Office of Public Affairs
(315) 312-2265
March 13, 2002
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Mandel, 312-2232
OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego Associate Provost Rhonda Mandel has received a national award for her efforts to enhance the experience of SUNY Oswego's first-year students.
The Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Awards were presented in February in Florida by the National Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and Houghton Mifflin Co. Mandel won one of two awards allotted for colleges and universities in Oswego's enrollment category.
"Rhonda's intellectual and energetic leadership are primarily responsible for the success of the first-year experience programs at SUNY Oswego," President Deborah F. Stanley wrote in nominating Mandel for the award. "She has succeeded in weaving a fabric of first-year experiences which have benefited many students and enlivened the tapestry of academic and student life programs at the college."
As associate provost, Mandel has been instrumental in initiating the First-Year Residential Experience, the Preceptor Program, the First-Year Advisement Program, FirstChoice and the Oswego Reading Initiative.
Stanley also noted that Mandel has been one of the major authors of the academic quality initiatives in Oswego's strategic plan, "Engagement 2000." "Rhonda has provided much of the intellectual and organizational energy which is transforming the college," the president wrote.
An earlier recognition of her efforts in conjunction with Oswego's Student Affairs staff was the USA Group/Noel-Levitz Retention Excellence Award for the First-Year Residential Experience in Johnson Hall in 1998. This living-learning community has had a positive impact on participants' grades, retention rates and campus involvement, officials said.
Dean of Students James Scharfenberger said that student leadership positions are now far more likely to be filled by students who went through this first-year living-learning experience.
Mandel joined Oswego's psychology faculty in 1983 and first became involved in addressing first-year students' needs as advisement coordinator for the department and as an adviser for Oswego's New Student Orientation.
Soon after she became associate provost, the college invited John Gardner of the National Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition to speak on campus in 1997. His presentation was part of Oswego's growing focus on first-year programs.
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