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Ending a 10-month long search, Colorado College Director of Athletics Julie Soriero has been named the new head of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation and director of athletics at MIT.

Replacing Stephen D. Immerman, interim director of athletics, Soriero will join MIT on July 1 as an associate professor.

"We are thrilled that Julie will be joining us as our new Athletic Director and Department Head," Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict said in a press release. "She brings a depth and breadth of experience balancing Division I and Division III programs, as well as values that are exceptionally aligned with those of MIT."

DSL worked with executive search firm J. Robert Scott, which recommended a number of people for the position, according to Laura A. Capone, senior associate dean of DSL and search committee chair. According to Soriero, she was first contacted by the search committee in October 2006.

"MIT's an institute that reflects excellence and expects excellence," Soriero said. "That's a great environment to work in. There's a commitment to excellence in academics, and I hope that it will continue to show up in athletics and DAPER."

"The athletics department is a rather large organization," Soriero said. "I want to understand how it functions and where its functional strength lies before I make any changes."

Capone said the search committee looked for somebody "who really had a passion for athletics, someone less of an administrator and more of a visionary." Capone stressed that the new director should have experience in a variety of roles, including that of student athlete, coach, and athletic director. At the same time, Capone said, it is important that the new director is flexible and "recognizes that MIT is a unique place." It should be someone who can "develop a pattern for athletics at MIT," Capone said.

"[Soriero] seemed to demonstrate that kind of flexibility, adaptability, creativity, and the ability to talk about a vision for the future," Capone said.

Soriero says that one of her philosophies is always having an open door. "I hope students will come in and introduce themselves," she said. "I like to go to games, support activities on campus. You'll see me around a lot."

Soriero has been at Colorado College for nine years and "brings to MIT a great wealth of experience leading a Division III institution with strong Division I and Division III programs, as well as comprehensive club and intramural programs," the DSL press release states.

Soriero grew up near Philadelphia, attended Pennsylvania State University, and did graduate work at Temple University in sports psychology, she said. She enjoys bicycling, skiing, travelling, and reading.

The previous director of athletics, Senior Associate Dean for DSL Candace L. Royer, was promoted to deal with DSL fundraising, specifically for DAPER, Capone said. This is part of the restructuring of DSL, which took effect in January.

Blog posts about the search process are available at http://mitathletics.blogspot.com/. Additional information on Soriero is available at http://web.mit.edu/dsl/fromthedean/annoucement.html.