After a nationwide search with 75 candidates, Candler found it didn’t need to look far for its next head of student life: alumna and current staffer Allison Henderson-Brooks 19T will be Candler’s assistant dean of students, effective April 28.
Dean Jan Love made the announcement in an email to Candler’s students, faculty and staff earlier this week.
“In a highly competitive group of finalists, [Allison] provided a powerful and convincing vision for leading a team in the Office of Student Life in their responsibility for ensuring a vibrant, healthy, and spiritually enriching community life for students on campus and online,” Love wrote. She noted that Henderson-Brooks and the OSL team will also promote community life among students, staff and faculty.
Henderson-Brooks currently holds dual roles at Candler: assistant director of student life for diversity, equity and inclusion and program coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry program.
In her assistant director role, she has worked closely with faculty, staff, students, and colleagues across Emory to mediate, bring awareness, and resolve diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. During the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, she spearheaded a special project to call nearly 500 Candler students to gauge their needs. This effort led to the creation the Candler Forward Emergency Fund to address financial hardships students were experiencing as a direct result of the pandemic, including food and housing insecurity, job loss, grief, and health issues. Her personal connection with students also mitigated attrition concerns discovered during the calls.
In her role as program coordinator of the DMin program, she has served as the first point of contact and concierge to Candler’s 90 fully remote domestic and international DMin students across three cohorts to ensure optimal learning, connectivity, a sense of belonging, and administrative support that increases student flourishing. She also handled all administrative and operational needs of the program, including budget reconciliation, event planning, and keeping in touch with the students regularly to foster relationship building.
A licensed and ordained Baptist minister, Henderson-Brooks is a graduate of Spelman College (BA), Candler (MDiv), and is pursuing a DMin at Memphis Theological Seminary. Before coming to Candler as a student in 2017, she honed her skills in the hospitality industry at Marriott International, Loews Atlanta, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, experience she credits with giving her a unique perspective on creating a welcoming community at Candler.