ESU’s Council of Trustees convened for the final time this year last Thursday at the Innovation Center.
Trustees Chair L. Patrick Ross began the meeting by welcoming Paul Shermansky as the Council’s newest Trustee. Shermansky is an ESU graduate and holds an undergraduate degree and two graduate degrees from ESU.
“I am sure he will be a nice asset to the Council, and we welcome him,” Ross said.
Then Ross asked for a moment of silence in memory of John Tobin and his family.
“This past Sept. 11, John Tobin, known to many on campus as Toby, the Evening Help Desk Coordinator and husband of Dr. Doreen Tobin, Vice President of Student Affairs, experienced sudden cardiac arrest while working out at the Mattioli Recreation Center,” Ross said.
According to Ross the student who was on the scene administered CPR immediately before the Center’s student staff intervened and provided both CPR and Automated External Defibrillator or AED until the ambulance arrived.
“The quick action by ESU students showed how committed our Warrior family is to one another. Although Toby fought bravely through nearly two weeks, he passed away on September 24,” stated Ross.
Due to the student’s quick actions, they were honored at the Council of Trustees meeting on Nov. 29.
The student first responders included senior Joe Guzzo, junior Alyssa Rogusky junior Adrianna Vacante, junior Sabrina Ventriello and John Yoffredo, a graduate student.
“It is wonderful to see how dedicated our students are throughout our campus community and how their skills and training can impact in real-time their fellow students, faculty, and staff,” Ross said.
Next, three members from APSCURF (Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Retired Faculty) announced their upcoming initiatives.
“The first initiative is that last fall, we decided to have an endowed scholarship that retired faculty will contribute to,” said APSCURF member Faith Waters. “After a year, we have almost 20,000 in the account, and we are going for the 25.”
Their second initiative, according to Waters is the ESU Mapping Project. The goal of the project is to create a map of the surround boroughs including Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg.
“We’ve identified 30 groups in the boroughs, and they really range from groups like the Arts Council to active clergy in the boroughs to social service people,” Waters said. “We are very excited because they will come in, and we have these 10 by 12 canvases that have the basic outlines of the boroughs, and they fill in what it looks like from their perspective.”
According to Waters, the project will involve different members of the community and allow students and faculty to participate in projects to make a difference in the lives of people where they live and learn.”
The third project under APSCURF is the Warrior Food and Supply Pantry. The retired faculty hosts the pantry every Tuesday afternoon at St. Matthew’s Church in East Stroudsburg.
“If you are hungry, you can’t learn. The research is out there. You can’t learn,” Waters said. “If you don’t smell good, and you haven’t had a shower–you don’t have clothes that are clean, you don’t want to go to class. You don’t want to participate in activities.”
According to Waters, the most popular pantry item is Gold laundry soap, toothpaste, and deodorant.
“What I encourage you, the Council of Trustees, to do is when you come for your next meeting bring laundry soap, bring toothpaste, bring deodorant,” Waters said. “They are expensive, and people just don’t easily donate very many of those things,”
Waters hopes the Council invites APSCURF to another meeting whenever they need an injection of hope.
“Not many times do you get people who are no longer taking a salary from here, donating money and resources back and having the time and perspective of wanting to collaborate,” Waters said.
The trustees applauded the members of APSCURF.
Welsh’s President’s Report recapped author Cristina Henriquez’s visit to ESU to talk about her book, “The Book of Unknown Americans.” Welsh also mentioned the retirement of former ESU Football Head Coach Denny Douds.
“He is still a faculty member, and he’s still raising money for athletics. But he had an unusual way of retiring,” stated Welsh.
Welsh said that winter commencement will be held on Dec. 15. The commencement speaker will be Dr. Daniel Greenstein, the new Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
Welsh noted that rain has delayed the construction of the new baseball and softball fields in partnership with Stroudsburg Little League. But she said that the latest projected date for the completion of the baseball field is Dec. 14 with the completion of the softball field to follow.
Dr. Sylvester Williams has been named the new Dean of the College of Business and Management. He will be on campus starting the first week of January. Williams brings over 30 years of experience in banking, foreign affairs and education to ESU
“We are excited to have new leadership for that college and have very high hopes for what he is going to be able to accomplish,” stated Welsh.
Jan. 21 will be ESU’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. Debra Fraser-Howze, a former Senior Vice President at OraSure Technologies, Inc., will be the keynote speaker.
Finally, Welsh noted the recent passing of freshman psychology major Jacob Shedlock.
“Jacob will be missed. He was truly a Warrior,” Welsh said.
Trustee Marcus Lingenfelter presented the Strategic Initiative Committee Report.
Lingenfelter was excited to present Resolution 18-06 for the Council’s approval. This resolution would enable ESU to offer a new doctorate program: the Doctorate of Health Science in Health Sciences (D.H.Sc.).
The resolution was unanimously approved. It will be forwarded to Harrisburg for final approval.
The motion to approve the new Faculty Emeritus policy was carried unanimously as well.
Trustee Harry Lee presented the Finance Committee Report.
Lee was pleased to report that ESU received a clean audit report by the auditors. But Lee also noted the need to increase ESU’s enrollment.
Lee also said that the family of Dr. Jane Huffman requested that the name of the Jane Huffman Wildlife Research Center be changed to the Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute. The resolution to do so passed unanimously.
Before going into executive session, Ross thanked everyone for coming out and wished them a happy holiday.
“Thank you for what you do for the college,” Ross said. “Thank you very much.”
Email Ronald at: