Sandy Stahl, the associate dean of students at Vanderbilt University.
Sandy Stahl, the associate dean of students at Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Celebrates 25 Years of Scholar Success

Winter 2014 | National

In 1989, Vanderbilt University became the first institutional partner of The Posse Foundation. Committed to creating a diverse campus community, Vanderbilt took a chance on an untested program and offered full-tuition scholarships to five New York City public high school seniors whose subsequent success has served as a model to Posse Scholars for 25 years.

“Posse was [adopted as an] initiative to diversify the community—not just for public relations reasons or political reasons—to really create a community that values different perspectives and opinions on issues, and to develop a comfort level for debating issues and solving problems,” says Associate Dean of Students and Posse liaison Sandy Stahl. “Posse has done that. Posse Scholars really branch out and move into student organizational leadership positions. The older Posse students set an example and it’s been really inspiring.”

Sandy relies on her more than 30 years of experience in student affairs to ensure that undergraduates at her alma mater have an enriching college experience. In addition to Posse, she oversees international student services, intercultural affairs, the Office of Active Citizenship and Service, the LGBTQI Life Center and the Chancellors Scholars, and teaches a course in women’s and gender studies each semester.

“There is a reason that Posse Scholars have been so successful at Vanderbilt for 25 years,” says Posse Chief Operating Officer Matthew Fasciano. “It’s because of people like Sandy Stahl, Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Douglas Christiansen who mobilize all the resources available on their campus and make sure that Scholars can access them.”

Sandy says, “One of the things that keeps me coming back to work every day is that I feel I can make a difference in the lives of students.”