President Ettling and Charles Sanchez

President Ettling and Charles Sanchez

 Last week was so compressed with finals, meetings, celebratory events, and graduations that it almost felt like a time warp.  There were many events I was not able to attend due to double/triple booking and I apologize if I was not at your celebration.  The pictures in this blog captured a few events on the Branch and Main Campuses I was able to attend.  There were many amazing moments such as Bob Golden’s speech at the Branch Campus.  I wish him well as he transitions to the next phase of his life. I am grateful for his wise mentoring over the years.

Dr. Bob Golden

Dr. Bob Golden at a reception before SUNY Adirondack’s graduation ceremony

Other highlights included Dr. David Stone’s speech at the EHHS Division’s awards ceremony, the pride and love of family members who attended events, the kind words of professors to students as both reflected on academic and personal growth, and the gratification of faculty and administrators as students crossed the stage during awards ceremonies and graduation.  Of course, I would be remise if I did not mention the Wallenda-like balancing acts of some graduating students who were walking in shoes that were seemingly two feet tall.      

Associate Dean David Stone

Associate Dean David Stone

It has been another successful year in our Division!  We have prepared students who will go out into the world to make a positive difference.  Each of the programs in our Division prepares students to serve others.  Dr. Stone captured this well by saying, “We are involved in peoples’ lives in deep, meaningful and enduring ways. We are enriched and transformed as our constituents are enriched and transformed.”  He has transformed the lives of many students through his service as Associate Dean over the past three years and I am grateful for his service.  

Photo by Suzanne Hungerford

Speech-Language Pathology Masters Graduates

An example of transformation was captured in the words of a client who was helped by speech-language pathology students when he was Skyped into my graduate course on stuttering every week for 10-15 minutes of therapy.   In comments to graduating students, he said, “People who stutter, develop a gap between what they want to say and what they choose to say.  This division, whether conscious or subconscious, is the most insidious symptom of stuttering because it prevents people who stutterer from being who they are.  As speech-language pathologists, you can help generations of people bridge this gap. By employing the techniques you learned at SUNY Plattsburgh, you will be able to return to stutterers the greatest gift imaginable – their identities.”  This is just one example of the difference our graduating students will make in others’ lives.  Knowledge and skills, learned by students across programs in Education, Health, and Human Services, were taught by inspiring faculty and mentors who guided students to start exciting careers.  I could not be more proud of faculty and students.

Thank you to everyone who made this academic year a success!  The final curtain call brings overwhelming applause for a job well done as students  carry forward the lessons of  faculty and mentors into the world.  I wish you a productive and rejuvenating summer. 

Bonus: Check out Dean Steve Danna’s blog post for this week entitled “Let’s All Celebrate College Graduations.”