By Dan Fuentes
English Professor Alexander “Sandy” Hartwiger is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award.
Hartwiger was recognized at a ceremony and gave a speech in the McCarthy Center Alumni Room Sept. 1.
Director of New Student and Family Programs Ben Trapanick stated in an email, “His understanding of the needs of first-year students, collaborative nature, and advocacy on behalf of students makes him an excellent choice as this year’s recipient.”
In an email from the Dean of Students on behalf of Trapanick, Hartwiger was announced the recipient of the award on May 18.
“We’re at an institution where the commitment to the success of first-year students happens at every level,” Hartwiger said. “To be recognized for that at an institution that really emphasizes the success of first-year students is humbling.”
Hartwiger is a co-coordinator of the Rams 101 Program.
Hartwiger said, “The idea of the Rams 101 course is an integrated experience for first-semester students that they are getting both the rigorous academic content and the transition to college elements.”
According to the University course catalog, Rams 101 is a course designed to engage first-year students in “the work of historians and facilitate their transition to the University.”
Hartwiger attended Appalachian State and received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Hartwiger lived and taught in India, Hong Kong, and Lebanon before joining the faculty at FSU.
Trapanick said, “He’s great in that role. He’s very personable. He understands the needs of first-year students and he knows how to structure his [Rams 101] class in the appropriate way to help students along.”
History Professor Sarah Mulhall Adelman, co-coordinator of the Rams 101 Program and past recipient of the award, said, “It’s an honor because it’s a recognition from the University of the value of the work that you’re doing.”
Adelman said, “Sandy is a fabulous co-coordinator because he’s incredibly reliable and detail-oriented.”
She added, “He’s able to step back and see the big picture – what needs to be done and get it done effectively.”
Hartwiger said, “We have students now who are coming out of their high school experience where the last year and a half was dominated by COVID, so we’re working on making sure that their transition to Framingham State is successful.”
Trapanick said, “It’s really important that we recognize people who are really working hard for first-year students.”
According to Trapanick, the past recipients of the award review the nominations and make a decision on who it will be awarded to.
“It was named for the former Vice President of Academic A]airs Robert Martin, who did a lot of work creating a really holistic and supportive environment for first-year students. He’s the one who got Foundations up and running,” said Trapanick.
Hartwiger said in his award speech, “As we start our academic year ... I hope we remember to take care of one another and look out for each other’s mental, emotional, and physical health.”
Hartwiger’s name has been added to the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award plaque located in O’Connor Hall.