Opening Day Address, September 6, 2018

Acting Provost Sandy DeYoung 

Hello and welcome to the fall 2018 semester. Thank you all for being here today. Many of you know me, but for those that do not, it is great being back at the University after serving as a faculty member and then as dean of the College of Science and Health.  And now I have a new perspective of the University as Acting Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. I’ll be on board until a new Provost is appointed later this academic year following a nationwide search. President Helldobler will talk more about this during his remarks in a few minutes.

In fact, immediately after today’s remarks, all faculty are invited to the Library Auditorium from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for a Faculty/Staff Forum on the Provost Search.  Tomorrow, there will be another Faculty/Staff Forum from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Valley Road in the cafeteria. Faculty and staff input are very important in this process. I hope you will attend. 

Let’s begin the new academic year by welcoming our newest colleagues to the William Paterson University community. We welcome 24 new tenure-track faculty members to our campus. Please hold your applause until after I acknowledge all of our new colleagues. By college and department, they are:

College of Arts and Communications
Ashley Gerst, Art
HyukJae Henry Yoo, Art               
Jin-A Choi, Communication
Ingrid Stobbe, Communication    

Cotsakos College of Business
Dongliang Lei, Accounting and Law       
Emine Erdogan, Marketing and Management Sciences 
Ana Cristina Siqueira, Marketing and Management Sciences
Saeed Shekari, Professional Sales

College of Education
Elizabeth Harkins, Special Education and Counseling

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Lillian Milanes, Anthropology
Joshua Hall, Philosophy
Gregory Bartoszek, Psychology             
Gihane Jeremie-Brink, Psychology         
Aileen Torres, Psychology
Colleen Eren, Sociology
Cynthia-Lee Williams, Sociology
Sean Wilson, Sociology

College of Science and Health
Kelley Healey, Biology
Eunsun Park, Communication Disorders and Sciences
Jordan Cola, Kinesiology
Lydia Albuquerque, Nursing
Faith Atte, Nursing
Joset Brown, Nursing
Elizabeth Galetz, Nursing

Welcome to all of the new faculty to the campus and we wish them well as they begin their journey at William Paterson.

We also welcome 12 new members of the administration and professional staff who have joined us recently:

Kelli Campa, Coordinator, Student Conduct
Joy Durham, Director, Accessibility Resource Center
Jeannine Evans, Assistant Director, Payroll and Employee Benefits
Amy Ginsberg, Dean, College of Education
Dustin Johnson, Head Football Coach
Tamar Lamour, Associate Director of Business Services
Anthony Mascio, Finance Manager
Casey Mathern, Curator of Visual Resources and Collections Manager
Amin Mostafa, Assistant Director/Counselor, Academic Affairs
Joshua Cole Rinck, Director of Recreational Services
Kenneth Sinatra, Sports Information Director
Lenee Woodson, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Facilities Management

Twenty-eight of our colleagues retired last year, and we thank them for their service to this University. These retirements represent many years of dedication and hard work:   

Robert Bing, Accounting and Law
Jonathan Bone, History
Suzanne Bowles, History
Nicholas Diminni, Residence Life
Larry Duncan, Business Services
Susan Godar, Marketing and Management Sciences
Kim Heisler, English
Diane Hiller, Institutional Research and Assessment
Jacqueline Hollaway, Custodial Services
David Horton, Art
John Ibex, Accounting and Law
Debra Iurato, Undergraduate Admissions
Emroy Knaus, Marketing and Management Sciences
Jeffrey Kresky, Music
Margaret Kulak-Martorano, Print Shop
Clyde Magarelli, Sociology
Daniel Meaders, History
Toni Napolitano, School of Continuing and Professional Education
Arlene Palazzone, Enterprise Network and System Services
Linda Rapp, Economics, Finance, and Global Business
John Rhodes, Communication
Susan Sabatino, Library
Warren Sandmann, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Carole Sheffield, Political Science
Janis Strasser, Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Maryellen Tanis, Field Experience Partnerships
Elaine Vuoncino, Nursing
Jane Zeff, Institutional Research and Assessment

This past year, we lost a number of our esteemed colleagues. Please let us have a moment of silence in honor of their memory. 

