FLUSHING, NY – Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo has been appointed the seventh president of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. Dr. DeVivo currently serves as the senior vice president and has been an integral part of Vaughn College for more than 18 years. She is the first woman president in the College’s 82-year history.
Dr. DeVivo began her career as director of public relations at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University and then moved on to Fordham University where she served as public affairs manager. Her tenure at Vaughn College began as the director of communications. She was quickly tapped for advancement and took on the role of dean for college relations, followed by vice president of institutional advancement, vice president of academic and student affairs and finally senior vice president for the institution.
Vaughn announced the appointment following the selection by the board of trustees for the institution. Dr. DeVivo was unanimously chosen by the board and will assume her new position on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. The appointment follows an extensive national search that began after current President Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick announced his desire to retire in 2014, after a long and distinguished career.
“The search committee spent countless hours over the past several months reviewing candidates and ensuring that the applicants met the criteria necessary to spearhead the institution and move Vaughn College forward,” said Board of Trustees Chair Thomas J. McKee. “We know Dr. DeVivo fully understands the College’s dynamics and has the vision and leadership skills necessary to achieve the community’s collective goals.”
Committee members included Mr. Clyde Kizer, chair of the presidential search committee, board members Mr. Oswin Moore, Ms. Katherine Posner, Mr. Frank Rosenberg, and Mr. Joseph Werner, Faculty Senate President Mr. Thomas Broschart and Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Paul LaVergne.
During her time at Vaughn, Dr. DeVivo, has been deeply committed to student success and creating a highly engaging educational experience both inside and outside the classroom. Her accomplishments include: increasing the six-year graduation rate for bachelor’s degree students from the low 30s to 57 percent over the past decade; raising more than $50 million to create top-notch learning spaces with the latest equipment; implementing two strategic plans that invest in new programs, facilities, and faculty; and working with a dedicated group including trustees, the president, the faculty and administrators who believe that Vaughn College truly makes a difference in the lives of the students it serves.
“Dr. Fitzpatrick has served the last 17 years as president of this institution and brought us to this moment in our history where we have experienced a transformation that will ensure our long-term growth,” said Dr. DeVivo. “I am thrilled to be selected as president to continue the dynamic transformation of this institution and work with our wonderfully engaged community to achieve the goals set forth in our strategic plan.”
Dr. DeVivo earned an associate in arts from the University of Maryland, Munich, Germany and a bachelor of arts in communications from SUNY Albany. She went on to receive her master of arts in public communications from Fordham University and her doctor of education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Her professional and community affiliations are numerous and include participation on the Queens Borough President’s Aviation Advisory Council, the JFK International Airport Chamber of Commerce, the American Council on Education Women’s Network for New York State and The Wings Club (professional aviation group). In 2013, she was honored as one of the Top 35 Women of Queens by The Queens Courier, and was awarded the Highest Leaf Award by the Women’s Venture Fund.
Her priorities for the College as she takes the helm include increasing the academic programs offered at Vaughn, developing international partnerships and implementing the strategic plan. That plan calls for programs that are responsive to economic demands, facilities and services that are the best Vaughn can offer, and a faculty and staff who are committed to the success of every student.