Ryan André Brasseaux GRD ’08 picked as Davenport dean

Davenport College is not only welcoming a new dean this fall, but also — look out Handsome Dan — a new dog.

Exactly one month after Craig Harwood GRD ’02 said he would step down from the college deanship at the end of July, Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced in a Friday email to members of Davenport that she has appointed Ryan André Brasseaux GRD ’08 as the next Dean of Davenport.

A Louisiana native, Brasseaux attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an undergraduate, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale, which Miller said he expects to earn in December. Brasseaux has served as a teaching fellow in Yale courses and taught a self-designed American Studies class on the Gulf Coast this spring.

Brasseaux also plays percussion and slide guitar and will continue Harwood’s legacy as a musical Davenport dean. Harwood played mandolin in a bluegrass music group known as the Professors of Bluegrass.

“I am confident that he will make many significant and positive contributions to the life of the college,” Miller said.

Brasseaux’s appointment came quickly after Harwood, a 16-year member of the Yale community and Dean of Davenport since June 2005, notified the college in early July that he had accepted an offer to become the Director of the Hunter-Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

While Harwood, his wife Julie, and their two red-headed children, Asher and Ellie, departed at the end of July, Brasseaux’s family is scheduled to take their places later this month. In addition to Brasseaux, his wife Jessika Brasseaux NUR ’14, their children, seven-year-old Anne Elise and five-year-old Joseph Emile, and their golden retriever Marley will move into the dean’s suite.

The news that Davenport will gain a new canine companion prompted a burst of excitement among students, and just two hours after Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld had passed Miller’s announcement along to members of the college, Student Activities Committee co-chair Jimmy Murphy ’13 sent a college-wide email headlined “DAVENdog.”

“It once came up at a DCC meeting that we wanted a dog,” Murphy wrote. “LOOKS LIKE WE’RE GETTING ONE.”

The search committee that appointed Brasseaux with Miller and Schottenfeld included Davenport faculty fellows and students.

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