Western Kentucky University

Cornell named Dee Hawks, a residence hall director at Western Kentucky University, the University's panhellenic advisor.

October 13, 2017

Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life Hires New Panhellenic Advisor

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The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life at Cornell announced on Tuesday that Dee Hawks will join its team as assistant director and panhellenic advisor.

As panhellenic advisor, Hawks will provide guidance, input and help “set the direction of the Panhellenic community in terms of reaching goals and creating positive, tangible change,” said Caitlin Gleason ’18, Panhellenic Council president.

Interim Advisor Karli Buday took a new position in the Office of Campus and Community Engagement, opening up the position. Prior to that, Katherine Cianciotto was the panhellenic advisor.

“We were looking for someone who would be resourceful and innovative, but also could relate to students on a more personal level,” Gleason said of the selection process. “Dee has a warm, inviting personality and a plethora of experiences in fields that will enhance her ability to succeed in this role.”

Hawks, currently the residence hall director at Western Kentucky University and an advisor to the school’s Queer Student Union, declined an interview, saying she is “very excited to begin this transition and new position at Cornell.”

Hawks holds a B.A. in political science from Northern Kentucky University and a masters in education from Western Kentucky University.

Previously, Hawks served as a panhellenic advising intern and an admissions counselor at Indiana University.

Hawks “will be a good fit at Cornell because she wants to encourage students to maximize their potential, and give them the opportunity to execute a vision,” Gleason said. “This partnership and collaborative approach will allow our students to thrive and grow.”

A series of recent incidents involving members or possible members of fraternities has resurfaced discussion of the benefits and problems with Greek Life. In September, a student at the Latino Living Center reported hearing a fraternity member propose that other members “build a wall around the LLC.” Later that same month, John Greenwood ’20, who may have been an underground member of Psi Upsilon, was arrested for an assault in Collegetown and may be charged with a hate crime.

The Greek Tri-Council is implementing a new plan for increasing diversity and inclusion and training and educating its members.

“Dee will be helping oversee implementation, giving feedback and providing insight based on her previous experience with diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education,” Gleason said.

Hawks is from Louisville and  passionate about social justice and inclusion, she said on her Western Kentucky University profile.

Hawks is a member of the Delta Gamma Fraternity and has previously served as a recruitment advisor for the Theta chapter at Indiana University, according to a Facebook announcement.

She will officially begin her role at Cornell on Nov. 6.

Alisha Gupta ’20 contributed reporting to this article.