December 2, 2011
April 29, 2012
Dear Friends of Siena College,
Recently, one of my Franciscan brothers returned to the friary after his evening walk. He said: “I just came from my new favorite place on campus – the Thompson Trail. Every night around sunset, a vast chorus of birds converges there and starts singing. It’s incredible.”
I was delighted to hear this rave review of a new addition to Siena’s landscape, a 250-yard-long footbridge through a wetlands conservation area that is home to hundreds of species of wildlife and a feast for the eyes and ears of the contemplative beholder. The trail was named for the College’s first vice president for development, the late Dell Thompson, Ed.D. It was the culmination of a collaborative effort involving faculty, students, staff and friends of Siena, particularly Dell’s widow, Audrey. Literally and figuratively, it brought the college community together, joining the north and south ends of the campus and uniting a variety of stakeholders behind a common cause. It has transformed the campus for the better, not through a massively intrusive reconstruction project, but through an initiative that was human in scale and respectful of Siena’s natural environment.
Like the Thompson Trail, Siena’s 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, Living Our Tradition, is also an exercise in collaboration and organic transformation. The plan’s creation involved, and its implementation engages, every subgroup of the College. It is integral to who we have been and who we shall continue to be – a learning community shaped by the values of the Franciscan, Catholic and liberal arts traditions. It serves as a bridge between the old and the new, between the past and the future. It seeks to lengthen the strides we have already taken toward student engagement, better stewardship of our human and financial resources, a more vibrant culture of diversity and athletic achievement that always promotes and never impedes the academic mission of the College.
As you read the following report, I trust that you will be impressed by the progress we have made in the first year of our Strategic Plan. I trust, too, that you will be convinced, as I am, that because of the dedication and hard work of my colleagues, the goals we have set out for ourselves are not only aspirational but achievable. I am confident that Living Our Tradition will prove to be a defining moment in Siena’s 75-year history and that, like Thompson Trail, it will be a sure and sturdy path to a campus transformed and a college renewed.
Fr. Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D.
What is Living Our Tradition?On October 6, 2011, Siena College celebrated the launch of its new five-year strategic plan titled Living Our Tradition. This four-planked plan serves as the blueprint for the College moving forward and stresses academic student engagement, resources, diversity and athletics. The celebration was to thank the many Siena faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni who developed the plan. It was a culmination of an 18-month process that brought together the very best of the Siena College community.
Living Our Tradition is the succession to Siena’s Academic Excellence Plan from 2006. It will build upon those gains, which include the recruitment and retention of quality faculty and students, a greater emphasis upon research opportunities for faculty and students and improved academic facilities.Living Our Tradition is a living, breathing document by which the College will seek to improve, and at the same time, evaluate its progress against quantifiable benchmarks. The Franciscan tradition celebrates continuous renewal by appealing to the words of St. Francis of Assisi who challenged his followers always “to begin again.” This phrase is never understood as a rejection of past accomplishments, but rather is viewed as a call for a renewed energy to live the mission. Speaking on the future orientation of the Franciscan intellectual tradition, one commentator observed that “those who cherish traditions do so not out of nostalgia, but because they have hope for the future. We study the past because it is different than the present. And to know that the past was different from the present allows us to imagine that the future also can be different.”*
* Fr. Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., Ph.D., on the occasion of the Inauguration of Fr. Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D., as the tenth President of Siena College on October 2, 2007.
- Siena will expand significantly its high-impact educational practices as part of the liberal arts curriculum and co-curriculum that promotes student engagement and innovative learning.
- Student engagement will lead to student achievement, both during and after college.
- Create new teaching and learning spaces that facilitate student engagement.
- Siena will gain national recognition for experiential learning programs that prepare students for work, service and practical positive action.
- Implement First-Year Seminars and core courses that strengthen student recruitment and retention.
Initiative 2: Steward and strengthen the financial resources, human resources and physical space of the college.
- Siena College will initiate a Capital Campaign.
- Revenue from fundraising and corporate sponsorship will increase; revenue increments will be attained via mission-centric entrepreneurial and curricular activities.
- Siena College will present and implement a master plan for physical space allotment.
- A formal risk management program will be implemented.
- Siena College will ensure service excellence through administrator and staff development.
- Siena College will follow sustainability best practices and reduce its backlog of deferred maintenance.
- Siena College will enroll and graduate a more diverse student body.
- Siena College will establish itself as the leader among our top ten private competitors (cross-admits) for our efforts in enrolling Pell Grant-eligible students.
- Siena College’s Board of Trustees will be more diverse.
- Siena College will expand its curricular offerings by challenging students to think critically about differing and diverse perspectives.
- Siena College will enhance and expand its co-curricular program to demonstrate that our graduates are cross-culturally and inter-religiously competent.
