Dr. Joseph J. Cicala has served as Vice President for University Life and Dean of Students at Alvernia University since February, 2009. As chief student affairs officer, it is his privilege to lead the talented members of the University Life Division, responsible for a variety of traditional student affairs functions and academic support services, in support of student learning and development and to fulfill Alvernia’s mission to foster ethical leaders with moral courage.
Dr. Cicala began his career in higher education as a graduate Residence Hall Director at West Chester University, and went on to serve in several capacities in residence life and student support services during ten years of service at Syracuse University, including an appointment as founding Director of Career Exploration Services for the College of Arts and Sciences. He also served as counselor and assistant professor at Long Island’s Suffolk County Community College and as Director of the Advising and Counseling Center at Philadelphia University prior to more than ten years of service as Dean of Students at La Salle University.
Dr. Cicala is an alumnus of Wyncote, Pennsylvania’s Bishop McDevitt High School. He earned his BA in psychology at La Salle University, his MS in higher education counseling at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in higher education administration at New York University. He is a National Certified Counselor and a National Certified Career Counselor, as well as an alumnus of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education. A long-time member of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Dr. Cicala serves on the Board of Directors, as Director of the Professional Standards Division, and as a member of the Region II Advisory Board. Also a long-time member of ACPA-College Student Educators International, Dr. Cicala is past chair and directorate member of the association’s Commission for Career Development and a Diamond Honoree of the association’s Educational Leadership Fund. He has been designated an ACPA Senior Practitioner. He is a member of numerous other professional and academic associations, and has been honored with inductions into Phi Delta Kappa, the National Residence Hall Honorary, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Bishop McDevitt High School Alumni Hall of Fame. Dr. Cicala serves on the Board of Directors of Berks Women in Crisis and on the Advisory Board for Kutztown University’s M.Ed. program for Student Affairs in Higher Education.
A frequent presenter at regional and national conferences, Dr. Cicala’s areas of expertise include the promotion of student involvement as the route to student learning and success, the establishment of organizational models to build communities that foster student involvement, the setting of high standards for student conduct to undergird such communities, and the use of research data to drive organizational self-assessment.
A resident of King of Prussia, PA, Dr. C. is married to Dr. Joanne C. Conlon, Director of the Pre-Major Advising Center at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Joseph, J. Cicala, Ph.D.
Vice President for University Life and Dean of Students
Campus Commons, First Floor