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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Jamele Adams brings experience and poetry to position as Dean of Students

Published: September 6, 2013
Section: News

Previously serving as the Associate Dean of Student Life and Assistant Dean of Student Life, Jamele Adams became the new Dean of Students during the summer.

Many may have seen him perform inspiring slam poetry. Andrew Flagel, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment, spoke of Adams’ virtues in an email, saying, “I was stunned by the energy and passion he displayed, and soon found that he brought that same spirit to his work at Brandeis.”

For Adams, “[Education is] the crux of the destiny to make the world as beautiful as it possibly can be. Few things are as magnificent as an incredible education that allows one to see how we all matter and have the capacity to positively contribute to the world,” he said in an interview with The Hoot this week.

Adams has spent a number of years working at Brandeis, and he describes the school as “unique as every individual in our Brandeis family.” Adams has previous experience working at higher education institutions, such as Montclair State University, Kenyon College and Ashland University in student affairs, residence life, housing, orientation and advising before becoming part of the Brandeis family. He has also been a part of different organizations such as “Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation,” an organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles among young people through education programs and the funding of organizations that treat and help prevent teenage substance abuse.

Adams has been devoted to poetry even before he was encouraged to perform his work. While his interest in the written word goes as far back as to when was eight years old when he would rap with his friends in Harlem, he was attracted to poetry through the courageous and brilliant work of Langston Hughes. He later went on to act in a documentary about Hughes. Adams’ own work has been archived at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Smithsonian Institution.

Adams, whose fierce dedication to diversity and unity is well known on the Brandeis campus, is a popular administration figure among students. Whether performing slam poetry on hard issues ranging from the Darfur genocide to the Trayvon Martin case, motivating involvement in his own campus-wide programs among students, or supporting student run organizations on campus, Adams’ energy is hard to miss. As he begins his new deanship, let’s hope he uses that energy to lead Brandeis forward.