Fiat student success

Dear Alfred University students, staff, and faculty:

For students to benefit most from their college experience it is incumbent upon higher education institutions to provide suitable support. A recent $500,000 gift from Pamela Lavin Bernstein ’71, will enhance the resources Alfred University can deploy to promote student success. The gift establishes the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Retention Fund in support of our Pamela Lavin Bernstein Center for Advising. The Center for Advising, which Pam established in 2017-18 with a $625,000 gift, is staffed by professional academic coaches who work with students, coordinating services provided by our Career Development Center, Financial Aid Office, Center for Academic Success, and faculty advisors. The Center’s goal is to improve student retention and four-year graduation rates.

Pamela Lavin Bernstein ’71

Nadine Shardlow ’86, ’19 MS, who serves as the executive director of the Center for Advising, said that the Retention Fund will facilitate the continuation and expansion of services provided by the Center. Since its inception in 2019, the Center has provided academic coaching to first-year students. The Retention Fund will allow academic coaches to continue advising students after they complete their first year at Alfred University. The Center plans to provide dedicated academic coaching to international and transfer students. Pam’s recent gift also will be used to re-institute our summer orientation program and streamline the Center’s advising processes.

The Center for Advising is among a number of programs at Alfred University which support our student retention efforts:

  • Our Center for Academic Success offers a number of services—supplemental instruction, tutoring, the Writing Center, and disability services—aimed at providing the support students need to be successful.
  • Last fall, trustee Kristen Klabin ’92, ’93 M.S., and her husband, Alex, committed to establishing the Saxon Success Program and funding, among other things, a coordinator/mental health counselor in our Wellness Center. The coordinator oversees a team of graduate assistants in the College Student Development, School Counseling, and School Psychology programs, who advise and support students.
  • Our first-year experience programs aim to help students successfully make the transition from high school to college.
  • The Life Skills program in our athletics department, launched through the philanthropic support of Pat and Russ Fahey ‘58, provides mentoring and advising services for our student-athletes.

Pam Lavin Bernstein’s philanthropy to her alma mater is notable. Through her previous gifts to Alfred University she has created scholarships, provided travel grants, and leadership gifts that help students benefit from applied and experiential learning opportunities. As a charter member of what is now the Judson Leadership Center’s Advisory Board, Pam has been tireless in her efforts on behalf of the leadership program. She also created the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Women of Influence Lecture Series that allows our University to bring in high-profile speakers who are leaders in a wide variety of professions.

Please join me in thanking Pam for her commitment to Alfred University and the success of our students.

Fiat student success!