Medaille University Appoints Dr. Vochita Mihai as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Appoints Cathy Oddo as Interim Vice President for Enrollment & Student ServicesPosted by Medaille University Office of Communications
Medaille University has announced the appointment of Vochita Mihai, Ph.D., as interim vice president for academic affairs, effective July 16. Dr. Mihai, who has been serving in a faculty role at Medaille since 2005 and who previously served as chair of the Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology, will now be responsible for strategic leadership, effective management and community building in Academic Affairs. In her new role as the leader of Medaille’s faculty, Dr. Mihai will provide strategic leadership in academic curriculum, faculty programing and research initiatives, and collaborative efforts to ensure student success and retention. In addition to overseeing Academic Affairs, her areas of supervision will also include the Registrar’s Office and the Medaille Library.
“I am honored to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs at Medaille University,” says Dr. Mihai. “I welcome the opportunity, during these times of change in the higher education landscape, to work tirelessly and passionately to foster a collaborative atmosphere among faculty, staff, students and other constituents in our Medaille community, in order to enhance academic programs, the student experience, and the University’s identity and quality of education. I will advocate for academic freedom and excellence, curriculum and professional development, innovative thinking, student success, equity, diversity and community engagement.”
Dr. Mihai earned both her M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Louisiana State University, along with a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Bucharest, Romania. At Medaille, she has served on several standing and ad hoc committees, was promoted to full professor in 2018 and received the 2021 Dr. Brian R. Shero Teaching Excellence & Campus Leadership Award. In 2017, she successfully completed the WNY Consortium of Higher Education’s Academic Leadership Institute.
“My leadership style is structured around an innovative, holistic model that brings together constituencies across the campus community,” says Dr. Mihai. “I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this role will present, and I am happy to learn about new ways to serve our Medaille community and society as a whole.”
Dr. Mihai’s current national and international memberships include the New York State College Learning Skills Association, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, the Association of Women in Mathematics and the American Mathematical Society. She has served as a reviewer for multiple mathematics textbooks, and her scholarly research and publications span the areas of probability theory, stochastic differential equations, radon transform, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, mathematics education, data science and actuarial math.
“I am confident Dr. Mihai’s experiences and background in academics and beyond will serve the Medaille University students, faculty and staff well,” says Interim President Lori V. Quigley, Ph.D.
Also effective as of July 11, Cathy A. Oddo ’82 has been promoted to the position of interim vice president for enrollment & student services. Previously serving as director of academic advisement at Medaille, in her new role, Oddo will be responsible for coordinating and directing all activities related to recruiting, admitting and enrolling new students. She will be developing enrollment goals and objectives on an annual basis, and will develop procedures and programs to meet those goals and objectives to increase overall student enrollment. Oddo will also provide vision and creative leadership for the development, implementation and enhancement of services, policies and procedures that facilitate increased student success and persistence, in collaboration with various University constituents and departments that support student success and retention. Her areas of oversight include admissions, accessibility services, academic advisement, the Academic Support Center and grant programs that support students, such as TRiO and HEOP.
“I am excited to now serve as interim vice president for enrollment management & student services,” says Oddo. “As a Medaille graduate myself, I was able to experience first-hand the wonderful educational opportunities Medaille has to offer. In my role, my staff and I will help students navigate their way through their educational journey, from admissions to graduation. I hope students will take advantage of the many wonderful support services on campus, and I encourage students to get involved in activities and clubs, to make the most of their educational experience. I am excited to welcome all current and future Mavericks to Medaille University!”
A 1982 graduate of Medaille’s media communication program, Oddo has over 20 years of experience working in higher education, in addition to over 10 years of experience working for private industries. She has worked for other higher education institutions in the area, serving in roles that include dean of students, director of admissions and manager of student services. Throughout her career, she has advocated for students and has worked tirelessly to help students stay on track with their educational goals.
“I am grateful for Cathy’s continued dedication and commitment in serving the Medaille University community,” says Dr. Quigley. “I know she brings a wealth of professional experiences to this position, ranging from admissions to student support services, and with that, I am confident she will aid in strengthening our student enrollment and persistence, from recruitment to graduation.”
In their vice president roles, both Dr. Mihai and Oddo will serve as members of the President’s Senior Leadership Team and Cabinet, and the Medaille community is grateful for their continued dedication and service as they take on such integral roles.