Dean’s Update – A Productive Summer

 Fall Quad Students Sitting Lawn Link

August 29, 2018

Dear Students,

Welcome! I hope you had a great summer. Whether you are joining us for your first semester or returning to resume your studies, I wish you great success in this academic year.

Throughout the year, I will send you periodic updates on key college-wide initiatives. Today, I’d like to update you on three important topics:

  • A New Undergraduate Advising Model
  • New Faculty
  • Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Additionally, at the end of this email communication, I have listed some resources where you can regularly find helpful information.

A New Undergraduate Advising Model (and New Advisors)

Advising is critical to student success, and our advising now goes well beyond academics. Student success advisors are professionals trained to support your success across every dimension—academic, social, health, and wellness. Faculty advisors are dedicated teachers and researchers who guide, mentor, and inspire you to reach your highest potential both inside and outside the classroom. Career advisors are professionals trained to prepare you for your first job and your long-term careers.

Starting now, every undergraduate student in the college will have a team of advisors throughout their undergraduate career! Students who are returning to SU this semester will be assigned a faculty advisor and a career advisor for the duration of their undergraduate career. Students who are new to SU this semester (first-year students) will be assigned a student success advisor, a career advisor, and a faculty advisor for the duration of their undergraduate career. Having multiple advisors, with a diversity of skill sets and experiences, dedicated to you, will provide you with a richer group of mentors to rely upon.

To support this new endeavor, the College has hired a diverse team of six new career and success advisors. In Career Services, we have added Christopher MaldonadoAnand Samuel, and LeAnne Shaler. In Student Success, we have added Malea PerkinsDerek Pooley, and graduate assistant Anna Kramer.

First-year students—you will receive an email from your Student Success advisor by the end of the week with information on how to connect with them. You should then schedule an individual appointment with your Success Advisor to learn about all the opportunities and support that are available to you.

Returning students— you will receive an email from your Career Advisor by the end of the week with information on how to connect with them.

If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected] or visit 121 Link Hall during business hours and ask the receptionist. We are very excited to bring this new opportunity to you!

New Faculty

We are entering year two of our aspirational plan to hire fifty new faculty members over the next five years, with an emphasis on diversifying our faculty body. This fall we are welcoming eight new faculty across our four departments. Please join me in welcoming: the Kenneth A. and Mary Ann Shaw Endowed Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurial Leadership Yevgeniy Yesilevskiy (MAE and [email protected]); Assistant Professors Mary Beth Browning Monroe (BMCE), Garret Katz (EECS), Viktor Cybulskis (BMCE), Victor Duenas (MAE); and Assistant Teaching Professors Mohammed Abdallah(EECS), Jackie Anderson (MAE), and Mehmet Sarimurat (MAE).

Office of Inclusive Excellence

We have placed a major focus on enhancing the College’s climate for diversity, inclusion, and equity. During the summer, we reported our ongoing progress in each of the Summer Update messages from University leadership. In this section, I summarize and expand upon what we reported over the summer. We will announce details over the semester as additional progress is made.

This fall, we will open an Office of Inclusive Excellence to enhance diversity, inclusion, and equity through education, research, dialogue, policy, and assessment. The Association of American Colleges & Universities defines inclusive excellence as “designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations.”

To inform the structures and programming of this office, we participated in the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA), offered by Dr. Damon Williams. Through this intensive five-week course, we joined fifty other colleges and universities in discussion and learning about best practices. Our team included me, Senior Associate Dean Julie Hasenwinkel, Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Programs Gurdip Singh, the David G. Edelstein Professor for Broadening Participation and Department Chair of the EECS Department Jae Oh, Director of Career Services Karen Davis, and our community partner Peter Willner, Director of the InterFaith Works’ El-Hindi Center for Dialogue in Syracuse.

One best practice is intergroup dialogue—“a specific form of communication especially designed for people to communicate across social, cultural, and power differences.” The University’s Intergroup Dialogue program is devoted to this practice in a variety of impactful ways. We are partnering with InterFaith Works to develop a Strategic Inclusive Excellence Leadership Program that uses dialogue to develop inclusive excellence leadership skills—crucial for enhancing campus climate and skills cited by employers as crucial for leadership in today’s global, diverse, and multicultural workforce. The dialogue will be developed and piloted this fall, with guidance from the new College Council for Diversity & Inclusion. Then, in the upcoming year and a half, the College will engage more than 500 faculty, staff, and student leaders in dialogue—including administrators, teaching assistants, and student leaders.

Ongoing Updates and Contact Info

Look for my next update next week. I will address the first of six commitments the College of Engineering and Computer Science has made related to diversity, inclusion, and equity. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me, an advisor, a faculty member, or a member of the Dean’s office staff if you have any questions.

Here are the venues to watch and the contact information for feedback and comments:

Best wishes to you and Go Orange!

Dean Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg