Dear Paul Smith’s College community,

As we near the end of a decade and enter the holiday season, it is a good time for reflection. I am grateful to the many Paul Smith’s College faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees who are so committed to ensuring current and future students receive the best possible education and experiences. There are many examples of constructive engagement, including the town hall meetings this month where many students took time to provide constructive feedback and raise topics that are most important to them. We appreciated hearing from everyone, are working on addressing the issues, and will periodically use Day 1 to close the loop on topics that are of broad interest to the community.

There is much to celebrate at the end of the semester. My favorites include seeing outstanding capstone projects and celebrating commencement with graduates and their families. And while we hate to see our students leave, we look forward to seeing them back here as alumni!

This community – all of you — is what makes our college so special. Many thanks for your commitment to Paul Smith’s College and best wishes for a joyous holiday.


  • Kudos to our high performing student-athletes! 24 students from 11 different teams have been honored by the USCAA as members of the organization’s All-Academic Team.
  • Giving Tuesday netted $80,000+ from over 150 donors, including a new scholarship endowment set up by alumnus Bob Knapp ‘73 and his wife Jean. Many thanks to everyone who contributed!
  • Fifty-one students presented during the Fall Capstone Celebration on December 7, 2019. Students represented many majors such as Baking, Culinary, Natural Resources, Sustainability and several of our science disciplines. Topics covered included such topics as building an Adirondack Lean-To, planning a bakery, a Land Management and Accessibility Plan for the Alumni Campground, and an Outreach Plan for Tick-Bourne Disease in the North Country.
  • Brendan Wiltse, Corey Laxson, and Elizabeth Yerger published a paper in the journal Lake and Reservoir Management on the impact of road salt on the physical processes in Mirror Lake.
    Corey Laxson, Elizabeth Yerger, Dan Kelting, and Michale Glennon presented their current work at the 39th International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society in Burlington, VT.
  • There have been several great activities that support our Global Center for Rural Communities, including:
  • The Ganzi student-run restaurant was highlighted in Adirondack Life magazine. Amy Coddington-Burnett and chef Kevin McCarthy are featured along with students Brandon Griffin, Connor Caratozzolo, and Nick Wheaton describing their farm-to-table experience.
  • Pastry chef Amy DeWitt and culinary arts students were featured in the Plattsburgh Press Republican for their participation in the 23rd Annual Taste of the North Country auction and sampling event.
  • Caitlin Fortin, a senior baker and hockey player was featured in the St. Alban’s Messenger. Caitlin shares how she discovered her love for baking and ice hockey, and how she balances the two.
  • Andy Testo, Matt Dougherty, John Morgan, Jim Tucker, and the Forestry program have completed the first phase of the planned Nordic program expansion. Design and installation of 2.5km of ski trails have been completed along with the acquisition of a snow groomer for the trails.
  • Paul Smith’s College will award high school students a combined $100,000+ in scholarships through an esports tournament to be held January 25 at the new on-campus Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family Esports Lab. Work is actively underway by IT and facilities to secure the technology and complete the construction of lab to be housed in Pickett 214.
  • The Emergency Management Planning Group held a tabletop exercise on December 9th, during which we put into practice the College’s Emergency Management Plan and collectively worked through our established procedures.
    Students in Professor Brett McLeod’s Integrated Natural Resource Management Capstone collaborated with the NYS DEC to complete phase one of the Lake Clear Hoyt-Peroni Memorial Forest. The interpretive trail will be open to hikers next summer.
  • Annie Rochon was honored by the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association with the 2019 Lantern Light Award for the work she and her students completed translating exhibits and documents working with the North Start Underground Railroad Museum.
  • Students Hannah Rion, Ryan Novak and Emily Segada ran a workshop with Sustainability Coordinator Kate Glenn on “Getting Things Done, Project Management” at the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit at the Wild Center.
    Ross Conover hosted Keystone College from Pennsylvania for a hands-on bird capture and banding weekend lab activity.
  • Karen Edwards attended the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Baltimore, Maryland funded by an FRD grant.
