Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Fifty-seven Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.
Initial support for Jensen's nomination came from former Binghamton University President C. Peter Magrath. Her participation in the program now carries a firm commitment from President Harvey Stenger. "This selective fellowship program will provide Jennifer with experiences and perspectives that she will bring back to Binghamton," he said. "Learning about best practices from other institutions of higher education can only benefit us as we increase enrollment, hire additional faculty and strive to become the premier public university of the 21st century."
Sharon A. McDade, director of the program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 47 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.
"We're extremely pleased with the strength of the incoming class," McDade said. "The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community."
Jensen earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan and her master's and PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the faculty at Binghamton University in 2005, after working as a renewable energy lobbyist in Washington, D. C. and teaching at Bucknell University and the University at Albany. Her research and teaching focuses on state politics and intergovernmental relations, interest groups and political careers.
Jensen became associate dean for academics in Harpur College in 2008. In that role she manages the Harpur College undergraduate curriculum and enrollments, implements academic policies and procedures, oversees the Harpur Academic Advising Office and English as a Second Language Program, manages orientation for new faculty and undergraduate directors, and supervises the academic integrity process.
Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at one or two host institutions. Jensen's host(s) institution is yet to be confirmed, but she is expected to focus on best practices in academics as she strengthens her background in general management and academic budgeting, as well as best practices in academic integrity.
The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue that will benefit Binghamton University.
Fellows attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.
Founded in 1918, ACE represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide, providing leadership on key higher education issues and influencing public policy through advocacy. For more information, visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.
Stenger discusses growth with SOM alumni
By Steve Seepersaud
Stenger wants the University to grow, yet maintain a high-quality academic experience. He says the faculty and student sizes will increase, but would keep to a ratio of 12:1 – a figure much more in line with private schools than state-supported institutions.
"I think this will greatly improve the quality of the education we deliver, the esprit de corps of our students and their loyalty after they leave," Stenger said. "I don't believe Binghamton University should be much larger as an undergraduate institution. I think it's an outstanding size right now."
Stenger said, in addition to carefully growing, Binghamton University needs to re-emphasize the role of the teacher-scholar and give faculty the resources necessary to excel in both endeavors.
"I think that Binghamton has had a great history of balancing research and teaching," Stenger said. "I want to make sure that every faculty member we hire is not only an outstanding teacher but also a world-renowned scholar."
Stenger praised SOM for producing scores of accomplished alumni. He said he always considered the school a fierce competitor during his time as interim provost at the University at Buffalo. SOM Dean and Koffman Scholar Upinder Dhillon encouraged the alumni in attendance to remain involved with the school.
"To help us achieve great things, we always look to you for support. When you have an internship or full-time opportunity, think of Binghamton," Dhillon said.
Marc Bekerman '89, a Long-Island based attorney and member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, echoed those sentiments.
"I encourage you to think about how your time and talents can help the University community. We all have a role in helping Binghamton realize its tremendous potential for growth," he said.
The event was sponsored by Robert Eicher '81, the School of Management and the Binghamton University Alumni Association.
Iberdrola gift to help engineering students
By Gail Glover
The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $100,000 gift from the Iberdrola USA Foundation to boost hands-on educational opportunities for graduating seniors.
The gift, which will be received over a three-year period, will be used to enhance the Watson School's senior capstone design experience that provides students with opportunities to apply their technical knowledge to real engineering problems.
"We are very pleased to be able to support the Watson School's capstone course design experience with a substantial contribution from the Iberdrola USA Foundation," said Robert Kump, chief executive officer of Iberdrola USA and a Binghamton University graduate. "The real-world skills students gain from the capstone courses are precisely the skills needed in the utility business going forward as we partner with government, educational institutions and vendors to implement technology and provide services that will help improve the quality of life for our customers."
Seniors are required to work in teams to design, build and test a realistic engineering system under faculty supervision. Although the projects may vary between engineering disciplines, the experience provides exposure to realistic design processes, teamwork and the expectations of practicing engineers. Teams are graded on a variety of elements including their feasibility studies and design analyses, engineering drawings, prototype hardware, computer programs and data, presentations and demonstrations, and financial analyses and business plans.
"Corporate partners have always been the cornerstone of senior design team projects and individual project sponsorship will remain important to our efforts," said Krishnawami Srihari, dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. "Since 2003, our students have successfully initiated projects with community or civic outcomes and have been very successful in taking many of these projects to national engineering competitions. This gift will not only allow us to continue those efforts but will provide a solid financial foundation for future activities."
