With my announced intent to step down as dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources in January and planned retirement from UConn in May, this will be my last dean’s message for Pathways. I have had the extraordinary privilege to serve as dean of the College since July 2008, during a period of significant growth and change. As my time as dean comes to a close, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the progress we have made as a college over the past several years. That progress would not have been possible without the dedication of our faculty and staff each and every day and the overwhelming support of our many alumni and friends, who serve as our strongest advocates and cheerleaders. As dean, I take no credit for our progress but rather give all credit to our hard-working faculty and staff.
As dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, I am always amazed and humbled to see how our faculty, staff and students are “making a difference” in teaching, research and extension, not only in Connecticut but around the world. Watching that story unfold on a daily basis is one of my greatest pleasures.
This past year we received two significant gifts of scholarships as part of the University’s Scholarship Initiative. The first gift, made by an anonymous donor, was used to fund several “Difference Maker” Scholarships. The awards were made to students in the College who have made a difference in the world throughout their undergraduate years both in and outside the classroom. We have featured some of their stories here in Pathways and on our the College’s blog, Naturally@UConn The students’ stories are amazing and inspiring.
Much has changed in the College since our last issue of Pathways was published last year. We are no longer the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, but rather the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. This name better reflects the programmatic diversity that exists in the College today and the important role we now play in health promotion. In addition, we have added another academic department, the Department of Kinesiology, at the request of the Kinesiology faculty and the campus administration. As a college, we were pleased to welcome our new colleagues. Their academic and research programs in physical therapy, exercise science and athletic training nicely complement our existing programs in Nutrition and Allied Health Sciences.
Communication is essential to fulfilling our mission as a land grant institution. In response to recent alumni and donor survey results, the College has determined electronic communication alone does not enable the College to stay connected with our alumni and supporters. While we will continue to utilize electronic and social media as tools of communication, we are happy to reintroduce Pathways as an annual magazine highlighting our alumni, supporters and College activities. We hope you will enjoy this publication and contribute to future editions. Your support and engagement continues to cultivate the growth and many successes of the College.
This fall, Cornucopia was once again a great success on a picture perfect New England day. Members of the UConn community and general public had the opportunity to learn a bit about what we do in our College to serve Connecticut citizens.