Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – April 22, 2016
Lots going on in the “WOW” department!
At NerdNation 2016, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society international conference, our PTK chapter was named in the top 100 out of 1,285 chapters worldwide! And this isn’t the first time that we’ve been a top 100 chapter. Last year, we were recognized as the second most distinguished chapter in the New York region. Kudos to all of our PTK students and their advisors, Robin Graff, Iskra Hernandez, and Rachele Hall.
Congratulations to our students, led by Professor Phyllis Fein, who earned third place in the county sponsored #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl! Student teams competed by creating mobile apps that improve the experience of aging persons in an area where their needs are underserved.
Based on initial encouragement from our Board of Trustees, Westchester Community College has made it through three rounds of a highly competitive grant process that will culminate in a $50 million award for at least five “Super Schools” that envision America’s future schools. Our project, designed by faculty and administration would bring secondary students to our Valhalla campus and engage them in project-based learning. Hundreds of proposals remain in the running, and the bar is raised at every stage, but we’re encouraged by the support we’ve received so far.
This week we celebrated Earth Day, with guest Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, County Legislator Francis T. Corcoran, and Habitat for Humanity President/CEO James Killoran. Thanks, Professors Sheldon Malev and Noelle Bucci and students for planning this event.
I’ve been continuing my efforts to create pipelines into and beyond Westchester Community College. This week included the Northeast STEM Starter Academy, which provides resources to underserved students attending public schools in Mount Vernon, and the Business Council of Westchester Hall of Fame, which recognized some of the top employers in the region.
We had another positive Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday. Trustees are delighted to hear about our celebrations of student success around commencement season. They also heard about articulation agreements that provide seamless transfer for our students and big ideas around Achieving the Dream resulting from many campus discussions.
The Trustees approved our 2016/2017 budget, which we balanced despite the dip in enrollment this year. Stewardship of our resources is a pillar of institutional success and we are working hard to increase enrollment. I appreciate everything you’re doing to encourage students to register for classes in the summer and fall. Our summer enrollments are staying ahead of the same time last year, and I’d like to see the trend continue as we work to reach new targets.
Don’t forget that next Tuesday is Signing Day, which celebrates students for making a commitment to higher education. The Office of Transfer Services is partnering with PTK and encourages all members of the community to participate and proudly wear and display their alma mater through the means of t-shirts, jackets, hats, pins, and accessories. Share on social media with hashtag #ReachHigher.
Thanks for making it a great week.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles