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College Provost Scott Furlong recently announced the formal appointment of Michelle Bandla as director of Excel: Experiential Courses and Engaged Learning at SUNY Oswego.

Bandla, who had served as interim director of the Center for Experiential Learning since fall 2017, has been instrumental in working to develop a more collaborative relationship with Career Services; streamlining the processes related to internship administration; supporting academic departments in reviewing experiential opportunities; improving Oswego’s Mentor-Scholar Program; and examining the structure of the college’s GST (general studies) courses.

"Michelle and members of the team have made great progress over the past year in their effort to provide a variety of experiential learning opportunities to SUNY Oswego undergraduate and graduate students," said Furlong. "I look forward to their work this year as they incorporate first-year programs into the experiential learning structure."

Bandla said the change in name more accurately reflects what the former Center for Experiential Learning does. “Excel symbolizes a fresh start. We work with faculty and staff across campus to collaboratively help students excel in their academic, professional and personal goals,” she said.

A 1993 SUNY Oswego alumna, Bandla began working at Oswego part time as assistant director of the former Office of Experience-Based Education. For the past 17 years, she worked as the coordinator of First-Year Programs, supporting new students in advisement, course selection, summer pre-registration, learning communities, an early-warning academic performance system and more.

In that role, she earned praise for innovation, persistence and excellence, as well as such honors as the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service and 2011 President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

A new First-Year Experience coordinator will join the Excel office, so Bandla will continue to provide leadership in the experiences of Oswego’s first-year students.