Walking into the arcade of the Peabody Institute last summer and seeing that “beautiful staircase again” was a magical moment for Sarah Hoover. “It’s so wonderful to be back,” she says. “I feel like I’ve come home.”
Effective July 1, Dr. Hoover began work as Peabody’s special assistant to the dean for innovation, interdisciplinary partnerships, and community initiatives.
Dr. Hoover obtained her doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance from Peabody in 2008. She came to Peabody from Hofstra University, where she was an assistant professor of music. Throughout her career, she has worked as a teacher, performer, festival director, and music journalist.
A major component of her new position, Dr. Hoover says, will be cultivating relationships between Peabody and the larger community. She will be shaping a strategic plan for ties between Peabody and other divisions of Johns Hopkins, as well as other Baltimore cultural institutions.
In addition, she will examine innovative ways to ensure that students graduate with the tools necessary to enter the job market.
“I’m an eternal optimist,” Dr. Hoover says. “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity with the changing market. If we are nimble and entrepreneurial, we can respond in new ways to enhance our students’ futures.”
So far, Dr. Hoover says she has spent much of her time simply talking to students, faculty, and administrators. “I’ve learned so much from each person about where Peabody’s strengths and challenges lie,” she says. “As we look to the future, I feel very much the presence of a living legacy here at Peabody.”
Townsend Plant joined the Peabody Institute on September 1 in the newly created position of associate dean for enrollment and student life. Bringing 15 years of experience in higher education, he will oversee admissions, financial aid, the office of the registrar, and student affairs.
Before coming to Peabody, Dr. Plant served as assistant dean for admissions for summer and preparatory programs for the School of Music at Ithaca College and as assistant provost and director of undergraduate admissions at Binghamton University of the State University of New York. He also spent four years as director of admissions and financial aid for the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
“I’m very excited to join the team at this world-class institution,” says Dr. Plant, a classical guitarist who holds a doctorate in musical arts from the Eastman School of Music.
Dr. Plant says that one of his primary goals in his new role is to maximize faculty involvement in student recruitment. He also plans to work closely with faculty and admissions staff in expanding and strengthening relationships with music teachers and other key influencers around the country and will work with the Student Affairs staff to ensure a high-quality student experience.
“Peabody is taking a fresh, innovative look at educating students in the 21st century, all while maintain- ing its long tradition of excellence as one of the great conservatories of the world,” Dr. Plant says. “It’s incredibly exciting to be part of that, and to have the opportunity to play a key role in helping to shape its future.”
— Alan H. Feiler