Joy Pufhal Named New Dean of Student Life at Ferris

Joy PufhalInspired by Ferris State University’s collective enthusiasm for student success, Joy Pufhal is excited to become its new dean of student life.

Pufhal will be leaving her position, as dean of students and executive director of campus life at the University of Southern Maine, for a new challenge at Ferris, beginning Monday, Aug. 8. Southern Maine has an enrollment of approximately 8,500 students on two metropolitan campuses and a residential campus. Transitioning to Ferris, with more than 14,000 students overall, and 10,000-plus students, on main campus, Pufhal sees great opportunity to assist student development and growth.

“I am honored and incredibly excited to join the student life team at Ferris,” said Pufhal, who has served as USM’s dean of students and executive director of campus life since June 2013. “I am drawn to continue to serve students and to open doors for students at a public institution like Ferris. To put it simply, the role, the university and the surrounding community far exceeded my expectations.”

Pufhal’s hiring concludes a national search to identify a new dean of student life. Ferris Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof cited Pufhal’s diverse range of experience, which includes various roles in student affairs. The areas include diversity and inclusion, health and counseling, recreation and intramurals, student activities and student leadership development, Title IX and more. In all, Pufhal has more than 15 years of experience in higher-education student life administration.

“After conducting a national search, I am excited to announce that we hired Joy Pufhal to serve as our new dean of student life,” Ward-Roof said. “She comes to us from the University of Southern Maine, where she served as the dean of students and executive director of campus life. I believe her breadth and depth of experience, in student affairs, will be a great match for our needs at Ferris.”

Pufhal has identified short-and long-term goals for the start of her first semester as dean of student life.

“During my first 90 days, I will be focused on meeting students, staff and faculty to learn everything that I can about Ferris and to better understand how best I can advance the work to educate, engage and support our students,” she said. “I am eager to connect with students at move-in events, welcome events and my first Bulldog athletics events. I also look forward to becoming involved in the town of Big Rapids. I will work to assist the student life team in continuing to provide a relevant and vibrant student experience and in meeting their departmental goals.”

Long term, Pufhal wants to build relationships and strengthen overall collaboration with other offices at the university to help attract and graduate students.

“I am looking forward to opportunities to partner with colleagues in student affairs, the provost’s office, and across the institution around institution-wide retention efforts,” she said.

Pufhal holds a Bachelor of Science in Bio-Psychology and a Certificate of Community Health from Tufts University, in Medford, Mass. She also has earned a master’s degree in Adult Education, from USM.

For more information, click the dean of student life website.


PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University has announced that Joy Pufhal (pictured) has been named the new dean of student life. The announcement was made by Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof.