Campus Update

Fri Nov 15, 2013
Start-Up NY at Oswego identifies prospects, assembles board

The college has moved to take advantage of the economic development and educational opportunities presented by the governor’s recently launched Start-Up NY program, identifying campus core competencies, selecting three campus properties to showcase to businesses, meeting with prospects and faculty, and beginning to assemble an advisory board.



Fri Nov 15, 2013
College enhances Oswego Guarantee with 4-year graduation incentive

The pioneering Oswego Guarantee now promises students who graduate in four years a $300 return on their investment, President Deborah F. Stanley announced.

Oswego Guarantee certificateStarting with the December 2013 graduating class, students who enrolled at SUNY Oswego as freshmen in the fall 2010, or subsequent fall, semester and graduate no later than May of their fourth consecutive year, and meet all other requirements of the Oswego Guarantee, will receive the $300 Oswego Graduation Return on Investment (Oswego Graduation ROI).

“We are enhancing the Guarantee we introduced over a decade ago to remind students of the value and financial benefits of earning their baccalaureate degree in four years or less,” Stanley said. “Four years of college can seem like a long time to a new freshman, but four years can quickly pass by without leading to a degree if students are not actively engaged in tracking their degree progress and making decisions that make it possible for them to earn a degree in four years.”

Kristi Eck, the president’s interim chief of staff, said the new Oswego Graduation ROI could provide a jump-start on job-hunting expenses or graduate school applications and help SUNY Oswego graduates transition from college into the next phase of their adult lives.

“It’s really an incentive and a gift,” Eck said. “The message behind earning the Graduation ROI is, ‘You’ve recognized the value of earning your baccalaureate degree within four years; you’ve planned wisely with your academic adviser to create a four-year degree completion roadmap; and you’ve achieved your goal of graduating on time. Now, you have a $300 gift that we hope will help you accomplish more goals in the future.”


Unique approach

The Graduation ROI supplements the original Oswego Guarantee commitments: necessary classes will be available to complete a baccalaureate degree in four consecutive years or the college will enroll the student in the course or courses tuition-free; the college will continue to make small classes available to encourage discussion and interaction between students and faculty; and Oswego pledges to hold each student’s cost for room and meal plans constant for four consecutive years.

“Through the $300 Graduation ROI, we are emphasizing to students and their families that graduating in four years means real savings for them and, through careful planning and regular communication with SUNY Oswego faculty and staff, students can develop a roadmap that will make it possible to reach this goal without sacrificing the overall college experience, which may include an internship, study abroad and extracurricular pursuits,” Eck said. 

“For many years, the Oswego Guarantee has helped students and families manage costs and be confident that students are educated in a rigorous academic environment with the ability to complete their degree in four years. Now, the Oswego Guarantee goes one step further to remind students and their families of the full economic benefit and cost savings of earning a degree in four years or less,” said Mark Humbert, director of financial aid.  “In fact, when all costs of attending college are considered, the full economic benefit of graduating in four years has the potential to significantly exceed the $300 Graduation ROI because students will no longer need to spend money on tuition, books, fees and other related college expenses.”


Mutual responsibility

“The path toward earning the Graduation ROI is a partnership between our college’s faculty and staff and our students,” Eck said. “This great, dedicated team is committed to helping our students on their journey toward graduation; however, students need to take initiative and responsibility as well in order to achieve the goal of graduating in four years.”

The college encourages incoming students, from day one, to start working with faculty and staff on a roadmap to graduation in four academic years or less, she said. “We want to keep college a valuable, cost-effective investment for our students. Therefore, we must continue to have frequent degree-completion planning conversations with our students throughout their years at SUNY Oswego, starting with first-year student advising and continuing through senior year planning.”

To assist with advising, this year the college launched Degree Works, a software tool to help students, their advisers, and other key faculty and administrators easily focus on progress toward degree and develop academic plans that lead to a degree.

