Sarah Mahurin GRD ’11 will be the next dean of Timothy Dwight College.
Mahurin, who received her doctorate from Yale’s English department and is currently a visiting assistant professor of English and African American Studies at Wesleyan University, was selected out of a pool of over 80 candidates and will be the first female dean of Timothy Dwight. Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced Mahurin’s appointment to a cheering crowd of Timothy Dwight students during dinner on Sunday.
“I applied for the job because I wanted to have a more holistic relationship with undergraduates that included teaching and advising and cultural components,” Mahurin said.
At the announcement, Miller noted that Mahurin is a Kentucky native, like Timothy Dwight Master Jeffrey Brenzel — a suspicious coincidence, she joked.
Brenzel emphasized that Mahurin comes from western Kentucky, while he comes from the north of the state.
“The barbeque is different,” he said.
Mahurin and her husband, Matthew Mutter, an assistant literature professor at Bard College, will move into the dean’s suite in Timothy Dwight over the summer along with their golden retriever, Dash, and chocolate lab, Pig, named in honor of Mahurin’s pig-farming grandfather.
While she was a graduate student at Yale, Mahurin taught a college seminar called “Imagining the American South” twice and also taught one section of English 120, “Reading and Writing the Modern Essay.”
Mahurin said the idea to apply for the deanship came from Alex Werrell ’13, one of her former students. Werrell sent her an urgent text that they needed to meet, and then encouraged her to apply for the job, she said. When Mahurin pointed out that there were two dean openings, in Silliman and Timothy Dwight, Werrell urged her to apply for only the Timothy Dwight opening.
“Well, it’s the best college,” she said he told her.
In a recommendation letter for Mahurin, Werrell wrote about Mahurin’s willingness to open up to her students, noting how they would go out to coffee after class and exchange books.
“I know that I am not the only student who has turned to Sarah for advice, for help, for guidance,” he wrote in the recommendation letter.
At Wesleyan, Mahurin earned the Wesleyan Residential Life Award for her committment to co-curricular planning and the Edgar Beckham Campus Inspiration Award for promoting a “better campus climate.”
Students in Timothy Dwight said they were excited by the announcement. They were also quick to point out their appreciation for current dean John Loge ’66, who will step down at the end of the year after 23 years as dean.
Katherine Spooner ’16 called Loge incredible, “a dean among deans.” She added that Loge will be near-impossible to replace.
“On the one hand, it’s a shame to lose Dean Loge, who’s been a real presence in TD,” Max Ulin ’17 said. “At the same time, it’s exciting to have a woman for the first time as the dean of this college. It’s exciting to have someone young and someone with a Southern accent.”
David Amanfu ’17 said Mahurin already feels like part of the Timothy Dwight family.
“This is like that time that your cool older brother tracked down a long-lost relative and brought her back to the family,” he said.
Mahurin holds a A.B. in English and American Literature from Harvard University.