October 13, 2014

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 9, Issue 15 – October 13, 2014

Open Forum Coming Up

As a follow-up to the meeting we had with our colleagues on the leadership team of the UUP (see the previous BLAB for details), we will be cosponsoring a Faculty Open Forum on Wednesday, October 22 from 4:00-6:00 PM in the Theatre. The two main topics will be:

  • Discussion about the current Student Course Comment Instrument. It is my understanding that many faculty have issues with the current instrument. We’d like to give you an opportunity to raise those concerns, and to suggest what might be done to address them.
  • Discussion on possible implementation of a mentor or advocate program to help faculty through the reappointment/continuing appointment/promotion process. We’d like all of our faculty to fully understand R/CA/P process and to be able to put their best possible case forward.

I hope this Faculty Open Forum will be a good way of having collegial dialogue on these important issues. Assuming it is useful to all, we’ll have more in the future, and will solicit possible topics to be discussed. [Similarly, if there are issues of interest to our staff that would benefit from having such an Open Forum, let me know.] I hope to see you all there!

 

Time for a Diversion

During our last Deans Cabinet meeting, some of the Deans mentioned that folks were getting a little antsy due to lack of a fall break this year (we combined the fall break into Thanksgiving to give a week-long vacation then). Well—we can’t have that, can we? We decided we needed a cure—a Mid-Semester Diversion! What’s that, you ask? It’s a party to blow off a little steam and just have a good time. It will be on Thursday, October 16, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and all faculty and staff are invited. There will be hors d’oeuvres and perhaps a bit more for the party. What bit more? Well, you’ll just have to come to find out. Please RSVP to youngm@canton.edu or call 7204 if you’re coming, so we’ll know how much food we’ll need.


Career Fair

SUNY Canton held a Career Fair last Tuesday, and by all measures it was a great success. The number of participating companies was so large that we held it in two different locations—one group met in the Miller Center (CC 212-214), and the other in the Auto Lab in Neveldine. I gave a brief welcome at both locations and had the pleasure of meeting with several of the companies that were present. In our chats, they all had the same thing to say—they were very happy with the Canton graduates that they had previously hired, finding them to be well educated and able to add value to the company right from the beginning, and that they were looking forward to hiring more of our graduates in the future. In fact, several of the companies had brought SUNY Canton graduates to staff their tables. The student turnout also was good to take advantage of the Fair.

Congratulations to Julie Parkman (Asst. Director of Career Services), Terri Clemmo (Career Services Office), and work study student Mackeba Campbell for their fine work on this event.

Bringing on the Band at Open House

Last Friday, SUNY Canton held its first Open House of the season. When I first got to Canton, I had discussed some of the things that we used to do at SPSU, where our open house was very cool indeed. Molly Mott heard that I had been part of a band called “Fridays at Five” that played at our open houses and related events, so she decided that we needed to do that here. So, we quickly put together a trio consisting of Lenore VanderZee (vocals, guitar), Dan Gagliardi (vocals, bass), and me (rhythm guitar) to play. We had a single rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, since that was the only time we could all get together, and it was “on with the show” on Friday morning.

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l-r:  Lenore VanderZee, me, and Dan Gagliardi

The Open House began at 8:30 with the band playing while students and their parents went through registration and looked at some of the display tables. The band finished at about 9:15 and at about 10:00, I gave a welcome speech to the 250 or so people who had come. We had all decided to wear T-shirts while we played, so I when it was time for me to talk, I walked over to the podium in my T-shirt, put on a tie, put on a suit coat, and said: “Now I’m ready”, and launched into the talk. I spoke about the top reasons people go to college, and how SUNY Canton fits all of the reasons very well. I asked: “Is it possible for one college to fill the academic needs of every single student in this room? — YES! SUNY Canton can.” I ended by telling a funny story about a SUNY Canton graduate who died and went to heaven, but got an unfortunate surprise there. Want to hear the story? Come to the next Open House!

My talk was followed by Melissa Evans (Director of Admissions) giving out some prizes for the family that had come the farthest (Long Island), and giving a Canton T-shirt to a woman who had come in a Syracuse University shirt. The students were then dismissed by major, to speak with the faculty. There were several events in the afternoon that families could participate in, including getting their pictures taken with Rudy by the covered bridges.

It was a great event, and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it. Several people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed themselves (including the band!), and others heard similar comments. Congratulations to Molly, Melissa, and the entire group from Admissions for all their hard work.

