Associate Dean for Student Affairs
3041 Broadway, AD 106
New York, NY 10027
Dean Wilson was born in London, England of Jamaican heritage. She migrated to the United States in the late 1970’s to the Bushwick/Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in New York City. Dean Wilson is the former Executive Director of HELPUSA’s HELP Supportive Employment Center (HELPSEC), a residential program shelter on Wards Island in New York that serves 200 homeless men and women with histories of substance abuse and mental health challenges. She was also the Chief Operating Officer of a housing counseling and economic development organization in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in New York. Dean Wilson graduated from Union Theological Seminary (Union) in the City of New York in May 2009 with a Master of Divinity Degree, which involved the study of Psychiatry & Religion with Social Ethics. She assumed her new role as Associate Dean for Student Life and Assistant Director of Recruitment in February 2010 at Union. In the summer of 2013 her title changed to Associate Dean for Student Affairs where Dean Wilson provides vision, administrative leadership and strategic management of the Office of Student Affairs, to create, foster and sustain a safe, healthy, and supportive atmosphere and community that synchronizes the theological, spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and emotional development, orientation, retention and graduation of seminary students dedicated to lead faith-based and social entrepreneurship initiatives, the academy, church and society in addressing the most complex issues of this era.
Dean Wilson is a recipient of the Anne McGrew Bennett & John Coleman Bennett Fellowship of Auburn Seminary which is awarded to the graduating student who by decision of a Union Faculty Committee shows promise of excellence in a ministry of social service and advocacy for justice in the public arena. Dean Wilson was also granted a Henry Luce Fellowship for the summer of 2009 to study at the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya) and the Center for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya) at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She was also awarded a Beatitudes Society Service Trip Scholarship to the Gulf Coast in 2008 to assist a Hurricane Katrina victim with the rebuilding of her home.
In 2008, Dean Wilson co-founded the Union Interfaith Caucus, a student organization that encourages and facilitates open and constructive conversations and collective social action between people of diverse faiths and religions. She is a former Minister-In-Residence at Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn Heights, New York, which called Rev. Henry Ward Beecher to be its first pastor in 1847 and is now under the leadership of Rev. Dr. David Fisher. Dean Wilson was ordained at Plymouth on Sunday, October 3, 2010. In 2010, Dean Wilson was selected by the Association for Theological Schools (ATS) to participate in their Emerging Women in Leadership Development Institute program. In 2013, Dean Wilson was selected by ATS to participate in their Advancing Women in Leadership Development Institute Program.
Dean Wilson’s favorite text is Micah 6:8, “…what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Dean Wilson is engaged in the study of complex social issues from a perspective of faith and is deeply concerned with how social and biblical interpretations affect personal agency and social change. It is her life’s work to empower others to do the same; to see faith and justice in the service of human needs.
Dean Wilson additionally holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, a Master of Arts in Sociology: Applied Social Research and a Juris Doctor. Dean Wilson is a Doctoral Candidate in the Executive Doctorate program in Higher Education Management within the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, researching the diversity and inclusion experiences of students attending progressive graduate theological schools, who are, deeply committed to diversity and striving to create inclusive campus environments.
Dean Wilson is a gospel singer. She loves art, reading, traveling, teaching and preaching.