Meet Joe Bertolino
Lyndon State College’s 15th President
Joe Bertolino, Ed.D., is in his fourth year as the 15th President of Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont. Prior to his arrival at Lyndon, Bertolino served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Student Personnel at Queens College/City University of New York from 2004-2012. Bertolino also served as the Dean for Community Development at Barnard College of Columbia University, and has worked in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania state higher education systems and the SUNY system.
Since his arrival in July 2012, Bertolino has instituted a plan of “Moving Forward.” He conducted a comprehensive listening tour and visited with some 1,000 individuals throughout the course of his first year. Additionally, he rolled out a new public relations campaign, reintroducing Lyndon State as “the College” of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Opening lines of communication with the community, Bertolino created an active online suggestion box (“Joe Wants to Know”) and implemented a Green and Gold Spirit initiative. His enthusiasm, his focus on an ethic of care, and his sense of humor have helped change the tone and tenor of the campus community. As a proponent of multicultural leadership and diversity studies, Bertolino designated the 2014-2015 academic year as the Year of Social Justice at Lyndon State, and the 2015-16 academic year as the Year of Compassion.
Numerous planning efforts have been completed under Bertolino’s leadership, including a new master plan, a new crisis management plan, an expansion of the College’s Information Technology infrastructure, and a new strategic plan, entitled Building Relationships: A Transformative Plan. Additionally, the Curriculum Task Force is examining Lyndon’s complete degree and course offerings to better and more efficiently serve Lyndon students. In 2015, Lyndon expanded outreach in the Northeast Kingdom with LEAP—the Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program.
Additionally, Bertolino secured a $1 million gift to the College in January 2014, one of the largest in the College’s history. Over the past two years, annual giving has increased by 160% under Bertolino’s direct supervision. Existing academic programs have expanded with seven new undergraduate and two new master’s programs, along with the concurrent hiring of fifteen new full-time faculty members in three years.
Lyndon State College’s recent achievements include national honors for the Electronic Journalism Arts program, which was named one of the top 10 U.S. journalism programs in 2014 and 2015, and several Atmospheric Science students who were recognized as the top student forecasters in North America. The Atmospheric Science program also received a $200,000 grant to work on weather forecasting projects with computer hardware innovator IBM. Under Bertolino’s leadership, the College has taken bold steps to cultivate new partnerships with high schools and community colleges in New England, offering advantageous solutions to enrollment deficits. Furthermore, Bertolino has created opportunities for adult learners and non-traditional students by creating a task force geared at establishing new flexible class schedules, including the addition of approximately 100 new online and/or hybrid course options. Bertolino is especially proud of the College’s many programs geared to serve military veterans, resulting in Lyndon’s designation as a “Military Friendly” campus, placing Lyndon in the top 20 percent of colleges nationwide in this regard.
Several recent capital renovations offer students and faculty improved resources for learning, research, and collaboration. Modernizations in the science wing include new chemistry and geology labs, a new classroom, and new, energy efficient windows. Over the summer of 2015, the award-winning Electronic Journalism Arts studios were renovated with all new state-of-the-art HD equipment and mobile cameras for the classroom and field work. Additionally in recent years, a new music lab and student annex were installed for the popular Music Business and Industry program. And two new student annexes serving Social Sciences and Education and Psychology students offer students space to study, collaborate, and do research.
Administrative leadership in higher education has long been Bertolino’s passion. Beyond Lyndon State College, Bertolino is an author, lecturer, and teacher, having presented hundreds of programs to tens of thousands of students at over 600 colleges and conferences nationwide. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters, and is the co-author of Let The Games Begin, A Guide For Peer Mentors (2012) with Dr. Ruth Frisz. Bertolino has been recognized with numerous outstanding professional awards from the National Association of Student Personnel
Administrators (NASPA), the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), The Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA), and the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA). Campus Activities Magazine named Bertolino “Best Diversity Artist” in 2007 and the American College Personnel Association presented him with the prestigious Annuit Coeptis Award. His undergraduate Alma Mater, the University of Scranton, presented him with the 2011 Frank O’Hara Award in Education—the highest award given jointly by the University and the National Alumni Society.
During 2010-2011, Bertolino served as a Fellow with the American Council on Education at the University of Houston System, under the mentorship of Chancellor Renu Khator, and at the University of Texas at Brownsville, under the mentorship of President Juliet Garcia.
Bertolino’s research interests include student immigration (with an emphasis on undocumented students and the DREAM Act), campus community development, campus social change, leadership development, service learning, multicultural worldviews, and LGBTQ student issues. He earned his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Organizational Leadership from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2003, a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University in 1990, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Scranton in 1986.
He serves as a gubernatorial delegate from the state of Vermont to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and was recently appointed to the Board of the Association of American State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and to the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation. Bertolino is serving his second year as President of the Vermont Higher Education Consortium (VHEC); he also serves on the Northeast Kingdom Youth Services (NEKYS) Board of Directors, the Advisory Board of Catamount Arts, and as a Corporator for the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. He has also served on the Alumni Board of Governors of the University of Scranton, as Past President of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Southern New Jersey, as a National Delegate for the YMCA of the USA, a Board Member for the American Red Cross of Queens County, and a District Commissioner and former National Vice President for Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.
Bertolino lives with his partner of twenty-two years, Bil Leipold, Ph.D., and his three dogs, Livingston (a Corgi), Wanamassa (a Shih Tzu), and Willoughby Vail (a Lhasa Apso mix). His greatest joy is his EIGHT Godchildren—Christian, Evan, Kevin, Nathan, Tara, Teresa, Remick, and Matthew—and his grandson, Roman.
Darcie Miles, Executive Assistant to the President