Sandra Estanek, PhD

Professor Emerita of Graduate Education and Leadership

Ph.D. Union Institute and University
M.A. Ohio University
B.A. Ohio Dominican University

CT 314

Dr. Estanek’s career in higher education spans over 40 years as both a faculty member and student affairs administrator, including as a vice president for student affairs for 16 years. She served as the director of the HESAA program from 2002 until 2018 when she retired from full time teaching. She continues to teach part time in the program and to pursue her own research interests. Dr. Estanek's research speciality is the practice of student affairs at Catholic colleges and universities. She is a nationally respected expert in this area with multiple publications and awards. In 2021-22, Dr. Estanek served as the interim vice president for student affairs at Canisius College. Dr. Estanek is currently serving as the special assistant to the president for mission working on many initiatives related to our Jesuit, Catholic identity. 

Courses Taught:

HESA 665: Law and Policy of Higher Education
HESA 699: Independent Research 


Some of Dr. Estanek's awards are:

  • Presidents' Distinguished Service Award (Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities)
  • JASPA Scholarship Award (Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators)
  • Sandra M. Estanek, Ph.D. Young Alumni Award named in her honor (Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities)
  • Diamond Honoree (ACPA: College Student Educators International)
  • Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member (NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Region II)


Some of Dr. Estanek's publications are:

Student Life in Catholic Higher Education: Advancing Good Practice (2017)
"Preparation of New Professionals and Mission Driven Hiring Practices" (2011)
"Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities" (2010)
Reading the Signs: Using Case Studies to Discuss Student Life Issues at Catholic Colleges and Universities (2008)
Rethinking Student Affairs Practice (2004)