June 10, 2022

Transitions in Dean of Studies office

Two exciting personnel changes in the Dean of Studies Office will be occurring this summer
Raj Mundra P’18, ’20

Head of School Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, P’24, has appointed Raj Mundra P’18, ’20, interim deputy head of school for academics and student affairs for a one-year term. At the conclusion of the 2022–2023 academic year, Mundra, who was formerly dean of studies, will be leaving the Academy to become head of school for Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco starting July 2023. Additionally, Caroline Odden P’26, a PA faculty member for more than 20 years, has been named the new dean of studies succeeding Mundra. Both terms begin in July.

As interim deputy head of school, Mundra will oversee and collaborate with the offices of the dean of students, dean of studies, and dean of faculty, and will help transition the new deputy head of school once that person is appointed.

Mundra has more than 25 years of experience at Andover ranging from academic, residential, and administrative roles. Since joining the faculty in 1991 and returning in 1996, Mundra has taught at every level of the curriculum as a member of the biology department. He has served as a house counselor, academic advisor, varsity football coach, and director of the Niswarth program, a summer service-learning program based in India. Mundra was appointed dean of studies in 2019 and previously served as associate director of the International Academic Partnership, assistant dean of the Office of Community and Multicultural Development, cluster dean of Pine Knoll, and associate dean of students. Mundra earned a BS in biochemistry from Brandeis University and an MAT in biology from Brown University.

In the Lick-Wilmerding announcement, it was noted that Mundra leads with “humility, empathy, and gratitude” and brings a wealth of independent school leadership experience. The search committee was particularly impressed with his dedication to academic excellence, passion for public purpose, and commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Caroline Odden

Odden first joined the PA faculty in 2001 teaching in both the physics and mathematics departments, eventually shifting to focus on physics and astronomy. As an astronomy instructor and supervisor of the PA Observatory, located atop the Gelb Science Center, Odden has developed a course in which students use the observatory to conduct original research and a variety of projects, including asteroid rotation studies, exoplanet detections, and variable star discoveries.

Odden’s campus responsibilities have extended beyond the classroom. She has served as a house counselor, academic advisor, and coach for both the ice hockey and golf teams. She has also served on the Pine Knoll Discipline Committee, the Student Program Review Committee, and as the community liaison to the Abbot Academy Fund. Odden was appointed Physics Department chair in 2016 and served as head of the Division of Natural Sciences for three years. She received a BA from Yale University in 1997, where she majored in physics and philosophy and was a goaltender for the women’s ice hockey team. In 2004, she earned an MST in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire. Odden lives on campus in Quincy House with her husband Chris (mathematics department), daughters Abby and Katie, and dog Bon Bon.

Categories: Academics

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