Dr. Blaine Steensland, Senior Director of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, will be the keynote speaker at the Penn State Berks spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10, at 10 a.m. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Perkins plaza. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the Beaver Community Center. A new class of more than 150 Penn State Berks students will participate in the ceremony, receiving their baccalaureate and associate degrees. Nearly 250 students will have earned their degrees from Penn State Berks this May.
In June 2014, Steensland will retire after 28 years of dedicated service to the college. In his address, he will share some of his observations about the changes he has witnessed at the college and among the student body in general in his candid, matter-of-fact, humorous style.
Steensland joined Penn State Berks in 1986 as Director of Student Affairs and assumed the role of Senior Director of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management in 1997. In this position, he has provided leadership to Admissions, Financial Aid, Retention, Residence Life, Health Services, NCAA Division III Intercollegiate and Recreational Athletics, Campus Life, Orientation, Counseling Services, Multicultural Student Services, Support Services to Special Student Populations, Student Organizations, and Out-of-Class Educational and Social Programming.
Among his accomplishments, Steensland created an integrated enrollment management and student service unit for both Berks and the former Berks-Lehigh Valley College; actively collaborated with faculty, all administrative units, and governing bodies to ensure quality and innovative services were offered to support the educational mission and enrollment objectives; and served as advisor to the Student Government Association and Leadership House.
Steensland holds an Ed.D. and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from West Virginia University. He earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Davis & Elkins College. He served on the Berks County United Way, as President Campaign Chair of the Randolph County United Way, as President of the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, and as a member of the YMCA of Berks, Reading, and South Mountain Board of Directors.