Additionally, the college, through its innovative First-Year Experience and Sophomore Success programs, works with students early in their careers to enroll in needed classes, set mandatory meetings with advisers and move steadily toward declaring a major en route to a four-year degree.

For more information on the Oswego Guarantee and the Graduation ROI, visit www.oswego.edu/guarantee.

UPDATE (5/27/14): ROI payments to qualified May 2014 graduates are currently being processed and are scheduled to be released by the end of June. Prior to the release of the ROI payment, a letter will be mailed from SUNY Oswego to each May 2014 ROI recipient notifying him/her of the ROI award payment.  For additional information, please contact SUNY Oswego Chief of Staff Kristi Eck at kristi.eck@oswego.edu.



Fri Nov 15, 2013
24-hour challenge races past three goals

On 11/12/13, 605 alumni and friends participated in SUNY Oswego’s first-ever 24-hour challenge and raised $101,823.79. Their overwhelming support exceeded three goals announced throughout the day.

Alumni Jim Kaden and Debbie Adams-Kaden, both of the Class of 1978, donated $11,121.30 to The Fund for Oswego before noon when 100 donors—the first goal—made gifts.

To secure his gift of $11,121.30, Oswego College Foundation board member Bob Moritz, a 1985 graduate, set the bar higher, more than doubling the original goal to 250 donors. Alumni and friends surpassed that number before the end of the workday.

Student telefund volunteers working 24-hour fundraising challegeBut the college’s Telefund students were just getting warmed up.

To keep the momentum going, another generous alumni couple issued a third challenge of 500 donors to secure their $11,121.30 gift to The Fund for Oswego. By 11:30 p.m., donors met that final challenge, and gifts continued to roll in right up until midnight.

“Each of the three separate challenges unleashed a new level of excitement and energy among our constituents that far exceeded our expectations,” said Joy Westerberg Knopp, director of the annual giving and a 1992 graduate.

“We received gifts from members of the Class of 1940 through the Class of 2014!” Knopp said. “The response from our alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends of the college was absolutely fantastic.”

Just over 10 percent of all participating donors are current faculty and staff members or administrators at Oswego.


‘Ripples’ effect

Kristine Bushey, administrative assistant in Student Affairs who has worked here for 27 years and is a 1972 graduate, said she was impressed by the generosity of the alumni challengers and wanted to help the college reach its goal.

“It was exciting to think about the possibilities created by that kind of generosity, rather like ripples on a pond: far reaching and touching so many different people,” Bushey said. “We can make a difference in the lives of students, just as Oswego made a difference in our lives.”

Oswego College Foundation board member Lou Borrelli of the Class of 1977 kept the conversation exciting on the Facebook event page. He came up with suggested donation amounts playing off the 11/12/13 theme. He posted: “Some ideas - $1,112.13 or 111.21x3=$333.63 or 11.12x13=$144.56.”

Although she is currently between jobs, 1986 graduate Lisa Valentine posted to Facebook that she couldn’t make a huge gift, but she gave “at least something & the matching will help.”

Every gift helped secure the $33,363.90 in matching funds from the Kadens, Moritz and the other alumni couple, and the 605 gifts from other challenge participants totaled $68,459.89.

“It was an exciting day here,” Knopp said. “Our alumni really showed their Oswego pride, and I am so proud to say I am an Oswego alumna!”


PHOTO CAPTION: 24-hour dash—Senior Erin Walls shows one of the cookies that fueled the college’s Telefund staffers as they collected gifts from alumni, faculty, staff and friends up to midnight on 11/12/13, the college’s first-ever 24-Hour Challenge. A business administration major from Buffalo, Walls was one of 32 students making calls from noon to midnight during the challenge.



Thu Nov 14, 2013
Baskets, food drives, packets highlight SEFA effort

The 2013-14 State Employees Federated Appeal has moved into high gear on campus as it eyes a $40,000 goal, distributing packets for individual contributions and preparing for two days of intense but friendly interdepartmental “Baskets of Caring” competition and weekend food drives.

