Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – February 10, 2015
I am enjoying getting to know you individually and through your departments and campus units. With each day, my appreciation for your work and your commitment to our students and mission expands. I am truly proud to be a part of the WCC community. Sadly, all of Valhalla suffered following the unfortunate Metro North accident last week. As a campus community, we continue to mourn the losses and render condolences for this tragic occurrence. Following are a few additional updates to keep you posted on other happenings at the college.
This week the Mid-Hudson Conference named Natasha Morrison of Westchester Community College as its athlete of the week. Morrison is a freshman on the Westchester Community College Women’s Bowling team. Morrison finished second in the All Events and was named to the All-Tournament team beating out numerous athletes from four year NCAA colleges such as Sacred Heart University. We are thrilled with Natasha’s accomplishment and proud of this well-deserved recognition.
Two students from our Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Cindy Coligan and Jay Isolini, will be honored by the PTK USA Today All-New York Academic Team. The event will be held on Monday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., at the New York State Museum in Albany.
During the month of February, the college is hosting numerous events about black history including lectures, films, poetry readings, etc. We kicked off the series with an event held on Wednesday, February 4. It was well attended by approximately 100 individuals. Attendees viewed a short video featuring significant contributions by African-Americans. I gave keynote remarks highlighting my own personal journey as a first generation college student, the power of persistence to overcome societal inequalities, and the role of community colleges in expanding access and opportunity. Special thanks to Trustee Toni Cox-Burns for attending.
With statewide budget planning now underway, all SUNY community colleges will participate in focused advocacy for resources including efforts to reach every single legislator and participation in a variety of advocacy activities and events. Accordingly, I will engage legislators for this purpose locally and in Albany.
We continue to work in earnest to prepare for the upcoming visit by the Middle States accreditation team. Our sole focus is to demonstrate to the Commission how we measure up to the fourteen standards they have established. Please plan to attend forthcoming Town Hall meetings in the coming weeks that will inform the campus community about the visit and other college highlights.
Kudos to our IT unit for successfully facilitating scheduled software updates to PeopleSoft’s Campus Solutions: Faculty Center, Student Center, Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Records, Student Registration, Student Financials & Student Payments.
The college secured a $2 million donation from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. This is part of Katherine Davis’s legacy and will ensure the continuation of the Davis Global Scholars Program for several years. We applaud the work of Professor Lori Maida and Professor Kent Trickel who engage the Davis scholars in activities such as guest speakers, service learning, and active research through this exceptional resource.
Thanks for the thoughtful feedback on the action items I outlined at the recent welcome reception. Based on your input, these items will include a focus on wellness, inclusion, and intellectual vibrancy.
Special thanks to all of our CSEA team members who worked diligently to direct, register, and support students in so many ways this spring semester. We especially appreciate the hard work of our Buildings and Grounds crew in preparing the campus for classes following the recent snowstorms. Their efforts help ensure a safe environment for our students and employees. Kudos!
Congratulations to EOC Director Gina Gaines for being selected as a 2015 recipient of The Chair Academy’s 2015 International Exemplary Leadership Award recognizing her ability to advance academic and administrative leadership at WCC. Gina will be honored at the Chair Academy’s 24th Annual International Conference this spring. Congratulations also to our nine nominees for the 2015 Chancellor’s Excellence Awards, and to our three recipients for the Chancellor’s Excellence Awards in Adjunct Teaching.
WCC joined SUNY community colleges in providing data on regional economic impact and student indebtedness for budget advocacy. Relevant facts include close to 700 graduates in priority industry sectors for our region including health care, engineering tech, and paralegal studies.
Thanks again for welcoming me as your new president. I will work diligently to serve WCC and look forward to collaborating with you to achieve positive outcomes for our students and our institution.