Although many students recognize Barbara Hinkle’s name from her informative emails, her journey at Seton Hill University (SHU) has involved much more than that.
Hinkle, whose current position is vice president for administration and the registrar, grew up in Elkins, W.Va. She attended West Virginia University (WVU), where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. Hinkle worked as a systems programmer for WVU, but moved to Greensburg in 1974 after she got married and had three daughters. She decided to apply for a job at SHU in 1975, and taught as an adjunct in the math department. Eventually, she became the chair of the math department and taught full-time.
“I was a very happy teacher,” Hinkle said. “It’s the best job in the world.”
Eventually, former SHU president JoAnne Boyle asked Hinkle if she wanted to work in administration. Although Hinkle said she only anticipated working there for one year, she has worked in administration for 28 years.
“I was just trying to get out of the house and make a little bit of money at the time,” Hinkle said. “The Seton Hill thing just kind of evolved. Things happen, and doors open that you don’t expect to in life. I love working here. I still get to touch students’ lives in various ways, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Hinkle has been in charge of admissions, financial aid, the student success program, the graduate adult studies office and the registrar’s office. Along with the registrar’s office, she is currently responsible for the bookstore, custodial function, campus police, transportation and parking.
“I do enjoy my work,” Hinkle said. “I thought I knew everything about Seton Hill, but you learn that there’s a lot of things going on around here.”
Growing up in a small town, Hinkle said that almost everyone knew each other, and many people were Protestant.
“I’m not Catholic, but I certainly understand and embrace the Catholic higher education,” Hinkle said. “It really helps you be able to think and talk to people about things that you didn’t anticipate would ever come in handy.”
Hinkle was also a member of the Greensburg Salem School Board for 28 years.
“That was very rewarding work as well,” Hinkle said. “The mesh between what I did here and what I was involved with there really worked well.”
Because of her involvement with both Greensburg Salem and SHU, Hinkle was part of a group that eventually caused SHU to receive property from the city and build the Performing Arts Center.
“I’m very proud of Seton Hill’s relationship with our surrounding community, because it doesn’t always work that way,” Hinkle said. “Ultimately, it helps the students.”
When Hinkle is not busy with her work at SHU, she said she tries to keep in touch with her three daughters and five grandchildren. She said her daughters all have jobs that they love in different states, including Connecticut, Florida and Washington.
“When I’m not here, I’m visiting them,” Hinkle said. “I have a good relationship with them.”
Along with her job at SHU, Hinkle is a member of the Excela Health board, and she enjoys traveling as well. She has traveled to Egypt, Europe and China, and she has been to 45 of the 50 states. Hinkle said she still plans to work for a while, and even though she did not anticipate becoming an administrator, she has loved her various jobs at SHU.
“Things happen and opportunities come along, and you really need to be able to think freely enough to take advantages of various opportunities,” Hinkle said. “It all fits together and helps you in many ways that you don’t expect.”