Assistant Director, Residential and Student Engagement Operations
Student Life nurtures intentional student learning, leadership, cultural, and community engagement that enhances the academic program and enriches students with a broader understanding of themselves and of the UAE. Student Life cultivates belonging through building close-knit and inclusive communities; Fosters engagement through meaningful student experiences; and catalyzes development through providing practical growth opportunities.
May-yi Shaw serves as the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Life at NYUAD. She is responsible for the overall vision, strategic planning, and operational management of class-year experience, residential education, student engagement, and leadership experience. Her aim is to ensure students’ residential life, relationship building, community engagement, and leadership development all draw from a coherent eco-system of support that meaningfully defines their time outside the classroom.
May-yi received her PhD degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and BA degree in Political Science and East Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In over a decade of teaching and administrative leadership at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, May-yi received several awards for her excellence in teaching in areas of global identity, humanity in world literature, and global China studies. She also directed numerous academic and student development programs both at the undergraduate and graduate level, striving to create holistic student learning that integrates academic rigor with whole-person development.
At Yale-NUS College in Singapore, May-yi served as the Assistant Dean of Cendana Residential College, a community of 350+ students and faculty in residence. She was in charge of first- and second-year academic advising, student well-being support, and the operation and staff training of the entire residential college. She also liaised heavily with registrar, career and global exchange unit, counseling office, and the Dean of Faculty office to ensure a holistic approach to student support and advising.
A US-born and Taiwan-raised “third culture kid,” May-yi has lived her adult life as a global nomad in east coast America, Japan, Greater China, and Singapore. She is passionate about intercultural encounters and dialogs and loves to enlist her dog Gohan to bless the college community with furry hugs and paw therapy!