Stephanie Stemle named Interim Dean of Vincennes University Jasper

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VINCENNES, Ind. June 12, 2024 – Vincennes University is pleased to announce that Stephanie Stemle, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, will take on the role of Interim Dean of VU Jasper as current Assistant Vice President and Dean Christian Blome is leaving VUJ for a new professional opportunity.

Stemle, a Dubois County native and resident, brings 14 years of dedicated service at VU to her interim role. Her deep roots in the community and extensive experience with VU make her the perfect candidate to ensure a smooth transition and continued success at VU Jasper.

Blome has accepted a new position as Assistant Vice President of Talent and Training Solutions at Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI), where he will promote and support workforce development and education and training partnerships among industry, K-12, and higher education across an 11-county region, including Dubois, Crawford, Daviess, Lawrence, Martin, and Orange Counties.

Stemle will work closely with the VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson, VU Provost Dr. Laura Treanor, and other university leaders to maintain excellence and continuity during this leadership change.

According to Johnson, “Stephanie’s knowledge and experience at VU along with her strategic expertise make her a natural choice for this interim role. Her local knowledge and track record of helping to develop innovative partnerships inside and outside the University will be invaluable as we navigate this transition and assure that VUJ will be in good hands.”

In her current role within the Government and Legal Affairs division, Stemle leads the advancement of the University’s strategic priorities, which focus on promoting student success, economic and workforce development, industry collaboration, and K-12 partnerships.

She serves as a liaison to all levels of state government where she has helped monitor and influence state policy, represent the University in public meetings, prepare the University’s operating and capital budget requests, and work with economic development agencies to leverage the abilities of VU to enhance economic vitality in the state. She has been a valued partner in VU’s community development initiatives including Regional Cities, READI 1.0, READI 2.0, and the College and Community Collaboration program.

Stemle also led the expansion of VU’s Office of Grant Administration which develops state, federal, and private grant proposals on behalf of VU. Most recently, she directed the development and implementation of several Lilly Endowment grants awarded to the University, which have centered on supporting work-based learning programs, implementing Design and Innovation Studios in elementary schools across Dubois, Daviess, and Knox Counties, launching VU’s Pre-College Programs, and initiating the new Center for Applied Robotics and Automation (CARA).

With a keen understanding of the evolving needs of higher education, Stemle works with faculty and staff across VU’s statewide campuses including Vincennes, Jasper, and Indianapolis to promote program quality, including soliciting funding for training equipment and state-of-the-art technology. She advocates for career and technical education and was instrumental in obtaining line-item funding and continued financial support of VU’s statewide Career and Technical Early Colleges.

As a lifelong resident of Dubois County, Stemle is committed to using her experience to continue building on the meaningful work at the VU Jasper Campus. She holds bachelor’s and master’s of Public Affairs degrees from Indiana University-Bloomington. She is a graduate of Northeast Dubois High School. Before joining Vincennes University, she was the Assistant Director of the Dubois County Community Foundation. She serves on the Radius Indiana board of directors and has volunteered with Junior Achievement. Stemle and her husband, Luke, reside in Jasper with their four children.

Stemle said, “I look forward to working with VUJ students and my colleagues at the Jasper Campus to continue to build on the collaborative opportunities with K-12 and community and employer partners.”

Under Blome’s leadership, VU Jasper has served as a model for Indiana in workforce and education alignment.

VU Provost Dr. Laura Treanor said, “Christian Blome has been a passionate and dedicated leader of VUJ for years. As assistant vice president and dean, he engaged Dubois County and the surrounding areas with innovative partnerships and ideas. As a University Community, we are grateful for his invaluable contributions and we look forward to continuing to partner with Christian as he continues his work in education and training for Dubois County and beyond.”

Several initiatives in K-12 workforce development, including a powerful collaboration between VU Jasper and the Patoka Valley Career and Technical Cooperative, have grown immensely with Blome’s guidance. The success of the partnership’s Automation and Robotics Academy (ARA) led to additional pathways for high school students in Aviation Operations, Construction Trades, Computer Networking and Repair, Emergency Medical Technician, and Health Sciences. The ARA and Construction Trades programs have earned the Indiana State Earn and Learn (SEAL) designation from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA).

The Career Advancement Partnership (CAP) program is also popular. This workforce development initiative allows VU Jasper students to learn high-demand skills through internships with local industry partners and the earn-and-learn format enables many to graduate with an associate degree debt-free.

Thanks to the dedicated oversight of Blome and his team, the Jasper Campus is constantly evolving and improving to provide the best possible environment for learning and growth.

Blome’s last day at VU Jasper is Tuesday, July 16.

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