- The College will recruit and retain a more diverse faculty and staff that will strengthen Siena’s culture of inclusion.
Initiative 4: Expand and leverage investment in Division I athletics to promote the reputation of the College and enhance student engagement.
- Siena College will be a national leader in the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of all its student athletes.
- Athletic success will assist the process of recruiting national and international student athletes who in turn will contribute to and help to sustain a culture of diversity on our campus.
- Athletic success will build upon the achievements of the academic programs and contribute to broadening our regional and national reputation as a college that promotes student engagement.
- Athletic success will assist the process of engaging alumni and strengthening their commitment to the College.
- Athletic revenue from fund raising, corporate sponsorship, ticket sales and other ancillary income will increase
Initiative 1: Engagement
Siena College will build upon the success of the first Academic Excellence Plan by implementing a new Academic Excellence Plan focused on student engagement.
OverviewAcademic engagement through high-impact practices is at the heart of Initiative 1. Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and other Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) studies have shown that academic programs including first-year seminars, undergraduate research, internships, service-learning and capstone courses lead to higher academic achievement. Initiative 1 brings all of these opportunities together to provide a richer, more experiential education at Siena College.
Six new full-time faculty members joined First-Year Seminar for a total of nine full-time and six part-time faculty members. These professors often turn into mentors because they teach a given student for the entire freshman year. Students then seek out those professors in other courses as their college career progresses.
Jim Nolan ’75, Ph.D., teaching his First-Year Seminar course titled “Local History.” Nolan is a professor in both quantitative business analysis and computer science. He served as Dean of the School of Business for 10 years and won the College Administrator of the Year award in 2007.
A major accomplishment for CURCA was naming its director. Cheryl Buff ’82, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and cofounder of Siena’s School of Business Research Conference, was appointed director of CURCA in March 2012. As part of her role, she will oversee a redesigned independent studies program that encourages faculty-student engagement.
Siena College Assistant Professor of Physics John Cummings, Ph.D., physics major Kyle Turck ’12 and fellow physicists of the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment announced a finding in March 2012 that will help explain why matter exists in the universe.
Their collaborative, international research involves neutrinos, the wispy particles that flooded the universe in the earliest moments after the Big Bang. Neutrinos belong to the same family of fundamental particles as the electron, although they are neutral and much less massive, making them frustratingly difficult to detect.The challenge of capturing these elusive particles is what inspired the Daya Bay project.
“It’s wonderful, after the hard work of so many people for so long, to be able to make such a definitive statement,” said Cummings. “This result will make it possible to study the difference between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, getting at the question of why the universe contains so much more matter than anti- matter.”
Turck, who graduated in May with a degree in physics and has matriculated at Baylor for his graduate degree, spent two-and-a-half years building a piece of equipment for the Daya Bay facility in China that will monitor particles flowing through ultra pure water.
“It feels a bit surreal, coming from a small school in upstate New York and being a part of such a big experiment,” Turck said. “Other institutions use grad students (for research). At Siena, undergrads all have the opportunity to do research and that’s special.”
The researchers have submitted a paper describing their results to the journal Physical Review Letters.
William B. Spendiff ’52 Center for Faculty Excellence and InnovationSiena established its Center for Faculty Excellence and Innovation (CFEI), appointed Claire Parham, Ph.D., as director and began developing a four-year operational plan in 2011-12. To achieve its mission, the CFEI organized programming that facilitated ideas about teaching and learning, offered resources and created both formal and informal sources of support for faculty members throughout all stages of their careers as lifelong learners, researchers and engaged members of the Siena community. In year one, the CFEI conducted seven workshops, published a quarterly newsletter, established two learning communities, conducted mid-term evaluations for faculty and promoted the new center in local print and broadcast media outlets.
“The goal is to continue to help faculty through their teaching careers to improve their skills and to share experiences between old and new faculty,” Parham said. “This certainly addresses the goals of the strategic plan in terms of addressing learning goals and improving student outcomes.”
Robert Noyce Mathematics and Science Teaching Scholarship
The need to improve mathematics and science education in U.S. middle and high schools is greater than ever before. Now, through a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Siena College students will be empowered to make a difference. During the next five years, faculty members from Siena’s School of Liberal Arts and School of Science will lead a project designed to recruit, certify and retain 21 high-achieving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors to become teachers in high-need middle and high schools.
The grant will fund scholarships and summer programs for participating Siena students who will graduate in three groups of seven beginning in 2014. Each graduate must complete a mathematics or science major. In addition, the math students will complete a minor in computer science. Physics, chemistry and biology students will be required to conduct faculty-led independent research.
Landmarks of American History and Culture Grant
Siena’s McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution has been awarded a grant in the amount of $175,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers. This is the second NEH grant that this program has received since 2010.
