I have been excited with the number of new ideas that we have been able to nurture and implement over the last 18 months; one of these is The Fogelman Promise Initiative. I briefly introduced this in the last issue of the Flash, then called Fogelman Pride, and now I would like to take a little more time to explain the philosophy behind the idea, and the developments in each of its program areas, several of which are new additions to the initiative. While I have been impressed in many ways with the quality of our students, I have always wanted to be able to give them as much chance as possible to maximize, and realize, their potential. When we think about student development, we are conditioned to think about advancing their technical understanding of different cognate subject areas. While this is of course vital, I also feel that we have a responsibility to facilitate their growth in other ways. To this end, I have been delighted to see a number of new programs develop that are intended to enhance the development of our students as we prepare them for careers in an increasingly complex and dynamic global environment. Furthermore, I am continually striving for ways in which we can further interconnectedness among our students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of our local communities. 'The Fogelman Promise Initiative', overseen by Dr. Margaret Schultz, is intended to further both of these objectives. There are ten main programs encompassed within the Fogelman Promise Initiative: The Etiquette Dining Program, Fogelman College Traditions, The Hall of Fame, Toastmasters, The Wellness Program, The 4Cs Program, The E-Learning Program, The Honors Program, The Code of Professionalism, and Fogelman Promise Day. As these programs continue to develop, so their impact will be felt across the College, and beyond.
Some of these programs, such as the development of our Honors program, the creation of the Hall of Fame, the development of a new College Tradition, and the establishment of a College Wellness Program are at relatively early stages. Albert Okunade is spearheading work on enhancing the experience of our honors students and also creating a Hall of Fame that will honor our alumni and friends. Lloyd Brooks has been working with various stakeholders to help identify a focal tradition that will become a metaphorical and physical touchstone for current students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Sandi Richardson has been developing potential ways in which we can help develop the physical wellbeing of our students by linking with corporate partners to provide cutting edge wellness programs and groundbreaking research opportunities. More news on these ideas will be forthcoming as they develop in the weeks ahead.
The Code of Professionalism has been developed by Ron Spahr and a committee of representative stakeholders. It is something that has been developed for students at a small number of colleges around the country, but we have decided to expand it to include our staff and faculty. It is discussed elsewhere in this newsletter – I welcome your feedback. The first annual Fogelman Promise Day, headed by our new Director of Development Ziggy Siegfried, will be a celebration of the exciting things that are happening within the Fogelman College. It also is discussed elsewhere in this newsletter, and I am looking forward to seeing our students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends coming together to enjoy the festivities.
The remaining four components of the Fogelman Promise Initiative have developed significantly over the last academic year. First, The Etiquette Dining Program, coordinated by Barbara Davis, has delivered several hands-on training sessions in its inaugural semester. Each session involves a certified etiquette consultant, Ms. Debbie Neal, providing practical instruction on dining, networking, and conversing for business with a group of undergraduate students. Students pay a nominal $5 fee for the program and also receive a customized etiquette guidebook. Second, Kimberlee Keef has initiated the creation of a number of student Toastmasters International Clubs. This has proved so popular with students that within two semesters the College has created more chapters than any other single site in North America; the College will also host the regional Toastmasters International Conference in fall 2010. Third, the E-Learning Program, headed by Tom Meservy, has been extremely active. There have been two main components to the program in its first year: development of an eCourseware Certification that provides an opportunity for faculty to demonstrate their proficiency with the university- and college-supported course management system; and, a series of brown bag presentations where faculty can gather to learn about how to use new and innovative techniques to augment learning in their classes. Finally, The 4Cs Program is designed to help students in the College enhance their awareness, understanding and development of four critical 'soft skills' that are intrinsic to their future career success: Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Emotional Control. Coordinated by John Amis, the program has involved 30 business professionals and 20 faculty members teaching across 30 undergraduate course sections; further expansion is planned for the fall 2010 semester.
Needless to say, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to the staff, faculty, alumni and community friends for helping to make opportunities such as the Fogelman Promise a reality for our students. Please do not hesitate to contact me with feedback about our 'Codes of Professionalism' or with suggestions as to how we might further develop the Fogelman College.
Rajiv Grover, Ph.D.