I was just over in Alliot Hall talking with Grace Kelly, our Director of Student Activities - as I walked into her office space I noted that it was FULL of sleeping bag and backpacks and so knew that another POW adventure was about to start. POW is our pre-orientation weekend and while there are two actual weekends, there is also a mid-week POW. This is an opportunity for incoming first year students to meet upper-classmen/women in a setting away from campus. Along with the 30 first year students and approx. 20 upper-class students there are five members of the faculty/staff who head out to Stowe for a three day experience. Each year student leaders are selected based on their level of maturity, their willingness to share their experiences and their leadership skills. This year we have four such students who are leading all three of the POW's. Katherine Hackett (just back from study abroad - we missed her around here), Molly Moore, Liz Siekman and Justin Kane are this year's leaders and they report that the first POW, last weekend was amazing - they were so impressed with the Class of 2014 and while we try not to have the leaders make comparisons, the leaders told me that the next two groups will have to be exceptional to top the first group. Within hours of their return from POW, they had already set up a Facebook page specifically for POW participants. The level of excitement and anticipation of the leaders is so high and it is great to have so many students back on campus. There are three pre-registration days which coincide with POW so most of our entering first year class of 2014 will be here sometime this week - they meet with a temporary academic adviser, take language and writing tests and select their courses for their first semester. There will be a reception for all of them this afternoon over in Alliot and I will head over there for a meet/greet with the new students and their families.
If you are interested in the latest addition to campus - the Word Garden, then by all means check out www.youtube.com/SaintMichael'swhere Mallory wood uploaded a video on the construction of our new Word Garden - Professors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz and Grounds keeper Alan Dickinson worked hard with a local artist to create words carved in stones which will be be arranged any way that anyone wants - the video is very informative so check it out.
As I mentioned a while back in a blog, we are all working on the new curriculum and one aspect of that is that each professor has to examine each class we teach and while that may seem like a difficult task, it has actually been a great educational opportunity for us to critically look at what we teach and how we assess what we teach and what our students learn. I have completed two of my four courses and look forward to working on the other two.
The Athletic Department has been really busy over the summer working on an exciting new project. Under the leadership of Athletic Director Geri Knortz, Senior Associate Athletic Director Zaf Bludevich and Associate Athletic Director Chris Kenny the Athletic Department has been meeting and constructing a new workshop which will focus on first year student-athletes. This innovative program will take place beginning immediately after the College's New Student Orientation ends on Sunday morning, August 29th - there will be a series of panels comprised of current student-athletes and mentors who will help our new student-athletes better understand the importance WE place on academics, behavior, teamwork, leadership and good sports-person behaviors. This is just the first of a number of new programs being initiated by the Athletic Department - future workshops for our student-athletes will include programs on leadership for our sophomore, junior and senior athletes. I am very proud of the work being done by the Athletic Department and look forward to working with them on these new initiatives. I have been selected to attend the FAR (faculty athletic representative) Leadership Institute this October, representing SMC and the NE-10 and will definitely be "bragging" about these new initiatives.
Take good care, enjoy the summer and while I realize that our entering first year students were born around 1992 and I was born in 1943, I really am looking forward to another GREAT year at SMC. As always, please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers. We are going to have a meeting soon on campus which will involve a variety of offices on campus to see how we can best meet the needs of our returning soldiers who may be interested in attending SMC - we have a number of vets currently enrolled on campus and their input has been very helpful as we try to work with the vets and the VA to ensure that these veterans receive the appropriate and BEST treatment they can as they transition from the military.