Letter from the President

Dr. Dianne Lynch

Since 1833, Stephens College has been educating women to become leaders in their professions and in their communities. An institution committed to creative innovation, intellectual engagement, and active citizenship, Stephens takes great pride in our ever-expanding networks of influence — from our partnerships locally, regionally and nationally to our vast community of Stephens alumnae in this country and around the world.

As you may already have discovered, Stephens is widely recognized for excellence in the health sciences and creative arts. Our campus is an extraordinary incubator for big, crazy, fabulous ideas across disciplines — from fashion design, digital filmmaking, acting, education and creative writing to degrees in the fastest-growing arenas of the health sciences. Our graduates leave Stephens prepared to think critically, communicate clearly, act decisively and pursue their greatest dreams — wherever those dreams may lead them.

We’re very proud of what we offer here at Stephens College. Whatever your passion or ambition, we are a community of teachers and learners dedicated to helping you achieve it. Whether you’re interested in joining our community of amazing Stephens women, or just reconnecting with your wonderful alma mater, please take a few minutes to look around the site and discover what it means to dream up.


Dianne M. Lynch, Ph.D.


Dianne became the 24th president of Stephens College in June 2009. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mass Communication and Feminist History, and her Ph.D. in Art History and Communications from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied feminist theory and social identity development among digital natives — children growing up online. Her most recent research, a national study of the future of American journalism and journalism education, commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was released in February 2015.

Dianne is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University, the president of the American Midwest Conference (AMC) in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a member of the Board of Directors of Providence Bank, and a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. She has been active in a variety of local community organizations in Columbia, including the Hagan Scholarship Foundation, the United Way Board of Directors, the Cradle to Career initiative, and the CORE Board of Directors.

Dianne was dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College from 2004 to 2009, and a faculty member and chair of the Department of Journalism at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont, from 1989 to 2004. She was the 1999 National Journalism Teacher of the Year.

Dianne was the founding executive director of the national Online News Association. In that capacity, she was the editorial director of the first national study of the credibility of online news. She wrote a biweekly column, “Wired Women,” about women and technology, for ABCNews.com from 2000 to 2003, and a weekly column on new media ethics for The Christian Science Monitor from 1998 to 2002. She continues to write as a journalist, most recently for The Huffington Post.

Dianne and her husband, Philip Coleman, have four children: Andrew, Amelia, Nicholas and Annie. As avid animal lovers, Dianne and Philip enjoy their many dogs.


Lita Pistono

Executive Assistant to the President

Lita serves as the executive assistant in the Office of the President. She began working for Stephens in November 2008, after staying home with her twin daughters for six years. She has served in positions in the GCS (Division of Graduate and Continuing Studies), Admissions and Academic Affairs offices.

Prior to working at Stephens, Lita worked in IT, serving for 13 years in computer operations at Hughes Aircraft and for nine years in the staffing industry as a network administrator and a systems analyst.

Lita moved to Columbia from Cerritos, California, in 2006. She and her husband, Jim, have three daughters and a lab mix. Her oldest daughter graduated from Stephens with a B.F.A. in Fashion Communication in 2013. Lita enjoys spending time with family, cooking and outdoor activities.

Contact Us

Office of the President

Lita Pistono,
Executive Assistant to the President
(573) 876-7210 Ext: 4210 [email protected] Lela Raney Wood Hall 339

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