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June 25, 2008

School of Business Inaugural Direct Admit Program Students Start Junior Year

For the past three years, the School of Business at the University at Albany-SUNY has opened its doors to the highest achieving freshmen in the state. The Direct Admit program was originally dubbed Freshman Admit, but as the original group of freshmen moved on to their sophomore and then junior years, a more appropriate title was chosen.  The freshmen in the inaugural class, now juniors, will truly dive into the business curriculum this fall.  According to recently retired School of Business Assistant Dean Albina Grignon, who launched the Direct Admit program in 2006, “These students are the best of the best.  Their commitment to the School of Business is exceptional.”

They are leaders. A member of the first Direct Admit class, Kaitlyn Vitozzi, spearheaded a canned goods drive in her sophomore year. Daren Pon is on track to graduate in three years and is already planning postgraduate study. Accounting student Janelle Murphy won the Hazel English Ferris Award in May. This fall, Alexis Imprescia will be at the helm of business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. Read more about these students in the fall issue of Albany Business.

This fall, the new crop of freshman, like the two classes before them, have average SAT scores of 1235 and grade point averages hovering around 93.  They will start their UAlbany careers in a special section of Business Law, a required course, providing their first taste of the school.

Direct Admit provides a home base to the budding business students.  After a School of Business orientation, they become further integrated into the school through presentations on business concentrations and career development.  They have an opportunity to learn about business fraternities and clubs.  New this year is Career Bites, 15 minute programs that start in the minutes following required classes, corralling students before they can walk out of the classroom door. All of these events offer useful information and opportunities for freshmen to network with each other, upperclassmen and faculty. 

The Dean’s Leadership Council maintains a critical link between the young business students and the school. Each member mentors three to seven incoming students through email.  The DLC acts as “big brothers and sisters,” counseling and encouraging.  Grignon said, “The DLC provides a student perspective on the faculty, the coursework and the rigors of the program.”

The mentoring program has come full circle. Kaitlyn Vitozzi, who was mentored by students from the Dean’s Leadership Council as a freshman, has started her term as vice president of the DLC.  She will mentor incoming students this fall.

Source: Summer 2008, School of Business e.connections, Issue 13.  

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