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Transforming Students' Lives 

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 20, 2018) – Advisors are on the frontlines of student retention and success, University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez said in welcoming advisors from across the state to the Campus Center Ballroom.

“Simply put, you are transforming students’ lives one student at a time,” he said to a room filled with more than 300 advisors, deans, directors and provosts from SUNY campuses statewide.

“We are honored to host the first SUNY Academic Advising Conference,” Rodríguez said, adding it was an historic day and one in which an important conversation on the future of advising was taking place.

He encouraged the audience to “re-engineer advising to collaborate across campuses,” in order to empower students to assume responsibility for their academic progress.

Rodríguez encouraged the group to present concrete ideas that will be effective, efficient, and focused on the opportunities advisement creates as SUNY institutions face the challenges of changing demographics. He urged the group to be “bold, innovative and transformative in our recommendations” and to share successes and failures.

Director of Advisement Services JoAnne Malatesta, who was instrumental in bringing the conference to UAlbany, said she was “extremely excited to be hosting a SUNY-wide advising conference with advisors from 58 campuses across the system joining us.” The conference was organized and hosted by Malatesta’s office, the newly named Academic Support Center.

“I think this conference is great because it gives advisors an opportunity to get together and share our ideas and experiences,” said Jeri O’Bryan-Losee of Morrisville State College. “My heart is in advising students.” O’Bryan-Losee is on leave from Morrisville State College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity and serves as secretary-treasurer of statewide United University Professions.

The day-long session included workshop session, an address by SUNY Provost Grace Wang and a keynote address by Christopher Fernando, who left UAlbany in 2014 to become statewide coordinator for STEP & CSTEP for the New York State Education Department.

UAlbany Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Jeanette Altarriba noted that UAlbany has expanded advisement over the last three years in order to improve the quality of that experience for students.

“We are exploring a four-year model,” she said, adding, “we are always innovating, changing the experience and looking at how we can do things better.”

Altarriba said, “We have found ways to make this a smaller community,” in order to provide more personalized, individual attention to students. “There is no substitute for one-on-one relating.”

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.