Following a national search to lead the enhancement of student health services at Lehigh, Vice President of Student Affairs Ricardo Hall announced that David Rubenstein has been named to that new role. He is currently the vice president of Health and Wellness at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., and a clinical professor of psychology.
Rubenstein served in leadership capacities since 2009, when he started at Rowan first, as director of counseling and psychological services and then, ultimately promoted to vice president for health and wellness. He oversaw the planning, development, administration, management and leadership of the comprehensive Wellness Center that serves approximately 20,000 students on the Rowan campus. He also developed the policies and procedures for health services for the successful launch of the Cooper Medical School at Rowan.
Rubenstein said he was excited to join Lehigh at such a critical point in the evolution of student health on college campuses.
“The best colleges and universities across the country are realizing how central health and well-being are in having a thriving campus that promotes student happiness and success in academic, social and emotional realms,” he said.
“Lehigh University’s commitment to the health and well-being of its students, reflected in the establishment of this position, will allow for opportunities for departments and divisions across the University to develop, integrate, share and implement well-being initiatives. The creation of a ‘well-being informed campus’ - held and owned by faculty, staff and students alike - creates the best kind of environment for students to thrive and achieve their highest potential level of functioning in bringing their very best selves.”
In his visits to Lehigh as part of an intensive interview process, Rubenstein said he was most struck by the passion of those he met, and “how people care deeply about the well-being of students and health of the campus and wanting to give their very best in their work with students.”
It is exciting, he added to be part of a community that is poised for growth and change.
A Welcome Addition to the Lehigh Community
Hall said that he was extremely excited to welcome Rubenstein to Lehigh when he officially begins on July 30, 2019.
“Throughout the interview process, everyone who interacted with David commented on his enthusiasm for this work, his breadth of knowledge and his level of experience, particularly in higher ed settings,” Hall said. “Those attributes, coupled with his deep understanding of the health-related issues our students face, are perfectly suited to help Lehigh elevate our already strong delivery of health-related services. He is a proven and highly respected leader in the area of university health care administration and will no doubt be an important resource for our entire campus.”
As the inaugural executive director of health and wellness at Lehigh, he will be charged with initiating greater coordination of our student health-related services, Hall added.
“We expect that David will be working closely with the directors of Counseling & Psychological Services and Health Advancement & Prevention Strategies to ensure we are able to provide the best possible education, care, outreach, and other related efforts to a growing and increasingly diverse student population,” he said.
The creation of the new role followed a review of health services at Lehigh and the acknowledgement of a need to create a strategic vision that would incorporate the university’s ambitious goals around the Path the Prominence plan for the future, the ongoing expansion of the student body and the increasing health care needs of students.
Prior to his position at Rowan, Rubenstein was the clinical director for the Institute for Addictive Disorders, director of the Partnership Counseling Program and a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Earlier, he served as director of Outpatient Behavioral and Health Services for Parkview Hospital and was the program manager for adult outpatient services for PATH, Inc., a comprehensive community mental health center in Philadelphia.
Rubenstein earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, his Masters in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drake University.
Maddy Eadline, assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs, who chaired the search committee, said the group is confident they identified the right person for this new role.
"We consistently heard from those who interviewed David that he possessed the right attributes, training and background for the job,” she said. “He brings a strong record of success, as well as the capacity to lead a consensus-driven process, which will be extremely important in a campus environment that is experiencing growth and change.”
Hall extended his gratitude to Eadline, and her “thorough and thoughtful review of the candidates” that emerged following an extensive national search process that was conducted by the search firm of Spelman Johnson. Additional members of the search committee included Student Affairs Executive Secretary Ann Denker, who provided administrative support, and the following:
Anastasia Canell, graduate student in counseling psychology
Amanda Brandone, associate professor of psychology
Kathleen Brehm, CRNP, director of Nursing, Health and Wellness Center
Cristina Cunningham, training director/assistant director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Laurie Gray Evans, director of Student Support and Case Management Services
Linda Harbrecht, director of University Communications
Heather Hosfeld, Esq., deputy general counsel, Office of General Counsel
Rachel Kennedy, associate director of Sports Medicine