Former Monash University head of college appointed Dean of St Mark’s

The former head of Normanby House and Briggs Hall at Monash University in Melbourne, Dr Andrés Villamizar, has been appointed to be Dean of St Mark’s College from January 2022.

He will succeed Mr Stuart Meldrum, a psychologist with expertise and experience in student wellbeing, when Stuart moves to become the inaugural Director of Wellbeing at St Mark’s, as part of a major expansion of student support.

The Dean is responsible for fostering a vibrant and engaged student body with a strong culture of inclusion and respect, nurturing student leadership skills, and overseeing student discipline.

Dr Andrés Villamizar is currently a Learning Adviser in the Student Academic Success team at Monash University, and a Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Education there.

For three years (2018-20), he was head of Normanby House, one of Monash University’s halls of residence, and has also served as head of Briggs Hall and Deputy College Head of Jackomos Hall, also with Monash Residential Services.

In these roles, Andrés oversaw fun and inclusive social, academic, cultural, sporting, and wellbeing programs, catering for the needs and interests of a diverse population of students from rural Victoria, interstate and overseas.

“I loved my time living in a university residential community, contributing to a positive student experience, and working with amazing student leaders. This is why I am so excited to expand my horizons, move to beautiful Adelaide, and join the thriving St Mark’s community as Dean from early 2022”, he said.

Andrés greatly enjoyed meeting many of the St Mark’s student leaders as part of the rigorous selection process for the position of Dean – and their enthusiastic feedback showed that they clearly enjoyed meeting him also.

Andrés’s other roles in the 20 years since he came to Australia from Colombia as a student have included serving as a student wellbeing adviser and Spanish and Latin American Studies teaching associate at RMIT University, student adviser, teaching associate (Faculties of Arts and Education) and alumni relations manager at Monash University, and English language teacher at Swinburne University.

His Bachelor of Architecture and work as an architect in Colombia was followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts, a Masters of Education (TESOL International), and a PhD on visual literacy in adult education, all at Monash University.

Andrés has had university commendations for his outstanding teaching, as well as for his research, and is a mental health first aider, and LGBTIQ Ally at Monash University.

In his spare time, he enjoys swimming and practising yoga. He’s also a big fan of suspense movies and musical theatre, a karaoke enthusiast, and a cat lover.

“We very much look forward to welcoming Andrés and his partner, Bryce, to St Mark’s in January”, the Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, said.

“Everyone who met Andrés in the selection process was impressed with how well his residential and other educational experience, well-honed skills, and lively and engaging personality equip him for the role of Dean at this exciting time of expanding student support at St Mark’s”, he said.

For more on the College’s significant expansion of student support, click here.