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      A Widener Welcome

      Widener Welcomes Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith as Provost

      Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith

      Provost of Widener University

      Widener welcomes Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith to Main Campus, as she assumes her role as provost of the university.

      Scalise-Smith officially began her tenure at Widener on August 1 and has hit the ground running (literally). An avid runner, Scalise-Smith is training for the New York Marathon in November, so she has spent her first few mornings getting to know campus by logging miles!

      “I want to be close to campus so that I can be accessible to faculty and students,” Scalise-Smith said, as she prepares to move into her new home in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

      Though her most recent role was as dean of the College of Health Professions at Northern Kentucky University, Scalise-Smith is no stranger to the region, as she started her teaching career at Temple University, while living in Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s great to be back in the area,” she said. “I enjoy East Coast living.”

      Scalise-Smith is looking forward to the upcoming fall semester to begin engaging with faculty and students. “I want to hear what their vision is and connect with them as much as I can,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great fit. I wanted to wake up and say, ‘I love my job every day,’ and I think I have found a place that I can do that.”

      The provost position at Widener was intriguing to Scalise-Smith. “The profile of the Widener student is unique, and something that resonated with me,” she said. “So many of our students are first generation and are academically talented in multifaceted ways. The Widener faculty have made an impact; they help students transform their lives. There is evidence of that in our alumni; they are doing things they never thought they would.”

      Scalise-Smith is also impressed by the level of social responsibility that the faculty instill in the students at Widener. “It’s our obligation as citizens to give back to society. I see that is apparent in many of the learning models at Widener.”

      Prior to serving as dean at Northern Kentucky University, Scalise-Smith spent nearly 20 years at Utica College in central New York, where she started as chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. She moved up to serve as dean of the School of Health Professions and Education, followed by vice president of external programs and partnerships, and finally vice president of the School for Online & Extended Studies and External Partnerships. Before teaching, Scalise-Smith spent 11 years working as a physical therapist.

      “I wanted to be a physical therapist since I was 12 years old,” she said. “I have been lucky enough to practice in some capacity for a number of years, but I’m now just as passionate about higher education. I believe in experiences that help students transform who they are, and I hope that I can work with faculty, staff and administrators to create even more of those experiences at Widener.”

      Scalise-Smith also believes there is a lot of value in high-impact practices to improve student success, and hopes to continue to build a culture at Widener that recognizes student success at every level.

      She is also looking forward to working with Widener University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman. “She is an amazing leader,” she said. “I believe in her vision for Widener, and I’m happy I have the opportunity to support it.

      When she is not running, you can find Scalise-Smith walking her two Labradors Casey and MacGyver. She and her husband Christopher, who is the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association in New York City, have three children – Jillian, Brendan, and Emily – as well as two grandchildren.

      For more on Scalise-Smith, read her press announcement.


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