DAY 1 – JANUARY 2017

Dear Paul Smith’s Community,

Happy new year! I hope that the holidays were enjoyable for all. It’s so rewarding to spend quality time with friends and family. Many of our students, faculty and staff have also been using the break for projects such as research, creative work, travel and study abroad. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon as we convene on campus later this month. Before we turn the calendar on 2016, here are some important events from December:

  • Executing elements in the strategic plan continues to be a critical focus of our activity. Recently we assessed where we stand with the action items that were due by December 31. The good news is that we achieved many of our milestones. In particular, a number of actions have been taken to boost enrollment, support retention and make PSC an even better place to learn, live and work. Some of them include:
    • Expanded athletics with two new teams
      • bass fishing – competitive sport
      • swimming – club sport
    • Identified three new academic programs
      • Human Health (Biology track) – open for enrollment Fall 2017
      • Criminal Justice – planned for Fall 2018
      • Psychology – planned for Fall 2018
    • Defined a new “Emerging Leaders” living-learning program – open for enrollment Fall 2017
    • Determined the most compelling elements – experiences, outcomes, certifications and visual appeal – for all academic programs
    • Integrated the VIC more closely with academics and college operations
    • Launched recruiting in 13 new domestic markets (“lifestyle cities”) and internationally
    • Drafted a flex time/space policy for staff
  • Winter Celebration was clearly the highlight of the month, with 22 candidates for baccalaureate degrees and 11 candidates for associate degrees participating in the ceremony. Warmest congratulations to our accomplished newest alumni! During the ceremony, the Provost’s Award was presented to Gregg Slezak, who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS degree in Forestry – Ecological Forest Management. Morgan Hancock was the student speaker, and alumna Deborah Kehoe, ’79, was the featured speaker.
  • Another great day was on Saturday December 10 when students showcased their impressive Capstone projects.
  • Giving Tuesday was December 2 – the final tally was over $90,000! Thanks to all who participated in this important annual day of giving.
  • The art and poetry exhibit “A Deeper Sense” opened at the VIC’s Heron Marsh Gallery. During the fall semester, area artists and poets shadowed Paul Smith’s College students during their ecological field studies and produced works of art based on those student projects. The show is on display through the end of this month.
  • The Field Studies in Hospitality class concluded their semester-long project on the Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System with a presentation to more than a dozen lodge owners who are interested in joining the project.
  • Research conducted by Dr. Lee Ann Sporn and alumnus Jacob Ball was part of a study published in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Our arboriculture program was recently featured in Tree Services Magazine. Kudos to Randall Swanson for the nice coverage!
  • We announced a new partnership with the Careers Through Culinary Arts program, a national nonprofit that will offer full-tuition PSC scholarships to two students who excel in a culinary competition this spring.
  • The 2nd Annual Made@PSC art show and sale was a festive, well-attended event.
  • Our “Smitty Talk” series concluded for the semester with an insightful presentation by Bethany Garretson.
  • Our annual holiday luncheon was a treat thanks to the hard work of our committee staff and Sodexo colleagues. We were joined by Chair of the Board, Patty Dowden, who also met with college leadership earlier in the day. Luncheon raffles were won by Monica Buriello, Liz Pope, and Maureen McMahon – congratulations!
  • The PSC basketball program hosted the 2nd Annual Winter Youth Basketball Jamboree with Saranac Lake Youth Basketball League. There were a total of four 3rd-5th grade teams from Chateauguay, Malone, and Saranac Lake.
  • We received an outstanding progress report on 235 student athletes:
    • 29 finished the semester with a semester GPA of 4.00
    • 47 earned Adirondack Scholar distinction for having a semester GPA of 3.80 or higher
    • 101 earned a semester GPA of 3.30 or higher and made the Dean’s List as a result
  • December marked the end of fall travel for Admissions, and the numbers are in. We participated in 7% more events than the prior year:
    • 167 high school visits
    • 217 college fairs/nights
    • 16 transfer fairs
    • 10 special events (Cabela’s, FFA conference, Alumni/enrollment gatherings, etc.)
    • In addition to increasing participating in regional alumni gatherings, the alumni in the Compass Club did a fantastic job covering 11 events as enrollment ambassadors

Upcoming events of note

  • January 13:  Spring Kickoff for faculty and staff at the VIC, Lightning Talks Round Three
  • January 15-17:  Welcome for new students
  • January 18:  Spring semester begins

Personnel report for December 2016 (PDF)


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