College appoints new vice president for student affairs

SUNY New Paltz announces the appointment of Dr. Stephanie Blaisdell as the College’s new vice president for student affairs after a competitive national search. She will assume her new role on July 10. Blaisdell currently serves as assistant vice president for student affairs, student development, at the University of Memphis.

As the vice president for student affairs at SUNY New Paltz, Blaisdell will report to the president and serve on the College’s senior leadership team. She will lead the division of student affairs and work across campus departments to promote a fully unified student experience; support an increasingly diverse student body and build an inclusive environment; and serve as an ambassador and advocate for students beyond the College community.

“Dr. Blaisdell is a seasoned professional with broad experience and expertise in student affairs,” said President Donald P. Christian. “She brings to her work a wonderful blend of strong student-centered values, institutional thinking, and strategic planning and assessment informed by data and analysis. I am very excited that she will lead our student affairs division and join our campus leadership team.”

Commenting on her appointment, Blaisdell said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to impact students’ lives at SUNY New Paltz. I feel privileged to be asked to lead an experienced team of student affairs professionals who are committed to promote the overall growth of the individual. From my first visit, SUNY New Paltz felt like home, and I am invested in making a difference there.”

Blaisdell has extensive experience in student affairs. In her current position, she leads a team of 60 full-time staff, oversees a budget of $7.5 million, and more than $800,000 in revenue-generated funds and $650,000 in grant funding annually. She manages Career Services, Disability Resource Services, First Scholars, Student Health and Counseling Services, Student Success Programs, Testing Services and Campus Recreation and Intramural Services.

From 2007-2010 Blaisdell served as the director of Student Affairs Learning and Assessment at the University of Memphis. During her tenure, she coordinated assessment for Student Affairs, facilitated strategic planning for the division and provided leadership for retention efforts. The University of Memphis is a public doctoral, metropolitan university with 22,000 students, serving a very diverse student body (roughly 49% students of color, more than 40% are Pell eligible, and nearly half are first-generation college students).

From 2004-2009 Blaisdell worked as an independent consultant partnering with colleges and universities to help recruit and retain women in the STEM fields. She also served at the director of Diversity and Women’s Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2000-2005) and director and assistant director of Arizona State University’s Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program (1993-2000).

Blaisdell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and earned a Master of Counseling degree and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Arizona State University.