Lafayette College President Alison R. Byerly today named an experienced education administrator and advancement professional as assistant to the president for board and community relations.
Melissa Starace, currently interim vice president of university advancement at the University of Scranton, will assume her new position Feb. 6. She will serve as primary liaison to the Board of Trustees as well as to various external constituencies and community organizations. She will also help to plan special College events, including Commencement, Convocation, and major lectures and symposia.
“We are fortunate to be able to add someone with Melissa’s experience and talents to the president’s office,” Byerly said. “Melissa is a long-time Lehigh Valley resident who knows Lafayette well, and her ability to build strong relationships will be very helpful to our efforts to become more affordable by growing the size of the College.”
Starace joined the University of Scranton in 2013 as the associate vice president for engagement and operations, becoming interim vice president in July 2017. Prior to joining Scranton, she had a 15-year career at Northampton Community College, rising from an admissions counselor and academic advisor through a series of positions to serving her final eight years there as director of alumni affairs.
“I truly believe in the transformative impact Lafayette has on the lives of its students and our community,” Starace said. “I share President Byerly’s deep commitment to providing access to those seeking a liberal arts education in a distinctive learning environment, and I am excited to get started.”
Starace holds an Ed.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in education from Lehigh University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cedar Crest College. She lives in Bethlehem Township with her husband, Jason Dittmar, and their children Joseph, Matthew and Regan.