Sitting on the other side of the desk

Catherine Gradisar

Students who violate Villanova’s Blue Book policy might find themselves discussing the matter in an office with an enormous desk, behind which sits Ryan Rost, the University’s new assistant dean of students for judicial affairs.

Rost attended the University as an undergraduate and never left. After earning a degree in sociology and a minor in communication, Dean Ryan Rost returned to campus for a master’s degree in human services administration. She then worked as an intern in the athletic director’s office, becoming an operations coordinator within a few months, and then moving to a position as the assistant director for the Block-V Club, the University’s athletic fund-raising organization. When former dean Tom Demarco took a job as the new director of Residence Life, Rost saw opportunity. “I was looking for something challenging,” Rost explains. “And I didn’t want to leave ‘Nova.”

Rost has done a great deal of research on her own about law. “Even though law is an aspect of the job, it’s especially Villanova Blue Book policy that I refer to most,” she says.

Being from a military family also has aided Rost when deciding how to handle situations which come into her office. “My philosophy,” Rost explains, “is that I may not deal with the positive aspects of students’ actions but I try to turn it into a positive learning experience-this is an educational institution after all.”

She notes that life’s lessons occur mainly outside the classroom and if students make a mistake, the best advice she gives is to learn and move on. Rost lends a great deal of her time to student activities. She has accompanied Habitat for Humanity trips to New Orleans and Virginia, which is a unique opportunity to interact with students in a more relaxed venue. Junior Sarah Buckley met Rost this past fall: ‘Being on Habitat with Ryan was an awesome experience because she is very down-to- earth. It was nice getting to know her aside from her role as a dean.”

Sophomore Sam Carella, who also met Rost while on a Habitat trip, adds. “I knew who Ryan was before I spent time with her on Habitat. But if she were six or seven years younger-and unmarried of course-well, you know…” Rost particularly enjoys serving on Habitat trips because she never had the opportunity as an undergraduate-she spent four years as a starter on the lacrosse field.

Now, while not handling judicial matters, Rost continues to take on college and post-graduate lacrosse players year-round, playing and coaching on a fall league. These last years have been eventful for Rost. On Feb. 28, 2002, her husband Ben proposed to her at the Villanova-Syracuse game in front of 12,000 people. ESPN even aired a clip of the proposal. Rost doesn’t know the final score of the game, but recalls it was 29-18 when he popped the question.

Ben, active with the Pennsylvania National Guard, is now stationed in Kosovo, but will return home very shortly.

“Being apart is really hard,” Rost laments, “but he’ll be home soon, and in the meantime I fill my time with work, lacrosse, Habitat for Humanity, Up ‘Til Dawn, and my family.”