Recently in From Dean Gimenez Category
Hello students, both returning and new . . . Welcome to
Eastern . . . it is good to see you on the campus. The tempo of students gives
life to what would be simply buildings, pulse to the energy we feel when you
are here and joy to those who are here to serve you. You may think that "joy"
is an overstatement, but not true. It took commitment on your part to come to
Eastern or to continue your studies. It means that you value your education and
your time spent here. It means that you put aside daily routines and thoughts
of uncertainty and took the plunge. You are special. You didn't know how
special you are. Not everyone has the commitment you have to continue or to
start anew. Not everyone takes the first step or continues walking the walk.
Not everyone can see what you see -- the path to a better future. It does matter
that you came and therefore, I say that I feel joy knowing that you are here.
My job is worthwhile because you value your time and you are spending your
valuable time with us.
Dean Rochelle Giménez
School of Continuing Education
It seems like only yesterday when the semester spring began. The time has flown for me . . . but I am sure that those who are trying to complete their last requirements have not had time to reflect on what their degrees will mean to them. Each day I am reminded of the struggles of our students and ultimately their successes. One of the best parts of my job is to greet graduates as they go through Commencement. I am thrilled when I see the smiles, the joy and the faces of family members. It has not yet been internalized by those who are graduating that they are ending this part of their journey and new beginnings are just around the corner. Uncertainty starts to set in when one thinks "what's next?". What is next is what has been worked for, dreamed about, strived for, and sacrificed for. One may ask "is it worth it?". Graduates, it is totally worth it!!!! You will feel a sense of pride that you will have with you for the rest of your lives. You are empowered with a new sense of purpose. You are prepared. You will know that there is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it. After all... you reached your goal of graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University. Enjoy your wonderful accomplishment....you've earned it!
Dr. Shelly Gimenez
Dean of the School of Continuing Education
Eastern Connecticut State University
Some of you may be returning to school after a long hiatus from your college education, or returning for spring classes. Other students may be transferring to Eastern and starting classes with us for the first time. No matter what your status, we are here to give you the best educational experience we can provide -- you deserve that. We are mindful of your time constraints and of the cost to you in your personal life and financial sacrifices. We are here to help guide your educational journey so that you meet your goals. We want you to know that we have experienced professionals who are glad to see you, happy to help you, and trained to work with you to navigate the challenges you may face. Please, take advantage of our expertise, time and ability to serve you. Call us today for an advisement appointment. You are not in this alone.
Dean Shelly Gimenez
School of Continuing Education
Is it ho ho ho or bah humbug....? It depends on how you look at it. This holiday season follows a year where there was continued economic doldrums, political change and a general level of uncertainty in our nation. Everywhere we looked we were reminded that these were difficult times. However, during times of challenge the best often comes out in people. If we look around us, we will see many people who have done all that they can to make it better for the next person. Friends are helping friends, families are helping family members, and colleagues are helping one another. I am surrounded by good people who make it better each and every day for all those that they come in contact with, by listening and helping others to realize their dreams and their goals. We know that if we look at what can be accomplished, even against all odds, we will help others find their path to a better tomorrow.
As the Dean of the School of Continuing Education, I am surrounded by professionals who embrace the spirit of giving. Giving doesn't necessarily mean money. What we receive in the end is far greater than anything we give. So for us in the School of Continuing Education we know that we are positively changing the lives of all the students we touch, each and every day. Giving is not just for today, it is for all year round.
The best of holiday seasons to you and yours and a happy and healthy New Year. We hope to see you at Eastern in 2011. And if you are already part of the Eastern family, we know that you understand what we mean when we say that the "spirit of giving is alive and well."
--Dean Rochelle Gimenez
So it is that time of the year again when we all think of joining loved ones around the table for a Thanksgiving feast. We have so much to be thankful for...even in times such as these. There are so many who are less fortunate and have so much less than most of us. Let us remember all that we have to be thankful for, and let us not forget those that need our thoughts and prayers. When possible I think that most Americans are very generous and giving and for that I am grateful to be a part of this great country. I also feel grateful to be a part of a great university. So thanks to all for being part of our extended family. A wonderful healthy and happy holiday to you all.
School of Continuing Education
BRRRRR....it will be getting chilly out there. What better time to warm up with a cup of coffee or tea and take a WinterSession course online from the comfort of your own home. Not only will you be able to take a course that will help you progress toward timely graduation but you will be taking the best seat in the house...that is.... your house!!!
And of course there are many courses to chose from that are on ground as well. We try to offer courses for you that will fit your lifestyle while on break. Think 1, 2, 3, 4. During one, two, three or four weeks you can take a one, two, three or four credit course. That will give you more time to concentrate on other courses during the regular semester.
So whether a course is online or on ground....we think we have what it takes to keep you "on course" of course!!!!
From Dr. Shelly Gimenez, Dean of the School of Continuing Education
Today was a good day. I went to meetings as usual, and while on campus I picked up the vibe of the students' first days (daze) in school. There is something special about hopeful faces and new beginnings. I am anxious to see the same faces throughout the school year and into the next and the next and the next. After all, within the crowd of faces all are looking forward to the same goal...to graduate!!!! And that is what we are here for. We are here to help, mentor when needed, and look for creative possibilities to help all reach the same goal. We are here to provide experiences that integrate classroom learning with what is happening out there in the real world, so that our graduates are able to participate in society in a meaningful way.
