Siena Heights University Dean For Students


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Student Life


Dear Students and Saints Supporters,

Thank you for making the commitment to be part of our Siena community! This commitment, whether new today, or renewed daily over the years, is one we value immensely. Specifically in my role, I would have no purpose here without students and the many lives that support our students. Student Life has grown over the years I have been here in so many ways, including deepening our Campus Ministry program, expanding our Athletic offerings to 21 different programs, growing our Residence Life program to the largest on-campus community in the history of the school, charging co-curricular involvement with new leadership opportunities, multicultural programming, and “Siena Serves” initiatives. We have also expanded where we build community on campus with a state-of-the-art performance stadium, sand volleyball courts and our vibrant University Student Center! As a result, synergy has been created among many student leaders, Student Life staff, faculty and community partners like never before!

I love being Siena’s Dean for Students, rather than a position most commonly referred to as a Dean of Students in higher education. I am your Dean for Students because I much prefer being for and with students, rather than of or above students. I challenge myself and the Student Life Division to create a space of challenge and support for you to explore your unique, complex identity OR develop clear purpose, deep competence, and uncompromised ethics. This happens in a number of different ways as you lead, learn, and serve.  I thrive by being surrounded daily by students’ spirit, hope for the future, and the important life questions they are investigating. You can expect to see me organizing student leadership development, cheering in the student section at games and hoping students can match the energy I carry with me from my collegiate mascot days, and leading “Siena Serves” projects that meet significant needs and enhance our relationships. I have some of the best stories from these opportunities that have led to stronger student relationships and great personal fulfillment in my life and many others.  Let me be the first to say I am eager to pay attention to students, hear their ideas and concerns, listen to their heart and mentor them in a place where they can find answers to their own questions.

Ultimately, my job in Student Life is to foster students’ growth and development in mind, body, and spirit to become the leaders they are called to be and embrace their purpose. We have many tools and resources to help students become all that God has created them to be. Whether it be a combination of competing as a student athlete, living on campus, getting involved in a student organization, coming together in prayer, seeking out health and wellness services, or many other ways to plug-in with Student Life, my staff and I will encourage student growth of each individual. We intend each relationship and experience to reflect the mission of Siena Heights University!

Students, I believe each of you here have a rare opportunity to live out our University mission, to use the time and experiences here to discover the purpose you have been called to more fully, and to embrace your purpose in every aspect of your life.  Please take some time to explore the areas I bring leadership and oversight to in the Student Life Division.

With a truly grateful heart,

Michael Orlando
Dean for Students