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Getting to Know Joan Malczewski

"My approach to life is community-building, and the Dean's office tries to approach its work this way," says Assistant Dean Joan Malczewski.

In her job, which she's held for the last three years, Malczewski works closely with Dean Karen Zumwalt and Associate Dean Bill Baldwin. She takes care of all academic program issues and acts as a resource for policies and procedures. "Whatever the dean needs to do to get her work done, I'm here to help her do it," she says. "Basically, I serve the faculty and the academic program."

In addition to managing the Dean's office, Malczewski has primary responsibility for implementing policies that guide faculty personnel issues. These include hiring, reappointment, tenure and promotion in the academic program. She has worked to ease the reorganization by meeting with department associates to compile a guide for making the administrative side of running a department consistent throughout the College. She also coordinates meetings and agenda for the Trustee Committee on Education.

Malczewski, a CPA who worked for Arthur Anderson after graduating from the University of Michigan, came to TC eight years ago as special assistant to the dean in charge of academic budgets. "I think the skills I learned as an auditor were useful," Malczewski says. "I had to work in different cultures and adapt to them."

Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, Malczewski came to New York in 1985, living in downtown Manhattan, where some of her friends had also relocated. She was active in the downtown community, teaching aerobics and nutrition classes as well as sitting on the board of a performance arts group. Malczewski also continued her education at TC, where she is now working on her Ph.D. in History and Education.

Malczewski met her husband, Drew LaStella, while working in the Dean's office. He is currently the special assistant to the dean. They have a daughter, Sydney, who is also part of the TC community, attending the Center for Infants and Parents, which is run by Assistant Professor Susan Recchia. As a result, Malczewski is on their advisory board and works to expand early childhood education in ways that promote more day care at TC. "It is something I have become aware of since I have a daughter in the Center," she explains.

Since Sydney's birth in 1995, the couple has moved uptown. Malczewski no longer teaches aerobics classes, but frequently goes to the Columbia University gym before work.

As part of the TC community, Malczewski says she has had great experiences and she's made a lot of friends. "I enjoy working with faculty and staff," she says.

"There are a lot of talented and caring people. It's a good community situation."

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