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Frank Ardaiolo
Name: Frank Ardaiolo
Position: Vice President for Student Life
College: Winthrop University

Frank Ardaiolo LiberiaFrank Ardaiolo

Vice President for Student Life Frank Ardaiolo takes great pride in knowing that some 100 Winthrop University graduates have assumed professional student life positions across the United States since he joined the university.

He calls his 25-plus year career at Winthrop “truly extraordinary.”

“I came here as a scholar-practitioner and continue my work helping the university to be focused on all the arenas of student learning that contribute to students growing intellectually, socially and personally,” he said. “This is so important so they commence the rest of their lives dedicated to making a difference beyond Winthrop.”

This has been fostered by professional student life staff who are nurturing and caring, he added, and partner many times with faculty to help students learn beyond the classroom.

Ardaiolo has dedicated his entire career to helping students.

He earned a bachelor’s in foreign affairs from Assumption College, followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate in higher education administration, political science and African studies, from Indiana University.

From that point on, ‘student affairs’ is the common theme of Ardaiolo’s career. Before joining Winthrop as vice president for student life and associate professor of education in 1989, Ardaiolo served as director of residence life at Belmont Abbey College, associate dean of students at the University of South Carolina, and assistant vice president and dean of students at the University of Connecticut.

Ardaiolo is a hands-on vice president: he teaches various courses at Winthrop, including developing courses for the new leadership minor program. Each year, he takes students abroad for seminars on global citizenship and leadership. He has published more than 30 monograph chapters, articles and essays on legal issues, quality improvement, adult learners, student affairs/academic affairs collaboration, civic engagement, and African politics.

Raised in Portugal and West Africa, he is a recognized expert on Liberia and returned there while at Winthrop to help reconstruct the school system and serve as an UN election monitor ending the Liberian civil war. He has chaired the boards of directors of Friends of Liberia, the City of Rock Hill’s Human Relations Committee, the International Center of York County, and the NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Foundation.

He has been married to Joleen ‘77, his wife of more than 35 years, and they are the parents of three college graduates and two Labradoodles!

“Winthrop has allowed me to follow my passions including promoting diversity, expanding the higher education academic knowledge base and bringing the world a little bit closer to our students as evidenced by my international work.”

Updated 6/8/16

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