As we turn an eye toward the promise of 2020, please accept my gratitude for what you have done in 2019 on behalf of our University.
We believe our success and that of our students is based on the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff. They are the drivers of our Maker Culture, which provides students opportunities—through initiatives like APEX, our applied and experiential learning program—to put principles covered in the classroom into practice.
Our faculty and staff have also been pivotal to the creation of Common Ground, which builds on our nearly 200-year history of being inclusive from the start. Through small-group discussions facilitated by a faculty or staff member, Common Ground is a one-credit course for all new undergraduate students on our main campus. It allows students both to gain a better understanding of the different backgrounds, perspectives, and aspirations that they bring to our community and to identify the values that they will live by as citizens of our University.
Our faculty and staff are integral to creating the magic for students like Julio Fuentes, who through his hard work, commitment, and perseverance, can now take steps on his own, following a devastating injury on the football field, 13 years ago, which left him paralyzed. Julio has resumed his studies at Alfred University and has inspired others in our community—alumni, faculty, and staff—to join Team Julio in an effort to help him pursue his dreams.
Especially in light of the fact that 2020 will mark both the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote in the United States, we took the opportunity of our Holiday Luncheon on Tuesday to present Fiat Lux! Awards to three faculty/staff members who have been integral to weaving our inclusivity DNA: Laurie Lounsberry Meehan ’91, librarian and archivist; Amy Rummel, professor of marketing; and Robyn Goodman, professor of communication studies.
Laurie has been archivist and librarian at Herrick Memorial Library for 26 years—serving as interim dean of libraries in 2018—during which time she has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of her alma mater. She has a willingness to help anyone–students, faculty and staff, alumni, and community members—in search of even the most obscure piece of information about our University.
During her 28-year tenure as professor of marketing at Alfred University, Amy Rummel has earned a reputation for engaging her students in a learning process that inspires them to achieve, and nurtures them throughout their academic journey. Amy has been the inspiration behind a potluck dinner that faculty and staff organize and then serve to College of Business students right before the start of finals each fall.
Robyn Goodman has championed our Communication Studies program and advised our Fiat Lux student newspaper. She has been instrumental to building our Women’s and Gender Studies program and has played a key role in organizing the Riley Lecture Series.
The Fiat Lux! Awards were established in 2016 to honor those who bring distinction and inspiration to Alfred University. Laurie, Amy, and Robyn are eminently deserving of the recognition.
Please join me in congratulating Laurie, Amy, and Robyn on the honor bestowed on them. We thank them, and all of our faculty and staff, for making possible Alfred University’s magic.