August 2019: Welcome to a new academic year!
Dear Fellow Albrightians,
Welcome to the 2019-2020 academic year! The beginning of a new academic year is one of the most fun and busy times, whether you’re studying on Albright’s Reading campus, at one of our School of Professional Studies locations, or online. It’s a time of new beginnings, new friends and new experiences, and I wish you a productive and successful semester as we work together to make Albright College the best it can be.
I’m still smiling about and celebrating last week’s successful new-student move-in day and the orientation activities led by our energetic and spirited POPs. It was a beautiful day on campus and new student move-in could not have happened so seamlessly without the many faculty, staff, athletic teams, upperclass students and alumni who volunteered their time to welcome our newest Albrightians. Thank you to all who took part in this very special Albright tradition.
I hope you were able to take time over the summer months to relax and spend time with family and friends. As we begin a new academic year, I’d like to update you on some campus news.
I recently announced the successful completion of our search for a new vice president of enrollment management and the appointment of Dwayne Walker, who will begin on September 23. Dwayne brings an exciting energy and vision to Albright College stemming from an 18-year career in higher education where he has served in a variety of roles focused on student recruitment, admissions, financial aid and enrollment management. I hope you will join me in welcoming Dwayne and his family to our community.
You may also remember that in July I wrote to let you know that Jason Hoerr has agreed to serve as acting vice president for digital strategy and infrastructure and chief information officer for the next six months, with the potential opportunity to move into the permanent role. Jason is an Albright alumnus whose dedication to and engagement in the Albright community extends well beyond DSI. During his 21-year tenure, and for the last 18 months prior to his new appointment, Jason served as deputy CIO. I am delighted that Jason has agreed to take on this role.
And last, but certainly not least, I am thrilled to announce that Karen Campbell, who has been serving as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs since September 2018, has been appointed to the permanent position. Since accepting the acting provost role, Karen has successfully led Albright’s Title III initiatives to increase first-year to sophomore retention, the hiring of the Student Success team, the launching of Lions’ Edge, the hiring of our new registrar, Dawn Renta, and current searches for a dean of library services and dean of the School of Professional Studies. I am grateful to Karen for her focus on our student success and retention efforts, her leadership of Academic Affairs, and her many years of dedicated commitment to Albright College. Please join me in congratulating Karen on her permanent appointment as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
So much to celebrate!
And now, let’s take a minute to celebrate some of Albright College’s recent accomplishments and achievements –
- Campus was busy this summer! We welcomed several camps and conferences to Albright including the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Northeast Regional Seminar, Junior Explorers, Science Explorers, American Music Abroad Bronze Tour, SafeBerks Camp, NIKE Volleyball, and Berks County Water and Sewer Association Annual Conference, in addition to our own Albright football, women’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s basketball athletic camps and clinics. Thank you to Lois Kubinak and the summer conference staff for making our camp and conference partners feel at home at Albright.
- In the School of Professional Studies, the first online cohort started this week (B.S. in organizational/applied psychology); a new program in digital marketing and sales launched this summer with courses beginning in October; and some SPS students have just completed their cohort studies with degrees being conferred on Saturday, Aug. 31 – Congratulations, graduates!
- Sixteen Albright student and faculty partners conducted ACRE research in fields that include biochemistry, psychology, fashion, theatre and political science.
- Twelve new faculty have joined the Albright community in the areas of music, philosophy, theatre, fashion, biology, sociology, religion, accounting, psychology and history, as well as two visiting Fulbright instructors who will teach French and Spanish through 2019-20.
- Deep Dive strategic planning has continued, with the development of a strategic vision white paper. This white paper has been shared for feedback with the Deep Dive Steering Team, the Cabinet, the College Leadership Team, and the Board of Trustees. In September, it will be shared (again for feedback) with the Alumni Board and the Faculty Executive Committee. I look forward to hearing more about the next stages of strategic planning.
- A new, comprehensive event management system that talks to the Albright website is helping to populate our campus calendar with the diverse array of events and activities that happen every day on our campus. Phase 1 of the new system is finishing up this week. Watch your inbox over the next few days for details on event submission training beginning with phase 2!
Best in the Northeast – Again!
And, two weeks ago we received the fantastic news that Albright College has once again been named to the Princeton Review’s best colleges in the northeast list for 2020 – a list we have been on 15 times in the last 16 years!
What makes this designation even more meaningful are the comments that students shared with the Princeton Review. They said that Albright College provides undergraduates with a “close-knit” community, “full of diversity and passion,” noting “strong arts and theater programs and a prestigious pre-professional program.” And they reported that their professors are “extremely passionate about what they teach” and that undergraduates come from “all walks of life, all levels of economic status, and [possess] a variety of different political and social views.”
This is Albright College, where it’s always great to be a Lion and where we have much to celebrate! Welcome to the new academic year! I am looking forward to working with each of you.