A Record Season for Summer College

Summer College students explore new technologies in the MakerSpace and 3D Printing program.
Summer College students explore new technologies in the MakerSpace and 3D Printing program.

A wave of teenagers swept onto campus this summer, when Syracuse University Summer College for High School Students welcomed more than 600 students from 33 states and 23 foreign countries for the Summer 2018 session. The students, who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school, took part in the pre-college experience which offered more than 35 programs in 10 of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges.  Each program was two to six weeks long.

Waitlists started early for the most popular programs—Sound Engineering and Audio Production, Filmmaking, and Architecture.

Innovative new programs introduced in 2018 included Technology in Sport Management, Art & Craft of Animation, and Cybersecurity: Hack-a-thon Challenge.

Summer College students can take noncredit and credit-bearing programs, and explore areas of interest as they consider future college majors. They also learn independence and time management, as they navigate campus life and complete college-level assignments. “Summer College prepared me to enter college with confidence,” says Regan Talley, who attended Summer College in 2015 and is now a second-year student at Newhouse.

 A Summer College forensics class taught by SU professor Jim Spencer and Beth Burns.
A Summer College forensics class taught by SU professor Jim Spencer and Beth Burns.

Summer College leaves plenty of time for fun and socializing as well as learning. This year’s students flocked to Ernie Davis Fitness center and attended Friday Night Flicks on the Quad. There were Twilight Tours of campus and weekend field trips to Green Lakes State Park, Darien Lake Theme Park, and Niagara Falls. Students enrolled in the Team and Leadership Academy went on a white­water rafting trip in the Adirondacks.

Students who were awarded Summer College scholarships from the Charles Hayden Foundation hosted a Poster Session at Schine Student Center to display work they created in their WRT 104 class. Omar Ramirez enhanced his poster’s impact by performing a rap song he wrote about homelessness. His Summer College writing class tapped into his creative side. “My writing has improved so much,” he said. “This class has taught me to think critically and analytically.”

Joelis Paula found a community of peers at Summer College. “I was so sad to leave,” she said. “I got so close to these people.”

A Gala Event for UC’s Centennial

UC 100 Gala

Photos of Gala Recipients100 years of changing lives is worth celebrating, and we plan to do that in a big way at University College’s 100th Anniversary Gala. The event will take place on Saturday, October 6, 2018 in Schine Student Center, 303 University Place. It will feature a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and dancing to the music of Prime Time.

Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the University College Centennial Fund, which will help UC provide financial aid for tuition, fees, class materials, computers and childcare to support UC students into the future.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the University College Lifetime Ambassador Award, which will be given to three very deserving recipients in recognition of their commitment and dedication to lifelong learning. Alexander N. Charters, a world-renowned champion of adult education and dean of University College from 1952 to 1964, will be honored posthumously. Bea González, who served as dean of University College from 2007-2017 and has a long history of professional, political, and community service, is now Syracuse University’s Vice President for Community Engagement. Cindylou Gromny, a beloved administrative assistant at UC, will also be honored posthumously. She spent her entire working life at UC—44 years.

If you would like to attend the Gala, visit here.

A Wall of Inspiration at UC

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote Robert Frost in 1914, when he penned “Mending Wall,” one of his most famous poems. Just four years later, the original iteration of University College was born, and 100 years later—this year—a different kind of wall was created at 700 University Avenue. This wall is also full of inspiration, and it will be available for viewing through the end of the year. UC’s wall is in the main lobby, just inside the front doors. The installation features rows of framed quotations from scores of people whose lives have been changed at University College—students, faculty, and staff.

“I knew that with more education, there would be more opportunities for me to help others change their lives.
This isn’t just about me. It’s about what this education will empower me to do for others. ”

—Angela Monico ’13

“At UC, I was in the right place,” wrote Monica Brown ’09. “Everybody made themselves available to me. The support was wonderful,” she said. Monica earned a degree in social work and is now the Deputy Commissioner of Onondaga County Department of Social Services Economic Security.

“Returning to school was a second chance for me to fulfill lifelong goals and dreams,” wrote Timothy Bryant, ’15. He was a high school dropout who earned a GED and later completed his SU degree, making the dean’s list every semester he was enrolled.

Stewart Koenig, a UC instructor, wrote this: “Being part of the University College faculty is a joy. Never have I been involved with more engaged students. They multi-task between work, family, and part-time education and are eager to absorb all the learning they can. I am so honored to play a role.”

