Suzy M. Nelson serves as the vice president and dean for student life. As a member of the chancellor’s senior staff, she oversees many areas related to graduate and undergraduate student life at MIT: wellness and student support; residential life programs; fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups; housing and dining; student activities and associated services and facilities; diversity and inclusion initiatives; religious life; public service and volunteer opportunities; and athletics, physical education, and recreation.

A graduate of the higher education doctoral program at Syracuse University, Nelson came to MIT after serving as vice president and dean of the College at Colgate University. With more than 25 years of experience as an educator, Nelson worked at Harvard, Cornell, and Syracuse Universities in residential life, student life and activities, and fraternity and sorority affairs. She also lectured at Cornell and other colleges on topics related to student life.

Nelson’s favorite part of her job is working with students. She began her career teaching high school English, and subsequently developed academic interests in college residential learning communities, student development, and sustained dialogue as a technique for resolving conflict. Nelson and her husband Jack have four children.