  • 300+ students participated in the process to award Sustainability Grants. The most recently funded projects include:
    • “A Lower Textbook Costs Initiative” – $6,000 – Library Department
    • “Coastal Climate Stories Fellowship Documentary”- $2,876 – Sean Jackson
    • “High Art and Subtle Science of Scrounging Resources” – $500 – Dancy Down
    • “On-campus housing composting initiative” – $500 – Charles Ritter, Emily Nelson and Janey Rolfe
    • “Lower St. Regis Scuba Clean Up” – $500 – Jordan Spordone and Nick Ferrara
  • Senior Matt Frye and his teammate Zach Sprott-Scibner competed in the USCAA Men’s XC National competition. Both competitors notched solid times in the 8k event.
  • Volleyball players Nayleece Williams and Paige Farrington received national honors from the USCAA, earning All American Honorable Mention and Second Team All American respectively.
  • Learn To Swim saw an incredible 30 participants from the local community, as PSC students led the group through the 8 week course.
  • Women’s Hockey enjoyed a successful weekend in Massachusetts defeating Mount Holyoke College 16-0 and Smith’s College 5-1. This leaves the team with an overall 6-3 record.
  • Men’s Hockey soundly defeated Albany Pharmacy 11-7 which brings their record to 4-3. Cody Liguori recorded 5 goals and 3 assists.
  • The Outing Club enjoyed Thanksgiving break with a trip to Red Rocks and Zion National Park
  • Men’s Basketball are 5-8 this season including 2 overtime wins.
  • The esports program is gathering steam with a feature article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
  • Admissions has accepted 367 students so far for the Fall 2020 semester. A variety of efforts are underway to achieve our enrollment goals for the incoming class:
  • o Admissions Counselors made 100+ visits last month nationwide and abroad, conducting classroom presentations, high school visits, college fairs, and PSC-hosted coffee hours.
  • o Nicole Klohmann and students Matthew Carter and Erika Pitcher represented PSC at the Ultimate DECA Power Trip in Washington D.C.
  • o Rebecca Romeo, along with two students and Admissions Counselor Cori Barnard, attended the national FFA conference in Indianapolis.
  • o We have 18 peer recruiters lined up for the winter break. These students are going back to 17 high schools, 6 BOCES/Votech schools, and 1 upward bound program.
  • o Multiple Visit Days and Open House events were attended by 100+ prospective students and their families.
  • o A great group of young women, accepted to Paul Smith’s College, attended our Women in Leadership retreat to compete for a full tuition scholarship.
  • A new pad for a multi-thousand dollar computerized equatorial mount telescope has been installed by facilities. The telescope, mount, computer, pad, and telescope housing in the Student Center canoe storage garage were all donated by renowned astrophotographer and retired GE engineer Michael Adler. Michael and Virginia Adler have also established a scholarship endowment which benefits students in any PSC major with demonstrated financial need.
  • The Veterans Club hosted a Wing Night fundraising event, raising $10,000 to support Mission 22, an organization dedicated to the healing of military veterans. And together with the Draft Horse Club they installed a new flagpole at the Horse Barn.
  • Nearly 30 trees were decorated by clubs, organizations and campus offices for the inaugural Woodsmens’ Holiday Tree decorating contest. Congrats to the Draft Horse Club who won the contest and thanks to the Woodsmens’ Team for making this happen. I think this could be the start of a great new annual tradition.
  • Judy McCoy, Nicholas Hunt-Bull, and chef Bruno Neveu convened a focus group with executives at Compass/Restaurants Associates and 8 selected attendees on workplace-based education based in New York City.
  • Winter programming at the VIC has begun. This season features horse-drawn sleigh rides, naturalist programming, faculty research findings, free ski lessons, and more – check the event calendar for details.
  • The Counseling Center hosted Men’s and Women’s Wellness Retreats and partnered with the Diversity Council and PSC Pride to sponsor Diversity Week events.
  • Student Activities and Residence Life sponsored 10+ events. Some highlights include:
    • CommUnity Conversation about reconciliation and racial healing facilitated by Terry Lindsay, Alexys Ellington, Heidi Knafelc and Nathan Cibula
    • Middle Eastern Themed Dinner in the dining hall
    • Smitty Lecture Series speaker Patrick Blanchfield who spoke on the topic American Gunpower
    • Open Mic Night in the St. Regis
    • Dodgeball tournament
    • Day of the Dead Fiesta

Upcoming Events of Note

  • December 15: Winter Celebration
  • January 20: Residence halls open
  • January 21: First day of classes
  • January 25: Esports tournament
  • January 29: Creole Dinner