Badal assumes new title as Dean of Students

Charles Beers, Contributing Writer

Amy Badal, formerly the Assistant Dean of Students and student affairs class dean for the first-year class, was named as the new Dean of Students in a formal announcement from the Division of Communications on Aug. 31. Badal, who has 14 years of experience at the University, assumed official duties last month. She replaces Dean Susan Lantz, who resigned last semester due to health issues.

Badal earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Student Affairs Administration where she maintained a focus on “the relationship between the leadership competencies and skills that leadership educators typically teach in leadership education programs and the leadership competencies and skills employers seek in hiring recent college graduates.”

At the University, Badal has a prestigious track record of leadership, initiative, and involvement. She worked with Residential Education and students last semester on the development of the new South Campus apartments. In a prior interview published by the Division of Communications, she said that the creation of the South Campus apartments was taken with a “very intentional, student-centered approach.” Students met with architects to design their ideal buildings, offering input on everything from common lounges to furniture. The collaborative process, she said, “occurs on many levels, including: engaging students in University committees, inviting students to sit [in] on search committees for new hires and involving students in the review of policies and procedures.” She also added that “I deeply believe in the student voice and involving students in the decision making process.”

While she works with upperclassmen to make the South Campus apartments feel like home, Badal also goes above and beyond to accommodate first-years in their transition to college-life. Two weeks prior to this publication, she was the calming orchestrator of the New Student Orientation program: a week filled with welcoming activities designed to put even the most reticent first-years at ease.

“New Student Orientation is near to my heart. It is a program that I completely revamped with the Orientation Leaders upon my arrival to the University in 2001. Many of the events that we implemented, including the focus on scholarship, community, and tradition continue to this day,” Badal said.

Her favorite Orientation event is the candle lighting ceremony, because it creates a “breathtaking” memory for first-years as they “stand around the quad holding their candles, singing the alma mater.”

Badal’s efforts to incorporate new students into the community has left a lasting impact on her colleagues too.

“Dean Badal has been a strong advocate for students, staff, and the New Student Orientation program in particular,” Beth Bouchard, Director of New Student Orientation, said. “When I became the director six years ago, she was instrumental in introducing me to the orientation pillars of community, scholarship, and tradition.”

Bouchard also fondly recalls Dean Badal’s “life chair,” a place in her office where students can always go to “for both serious and light-hearted conversations.”

Badal has many new responsibilities that come with her new position, and yet the common feature in all of them is the welfare of her students. She is genuinely interested in their opinions and concerned for their well-being. When asked what advice she has for the Class of 2019, her response was simple: “Be an engaged student inside and outside the classroom, and stop trying to impress others. I want you to be your authentic, true self.”

Will Eichhorn ’16, who works closely with Dean Badal, shared his appreciation for her insightfulness.

“One of my favorite stories about Dean Badal is her ‘You’re not cool’ speechIt is honestly some of the best advice I’ve ever heard for incoming first-year students. It’s very easy for new college students to get caught up in the Bucknell stereotype and to change themselves, so that other people think they’re cool. But what really makes you cool is finding a group of friends who know the true you and love you for it,” Eichhorn said. 

Whether you see her working out at the KLARC in the early morning or snacking on Bostwick’s creamy macaroni and cheese (which she’s even started her own first-year club for), Badal is approachable and ready to make all students’ time at the University memorable. Her love for the school is matched only by her love for the students who attend it.

“I am incredibly honored to serve as Dean of Students at Bucknell. I am most excited about the opportunity to impact students’ lives and have a direct effect on their Bucknell experience. Every day, I am awe-inspired by the depth and breadth of our students and their commitment to their academics and their lives outside of the classroom. My goal is to continue to serve, listen and empower students to reach their full potential,” Badal said. 

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