September 19, 2018

#FacultyFriday: Dean of Student Affairs Lisa D'Adamo-Weinstein


It’s always been about the students for Lisa D'Adamo-Weinstein, ever since she saw the difference SUNY Empire State College made in her mother’s life.

When D’Adamo-Weinstein was living in Indiana and working on her doctorate in the 1990s, her mother decided to go back to school as well, enrolling as a SUNY Empire student when she was in her early 60s. She recalls her mother faxing writing assignments to her before turning them in.

“We would go back and forth on her papers, and I would help her,” D'Adamo-Weinstein recalls. “I also learned a lot about her. Things she was getting PLA credit for, things that were part of her degree plan, there was a lot she had never shared with me.”

“When my mother got her degree, she went out and started working again. She was doing amazing things in her 70s,” D'Adamo-Weinstein says. “It gave her a new lease on life. Her experience at Empire State College, the transformation I saw in her once she had her degree, really opened my eyes to the difference higher education can make in people’s lives.”

When a job opening at SUNY Empire crossed her desk years later, D'Adamo-Weinstein applied immediately. In her 11 years at the college since, she has been a director of academic support, dean of Academic and Instructional Services, and today, dean of Student Affairs.

“I wanted to work with a student population that wanted something more for themselves, that maybe had some struggles early on or had never engaged with college at all and were trying it for the first time,” she says. “Knowing what my mom went through gave me insight into what adult students need to be successful.”

As dean of Student Affairs, D'Adamo-Weinstein oversees the college’s student-facing services, including:

  • academic support, which offers academic skills development, tutoring, online resources and workshops
  • accessibility services for students with disabilities
  • the online library, which features 24/7 chat
  • student life, which includes career services, student clubs, health and wellness initiatives, various student-focused retreats, conferences and student leadership opportunities
  • student success and development, which offers proactive supports and problem-solving services to students in the School for Undergraduate Studies throughout their time at the college.

She is most proud, she says, of the college’s holistic approach to supporting students from orientation to graduation.

“We don’t have a traditional college campus, so we have to fill the needs for students in a way that accommodates their working lives,” she explains. “Offering things on the weekends or in the evening, at a distance, if travel or child care present a problem. We try to provide as many traditional college resources as we can that fit the nontraditional lives most of our students have.”

D'Adamo-Weinstein has been a professional in learning assistance, student support services and developmental education for more than 25 years. She has broad experience teaching and directing learning assistance programs, having worked at Indiana University, American University and in the United States military.

She earned a B.A. in English and General Literature at Binghamton University and an M.S. and Ph.D. at Indiana University in Language Education. She is co?author of “Piecing It Together: A Guide to Academic Success”, past president of the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) and the recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, as well as the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

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