May 2012

Update from the President

We have finished the second year of implementation of the Strategic Plan and I am pleased to say that we have had tremendous progress on a variety of initiatives in the plan. It was quite some time ago that we worked together to create a mission statement, a vision statement, broad principles, and the 22 initiatives that the faculty developed over the 2009-2010 year. Now as we enter our third year (2012-2013) of the seven year plan, we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Below please find an overview of many of the twenty-two initiatives (14 are either completed or in progress).

Some of the work--like living-learning communities and study abroad--will be familiar to you. Other initiatives may be less familiar to you, like the progress of the Child Welfare Certificate or the Reading Specialist Certificate. We will continue to build on this work as we develop new academic programs that use the mission and vision statements and the broad principles as foundational documents. As always, thank you for your support and efforts to advance our College.

The Latest on Our Strategic Initiatives

Art TherapyArt Therapy

The new art therapy bachelor’s degree has 33 enrolled students! We are in the planning stages for a master's degree in art therapy while continuing to focus resources on growth in our undergraduate program. Future plans include the addition of a half-time faculty member.

Child WelfareChild Welfare Certificate

We have 24 students working toward this certificate, which provides specialized training in the child welfare system to students majoring in social work, psychology, criminal justice and business, among other areas. Helping at-risk children and families adds breadth and depth to their bachelor’s degree.

Christine NowikFirst Year Experience

It’s been a lively year on campus as students respond warmly to our new First Year Experience (FYE) program—and the program has already been honored nationally.

Kudos to Christine Nowik, one of 10 people to earn a 2012 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award.  FYE aims to help students develop personally as well as academically in their first year.

Find out more about FYE.

Global Studies Major

We currently have six student majors and one minor in this new interdisciplinary field, and we anticipate steady growth as study abroad and other global initiatives continue to expand.

Study Abroad

Exchange agreements—We’ve finalized agreements with Linnaeus University (Sweden), Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia). We expect to exchange students with Linnaeus and Hamburg next year and several students have expressed interest in Australia. Enthusiasm also is strong for summer study abroad in Korea.

Guyana program—A new study-abroad program to Guyana planned for this month is part of John Cigliano’s course on the natural history and culture of an Amazon basin region. Students will experience some of the most pristine rainforests in the world while earning natural science credit.

New global disease minor—We provided scholarship funds to two students completing their “cultural experience” during the winter break, one in Belize and one in Ghana. We also provided scholarship funding to nursing students on the spring break program to Belize.

Service learning in 2012-13—Next academic year, all three of our living learning communities will go to Costa Rica during spring break. They will get to learn about their particular area of interest (art, environmental stewardship or social justice) from a Costa Rican point of view and will perform service. They will also get to stay with Costa Rican families, take Spanish lessons, and see some of the splendor of Costa Rica.

Future opportunities—We are currently looking into the possibility of partnering with American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates. Many families in the Middle East will feel more comfortable sending their daughters to an all-women’s school, and an exchange agreement with AUS would allow our students a fantastic opportunity to experience Middle Eastern culture in a safe environment.

How many Cedar Crest students are studying abroad? The number of Cedar Crest College students taking advantage of burgeoning study abroad opportunities on campus have risen considerably the last several years:

  • For 2009-10: approximately 5 students for credit and research purposes
  • For 2010-11: 23 for credit or research purposes
  • For 2011-12: 31 and counting for credit or research purposes. Approximately 75% earned a study abroad scholarship
  • For 2012-13: We anticipate an increase of study abroad students to 40 or more for credit or research purposes.

For information on the Office of Global Initiatives click here.
For a look at one student’s study abroad experience click here.

Living Learning Communities

When year three kicks off in August, we will have three vibrant living learning communities on campus: Community Related Experiences in Art Through Engagement (C.R.E.A.T.E.); Caring About Rights Everywhere (C.A.R.E.); and Environmental Action for Responsible sTewardsHip (E.A.R.T.H.). The C.R.E.A.T.E. group recently went to New York City and E.A.R.T.H. took a spring break service trip to the Florida Everglades.

Multicultural Center

This new, mainly student-staffed center has held several events in the past year including Talking Circles, multicultural teas and Dia de los Muertos (Mexican Day of the Dead). ALANA (African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American) students celebrate the great diversity on our campus.

More about the Multicultural Center.

New Media Major

With the addition of faculty member Precious Yamaguchi and the Media Convergence Lab last fall, students majoring in new media are getting a first-rate grounding in tomorrow’s technologies. They were honored for their work at the first-ever Lehigh Valley HACK 2012 event in Bethlehem. (As I’ve learned, “hacker” isn’t just pejorative—it’s also a term for computer enthusiasts who like problem-solving together.)

Reading SpecialistReading Specialist Certification

Currently we have 14 students enrolled in this program. Eight are pursuing certification concurrently with the M.Ed. degree, while six are pursuing it as an add-on qualification.

Cedar Crest has one of the few programs in the area that provides a literacy coaching option so our students can learn to train other teachers to use reading education techniques.

