Dear Paul Smith’s College community,
The beautiful foliage surrounds those of us lucky enough to be in the Adirondacks. Yet, as you will read below, it has not distracted our students, faculty and staff from launching the academic year in spectacular fashion.
We begin this Day 1 with big news. Paul Smith’s College has been approved to offer its first graduate program. We are on track to enroll students in a Master of Science in Natural Resources Conservation program this summer. This is a significant step in our evolution. As you know, over 70 years ago we began as a two-year school. In 1998 we added four-year degree programs. Now the great majority of our students earn bachelor’s degrees. Adding graduate degrees will further advance our educational mission. Many thanks and congratulations to all who contributed to this significant milestone.
Adding new academic programs (including the example above) is one tangible outcome of our strategic plan. The current plan was put in place in 2016. While we refer to it often, it is time to formally revisit the current plan and make sure our goals, strategies, and actions are appropriate for the coming years. This fall we will provide a number of opportunities for you to help us shape that future. We encourage all faculty, staff and students to participate in this process. As part of that process I will be holding office hours in the library. See bottom of this email for a few of the dates. Please feel free to stop by to chat about this (or any other topic).
We kick off (no pun intended) the rest of the report with highlights from our athletic teams. Enhancing our athletics offerings is also an important strategic initiative.
- Bobcats Volleyball is off to a great start as the team goes undefeated in conference play (7-0) after defeating previously undefeated Great Bay CC on the road. The team is led by Senior captains Paige Farrington and Ohrisha Ranger. Team members Nayleece Williams and Paige Farrington each earned YSCC Player of the Week recognition in September, showcasing Bobcat talent for two consecutive weeks.
- Men and Women’s Soccer and Volleyball all ranked in Top 20 of the USCAA Power rankings for their respective sports.
- Cross Country placed second in each of the team’s first 2 meets at Johnson State and NHTI. These finishes were led by freshmen Micah Kelly and Ray Derman.
- The PSC Bass Fishing team took home the 2nd, 5th and 14th place in the NYS Bass Federation Tournament (TBF) Championships.
- The Canoe Team reclaimed the NYS Collegiate C4 Championships in Long Lake NY, besting all other colleges by nearly ten minutes and bringing home the coveted college cup. The boat was paddled by Hannah McMichael, Cody Liguori, Joseph Barriere and Else Bielarksi. The College also won the C2 Stock division in the men’s race with Jack Fogarty and Chris Forbes partnering to win.
- The Canoe Team raced in the Adirondack 90-Miler with all of the PSC boats finishing on the podium in their respective categories. ‘Slenda Glenda’ the Paul Smiths Voyageur Canoe (7 person canoe) led the way taking 2nd place in the category beating the next fastest college by over four hours. Paddlers in ‘Slenda Glenda’ were Cody Liguori, Cody Evanchick, Joseph Barriere, Jack Fogarty, Dylan Maney, Chris Forbes, and Coach Matt Dougherty. The C2 Recreation mixed boat of James Neary and Adaiah Bauer took first place in the category and the C2 women’s boat of Else Bielarski and Hannah McMicheal also took 1st place in the C2 Rec Women’s Division.
- The Woodsmen’s Team is back at full strength with five teams across three divisions. Collegiate competition begins in October in Canandaigua at Finger Lakes CC.
- 18 students have been selected for the PSC Climbing Team this fall, which will perform under the professional guidance of alum Matt Wiech.
- The PSC Trap Team is the college’s newest sport where participants compete in fast-paced clay target shooting. This season the team will be training to attend a regional competition in November. Paul Smith’s College will enter the USA College Clay Target League, which is a feeder for Olympic Trap.
- And speaking of guns, we recently adopted a lead-free campus lands policy, banning use of lead ammunition in PSC forest lands. This makes Paul Smith’s a leader in environmental lead reduction.
- 550+ attendees enjoyed the 8th annual Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival. Among other highlights, there was a noticeable increase in the number of PSC students and clubs taking part.
- Natural Sciences faculty member Dr. Scott Chimileski has donated his science photography exhibition World in a Drop: Photographic Explorations of Microbial Life to Freer Science Hall. This is on display now in the first floor hallway adjacent to the biology laboratories. The exhibition was originally designed and shown at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in 2017, and has since traveled to or will travel to Caltech, George Washington University, and venues in the UK, Denmark, Colombia, China and Uruguay.
- Joe Henderson had two articles published in a special issue of Environmental Education Research focusing on climate change education and research.
- Our Admissions Counselors have made 151 visits in the month of September. They are traveling around New York State, across the country and abroad to promote PSC and recruit new students. Counselors are giving classroom presentations, visiting high school guidance offices, attending college fairs, and holding coffee hours.
- Our Admissions social media effort has been very active, including a Snapchat campaign for prospective students to see where admissions will be and to connect via social media.
- This semester the Financial Aid office has disbursed over $3.6 million in federal and state financial aid to our students. Even while very busy ensuring our students have proper financial support, Director of Financial Aid Sonya Stein assisted the organization New America prototype awards that meet the needs of students and institutions.
- The Smitty Lecture Series got off to a strong start with guest speaker Katie Koestner, an internationally recognized author, activist, and educator. Katie shared her powerful story as part of our commitment to improving education and awareness about sexual harassment and assault. Other activities include:
- The CARE Team continues to work on initiatives to prevent sexual misconduct. One highlight is the completion of a sexual misconduct prevention toolkit, comprised of all relevant trainings that are conducted with students.
- 160 employees successfully completed Sexual Harassment training for the 2019/20 academic year. In addition, a course was created to provide this important training to all student employees.
- Our Facilities team works hard year-round to ensure our campus is a great place to learn, work and live. Much of their work is behind the scenes, but to give you a sense of some of their work this summer:
- The condition of the Great Lawn has greatly improved thanks to their efforts.
- Currier Hall got an overhaul which included painting the hallways, residence rooms, and lounge area along with the installation of a kitchenette.
- The first phase of painting the exterior of the library was completed this summer.
- Campus Safety partnered with New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department to present an important demonstration on fire safety by burning a mock residence hall on the Great Lawn.
- The Counseling Center and office of Residence Life and Housing has been busy:
- Conducting weekly monthly counseling outreach in the first-year residence halls.
- Helped co-sponsor Tri-Lakes Community Alliance for Addiction Prevention wellness fair and color run.
- Hosted “Hammock Haven”
- Sponsored several welcome-back barbecues at different residence halls
- Resident Assistant Josh Young partnered with Center of Academic and Career Success to host a game night in the Adirondack room. Students played games, interacted, and asked questions about academics, support, and additional resource with the staff from Center of Academic and Career Success.
- The LMS residence hall organized “Sundae in PJs.” Students made their own sundaes and got to know each other.
- More than 75 employees accessed biometric screenings for proactive health management.
- Two Active Shooter trainings were offered by Campus Safety and Emergency Management for both employees and students. More will be offered in October; please look for emails and consider taking the time to attend.
- PSC’s 2019 Annual Security Report has been published and is available on the website for review.
- Approximately 30 volunteers including alumni, FFA students, Veterans Club members, Draft Horse Club members, faculty and staff came together for the Alumni Campground Clean Up Day.
Upcoming Events of Note
- October 4: Adirondack Social Science Research Workshop
- October 5: Smitty Day of Service at various locations in Saranac Lake
- October 5: Fungi Fest @ the VIC
- October 9: Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner
- October 10: Smitty Lecture Series: Rural Resiliency and the Arts
- October 10: Drop in office hours with President Dove
- October 19: Admissions Open House
- Oct. 19-20: Alumni Board meetings on campus
- October 23: Grad Program Launch Celebration
- October 24: Career Fair
- October 25: Adirondack Folk Opera “History of the African Americans in the ADKs”
- October 26: Pumpkin Muffin 5k Fun Run and Alumni Bowling Tournament
- October 28: Smitty Lecture Series: The Discipline Of Listening And Its Role In The Work Of Reconciliation
- October 28: Drop in office hours with President Dove
- October 31: Haunted House “Horror Classics” @ Livermore
- November 9: Admissions Open House
- November 12: Drop in office hours with President Dove
- November 15-16: Women in Leadership Weekend (Admissions event)