Viewing Baskets of Caring“We are always excited to really roll up our sleeves raising money for charitable organizations across the county, in the communities we all come from and around the world,” said Howard Gordon, executive assistant to President Deborah F. Stanley and convener of the SUNY Oswego SEFA/United Way Committee.

Faculty and staff have until year’s end to return the SEFA form for payroll deduction, pledges or immediate donations. Gordon said the need is great, and he urged campus employees to take an early look at the packet.

“Even $1 or $2 per paycheck would go a long way to helping children, families and others in need,” he said.

Each year, state employees around New York give millions of dollars to charitable organizations through 23 regional SEFA campaigns.

Personal stories

For the first time this year, SUNY Oswego’s campaign packet includes “Why do you donate?” testimonials from committee members. Tammy Elowsky of the Office of Business and Community Relations and Kristin Gublo of the chemistry department shared their personal answers to the question.

Elowsky writes of her son, diagnosed with autism, and how she is “forever grateful” for the early-intervention programs of two SEFA/United Way of Oswego County recipient organizations, ARC and ARISE. “Because of programs like these, today in seventh grade my son is fully included in his middle school in regular education classrooms where he averages merit/honor roll grades,” she wrote.

Kristin Gublo, an active SEFA Committee member for years, said she has been thrilled with being able to decide where to designate her contributions. “The Children’s Center is located in Sheldon Hall. Our employees are tremendously fortunate to have this service on campus,” she wrote. “You cannot put a price on a dependable, safe, nurturing learning environment for your children while you are at work.”

Gordon said the committee wants to know: Why do you donate? Campus community members can answer, with a chance to have it posted on SEFA’s campus website, by emailing cindy.jackson@oswego.edu.

Stanley, in a message to the campus community, pointed out there are more than 2,400 not-for-profit agencies worldwide listed in the 2013 SEFA brochure.

“By increasing the number of participants from every part of campus, we will share the responsibility and pride of working as a community and for the communities we strive to support—whether you wish your donation to stay locally in Oswego County or to be sent to a charity elsewhere across our state, nation or world,” the president wrote. 

Anyone can win

Each year from September through December, the SEFA Committee hosts or assists a variety of awareness-raising, fundraising events. Among the most popular is Baskets of Caring.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday on the Campus Center concourse in front of the auditorium, those inclined to make a donation will receive tickets that equate to “votes” for each brightly decorated and intriguingly—perhaps lucratively—filled basket designed by a department on campus. The winning basket will cast glory on the department that solicited items for and designed it, while a winning ticketholder will be drawn to take home each basket.

Other upcoming SEFA-related fundraising events include United Way food drives at two women’s and one men’s hockey game this weekend; a poinsettia sale, with a link and online order form at www.oswego.edu/sefa, ending Thursday, Dec. 5; United Way toy drives at home men’s basketball and men’s and women’s hockey games Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7; and the popular Holiday Skate with the Lakers on Sunday, Dec. 8.

For more information, visit www.oswego.edu/sefa.

PHOTO CAPTION: Colorful competition—The popular Baskets of Caring to benefit the annual SEFA/United Way campaign takes place Thursday and Friday along the Campus Center concourse in front of the auditorium. It gives everyone on campus a chance to win a basket when they buy tickets and cast votes for their favorite ones, each designed by a campus department whose employees gathered donations to fill them. Then-junior Janelle Stepien, above, a human development major, prepares to cast a vote in the 2011 Baskets of Caring competition.



Thu Nov 14, 2013
Serendipity plays role in Lisa Langlois' interest, expertise in art history

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Lisa Langlois, an art department faculty member since 2005 and an expert in Japanese art history and women’s studies. She was headed for law school when she accidentally found her career path.

