Meet the new Class Dean of 2025: Eun-sil Lee


Michael Rosenbaum

Prior to joining Union, Eun-sil Lee served as the coordinator of upper-class initiatives at Skidmore College. Her office at Union is in Reamer 307.

Ashlesha Bhagat, 807 Editor

Concordiensis approached Eun-sil Lee, the new class Dean of 2025, to get to know how her experience at Union has been so far. Read her responses to get to know her better!

What brought you to Union and how has your experience been so far?

I was previously at Skidmore College. I worked in the opportunity program and did advising and all other things that a Class Dean would do but at a smaller scale. I had been at Skidmore for about eight years and wanted to grow as a professional and person. At Skidmore, I only dealt with a small portion of the student population and for me it was really important to grow into a position where I was able to interact with a lot more students. So, when I saw the Class Dean position open, I thought it was a great opportunity to do that but still enjoy doing many other things that I enjoy doing – working with students, supporting them, advocating for them, but on a larger scale. And, also hopefully being a role model too for women – young women but also women in color.

How do you think your past achievements and accomplishments will inspire and motivate you for your role here at Union?

Like I said, my past experience has been at a small liberal arts institution and in working with the students, I really tend to be more observant of what goes on year after year and how, sometimes, certain populations thrive in some more challenging situations. Mainly college, in general, is a hard time. It can be an amazing and a fun time as well. I am not saying that it’s all challenges but also from my personal experience as a first-generation college student. Navigating university is sometimes more anti to some people. Those experiences—my education in terms of social welfare, my psychology and counseling background—I think all contribute to what I bring to this position and my experience with students has given me a lot of inspiration. The things that students are able to accomplish despite all the challenges that they go through always motivates me to do more and to do better for them.

As you know, currently Union is following two Gen-Ed curriculums. What do you think of the curriculum that is being followed by the sophomores compared  to the newer curriculum?

I don’t think that at this point—in my third month here—I have any definite formulated opinion of those because I am still trying to familiarize myself with the curriculum. Actually, I have been trying to familiarize myself with the prior curriculum because I have sophomores and they are the last class that will be using the previous curriculum. So, I will honestly not have to deal with the newer curriculum until I transition back to my next class here at Union.

Have you had opportunities to interact with sophomores? What type of impression do you wish to create and from a student’s perspective, how important do you think a dean is to them?

Yes, I have had a chance to interact with the sophomores, maybe not a lot, but sophomores were a part of my interview. I have met the sophomore Class President Claire Schroder ’25. I have visited the sophomore SRS classes just so that they can see who I am as they didn’t have that official transition in the fall as I started on Halloween. Now, slowly sophomores are starting to come and see me. We also have Work Study students who are sophomores. I am trying to interact as much as I can, outside of just appointments. I also went to the AOP General Body Meeting. Hopefully we’ll be talking to some other different groups of sophomores at some point. A lot of students may not understand what the Class Dean’s role is and what we can do for students. The tendency is to think that if you are a really great student you may know the Class Dean or if you are a Class Officer or if you are struggling, you will get an email from the Class Dean. The impression that I want to create is that I’m not here for a certain population of students. I am here for all students in my class year. There is that middle group of students who are doing pretty okay academically and may not have a reason to come see the Class Dean. What I’d like to say is that you can still can and come see because I can talk to you about your major, a challenge or a problem you are facing, and how you can go about resolving that. If you have no idea who to talk to, you can start with us. If there is some policy or process at Union, you think you do not understand but have to navigate through, you can come and see us. We are here for so many different things. We want to see all of our students succeed. My policy is: my door is usually open. If it is open and I am not on the phone, you can come in and say hi or book an appointment via my calendar. You can come and talk to me about anything, even share great things you are doing.

Do you have any future plans or initiatives that you are looking forward to implementing on the campus?

My plans, other than my day-to-day advising, include helping students resolve challenges and engage students. Hopefully, by the time my sophomores, the Class of 2025, graduate, I would have had the opportunity to interact with all of them at some point. I am going to be thinking about programming and how to engage students through that. Maybe, even some community service or some on-campus engagement. 

Is there anything you hope from Union and its community?

I hope that students see me as someone that they can say hello to and come and have a conversation with. Just because I am the Class Dean of Class of 2025 doesn’t mean that a first year or a senior can’t come and talk to me and ask questions. We all have different experiences and if you are curious about my experience, I am happy to share that as well and just be someone whom you can connect with as you go throughout your Union Career and support you through that.

Is there any piece of advice you would like to share or anything else you would like to everyone?

I would really like every student, especially those who are dealing with doubts and uncertainties and feel like they lack self-confidence, to believe in themselves. You all have something great to contribute to this community and you are here for a reason. I really hope that you can feel and believe that even though it’s going to be challenging—when you are taking some tough class, when you are wondering why did I do this—just process that you are going to do some amazing things and believe in yourself and believe that there are many people in the campus, in the Dean’s office—like your Class Deans, who are rooting for you.

How can a student connect with you or where can find you if they require anything?

My appointment link is on the Website under Class Deans. You can schedule an appointment with me through that link.