Sandy Lobel-Witlen, EHD72
At a recent UD event, then-President Patrick Harker spoke directly to the alumni present and said, “We need your energy. We need your ideas. We need your heart and soul.” Even though Sandy Lobel-Witlen was not present at the event, she not only heard President Harker’s message but she has been living it ever since she graduated.
Lobel-Witlen, a Child Development major, is currently a volunteer with the Admissions Office’s Volunteer Admissions Support Team (VAST). VAST is an association of enthusiastic UD alumni, students, faculty, staff, and parents who assist the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in recruiting new students to the Newark campus. Since VAST’s inception, 1,550 volunteers have given personal attention to over 105,000 prospective students or parents. Prior to serving as a VAST volunteer, Sandy was an alumni club coordinator in Florida.
After moving to the southwest coast of Florida, Lobel-Witlen established a UD alumni group. While an alumni group already existed in Sarasota, Sandy said many alumni in the Naples/Marco Island area felt it was too far which led to her organizing her group. When Lobel-Witlen moved to the east coast of Florida in 1986, UD alumni club coordinator Lib Phillips welcomed her contributions and she succeeded Phillips in the club’s leadership role.
In 1982, Lobel-Witlen returned to campus and served as one of the first Alumni Commencement Delegates, representing the Class of 1972 in the Commencement procession. It is a UD tradition for two alumni from each class, as well as all alums from the 50th reunion class, to be invited to march in the procession and follow the graduating class onto the field.
Lobel-Witlen was also a part of another group of firsts. In 1986 she was among the first group of VAST volunteers when the Admissions Office established the program.
Talking about her time in Newark and her life as a Blue Hen is satisfying and entertaining to Sandy. “I enjoy meeting prospective students and their parents at the College Fairs,” she says. “It’s fun telling students of my UD experiences over the telephone and/or in their houses.”
As a student, Lobel-Witlen counts her independent study experience under Dr. Sally Van Campas one of her fondest. “My study was to be on transportation — how to teach the concept to preschoolers while being in the classroom,” she says. “I traveled to the Philadelphia Airport, to take pictures and record ‘jet sounds’. This was during the time when we were permitted on the tarmac!” Returning to campus from her airport adventure, Sandy passed by a group of small boats on a lake which provided another chance to take pictures and record. “I did not have to record from the lake shore, for some boys took me right out on their boat!” In the end, Sandy’s unit on transportation was published in Early Years Educator, a premier early childhood education periodical.
Sandy is not the only Blue Hen in her family. Her sister, Evelyn, preceded her graduated in 1967 with a degree in Education. They were followed by Sandy’s nieces, Faith Levy, AS91, and Ellen Levy Dagastine, BE96. Also Ellen’s husband is a UD alum: Ray Dagastine, EG97.
Even though Lobel-Witlen is many years removed from her time in UD’s classrooms, each November she helps populate them through her work with VAST. Interviewing select applicants, Sandy is proud to tell us of their quality and that their backgrounds and experiences are going to be another asset to the University.