Jay Darr to become new associate dean of students for wellness


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Dr. Jay Darr, the director of the University Counseling Center, spoke at a Student Government Board town hall in October for Mental Health Awareness Month.

By Betul Tuncer, Assistant News Editor

Jay Darr, director of the University Counseling Center, will step down on March 1 from his director position to assume the inaugural role of associate dean of students for wellness.

As the associate dean, Darr will oversee the student wellness team in the Division of Student Affairs, as well as campus recreation, Student Health Service and the UCC. According to University spokesperson Janine Fisher, Darr will also provide leadership for “high-level crisis interventions” along with addressing issues with “students of concern” and student wellness issues at Pitt. 

“Dr. Darr will lead efforts to connect wellness resources and to provide seamless service and support to students,” Fisher said. 

Ahmed Ghuman, associate director of strategic programs and services at the UCC, will become interim director of the UCC starting in March. 

Darr started as UCC director in February 2019. Prior to working at Pitt, Darr served as the clinical liaison and coordinator at the University of North Texas in Denton. 

In addition to the UCC’s change in leadership, Marian Vanek, the executive director of Student Health Service, will step down from her position on May 1. Vanek was appointed as executive director in 2010. Prior to her role at Pitt, she worked in the field of healthcare administration for 21 years. 

According to Fisher, Student Affairs appreciates Vanek’s “tireless efforts” during her time at the University especially in health services, and noted that her leadership led to the SHS receiving recognition as a “best practice” service by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.  

Fisher said the University will conduct a national search for the UCC and Student Heath directors. She said Pitt hopes to fill the positions by fall 2022.