Mount St. Joseph University

Introducing Dr. Joel Thierstein

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Amanda Gratsch

File Under: academics, thierstein

Mount St. Joseph University welcomed Joel Thierstein, J.D., Ph.D., as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs on Aug. 1, 2014.

An experienced leader in education, Dr. Thierstein has set the standard as an innovativor in the industry.

After recently serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kentucky State University, Thierstein feels warmly welcomed by the Mount community in his arrival, claiming that it is a fantastic institution.

“I met with a bunch of freshman parents who said that their son or daughter chose the Mount because of how wonderful they were accepted into the community. The people are really hardworking and intelligent,” said Thierstein.

Prior to becoming involved in the education industry, Theirstein was inspired by his father. He grew up watching his father teach as a college professor, seeing him change the classroom in such beneficial ways for students. As a result, Theirstein soon began holding an interest in higher education.

“The academy is my home. I come by it from my dad and a lineage of teachers and educators, and I haven’t found a part of it that I don’t like,” said Thierstein.

Thierstein discussed how the Sisters of Charity are truly embedded in the Mount’s mission, which has set it apart from other schools. He said there is a thoughtful caring that goes on from them that is rooted in the institution, and mentioned he is impressed by their vision for not only the Mount, but for the world.

As for his goals for the University’s academic program, Thierstein would love to see the Mount’s reputation grow within the broader community, expressing the quality of its academic programs and the Mount’s overall engagement with the world.

“Based on the quality of the Mount, I’d like to see a stronger position in the community locally, nationally and internationally,” he said.

A former teacher in the classroom, Theirstein said he greatly misses teaching and hopes to have an opportunity to teach a class again soon. He encourages students to visit during office hours to stay in touch with him and to receive any helpful insight they might need.

Meanwhile, he encourages students to take on leadership roles both within the classroom and beyond by engaging in worldly questions to discuss within the classroom, as well as taking any opportunities to build career networks among peers.