The workshops will bring K-12 teachers from across the country to Siena in July 2013 to study the history, contributions and legacies of American Shakers. Themed “Heaven on Earth: Shakers, Religious Revival and Social Reform in America, the workshop will take place in the birthplace of American Shakerism, specifically at three landmark historic sites: Watervliet Shaker National Historic District (the original Shaker site in America), Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon (N.Y.) and Hancock Shaker Village (Mass.). Participating teachers will also engage the collection of Shaker documents housed at the New York State Library and view the comprehensive collection of Shaker artifacts held by the New York State Museum.
What’s different about Grimes is that he is a Fulbright Award winner, the College’s second ever.
“It’s the culmination of all the hard work and international experience I’ve had during my career at Siena,” said Grimes, who will spend 10 months in Argentina as an English teaching assistant.
Rather than going to class, studying and traveling as he did during Study Abroad, Grimes will be working, as well as engaging the community by using technology and service learning in an after school program to teach software like Microsoft Office and Windows Movie Maker. He hopes to bring parts of the American culture to Argentines through music and film.
Global learning is one of the many high-impact educational experiences described in Siena’s new strategic plan. Along with first-year seminars, undergraduate research and capstone courses, Study Abroad helps open students’ minds and experience learning in a different way.
“It really puts (students) a step ahead,” said Grimes. “Living in a globalized world, having that knowledge of what’s beyond our reach, really helps bring everything together.”
Matt Grimes ’12 – Argentina
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships:
Melissa Alexander ’13 – South Africa
Jonathan Mc Crae ’14 – Tunisia
Jahnna Rymer ’14 – Brazil
“I’m a true believer in the internship process, but I wasn’t when I first started,” Kanterman said. “I wasn’t getting coffee. I was brought in to do projects.”
Kanterman, a marketing and management major, assisted with the monthly newsletter, created promotional flyers and helped with photo shoots and the company catalog. But, that is only half of what she was required to do to for her college internship course.
The other half was in the classroom, where, among other things, she learned how to write a professional resume, build a portfolio, search for and evaluate job offers and present a good interview. She and her classmates also had to submit weekly journals, write a research paper, keep up with current events and attend business and career center events. Students even got a dose of business dining etiquette.
The weekly class was a safe haven for Kanterman and other interns, where they could meet and discuss their real world experiences.
“It helps prepare you for leaving college and that career ahead of you,” she said.
The Internship Program in the School of Business has always been rigorous, but Kanterman is one of the first students to partake in the enhanced version that adds additional elements and is taken for a grade rather than pass/fail.
“Our internship program has the most rigorous academic component of any I’ve seen,” said Jeff Mello, dean of School of Business. “We also work to ensure that the job responsibilities associated with the internship both challenge students and allow them to apply their classroom learning.”
In March 2012, Siena and the Bonner Foundation, a leader of national academic community engagement in higher education, partnered with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to form the High Impact Institute. The plan is to integrate AAC&U’s expertise in high impact educational practices with the Bonner Foundation’s knowledge of community engagement to create more involved students, both academically and civically.
By connecting high-impact educational practices with community engagement, the High Impact Institute hopes to magnify its influence to help create positive change.
“Siena’s leadership role in this important partnership reflects the power of our strategic plan to inspire others to join our national learning community along with our partners the Bonner Foundation and AAC&U,” said Mathew Johnson ’93, Ph.D., Siena’s director of academic community engagement and the national co-leader of the High Impact Institute.
Siena College is one of nine U.S. colleges enrolled in the High Impact Initiative’s inaugural year. Siena hosted a week-long retreat in summer 2012 where teams of eight to 10 people from eight colleges, including faculty, staff, students and community partners, collaborated. They will share results and ideas over a three-year period with more colleges joining the program each year.
First Year Seminar
Six new full-time faculty members joined First-Year Seminar for a total of nine full-time and six part-time faculty members. These professors often turn into mentors because they teach a given student for the entire freshman year. Students then seek out those professors in other courses as their college career progresses.
Initiative 2: Resources
Steward and strengthen the financial resources, human resources and physical space of the College.
OverviewSiena College is not immune to the current economic recession. To strengthen its resources, Siena developed goals for procuring new money, becoming more efficient, maintaining current facilities and creating more space on campus.
Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA)
The Holy Name Province contributed $1.5 million to endow CURCA, whose mission is to assist faculty and students engaged in research and other creative activity as a form of active learning. In the past five years, Siena has seen a 67% increase in active research grants and other sponsored activity. These grants help faculty engage students in library and laboratory research, field work and creative activity in the fi ne arts. It is precisely this culture of student engagement outside of the classroom that Living Our Tradition promotes.
The McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution
The McCormick family and Trustco Bank have combined to make a gift of $1 million to Siena’s McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution, whose mission is to promote upstate New York contributions to the founding of the American Republic. Through academic research and community outreach, the McCormick Center will bring to light the important political, commercial, military, social and religious contributions of upstate New York during the formative years of America.
