College of Professional Studies Honors Women of the University Community Sept. 29 for Service and Dedication to Syracuse University

by Cheryl Abrams

Women of the University Community logo

During his first address following the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III spoke admiringly about the attributes that characterized his mother’s life and reign. He spoke of having a “deep gratitude” for the queen’s life-long sense of duty, service, dedication and devotion.

These formidable sentiments are being expressed this month as the College of Professional Studies honors the service of an organization whose members have steadfastly exemplified these same qualities over many decades: the Women of the University Community (WUC).

Dean’s Lifetime Ambassador Award
During the College’s alumni luncheon as part of Orange Central on Thursday, Sept. 29, Dean Michael Frasciello will present WUC with the Dean’s Lifetime Ambassador’s Award. This accolade is one of the highest forms of recognition the college bestows on alumni and organizations for their support of Syracuse University, the college and its students. Members of the University community and the public are invited to attend the event, from noon to 2 p.m. at Drumlins Country Club.

“Syracuse University is tremendously grateful to the Women of the University Community for their unwavering belief in the transformational power of a college education and their commitment to our shared mission of providing and supporting access to Syracuse University,” says Dean Frasciello. “We look forward to celebrating their achievements on September 29.”

Near Century of Dedication
The Women of the University Community was founded in 1927 (as it happens, a year after Queen Elizabeth’s birth) by some formidable women to bring together alumni and other women affiliated with Syracuse University. For nearly a century, the organization succeeded in providing support for women and education. Beginning in 1969, three scholarships were created to honor Beverly Whaley (SUNY ESF), Mildred Eggers (University College, now the College of Professional Studies) and Ruth Tolley (Falk College). These scholarships, which eventually became endowed and have since distributed more than $200,000 to deserving female scholars, will continue to be awarded.

The Mildred Eggers award is presented annually to three women studying through the college who are matriculated in a bachelor’s degree program and taking at least six credits the following semester. Recipients are selected primarily on academic merit, with financial need considered. The Ruth Tolley award is presented to outstanding juniors in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; and the Beverly Whaley scholarship goes to a sophomore or junior at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Profound Impact
Retired Syracuse University administrator Esther Gray, who led the University Lectures Series for many years since its inception in 1996, is a College of Professional Studies alumna and past president of WUC. She received a Mildred Eggers scholarship while pursuing her degree. “That scholarship meant the world and helped get me through my studies at SU,” she says.

As a WUC member who attended many ceremonies when scholarships were awarded to recipients, Gray recalls one comment from a deserving student that has inspired her since. The young woman said, “The Women of the University Community’s belief in me through this scholarship led to my believing in myself.”

In 2021, WUC was formally disbanded for many compelling reasons, including the aging of long-standing members and their abilities to participate, as well as time commitments of current and potential members. The COVID-19 pandemic stalled in-person get-togethers and events, greatly impacting the cohesiveness of WUC as a sustainable organization.

Affirming the Past
While the disbanding of WUC could be viewed sadly, as a mourning for something that had been vibrant on campus for so many years, the remaining members instead focus on celebrating the accomplishments made possible by many women, as well as moving forward with the promise of and inspiration in women scholars of today.

“We take heart in all that was achieved since WUC’s formation,” says Kate Veley, a Syracuse University alumna and long-time University employee who is now the director of corporate philanthropy at Make-a-Wish® of CNY. As a former president of the group, Kate looks back with pride on both the time dedicated by members, as well as their monetary donations along the way.

Whenever WUC presented fundraising events, members paid for all associated costs, such as invitations, postage, room rentals and more. “From the very beginning, every penny raised went directly into the scholarship funding,” says Veley. “Administrative expenses were totally covered by the members; it wasn’t a line item in our budget.”

WUC held many annual book and garage sales, as well as its primary fundraising activity, an annual poinsettia sale, with more than 12,000 plants being sold over the years. Community and social services have also played a significant role in WUC through an outreach tutoring program, events for international students and families, and support for local charities such as the American Cancer Society and the Hendricks’s Chapel Food Pantry.

At its core, the WUC has always been a highly social organization. Traditionally, members held three annual events: a Fall Welcome, a seasonal Holiday Party, and a Spring Luncheon. Other activities included bridge, a book review group, gourmet dining events, bowling, creative writing, theater, and crafts and sewing. Neighborhood groups were also vital, with 15 different meeting locations in its heyday.

Service from a Different Age
While the WUC has seen many changes over the years, the organization has remained true to its founding as an organization of women who gather in friendship, camaraderie, and respect to sustain one another, create meaningful relationships, and assist future generations in their academic pursuits.

