Katharine E. Pei

Director, Student Transitions & Family Programs

Katharine serves as director of Student Transitions & Family Programs supporting the orientation, transition, and retention of new students and their families as they join the WashU community. Katharine provides strategic vision for the department and coordinates Bear Beginnings: Fall Welcome. In addition, she serves as a four-year academic adviser for students in the College of Arts & Sciences. Katharine serves as the lead faculty member for the Directors and Managers Institute for NODA, the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education.  She previously served on the NODA board of directors and as the network chair for highly selective institutions. Originally from Southern Illinois, Katharine holds an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina in higher education & student affairs and a B.S.B.A. from Saint Louis University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. Her research interests include first-year experience, students’ sense of belonging, and student identity and leadership development, primarily focusing on the experiences of students who hold minoritized backgrounds.