Academic Community Engagement (ACE)
The Dake family and Stewart’s Shops are proud to support the efforts of ACE and Siena College with a gift in excess of $1 million. ACE is a corps of student volunteers who, in exchange for tuition assistance, commit themselves to hundreds of hours of community service over the course of their undergraduate career at Siena. ACE volunteers have become lifelines that allow nonprofits to survive while offering vital services to the poor and marginalized. Each year more than 200 students from ACE create a financial impact of close to $3 million.The Class of 2012 is already contributing to the success of future Siena College students through its Senior Gift. This year, the class goal was to raise $10,000 to dedicate a lounge in Rosetti Hall, the new academic building opening in fall 2013, which will house the rapidly expanding departments of sociology, social work and education. Through various fundraisers, events and outright donations, the Class of 2012 surpassed its original goal and set the record for money raised in a single year with $16,157. Nearly 50 percent of the senior class made a contribution.
The 16-student Senior Gift Committee worked with the Office of Alumni Relations to increase student awareness and participation and to plan fundraisers. Some of their most successful initiatives included a kickoff party in January 2012 and the development of Class of 2012 lacrosse practice jerseys. At the end of the spring semester, the graduates were invited to a champagne toast event with President Fr. Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D., capping off Senior Week and welcoming them as new alumni.
• Construction of Rosetti Hall, the new academic building for sociology, social work and education
• Renovation of the former State Police Barracks on the west side of Route 9
• Creation of the Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship
• Upgrades and additions to the Marcelle Athletic Complex
• Renovation of current residential living spaces
• Redevelopment of various spaces for new offices and academic centers
with the grant application and management process. With Living Our Tradition’s focus on undergraduate research, strengthening related process and compliance efforts was a priority and will better facilitate student and faculty grant endeavors.
With respect to another risk management priority, the campus now has back-up generators for its dining services in Serra Hall and for residences in Ryan, Plassmann and Hennepin Halls. New Hall was built with back-up power.
The centerpiece of the half-day orientation, which will be introduced during 2012-13, is a 30-minute informational video about the College. The program also addresses safety issues– like the Siena alert system, the Cleary Act, fire safety and parking guidelines – employee benefits and a campus tour.
Some of the maintenance and repair projects include:
• Renovation of dining hall kitchen in Serra Hall
• Renovation of four MacClosky townhouse units
• Replacement of underground water main piping and fire hydrants
Another priority is sustainability. Siena’s efforts in energy conservation saved the College more than $500,000 in 2011-12, which comprised savings in electricity, natural gas, water and other fuels. Siena’s new academic building, Richard and Joan Rosetti Hall, will be a model for future construction projects on campus.
“We want the campus to look good because it attracts people here,” said Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management Mark Frost. “It helps with retention of
students and improves their quality of life.”
For the first time, Siena measured its carbon footprint in partnership with Sightlines, a facilities management consultant. Sightlines took a comprehensive look at campus – facilities energy use, vehicle emissions, employee and student commuting, study abroad travel and many other factors. The report provides a carbon footprint baseline for Siena to use moving forward. The goal will be to stabilize Siena’s carbon footprint, which will be a challenge as new buildings are constructed to support campus growth.
Recycling and Sustainability
• Handled nearly 15,000 pounds of electronics and universal waste in a compliant manner last year.
– 90-95% of this is turned into a post consumer recycled product.
– Siena has partnered with a local recycler and is now earning $0.10/pound for what once would have cost $1/pound to discard, all the while being more environmentally responsible.
• Siena recycled 500 mattresses for a total of 24,500 pounds of material in 2011-12. Over the past three years, the College has recycled 1,300 mattresses.
– Siena has partnered with a regional group to lower costs 45% from the original pricing structure.
• Since 2009, Siena has reduced potable drinking water used in cleaning operations and the waste water generated by cleaning operations by up to 90%.
• Ionized water has been used to “charge” the water and attract dirt and other small particulates. Thus, the ability to lift lightly-soiled or clean contaminated surfaces replaces the need for chemicals.
• All buildings on campus have either green seal certified or peroxide-based cleaning products as the primary cleaner.
Initiative 3: Diversity
Create a culture of diversity.
OverviewSiena’s success in enrolling a more diverse student body is evident by looking at the numbers. For the past three years, Siena has enrolled an increasing number of Pell eligible students and more racially and ethnically diverse students. The College has also begun a series of academic and administrative programs to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus – reflecting its Franciscan tradition.Siena’s creation of the Cross-Cultural Solidarity Experience (CCSE) has begun the systematic process of engaging first-year students on the subject of cultural awareness. Charged by the Board of Trustees and developed by Director of the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center Oscar Mayorga, Director of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women Shannon O’Neill, Ph.D., and Director of Academic Community Engagement Mathew Johnson ’93, Ph.D., the CCSE was a success on every level in its inaugural year.
