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
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 freshman 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

Dean Leanna Barlow comes to Yale with experience in residential advising and mentoring undergraduates. Since 2014, she has served as a sophomore adviser at Harvard College’s Winthrop House, providing pre-major academic guidance to its undergraduates. Before advising at Harvard, she served as a mentor and adviser to Brandeis students, many of them the first in their families to attend college, and facilitated workshops in study skills, campus resources, and healthy relationships.

Dean Barlow received her B.S. summa cum laude in public health and social justice from the University of Massachusetts, her M.P.A. from Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs, and her Ph.D. in comparative politics from Brandeis University. At Brandeis she taught courses in the Politics Department on comparative politics, social movements, and extreme party politics in Europe.

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 has an eleven-year-old son who loves to play soccer and basketball, and a seven-year-old daughter who is becoming quite the little 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.