April 20, 2023

Steve Sears is on a mission

By Joe Carr ’83

Dean of students and vice president of student affairs, Steve Sears, Ed.D. leads with enthusiasm, passion, and love — characteristics that help provide the energy he needs for a 24/7 calling that he says is far more rewarding than challenging.

“This isn’t a job, it’s a remarkable life,” he says.

Sears’ wide-ranging management portfolio comprises 135 staff members across 12 departments including residence life, public safety, community standards, personal counseling, student health, career education, student activities, and more.

“I am so grateful for our team,” he says. “As a group, we are passionate, focused, and committed to doing all we can to educate, guide, and support our Friars in their determination of a meaningful life.”

Steve Sears, Ed.D.
Steve Sears, Ed.D. Photography By Justin James Muir

An Air Force veteran and father of three (including a current PC student), Sears holds a doctorate in education from NOVA Southeastern University and an MBA from Salve Regina University. He came to PC in 1998 as associate director for housing and discipline, hired by College President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78, ’82G, who was then director of residence life.

“It is one of the best decisions I ever made,” Father Sicard said. “Steve has been a positive influence on a generation of PC students, reflecting the institution’s ideals every day through his actions and his example.”

Sears was named associate vice president and dean of students in 2010. One of the first things Father Sicard did when becoming president in 2020 was name Sears a vice president and add him to the President’s Cabinet, the college’s senior team.

“The opportunity to be a voice for our students as we work to determine the direction and trajectory of the college is one of the greatest gifts God has provided me,” Sears says.

Sears conceptualizes his team’s responsibilities to students on a timeline that begins with orientation and continues through graduation.

“We work to create experiences for growth, development, and dialogue, all in the search for truth,” he says. “If we are successful, students will flourish as self- aware, contemplative leaders prepared to pursue their path in life.”

“Dean Sears,” as students know him, is ever-present in the day-to-day life of the community, giving those students a window into his personality and his approach to life. They know he is likely to answer “solid,” when asked how he is doing. They know he will finish near the top of the Friar 5K during Homecoming every fall. And they know he embraces opportunities to witness his faith, notably in the inspiring email messages he sends them.

“I strive for our Friars to see all that is good,” he says. “Bringing out the good in people and sharing happiness is important to me. It is about working together to create a foundation based on shared values and relationships that will last a lifetime.”

The Fund for Providence College enables leaders such as Dean Sears to inspire, support, and energize the PC student body and community. Your gift helps ensure a holistic experience for students, filled with all the benefits and blessings of Providence College.

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