The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Mark Sapara named student life’s first associate vice president

Mark+Sapara+comes+to+Lafayette+after+a+two-year+tenure+at+Oberlin+College.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Mark+Sapara%29
Mark Sapara comes to Lafayette after a two-year tenure at Oberlin College. (Photo courtesy of Mark Sapara)

Mark Sapara has stepped into the newly created role of associate vice president and senior advisor to the vice president for student life.

Sapara, who previously served two years as the dean of intercultural engagement at Oberlin College, joins Lafayette one semester into the tenure of vice president for student life Sarah Moschenross.

“I created this position to help move forward strategic priorities of the division,” Moschenross said. “He understands how to make changes within big systems, and he’s great at relationship-building. He’s going to be able to build important partnerships with faculty, with staff and with students to make things happen … and it was clear that he centered students in his approach to everything.”

“I knew she was going to be a kindred spirit in how we both view students at the epicenter of everything that we do,” Sapara said of Moschenross.

Sapara is not new to being an administrative trailblazer. He was Oberlin’s first dean of intercultural engagement and increased the staff size from just five members to 18 during his tenure.

In this role, Sapara oversaw matters in the realms of disability, religious life, international students and multicultural research. The scope of the position continually evolved as he added more members to his team.

“If you go in with a steadfast view of what your job is, you miss out on so many opportunities for growth,” Sapara said. “It’s a position that has definition to it, but then there’s going to be stuff that happens organically through conversations and meetings.”

Sapara brings with him decades of experience in the higher education world, including time in student affairs, academic advising, admissions and financial aid. He also spent 25 years as an adjunct professor of public speaking — a job he calls his “greatest passion in life.”

“Whatever I bring to the table is informed by a constant thought and memory of what it’s like to engage with students in a classroom,” Sapara said. “I’m a better administrator because I love teaching and learning, and every impactful thing I’ve done in my administrative career goes back to that love of teaching, the appreciation of the academic side and the love of faculty and what they do.”

To Sapara, joining the Lafayette community is a type of homecoming. The New Jersey native was drawn back to the East Coast and believed that the college was the right place for him after visiting in December.

“Meeting the students, I just felt a vibe here that was calling me,” he explained. “I remember thinking ‘if you don’t do this, you’ll always wonder what would have happened.’”

For now, Sapara is looking forward to putting down roots in the community; he moved to College Hill last week and is looking forward to making Easton his home.

“In my two years at Oberlin, I never expected to develop such a beautiful life — the relationships, the community, the personal side, the professional side — but I did,” Sapara said. “Something inside of me told me that Lafayette could be that, too.”

Emma Chen ’24 contributed reporting. 

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About the Contributor
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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