Lisa LangloisQ. What is your pre-Oswego background?
A.
I am from Ann Arbor, Mich. I went to the University of Michigan and earned my bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from there. There were good reasons to stay at Michigan. It was a good school and had in-state tuition. It had, I think, one of the top five Asian art programs, and our Asian (languages) library ranked right up there with Harvard and Stanford, mostly because after World War II, the Japanese government gave money to establish centers for the study of Japan.

Q. How did you become interested in Asian art?
A.
When I was in college, I worked as a paralegal part-time. We had a client who was hit by a truck. We represented her in her lawsuit for damages, and she was getting her Ph.D. in Asian art history. Her particular program was in Indian art, and she would tell me about climbing around in the caves at Ajanta. I would interview all of her professors in Chinese art and Japanese art and Indian art. I found these people to be so amazingly interesting.

Q. Where did your particular fascination with Japanese art come from?
A.
One of my first Japanese art classes was taught by a Japan specialist. He would show us pictures from his trips and of artwork, some from current art catalogs like Sotheby’s, and we would have to defend whether the museum should buy this particular work. Was it a fake? Could it be an original by a famous artist? I really enjoyed that. The Indian art was what I originally wanted to do, because I wanted to crawl around the caves with the bats and look at Buddhist paintings. In fact, my master’s degree was on Buddhist art.

Q. What do you think of SUNY Oswego students?
A.
One of the reasons I came to Oswego is a feeling of affinity with many of our students, meaning many are first-generation college attendees and/or working their way through school.  This group seems so appreciative of the opportunities to learn here.  I think they truly value their experiences at Oswego—they don’t take things for granted.

Q. Have you ever taken students to Japan for art studies?
A.
I took a student who is now in our YouTube video and promotional posters. The student wanted to go for a year and her parents were afraid; they didn’t want her to. I said what if you went for a week over spring break? Her parents agreed. She had a great time and came back and showed her parents all these pictures and they felt much better about it. So she went back and stayed for an entire year. I’m supposed to take people there next year; we may do a Collaborative Online International Learning course.

Q. Can you share any tales that speak of your passion for Japan?
A.
I’ve traveled there many times. When I was writing my master’s thesis, I lived in Japan for a year and I went on a pilgrimage route dedicated to a particular bodhisattva, and we went to a temple—my master’s thesis was based on the founding legend, a painting of it. It gave a real sense of immediacy to things that happened in the 11th and 12th centuries. It made it really tangible and relevant. I also used to buy wood-block prints in Japan, in an old bookstore downstairs in this old high-rise building where I worked. I’d go in and talk to this guy in his 60s, and he was so friendly. But sometimes he’d be just so cold and he didn’t want talk to me. I couldn’t figure out how I’d get these two receptions, until one day I walked in and he was there with his identical twin brother. (Laughs.)

Q. Are you an artist yourself?
A.
This is something most people don’t know about me: I’m a published cartoonist. I did it when I was 18. My cartoons are in a textbook that’s still in print and it’s had many editions. Every so often they add some of my new cartoons.

Q. What are you teaching this semester?
A.
“Japanese Art,” “Gender and the Visual Arts” and I am teaching “Gender and Contemporary Visual Culture,” an art course that is co-listed through women’s studies. The students do a lot of critiques on sexism and racism in our culture. They learn basic drawing and cartooning skills. I’m not a professional artist like my colleagues—I don’t do shows and things.

Q. You’ve been women’s studies director here twice. What’s your interest?
A.
When I was in high school, I worked for a runaway and crisis center. We worked with an awful lot of domestic violence issues. After that, I worked for the lawyer, and a lot of our clients also had issues with domestic violence. So I felt a strong personal need to be involved in social justice issues. I did a lot of social justice work in graduate school. I also trained in gender studies as part of my doctoral work.

Q. What can you tell us about your other interests?
A.
I draw and knit and sew. I just started piano lessons. I do lots with my daughter—she’s 13—and I like to sew costumes for her for Halloween and the Sheldon Institute. My husband, Walter Langlois, teaches here; he’s an adjunct in art and shares this office with me. He’s in Japanese studies, too. I’ve got a rescue dog, Bella, a Jack Russell/beagle. She follows me everywhere.

