Thursday January 4, 2007

An Innovator

Sister Annette T. Schmeling will bring strong experience in student affairs administration, a commitment to Catholic higher education and skills in integrating residential living and academic experiences to her new job as UD's vice president for student development.

A member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart congregation, Schmeling brings a strong track record in student affairs administration, a commitment to Catholic higher education and skills in integrating residential living and academic experiences.

"It's important for me to work at a university that is committed to academic excellence and Catholic identity. I find that at the University of Dayton," Schmeling said. "In my work as a student affairs administrator, I strive to encourage and inspire caring, conscientious, faith-filled lives."

Schmeling will succeed Bill Schuerman, who steps down in June after 22 years in the post.

"Sister Annette absolutely wowed the campus community," said Fred Pestello, provost and senior vice president for educational affairs. "She brings a track record of building innovative programs. Her knowledge of student affairs and commitment to working across the academic and student affairs areas are impressive. She will make an excellent addition to a very strong administrative team committed to excellence in integrating learning and living in community."

Schmeling will oversee the offices of residence education; counseling and health services; diverse student populations; public safety and parking; campus recreation; residential services; substance abuse prevention; educational and special programs; student involvement and leadership; and community standards and civility.

At Creighton University, a Jesuit, Catholic university in Omaha, Neb., with 6,700 students, she collaborated with the academic affairs division to create a Lilly Foundation-funded program to help students connect the classroom with their outside-the-classroom experiences. She's also helping to spearhead the development of a $50 million Living Learning Center slated to open in 2008. At the University of San Diego, where she served in roles in student affairs and admissions, she created the school's first residential learning program, "Wisdom for the Real World."

At both Creighton and the University of San Diego, she developed alcohol and drug education programs. The CARE (Creighton Alcohol Recovery and Education Program) serves as a medically based crisis intervention program for "at risk" drinking.

In 1995, she was one of 18 academic leaders from private universities in California selected to participate in the California Higher Education Policy Institute's "Futures Project," designed to encourage and support innovation in higher education. For three years, she served as the group's associate director and managed grants and provided oversight for campus projects.

Schmeling began her career in higher education in admissions, first as a counselor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, then as assistant director of admissions at Marquette University, her alma mater. For three years, she served as dean of admissions at Santa Clara University.

She holds bachelor and master's degrees in communication from Marquette and earned a doctor of education degree in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco.

"The strong sense I had throughout the interview process was one of authenticity," Schmeling said. "Faculty, staff, students and trustees clearly communicated a commitment not only to excellence in teaching and scholarship but also to their intent of keeping the University of Dayton's Catholic, Marianist character at the center of the educational enterprise."