Alfred University News

New Arts Assistant Dean Announced

Maria Bentley joined the School of Art & Design + Performing Arts Division as Assistant Dean on June 13th, 2022.

Maria Bentley joined the School of Art & Design + Performing Arts Division as Assistant Dean on June 13th, 2022.

Bentley has shaped Arts recruitment within Enrollment Management since 2015. As Associate Director of Arts Enrollment she has worked both independently and collaboratively on all aspects of arts recruitment, managing a large pool of arts applicants and fostering relationships with faculty, staff, arts educators, and school counselors both nationally and internationally. Maria developed many of the new initiatives that comprise the current arts recruitment strategies. She initiated the annual incoming student exhibition “Start Your Engines”; a contributing factor in the less than 2% melt annually since 2017. She established interactive online workshops, in the Maker Monday series, and numerous portfolio development opportunities for students. Bentley also worked to solidify partnerships between Alfred University and The National K12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, Inc., at NCECA, NYSATA (New York State Art Teachers Association), NAEA (National Arts Education Association), and Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Maria received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2015 and a Master of Science in Education, College Student Development, from Alfred University in 2020 and she is presently working toward a Master of Science in Education, Mental Health Counseling, also at Alfred University.

She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society and the current president of Chi Sigma Alpha, Student Affairs Honor Society at Alfred. Maria is an active member and advocate of the Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron Association, the Art Force 5, and faculty advisor for the student group QuAC (the Queer Arts Collective). 

Maria states, “I am eager to work with students and provide them with guidance not only to the doors of Alfred but to help them find their voice within our arts community. I aim to be a steward of positive wellness and collaboration within all stakeholders for our students, as well as an ally and advocate for all for our Alfred Arts community. It is my mission to make sure all students find their experience in the Arts at Alfred to be inclusive, equitable, and accessible.”

Special thanks to members of the faculty, staff and students for their service in meeting with all candidates: Leslie Rollins, Maureen Weiss, Tamara Kenney, Emily Woo, Eric Souther, Betsy Kent, Billie Burns, Caitlin Brown, Rey Jeon and Laura Souther