Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Greg Buse
Office of the Provost

Last modified: Monday, August 4, 2008

Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh named dean for Women’s Affairs

Aug. 4, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson announced today that Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, associate professor of political science and adjunct associate professor of African American & African Diaspora Studies, has been named dean of the Office for Women's Affairs for IU Bloomington, pending approval by the IU Board of Trustees.

Yvette Alex-Assensoh

Yvette Alex-Assensoh

Print-Quality Photo

"I am delighted that Yvette has agreed to serve in this capacity," said Hanson. "She has both a scholarly interest in and a practical commitment to women's issues. She has served her department and the political science profession well in a number of administrative roles, and I am confident that she will be both an outstanding dean and a thoroughly effective advocate for women on the Bloomington campus."

Alex-Assensoh replaces Catherine (Caty) Pilachowski, who has served as interim dean for women's affairs since September 2007. Pilachowski will return full time to her roles in the Department of Astronomy, where she is the Daniel Kirkwood Chair and the chair of the department.

"Caty has done a wonderful job as interim dean," Hanson said. "We are all grateful to her for having taken on this additional administrative role last year and for her many accomplishments in that office."

Alex-Assensoh studied Urban Affairs and Planning at Dillard University in New Orleans, where she graduated summa cum laude. After studying at Columbia University and in its study abroad program in France, Alex-Assensoh went on to receive her master's and doctoral degrees in political science from The Ohio State University. After serving in a year-long postdoctoral fellowship at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she joined the Indiana University faculty in 1994. Alex-Assensoh went on to earn the Juris Doctorate degree with honors from the IU School of Law--Bloomington while working full-time as a teacher, researcher and administrator in the IU Department of Political Science.

She is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association and a family law mediator. She served as director of Graduate Studies in the department from 2002-2007 and was given the added responsibility of serving as admissions director for the Political Science Department in 2003.

Alex-Assensoh's research and teaching focus on minority politics and examine the impact of social and economic contexts on political behavior. A Fulbright Scholar at University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 2000-2001, she is the author/co-author of four books, the most recent of which is Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do About It, which was published in 2005 by The Brookings Institution Press.

Previously, Alex-Assensoh has served the Office for Women's Affairs as a volunteer by mentoring junior faculty members, helping to lead promotion and tenure workshops, and serving on the selection committee for the Sarah Parke Morrison scholarship, which provides financial resources for first-generation college women. In 2002-2003, she served on the screening and search committee that recommended the hiring of Professor Terri Dworkin, who preceded Pilachowski as dean of the Office for Women's Affairs.

The Office for Women's Affairs works to promote gender equity and personal security on the IU Bloomington campus by offering a variety of services to students, staff and faculty.

For more information on the Office for Women's Affairs, visit