Senior Staff

Sweet Briar College’s senior staff is composed of the senior executive officers of the following College offices and divisions: admission; alumnae and development; co-curricular life; dean's office; human resources; institutional research; integrated information systems; media, marketing and communications; finance and administration; president's office and the chair of the faculty executive committee. The senior staff works with the president and the board of directors to keep the College running smoothly.

Carolyn Burton

Director of Human Resources
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6506
(434) 381-6486 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Ensures employment, benefits and compensation policies and practices are compliant, competitive and appropriate for the College to recruit and retain the necessary talent
  • Provides analysis, support and advice to managers and senior leaders regarding human resources issues
  • Chief human resources officer of the College; serves as the College's Section 504 and Title IX Officer
  • Chairs the health care committee

Christy C. Cole

Director of Institutional Research
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6530
(434) 381-6288 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Is the College's re-accreditation liaison
  • Works with all constituencies of the College in the development and dissemination of data and analysis and interpretation of data in support of decision-making in areas such as assessment, strategic planning and budget allocation
  • Generates required internal, state and federally mandated reports and surveys, and responds to requests for information from publishers of college guidebooks
  • Participates in institutional planning and the development of strategic direction
  • Involved in special events

Christy Jackson

Director of Media, Marketing and Communications
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6326
(434) 381-6263 (fax)
[email protected] 

  • Provides direction and leadership for the media, marketing and communications office, which includes web development, photography, public relations and publications (including recruitment, development, departmental and online materials)
  • Plans and implements short- and long-term marketing and communications strategies
  • Manages communications and marketing in both traditional and digital communications platforms using data-driven decision-making
  • Counsels the president and senior staff on communications and messaging
  • Works collaboratively across campus to efficiently utilize institutional assets, unify image and support advancement and recruitment goals
  • Speaks as the chief institutional contact for the College
  • Manages crisis communication and fields requests for interviews

John G. Jaffe

Director of Integrated Information Systems
Professor, Library
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6139
(434) 381-6173 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Provides learning-focused technology operations that enhance education, enable information access and improve assessment and institutional productivity
  • Enables informational access in the most cost-effective manner using integrated personnel structures and industry standards and systems
  • Monitors effectiveness through a continuous review process

Amy Jessen-Marshall

Vice President for Academic Affairs
and Dean of the Faculty
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6205
(434) 381-6489 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Chief academic officer of the College
  • Overall responsibility for all academic operations
  • Academic program and personnel evaluation
  • Curriculum and faculty development activities
  • Liaison to the educational programs committee of the board of directors
  • Budgetary responsibility for all academic departments, programs and academic support functions

Scott C. Shank

Vice President for Finance and Administration
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6202
(434) 381-6486 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Chief financial and administrative officer of the College
  • Responsible for operation of the physical plant and campus safety
  • Chairs committees on faculty housing, safety, land use and landscape
  • Administrative liaison on the board of directors' investments, finance, buildings and grounds and audit committees

Cheryl L. Steele

Dean of Co-Curricular Life
Vice President of Student Affairs
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6134
(434) 381-6492 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Provides leadership and support for all student life programs and activities
  • Works with the dean of the Faculty and other staff at Sweet Briar to design and facilitate an educational experience in which students actively engage and integrate their learning both in and out of the classroom
  • Oversees residence life and housing, First-Year and Sophomore Programs, student involvement and programs, the Sweet Briar Outdoor Program, the Leadership Certificate Program, health and counseling services, career services and campus student employment, the Chaplain's Office and other co-curricular programs

Melissa “Missy” Gentry Witherow ’80

 Melissa "Missy" Gentry Witherow '80

Interim Vice President for Alumnae and Development
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6162
(434) 381-6263 (fax)
[email protected]

  • Works with the president and the board of directors to devise and establish policies for alumnae and development
  • Serves as advisor to the president regarding alumnae relations and development for the College
  • Responsible for designing and implementing programs that encourage financial and volunteer support of the College

Louise Swiecki Zingaro ’80


Vice President
Chief of Staff/Acting Dean of Enrollment Management
Biographical Sketch
(434) 381-6316
(434) 381-6288 (fax)
[email protected]

Acting Dean of Enrollment Management
(434) 381-6142
(434) 381-6152 (fax)

  • Acting Dean of Enrollment
    • Provides direction and leadership for the admissions office
    • Creates and implements marketing and recruitment strategies that support the institutional enrollment goals for undergraduate students; transfer, Turning Point and international students; and graduate students in education
    • Chairs the enrollment management committee
    • Oversees the office of financial aid
  • Chief of Staff
    • Serves as principal aide to the president
    • Liaison to the board of directors
    • Oversees media, marketing and communications
    • Coordinates College-wide strategic planning
    • Works with the president to plan and oversee campuswide strategic initiatives
    • Coordinates relationships with key external constituencies such as alumnae, local community and state and regional associations