Visionary Student Development Leader Appointed V.P. of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students

Oct. 23, 2019
Office of Communications

Assumption President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. today announced the appointment of Deborah Cady Melzer, Ph.D., as Assumption’s next vice president of student affairs/ dean of students, effective January 6, 2020. Dr. Cady Melzer currently serves as vice president for student development and Title IX coordinator at Le Moyne College in New York.

In her role at Assumption, Dr. Cady Melzer will be responsible for administering a variety of operational, educational, and counseling functions designed to foster personal development, accountability and community within Student Affairs. She will also provide leadership and support to highly productive student affairs personnel at every level, each of whom will enhance student services and collaborate to form students in the context of Catholic higher education.

Dr. Cady Melzer will carry out the educational mission of the University by leading a cohesive Student Affairs Division, which includes the Departments of Residential Life, Student Conduct, Student Activities, Health Services, Counseling Services, and Campus Recreation.

“As Assumption embarks upon the formulation and implementation of a new strategic plan that reaffirms the institution’s commitment to providing students an exemplary academic and co-curricular experience, I am pleased to appoint Dr. Cady Melzer to this critical leadership position,” said President Cesareo. “In this role, Dr. Cady Melzer will enhance the culture of Assumption by inspiring staff and students in cultivating a sense of community and a shared vision for the division of Student Affairs. With a belief in the transformative nature of a Catholic liberal arts education to form students to pursue lives of meaning and purpose, Dr. Cady Melzer will help shape the student culture and create a campus environment that contributes to student formation.”

Dr. Cady Melzer concludes nine years of service at Le Moyne, having earned an impressive record of accomplishment. Some of these achievements include contributing to campus-wide efforts to earn an 88 percent retention rate; a record number of residential students; procuring state and federal grants for student access and opportunity programs as well as sexual violence prevention education. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the Assumption community and look forward to working with colleagues across campus in service to students,” said Dr. Cady Melzer. “During my visit to Assumption, I was impressed with everyone’s collective commitment to educate students both inside and outside of the classroom for lives of leadership and service. I believe in the power of a Catholic liberal arts education to transform students in order to launch graduates into lives of meaning and purpose. I am grateful to President Cesareo and everyone at Assumption for welcoming me and my family home to Worcester.”

Engaging with Le Moyne’s surrounding community, Dr. Cady Melzer forged strategic partnerships with corporate and nonprofit organizations that provided internship and career opportunities for students. In collaboration with faculty, she created Manresa Seminars that focus on the personal and professional development of the student whereby their curricular experiences are connected with career preparation endeavors. 

Under Dr. Cady Melzer’s leadership, LeMoyne’s Division of Student Development expanded from seven to 20 different departments including, but not limited to: Student Success Center; Campus Life and Leadership; Campus Ministry; Career Advising and Development; Disability Support Services; Inclusive Excellence and Global Education; Service Learning; Student Conduct; and the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling.

With a keen understanding of the importance of the Catholic principles upon which Le Moyne was founded, Dr. Cady Melzer led formation efforts for students and staff to understand and engage in the Catholic mission of the institution; developed a program that encouraged student formation and transformation through a number of Campus Ministry programs; and participated in the Ignatian Colleagues Program, a formation opportunity for senior administrators at Jesuit institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Cady Melzer also collaborated with her colleagues across the Le Moyne community to raise financial resources to renovate campus facilities and fund scholarships.

Prior to her service at Le Moyne, Dr. Cady Melzer served as dean of student development and deputy dean of students/director of residence life and first-year experience at Fairfield University; and director of Newman Catholic Ministry at Wellesley College. At Fairfield, Dr. Cady Melzer’s direct reports included the director of housing operations, two associate directors of residence life, coordinator of orientation, five area coordinators, four support staff and 60 paraprofessional staff. During her tenure at Wellesley, she managed all details of weekly and holy day liturgical celebrations and was appointed to serve on the Archdiocese of Boston’s Faith Formation Committee. In addition, Dr. Cady Melzer advised the student multi-faith counsel and the inaugural Multi-faith living-learning community. 

Possessing extensive expertise in Catholic higher education, Dr. Cady Melzer has served as an adjunct faculty member at Le Moyne and Boston Colleges, where she taught classes on Higher Education Leadership and Management, Secrets of Ignatian Leadership, and Student Affairs Administration.  

Dr. Cady Melzer holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College; an M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Vermont; a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Michael’s College; and a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. She has widely published and presented on student retention; the changing role of the Chief Housing Officer; spiritualty and student development; and mentoring programs that enhance the career development of residential life staff.

Her affiliations with professional organizations are extensive. She serves or has served as president-elect for the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators; vice president for programming, Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators; conference chair/host, AJCU Senior Student Affairs Officers; participant, Ignatian Colleagues Program, AJCU; national chair, Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community; conference co-chair, JASPA 2007 National Spring Conference; and conference chair, NASPA Region I Conference Planning Committee.

Dr. Cady Melzer’s contributions to the field of student development have been recognized with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator’s Region I Institutional Leadership Award; Boston College’s Mary Kinnane Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Service; All of the Above Conference’s Outstanding Supporter of Graduate and Undergraduate Students Award; Stonehill College’s Womens Leadership Retreat Faculty/Staff Recognition; and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator’s Region I Richard K. Stevens Outstanding New Professional Scholarship.

Dr. Cady Melzer and her husband, Duane, have two children: Nuala, 10, and Maddie, 5.