College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu sent the following message to the campus community on May 15, 2020: 

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to share with you three exciting personnel updates that represent the culmination of several recruiting efforts this spring.

John Loonan

John Loonan

First, John Loonan will become the College’s new chief financial officer and executive vice president of business affairs. He brings extensive experience in financial management, analysis and administration from executive positions in higher education and in the public and private sectors.

Since 2013, he has served as the vice president of administration and finance and CFO at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa. From 2007 to 2013, John was the vice president for finance and fiscal management at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (today’s SUNY Polytechnic Institute). At SUNY, John was also the research foundation operations manager for the college as well as president of the college’s property management firm from 2009 to 2013. Prior to entering higher education, John served in multiple positions in the New York Army National Guard, including comptroller and financial manager for the guard’s federal funding operations. John’s experience also includes operations and finance manager for Affiliated Computer Services from 1997 to 2004.

A U.S. Army veteran and member of the New York National Guard from 1988 to 2007, John earned his accounting degree from Siena College and his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

During the search process, I was impressed with John’s understanding of the complexity of higher education budgeting and finance and saw a truly creative mind in helping the College ensure sound fiscal footing in the fast-changing economic landscape. His start date is June 8.

I want to thank the search firm R. William Funk & Associates for their expert assistance and the dedication of the search committee: Godfrey Gibbison (dean, School of Professional Studies; interim dean, Graduate School); Paul Patrick, chair (chief of staff); William Veal (professor, teacher education; chair, Faculty Senate Budget Committee); Weishen Wang (chair, Department of Finance); and Dawn Willan (interim vice president of fiscal services/interim CFO).

Amy Takayama-Perez

Amy Takayama-Perez (Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University)

Second, Amy Takayama-Perez will join the College as the new vice president of university marketing and enrollment planning. She is a leading voice on the national stage as it pertains to university recruitment and overall trends affecting higher education. She has been a faculty member for the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Middle Management Institute and NACAC’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion, a conference aimed at secondary, postsecondary and CBO college admission professionals committed to championing the needs of diverse students within the college admission process. In 2019, she joined the advisory board for ACT/NRCCUA (the National Research Center for College and University Admissions).

Since 2012, Amy has been the dean of admissions and the executive director of the Washington Scholars Program at George Mason University. Throughout her career at George Mason, she has proven herself as a collaborative leader, which has led her over 20 years to progressively more challenging and visible management roles. She has a tremendous track record of success as it relates to marketing, brand development, enrollment management tactics, strategic planning and revenue-generating program development.

Of course, I instantly connected with Amy over her data-driven and data-informed approach to recruitment; however, I was even more taken by her ability to see the greater university picture.

The parent of a currently enrolled College of Charleston student, Amy earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and her master’s in counseling and development, with a higher education concentration, from George Mason. Her start date is August 3.

I want to thank the hiring committee for all of their hard work in this national search: Mark Berry, chair (deputy chief of staff); Alicia Caudill (executive vice president of student affairs); Jimmie Foster (vice president of university marketing and enrollment planning); Renard Harris (chief diversity officer and vice president of access and inclusion); Mindy Miley (assistant vice president of first year and bridge student services); Amy Orr (director of business and auxiliary services); and Andrew Sobiesuo (associate provost for international education).

Michelle McGrew

Michelle McGrew

Third, as of July 1, 2020, Michelle McGrew will become my executive assistant, replacing Debbie Hammond, who is retiring after a long and remarkable career of service to the state of South Carolina. Michelle is no stranger to the College of Charleston, having graduated from the College with a degree in communication and a master’s in public administration (with a certificate in arts management).

From 2015 to 2018, Michelle served as the research and student services coordinator for the Graduate School and then joined the Academic Affairs team as the executive assistant to the provost. For those who have worked with Michelle, they know of her great research, writing and office management skills – all of which will be invaluable to her in the President’s Office.

I want to thank the hiring committee for their diligence in this process: Mark Berry, chair (deputy chief of staff); Elizabeth Kassebaum (vice president of special projects and executive secretary to the Board of Trustees); Evie Nadel (executive director of community relations and student/staff ombudsperson); and Sherri Shannon (employment manager in human resources).

These three individuals – John, Amy and Michelle – possess a tremendous amount of talent and will help strengthen an already, very strong team here at the College of Charleston.




Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston