President's Newsletter March 2014

News Flashes

Alvernia’s partnership with the Olivet Boys & Girls Club is blooming, with expanded programming at the club’s new Millmont Center near campus. The newly launched Reading Collegiate Scholars Program has four Alvernia students — Christine Hall, Ashley Winters, Julianne Kuzma and Jennifer Toledo — working with 58 high school students in four Olivet clubs. Our student mentors are providing SAT preparation and career guidance and leading discussions about the college application process and choice of major process. 

Good progress continues to be made on the Middle States Self Study. More than 150 faculty and staff members are working to complete the comprehensive report. Many others, not part of the committee or one of the research groups, have contributed to the project by providing reports and explaining key processes to those preparing portions of the draft report. 

The Alvernia University Department of Athletics and Recreation was awarded honorable mention for a one-time community service project by Jostens and the National Association of Division III Athletic Directors. This is the second time Alvernia has been among the five schools honored nationally. We won the top award in 2011. 

More than 40 employees who provided 435 years of collective engagement were formally recognized for their contributions during the annual service anniversary celebration on March 17. Of special note were two long-time beloved faculty: Tom Porrazzo (25 years) and Pietro DiStravolo (35 years). Pietro is truly an inspiration to us all, having just returned from helping lead our Alternative Break trip to Santo Domingo. Also recognized was former trustee Al Weber who served as a trustee for more than 18 years. Al was awarded the distinction of Trustee Emeritus in honor of his dedication and commitment to the university. 

Alvernia continues to develop new ways of serving the regional community including highly customized programs designed to meet specific needs of a range of organizations. Currently we are working with a number of corporate and non-profit organizations including Penske Truck Leasing, SFS Intec, the Philadelphia Police Department, Stevens & Lee and Caron Treatment Centers, among others to address organizational training and development needs. We envision an expansion of this work in the coming year, as we explore the concept of a “business solutions center.” 

Faculty Advising Coordinators (FACs) are having a positive impact, focusing on probationary/at-risk students, undeclared students and others considering major transitions. Their work, in conjunction with the efforts of many others, contributed to (improved) fall-to-spring freshman retention of 92%. 

> Continue to COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT section

president's newsletter march 2014

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