Faculty integrated the CCSE into 10 sections of Siena’s new First-Year Seminar. Professor of Social Work Bob Rivas, M.S.W., worked the CCSE into his First-Year Seminar course on Native Americans by immersing the students in that history. In addition to course readings, he brought American Indians from the Mohawk Nation to campus for lectures. He invited those same educators on a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., where they served as tour guides for the students. The class engaged the students as they not only read about Native Americans, but saw the history through the eyes of the subjects.
In addition to the Washington, D.C., trip, the CCSE completed immersion experiences to the Schomburg Center in New York City, the Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass., the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass., the St. John/St. Ann Outreach Center in Albany, N.Y., and the Hope 7 Community Center in Troy, N.Y.
Cross-Cultural Solidarity Experience
When asked what she does for a living, Siena Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Director Carol Sandoval says, “I’m in the business of changing lives.”
- 10 sections of First -Year Seminar completed the CCSE
- CCSE assessment received approval from the Institutional Review Board
- Conducted two surveys to evaluate diversity on campus
- 42% response rate from Freshman Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Survey
- 21% response rate from Diverse Learning Environment (DLE) Survey, which measures the current campus climate for sophomores and juniors
- 13 student leaders were trained to participate in workshops and immersion experience
- Assistant Director hired
If you talk to a HEOP student or review the program’s graduation rates, you quickly realize that statement’s truth. HEOP was established at Siena in 1970 and still continues to open doors. HEOP students at Siena had a 94% four-year graduation rate in May 2012. That is well above the average of Siena’s general student body (71.4%) and even the six-year national average of college students (65%), despite the challenges facing HEOP students.
HEOP admits economically disadvantaged and academically underachieving students. Through general counseling, a five-week summer orientation program, one-on-one academic tutoring, peer mentoring and career advising, these students become high-achieving students and ultimately college graduates.
“I know it sounds cliché, but I don’t think I’d be the person I am today or be where I am today if it wasn’t for HEOP and the friars,” said Sophia Pierre- Charles ’12, who is a first-generation college graduate and daughter of a single mom. “I feel like I’m a better person.”
Pierre-Charles will begin her master’s in forensic mental health at Sage College of Albany this fall. She is a junior corporate representative at America Works, where she assists disenfranchised people get off welfare and other government-funded programs and back on their feet. She hopes to one day pursue a doctorate.
Just as HEOP creates opportunities for those in the program, it brings economical, racial and cultural diversity to the campus. It embodies the Siena and Franciscan mission of serving those in need and strengthens faculty members’ applications for federal grants when diversity is a consideration.
“HEOP is vital to the diversity of campus,” Calvin Lewis ’12 said. “It brings diversity here and it benefits everyone. It creates an environment for everyone to prosper.”
Lewis, also a first-generation college graduate, works with at-risk youth at Vanderheyden Hall in Wynantskill, N.Y. This fall he begins his master’s degree in college student services at The College of Saint Rose.
He sums up HEOP at Siena College in four simple words, “HEOP was a blessing.”
Higher Education Opportunity P rogram (HEOP) 2011–2012
- 63 full-time students
- 94% graduation rate within 4 years
- 94% retention rate
- 53% of seniors graduated with a 3.0 or better cumulative average.
- 653 applicants in 2011-12
- HEOP tutors conducted 1,100 tutoring sessions in the academic year
- The HEOP office was renovated and added two staff offices, three tutoring rooms and a welcoming reception area.
International StudientsEach of Siena’s five deliverables for international programs was completed in year one. Director of International Programs Br. Brian Belanger, O.F.M., Ph.D., cultivated partnerships with universities in Europe and Franciscan universities in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Through the use of student exchange programs, inbound study abroad scholarships, summer immersions and a dual degree program, Siena College has become a growing place of interest among international students.
This enhances Siena’s diversity in two ways: 1) international students enrich the classroom experience for Siena students by challenging them to think differently and globally, and 2) international students diversify the social life on campus by participating in athletics, clubs and student activities.
In 2010 and 2011, Siena College hosted international students, faculty and administrators of Franciscan universities from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico for a month-long summer immersion program. In summer 2012, 15 students and faculty from FAE Centro Universitario, in Curitiba, Brazil, completed a weeklong conference at Siena where they presented research and attended lectures.
“This has been our most ambitious and labor intensive initiative,” said Br. Brian. “This Franciscan approach builds relationships with these institutions so that we can continue attracting international students to Siena College.”
In May 2012, Siena finalized the course equivalencies for Siena’s first dual degree with FAE Centro Universitario. Brazilian economics students will spend three years at FAE and then three semesters at Siena. After completing the Siena coursework, the students will earn economics degrees from both FAE and Siena College. The first student in this program will be arriving in fall 2012.