Q. What’s next for you?
A.
I am going on sabbatical next semester. I’m doing research on an article I’m writing about gender and national identity and revising my dissertation to make it into a book.  For the article, I need to go to Japan and look for some primary sources. It has an Oswego connection. I’ll explore a COIL course with Tsuda College, named for Takamine Hideo’s cousin, Tsuda Umeko (in Japan, the family name comes first), who founded it as the first women’s college in Japan. Takamine reformed education throughout Japan, using the Oswego Method. Every adult you speak to in Japan says, “You’re from Oswego? I know the Oswego Method.”



Mon Nov 04, 2013
Food for fines offers forgiveness, supports cause

Through the end of November, Penfield Library will accept donations of non-perishable food items for users to reduce overdue fines while supporting the Human Concerns Food Pantry in Oswego.

Each approved food item will cancel up to $1 of any outstanding fines for late returns.

The library will accept only prepackaged, unopened food in cans, boxes or plastic jars. No glass, perishables or damaged/expired items will be accepted. Food can be applied against fines but not lost book charges.

Faculty, staff or students interested in donating food and/or money toward the food drive are welcome as well.

For more information, contact or visit the Penfield Library circulation/reserve desk at 312-2560 or circdesk@oswego.edu, or visit www.oswego.edu/library/circ/food_for_fines.html.



Mon Nov 04, 2013

Since Oct. 21, University Police have investigated several cases of theft and vandalism and made 17 arrests.


DWI misdemeanors

A 45-year-old Ohio woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08, both misdemeanors, and crossing road hazard markings, an infraction.

A 19-year-old Rensselaer man was charged with DWI and aggravated DWI, both misdemeanors, and making an illegal signal, moving from lane unsafely and speeding, all infractions.

An 18-year-old Seneca Hall resident was charged with DWI and aggravated DWI, both misdemeanors, and leaving the scene of property damage accident, an infraction.

A 20-year-old commuter student was charged with DWI and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08, both misdemeanors, and unsafe movement of stopped vehicle, failure to keep right, and operating an unregistered vehicle, all infractions.


Other misdemeanors

A 17-year-old Seneca Hall resident was charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree. He is accused of having more than 25 grams of marijuana.

A 19-year-old Onondaga Hall resident was charged with second-degree criminal nuisance. He is accused of damaging a smoke detector.

A 22-year-old Village resident was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, a misdemeanor, and driving with substandard lights, an infraction.

Three were charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration: a 48-year-old Oswego man, a 43-year-old Oswego man and a 21-year-old commuter student.


Violations

A 20-year-old Oneida Hall resident was charged with disorderly conduct. He is accused of using foul language at officers in a residence hall after being asked to stop.

Six people, including five students, were charged with possessing marijuana: two each from Cayuga and Scales halls, one from Funnelle Hall, and a woman from Bellona.



Mon Nov 04, 2013

Julia D'RozarioA team of four SUNY Oswego students prepared by Carolina Ilie of the physics faculty participated Oct. 24 to 26 in the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials. Ross Netusil, a graduate student in chemistry, gave an invited talk on “Computational Analysis and Organic Synthesis of Pentacene Derivatives,” a project with Ilie, chemistry faculty member Fehmi Damkaci and chemistry graduate student Ryan Cotroneo. Netusil also presented a poster on “Kinetics of Water Desorption from Poly(methyl methacrylate) Film” with co-authors Brian Familo, Thorin Kane, John St. Leger, Joseph Bennett, Anastasia Yorke and Ilie. Junior physics major Marie Romano presented her research on “Capillary Condensation: An Analysis of the Phase Transition” with co-authors Yorke, Katharyn Christiana and Ilie. Romano also presented an interdisciplinary work on “Transforming the Academia: Native American Women and Women in Physics” with co-authors Sharity Bassett, a women’s studies faculty member, physics alumni Lillie Ghobrial and Michael Evans and Ilie. Sophomore physics major Julia D’Rozario, pictured, presented her work on “The Importance of Undergraduate Research: A SUNY Oswego Approach” with co-authors Evans, Christiana, earth sciences faculty member Diana Boyer and Ilie. Sophomore physics major Mateusz Zuba presented his summer work in Taiwan, “Testing Molybdenum Disulphide Using Dilution Refrigerator Technology” with co-authors Yung-Fu Chen from the National Central University in Taiwan and Oswego physics faculty member Shashi Kanbur.

