New to the College this semester is Alexus Laster, Villa Maria’s Dean of Students.
Laster holds a Master of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from Canisius University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Canisius University. Additionally, she earned an advanced graduate certificate in Assessment in Student Affairs and a micro-credential in Data Visualization.
She is currently a doctoral candidate at Howard University and a Research Fellow for the United Negro College Fund. Her research is focused on improving diverse student outcomes through institutional accountability and assessment. She is on track to complete her program in the summer of 2024.
In her new role, Laster will provide leadership and direction for the College’s Division of Student Affairs. This includes all student life programming and student conduct. She will implement and maintain a comprehensive student development model with a focus on student involvement and holistic growth, and will serve as a Title IX Coordinator.
“It is a great honor for me to serve as the Dean of Students at Villa Maria College,” said Laster. “As a proud Buffalo native, I am enthusiastic about being an administrator who not only reflects the community and mirrors our student population but also serving as a testament to the transformative impact of education. I am eager to contribute to the positive momentum at Villa Maria and look forward to propelling us toward greatness.”
Laster brings a wealth of experience to this position, most recently having served as the Assistant Dean of Students and Executive Director for Access and Opportunity Programs at Medaille University, including overseeing HEOP and Say Yes to Education programs. She is also experienced in retention, student success, student affairs, teaching, grant writing, and more.
She is also involved with a number of relevant organizations, including the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals, WNY Collegiate Consortium of Disability Advocates, WNY Young Professionals, Higher Education Opportunity Program Professional Organization, Higher Education Opportunity Program Regional Organization, and more.