Message from Dean Patterson, your Flagship’s Captain

Portrait of Dean Patterson

Dear COAS Students, 

For some of you, you have completed your first semester at Howard, while for most of you, you have gained more knowledge on how to manage your time between your studies, extracurricular opportunities, and building new friendships. 

Congratulations for successfully completing another semester at Howard, which puts you one step closer to graduating from this iconic university! Semester-by-semester, we are committed to improving your educational experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. That commitment was demonstrated by the creation of new positions in the COAS Office of Academic Student Affairs (ASA), which is under the leadership of Associate Dean Dr. Gladys M. Francis. That office now also includes an Assistant Director of Student Affairs for Experiential Learning, Scholarships, and Career Readiness (Ms. Ciara Williams); an Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives, Academic Assessment, and Communications (Ms. D’Asia Bethea); an Assistant Director of Student Affairs for Academic Advising, Admissions and Records (Mr. Eric Price); and an Administrative Coordinator (Ms. Michelle Armstrong). Those new staff positions and the excellent new colleagues who occupy them will enable us to provide COAS students with superior service. 

Dr. Francis and her new Academic Student Affairs colleagues are planning to be much more innovative as a service provider to both assist you in graduating on time and enhance your experience while matriculating. For instance, we are building the experiential learning infrastructure to have a fourfold increase in the number of COAS students who have a study abroad experience. The new experiential learning infrastructure will also support all COAS students taking an off-campus professional experience where students apply scholarly content that they have acquired in the classroom to real-world problem-solving opportunities in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond. 

You should also anticipate improved and faster ombudsman service from our office. And when solutions to your problems exist beyond our office, we will assist in liaising on your behalf. We want your intellect and energy applied to your rigorous courses of study, not avoidable administrative-related challenges. 

Although we will never be perfect, but we can have a vision of the superior service provider we want to be, have a plan for accomplishing that goal, and then consistently assessing how we are performing so adjustments can be made continuously. We also welcome your feedback to let us know where we have areas for additional improvement as well as what we are doing well. 

Once again, congratulations on completing a successful semester, which means you have acquired additional knowledge and skills that help you succeed as global leader. I hope you took the time to relax and have fun over the holiday period. 

Welcome back to campus and hope you will take advantage of some exciting initiatives I am honored to facilitate. Among others, it is my pleasure to bring back the passport drive that will allow all COAS freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to receive a free passport. 

Excellence in Truth and Service, 

Rubin Patterson, Ph.D. 



Academic Student Affairs