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President’s Notes 1.1July 15, 2011
Despite coinciding with the July Fourth holiday and a few days’ vacation, the first week of presidency was a full one for me. It began with preparation of a new partnership agreement between Regis and Brandeis University and concluded with my daughter’s wedding on July 9.
RegisCollege.edu: Brandeis and Regis Announce Exchange Agreement
MetroWestDailyNews.com: Brandeis, Regis offer course-exchange for grad students
Hrsa & Balfour
Earlier that week, Regis received the good news that our Nurse Faculty Loan Program has once again been funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA). Regis College has been awarded the following three HRSA grants for FY 2012:
- $694,721 for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) - This substantial award is more than double what Regis received last year, and 16 times the FY 2009 grant of approximately 41,000. The NFLP program provides loans to qualified students enrolled in Regis College's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program who plan to work as nurse faculty upon program completion. The fact that HRSA gave Regis such a substantial grant this year means that Regis is increasingly recognized nationally as a source of nursing faculty education -– a goal we aimed to achieve.
- $90,727 for Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships (AENT) - This program supports eligible Regis College students in the last year of the Master’s level Nurse Practitioner (NP) program who are enrolled full-time. By awarding traineeship funds to offset the cost of tuition for qualifying students, the AENT program enables students, who might otherwise need to enroll on a part-time basis in order to work simultaneously, to prioritize their studies and complete the program and enter the workforce on a more timely basis. This program is an essential force is enabling Regis College to respond to the local, national and international primary care shortages.
- $55,565 for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) - Regis College is a long- standing grantee of the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program, which supports eligible financially needy undergraduate nursing students. This essential program enables Regis College to recruit and retain nursing students who otherwise may not be able to afford the cost of higher education.
Regis College has also been awarded $150,000 over three years, beginning in FY 2012, from the Balfour Foundation to support Project SINE (Success in Nursing Education). These funds will support project management as well as essential tutoring and mentoring to promote retention among undergraduate nursing students in need of academic support.
After physically organizing my office on Monday, July 11, I attended an evening Town Meeting in Framingham Town Hall Memorial Building at which Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray was speaking. As you may know, the Lieutenant Governor is chair of the STEM Advisory Council for Massachusetts, and there is a great push on in Massachusetts, with funding, to advance the cause of math and science education in the state. As a panelist I also attended the recent Massachusetts Academy of Science summit and will continue to champion Regis in this initiative. With Regis College’s historic reputation in science and math education, I am very interested in engaging the College with these statewide efforts. Stay tuned for more developments regarding Regis and STEM.
Professor Wendy Lement has been asked to write a chapter for the third edition of Learning Through Theatre: New Perspectives in Theatre in Education, edited by Tony Jackson (Routledge). This is a huge honor as Learning Through Theatre is considered the seminal work in the area of Theatre in Education, known as TIE. The book provides the history, theoretical foundations, and evolving methodology of TIE. Chapters are written by scholars in the field and TIE practitioners from around the globe. As the Artistic Director of Theatre Espresso, Wendy will focus on exploring social justice and promoting civic dialogue through interactive historical plays. Jackson anticipates a 2012 publication date since the finished book must be submitted by the end of December 2011.
We all want to get the good news about Regis College and its faculty out to the media, and my office has asked Professor Raffaele Florio and Professor Mike Bilozur to develop some articles on the two new master’s programs approved by the Board of Trustees in May, one in SLAESS (Cultural Heritage for a Global Society) and one in SNSHP (MS in Biomedical Science).
AC and NEASC
Tuesday morning, July 12, marked my first AC Meeting as President. As a team we have begun reviewing the College’s strategic plan to update it. Ultimately, the work we are doing now will also contribute to the preliminary data the College will need to launch our next NEASC self-study, due in 2013. More about that as the autumn semester begins.
Plans are underway for Inauguration Week in October. I am pleased to announce for the whole Regis community that on October 4 Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains and Mountains beyond Mountains, will join all of us with a lecture and discussion about his work. The President’s Office is collaborating with Freshman Seminar leadership to bring Mr. Kidder here. The focus is not only on Freshman Seminar itself, since those students will be reading Strength in What Remains, but also on the campus-wide commitment to service and leadership as a way of celebrating our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. Strength in What Remains tells the story of a medical student in Burundi who survives the genocide only to experience a horrific American immigrant sojourn in New York. In the end, he manages to gain his degree and return to Burundi to build and staff a hospital there.
Twelve nursing faculty members from Haiti are now on campus to begin their studies toward the master’s degree. This evening they and I will be attending a special presentation by Sheila Davis of Partners in Health (PIH) on the new hospital in Mirabilais, Haiti. This afternoon, we had a visit from a Boston Globe reporter interested in our international nursing faculty education initiative that is helping to rebuild the human infrastructure of that devastated country. At the end of June I was interviewed by the Boston Haitian Reporter about our efforts.
Otherwise, my days this month are filled with appointments with various staff and faculty members as we begin the next decade of the twenty-first century at Regis College and begin coordinating all our efforts for the good of this beloved institution. I shall keep you all informed as I move along. I plan on sending out these notes every two weeks. Meanwhile, please feel free to stop by my office; I would love a casual visit. And enjoy these long and sunny days of summer!