October 06, 2020
Holdridge Headshot

Eleanor Holdridge became the Associate Dean of Academic Services and Productions on August 20. In Holdridge’s new role she assists and creates specific initiatives, including, but not limited to, fundraising for faculty research and conference attendance, streamlining the student internship process, and strengthening the Production Department. She balances all of this while continuing to be an artist herself.

“I think of myself first as an artist and as a director, because that’s what I went to school for and what I’ve been doing for about thirty years now,” Holdridge said. “About fifteen years ago, I wanted to find a community to work in instead of being on the road eight months out of the year directing, so I was very happy to come to Catholic U.”

Holdridge has been the Chair of the Drama Department for three years. During this time, she led the development of the new B.F.A. in Acting, Theatre, and Film program, served as a member of the Committee for Faculty Economic Welfare, directed several plays at Catholic University, and participated in season planning.

“I feel like directing plays and working on my art enriches everything else that I do,” Holdridge noted. “… I do think that directing a play is leadership. It’s taking different groups of people and getting them on board with an idea. In a faculty or community of the school, that might be getting behind a new initiative.”

In terms of future plans as the Associate Dean of Academic Services and Production, Holdridge is involved in creating a document of professional practices. This document will be directed towards productions and professors, incorporating details on the touching policy– like how faculty and students work together when touching the diaphragm in vocal lessons or adjusting a dance position. This will also include information and regulations on what are appropriate means of communication. Additionally, Holdridge is working on including a language for a system of communication in order to ensure that students can safely be heard.

Holdridge is also going to continue her work as a co-chair of the Rome School Anti-Racism, Inclusion, and Equity Committee. She plans to create a workshop for faculty regarding content warning advice to make sure students are covering important material while also knowing their resources. She is also focused on fundraising for faculty advancement to provide resources for faculty to attend conferences and further develop their research. The Internship Program is also important to Holdridge in her role as Associate Dean. With this program, she aims to codify the various internships within the Rome School.
In regards to productions, Holdridge’s goal is to strengthen and shape the Production Department as an integral entity within the Rome School. To quote Catholic University Marketing and Communications, “Holdridge will also work with newly appointed producer, James Hampton, to create a positive environment in which what is on our stages supports the pedagogy, digs into the school mission of the dialogue between faith and reason, and does what art does best: celebrate and investigate our own humanity.”