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On June 1, 2021, Dr. Julia Jasken will become the 10th president of McDaniel College and the second woman president in the college’s 153-year history. She has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and most notably to McDaniel, beginning in the classroom in 2003 as an English professor specializing in new media pedagogy and teaching a variety of professional writing courses.


For the past eight years, Dr. Jasken has assumed increasing responsibility in administrative positions, most recently serving in her current role as the college’s executive vice president and provost, overseeing the newly integrated academic and student life divisions. Her expertise spans academic and campus life restructuring, student success initiatives, adjunct faculty union contract negotiations, and building and supporting a culture of safety compliance. 


The McDaniel Commitment and More

A champion of both the liberal arts and McDaniel’s student-centered mission, Dr. Jasken has overseen many of the college’s most important strategic initiatives that created opportunity for McDaniel’s past two years of record enrollments. Dr. Jasken developed, and then served as director of, the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO), the college’s one-stop shop for experiential education and career development for McDaniel students and alumni. While serving as the McDaniel’s first associate provost, she collaboratively built the college’s first cross-divisional entrepreneurship program.

Dr. Jasken envisioned and designed the college’s signature McDaniel Commitment, which emphasizes experiential learning and alumni connections, and guarantees that every student, guided by a team of mentors, can construct and tailor their personal educational path. With Dr. Jasken at the academic helm, McDaniel launched 10 new career-oriented majors and charted professional pathways for students through agreements with graduate schools and community colleges as well as McDaniel’s own five-year bachelor’s-to-master’s programs.

Education and Personal

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Dr. Jasken earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan Technological University; the topic of her dissertation was “Designing Composition: Textbooks, Teaching and Identity in the Digital Age.” Dr. Jasken's scholarly work appears in leading journals and focuses on the intersection of oral, written and visual communication.

She currently resides in Westminster, Md., with her husband, two sons and rescue dog Kira.

Accomplishments and Partnerships

Most recently, Dr. Jasken led the Return to the Hill planning efforts that prepared McDaniel to reopen for the Fall 2020 semester during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling McDaniel students not only to return to campus but to remain through the end of the semester when many colleges were forced to close their doors to on-campus learning. She also serves as the chair of the college’s recently created diversity, equity, and inclusion administrative team, which has overseen the college’s DEI initiatives over the past six months.

At the graduate level, Dr. Jasken made the decision to centralize graduate admissions and enrollment, resulting in improved institutional recruiting and tracking. She also helped craft a Data Analytics partnership program. As a proponent of campus-community partnerships, particularly related to community engagement efforts, she earned the Maryland-D.C. Campus Compact Statewide Faculty Award for Outstanding Service-Learning in 2012 for her work developing a “Writing for Non-Profit Organizations” course that paired McDaniel students with many nonprofit organizations within Carroll County.

Dr. Julia Jasken and family

Dr. Julia Jasken with her husband, Dr. David Colquhoun, and their two sons, Iain (17) and Kyle (12). 

Professional Contributions

Nationally, Dr. Jasken is widely respected for her contributions to higher education, most recently serving as the keynote speaker for the Higher Education Resources Services (HERS) Wellesley Institute. In addition to her role as Chair of the Finance Committee and Executive Committee Board member of HERS National Women Leadership Network, Dr. Jasken also serves as an Executive Committee Board member for Westminster's Target Community & Educational Services and as a Board Member for Chamber Music on the Hill.

Some of Dr. Jasken's presentations include:

  • “The Role of Alumni in Vocational Discernment.” College of Independent Colleges (CIC) NetVUE Conference. Louisville, KY. March 2019.
  • “Mission-Driven Innovation at McDaniel College.” with President Roger Casey. Securing America’s Future Workshop. Council of Independent Colleges. Westminster, MD. April 2017.
  • “Cost Containment for Mission Driven Innovation.” with Professor Pam Regis. CIC Institute for Chief Academic and Chief Student Affairs Officers. San Antonio, Texas. November 2017.

Widely respected for her ability to create dialogue among diverse groups, Dr. Jasken has been selected to facilitate small group discussion that include the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Institute for Chief Academic, Advancement, and Public Relations Officers; the CIC Institute on Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts; and the CIC Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. Her expert facilitation has also given her the opportunity to lead small groups for University of Maryland, Baltimore County's “Restorative Practices” and AAC&U's Summer Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work.

Meet McDaniel's Tenth President Get to Know Dr. Jasken

Dr. Jasken has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and McDaniel. For the past eight years, she has assumed increasing responsibility in administrative positions, most recently serving as the college’s executive vice president and provost, overseeing both academic and student life. Learn a little more about Dr. Jasken's time on the Hill and how, in looking back at where we've been, we can move forward into the future together. 

Presidential Transition Team

As Dr. Julia Jasken prepares to take on her new role as president on June 1, a transition team has been formed to facilitate a thoughtful and efficient presidential transition.

The team will be engaged in developing and overseeing the presidential transition plan that will consist of various events, interactions, and communications that will take place during Dr. Jasken’s first year as McDaniel’s new president.

While the entire McDaniel College community will be involved in the transition process, the transition team members are:

  • Christina Goodman, Co-Chair, Executive Director of Advancement Engagement in Institutional Advancement
  • Cheryl Knauer, Co-Chair, Director of Public Relations in the Office of Communications & Marketing
  • Barbara Clinton, Executive Assistant to the Provost
  • Brenda Frazier, Associate Vice President for Development & Leadership Gifts, Institutional Advancement
  • Katie Hollabaugh, Communications & Events Manager, President’s Office
  • Colleen Jones, Executive Director of Advancement Services, Institutional Advancement
  • Marissa Lander, Chief of Staff, President’s Office
  • Colleen Lucas, Assistant Director for Institutional Advancement
  • Heidi Reigel, Associate Vice President of Alumni & Admissions
  • Dianne Thompson, Executive Director of Annual Giving, Institutional Advancement

Contact the Presidential Transition Team: