MIDDLETOWN - Madeline Torres-Diaz, a member of SUNY Orange’s student services staff in various capacities over the past 17 years, has been promoted to associate vice president for student engagement and completion.
In this newly created position on the College’s leadership team, Torres-Diaz will oversee the development and expansion of programs and activities that support student success, usher students toward degree completion and actively engage students in out-of-classroom experiences. She will coordinate and enhance collaborations between students, faculty, staff and the local community that will help students remain on track to fulfill their college goals.
Torres-Diaz will oversee the areas of student activities, Wellness Center, accessibility services, and student support initiatives, and report to Paul Broadie II, vice president for student services.
"Madeline has long been a tremendous asset to the student services division here at SUNY Orange, and this new role fits her skills perfectly," Broadie says. "Madeline is well versed in student development theory and has a proven track record of increasing student engagement and retention. Also, her grant writing and oversight experience will serve her well in this new role.
"Now, more than ever, it is critically important for the College to be focused on retaining students and helping them reach their goals, and we created this position to help us do a better job in those areas. The new programs and activities that we create in the coming months and years, with Madeline’s oversight and with the hard work of many others from across the College, will benefit our students greatly."
Torres-Diaz joined the SUNY Orange staff in 1996 as director of Student Support Services, a grant-funded TRIO program that serves first generation, low-income and disabled students. More recently, she was director of the Accessibility Services and Student Support Initiatives offices, and certifying officer for the College’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
It was Torres-Diaz who spearheaded the creation of the Restart Workshop Program required for all students who wish to re-enroll at SUNY Orange following academic separation or probation. Since the program’s inception, 63 percent of students who participate in the program have continued with their studies, a rate higher than the College’s overall retention rate. She has also established online academic early alert and mid-semester intervention programs that helped establish an 89 percent retention rate for students in the TRIO Program.
Prior to arriving at SUNY Orange, Torres-Diaz was director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y. For five years prior to that, she was assistant director of the HEOP program at Marymount Manhattan College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and special education from Marymount Manhattan in 1989 and a master’s degree in higher and adult education from Columbia University Teachers College in 1994.