The funding from Iberdrola will support a broad range of projects including those related to energy and the environment, areas within which Binghamton University engineering students already have a successful track record. In recent years, teams have explored energy and environmental challenges using wind generation to recharge electric vehicles, solar cell power conversion, supermileage vehicles and grey water disposal for economically disadvantaged countries.
The gift from Iberdrola USA, which is NYSEG's parent company, will be recognized as part of the Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton Campaign for Binghamton University.
One-day conference focuses on healthcare simulation
From staff reports
The Decker School, Watson School and local hospitals partnered to bring together SUNY scholars and other healthcare organization stakeholders to discuss the science of simulation. The goal was to provide direct benefit to healthcare agencies and to discover ways that simulation activities and research can foster health outcomes.
The morning keynote address was delivered by Yue Dong, assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and research associate at the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center. Dong's primary research interests focus on using systems engineering approaches to study and improve provider and system performance of healthcare delivery.
The early-afternoon keynote remarks were delivered by Tejas Gandhi, MS '03, assistant vice president of management engineering at Virtua Health, a comprehensive healthcare system headquartered in Marlton, N.J. Gandhi is a process improvement and management-engineering expert.
Rick Crist, senior staff systems engineer with Lockheed Martin, delivered the mid-afternoon address. Crist's responsibilities include leading an integrated product team on a major clinical environment healthcare project.
Peer advisors lead the way
From staff reports
"Peer advising is a full academic-year commitment," says Donna DiStefano, academic advisor for the Department of Human Development and supervisor of the peer advising program. "Peers help staff the academic advising office and are always here to help. They are selected based on their leadership qualities and commitment to social justice as well as interpersonal skills. Peers give accurate and timely information and are the heartbeat of our program."
"Serving as a peer advisor has been a wonderful experience, exposing me to wonderful staff, students and opportunities," says Eddie Torres, a first-semester peer advisor
"Being a peer advisor has allowed me to gain leadership skills and confidence," says Amna Mian. "I've also learned a lot about listening, which will no doubt help me in my future career in early childhood education."
For the last two years, the peers have also been serving as group leaders each semester. Peers are responsible for guiding and supporting eight seniors who are engaged in their practicum experience serving public schools, campus and community agencies all across the Greater Binghamton region, and gaining valuable insight into their chosen professions. The peers serve as course builders with guidance from the practicum instructor, Visiting Assistant Professor Diane Crews.
They help each member of their group develop an individualized learning plan for the semester ahead, learn more about vital professional associations and ethics in practice, and find the research to complete their practicum portfolio.
"The peers enrich the learning environment and provide much needed support and encouragement for those students who may be having their first 'career' experience," Crews says. "Their involvement has been especially valuable this year in calming people's nerves and minimizing disruption as our students have adapted to our relocation and temporary headquarters following the flood last fall."
Miguel Mateo, a senior in human development and second-semester peer advisor, is looking ahead to a career in student affairs. "I have always felt a great sense of fulfillment when assisting others in any way I possibly could, and I've had the goal of becoming an academic advisor for a college or university for quite some time," he says. "The peer advising position allowed me to experience the feel of a professional by sitting in an office, researching material to help me with my responsibilities to students and having open ears for any and all concerns students may have. This is an experience that I will never forget."
Panel gives insider's view of teaching
By Steve Seepersaud
Two GSE alumni recently returned to campus to share their insights with students concerning getting a job in the field and dealing with the issues they'll encounter after they're hired.
GSE and the Career Development Center co-sponsored a panel discussion at the University Union on April 19 titled "The Call to Teach: Is It For Me?"
Jackie Coleman '83, MSEd '94, an elementary school teacher in the Binghamton City School District, said she loves her work and encouraged prospective teachers to seek out extracurricular activities and experiences that will help them stand out among other candidates applying for a job.
She and the other panelists expressed concern about the increased focus on state standardized test scores and how it has impacted the profession.
"Teacher reviews are based on student performance, which I think is a good thing," Coleman said. "But who's going to take the special education students? Who's going to want to take those students who have attendance issues? The system needs to be set up in a way that will ensure all the students will get treated fairly."
Bret L. Naccarato, MAT '08, a social studies teacher at Susquehanna Valley High School, said a teacher's true worth can't be just measured on quantitative factors; the softer skills are important as well.
"When students come to you with personal issues, are you going to ignore them or are you going to help?" Naccarato said. "Students bring their issues to school, period. And you have to deal with it."