Dean’s Message: Educational Opportunity— for Everyone

Michael Frasciello PortraitI believe in trying. I’m a first-generation college graduate. I was an average student in high school, but my guidance counselor felt compelled to tell me, “College isn’t for people like you.” His actual words. Undeterred, I was admitted to a school, took out loans and applied for Pell grants. I left campus after the spring semester with a 1.8 GPA. Maybe college wasn’t for people like me.

I believe in educational opportunity. I enlisted in the Air Force after my two eventful and unproductive semesters of college. Over the next 10 years on active duty, I got married, had two children, worked during the day, took college courses at night, and finished three degrees. Each degree was progressively
harder, but exponentially more rewarding. Twenty years after leaving the military, I completed a Ph.D. while working full-time. Maybe college was for me—or maybe I just needed to find an alternate way through.

I believe in the transformational power of a college education. My story is not unique—it’s a story like those of other part-time students. But it’s our stories that illustrate how lives are changed through learning. It’s our stories that express our commitment to improving the world by first improving ourselves. We share our stories because we desire to encourage, inspire, exemplify—to confidently say, “If I can do it, so can you!” It’s our stories that bring us all to University College.

I believe in the mission of University College. In October, University College celebrates 100 years of supporting students like you and me—students who found a non-traditional pathway into college and emerged transformed. We will acknowledge the countless challenges and obstacles faced by part-time students. We will praise the extraordinary effort required to work all day and study through the night. We will challenge the awkwardness of being the “old” student in class. And we will embrace the exuberance and pride of achieving a Syracuse University degree.

As you embrace your part-time studies this fall, know that University College has an unwavering belief in you. Like the thousands of Syracuse University part-time students before you, and the thousands yet to come, you have a magnificent story of strength, achievement, and change. Your story is our story.

In your service,
Michael J. Frasciello, Dean

Summer College: An Eye-Opening Experience

Nazrun Chowdhury can’t believe that the Charles Hayden Foundation was willing to spend its money sponsoring “a kid from the Bronx.” The foundation provides grants that focus on helping youth develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in school and lay the foundation for satisfying and productive lives. This year, the foundation sponsored 20 Syracuse University Summer College students.

Chowdhury, a senior at Marble Hill School for International Studies, says this was not his first experience in a Summer College Program. “Last summer I took classes at Marist College for two weeks,” he says. “Although that was fun and challenging, it was nowhere near as rigorous and exciting as the Summer College program at Syracuse University.”

woman holding diploma

Epiphany Adams, a senior at Frederick Douglass Academy in New York City, holds a certificate of completion from the Summer College program at Syracuse University.

The Summer College Program offers both credit and non-credit options for students to engage in rigorous college courses over a two to six-week period. The students sponsored by the Charles Hayden Foundation earned college credits during their six weeks on campus. While many of the students found the coursework demanding, they also learned the skills they need to be successful in college and in life. Chowdhury says the benefits of the Summer College program far outweighed the challenges he faced balancing homework, the rigors of schoolwork and socializing with his new friends. “The classes I took forced students to be open with their own opinions and creative minds. I was forced to listen to different perspectives—something I wasn’t normally exposed to in the Bronx,” says Chowdhury. “Listening to other people’s thoughts and experiences from around the world molded me into a more mature and critical-thinking individual.”

This year, 501 students from 35 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands—as well as 70 students representing 19 foreign countries—attended Summer College.

Epiphany Adams, a senior at Frederick Douglass Academy in New York City, agrees that the Summer College experience was more difficult than expected. She thought that taking Advanced Placement courses in high school prepared her for the coursework and academic requirements of college but soon learned that she was not as prepared as she hoped.

“My eyes were opened to the realistic rigors of college life,” she says. “The program is not an imitation of college, it iscollege.” When she was feeling overwhelmed, Adams took Professor Jeffery Mangram’s daily advice to heart: “just keep going.”

Adams was also concerned she wouldn’t fit in, but found that attending the program helped her become a more social person. “I was immediately accepted for who I was. I wasn’t afraid to be myself,” she adds.

“Summer at Syracuse not only opens a window of experience for rising seniors to see what college demands from you and what it takes for you to go the distance, it really opens your eyes what college life is like,” adds Chowdhury. “I was excited and humbled that the Charles Hayden Foundation gave me this opportunity. I know not everyone receives this privilege.”

After experiencing Summer College, Adams and Chowdhury returned home with an arsenal of tools to succeed in college—time management, discipline and discovering that they could be comfortable in a global culture.

“I’m so thankful for a program that helped me grow personally and academically,” says Adams. “If I could, I would rewind time and do it all over again.