She oversees a variety of student engagement and support units, including student organizations, leadership programs, new student orientation, campus recreation, student conduct, and academic support services. Her work is centered on developing meaningful, transformative experiences so that all students may succeed, thrive, and become their most authentic selves, in service of others. In addition to administrative leadership, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Leadership Development, Group Dynamics, and Student Learning and Development Theory, and has mentored several HEA students through their practicum and capstone projects. She recently completed a Doctorate in Liberal Studies at Georgetown; her doctoral thesis studied the effects of achievement-oriented context on student leadership identity development.
In more than twenty years at Georgetown University, Dr. Cohen Derr has been on the front lines for a wide variety of student programming, involvement and activism. Her research interests grew from the experience of accompanying students on their leadership journeys, through self-exploration, navigating relationships, and developing a sense of purpose. She has advised students on a wide variety of programs and experiences, from campus-wide entertainment, to provocative speakers, to artistic collaboration, to outdoor adventure and immersion experiences. She has presented on leadership development and campus engagement in far flung places like Philadelphia; Las Vegas; Kakuma, Kenya; Doha, Qatar; and Nanjing, China.