Dean’s Office

Office hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
(closed for lunch from 12:30pm to 1:30 pm)

Dean’s Office Phone:
Phone: (203) 432-0701

Interim Dean:
Dean’s Assistant:

Mailing Address:
Silliman College Dean’s Office
P.O. Box 208248
New Haven, CT 06520-8248
Campus Address:
Silliman College Dean’s Office
505 College Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Who’s who

The Dean of the college serves as the primary adviser to its students, providing guidance on academic and personal matters, and serving as a referral to other resources throughout the university. As a resident of the college who participates in its extracurricular life, the Dean plays an important role in helping students plan their course of study within the broader context of their Yale career, and life after graduation. The Dean provides additional support by writing letters of recommendation, overseeing housing, supervising the work of the First-Year Counselors, and, in certain circumstances, postponing deadlines for student work.

Assisting the Dean is the Dean’s Office Senior Administrative Assistant, who handles much of the day-to-day business in the office, including registering students, accepting requests for changes to course schedules, clarifying academic regulations and procedures, and maintaining placement files. Like the Dean, the Senior AA is widely knowledgeable about the many resources at Yale and regularly directs students to them.

The First-Year Counselors, all of them Silliman seniors, play a special role in the college. Together with the Dean, they counsel and advise first-year students, living with them and providing them with academic and personal counseling during the first year. In addition to bringing an important peer perspective to their roles, the First-Year Counselors receive special training in helping students adapt to college life.

The Dean

Interim Dean Thomas Santa Maria received his PhD at Yale in Renaissance Studies and History in 2022. He studies the religious and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, especially Italy. Before Yale, he completed a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at Boston College and served as a Graduate Resident Assistant. Prior to that, he attended the College of the Holy Cross where he completed the honors course in history, classics, and Catholic Studies.

While at Holy Cross, he also competed in varsity track and field, he continues coaching and officiating to this day. Dean Santa Maria and his dog Emma look forward to getting to know everyone, participating in IM sports, and making Silliman an unquestioned powerhouse.

The Dean’s Office is located on the first floor of Byers Hall.

Dean’s Assistant

Ashley Nesmith ( is the Dean’s Senior Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining Silliman in August, 2017, Ashley worked for the Yale University Registrar’s Office as an Academic Support Coordinator where she trained and supported academic departments all over campus for four years.  Before that she worked in the Yale University Statistics department as the Department Registrar and Chair’s Assistant. Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 2006.  She is married to her College Sweetheart, Curtis. They have a twelve-year-old son who loves to play soccer, and a nine-year-old daughter who is becoming quite the dancer.  Her husband and kids keep her very busy outside of work, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.  Ashley loves music, dancing, and going to the gym. She also enjoys relaxing and watching football on the weekend with her family.