FCLC Welcomes New Assistant Sophomore Dean


McKnight, the new Assistant Dean of Sophomores, is also pursuing a Doctorate of Education. (COLIN SHEELEY/THE OBSERVER)


Mica J. McKnight’s office in the Lowenstein building at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) is tidy. The long wooden desk that divides the room is cleared, save for a landline, a copper letter tray and an ashy succulent plant in the corner. Pictures of the new Assistant Dean for Sophomores and her family poke out from under bookshelves and her desktop monitor photos of the beach and a dim-lit restaurant, alongside post-it note holders and plastic pen containers.

McKnight herself is just as organized, and if her office is not a good enough indication, her background, too, suggests utmost diligence. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Saint John’s University before moving to Columbia University to study clinical and counseling psychology for her master’s. There, she discovered her call to education while also working a full-time job. Now, in her new position, she is concurrently pursuing a Doctorate of Education and is enjoying every bit of it.

“I love working with students,” McKnight said. “It’s just great seeing students come in as one thing, and then by way of education, leaving as something totally different, whether that be just because of the new knowledge they acquired or because of their personal growth and what they’ve learned about themselves throughout the journey.”

A student and a staff member, McKnight is trying to use her experience in both roles to enhance her understanding of each.

As the newest member of Fordham’s staff, McKnight is grateful for the advice she has received from the other FCLC class deans. “I’ve learned so much from each of them in terms of how they deal with students, what types of issues I can expect in dealing with students, how to handle them, what rules need to be maintained and just being able to understand why a student would be coming to me,” she said.

A student and a staff member, McKnight is trying to use her experience in both roles to enhance her understanding of each; she said that she employs much of what she learns in her program to “give back to the students” and is always on the lookout for inspirational material for her dissertation.

At the moment, she is looking forward to hosting Sophomore Convocation for the first time this year. Sophomores are often in interesting positions in their lives, according to McKnight. In many cases, they seem to be wavering on the edge of adulthood, the glimmer of freshman year faded to some measure and the weighty checkpoint of major selection looming uncomfortably close. She is hoping that the event will dispel some of those anxieties.

“I try to take a step back and realize that although i do have this psychology training, i’m not a therapist, and i’m not anyone’s psychologist.”

She is also hoping to be increasingly involved in many aspects of students’ lives. “I want students to know that they can come to us with good news, they can come to us to share their experiences, they can come to us for other things beyond just issues with registering for classes, and that kind of stuff,” McKnight said. “I want students to not look at me as an enforcer, but more so a person that’s here to help, and a person that’s here to help them finish their degree, and to not only get the academic piece of it, but to be involved with Fordham, and to really come to understand Fordham’s mission and love Fordham as much as other students do.”

Despite this, and her educational experience, McKnight understands her boundaries. “I try to take a step back and realize that although I do have this psychology training, I’m not a therapist, and I’m not anyone’s psychologist,” she said.

Sophomore Convocation will begin at noon on Oct. 20 in the Pope Auditorium.