Asst. dean of students feels at home

Ariana Beedie

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Tara Frank

“When I met students during my interview process, I just felt so comfortable,” Frank said. “I raved to my partner about how much I loved it.”

 As of July 1, the assistant dean was welcomed into the USI family, and she’s still feeling the love, she said.

“People here are really there for the students,” Frank said. “It’s like the administration and faculty are very much there to support students.”

This school reminds her of her undergrad at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, she said.

One of Frank’s main goals for this year is establishing connections with students by adding a different dynamic to the work Dean of Students Angela Batista has created.

“I think my position offers an opportunity to meet students needs in this office,” Frank said. “Students who gravitate towards someone who is very extroverted and outgoing may gravitate towards Dr. Batista, whereas I have a calmer more introverted side.”

By adding this different approach, there are hopes of achieving excellence in an efficient manner.

“I think it’s really effective to round out the office by having these two personalities who see very much eye to eye on where the office is going,” Frank said.

Frank recently received her doctorate in educational leadership, adding another notch to her academic belt. Her background makes her knowledgeable in student relations with bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling.

Along with her educational background, Frank served as an assistant dean at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Frank was chosen for the position at the end of Spring 2013 semester, and attended an open interview with faculty and students.

“Throughout my interview people talked about USI being like a family,” she said. “By the end of the day I had heard that same mantra from faculty, staff and students with genuine examples.”

The university has proved that point to Frank.

“In the six weeks that I’ve been here, I genuinely see that,” she said.

Batista welcomes the addition to the office.

“I am very excited to have someone else who’s helpful and student centered,” Batista said. “She really has made great progress in the time she’s been here.”

Frank helps create a stronger sense of community and has hit the ground running, she said.

“This will allow us to connect with students on all issues, and take on stronger program initiatives,” Batista said.

Having an assistant dean will help the office reach out to students who wouldn’t normally enter the dean’s office.

Senior Hannah Nash has never stepped foot in the dean’s office, but this new added diversity is promising.

“I would totally go there,” the health services major said. “I think having a new assistant dean could change some things for the better.”

Diversity can’t hurt, she said.