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New dean ready to establish connections

Norah SchulzThree things grab your attention as you enter the office of Dr. Norah Shultz, the new associate dean for academic affairs at Penn State Abington: the Phillies bobbleheads perched on the mantle and the framed rally towel from the 2008 World Series. And the third? Well, that would be Shultz herself: an approachable and intelligent woman with a ready smile, thoughtful observations, and a hearty laugh.

It is not necessarily the décor nor the demeanor you might expect from someone in a very visible and powerful role in higher education. But Shultz, who arrived this month after 20 years at Arcadia University in nearby Glenside, simply overflows with enthusiasm about Penn State Abington.

“This move was a pull not a push,” she said. “I was happy at Arcadia, but I felt a connection to Penn State. This was the right place, the right time and the right position.”

She jokingly reassures a hesitant employee that he can fix her computer during a meeting, and notes, “Everything here feels right even in these first hectic days.”

Shultz is busy familiarizing herself with her new surroundings, an exercise she compares to arriving in a foreign country for the first time. “I need to move carefully until I learn the language and the culture at Abington,” she said.

But Shultz is forging ahead with one of her top priorities, building relationships with students.  “I am very student-focused, and I want to ensure that they are productive global citizens,” the new associate dean said. “I want this office to have a student-friendly reputation.”

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