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Professors appointed to open administrative roles

By Adam Harrison

News Editor 


Provost Kristen Porter-Utley announced that four professors were appointed to administrative positions beginning Sep. 4, 2024. 


Joseph Adelman will be the coordinator for the Arts & Ideas, Lissa Bollettino will be the director of CELTSS, Kimberly Arditte Hall will be the coordinator for the RAMS 101 program, and Patricia Sánchez-Connally will be the assistant coordinator for the RAMS 101 program. 


The professors applied for the positions in late 2023 and early 2024 and were appointed in mid-February. 


To accommodate for the added workload, these professors will be given course releases and will only be required to teach one or two classes per semester. 


A course release offers the professors extra schedule space “that gets filled in with the administrative time for working on the program and coordinating with everyone who’s organizing an event, at various meetings, and things like that,” Adelman said. 


The standard course load for a professor is three classes. He said he will only be teaching one class in the Fall 2024 semester due to a course release for an outside obligation, as well as the course release for his new position. 


Adelman said he will return to teaching two classes in the Spring 2025 semester.  


He applied for this position because he has been a member of the Arts & Ideas Committee for several years and involved in a variety of events, and “this seemed like a natural extension of that work. It was a way to contribute to the University and help develop a program that’s quite important to the mission of the University,” he said. 


As Coordinator of Arts & Ideas, he is responsible for listening to event ideas from faculty, staff, and students, and choosing which ones get funding with the help of the committee. 


“We are always interested in doing things that students are interested in attending. … The basic premise is to bring conversations about what’s going on in the world and to bring events of artistic expression in all of its forms to campus,” he said. 


In addition, they work to create a theme for the upcoming year's events. 


“There’s an Arts & Ideas Committee that is made up of several faculty, several staff, and several students that solicits suggestions from the University community for the theme, and then works to develop one,” he said. 


Working with an administrative assistant, he will work “with the people who are sponsoring and who are directly in contact with the speaker, the program - whoever that is - to ensure that the funding gets taken care of, and to make sure that all the details of the visit are taken care of,” he added.


He will also work to promote the program both within and outside of the University. 


In his new position, “One goal is connecting more with the community - and not just the University - but the Framingham and MetroWest communities around us,” he said.


After the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, in-person meetings and events were suspended and people changed their habits of interacting with the world, he said. 


Adelman said, “We’re still figuring out what the new world looks like, so I think that means continuing to rebuild in person, continuing to figure out the best ways to make use of online-interactive events and really trying to develop some coherence to what we’re doing with our programming in a post shutdown world.” 


During his time as coordinator of the Arts & Ideas program, Adelman intends to further expand outreach to the local community. 


As a Framingham resident with children in the school system, he already has some built-in connections with the community, he said.


Adelman said he wants to “try to be a little more systematic and purposeful about it [community outreach], and think about how we design events to attract people - not just from on campus - but to be a resource for the community.”


He encourages students to get involved with the committee and to recommend events they would be interested in having. 


“Each of these events costs money, and we want to spend money that will be worth it to the community, and the students are number one on that list. So propose events, take part in the committee, go to events, and help us figure out what events you’d want to go to,” he said.


Professor Patricia Sánchez-Connally will be assuming the role of assistant coordinator for the RAMS 101 Program. 


Two of the major changes to her day-to-day schedule include meeting with the coordinator for the RAMS 101 Program and other faculty to provide support, and a course release to accommodate that time commitment.


“I am looking forward to continuing to expand what the RAMS program has done so far. The folks who have been leading the program have done a lot of work. … So I’m excited to first learn more about the program and faculty’s experiences with the program, and then expand on that,” she said. 


She taught one of the three pilot RAMS courses for the Generation One program in the Fall 2023 semester. “My own research focuses on first-generation immigrant college students and students of color, so I have had years of doing research, working, advocating for, and mentoring first-year first-generation students,” she said.


Sánchez-Connally said, “I think that it’s a great connection - in bringing some of my strengths to the program.”


Most incoming students have to take a RAMS course their first semester, so this position entails a lot of responsibility, she said. 


“It is important for us to be able to provide specialized services to students, especially those who are first-generation, low-income, students of color, and veterans,” Sánchez-Connally said. 


She said it is important to rely on student experiences to create plans for the future and to determine how they will integrate those changes. 


“I would love to be able to provide that space where we are learning from the experiences of our first-year students so that we can expand and make the program better,” she said. 


As assistant coordinator for the RAMS 101 program, she will be working closely with the new coordinator for the RAMS 101 program, Kim Arditte Hall, to provide training over the summer for RAMS faculty and provide them with the skills to make the student experience better.


She will also be working closely with Arditte Hall to analyze data from different surveys that students are given to further enhance the student experience, she said. 


Sánchez-Connally said she wants to focus on solving problems and making the experience better for all students. “Even though it may affect a minority of students, it is still really important,” she said.


“We may have students who have gone to other colleges, and when they attended their first year here, they’re new to the school - but aren’t a part of the program,” she said. 


Issues regarding the onboarding for students and what help the RAMS program can provide are brought up at their meetings, she said. 


Sánchez-Connally said, “It’s a lot of work to do and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to it!”

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