As your new president, I am pleased to officially welcome you to Youngstown State University for the 2013-14 school year, and I’m also grateful to The Jambar for the opportunity to do so. YSU—in addition to being the place where a world of opportunities can open for you if you let them—also serves as your home for a few years, and all of us want to be helpful as you are settling in and getting ready for another academic term.
As you read this, my wife, Ronda, and I moved here a little over six weeks ago—and I’m completing my fifth week on the job. If you are a recent transplant to the city and the Mahoning Valley region, my hope is you’ll feel the same connection to this place that we do. There is much to see, do, and explore—and we’ll undertake that together as the Valley’s newest residents.
For those who come from the area and know it well, YSU still provides a wide variety of events, activities, and people that you might not have even known are right in your backyard. Take advantage of everything here as much and as often as you can, because that’s what a great university experience is all about.
All the happenings during Welcome Week 2013, this year’s “Penguin Boot Camp,” have been designed to extend a very special YSU greeting and to fold you into campus life once again. As I came here in July, my own transition was smoothed by many genuine and kind people on campus and in the community. I am certain you will be impressed and embraced by the same hospitality and support somewhere along the way during your time at Youngstown State.
If you haven’t figured it out already, Youngstown State provides a great higher education opportunity by combining the right balance of institutional size with a real sense of community. Said another way: YSU is big enough to provide just about everything you could want and need from a well-known public university, but not so big that you won’t know the people you see on campus or feel like a lone person in the crowd. As a larger, ‘mid-major’ higher education institution we are able to offer the selection of academic and student service programs you expect from a comprehensive university, and yet we still maintain a strong focus on you as an individual student similar to what you would expect to find at a smaller college. It really is the best of both worlds.
So I am encouraging all of you to take on everything that is possible at this special place—stretching yourself, setting high goals, doing new things, and forcing yourself to think outside of the box with the many and diverse people you will encounter here. Indeed, this is at the heart of what a university education should cause you to do! Take advantage of all that is YSU beyond just successfully acquiring credits toward graduation (that’s Job 1 of course)—because the privilege of higher education is about much more than just preparing for a career. It should prepare you for an enriching life as well.
Once you are acclimated to campus please follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@YSUPrez), check out my webpage at www.ysu.edu/president or just email me at [email protected] with an idea, thought or comment whenever you like. When I am able to do so, I’ll generally try to respond back to you.
And if you see me out and around at the University or elsewhere, don’t hesitate to come up, say hello, and introduce yourself. The best part of being a university president hands down is getting to meet a lot of amazing and interesting people…many of them our students!
We’re going to be spending a few years together and I hope to get to know many of you during that time. So welcome to YOUR campus. Welcome to Youngstown State University. You will have a great life-changing experience here. I guarantee it.