Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico is still getting used to the layout of Temple’s campus, but that isn’t keeping her from exploring.
“Students shouldn’t be surprised to see me with baseball hats and football hats and Welcome Week T-shirts,” Staiano-Coico said.
“You will see me at a lot of student activities very happy and excited.”
Her exhilaration for the upcoming semester is infectious. Staiano-Coico, who was selected as the new provost on March 22 after a six-month search, said she is elated to be at Temple.
“It’s wonderful to be back in a vibrant city, and Temple is even more exciting than I originally envisioned it,” said Staiano-Coico, a native New Yorker. Staiano-Coico said she has a lot planned for Temple and its student body. The former dean of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell Unviersity said she will soon unveil a new study abroad initiative.
“We have a lot of students that have wonderful academics who would go away if they could afford it,” Staiano-Coico said. The initiative will give students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go abroad the opportunity to travel.
The new provost is also recruiting a lot of new faculty. Staiano-Coico said she loves the diversity of Temple and wants to diversify the faculty.
“If we can reflect the world around us, it will have an enormous impact on everybody going forward,” said Staiano-Coico, adding that Temple’s diversity is a real advantage for the students.
“To be on a campus where you can test your ideas, your preconceived notions, your own theories about the world against others who have opinions and who come from very different worldviews and different backgrounds, makes for a more intellectual and more informed opinion,” Staiano-Coico said.
“That is key.”
To connect with students, the Office of the Provost will be working closely with Temple Student Government to help foster communications. Staiano-Coico and all of the deans will be collaborating on how to better the faculty and student experience. The provost is also interested in developing more leadership-oriented programs. Staiano-Coico has two college-aged children and that fuels her excitement for the students here at Temple.
“I just love this age group,” Staiano-Coico said. “There is nothing like that 18 to 20-something age group. It’s like the best time of your life. You guys are the most creative. You’re honing your own ideas about who you are and what you want to be.”
To get more involved in student life and student athletics, Staiano-Coico will be a coach for a day at an away game for the football team. She wore her “Dominate in ’08” T-shirt at the Temple-Navy football game last month.
“I am so excited about the upcoming academic year. There’s a lot of fun, a lot of buzz and a lot of excitement,” Staiano-Coico said. “I look forward to [being] able to meet the student’s needs and help them have an even more enriched
experience by learning here at Temple.”
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org