EVANS WINS RECOGNITION FOR SERVICE TO FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS
OSWEGO -- Kathleen Evans of Baldwinsville, associate
dean of students at SUNY Oswego, was one of 10 people recognized as the
nation's Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates last month at the
annual Conference on the First-Year Experience in Texas.
Bestowed by the University of South Carolina's
National Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in
Transition and Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co., the award honors
outstanding work on behalf of first-year college students. Evans won
one of two awards allotted for colleges and universities in Oswego's
"Her intelligence, energy, and initiative have
fueled the many positive changes for first-year students that have
occurred at Oswego and have kept us ahead of the curve in developing
experiences that benefit first-year students and the college," wrote
college President Deborah F. Stanley in nominating Evans for the award.
"She is regarded by her colleagues as the campus expert on the
Evans joined Oswego's staff in the Student
Advisement Center in 1989 and coordinated New Student Orientation for
She has played a major role in developing a number
of innovative programs for first-year students at Oswego. Chief among
them is the Johnson First-Year Residential Experience, which became a
reality in fall 1996 at her initiative.
"She was the heart and soul of the project," said
Associate Provost Rhonda Mandel, who assisted Evans in developing the
academic aspects of this program.
Annual assessments show that freshmen who
participate in this program tend to have higher grades, higher
retention rates and higher rates of involvement in student activities
than typical students, according to Dean of Students James
Evans was instrumental in developing and
implementing FirstChoice, a comprehensive first-year experience that
provides a choice of academic options designed to enhance student
success. Instituted in fall 2001, the program will expand next fall to
serve all incoming freshmen.
She was also a key player in implementing the
First-Year Advisement Program in fall 2000 to improve academic advising
for incoming students. She helped develop the training for faculty and
peer advisers to address the needs of incoming students, and she
coordinated the peer adviser portion of the program.
She co-wrote a proposal that resulted in a $95,000
grant from SUNY System Administration to fund the startup of both
FirstChoice and the First-Year Advisement Program.
Evans' efforts to enhance the college experience of
Oswego's students been recognized in past honors. The Johnson
First-Year Residential Experience won an award from the USA
Group/Noel-Levitz for excellence in retention in 1998. Oswego was one
of only eight colleges nationally to receive the award. Two years ago,
Evans received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in
Evans earned her bachelor's degree in business at
Oswego and her master's in higher education administration at Syracuse
She is the second member of the SUNY Oswego
community to be recognized as an Outstanding First-Year Student
Advocate. Mandel, Oswego's associate provost, was honored in 2002.