Some students have many barriers, where their shoulders are heavy and the mountain seems insurmountable. It is with those students that we have our challenges and our greatest rewards as administrators. Let me talk about two very different students. One is a traditional minority student, first in his family to go to college, who could not find his niche and was not succeeding. He was studying the wrong discipline, not succeeding in many classes, and did not realize that he should have been in another major until almost too late. He was in danger of falling through the cracks. He did not see graduation as a goal and could not imagine how he could get there. He had many in the university community pulling for him. We found a way to look at the classes he has taken and create a plan of study that will get him out of college in five years!!! Now five years you say....that is not four....no it is not...but it does represent success for someone who was ready to give up and walk away, seeing only defeat. Graduation is just around the corner for him. His life was changed today. Her life was changed today.
The other student is an adult student who was in the ladies room, sighing loudly. I happened to hear her and started talking to her. She is the mother of five and was taking five classes this semester. She was exhausted and it was only the second day of class. I invited her into my office and introduced her to one of our advisors who sat her down and listened to what she wanted to accomplish. To make a long story short, out of a chance meeting we were able to shave off a year and a half of study for her and created a plan of study that will only entail 6 more classes toward graduation. She didn't know what the School of Continuing Education could provide...she will be doing Credit for Lifelong Learning based on her sixteen years of experience in banking. And that came out of a chance meeting with someone who was listening!!!!
So yes, today was a good day.....we are in the business of changing lives. It can't get better than that!
--Dean Gimenez, School of Continuing Education
Why should you or anyone else who is an adult go on for a degree with all the other responsibilities tugging at you? After all you have been able to get this far...but in the back of your mind you may have been thinking...it is time...I really would like to finish...I always wanted this....but I am too old...but it may be too late, I don't have enough money.
I am here as a living testimonial to tell you that it is never too late, that we are never too old and that money is always a problem but should never be the barrier to completing your education. The hardest step to take is the first one....and there are always reasons and excuses not to pick up the phone to make that first appointment. But should you want to "give yourself the best gift anyone can give themselves" and open up doors that you thought would always be closed to you...then do pick up the phone to make that first advisement appointment. Take that first class...experience that first success and before you know it...you will be on your way to what you thought was only a dream and very far away.
Sitting outside of my office is a mother with a baby carrier. She has three children and she is registering for one of her last two classes. She is almost there and said but it seems forever...and here it is. I asked her why she is going for her degree and she said "I expect my children to go to college. How can I expect them to go if I don't get my degree? I want them to follow my example." So take that first step...because I can tell you from my own experience that opportunities are there for you that you never dreamed possible and you are the best example a parent can be.
From Dean Shelly Gimenez
This week has been an interesting one. We have 45 Jamaican students on campus that bring with them experiences from their culture not only individually but as a group. When you have a group working together toward a common goal, as in this case, a bachelor's degree, we as professionals concentrate on what curriculum needs to be delivered to meet requirements toward completing the degree. We work with the students individually taking into consideration what they have already taken and what they need to take. We look toward the diploma and graduation as a labor of love knowing that we are going to change lives with the completion of their degree. However, what we don't normally take into consideration, is the vast cultural change they are going through while studying in a foreign land doing their on-campus residency. We don't realize that for many this is a list of firsts; first plane ride, first elevator ride, first escalator ride, first ride on American highways, first time in a residence hall, first time rooming with others that are not related to them, first time on a university campus, first time eating American food, first time going to an American supermarket....so many firsts. There are not only cultural firsts but emotional firsts. As an administrator working with these wonderful students I too have had firsts and am learning that when in a foreign land the whole person has to be taken into consideration and not just academic completion of a degree.
--Dr. Shelly Gimenez, Dean of the School of Continuing Education
About seven years ago outside of Epinal, France, I went to a cemetery where soldiers were buried as far as the eye can see. The cemetery marked the graves of those that had fought in World War II, and it was a memorable and emotional sight. There were fallen soldiers of all faiths from all walks of life who came to this remote resting place. The graves told me when they were born, when they died and the markers told me what their faith was. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all resting together. They lived together and came to their final resting place in a land far away from home fighting for the values we hold so dear. This beautiful, peaceful place left a lasting impression on me.
I have two sons who are in the Army. One of my sons is now serving in Afghanistan and the other is currently stationed stateside. It doesn't matter what you stand for or what you believe when it comes to war. It does matter that as a mother I want my sons to be safe. I am proud of them because of who they are, their service and the responsibility they have to defend our way of life and our country. They are two wonderful young men who have a great deal of loyalty to their country and their branch of service. They are like the many thousands of others that came before them and those that will come after them who are willing to die for their country.
The cemetery in that remote part of France left a lasting impression. I hope that I never have to walk among the graves of such a place that is marked with one of my son's names. It is the hope of all mothers.
--Dr. Shelly Gimenez, Dean of the School of Continuing Education