The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sarah Moschenross begins as new vice president for student life

Sarah+Moschenross+favorite+part+of+her+job+is+forging+connections+with+students+and+faculty.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Lafayette+Communications%29
Sarah Moschenross’ favorite part of her job is forging connections with students and faculty. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Communications)

Sarah Moschenross officially steps into the role of vice president for student life today, replacing Annette Diorio, who served in the position for over 11 years. Moschenross previously worked at Grinnell College for eight years, most recently as its chief student affairs officer.

Moschenross explained she had chosen Grinnell due to the liberal arts nature of the school and the proximity to family. However, after her grandmother passed away and Grinnell exited the pandemic era, she decided to look for a fresh start.

“When I came to Lafayette for my interview, it was like the Goldilocks experience. I just felt this good energy on campus, and this love for centering students and everything that they did,” Moschenross said. “I loved the students that I got to meet with and I just felt like this was a place where I could contribute, where I could be a collaborator alongside students.”

Moschenross said that she loves the work in student affairs, particularly on small campuses, because of the relationships she has been able to build with students and campus communities. The opportunity to do so on College Hill is what she is most looking forward to doing at Lafayette.

“I fell in love with working with college students very early in my career,” Moschenross said. “I’ve been lucky enough to be at a small, private liberal arts college where I got to have meaningful relationships with students. I felt like I could make a difference in creating a more inclusive campus experience and help them think about their own identity and how that informs how they show up and experience the world.”

Moschenross said that she feels grateful that she gets to work with students in the current educational climate.

“I think this generation of students in particular is really, really important,” Moschenross said. “The world faces big problems, and I just feel like it’s still very joyful to get to work with students.”

Moschenross said that because of the current transitional stage that Lafayette occupies, she doesn’t have many definitive goals.

“In terms of formal goals for the division, I don’t have those fully formed yet because I will need to see some data and how the strategic plan is coming together and where there are opportunities for working with students … and the student affairs team,” Moschenross said.

However, she emphasized the need to connect with students right away, highlighting this as her primary goal for the first months of work.

“From what I understand now, and just how I work, my first goals are going to be to get to know students, and to get to know faculty and staff and to build those relationships,” Moschenross said. “I think I have to be informed by the context that I’m in when I get to know it better.”

Another part of the job that Moschenross is excited about is working with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). At Grinnell, she helped to institute a six-course required module for all students that educated them on DEI topics, sexual assault prevention, mental health outreach and more.

“I approach DEI work through the lens of making change at the individual, the institutional and the systemic level,” Moschenross said. “They all have to happen at once, so people have to be constantly engaged in cultural fluency work on their own. We also have to do the work of looking at policies and institutional systems that don’t work for all of our students, and all of our faculty and staff, and then … big systemic stuff like embedding it into the very culture of the institution.”

“I’m really excited to get there. I’m so excited to meet more students. I just felt like this is such a special place,” Moschenross said. “And I just feel this joy permeating throughout.”

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Emma Chen, Managing Editor
Emma has very strong opinions about crust, has never eaten a blueberry, and is a staunch hater of AP style.

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