Karl Rishe Named Vice President for Student Affairs

Rishe replaces Nick Piccolo, who is retiring after a 42-year career in higher education administration.

Karl Rishe, dean of students at Notre Dame College, has been named vice president for student affairs at Alma College. His appointment is effective August 1.

Rishe replaces Nick Piccolo, who announced earlier this year his retirement after a 42-year career in higher education, including the past 14 years as Alma’s chief student life administrator. Piccolo plans to stay in Alma and fulfill his term on the Alma City Commission.

“Karl’s background, skills and energy provide a strong match for leading our student life efforts,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “He brings experience in program design, staff development, budget management and crisis response, and he conveys a passion for student success. I welcome Karl and look forward to our partnership.”

Rishe has led the student affairs division at Notre Dame College, a private liberal arts college near Cleveland, since 2013. Prior to that, he has held student affairs positions of increasing responsibility at Case Western University, Grand Valley State University and Ashland University.

“I am excited to engage the Alma students, faculty and staff,” says Rishe. “While on campus and throughout the interview process it was clear that each person I met was passionate about helping students reach their full potential. While being raised in Michigan and talking with friends still in the state, I have always heard high praise about Alma College. The faculty and staff have great pride in what they do, and the students truly love this institution.”

The vice president for student affairs oversees a broad administrative portfolio that includes residence life, counseling and wellness, health services, chaplain’s office, student and Greek activities, student organizations, discipline, diversity and inclusion, intramural sports and the recreation center.

Rishe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Saginaw Valley State University, a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron, a Master of Science in Communications from Grand Valley State University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Akron.

Story published on June 12, 2017