Midland University Announces Kristina Cammarano as Vice President for Student Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer
Midland University is pleased to announce the addition of Kristina Cammarano as its new Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, effective May 9th. Jamie Simpson, who has served as VP for Student Affairs since July, will be transitioning to her new role as Chief Academic Officer effective June 1.
“Sometimes, you feel like the universe conspires to put you in the right place, and this feels like the right opportunity for me,” Cammarano said. “The people, the environment, and the goals that the campus has are all things I want to be a part of. I’m excited to delve more into the Chief Diversity Officer role and continue to work on growing graduation rates and student retention. I’m looking forward to interacting and meeting students, and working with the Student Affairs team on a shared vision going forward.”
Midland University President Jody Horner views Cammarano’s energy, experience, and vision as a great fit for Midland University. “We are so excited to have Kristina joining our team at Midland,” President Horner said. “Kristina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with students in many different capacities. We are confident she will create the best outcomes and experiences for our students on campus.”
Cammarano arrives at Midland after spending the past nine years serving in various student-based roles at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Since 2017, Cammarano has served as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Success. In that role, she oversaw the opening and operationalizing of Maverick Landing, UNO’s new Welcome Center, as well as overseeing the Academic and Career Development Center, Office of Student Involvement including Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Government, Student Organizations, Maverick Productions (campus programming board), Campus Recreation, and Office of Strategic Retention Programs. She has previously served as Senior Director for Student Success and Director of the Office of Student Life & Leadership Development.
Prior to her time at UNO, Cammarano worked for four years at her alma mater, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, in roles focused on leadership development and first-year experience programs.
Throughout the interview process, Cammarano could sense that Midland’s energy and commitment toward its students was evident, and something she wanted to be a part of. “I met with faculty, staff, and students during my interview, and you could feel the passion and energy and how proud they were to be a part of Midland,” Cammarano said. “There is a great leadership team in place that has the desire to see Midland grow and continue with its innovation. That was exciting to me.”
In her career at UNO, Cammarano developed a skill set in many different areas surrounding student life. She believes that diversity will be a key component as she transitions to her new role. “I believe my range of experience puts me in a unique position to empathize and listen,” she said. “It’s important to listen and understand why things have existed the way they have. You don’t want to discount the past because it’s taken a lot of great work and energy to get to this point. We want to build on the great work that has happened and work together on a vision for what will happen next.”
One of her main focuses will be working through student retention and getting students to believe and embrace their Midland experience. “I did a lot of work through UNO on retention and giving students a sense of belonging, and that translates to any institution,” she said. “We want students to not only embrace the main reason they came to Midland but create multiple connection points along the way, so they have an even deeper sense of belonging. We want to provide engaging programs that students can find value in.”
Midland’s vision has always been to create a wide-ranging student experience and develop the holistic person. Cammarano shares this vision, a big reason why the Midland community was so appealing to her. “When we were going through Covid-19, I began to reflect about where I wanted to be in my career and what work I wanted to be doing,” Cammarano said. “I want to be at an institution that works to develop the whole person. It’s about helping students develop leadership skills, be part of a team, and work with others. We don’t just care about how great you are in the classroom, on the field, or in the auditorium; we want to prepare you to be a leader no matter where you are in life.”
A native of Stockton, California, Cammarano received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of the Pacific. She also received her Master of Arts Degree from the University of Pacific and is working toward earning her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In November, Cammarano was recognized as the Outstanding Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs in the West region by NASPA, one of the leading Student Affairs associations. Her work at both the University of the Pacific and UNO has been nationally recognized, while she has also worked with students on professional development.
She and her husband, Dan, have a two-year-old daughter, Madison.