Earlier in 2012, Siena College completed its application to Brazil Without Borders, a government-funded scholarship program that matches students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with U.S. colleges and universities. Two students from Brazil Without Borders will be attending Siena this fall.
Diversity OutreachSiena continues to bolster diversity recruitment efforts in conformity with our Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Program, which is issued annually by President Fr. Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D. For example, the Human Resources Office and the Office of Strategic Communications and Integrated Marketing created employment advertisements published in Latino New York Magazine.
The Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations Specialist has also strengthened Siena’s relationships with the following organizations to promote diversity outreach:
- Department of Labor’s Career One Stop
- Veterans Counselor at the New York State Department of Labor
- Business Advisory Council
- Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Council
- Franciscan Center’s Annual Service Day Fair (hosts 40 organizations)
Initiative 4: Athletics
Expand and leverage investment in Division 1 athletics to promote the reputation of the College and enhance student engagement.
OverviewCollege basketball captures the nation’s attention each year with the NCAA Tournament. In 2009, Siena took the role of Cinderella by beating Ohio State and giving topseeded Louisville all it could handle. Siena earned an estimated $6.1 million worth of national media exposure following that third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The College has decided to leverage that type of success and visibility to tell Siena’s countless stories to millions of people.
While Initiative 4 is driven by athletic success, it is more than just winning games and tournaments. It’s about engaging student athletes on the field, in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the community. It’s about engaging the general student body through intramurals and recreational opportunities. It’s about engaging fans and giving them the ultimate experience at live events and on the web. It’s about engaging alumni and connecting them back to the College because all of this helps Siena raise its profile and provides a better experience for its students.
Graduation Success RateSiena student athletes are graduating at a higher rate than almost every other Division I school in the United States. According to the NCAA’s 2011 report, Siena’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is 98%, tops in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and surpassed nationally by only six schools. This is nothing new, just a continuation of Siena’s focus on recruiting and supporting quality student athletes. Siena has ranked in the top 10 percent of Division I institutions in all seven GSR reports, and is one of just 21 schools to have posted a GSR of 93% or above in each report. The 98% marks Siena’s highest GSR ever.
“We strive to do great athletically, without sacrificing academics,” Siena Director of Athletics John D’Argenio said.
Student Athlete EngagementA top operational objective this past year was the addition of the College’s first-ever director of student athlete engagement. Lori Jancik oversees the department’s athletic support services and life skills programs, working in conjunction with academic advisor Gail Picillo and life skills coordinator Ellen Howe. In addition, Jancik actively promotes and develops academic enrichment opportunities for Siena’s student athletes, including internships, participation in undergraduate research, independent study and original programming.
Jancik helped five student athletes secure acceptance to the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, a national conference where they met with industry executives and leaders in Indianapolis, Ind.
Women’s Golf Goes Dancing
Siena women’s golf continued its dominance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference by winning its 12th consecutive league championship. With the convincing 53-shot win, the Saints earned their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament – the MAAC had never before had an automatic qualifier for the conference champion.
Siena’s Victoria Nguyen ’15 won the individual MAAC championship (77-74-74-225) as Siena placed four golfers in the top fi ve standings. The Saints advanced to the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio, finishing 24th overall.
Siena Wins MAAC Pepsi Refresh Goodworks ChallengeSiena College won the MAAC Pepsi Refresh Goodworks Challenge, an annual contest between the league’s 10 member schools that measures community service. The College received $1,000 to award to the charity of its choice.
Siena won the challenge by volunteering for 47 community service ventures from September 2011 through April 2012. Siena accumulated 4,746 points, nearly 1,500 points more than the runner-up. Points were awarded for each hour of service a student athlete, coach or administrator volunteered, with bonus points for events with a large number of volunteers, and those documented on video.
Student athlete and coach volunteerism included partnerships with:
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
- American Cancer Society
- Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer
- Special Olympics New York
- Northeast Regional Foodbank
- Colonie Shooting Stars
- Double H Ranch
- Local elementary and middle schools through Siena’s Adopt-A-School program
Akeo and Akana are two of the best volleyball players ever to come through Siena’s storied program. Akeo will likely graduate as the program’s all-time leader in digs, and Akana was the 2011 MAAC Player of the Year after leading the conference in kills.
Akeo carries a 3.7 grade point average in management, and Akana, a marketing major, posted a perfect 4.0 in the fall, raising her GPA to 3.9.
In May, Yi was featured in the Albany Times Union, along with women’s golfer Julie Juchno ’12, for biking across the country through the “Bike and Build” charity in order to raise money for affordable housing programs. In summer 2011, they spent seven weeks in Namibia, Africa, teaching math and English in an afterschool program.
Student Body ParticipationProgramming opportunities like indoor soccer, flag football, dodgeball and Zumba increased general student participation on campus. Siena also renovated space in the Marcelle Athletic Complex for more fitness equipment and a weight room dedicated to non-varsity athletes.
Engaging Alumni and FansWhile Initiative 4 is centered on athletics, it follows Initiative 1’s theme of engagement. Just as Siena has engaged its student athletes academically and added new support services, the College has also tried to connect with alumni and fans and nurture those relationships.
On November 29, 2011, Siena launched its redesigned athletics website, SienaSaints.com. The robust site, supported by CBSsports.com, provides more rich content, more integration of social media with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and a continued video presence by streaming live events through SienaAllAccess.com. Siena also created a mobile friendly athletic website this past year. All Siena video and audio streams can be accessed on mobile devices, as well as all teams’ digital yearbooks featuring interactive multimedia.
Siena Athletics established its Office of Fan and Corporate Development, which is located at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., to engage Siena fans and increase corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.
Mathew Johnson ’93, Ph.D., director of Academic Community Engagement and associate professor of sociology and environmental studies, received a two-year appointment to the New York State Commission on National and Community Service by Governor Andrew Cuomo.Michael Hickey ’83, executive-in-residence and executive director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, attended former President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative and worked on the Entrepreneurship team.Michael Pepe ’90, D.B.A., assistant professor of marketing, was recently recognized by the Journal of Product and Brand Management for his outstanding research paper titled “The Impact of Private Label Brands on Customer Loyalty and Product Category Profitability.” The paper was one of four chosen worldwide for this honor.
Lucas Tucker, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, led the research and development team for Court Grip, a product that was launched in 2011. It is designed to improve traction on the basketball court by applying a proprietary blend of liquid chemicals to the bottom of sneakers. It is endorsed by NBA superstars, including Miami Heat all-star Dwyane Wade and it is approved for use at all levels of basketball. It is sold nationwide.
Faculty and Staff AwardsThe Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
Scott Vandenberg, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science
The Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award
Duane Matcha, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
The Fr. Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M. Distinguished Service Award
Leonard Cutler, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
The James Knust Excellence in Administration Award
Judy Dougherty ’06, Associate Director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy
CommencementOn May 13, 2012, Siena College held its 72nd commencement ceremony where 872 students became Siena sons and daughters forever at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. Whether they are entering the workforce or continuing their education, members of the Class of 2012 committed to keeping their connections to the College alive.
“Each and every one of us has created life changing friendships and unforgettable memories that stretch far beyond the confines of our four years here,” said Class of 2012 President Tara Keough ’12 during her Commencement ceremony welcome address. “While our journeys here at Siena have ended, our new expeditions into the world have just begun; but there is no doubt in my mind, that each and every member from the Class of 2012 will never forget to bring Siena along with them.”
Honorary Degree Recipients
Derek Jeter, Doctor of Humane Letters
Legendary New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter was honored in recognition of his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field and dedication to improving the lives of young people through his Turn 2 Foundation. Jeter and the Yankees were in action on Commencement day against the Seattle Mariners, so his sister Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation, accepted the degree on his behalf. Jeter’s presence was felt through a personalized video message that played on the arena’s video board.
Joseph Pastore Jr., Ph.D., Doctor of Humane Letters
Joseph Pastore Jr., Ph.D., was honored as an outstanding educator and educational leader in the fields of business and higher education administration. He served 20 years on Siena’s Board of Trustees and was the former Chair.
Virginia Kraft Payson, Doctor of Humane Letters
Virginia Kraft Payson was honored as a pioneer woman sports journalist and author as well as an avid sports enthusiast and Thoroughbred owner and breeder. A self-described “outdoor adventuress,” she worked as a journalist on the staff of Sports Illustrated magazine for 26 years beginning with the first issue in 1954, traveling to exotic locales and writing about her experiences in adventure sports such as hunting, fishing and scuba diving. As an author, she has written five books on boating, training dogs, shotgun sports and tennis.
Leadership ChangesAllan Weatherwax, Ph.D., was appointed Dean of the School of Science on August 1, 2011. Prior to this appointment, he served as a professor of physics at Siena College. Weatherwax is an internationally recognized authority on the interaction of planetary and terrestrial radio emissions, both natural and artificial, with the space environment.
Cheryl Buff ’82, Ph.D., was named Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) on March 26, 2012. As director, Buff will support and coordinate efforts across the College to make undergraduate opportunities in research and creative activity available to as many students as possible across the curriculum.
Ali Jaques was introduced as Siena’s new head women’s basketball coach on April 12, 2012. Jaques arrived from Northwestern University where she most recently served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. Her teams have posted four NCAA Tournament wins and three WNIT victories.
