, we need to think differently about how we build systems of support,” said Kawanna Leggett, associate vice chancellor, who chaired the search committee. “We are confident that Sabrina will help our university meet that vital challenge.”
At Harris-Stowe, Brown increased the school’s retention rate, created a peer mentorship program and developed the study abroad office. Brown also has served as an assistant dean of students at Rhodes College and a diversity program advisor at Davidson College. Brown is completing her EdD in educational leadership and administration at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and holds a master’s degree in student affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“Sabrina’s done it all,” said Mark Kamimura-Jimenez, associate vice chancellor and dean of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “Sabrina also understands the research behind the work that we are doing. She is a leader with demonstrated experience in supporting students who are new to the college experience and someone who knows how to build a community.”
Brown said she is excited to meet the 800 students in the Deneb STARS program.
“Throughout my career, I have always looked for opportunities to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students,” Brown said. “I am eager to continue that work at WashU and am committed to providing our Deneb STARS scholars the resources, programs and support they deserve to engage fully in WashU’s academic and campus life.”