New Dean of Students

James Vaughn

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USI welcomes a new dean of students this fall. Angela Batista is excited to live in the Midwest for the first time, having lived in all other areas of the country.

Batista hails from Oakland College in California, where she served as associate dean of students. She also served as the Student Government Association advisor and worked very closely with all types of students. She was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York when she was 12 years old.

Batista has worked in education for over 20 years. Her first job was at the New York City Board of Education when she was 17 years old. Batista began work at USI on Aug 1 and has spent the past two weeks talking with faculty and students.

“Right now, it’s really important to listen. I have a lot to learn,” Batista said.

She is developing a list of goals that she plans to accomplish in her role as the new dean.

 

“It is a priority for me to talk to as many students as possible,” Batista said. “I’ve realized that we have a lot of commuter students, and I would like to find a way to reach out and introduce them to the sense of community that students who live on campus feel.”

She has been talking with university officials to get an idea of what improvements need to be made.

“The university has grown so much, so quickly that we need to kind of catch up in a way,” Batista said.

Batista plans to implement an open-door policy.

“I want my office to be one that all students feel that they can come to,” she said.

A 13-member search advisory committee representing a variety of groups across campus led the search for a new dean of students.

“We received applicants from all over the country,” said Provost Dr. Ronald Rochon. “The committee narrowed it down to a select few.The finalists were invited to campus for a presentation.”

Once the committee made their recommendation, Rochon made the final decision.

“She rolls to the top because of her experience,” Rochon said. “Her ideas matched what our mission for the university is right now. USI will benefit from having someone with her expertise on campus.”

Rochon said he’s excited because she’s excited.

“Dr. Batista really hit the ground running. She’s so enthusiastic, and she’s been asking tons of questions,” he said. “She’s bringing a wonderful sense of energy and sense of direction to campus.”

Rochon introduced Senior Resident Assistant Melissa Chavez to Batista last semester.

“He wanted her to interact with student leaders,” Chavez said. “We’re also both Hispanic so he knew that I would enjoy her company.”

Chavez sat in on all of the interviews held in search for the new dean and said that Batista was by far the best option because she’s all about the students.

“She even went to the Mike Posner concert with me and a couple of other students,” she said.

Chavez said Batista is an amazing addition to the USI community.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge with her and it seems like she really cares,” she said.

There will be a Dean of Students Open House Sep. 20 at 3:30 in University Center East.

“Anyone is welcome to come,” Batista said. “We want to provide an opportunity for members of the community to visit the office and get to know more about how the dean of students office can support them in a positive and successful experience at USI.”

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