Maine College of Art & Design Welcomes Melvin Adams III, Ed.D. as Dean of Student Life 

Adams believes building an open, supportive learning environment is vital to student success 

Melvin Adams III, Ed.D., new Dean of Student Life at Maine College of Art & Design

PORTLAND, ME August 5, 2022Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced its appointment of Melvin Adams III, Ed.D. (he/him/his) to the role of Dean of Student Life, effective Monday, August 8, 2022. Adams will support and advocate for students across the College while offering co-curricular opportunities that focus on inclusion, leadership, and engagement.

Adams was most recently Downeast Director at the Maine Seacoast Mission and has held leadership positions in student affairs, admissions, student retention, and student enrollment for the past twenty years, including serving as Director of Student Affairs at MECA&D from 2008-2011. Adams earned his  Doctorate in Education at Northeastern University and his M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State. 

"As we welcome Mel back to Student Life at the College, we know his talent, leadership, and passion will enrich the co-curricular learning experience for our students,” said Laura Freid, President of Maine College of Art & Design. “Mel’s life-long career in education, astute insights, and extensive experience make him the right person to lead our Student Life team forward. We are very fortunate to have him back in a leadership role on our team.”

As Downeast Director at the Maine Seacoast Mission, Adams was responsible for leading the Mission’s Cherryfield campus that included family, youth, and senior outreach programs and EdGE, K-6 youth development, school programs, after-school programs, and outdoor leadership programs for more than 700 students across seven school districts. Adams also led Journey, a program for grades 7-12 designed to support college aspirations, and Mission Scholars, a college scholarship program. 

“As a servant leader, I value respect, integrity, collaboration, transparency, humor, and authentic relationships,” Adams shares. “I will bring these values with me every day at Maine College of Art & Design, where the team and I will continuously strive to build an open, safe environment where all students have an opportunity to thrive. I look forward to supporting our students’ successes, both in and out of the classroom, by ensuring they have space to express different ideas, explore their passions, and grow through all of their experiences here.”

In addition to his breadth of experience as a student resource, Adams also teaches best practices for higher education administration at Southern New Hampshire University. In 2021, Adams received a Distinguished Teaching Award for his work in the  Master of Science in Higher Education Administration program.

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Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) has been activating students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change since its founding as Portland School of Art in 1882. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making MECA&D the right-sized school in the right-sized city for every student who wants to make their mark and be seen. The College offers BFA Majors and Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.


Jacqui Walpole
Director of External Relations