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Young Alum Charts a Course for BU Students

BU People: Sailor Dan Solworth (CAS’06) bridges the gap between students, admins


From Monday through Friday, Dan Solworth is responsible for planning and overseeing the support system for thousands of Boston University students. On weekends, he supervises a team of just six — but the work is no less demanding.

Solwoth (CAS’06), the assistant to Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, is a champion sailor. He first got involved in sailing growing up on Cape Cod and going to summer camp on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. This summer he’s planning to compete in the Figawi Race on Nantucket and possibly the Around-the-Island Race on Martha’s Vineyard. He sails with a team of six, and he enjoys sailing because it is a sport that combines different aspects of challenge.

“There’s certainly a mental challenge — there’s a lot of strategizing and planning that goes along with racing,” he says. “And there is also a physical challenge to it. It takes a lot out of you, because you’re sailing out there for four or five days straight.”

Solworth oversees the general office operations of the Office of the Dean of Students. On an everyday basis, he’s responsible for supervising the large student staff, assisting with budget and financial matters, coordinating all the parent and student concerns that come up, and assisting Elmore with his projects and initiatives. Solworth also coordinates the University Board on Student Conduct (UFC). His favorite part of the job is working with the students. “It’s great to meet with the students, talk to them, and learn something about them," he says,"and see if I can help them out.”

Solworth worked as a RA during his junior and senior years at the University and was a student employee in Elmore’s office. Those experiences help him now, giving him perspective on what works for students and what doesn’t. He says that one of the things he most values about his time as a student was the mentoring relationship he had with Husain Haqqani, a College of Arts and Science international relations associate professor and director of the Center for International Relations. “He was both an academic and a life advisor,” Solworth says. “I would meet with him several times a week in his office or for coffee to talk about life and what I was doing.”

But he also is aware of issues that he feels need improvement, such as students’ concerns about too much bureaucracy and red tape at the University. He sees himself as a go-between for students and administrators. “It’s nice for me to give students access to administrators, make them feel like they’re part of the University, part of the decision-making, because they are — they’re central to it,” Solworth says. “Everything we do is centered around trying to make the experience best for the students, so bringing them into that process is key, and it’s great to do.”

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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