Neelika Jayawardane of the English department moderated a panel, “Art and Media in Congo,” Oct. 18 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The panel was part of the weeklong film series Congo in Harlem 5 and featured filmmakers and photographers. She also was a panelist in the discussion “Listening to ‘Scorched’: Women, War and Resistance” Oct. 26 in the Arthur Storch Theatre at Syracuse Stage in conjunction with the production of the play “Scorched.”

Shashi Kanbur of the physics department, who is on sabbatical leave, gave a seminar Nov. 4 at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai. He is scheduled to give a talk Nov. 12 at the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune. The venues are two of the top research institutions in India. His research collaborators from Pune and Delhi will visit Oswego in December. Before leaving India, Kanbur will go to Delhi University along with researchers from Texas A&M University to start work on their Joint Center for the Analysis of Variable Star Data and then to Calcutta University to start a possible project on mathematical ecology. Kanbur will return to India in mid-January to teach a two-week course at Delhi University and give lectures in an all-India workshop for select Indian graduate students on variable stars. Also, Kanbur spoke at a meeting in Albany Oct. 17 and 18 on broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. His topic was the SUNY Oswego Global Laboratory.

The New York State Art Teachers Association has chosen Jacquelyn Kibbey of the curriculum and instruction department as the Educator of the Year for Region Three. The regional art educator awardees will be recognized at the association’s annual conference Nov. 24 in Albany. “An exceptional art educator, Jacquelyn has demonstrated her ability to further the field of art education both in and out of the classroom and her dedication and vision have set her apart from her peers,” wrote the NYSATA awards and honors chair. As a regional honoree, Kibbey is in the running for 2014 New York State Art Educator of the Year.

John F. LalandeJohn F. Lalande, professor of German, was recently elected first vice president of Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honorary Society. Lalande also taught German language courses this summer in Graz, Austria, at the American Institute of Musical Studies.

Lawrence Spizman, professor emeritus in the economics department, is the author of the paper “Developing Statistical Based Earnings Estimates: Median Versus Mean Earnings” in the Journal of Legal Economics. The paper discussed the use and misuse of basic income statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He discussed the mean and median earnings data provided by the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey.  Spizman shows the problems of using the Current Population survey PINC-04 tables mean earnings. Spizman is a forensic economist assisting the legal community throughout the United States in matters concerning economic issues in litigation.

Erika WilsonSUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher named two Oswego students to a new group of SUNY Student Fellows to plan the university system’s uses of big data. Erika Wilson, pictured top, a junior from Ontario, N.Y., majoring in applied mathematics, and Eyub Yegen, pictured bottom, a senior from Schwaebisch, Germany, majoring in finance and applied mathematical economics joined Student Fellows from the SUNY University at Buffalo, Buffalo State, Cayuga Community College, Cornell University and Old Westbury for the announcement at a conference last week in New York City titled “Building a Smarter University: Big Data and Ingenuity.”image


In Memoriam

A. Ronald Medici, 75, emeritus assistant professor of theatre, died Oct. 24 at Siegenthaler Center in New Hartford.



Fri Nov 01, 2013
Residence Life's Jessica Slack seizes opportunities to keep learning

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Jessica Slack, a keyboard specialist in Residence Life and Housing who likes to keep the office atmosphere positive and fun.

