AUC Welcomes New Dean of Students Yorgun Marcel
As the spring semester kicks off at AUC, stay on the lookout for a new face around campus: Yorgun Marcel, the new dean of students.
Marcel, who began his work at the University in January, is eager to meet with the University’s students and determine how he can best support them.
“I love working with students; I love that energy,” he said. “My role here is to maximize their chances for success and to preserve their ambitions for when they graduate.”
Marcel earned his bachelor’s from California State University at Dominguez Hills and his master’s from Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. He most recently served as the associate dean for university life at George Mason University’s Korea campus.
Now at AUC, Marcel has found Egypt to be warm and welcoming. “I was born in Ivory Coast, and parts of Egypt remind me of home,” he said. “People greet you in the street and are generally very friendly.”
News@AUC sat down with Marcel to learn more about him and his priorities.
Why did you decide to join AUC?
My decision was a combination of factors. AUC is much bigger than every other university I’ve worked at professionally, so the scale of this opportunity was exciting. I was also intrigued by the cultural aspect of living in Egypt. I love the idea of a challenge. Of course, the University’s high reputation definitely played a role in my decision. And finally, the notion of returning to the continent where I was born to work and give back fulfills a dream I’ve had since I was an international student.
Tell us about your education and work experience.
I studied television and film at Cal State and international communications at Saint Cloud. Initially, my goal was to work in the entertainment industry back in Ivory Coast, but I took a detour. I often tell students: I went to college to study one thing, and then I had this hobby of activism. After graduating, I ended up doing my hobby as a job and what I studied as a hobby.
After finishing my master’s, I started as a director of student activities at College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. It was the perfect match and a great introduction to being a professional in higher ed.
Why are you passionate about education?
At some point during my studies, I began to understand the importance of education in shaping a life, as well as the impact it can have on an entire family. I’ve been able to reflect on the impact that it has had on my life, and I feel the responsibility that higher education institutions have to preserve the dream of not just one student, but sometimes an entire community.
What are your priorities as you begin your role?
My priority is AUC’s students. I'm here to talk to students, to find out what's working and what's not working for them, as well as ensure that the University has sufficient resources to support them. I’m looking forward to getting to know the students here.
What are your hobbies?
I love to watch movies and am a soccer fanatic. The team that I follow religiously is Marseille. Sometimes I play FIFA.
What is your favorite book?
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Top music genre?
Depends on my mood, but if I had to pick one, it would be reggae. Bob Marley is my favorite.
Who is your role model?
My mom. A single mother, she was able to achieve and pass on so much to me and my sister. My kudos to her for doing all of that.
What is something that many people might not know about you?
When I was a consultant for EA sports while finishing up my master’s, I worked on a FIFA game.
What are you most proud of?
Maybe I’m saying this because it’s still fresh, but I am proud of the work I did in Korea. Our team was able to build the Office of University Life from scratch.
What world problem are you passionate about?
People-to-people communication. I think we’ve lost a lot of that, with COVID and technology adding more layers. I’m hopeful that the scar left by the pandemic allows people to really value the privilege it is to sit down and have a conversation. When you look at the state of the world, disagreeing is not the worst thing that could happen. We can disagree but still work together on common ground.