President and Deans' Reception covers Baruch's current state

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Wallerstein spoke about the current state of Baruch, the future of the college and the results of the recent presidential election. Photo by Agata Poniatowski

The Sigma Alpha Delta Honor Society held its annual “President and Deans’ Reception” in the Newman Library Building on Nov. 15. Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David P. Christy, Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences Aldemaro Romero Jr., Willem Kooyker Dean of the Zicklin School of Business Dr. H. Fenwick Huss and Dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs David S. Birdsell all attended the reception to speak with students.

The program opened with remarks from Wallerstein, where he spoke about the current state of the college as well as what may lie in the college’s future. He first addressed the recent U.S. presidential election, reiterating the college’s dedication to all of its students, no matter their backgrounds.    

“Baruch is committed to being a protective and nurturing environment for all of our students, and that we will do our level best to help student achieve [his or her] full potential,” said Wallerstein.

Wallerstein then detailed the current plans to improve the college, including the renovation to the 23rd Street building, the addition of a new student center and the renovation of the 25th Street Plaza. The Plaza is the first privately financed plaza in New York City’s history and is set to include benches, a performance space and trees, explained Wallerstein.

“I think there is a lot to be proud of,” concluded Wallerstein to the crowd of students. “You go to the best college in CUNY.”

After Wallerstein exited the stage, Aldemaro, Birdsell, Christy and Huss each took to the podium to give their own remarks to students.

First to speak, Huss explained Zicklin’s mission of providing students with an education that mirrors what happens in real businesses and corporations, while still pushing to be a leader and innovator in the business education field. Illustrating this point, he highlighted Zicklin’s new programming surrounding cyber security, digital marketing and other areas that keep the college’s students engaged with the current job market. Huss also stressed the importance of partnerships, citing the college’s recent agreement with China’s Peking University to pair for a duel-degree program.

Next was Aldemaro, who inspired students with a short speech on how he came to be involved with academia as well as how he hopes to influence the Weissman School.

Birdsell noted the changes that the college has undergone in his 30-year tenure, reflecting back to when professors had to share cubicles, there was little scholarship support for students and the library was a trolley repair terminal. While the college has made tremendous strides already, argued Birdsell, even more can and will be done to build up the college’s standing and reputation.

Citing the new construction and programs the college is initiating, Birdsell underscored the college’s commitment to its students and asked for students to make a similar commitment to leadership and success.

Christy shared similar sentiments to the deans, speaking on the college’s new programs, projects and shift toward a more global focus.

The second part of the reception involved a Q&A session with Aldemaro, Birdsell, Christy and Huss that was moderated by Baruch professor Richard Wilkins. Students in attendance submitted questions prior to the dinner—around 85 in total—from which five were chosen. Questions that were repeated by many students or that echoed a “universal theme” were selected to be presented to the panel, explained Kerry Swoish, vice president of Sigma Alpha Delta.

The five questions ranged from the more student-focused, “What is the greatest investment I can make during my years at Baruch, which would give me a head start in the corporate world?” to the more personal, “If you had to start your career again, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?”

The final question, “What makes you most proud to be a member of Baruch?” garnered glowing answers from the deans and provost. Aldemaro lauded the lack of student debt within the college’s student population, while Christy and Huss praised the college’s ability to give opportunities and change people. Birdsell explained how the wide impact the college had on students’ lives made him proud, with students propelling themselves and their families forward toward success through the knowledge they gain at Baruch.

After the Q&A session, the event concluded for the night.

Swoish, an accounting major, stressed the value of the event and the importance of students being able to hear directly from college leaders.

“I think by hearing [from] your actual leaders, you’re more likely to get involved and more likely to invest in the school itself … Hearing about how those leaders are invested in you I think inspires you to do more [on campus],” said Swoish.

She also endorsed the sense of community events like the reception offer to students, saying, “[Baruch] can feel like a commuter school, [but] when you have these late night events like this, I feel like it really connects everyone.”

While Sigma Alpha Delta ran the reception, the event was also cosponsored by Ascend Baruch, Ecuadorian Club, Baruch Toastmasters International, the Undergraduate Student Government and Baruch Women in Business, among others.