Jessica SlackQ. Where were you born and raised??
A.
I was born in Syracuse and I grew up partly in Liverpool, then finished high school in Red Creek. I still live in Red Creek.

Q. What about higher education?
A.
I actually came to Oswego in 2004 as a nontraditional student, and graduated in ‘08. I had a dual major in public justice and psychology. After awhile looking for a job, I decided to take the Civil Service exam, and that’s how I got back here. I loved it here so much, it was a pleasure to come back. Now I’m actually enrolled in the (graduate-level) gerontology certificate program. We have the voucher program through the (CSEA) union to take classes.

Q. What is your goal with gerontology?
A.
I wanted to start an MBA program here, but I needed several undergraduate classes. I took the prerequisites. I just applied to grad school yesterday. You can obtain an MBA with a concentration in health services, so I believe you can apply the certificate toward that. I love to spend time with older people. I watched a movie one time about a couple that was going on vacation and their older father couldn’t stay home alone. He was self-sufficient, but losing his memory, so they put him in sort of a hotel for older people. And I thought, what a great concept. I liked the way it wasn’t so institutional.

Q. What are your duties with Residence Life and Housing?
A.
I maintain the personnel files for our RSS staff—resident student staff, basically our RAs—and for our SOS staff, our student operational services staff that’s our hall staff: desk staff, recycling techs and computer techs. There are about 300 in all. I’m (associate director) Renee Landers-Jennings’ secretary. I’m also basically support staff to the office, and I’m support staff to our RSS and Professional Development committees.

Q. How do you like dealing with SUNY Oswego students?
A.
They’re fun. I feel like our office is the most friendly and most fun office on campus—I like to brag about that. I get to interact with students a lot because they are applying for jobs, so they’re excited about that. I got to babysit one of the student’s rabbits over the summer. The student typically lives off campus, but she was working for Residence Life and Housing and had to live on-campus and could not have a bunny rabbit. His name was Charlie. (Laughs.)

Q. What positive attributes do you bring to the job?
A.
I try to include everyone. I try to promote an atmosphere of fun and positivity. We’re a little goofy up here. We have 3 o’clock dance break, or at 4 o’clock, “It’s tea time! It’s tea time!” We just try to keep things positive, because we have the hall directors and everybody, and they have a very stressful job, so it’s kind of our job up here to keep people feeling connected and more like family. We always have food, and we feel like we’re the moms up here to the rest of the department.

Q. So you really enjoy your colleagues in Residence Life and Housing?
A.
I think we have a really great group. I’ve worked other places where working with a large group of primarily women wasn’t so much fun. It’s just the college environment—you’re working with people who are, I guess, more high-minded, and there are so many opportunities on campus to continue learning.

Q. What are some of your interests outside work?
A.
I like sports. We went to the (Philadelphia) Eagles football game last weekend. And we love live music—I am going to see Mavis Staples at Woodstock in a couple of weeks, and I’m very excited about that. I love going to things on campus. I am very excited about the Hart Global Awareness Conference coming up, with the speakers coming in. I loved seeing the ORI speaker (Tim Egan) and I enjoyed seeing the Ken Burns documentary about “The Worst Hard Time” on PBS. I also love chocolate chip cookies. (Laughs.)

Q. What can you tell us about your family?
A.
I live with my husband Shawn, and I have two daughters—Abbey is in college and Madeline is a junior in high school—and our two cats. Shawn runs the 104 Store in Red Creek, a 24-hour truck stop on Rt. 104. My mother just graduated from college with her bachelor’s degree this year. Her grandfather came here from Greece. As her graduation present to herself, she wants to go back to Greece, so a large part of our family is all going to Greece this summer. So we will meet our Kalamata olive-farming relatives. I took a part-time job at The American Foundry to help save for it.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A.
Trisha Lais and I are putting together the Basket of Caring for our office for SEFA this month. We are doing a rise-and-shine basket. We’ve gotten a lot of donations from the community. Our basket is going to be worth over $500—we are hoping to win the prize this year for the most votes. I’m very competitive. (Laughs.)



