School of Education alumna and longtime Pitt staffer Karin Asher (EDUC ’08G) has started a new role as the inaugural assistant dean for student engagement and professional development in the Division of Student Affairs, effective July 15. In the position, Asher will focus on bringing together the four areas of Pitt’s student engagement and professional development team — the Career Center, leadership development, involvement and student unions, and Outside-the-Classroom Curriculum — to cohesively support student success.
“Student Affairs is excited to welcome Asher to this new role,” said Carla Panzella, dean of students at Pitt. “Under her leadership in consolidating this team, we expect to be better able to meet the evolving needs of students, especially as we reevaluate our programs, resources and services following the pandemic.”
Prior to her new role, Asher served as the interim director of Pitt’s Career Center for the 2021-2022 academic year, after spending nearly 10 years as associate director of the Career Center. During that time, she helped to grow the center’s programs and services to assist Pitt students by forming collaborative partnerships across campus. Asher oversaw major changes to Pitt’s first destination data collection process by aligning it with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) guidelines, and she has worked to bolster access to more comprehensive data about where Pitt graduates go on to work and continue their educations. She has also worked to create and grow the Career Champions program, which offers training to faculty and advisors on career advising issues for students, and improved partnerships with academic schools and advising staff.
Asher received her bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, her master’s from Penn State University and her Ed.D. from Pitt. Her research and professional interests include enhancing the use of data to understand patterns in student engagement and combining that information with access to resources to ensure these services reach all populations of students.
Asher began her Student Affairs career in Residence Life and New Student Programs. She said she is committed to strengthening partnerships throughout and beyond the Division of Student Affairs and is looking forward to using those relationships to enhance student opportunities for success at Pitt.