In case you’re wondering what the band’s name is, we don’t have one yet. Molly was calling us Open House Jive, but I know we can do better than that, so it’s time for a contest. The best suggestion will win a cool prize.

SEFA and SUNY Canton Foundation

We’ll soon be starting our annual campaign for contributions to SEFA (the State Employee Federated Appeal) and to the SUNY Canton Foundation. I’m told that our faculty and staff have been very generous over the past years, and that’s something to be very proud of.

SEFA benefits local, national, and international charitable organizations. If you gave $1 per pay period (which would be giving up a cup of coffee every two weeks), that would amount to an annual contribution of $26, which can do a tremendous amount of good. Obviously, if you can afford to give more, you should. If everyone at SUNY Canton participated, we would break all previous records.

Similarly, if everyone were to donate at least $1 per pay period to the Foundation, the money could be used to support scholarships for our students and other worthwhile endeavors that would make our College stronger. Lots of outside donors ask what the College’s participation rate is when they’re deciding who to support.

I’d like to challenge the campus to bring our participation rate up to 100% for both SEFA and for the Foundation.   Stay tuned for the official start up of the campaigns.

Flaming Leaves

On Saturday morning, Dave Gerlach (VP for Development) and I drove down to Lake Placid for the Flaming Leaves Festival, where SUNY Canton was holding an alumni event. The weather was a bit cold and wet, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 200 or so alumni and their friends and family who came. SUNY Canton had a registration table at the Festival and we held drawings for some cool swag every hour, with the big prize being a pair of tickets to ride the bobsled.

During the Festival, I got to meet lots of alumni and hear what they and their families had been up to since graduating from Canton. During the Festival, there was a ski-jumping competition (no snow—they were doing their jumps onto a slippery artificial turf surface) which included several national champions.

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There was lots of good food and beer at the Festival, and one of the vendors was staffed by lots of SUNY Canton volunteers from our Veterinary Science student organization.  This was another great alumni event, put on by Dave, Peggy Sue Lovato, Jamie Burgess, and Kelly Obermayer.   Excellent job!

Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s contest had questions all had to do with the word home. Our winner was Lenor VanderZee who was the first to get them all right. Others with all five correct (and there were a lot of them!) included Jesse Clark-Stone, Bill Prigge (Asst. Dean for Administration at U. Tennessee College of Pharmacy), Alan Gabrielli (SPSU Director of UTeach), Rajiv Narula, Renee Campbell, Jamie Weber, Patricia Todd, Kathryn Kennedy, Rhonda Rodriguez, Janel Smith, Tiffany Dailey-Faulkner, Farren Lobdell, Anne Williams, Chelsea Chase, Jennifer Jones, Amanda Rowley, and DianeMarie Collins.

  1. Where the deer and the antelope play. Home on the range.
  2. A four-bag hit in baseball. Home run.
  3. Long running TV show starring Tim Allen. Home Improvement.
  4. 1990 Christmas movie with several sequels. The original starred Macaulay Culkin. Home Alone.
  5. What Dorothy learned at the end of the Wizard of Oz. “There’s No Place Like Home.”

 

This Week’s Trivia Challenge

Just to keep things balanced, this week’s trivia contest has answers all associated with the word “away”. As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. If it’s not a home game.
  2. Popular Christmas carol.
  3. What the Lone Ranger said as he rode off into the sunset.
  4. Lousy 2002 movie about a snooty socialite (Madonna) stranded on an island with a communist sailor (Adrianno Giannini).
  5. Phrase inscribed at the bottom of Jackie Gleason’s sarcophagus in Miami.
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2 Responses to October 13, 2014

  1. Jesse Clark-Stone says:

    You mentioned the Mid-Semester Diversion above and it made me think of a comment I’d heard at Clarkson. A senior undergraduate student made a snide remark about Clarkson’s short break (Monday 9/29 and Tuesday 9/30 off), that is was “only so that freshman can cope”. While it might not have been her intention, it made me wonder: I know that our current fall schedule is a bit of a marathon and perhaps it is having a negative impact on retention of first year students. Could it be that the lack of even a short break near the beginning of the semester could cause some students to feel like their coursework is an insurmountable task?

  2. Raamitha Pillay says:

    I agree with you Jesse, I think the break is not a luxury that we can skimp on but is a real retention issue. Most freshman are overwhelmed by the 5th week and many are homesick and depressed, a week break will be good for them to visit home, and family and catch up on work.

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