Bernadette grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began her academic career at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she worked as a resident assistant (RA) in Residence Life. It was here where her love for student life began and fueled her desire to serve students. In her senior year, Residence Life requested that Bernadette come work for them full-time, assisting with front desk duties of a newly-purchased apartment building which had many maintenance issues and two other institutions’ students residing there in the transition.
She began as a business major with a concentration on information technology, but switched to English (school of liberal arts) and graduated with a B.A. and a certification in business administration.
She, then, moved back home to Philly and began a Master of Education degree while working as the administrative assistant to the Provost & Undergraduate Dean of Academic Affairs at Cabrini College.
A few years later, she moved to Waynesboro, Virginia to get married to and move in with her husband (Mike) and his two children (Faye and Kelly). A year later, their daughter Katie joined the family.
Bernadette is happy to assist students from all backgrounds and has over ten years of experience in higher education.
As Vice President for Student Life since 2003, Dr. Ken L. Nafziger serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the Provost’s Academic Cabinet. He works with the following eight departments in Student Life comprised of approximately 40 staff: athletics, campus ministries, counseling, career services, health services, housing and residence life, multicultural and international student services, and student activities (Common Grounds, fitness center, recreational sports, game room). He believes that the kind of learning that takes place outside of the classroom is as important as what is learned in the classroom. He is committed to holistic student development: intellectually, socially/emotionally, physically, and spiritually. He enjoys advising the Student Government Association and running regularly as well as biking to work whenever weather allows. His life’s verse chosen as a senior at Lancaster Mennonite is Psalms 16:11 (You will show me the path of life, in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.). That path brought him full circle back to EMU in 2003 after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in math, psychology, and secondary education in 1979.
Prior to coming to EMU, Dr. Nafziger was employed at Penn State University (1997-2003) in the Student Affairs division as the assistant director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and an affiliate faculty member in counseling psychology. He was a staff psychologist at the University Counseling Services at the University of Iowa (1994-97) where he also completed his pre-doctoral internship with a year-long rotation in out-patient psychiatry at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. While completing his doctorate at the University of Illinois, he worked for the United Methodist Church providing counseling for UMC ministers and their family members in central and southern IL, and was employed as an instructor and graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. Before attending graduate school, he served with Eastern Mennonite Missions (1983-86) as a teacher of math, English, and African Literature in a Kenya Government secondary school and as a teacher (1979-83) of math and head coach of cross-country and boys and girls’ indoor and outdoor track and field at Broadway High School (VA).
He is married since 1985 to Judy Nafziger (EMU, ’81) who is a registered nurse at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. They have three emerging-adult children: Rachel, Dan, and Matt.