Monday, November 10, 2008

Student Success & Community Involvement

A colleague of mine recently asked me about my blog - "how do you ever find enough to write about every week?” Sometimes it comes from just experiencing all MVCC has to offer. In the past few weeks, I've seen how our mission of promoting student success and community involvement through a commitment to excellence and a spirit of service takes shape beyond our classes.

Cultural Series
I had the opportunity to attend the fall musical, Fantasticks. The hard work of the faculty and students was clear to see in such wonderful performances after just a few weeks of the semester. Last week, I had a chance to join some criminal justice students and faculty to meet New York Times and syndicated writer Randy Cohen prior to his lecture at the Utica Campus. I'm looking forward to meeting Jean Kilbourne when she visits the College this Friday. All of the Cultural Series events are open to the public, many are free while some performances have a small admission fee (usually around $5) and provide our students with outstanding experiences. For more information, visit http://www.mvcc.edu/culture.

Athletic Success
At MVCC, student success and learning happens outside of class in meaningful ways. In addition to the cultural series, our 20 athletic teams provide hundreds of athletes with tremendous learning opportunities. I recently watched our men's and women's cross country track teams qualify for the national competition. Being that this was the first cross country meet I'd ever attended, I was fortunate to have the full experience. I was told that it was a perfect, standard day for a cross country meet in New York - persistent rain, a chilling breeze and about 52 degrees. That didn't stop our teams from qualifying and going on to have the women's team take the national championship and the men's team place second. This past weekend, I watched the men's and women's basketball championship games in the 8th annual Torcia Classic. Both of our teams lost solid leads in the second half, only to learn what it means to never give up and pull together for dramatic victories in both games. In addition to the success they experience in competitions like these, our student athletes are committed to community involvement through volunteering for different fundraisers and participation in community events.

Smarter than a Fifth Grader
A great example of promoting student success and community involvement was the recent “Smarter than a Fifth Grader” competition. WUTR organized the event and MVCC was the presenting partner. Nine finalists along with their adult teammates competed in the 2nd annual event. The questions ranged from geometry to geography, with U.S. presidential trivia and a few Nickelodeon fifth grade pop culture questions mixed in. I confess that several of the questions sometimes gave one pause as to whether or not you actually were smarter than a fifth grader. All of the finalists received laptop computers, an MVCC backpack/carrying case and the winner won a large flat screen television and a two-year full tuition scholarship to MVCC. By the time that scholarship comes due in 2016, I can only imagine all of the ways in which our significant mission will come to life beyond the great things we see today.