New VP of student development plans to bridge gaps

By Richard Magda
February 6, 2003

Christine Lysionek is a name you ought to learn – that’s Luh-shaw-nik.

After 20 years of bridging the gap between administrators and students at Villanova, Lysionek applied for the vice president of student development position at Cabrini and earned it.

Now she will be bridging the same gap here as the newest senior cabinet member, replacing Dr. Richard Neville, who was the acting vice president of student development during the search.

“We are eager to have her on board,” President Antoinette Iadarola said. “She seemed to pop up as everyone’s choice.”

Iadarola pointed out that students spend an average of 15 hours-per-week in class, but that there are 168 hours in a week. “Students have to sleep and eat, but what’s happening to them when they’re not eating, sleeping or in class? The residence halls are places where you’re learning too,” Iadarola said. “I think there is a lot she can bring to that. She did a great deal with living-learning environments at Villanova.”

According to Iadarola, there has been a lack of trust in Student Development because of the instability there over the past years. “I think Rich Neville has done a tremendous job in restoring that trust. It doesn’t happen overnight,” Iadarola said. “I think Christine will continue to restore the trust. She is a person that will win over the students quickly.”

During her time at Villanova, Lysionek had the opportunity to become familiar with Cabrini and members of its community. “I have had the benefit of working next door to Cabrini for 20 years and have had the chance to have professional colleagues at Cabrini,” Lysionek said.

Coming to Cabrini, Lysionek plans to take the students’ needs directly to the administration.

“I want to bring the student life perspective to the decision-making process at the cabinet level,” Lysionek said. “After spending some time at Cabrini in vigorous interviews, one thing I heard was how important people feel the quality of life outside the classroom is. I can bring to the cabinet the student perspective of issues and things important to students.”

Lysionek believes that Cabrini’s ideals are similar to her own.

“What appealed to me is the emphasis on the education of the heart and the strong conviction to attend to student development,” Lysionek said. “You can’t separate intellectual ideas and acquisition of knowledge from ethics, values and morality. They are intertwined. Students are whole people.”

Lysionek plans to come to Cabrini without any assumptions. She plans to listen carefully to everyone to get her feel. Lysionek said, “Everyone’s input is valuable. People at Cabrini work in teams and in a participatory decision-making way and that is my preferred way.”

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Richard Magda

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