By Matt Youngfrau
SULLIVAN COUNTY September 3, 2002 Sullivan County Community College's theme is "the start of something great." That slogan and attitude summarizes SCCC's upcoming 2002-2003 school year, which starts tomorrow, September 4. Many new programs, initiatives, and staff members are beginning this year, and college officials truly feel this year will be the start of something great.
"Right now, things look very good," commented SCCC President Dr. Mamie Howard Golladay. "We have a ways to go, but the chancellor [the head of the SUNY system who visited in August] was impressed. He feels we are doing good things. We have been meeting standards, and everybody on our faculty and staff should be proud."
Recently, the college was reaccredited for another ten years. SCCC received a very good report and is working on the areas that were cited for improvement. The Middle States Group, which does the accreditation, will be back in five years to check their progress.
In the middle of August, construction finally began on the long-awaited dormitory project. The dorms are scheduled to be open for next fall. They will be mandatory for freshman but, if space is available, other students will be allowed to live there. The two dormitories will house 320 students and will lead to an expansion of such college programs as food service, activities, and classes.
"Before it was just a concept. As construction has begun, we can see it happening, and it is a reality," remarked Golladay. "We will have to have an expansion [of services]. Those issues have been looked at and will be addressed. I am praying the town [Loch Sheldrake] will grow around it. It would be my dream to see it develop into a nicer community."
One thing that drives any college is enrollment. The last few years at SCCC have seen a decreasing enrollment, and it caused budgetary problems. For the first time in a few years, enrollment numbers appear to be significantly increasing. Firm enrollment numbers will not be known until the third week of the semester, but the numbers appear to be above last year's figures.
"We are hoping to meet the budgeted numbers. Right now, it looks very good," Golladay stated. "Next year, with the dorms, we will surpass them."
One of the new programs at the college is the Evening and Weekend College. The curriculum is designed for working adults and offers such courses of study as Liberal Arts (AA Degree, Business Administration, Coaching), Food Service certificate, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Insurance, Real Estate, and Surveying Technology. The classes meet Friday nights and on Saturday mornings and afternoons. The dates for the fall semester are September 20 and 21, October 4 and 5, October 18 and 19, November 1 and 2, and November 22 and 23.
"The program is designed so that a student can enroll in a combination of evening, online, and weekend classes," Dean of Workforce Development, Continuing Education, and Lifelong Learning Dr. Ellen Galligan said. "The program is designed to accommodate the working parent. It is open for full or part-time study."
Another change at SCCC is that Dr. Vern Lindquist will begin his tenure as the new chair of the Division of Liberal Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Lindquist will take over for longtime chair, Robert Glatt, who is returning to the classroom.
"I am looking forward to it," Lindquist remarked. "Things are looking up for the college and the county right now. I am glad to be appointed chair at this time."
One thing added to Lindquist's department is the arts consortium. The consortium is a partnership between the college and such groups as the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and the Catskill Arts Society. They will be offering some fine arts programs and courses at the college.
Three new key personnel were added to the college during August and September. The first person brought in was new Director of Admissions Diane Brown. Brown has extensive experience in admissions from both Mercy College and Long Island University. Brown was working in Manhattan last year during the 9/11 attack and decided to take some time off afterwards. She had been living in New Windsor since 1991 and felt it was time to leave the city and be closer to home.
"The college is a very tranquil and beautiful place," stated Brown. "The people here are so nice. It is so different from Manhattan.
"I want to bring the college to the community," Brown continued. "I want to make the college more accessible. I am here for the students. Admissions is the gateway to the school. We have to be on top of things."
Another addition is new Human Resources Director Sharon Carpenter. Carpenter last worked at Gateway Community Industries in Kingston in a similar position. She moved to Sullivan because she lives in Liberty, and it is a much easier commute.
"I feel like I have died and gone to heaven," Carpenter said. "This is a beautiful community and a nice environment. I want to develop good, positive relationships here and maintain them."
Carpenter's first order of business was to audit all the files in Human Resources. Carpenter wants to familiarize herself with all of her department's information to do her job to the best of her capabilities.
The latest hire will come in as school begins the first week of September: Gail Palmisano, the Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Palmisano recently retired from the Navy and has roots on the East Coast. She wanted to live outside the metropolitan area but still be close enough to enjoy its cultural advantages.
As Palmisano has yet to officially begin her job, she is unsure of her exact job duties. She does know that it will be her job to assist Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. John Watson.
"I think John will be a great mentor. He is very knowledgeable, and I will learn a lot from him," Palmisano said. "As I come in, I have no specific agenda. I would like to free him up to do what he needs to do."
SCCC has two campuses, one on College Road in Loch Sheldrake and the other on Broadway in Monticello. For more information on their programs, what they offer, and when, either campus can be contacted. The main campus can be reached at 434-5750 and the Monticello site can be reached at 791-1438. Their Web site is located at www.sullivan.suny.edu.