The Sigma Alpha Delta Honor Society held its annual “President and Deans’ Reception” in the Newman Library Building on Nov. 15. Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David P. Christy, Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences Aldemaro Romero Jr., Willem Kooyker Dean of the Zicklin School of Business Dr. H. Fenwick Huss and Dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs David S. Birdsell all attended the reception to speak with students.

The program opened with remarks from Wallerstein, where he spoke about the current state of the college as well as what may lie in the college’s future. He first addressed the recent U.S. presidential election, reiterating the college’s dedication to all of its students, no matter their backgrounds.    

“Baruch is committed to being a protective and nurturing environment for all of our students, and that we will do our level best to help student achieve [his or her] full potential,” said Wallerstein.

Wallerstein then detailed the current plans to improve the college, including the renovation to the 23rd Street building, the addition of a new student center and the renovation of the 25th Street Plaza. The Plaza is the first privately financed plaza in New York City’s history and is set to include benches, a performance space and trees, explained Wallerstein.

“I think there is a lot to be proud of,” concluded Wallerstein to the crowd of students. “You go to the best college in CUNY.”

After Wallerstein exited the stage, Aldemaro, Birdsell, Christy and Huss each took to the podium to give their own remarks to students.

First to speak, Huss explained Zicklin’s mission of providing students with an education that mirrors what happens in real businesses and corporations, while still pushing to be a leader and innovator in the business education field. Illustrating this point, he highlighted Zicklin’s new programming surrounding cyber security, digital marketing and other areas that keep the college’s students engaged with the current job market. Huss also stressed the importance of partnerships, citing the college’s recent agreement with China’s Peking University to pair for a duel-degree program.

Next was Aldemaro, who inspired students with a short speech on how he came to be involved with academia as well as how he hopes to influence the Weissman School.

Birdsell noted the changes that the college has undergone in his 30-year tenure, reflecting back to when professors had to share cubicles, there was little scholarship support for students and the library was a trolley repair terminal. While the college has made tremendous strides already, argued Birdsell, even more can and will be done to build up the college’s standing and reputation.

Citing the new construction and programs the college is initiating, Birdsell underscored the college’s commitment to its students and asked for students to make a similar commitment to leadership and success.

Christy shared similar sentiments to the deans, speaking on the college’s new programs, projects and shift toward a more global focus.

The second part of the reception involved a Q&A session with Aldemaro, Birdsell, Christy and Huss that was moderated by Baruch professor Richard Wilkins. Students in attendance submitted questions prior to the dinner—around 85 in total—from which five were chosen. Questions that were repeated by many students or that echoed a “universal theme” were selected to be presented to the panel, explained Kerry Swoish, vice president of Sigma Alpha Delta.

The five questions ranged from the more student-focused, “What is the greatest investment I can make during my years at Baruch, which would give me a head start in the corporate world?” to the more personal, “If you had to start your career again, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?”

The final question, “What makes you most proud to be a member of Baruch?” garnered glowing answers from the deans and provost. Aldemaro lauded the lack of student debt within the college’s student population, while Christy and Huss praised the college’s ability to give opportunities and change people. Birdsell explained how the wide impact the college had on students’ lives made him proud, with students propelling themselves and their families forward toward success through the knowledge they gain at Baruch.

After the Q&A session, the event concluded for the night.

Swoish, an accounting major, stressed the value of the event and the importance of students being able to hear directly from college leaders.

“I think by hearing [from] your actual leaders, you’re more likely to get involved and more likely to invest in the school itself … Hearing about how those leaders are invested in you I think inspires you to do more [on campus],” said Swoish.

She also endorsed the sense of community events like the reception offer to students, saying, “[Baruch] can feel like a commuter school, [but] when you have these late night events like this, I feel like it really connects everyone.”

While Sigma Alpha Delta ran the reception, the event was also cosponsored by Ascend Baruch, Ecuadorian Club, Baruch Toastmasters International, the Undergraduate Student Government and Baruch Women in Business, among others.

NewsVictoria MerlinoComment