Pacific Union College President Dr. Ralph Trecartin recently announced that Dr. Ryan Smith will be joining the college’s administrative team this spring as the new vice president for student life.
“His experience and depth of knowledge make him an outstanding addition to our leadership team,” says Trecartin.
With a wealth of experience across student life and academia, Smith’s career has spanned both the Seventh-day Adventist education system and the state university system. He received his bachelor's degree at Oakwood University, master’s from Alabama A&M University, and a doctorate from Morgan State University.
“PUC has had a long history of producing alumni who are contributing in significant ways to both the church and communities all over the world, '' says Smith. “Our family feels blessed and privileged to serve at PUC."
The vice president for student life is responsible for student support departments and activities, including residential life, PUC Pioneers athletics, campus ministries, student association, health services, counseling services, career services, and more. At the heart of it, the role helps define the whole experience of every PUC student, an experience that reaches far beyond the classroom.
“I look forward to making connections with students, and I am a firm believer that students are the reason why we are in the ‘business’ of higher education,” says Smith. “I also look forward to working with the student life team, learning about the community and culture, and the impact they are having on students' ability to thrive academically, socially, and spiritually.”
Smith is stepping into the role at a critical and exciting time as the college moves forward with its new Vision for the Future, which provides a framework for PUC’s next several years in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has shown us that we have to adjust to meet the ever-changing needs of both student and parent,” says Smith. “One of my priorities is to collaboratively focus on spiritual life by identifying and eliminating any barriers that might get in the way of students having a personal relationship with God. In addition, I want to assess how we intentionally engage students to be instruments in God’s hands, to relieve the suffering of humanity, all in the context of our biblical commission to go ye therefore.”
PUC welcomes Dr. Smith and his family.