Mammoth Moments in Miniature: Dec. 7 to Feb. 7

Mammoth Moments in Miniature provides quick updates on notable campus news that has occurred since the last issue. In this week’s installment: the college announces its new CFAO, the AAS inaugurates a new vice president, and more.

College Announces New Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

On Wednesday, February 1, the administration announced that it had chosen Michael Thomas as its new chief financial and administrative officer (CFAO). Thomas joins the college after a stint of over nine years at Middlebury College, where, among other roles, he served as vice president of administration, chief Risk Officer, and Assistant Treasurer. In his new role as CFAO, Thomas will oversee the college’s finances and report directly to President Elliott, who emphasized that Thomas will serve as “a critical strategic partner to me and to all of us at Amherst.” Thomas will officially join the college on March 27, succeeding interim CFO Tom Dwyer, who will remain a senior leader of the college's finance team.

Correction, Feb. 8, 2023: This Mammoth Moment was updated to clarify that Dwyer will not be leaving the college. It also misidentified Dwyer as the interim CFAO. He was the interim CFO.

AAS Inaugurates New Vice President, Ankit Sayed

In addition to the typical happenings at the Association of Amherst Students’  first meeting of the year, this semester’s inaugural meeting on Jan. 30 also brought with it an official change in leadership as Ankit Sayed ’24 assumed the position of Vice President. While Sayed’s election as vice president was contested due to a wide variety of technical issues and differing vote counts during the fall semester’s special election, following review by the Judiciary Council, Sayed was deemed the legitimate winner. Sayed will serve as AAS’ vice president for the spring semester.

College Launches New Online Merch Store

As an addition to the college’s current merchandise offerings in Schwemm’s Mammoth Market, which was initiated following the closure of former Amherst staple A.J. Hastings in the fall, the college has officially launched its own online merchandise store for all things Amherst, including t-shirts, jackets, backpacks, and more. Expansions have also been made to Schwemm’s in-person offerings, which will offer a selection of products that differs from the online store.

Professor Leah Schmalzbauer Named Faculty Athletic Representatives

On Jan. 19, the administration announced that Karen and Brian Conway '80, P'18 Presidential Teaching Professor of American Studies and Sociology Leah Schmalzbauer had been appointed to the position of faculty athletic representative. In her new role, Schmalzbauer will be tasked with “promot[ing] greater understanding among student-athletes, faculty, and coaches about the role of athletics in students’ education,” and will work to address the division between student-athletes and the broader student body. Schmalzbauer will assume the new position on July 1 of this year.

Frost Library Hosts Opening Reception for Historical Exhibition

Frost Library will be holding a reception to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition in conjunction with the Ancestral Bridges Foundation on Thursday, Feb. 9. The exhibition, which will be consist of curated historical photographs and artifacts, will focus on the experiences of members of the Black and Afro-Indigenous community in the town of Amherst in order to “paint a picture of pre-emancipation Amherst and beyond.” The exhibition will be open through the summer.