The response of this college to the COVID-19 emergency has been exemplary. From the
rapid transition to remote instruction, to the outpouring of support for the broader
community, to the daily work of our Emergency Management Team at the peak of the crisis,
every area of the College has proven to be extraordinarily helpful and resilient.
In this difficult environment, there are many good things to report. I want to start
be telling you about my recent conversations with two groups of seniors. In both meetings,
the students praised the ability and willingness of faculty to teach skillfully and
show great compassion and flexibility in working with students. In addition, our Office
of Student Activities is moving forward with our annual Campus Life Awards through
a virtual ceremony. There is much more to report.
Car-mencement - We are hoping to hold a drive through commencement celebration on campus on June
13. Really! This idea grew out of a recent conversation with seniors who very much
want a final return to campus. Thanks to the commencement committee, a small group
of students, and a broad group on campus for their enthusiastic embrace of this idea.
More information will follow soon as we work out details on how this can be done well
and in a safe manner. I am looking forward to this and I hope you can join us.
Student Emergency Fund - The fund has already secured over $70,000. Now for even more good news: Through
an anonymous gift to the SUNY Impact Foundation, we expect to receive a matching gift
of $50,000, and perhaps more. This appeal has been very successful. More importantly,
the money will help us address some of the really distressing circumstances faced
by a number of students and will help them stay in college.
CARES Funding - Through the federal government's stimulus legislation, we expect to receive about
$3M for direct support to students to assist with a wide range of college costs. We
have submitted the required plan for the use of the money to SUNY. The money is to
be awarded based on two principles: 1) Need—as measured by Pell status and EFC and
2) An effort to distribute the funds broadly. Our plan, developed by the State Financial
System, Administration and Finance, the RAM and EOP programs, and the Foundation will
provide awards to over half of our students.
Fulbright Recipient - A Farmingdale student has once again received a highly sought after Fulbright Award.
Emily Escobar, an Applied Psychology major, will be studying Developmental Sociolinguistics
at the University of Toronto. Emily, a first generation American college student,
is from Central Islip.
FSC Nursing Does It Again - Congratulations to all of our Nursing students and faculty. NCLEX first quarter
results show that FSC students attained a pass rate of 100%. WOW!
FSCNow - Despite the many demands on Institutional Advancement, we will nonetheless publish
the third annual edition of FSCNow. In light of the campus community's remarkable response, this year's magazine will
shift away from some of the originally planned stories to focus much more on the many
ways in which our staff, faculty, and students have responded to help others, and
one another, over the past two months.
While You Were Away - The College has hired a new Chief Information Officer and a new Director of Admissions.
Pete Grizzaffi joined us just as the coronavirus required a move to remote instruction.
He has been a huge asset at a time when the demands on IT have expanded greatly. Pete
is the first CIO in the College's history. Jeff Levine joined as Director of Admissions
as we were planning a Virtual Open House and recruiting for fall 2020 on a remote
basis. In this unsure environment, remarkably, our applications are only slightly
down and our accepted student numbers have increased marginally.
In Closing - There are uncertainties and challenges that lie ahead of us. I wanted to use this
forum as a way to share with you some of the many great things that continue to happen
at FSC. I've also taken the liberty of ending by linking some photos from our teaching
gardens. There are signs of renewal in uncertain times.