Fri Nov 01, 2013
Prospective students flock to open houses in record numbers

As the campus welcomed the largest class of first-year students in 25 years this fall, three Admissions open houses aimed at students entering next fall have set or equaled records.

Lorraine Perdomo leads admissions tourThe Columbus Day open house on Oct. 14 registered a record 390 high school students and their families, while the following Saturday open house’s 280 families tied the 2009 record. The summer open house drew 353 prospective students and their families, shattering the 2012 record of 291, according to Dan Griffin, interim director of admissions.

Griffin said the attendance at open houses—another one is scheduled for Veterans Day on Monday— are important indicators as Admissions pursues its goals for attracting a high-caliber class on the heels of this fall’s 1,506 freshman and 795 transfer students.

“Deposits for fall 2014 aren’t due until May 1,” he said. “So until then you look at the mile markers: The biggest summer. The biggest Columbus Day. At least tied for the biggest Saturday. Those are good signs, so we are very happy with that.”

Griffin gave some of the credit for the turnouts to a strong push on a number of fronts to build awareness of SUNY Oswego and all that it has to offer: A new fall-visit mailer, intensified use of social media, working with Google and collegiate search engines and purchasing lists through such resources as the PSAT exam. About a decade ago, he said, Admissions would rely more on college fairs and personal contact with guidance counselors during visits to high schools, and would try to attract prospective students one-on-one through mailers, with modest electronic methods.

“It’s so different now,” he said. “We still do all of that, but now it’s less of a 1-to-1 ratio—now it’s about getting the Oswego name in front of them in new and different ways so that it builds consciousness. So that perhaps when they do get that brochure, they say, ‘Oh, Oswego ... I’ve heard of that place.’ They may not know where or how, but it’s on their radar.”

Positive buzz

Griffin also gave credit for the strong numbers to current students, faculty and staff, new and renovated facilities, academic programming, especially in growth areas such as the sciences and business, and much more.

“If you have a good product and the students have good experiences here, they’re going to go home and talk about it,” he said. “So the neighbors and the friends and the relatives are going to hear about us. Admissions is happy to lead the charge on promoting Oswego, but let’s not downplay the strength of what our current students, faculty and staff can say about us.”

The new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation, a new field station at Rice Creek, the Campus Center, ongoing renovations and more in the planning all help fuel “a vibe and an excitement here,” Griffin said.

“The campus looks wonderful,” he said. “But you’ve got to deliver the goods: You’ve got to have a good academic experience, a good residential experience, a positive extracurricular experience.”

STEM, business growth

Across the campus and in all departments, Griffin said, staff and faculty have gone all-out to deliver those experiences to the college’s most diverse—23.9 percent of this fall’s freshmen are from underrepresented groups—and most geographically expansive class ever.

“There’s a really collegial atmosphere on the campus, no pun intended,” he said. “There are a lot of people rowing in the same direction.”

Residence Life and Housing, for example, found room for 4,323 students—nearly 200 more than last year—without having to triple anyone in two-person rooms.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences grew by 135 new freshmen in a year, with science, technology, engineering and mathematics adding 64 of them, according to Admissions data. The School of Business has seen an increase of 80 freshmen year over year. The School of Communication. Media and the Arts ticked up by 9. And, thanks to increased interest in wellness management, the School of Education’s freshman enrollment climbed slightly to 171, an increase of 10.

PHOTO CAPTION: Record numbers—Lorraine Perdomo, an Admissions tour guide and dual major in Spanish and communication, leads high school students and their families past Penfield Library on the way to Hart Hall on Oct. 14 during the Columbus Day open house. Registrations of prospective students for the open house set a Columbus Day record at 390.



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