Monique Pillow Gnanaratnam has been announced as the new Dean of Students, according to an email update sent on Aug. 24 by Raymond Ou, Vice President of Student Affairs. Pillow Gnanaratnam has worked at the university for over 15 years and has experience in various positions on campus, according to the email.
Pillow Gnanaratnam has served as an Associate Dean of Students for the university since 2016. In this position, she was involved in the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards, overseeing its operation, according to The Dean of Students Office’s page. Pillow Gnanaratnam was also a co-chair to the Care Team—a resource for students that promotes the safety and health of students, according to the Care Team’s page.
Prior to 2016 when Pillow Gnanaratnam became an associate dean, she worked as Assistant Dean of Students as well as the Director of the Intercultural Center and Gender and Sexuality Center, wrote Ou in his email announcement.
“In accepting this new role, Monique [Pillow Gnanaratnam] has expressed appreciation for her family’s enduring support throughout her career. Moreover, she looks forward to building on the good work with faculty, staff and alumni over the years,” wrote Ou.
Before working at Brandeis, according to the email, Pillow Gnanaratnam was involved in student affairs in other capacities, including residential life, leadership development, community service, multicultural affairs, international student affairs, new student orientation and off campus student services. Pillow Gnanaratnam has worked in higher education at Northeastern University, Bellarmine University and the University of Dayton, according to The Dean of Students Office’s page.
Pillow Gnanaratnam takes on the Dean of Students position after the departure of Jamele Adams back in April 2021, according to an email sent to the Brandeis community by Ou in April 2021. Adams served as Dean of Students from 2013 to 2021, according to the email; Adams left to pursue a new professional opportunity.
As Dean of Students, Adams was responsible for overseeing the university’s departments of community service, student activities and student rights and community standards, according to the email. This responsibility is now passed to Pillow Gnanaratnam as she assumes the position. The Dean of Students Office is responsible for advocating for all Brandeis students and promoting opportunities for students to allow for social and emotional growth, according to their page. The Office is also responsible for hosting events throughout the year promoting social, cultural and intellectual opportunities for students.
Pillow Gnanaratnam received her bachelor’s degree at Wilmington College and holds a master’s degree which she received from Bowling Green State University. Ou announced Pillow Gnanaratnam’s appointment as one of two positions filled in the Division of Student Affairs.