Bowdoin College — Director of THRIVE

Director of THRIVE at Bowdoin College

As one of the most prominent liberal arts colleges in the nation, Bowdoin College believes that if you give smart, kind, young people access to the best education, they will use it to create good in the world. In that spirit of uncommon dedication to the common good, Bowdoin College invites applications and nominations for a Director of THRIVE. With a generous gift from Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings '83, Bowdoin created THRIVE—a range of programming and mentorship opportunities—to help students early and often, starting with the transition to college and continuing through academic advising, peer mentoring, and leadership development. THRIVE draws on best practices for inclusive excellence and fosters innovative curricular and pedagogical approaches designed to foster a sense of belonging among, and supports for, students who are first-generation and from under-resourced households and communities.

The Director reports to the Dean of Students and collaborates with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Chief Diversity Officer on a variety of initiatives and goals. The THRIVE team includes an Assistant Director and a Success Coach, as well as a Program Coordinator. A college-wide initiative in its fifth year of operation, THRIVE currently comprises five distinct programs and partners with key faculty to ensure a smooth transition to college and the mentoring students need to navigate an elite academic environment. Additionally, THRIVE works closely with staff in career exploration and development, inclusion and diversity, and health and wellness to help students find holistic success, personally and professionally, beyond their time at Bowdoin. The total number of THRIVE students on campus is approximately 200.

About Bowdoin College
Founded in 1794 on the Maine coast, Bowdoin is one of the oldest and most selective coeducational, residential liberal arts colleges in the country. Located in Brunswick, a 30-minute drive north of Portland, the College is in an area rich with natural beauty and year-round outdoor activities. Bowdoin's reputation rests on the excellence of its faculty and students, intimate size, a strong sense of community, and commitment to diversity. As of fall 2022, Bowdoin enrolled about 1,915 students (40% students of color, 7% international students, and approximately 17% first-generation college students). The student-to-faculty ratio has been 9:1 in recent years, with fewer than 20 students in more than 68% of classes. Ninety-six percent of the faculty are full-time, 100% hold a PhD or terminal degree in their field, and 53% are tenured (73% of tenure-line faculty have tenure).

The Division of Student Affairs is comprised of 16 departments that focus on the student experience beyond the classroom. Under student affairs, THRIVE works collaboratively with all departments to provide a robust student experience. There are 140 staff in the Division of Student Affairs who are committed to equity and access to resources and opportunities.

Duties and Expectations

  • Provide strategic planning for THRIVE, including development of a vision for the next four years
  • Oversee the THRIVE Summer Institute for Geoffrey Canada Scholars (GCS)
  • Consult with Institutional Research, Analytics, and Consulting (IRAC) to develop, administer, interpret, and communicate quantitative and qualitative program assessments
  • Engage with leaders of similar programs at other colleges and universities to learn, share best practices, and explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Develop relationships with offices across campus to better connect students with specialized support and opportunities: Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching, Career Exploration and Development, Health Professions Advising, Off-Campus Study, Student Fellowships and Research, etc.
  • Select annual cohort of GCS scholars in coordination with the Director of Admissions and the Dean of Students
  • Oversee recruitment, selection, training, and support of the THRIVE Peer Mentoring Program
  • Collaborate with academic advisors and instructors to deliver enhanced academic advising programs and academic credit and enrichment opportunities
  • Partner with student affairs departments on programmatic opportunities and support for students
  • Facilitate student leadership development
  • Foster a sense of community among THRIVE students
  • Curate family outreach and engagement
  • Evaluate and streamline department operations and workflow
  • Organize and host topical listening sessions with members of the THRIVE Advisory Group

    Challenges and Opportunities

  • Build out vision for the next four years of THRIVE
  • Assist in the launch of THRIVE alumni outreach by working with the Director of Multicultural Alumni Engagement
  • Deepen relationships within the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity
  • Contribute to the reimagining and designing of a revised pre-major advising model at Bowdoin
  • Oversee a more comprehensive assessment of THRIVE based on student belonging
  • Manage move to more spacious and collaborative office, meeting, and study space for THRIVE


  • Bachelor's degree required
  • At least 5 years of experience in access and persistence programs
  • Demonstrated understanding of student development theory and application
  • Well-versed in academic support and pedagogical best practices pertaining to low-income and first-generation students
  • Experience working with a diverse team of people
  • Track record of individual action and institutional leadership to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Demonstrated ability to connect with and engage students from economically marginalized backgrounds
  • Highly developed listening and influencing skills, and a passion for communicating the vision and mission of the work
  • Ability to respond to students' needs and concerns with respect, empathy, and compassion
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to an undergraduate liberal arts education and the residential college experience
  • Ability to have hard conversations with students that hold students accountable while showing compassion

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters or terminal degree preferred or more extensive experience in access and persistence programs
  • Supervisory experience marked by intentionality in outlining clear expectations, goal setting, evaluating performance, and cultivating opportunities for professional growth and development for staff
  • Experience working with and facilitating the flourishing of historically marginalized and minoritized students
  • Proven ability to cultivate relationships and partnerships across the various offices of an institution of higher education
  • Proven ability to pivot between relationship-building with students and programmatic strategic planning

    Application Procedure and Timeline
    Bowdoin College has partnered with Keeling and Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to The subject line of the email should read “Bowdoin—THRIVE.” A confidential review of applications will continue until an appointment is made. All applications received by January 30, 2023, will receive full consideration. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Lili Rodriguez, Senior Consultant for Executive Search, at

    Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
    The Bowdoin community warmly welcomes people of all backgrounds. We encourage applications from candidates committed to the inclusive instruction and support of a diverse student population and who will enrich and contribute to the College's multifaceted diversity. We especially encourage people from historically excluded groups to apply. Accessibility during the application and interview stages, as well as once employed, is a priority of the College:

    Bowdoin College complies with applicable provisions of federal and state laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination in employment, admission, or access to its educational or extracurricular programs, activities, or facilities based on race, color, ethnicity, ancestry and national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, marital status, place of birth, genetic predisposition, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with physical or mental disabilities on the basis of disability, or any other legally protected statuses. For further information about the College, please visit our website: