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Katie O’Brien has been named vice president for Student Affairs at St. Bonaventure University, Dr. Dennis DePerro announced Monday afternoon. She begins work July 1.
“With a long and successful career in student life, I think Katie will really bring some creativity and innovation to student development,” said DePerro, who’s completing his first year as president of St. Bonaventure.
“We’ve had tremendous leadership in student life under Rick Trietley and Nichole Gonzalez the last nine years so Katie’s walking into a great situation with so many talented people at her disposal to work with,” DePerro said.
Gonzalez has been interim vice president since last summer and will return to her role as executive director for Residential Living and Conduct.
Rob DeFazio, who took over Gonzalez’s role while retaining oversight of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership, will return to his role as director of CARL.
“I can’t thank Nichole and Rob enough for all that they’ve done the past year to keep Student Life, Residence Life and CARL operating so efficiently, always mindful of what was best for our students,” DePerro said. “The 40 years of combined experience that they have here will be so helpful when Katie comes on board.”
Since 2013, O’Brien has been dean for Student Life at Cazenovia College in Syracuse, where she’s worked since 2001. She oversaw Student Life, Campus Activities, Residence Life and Judicial Affairs at Cazenovia.
“I’m excited to be joining the St. Bonaventure community,” O’Brien said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with faculty, staff and students to fulfill the mission of the university and to promote the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service to others.
“St. Bonaventure’s commitment to developing a culture of students first strongly aligns with my approach to working in higher education to ensure student success,” O’Brien said.
Prior to her role as dean, O’Brien was associate dean for Student Leadership & Engagement from 2001 to 2013.
She spearheaded the significant growth of student clubs and organizations for more than a decade, advanced student leadership development — including volunteer involvement in the Cazenovia community, the Alternative Breaks Program and others — strengthened the Student Government Association, and developed student recognition programs and certifications, including establishment of a chapter of the student leadership society Sigma Alpha Pi.
Cazenovia President Dr. Ronald Chesbrough informed his campus community of O’Brien’s departure this morning.
“You need not have me tell you that Katie is among the best and most capable leaders in her field,” Chesbrough wrote. “I have seen firsthand the many joys and challenges of the work done by Katie and her team.
“Katie is an educator in every sense of the word. Our students, and now St. Bonaventure’s students, are fortunate to have Katie leading this aspect of their overall living and learning experience.”
To see O’Brien’s complete resume, click here.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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