Dean of Students BaShaun Smith Initiates Student Connections

BaShaun Smith speaking to two students on Central Quad.Less than a month into his time as Miami University’s associate vice president and dean of students, BaShaun Smith, Ed.D., has wasted no time in forging connections with the student body.

Smith was initially drawn to Miami for its reputation for personal touch and strong relationships. He wants the office of the dean of students to contribute to those connections by launching new programs and expanding access for students to show care to each other.

A standout initiative on Smith's agenda is the weekly event called Break Bread with BaShaun. Every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Smith and members of his team can be found around campus enjoying a meal and engaging in conversation over lunch. Students can bring lunch or grab it in the dining hall. Whether it's discussing the Cleveland Browns, addressing campus concerns, or sharing insights about favorite superheroes, Smith looks forward to connecting with students in a relaxed atmosphere.

“The title dean of students can intimidate some,” said Smith. “But what students will learn is that I am here to champion their experience each and every day.”

The first event took place in the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion; future events will be listed on the dean of students website and on Instagram (@miamioh_dos).

Smith also plans to host monthly open forums, welcoming all students to ask questions, discuss important issues, and learn about his vision for centering care on campus.

The first Break Bread with BaShaun event in the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion. BaShaun is in a circle with a group of five studnents in comfortable chairs. “Students are why I said yes to this job and I want to ensure they have forums and spaces to let me know what is going on,” Smith said.

The first forum is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26 in the Wilks Theater in the Armstrong Student Center.

In the coming weeks, Miami students who are concerned about a friend, roommate, or classmate will be able to report that concern to the office of the dean of students. The form was previously only available to faculty and staff members.