Women’s Leadership Institute

The first order of business for this new institute, coordinated by Arlene Peltola, was joining forces with the regional Power of Women organization, making our academic strengths accessible to their subscriber base of 1,200. Plans are under way for an undergraduate leadership certificate and executive leadership academy for early to mid-level career women, and for a web presence that will serve as a resource for businesswomen everywhere.

Writing Resource Initiative

Pitch, our new online journal of art and literature, launched this year to complement Onyx, our literary magazine. You can see the second volume of Pitch by clicking here. Plans for a visiting lecture series—the second part of this strategic initiative—are being developed.

SAGE is on the move!

The School of Adult and Graduate Studies (SAGE) program was launched in the fall with a special event at the Cosmopolitan in Allentown. Since then, SAGE continues to accommodate the needs of adult students, and the results can be seen in our enrollment numbers (nearly 1,200), which are as high as they’ve been in years!

Cedar Crest—and SAGE—net $2 million federal grant
During the launch, Representative Charlie Dent also announced that the College has been chosen to receive a highly selective, $2 million federal grant to bolster academic programs and services for all students at Cedar Crest, including those in SAGE. Funding will be used for:

  • Faculty training and development
  • Enhancement of online and hybrid (combination online and in-class) course offerings
  • Development of technology-laden “smart classrooms”
  • Enhanced support services to aid in degree completion

SAGE launches MFA in creative writing
This summer Cedar Crest begins a new Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an internationally recognized faculty including the poet laureate of Wales. This innovative graduate program is the only low-residency MFA in the U.S. to be based exclusively in Europe. While most MFA programs require months of residency, our students can do most of their coursework online; they’ll spend 15 days in residence each summer in inspirational locations including Ireland, Barcelona and Vienna/Bratislava. For information about the new MFA program, click here

College News

Transferring credits is easier now

Boosting the degree completion rate for students enrolled at two-year schools has been a priority for President Obama and area community colleges. In response Cedar Crest has adopted one of the most student-friendly transfer policies in Pennsylvania, creating a strong incentive for community college students to finish their associate’s degree and allowing them to complete a bachelor’s more quickly and affordably. The policy takes the guesswork out of transferring: by completing an associate’s degree, students automatically fulfill Cedar Crest’s liberal arts requirements.

For details about the College's transfer credit policy, click here.

College boosts its visibility

Cedar Crest has used a number of high-profile media outlets in the past year to spread the word about our strengths, and our consistent message and “brand” is gaining recognition. Advertising has focused on three main areas: traditional admissions, SAGE and general college. Current ads promote SAGE and the new transfer credit policy that benefits both adult and traditional-age students.

Advertising methods included print, magazine, online, college fair programs, community organization programs, radio, billboard and even signage at the Iron Pigs stadium. Our message reached international audiences as part of our advertising campaign for our new MFA program. To see a selection of ads, click here.

Cedar Crest again honored for community service

For the fifth consecutive year, our College has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Cedar Crest community contributed more than 22,000 hours of community service in the past academic year, with students donating the vast majority of those hours. They volunteered at local and regional social service organizations, built Habitat for Humanity homes over spring break, and much more.

Campus Events

Maya AjmeraTwo powerful women leaders visit campus…

Global Fund for Children founder Maya Ajmara delivered the Reimert Lecture. Her work has touched the lives of more than 1.5 million children, and her organization has awarded more than $21 million in grants in 76 countries. To learn more about Maya Ajmara, click here.

Bernice SandlerBernice Sandler, Ph.D., dubbed “Godmother of Title IX,” came to campus on the 40th anniversary of that law’s passage to discuss how it changed the environment for women in a wide range of areas including athletics and the workplace. To get the details of Dr. Sandler's visit, click here.

…And another is on the way

Cedar Crest is excited to host Gloria Steinem, an icon of feminism for half a century; she’ll give a talk titled “The Longest Revolution” during the Women’s Summit June 7.

Hosts of the event are our own Women’s Leadership Institute, the Women’s Business Council of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative of United Way. I’ll keep you updated on the summit in this newsletter. Meanwhile, you can learn more through ampeltol@cedarcrest.edu.

State representative Jennifer MannCommencement to feature Rep. Jennifer Mann

We are just one week away from graduating the 465 members of the class of 2012—and Lehigh Valley state representative Jennifer Mann will deliver the commencement address.

Our 142nd commencement takes place Saturday, May 12, beginning at 11 a.m. under a tent in the center of campus. For more information, click here. If you’re unable to attend, you can view commencement live at www.cedarcrest.edu/ccclive.

Lee and Dolly Butz win 2012 Associates Award

Longtime philanthropists and friends of Cedar Crest Lee and Dolly Butz were honored in March as recipients of the 20th annual Associates Award given by the Cedar Crest Board of Associates.

The honor couldn’t go to a more deserving couple. Lee Butz has been a major force in building the Lehigh Valley, and Dolly has devoted her life to serving underprivileged children. For more about the awards luncheon, click here.

Joy Karnas PhDCedar Crest hosts Pa. Academy of Sciences

Reflecting our longstanding role as a regional leader in women’s science education, the College hosted more than 300 faculty and students from across Pennsylvania at the annual meeting of the Pa. Academy of Sciences March 30-April 1. For more on the event, themed around women in science, click here.