Photo of Vanessa PearsonDirector of Student Involvement, Vanessa Pearson

Focus Areas: Strategic Direction and Mission, Student Organizations, New Student Orientation

Contact her at or 610.330.5031

Vanessa joined Lafayette in December of 2019 and provides leadership, vision, and strategic direction for Student Involvement.  She holds an M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in History from Elizabethtown College. Prior to joining Lafayette, Vanessa most recently served in a variety of roles including student activities, residence life, student success and retention, student conduct, and dean of students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in northern Maine.

Out of the office, you’ll find Vanessa hiking, biking, and kayaking all over the Lehigh Valley and beyond. She loves the Pittsburgh Penguins, her family, working puzzles, pickles, and visiting national parks!


Phot of Melissa Dalrymple

Associate Director of Student Involvement, Melissa Dalrymple

Focus Areas: Lafayette Activities Forum, Major Events/Programs, Yearbook, Class Year Experience

Contact her at or 610.330.5556.

Melissa officially joined the Lafayette family in August of 2018, after a fantastic internship here the previous year. Melissa’s primary role is campus wide programming, the class year experiences and advising Lafayette Activities Forum. She also advises the Yearbook Committee. She holds an M.E.d in Higher Education Administration from Kutztown University.  Growing up local to Lafayette, Melissa has spent most of her career in the Lehigh Valley. Her previous experiences were mainly focused in Student Life, Leadership, as well as Residence Life.

When she isn’t hosting an event at Lafayette or singing around Farinon College Center, Melissa enjoys crafting, home improvement projects, traveling, and watching documentaries. Her favorite thing is watching her two young children explore and discover the world!


Photo Jake Bates

Associate Director of Student Involvement & Advisor to Fraternities and Sororities, Jake Bates

Focus Areas: Fraternity and Sorority Life

Contact him at or 610.330.5580.

Jake joined Lafayette in July of 2021 and oversees the operations, leadership, and continued development of the fraternity and sorority community, while supporting the mission and programming efforts for Student Involvement. He holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education – Student Affairs and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining Lafayette, Jake has dedicated his career to advising fraternal communities in the development and execution of educational and social programming, philanthropic engagement and community outreach, recruitment and intake processes, council and chapter leadership, risk management, public relations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives with experience from Lindenwood University, Texas Christian University, and Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity Headquarters. He is an affiliated brother of Phi Kappa Sigma.

Out of the office, you’ll often find Jake volunteering at local animal shelters, spending time with friends, or binge watching legal and medical dramas. He loves road trips, his friends and family, reading a new book, coffee, and seafood.


Photo of Kelly DeemerOffice Coordinator, Kelly Deemer

Focus Areas: Student Group Spending and Budgeting, Event Logistics, Office Management

Contact her at or 610.330.5337.

Kelly has been working at Lafayette since July of 1985 and has been with the same office the whole time. She works closely with student organizations helping them plan events and manage their groups. She enjoys working with students and believes they keep her young!

Outside of the office, Kelly likes to travel, play bingo, and go to the casino.  She loves spending time with her son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren ages 7 and 3. Her dream is to move to Florida and work at Disney.