The Centurion

Meet Lisa Angelo: Bucks’ New Provost

Fireplace in Angelo's office
Photo Credit: Shannon Harrar

Fireplace in Angelo's office Photo Credit: Shannon Harrar

Fireplace in Angelo's office Photo Credit: Shannon Harrar

Mike Vigilante

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Inside of the sprawling manor of Tyler Hall sits an office flanked on each side by vintage solid-wood paneling that was once George Tyler’s study. Now, it is the office of Bucks’ new Provost, Lisa Angelo.
Angelo, whose background is in math, had not originally planned on a life in academics when she began teaching part-time business calculus courses at West Connecticut State University, but knew she had found her passion the first time she entered a classroom.
“As soon as I walked into the classroom I said ‘this is where I was supposed to be,’ said Angelo. “It was an epiphany.”
Angelo may not be your typical born-and-bred college administrator. She is a first-generation college student – something that she feels helps her identify more closely with the students at Bucks.
“I identify very well with the students we have here on campus, and I’m a good example of how going to college and having an education can change not only your life, but your whole family’s life.”
“I’m the first one to graduate college, but my daughter has a PhD,” said Angelo.
“It just perpetuates itself. We live the mission here. We’ve been there.”
The dean of STEM prior to her promotion to provost, Angelo helped to oversee the construction of Bucks’ new science building, although she remains reluctant to take too much credit for the project, instead eager to praise the leadership of Bucks’ president, Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt.
“I hesitate to [take too much credit] because I think it’s Dr. Shanblatt’s pet project.”
“She’s smart. She’s well read. She’s a do-er. She doesn’t sit in her ivory tower,” Angelo said of Dr. Shanblatt. “She was in the science center with her sleeves rolled up and the plans out. She was down to picking out tile.”
The need for better STEM building was clear when Angelo had given the then newly appointed dean a tour of the old science facilities. “They were 50 years old, they were dark, they were uninviting, unexciting biology labs in the basement with no windows.”
That collaborative effort resulted in a building that perfectly exemplifies the vision and passion of all involved.
“The science building is bright and visual. The underlying theme throughout the building is ‘science on display,’” said Angelo. “There’s a lot of collaborative spaces where students can go work on a project or just go sit and study.”
Although by the time the building opened, she was already serving as interim provost, Angelo says that watching it come together was the most exciting thing that she’s been a part of since she’s been at Bucks.
“What I love about it, and I walk through it a lot,” Angelo continued, “it’s kind of taken a personality of its own. Students do hang out there, but they’re respectful of the space.”
The passion that Angelo feels about student success is palpable, and she, like her predecessor Clayton Railey III, believes that quality academic advising is tantamount to student success.
“Good advising is imperative,” Angelo explained. “That fact that we now require all students to be advised as opposed to, before, it used to be full-time students, it gives us an opportunity to connect with a student and to make sure they’re making the right decisions.”
The concern is that students make decision based on incomplete or wrong information, or on their own intuition.
“What we really hope to have is an advising model where every student gets really good advising from day one – that they connect with that advisor and continue to see that advisor, of which they are discipline specific.”
But oftentimes, a students’ schedule interferes with the limited availability of faculty advising. To remedy this, the advisory board council recently passed a new advising model.
“We’re beginning to implement that model, which is a combination of faculty advisors and professional advisors,” said Angelo. “We want to serve students when they want to be served – this new model will allow us to do that.”
“I think advising is really important and we continue to refine that model.”
In Lisa Angelo, Bucks’ has a provost that cares deeply and passionately about student success.
When asked where she hopes to see the school five years from now, Angelo’s focus was solely placed on increasing graduation rates and students value in earning their degree.
“I see our graduation rates going up. It is my hope that students see the value of earning their certificate or degree before they transfer.”
“A lot of students come here with one foot outside of the door, I would really like to see them come and immerse themselves and really value the experience they get here and get their degree before they go.”

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Meet Lisa Angelo: Bucks’ New Provost