Although the group formally disbanded last year, what continues say Veley and Gray is a profound sense of caring and support, particularly for its oldest members. “We have an email list and routinely stay in touch with one another,” says Veley. When a member may be ill or having a tough time, other members rally around to provide meals and whatever help they can, adds Gray.

As the college prepares to honor the WUC, two additional attributes that King Charles III ascribed to his late mother can aptly be applied to WUC members: “a fearless embrace of progress and an unerring ability to see the best in people.”

William, the now Prince of Wales, also stated that he thanks his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, “on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.”

The Syracuse University community, likewise, thanks the Women of the University Community for 95 years of its example of dedicated service and engagement in the life of the campus and surrounding community.

English for Lawyers Offers Interactive Learning for Prospective LL.M. Students

By Hope Alvarez

“All rise!”

Silence filled the room as the judge took her seat. The lawyers shuffled through their notes one last time while the jury prepared to listen about the criminal actions of a man who fled the state of Florida.

Olga Oganesyan, assistant director of academic programs at the English Language Institute, smiled as she watched her students navigate the courtroom with confidence and poise.

The mock trial was about to begin.

Now in its ninth year, the English for Lawyers cohort concluded their summer program with a mock trial on Aug. 10 after six weeks of courses. Hosted by the English Language Institute at Syracuse University, English for Lawyers is a program designed to provide a foundation in legal terminology and language usage in various areas for non-native speakers of English who intend to earn an LL.M. degree in the United States.

Read more

Fulbright Scholars Return to Syracuse University In-Person After Two Years

By Hope Alvarez

They never intended to meet. Daniela Orozco Poveda was from Colombia, while Jonato Xavier was from Timor-Leste, a nation located on the island of Timor, in between Indonesia and Australia. While they were once strangers living oceans apart, the world suddenly felt small when the Fulbright Program intertwined their paths.

For the first time in two years, the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program returned to an in-person format at Syracuse University after conducting the program virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 29 Fulbright scholars from 25 countries attended the four-week program, which prepares scholars for graduate life before matriculating into their degree programs at institutions across the United States. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of its Fulbright Program, scholars spend this time building an international education network while participating in interactive workshops, field trips, and textual and oral communication courses.

“It is a blessing to be part of a program with so many tangible and intangible benefits for a range of different stakeholders—first and foremost, for the Fulbrighters, of course, but also for all those who have had the pleasure of getting to know them—faculty and staff, host families, and others in the community—who have been touched by their contagious enthusiasm and optimism for a better future,” said David Lind, director of the English Language Institute.

A Golden Opportunity

2022 Fulbright scholar, Daniela Orozco Poveda

After 36 hours of travel, Poveda finally arrived at Syracuse University. Although exhausted from a marathon of flights, there was no time to rest. Fulbright scholars chattered at the Ernie Davis Residence Hall, a temporary homebase where they would exchange stories about their lives, their research and the four-week long preparation program. Eager to dive in, Poveda knew it was time to make the most of this prestigious opportunity and began introducing herself to Xavier and the other Fulbright scholars.

“This is the opportunity to be a better researcher and be a better professor,” Poveda said.

With a background in law and political science, Poveda’s goal during the Fulbright Program is to master her research and teaching skills. In the world of law, industry work often prevails over academia, but Poveda believes that academic research is just as crucial to the development of the industry. During the Fulbright Program, the PhD candidate will sharpen her researcher skills at the University of North Texas as she continues her research about symbolic laws. The experience she gathers in the U.S. will enrich the lessons she teaches when she returns to Colombia.

2022 Fulbright scholar, Jonato Xavier

However, Xavier is eager to dive into the industry side of law. As a Fulbright scholar, Xavier will be participating in an international LL.M. program at Loyola University New Orleans.

“[Fulbright] is simply a golden opportunity,” Xavier said.

For Xavier, the Fulbright Program has been an enriching opportunity that allows him to learn about the diverse avenues of research and gather dynamic perspectives from scholars around the world. A global viewpoint is vital for Xavier as he continues his research about human rights.

Connecting Through Cultural Experiences

The Fulbright Program is more than just a research opportunity. During the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program, scholars spend the preparation period connecting through a variety of workshops and off-campus activities. Whether it’s a session about library resources or enjoying a homecooked meal with University hosts, the program offers a unique camaraderie that can only be found in-person. The variety of immersive learning is structured to prepare scholars for a successful Fulbright experience.

Fulbright scholars participate in a CliftonStengths workshop hosted by Liz Green, executive director of online student success, on Aug. 1, 2022 at Syracuse University.

One day Fulbright scholars will learn about professionally applying their personality strengths, while other days are spent exploring museums and art centers. The diverse agenda strengthens the Fulbright community and offers a window of new perspectives.

“What makes this experience unique for the students is the magical mix of learning and networking opportunities that we provide for them, made possible thanks to the interest and generosity of a broad cross-section of folks from the Syracuse University community,” Lind said. “All of us involved in the program got a rush out of watching how this amazing group of people have come together from the four corners of the world for a common purpose.”

Outside of the classroom, University employees host dinners for the Fulbright scholars. According to Xavier and Poveda, the relaxed gathering offered a chance to connect through cultural experiences while the scholars painted, played ping pong, and feasted on food like paella and strawberry cake. As the Fulbright cohort embarks on this new adventure together, the immersive activities have strengthened their connections, Poveda said.

More Than a Global Network

Fulbright Scholars present their research posters at Bird Library.

On the final day of the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program, the cohort of Fulbright scholars prepare for the Fulbright Scholar Poster Session at Bird Library, where they will present their research using the resources and skills they have acquired during their time at Syracuse.

Poveda and Xavier share a laugh with their cohort, projecting the illusion that they have known each other for years. It’s difficult to imagine that these scholars only recently met, but the fresh environment provided a blank slate for the cohort to journey through and tackle any interferences together.

Despite the challenges of living in a different country, navigating language barriers, and adjusting to new academic rigors, Fulbright scholars Poveda and Xavier felt the hindrances were necessary to face during the study abroad experience. The obstacles provided a new way to learn and adapt while enforcing the importance of community. Throughout their learning experiences, the Fulbright network is the greatest tool they’ll utilize for the remainder of their careers.

“This is a community,” Poveda said. “There is a network between us now, and it is all around the world. If someone needs something, we are going to be there for them.”


About the College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to diverse students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or education experience.

About the English Language Institute

The English Language Institute, a department within the College of Professional Studies, at Syracuse University is a pre-degree program that prepares international students to succeed in their undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Established in 1979, this immersive year-round program allows international students the opportunity to learn English and culture in the heart of New York state.

College of Professional Studies Announces New Faculty Member, Daniel Hebert, J.D., LL.M.

Dan Hebert portraitDaniel Hebert joins Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies as an assistant teaching professor.

Hebert will teach and develop courses in business management, creative leadership and other areas of professional studies. 

“I am truly excited to join the College of Professional Studies. It is a privilege to be part of a college that is always looking forward for ways to better serve its diverse student body while engaging in high-quality scholarship. I look forward to dedicating my teaching, research, and service both to the College of Professional Studies and Syracuse University as a whole,” says Hebert.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Hebert was a lecturer at SUNY Polytechnic Institute from 2020 to 2022 and taught law, taxation and business courses.

Hebert received an LL.M. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2020, a J.D. from the University at Buffalo in 2011, and a B.S. from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in 2008. In 2012, Hebert was admitted to the New York State Bar.

Hebert’s research focuses on corporate law, taxation, not-for-profit organizations, business organizations and education.

Most recently, Hebert co-authored the CPA Journal article “Twenty Questions on the Challenges of Maintaining the Quality of Academic Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“Professor Hebert has fresh, innovative ideas for future programming and a genuine enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring.  We are thrilled to welcome him to the College, to Syracuse University, and to our growing faculty ranks,” said Ryan Williams, associate dean of the College of Professional Studies Academic Affairs office.

About the College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to diverse students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or education experience.

Virtual Vocabulary: Online Learning Terms that will Set You Up for Success

As the number of online degree programs increases, so does the virtual vocabulary. Learning Management Systems, synchronous sessions, breakout rooms, digital badges… All of these terms can seem scary and intimidating, but no worries. We’ve broken them all down for you so you’re ready to earn your online degree or certificate!