Laura Aitken
Toby Barboza
Catherine Barry
Loriann Calogero
Maryann Fazio
Samuel Jay Jordan
Norma Levy
William Muir
Margaret O’Connor
Henry Pacheco
John Rockman
Paula Rothenberg
Norman Schanz
Walter Schneider
Gary Schubert
Alvin Shinn
Mary Ann Spatz
Jane Voos
Stanley Wollock

This has been a very active summer throughout the campus community.  I would like to mention just a few activities and achievements that are representative of the full range: 

  • William Paterson’s summer youth program, administered by our School of Continuing and Professional Education, welcomed nearly 1,000 international high school students, chaperones, and staff (mostly from Italy) who arrived in three groups throughout six weeks. In addition to taking classes on campus, students enjoyed guided trips to cultural and recreational sites in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Toronto. Also, a group of middle and high school students from Vietnam spent three weeks on campus to take classes that aimed to improve their conversational English and understanding of American culture.
  • College of Education Professors Kabba Colley and Darlene Russell spent 12 weeks this summer leading a group research project in Senegal and The Gambia, along with a contingent of WP students and Paterson Public School teachers. This trip was made available through a $99,000 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This is the first grant for a long-term group research project received by William Paterson University from Fulbright-Hays. 
  • Professor Rahi Abouk in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Global Business received the CDC’s Prestigious Charles C. Shepard Science Award for his study on “Newborn Screening Policies for Congenital Heart Disease” and early infant cardiac deaths. His research was published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences launched a career preparation program, titled Aspire, for students with a liberal arts skill set. Through a series of engaging activities and visits to various places of employment, Aspire allows students to explore their career interests and connect with University alumni, industry leaders and members of the advisory board. 
  • Our highly acclaimed University radio station, WPSC Brave New Radio, is one of five stations nationally and the only one in the northeast nominated for the 2018 Marconi Award for non-commercial station of the year.
  • Environmental Science Professors Mick Griffiths and Marty Becker have been awarded a $257,000 grant from the NSF for research focused on fossil sharks. The research is a collaborative project between William Paterson, Rutgers, UCLA, UC-Merced and DePaul University with Professors Griffith and Becker as the lead researchers. The award will fund a significant amount of undergraduate student research support under the professor’s supervision. This is only one of several grants that have been awarded to William Paterson this summer—a few others came in just last week.

The momentum on campus will certainly accelerate through the fall semester. Some examples are: 

  • The Seventh Annual Multidisciplinary Conference of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is on October 18 and as always, our colleagues have developed an ambitious program with a timely topic. This year’s topic is the #MeToo movement with keynote speaker Dr. Julianne Malveaux, former president of Bennett College, writer and syndicated columnist, economist, social and political commentator, and businesswoman. 
  • In December, we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Distinguished Lecturer Series, which since its inception has brought more than 175 public figures to campus ranging from Margaret Thatcher and Colin Powell to Stephen Sondheim and Gloria Steinem. This year we are honored to host an evening with anchor and managing editor of PBS Newshour Judy Woodruff, who will certainly share important insights about our current national political scene.
  • The Jazz Room Series kicks off its 41st season on September 23 with an all-star concert of New Jersey and New York jazz legends, honoring the life and career of the late vocalist Marlene VerPlanck. All concert proceeds will benefit the VerPlanck Memorial Scholarship.
  • In October, University Performing Arts is presenting the Science of Art, a series of programs and performances that explores the relationship between art and science by highlighting health, medicine, math, and the environment.

In addition to the completed renovation of Hunziker Hall, which President Helldobler will detail later, there are a few notable facilities improvements that took place during the summer:

  • Improvements to the Library air conditioning systems.
  • Retrofitting LED lighting in the Rec Center and Library.
  • Installation of street lights along the sections of University Drive that did not have adequate lighting, and replacement of the 40-year-old street lights already in use.
  • Improvements to the 1600 Valley Road heating system.

We have also moved forward an upgraded emergency alert system by providing a new smartphone app which will enhance our current notification and security system.  

And, we will be introducing a new smartphone app for the shuttle bus service which will allow riders to know the location of the buses on route and their expected arrival time to each particular bus stop.

Stay tuned for more announcements, event information, and other campus activities. It is sure to be an exciting year especially with a new president.

As you know, on July 1, after a year-long nationwide search, William Paterson University officially welcomed President Helldobler to campus. 

Over the last two months, the president has been busy meeting, planning, and preparing for the fall semester. The University community is looking forward to working with and getting to know our new president. 

It is my pleasure to welcome the eighth president of William Paterson University, Dr. Richard Helldobler.