Academic year set to begin with new leaders in academics, student engagement

As Hastings College prepares to welcome students to campus beginning August 14, with the first day of class set for August 18, it is also welcoming two new vice presidents: Dr. Annette Vargas and Dr. Jonas Prida.

Vargas, who has been at Hastings College since 2012, is the Vice President for Student Access, Enrollment, and Performance, a newly designed position that replaces the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience position. Vargas will work with the admissions and student engagement teams, and other areas on campus.

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Dr. Jonas Prida
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Dr. Annette Vargas

Prida, who was previously with Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, a position that replaces the Vice President for Academic Affairs position. Prida will work with all academic areas on campus, including academic deans, faculty, and other areas.

“The purpose of reimagining these key roles on campus is to further integrate academic and student life conversations, goals and plans,” said Dr. Rich Lloyd, Executive President of Hastings College. “The search committees were very impressed by the candidates returned by our national search, and Annette and Jonas stood out among the group. I’m very excited to have them both at Hastings College, to help us continue advancing our mission of graduating outstanding students.”

Vargas began her role in July. She was previously the Associate Dean of Arts & Humanities, Director of Advising, and Associate Professor of Theatre at Hastings College.

Prida’s first day on campus was August 6. He was previously Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Excellence at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bios for Drs. Vargas and Prida

Dr. Jonas Prida holds a B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of Calgary and a M.A. in English from the University of Maine. He earned his Ph.D. in English from Tulane University, focusing on pre-Civil War popular culture and literature. He worked as faculty at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland and as a tenured faculty member at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, where he also had his first experience with administration, working in curriculum development and as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prida’s most recent position was Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Excellence at Point Park University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will be joined by his wife Marshall, who is a fiction writer, two children, and three dogs, including a quarantine puppy.

Dr. Annette M. Vargas holds a BFA in theatrical design from the University of South Florida, and a MFA in theatrical design from Penn State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Vargas has worked professionally in theatre, film, hospitality, and special events, and has been at Hastings College since 2012. She was previously Associate Dean of Arts & Humanities, Director of Advising, and Associate Professor of Theatre at Hastings College. She resides in Hastings with her husband, Brad, who works for the City of Hastings, and their son.

Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad and a two-week study away experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at hastings.edu.

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