  • Modality
    • Modality refers to how a course is taken: online, in person, or hybrid. All of the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) courses offered through the College of Professional Studies are 100% online and have synchronous and asynchronous components.
  • Synchronous (aka “synch session”)
    • Most of the courses at the College of Professional Studies have both asynchronous and synchronous components, which means you will have coursework to complete on your own time and you will meet with your instructor and classmates in a virtual classroom for 90 minutes one evening (EST) per week for the duration of the course (typically 8 weeks). Synch sessions are an invaluable benefit of online courses. You will gain a better understanding of course topics because your questions can be answered on the spot and you can listen and be a part of discussions. You also become part of the University community, which can be an enriching and rewarding experience.
  • Asynchronous (aka “asynch”)
    • Most of the time you spend in your courses at the College of Professional Studies will be asynchronous. Asynchronous coursework can be completed on your own time between synch sessions. This can include watching videos, writing papers, working on group projects, or completing homework assignments. The amount of time you will spend completing asynch coursework will vary from course to course.
  • LMS (Learning Management System)
    • The Learning Management System (LMS) is the software that schools use to facilitate their online programs. It’s kind of like a virtual school. It has classrooms (links that take you to your virtual classrooms), your syllabus and other course materials, a forum to communicate with your instructor and classmates, a place to submit your homework, and lots more.
    • At Syracuse University, we use Blackboard as our LMS. Blackboard is easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere you can access the internet so you can complete your asynch coursework any time.
    • Once you’re accepted into the College of Professional Studies, the Office of Online Student Success team will meet with you to walk you through how to use Blackboard so you can log into your first class with confidence.
  • Virtual Classroom/Live Session
    • A virtual classroom works much like an in-person classroom, except your desk is wherever you can access the internet. When you log into your synch session, you need a camera and microphone so you can watch, listen and engage with your instructor and classmates. Depending on the course you’re taking, there may be small group work, opportunities to share thoughts and ask questions, videos to watch and respond to, and other engaging activities that will help you understand the course content.
  • Breakout Room
    • A breakout room is an engaging activity that instructors often use in their virtual classrooms. It’s a way for students to have small group discussions, work on group projects, or complete in-class work. To do this, the instructor will divide the class into small groups within the virtual classroom. A button will appear for you that will take you to your breakout room. You will then be moved into a different virtual classroom with only your breakout room group members. The instructor may enter your breakout room at any time to answer questions or facilitate discussions. When the breakout room is over, you will automatically be moved back to the original virtual classroom.
  • Office Hours
    • Professors and course instructors make themselves available to speak to students one-on-one or in small groups on the phone or in a video chat at specific times throughout the week. They offer support, answer questions, and provide clarity on assignments and course topics. Taking advantage of office hours is highly encouraged and a good way to get to know your professors—and for them to get to know you!  
  • The Office of Online Student Success (OSS)
    • The Office of Online Student Success is dedicated to supporting students every step of the way as they earn their degree or certificate. Not only will they teach you how to use Blackboard so you can confidently log into your first synch session, but they will also help you select courses that will further your degree progression, connect you with resources at the university, and monitor your academic progress. They are a reliable source of guidance and support.
  • Certification
    • Certifications show professional competency in a highly specialized area. They are awarded by an organization that is authorized to test or evaluate an individual to confirm they have the necessary skills to hold the certification.
  • Certificate
    • A certificate is earned after successfully completing a set of credit-bearing or noncredit courses that are focused on a particular professional specialty.
  • Digital Badges
    • Digital badges demonstrate that an achievement has been earned for instructional, competitive or experiential purposes. They are digital icons that, when clicked, provide information about the learning and assessments that were completed and verify that the learning outcomes have been successfully met. Each digital badge is unique to the learning opportunity, the individual who completed it, and the badge-granting entity.  
  • Learning Assessment
    • A learning assessment is a measurement or evaluation used by an instructor to verify that the student has learned the content of the lesson or course. Learning assessments can be in the form of quizzes or tests, assignments, presentations, projects or experiential learning on the job.
  • Microcredential
    • Microcredentials play a unique role in helping students to upskill or reskill to be more competitive in the job market. Typically consisting of one or a handful of courses and offered in multiple modalities, they allow students to build a portfolio of demonstrated learning in a short amount of time for professional advancement or personal interest. Microcredentials are often focused on a particular skill or topic, so students can enhance their resume with personal or professional skills outside of a degree program. They can sometimes be combined (or “stacked”) as part of a more complex microcredential, course, program or degree.
  • Microcredential Modality: Self-Guided Online Course
    • Self-guided online courses are taken at your own pace and in your own time. Often, you will have videos to watch, quizzes throughout the course, and then a final test that you need to pass in order to earn credit for the course. You are not part of a class, so you do not have classmates or an instructor.
  • Microcredential Modality: Instructor-Guided Online Course
    • An instructor-guided online course is self-guided, but it’s different because there is an instructor who is available to answer questions and submit feedback on assignments via email or online forum. Typically, you will receive a syllabus and assignments to complete and submit.
  • Microcredential Modality: In Person Course  
    • An in-person course or workshop is taken in a classroom or other location. The course is lead by a professor, instructor or leader, and you will take the course together with other students.
  • Post-traditional
    • Post-traditional learners are students who engage in academic experiences through Syracuse University in a manner outside of a post-secondary residential experience. At Syracuse, we use the term post-traditional broadly to include anyone who has completed a Syracuse University learning experience part-time, online, through short courses, microcredentials, certificate programs or workshops. Post-traditional students are an important part of our community and bring a wealth of perspectives and diversity to our student body and orange family.

Did we miss a term? Let us know! Do you know someone who would benefit from learning these terms? Share this blog post!