Deanne Southwell serves as the Executive Director for the Vincentian Institute
for Social Action (VISA) at St. John’s University. The
Institute was developed in 2009 to provide a platform where faculty
and students can address causes of poverty and propose short and
long term solutions through service and academic research.
Deanne began her tenure at St. John's University in 2001 at the
University Freshman Center, where she served as Assistant Director
and Coordinator for the Math Learning Center. In 2006, she
joined Student Affairs as Director for Student Development
responsible for student transition programs which included New
Student Orientation, Discover New York Programming and Parent
Programs. As supervisor of Orientation, Deanne guided the
development of hands-on service during the three-day mission-based
program, where approximately 3000 students were introduced to the
Vincentian mission before the first day of school. She was
also responsible for Student’s Life’s Activity Grant-In-Aid program
which offers financial assistance to eligible student
In 2008, Deanne continued to serve in Student Affairs, and
assumed the role of Director of Ozanam Scholars Program for the
Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA). In the past
three years she has guided the development of the four-year
formation of the students as Scholars, Vincentian Leaders and
Global Citizens. In addition, she was instrumental in the hiring
process of the staff, resulting in the culmination of successful
capstone research projects for the recent scholar graduates.
In 2011, she was promoted to Executive Director of the
Institute. The Institute comprises of the Advantage Academy, which
offers homeless and formally homeless individuals an associate’s
degree, Academic Service Learning (AS-L),
the aforementioned Ozanam Scholars Program and the Faculty Research
Consortium which guides the academic integrity of all research on
campus and through community partnerships. Now in its third
year, the Institute is in the process of developing an online
journal to promote its goals and initiatives as well as herald the
accomplishments of the programs.
Deanne is a double alumna of St. John’s
University, with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a
master’s degree in Higher Education.
Why St. John's?