Q&A with Associate Vice President of Student Life Erica Lynch

As associate vice president of Student Life, Erica Lynch works to ensure students find a sense of belonging in the Bethel community. In this Q&A, she shares more about the support systems in place to help students thrive.

By Cherie Suonvieri '15, GS'21, content specialist

October 12, 2022 | 8 a.m.

Erica Lynch, associate vice president of Student Life

Erica Lynch, associate vice president of Student Life

A sense of belonging—that’s what Associate Vice President of Student Life Erica Lynch hopes students find at Bethel. As part of her job, Lynch oversees several teams in the Office of Student Life to ensure students have what they need to thrive in the Bethel community. Here, she shares what brought her to Bethel, what makes the community unique, and the many ways Student Life works to help students succeed. 

What drew you to Bethel, and what do you love most about the community?

Bethel is full of traditions that promote school spirit and really bring out the love that people have for this place. That energy is what drew me here. Along with that, I love working in a place that has such a commitment to the Lord, and I love working alongside colleagues who are so committed to seeing students thrive and succeed. 

Tell us about your role as associate vice president of Student Life.

In the Office of Student Life, we’re really looking at the co-curricular experience. We partner closely with those in academics to ensure students are succeeding academically—but there’s also a great need for students to be connected outside of the classroom in order to find a sense of belonging here. 

In my role, I provide leadership and supervision to all of the teams in Student Life, including Residence Life, Campus Engagement, and our Student Care and Conduct processes. In addition to overseeing those teams, I also work individually with students when they are struggling with any number of issues. Whether the challenges they’re facing are academic, social, or mental health related, I help students get connected with the resources that they need.

What does your job look like on a day-to-day basis? 

I spend a lot of time meeting with the teams I lead—planning events, looking to the future, setting goals, assessing progress. I also spend some time each week working individually with students. Often when I'm connecting with a student, it’s because they need some additional support in a particular area. I work with students—and sometimes their families as well—to come up with plans to get them on track to succeed. That might mean connecting them with Counseling Services, Health Services, the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services, the Academic Enrichment and Support Center, or another office on campus that can help meet their needs. We want them to get the support they need to thrive at Bethel. 

"We just really mean it when we say your student matters here—that your student belongs here."

— Erica Lynch, associate vice president of Student Life

What’s the best part of your job? 

Watching student transformation happen. I get a unique lens because I have touch points with every area of Student Life. It's such a gift for me to watch students come in their first year and get plugged in, whether that’s through their residence halls, student government, clubs, or other leadership opportunities. Then, over the course of several years, I get to watch them grow as leaders and experience transformation in their relationship with the Lord. I get to watch their friendships grow and watch them succeed academically. And then, I get to watch them leave this place and do amazing things as alumni. 

What’s your favorite Bethel tradition?

There are so many, but probably Welcome Week. There’s just so much energy on campus, and I love getting to welcome new students and their families into the Bethel community. It’s also a special time of year where we really see every office across the university come together to welcome students into this place. 

What do you want Bethel parents to know? 

We truly care about your students. We aren’t just saying that. We have a group of staff committed to caring for your students and making sure they are successful here. We have a lot of processes in place to make sure students aren’t falling through the cracks and are getting the support that they need. We just really mean it when we say your student matters here—that your student belongs here. We want to do everything we can to help them thrive. 

Students at Bethel University

Student Life at Bethel.

Solid academics are important to the college experience—but you’ll find more than that at Bethel. Here, a college experience also means building meaningful friendships, growing in your faith, and discovering the difference-maker you’re meant to be.

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