Mark Berman was selected as Siena’s new chief information officer and began work in November 2011. He has more than 20 years of experience as a technology administrator and leader in higher education, most recently as CIO at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., Ph.D., is Siena’s new director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy. He oversees all of the Center’s programs, and will work to increase its visibility and engage the students and Siena community in support of the College’s Franciscan tradition.
Student Success StoriesEric Guzman ’12, a marketing and management major, interned with Siena’s office of Strategic Communications and Integrated Marketing as a campus reporter where he covered news stories for the College’s website and alumni magazine. In spring of 2012, Guzman interned at Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless in Albany, N.Y. He planned and developed marketing materials for its fundraiser A Taste of Albany that raised $100,000, its highest total ever. Guzman was offered a full-time job in May where he now works as the marketing coordinator.
Lauren Komp ’12, a social work major, conducted research on the 9/11 Union Square Scrolls as a 2011 Summer Scholar. Along with other students, she took digital images of the scrolls containing written reactions, prayers and drawings and entered fields of information into an access database. In September 2011, Komp’s research was turned into a searchable database and Siena displayed 44 reproductions of the scrolls in the “Sometimes Words are Not Enough” exhibit on campus.
Lindsay McTague ’13, a physics major and mathematics and computer science minor, designed and built an instrument that will be attached to the International Space Station. FireStation, as it’s called, is an optic system held on a space cube that will monitor lightning. It will launch in summer 2013. It is similar to Firefly, a satellite being developed at Siena. McTague, who has been given the title Satellite Systems Engineer by Dean Allan Weatherwax, Ph.D., spent summer 2012 doing satellite research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She will spend senior year assembling the Firefly satellite.
Chris Weaver ’13, a marketing major, interned for Solid Ceiling Technology, a small manufacturing company in Watervliet, N.Y., during summer 2012 and into the fall. He created a customer satisfaction survey and a newsletter for the company. Weaver is also involved in research and will present his paper on counterfeit products at the International Academy of Business and Economics (IABE) conference in Las Vegas.
Christine Armstrong ’13, a political science major and pre-law student, was a Summer Legal Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law in summer 2012. She assisted the Institute on Law and Government and the Health Institute. Armstrong helped Siena’s Moot Court Team, of which she is a co-captain, place third at the Yale regional tournament and won the Outstanding Witness award. She interned with Judge Giardino of Fulton County in spring 2012, watching court trials, reviewing grand jury testimony and sitting in on closed chamber.
Siena College Board of Trustees
Robert T. Cushing ’77, Chairman
John F. Murray ’79, First Vice Chair
John J. Nigro, Second Vice Chair
Susan Law Dake, Secretary
Howard S. Foote ’74, Treasurer
Thomas L. Amell ’89
Ronald E. Bjorklund ’85
J. David Brown
Michael Bucci ’73
Robert F. Campbell ’66
Judy Capano Michaelson ’87
Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D.
Robert M. Curley
Virginia L. Darrow ’83
Sr. Violet T. Grennan, MFIC, D. Min.
Robert L. Guido ’68
Douglas T. Hickey ’77
Rev. Kenneth R. Himes ’71, O.F.M., Ph.D.
Robert J. McCormick ’87
James J. Morrell ’66
Very Rev. Kevin J. Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D.
Very Rev. John F. O’Connor, O.F.M.
Walter A. Osterman ’87
Kenneth M. Raymond Jr.
William E. Redmond Jr. ’81
Mark S. Rose ’65
Rev. James P. Scullion ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D.
David M. Stack ’73
Christine L. Standish
Nimmi M. Trapasso ’98, M.D.
Dennis L. Winger ’69
Fr. Kenneth Paulli ’82, O.F.M., Ed.D.
Chief of Staff
Linda Richardson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Maryellen Gilroy, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Dave Smith ’79
Vice President for Development and External Affairs
Paul Stec ’79, M.B.A., C.P.A.
Vice President for Finance and Administration
IMPACT OF GIVING
Financial giving comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it is a $20 gift from a young alum to the Annual Fund, a multimillion dollar commitment to a building on campus or the myriad of gifts in between, each donation has an impact on Siena students.
Hudson Belinski ’15 and Tristan Kacprzyk-Aita ’15 are just two of the many students affected by this philanthropy.
They attended the 2012 Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., thanks to the generosity of Art McGinnis Jr. ’75, Richard Sleasman ’79, Doug Lonnstrom ’66 and Brad Bodmer ’82, Esq.
“I didn’t even know where to begin,” said Belinski. “What I found, however, was that the Siena network is extremely helpful.”
Belinski and Kacprzyk-Aita participated in the conference’s Case Competition, which was very similar to the events in the story and movie “Moneyball,” and made presentations on baseball operations decisions like those faced by Major League front offices; it was even judged by actual baseball executives.
This incredible experience outside the classroom was made possible because of donors like you.