Faculty and Staff welcome students at Freshman Convocation

Aug 27, 2010

By Annmarie Ely

President Brosnan, faculty members, staff and student leaders this week welcomed the largest class of freshman DelVal has ever had.

At the Aug. 27 Convocation, members of the campus community gave students advice on how to be successful both academically and socially in college and in life.

DelVal Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient Rodney Gilbert was the keynote speaker.

Dr. Dorothy Prisco, dean of faculty and vice president for Academic Affairs, said Gilbert was chosen because of his devotion to the education and success of his students.

Gilbert told students about experiential learning and urged students to take responsibility for their success. “The teacher opens the door, the student must enter,” he said.

Dr. Brosnan discussed the “ambiguous future” and the “information overload” facing today’s students.


He said people are likely to change jobs 16 to 18 times by age 50, and change careers as many as six to eight times over a lifetime.

The president told students that their future careers might not even exist yet. “Think about Facebook,” said Brosnan.

In addition to ambiguous futures, he said that students today are faced with “an avalanche of information” that they must learn to sift through to find what is “meaningful, practical and wise.”

In order to thrive in these conditions, Brosnan suggested students “learn how to learn” and continue learning throughout their lives.

He said that the personal attention and small classes at DelVal will not only teach students subjects like biology, but will help them become lifelong learners capable of adapting to a changing world.

“Life is a process of filtering and evaluating, and if you let the right things in you are very likely to succeed in whatever it is you do,” he said.

Vice President of Enrollment Management Dr. Robert Yapsuga presented the class of 2014 and entertained students with facts about their class.

According to Yapsuga, 499 freshman are attending DelVal this year. There was a positive reaction from the males when Yapsuga announced that 300 of the 499 were female.

DelVal drew freshmen from 20 states and one from the United Kingdom. The most popular male name among the class is Mathew and the most popular female name is Sarah.

Dr. Yapsuga ended with a playful statement congratulating the new students for the “great judgment” they showed by coming to DelVal.

Vice President of Student Affairs John Brown went through reasons students chose the college. Academic quality was among the top reasons. According to Brown, 82 percent of DelVal freshman thought they might graduate with honors. Of last year’s class, 28 percent actually did.

He then urged students to connect outside the classroom, highlighting upcoming opportunities like One Book, One Campus and Multicultural Week.

“Get involved here and learn about people who may be different than you,” said Brown.

Associate Dean of The First Year Experience Dr. Mena Birett discussed resources like The Office of the First Year Experience that are available to help new students adjust. She assured freshmen that they would encounter people willing to help “who really love what they’re doing.”

Student Government Board President Paoul Martinez and 2011 Class President Dariyen Carter provided the Student Welcome.

Martinez ’11 reflected the thoughts he had at his own convocation, like being excited to be on his own and wondering how he’d fit in.

“I encourage you to get involved,” sad Martinez. “I’m not just saying that because they tell me to.”

Carter had students look around at each other, “go ahead look” he pushed, telling students they were in a new place with people they’ve never met. “Welcome to college,” said Carter.

Carter said communicating with family helped him adjust when he was a freshman.

“Call, text, Skype, Twitter…Whichever way you do it, do it,” he said. “Let them know you cleaned your dorm.”

Carter told students to find their place, but not to be afraid to change the campus to create that place.

“One voice can make anything happen on this campus,” said Carter. “Welcome home.”