The start of 2022 has brought some changes to Binghamton University’s Collegiate Professor Program as Hinman College and College-in-the-Woods (CIW) welcome new collegiate professors to their communities.
At Hinman, Jay Newberry, associate professor of geography, took over the role of Al Vos, who retired from the University in 2020. And at CIW, Andy Merriwether, professor of anthropology, replaces Steven Ortiz, who is entered a new role as the University’s First Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Enrichment.
Collegiate professors are part of every residential community at the University, serving as role models, advisors, and leaders for undergraduate students. These permanent faculty members serve as a source of information for students, help them connect to the campus community, and implement educational programs that encourage students to connect their academic life with life outside the campus. classroom.
Newberry’s goal is to bring new life to Hinman while honoring the residential community’s longstanding traditions and identity.
“I want to evolve these traditions for modern times, strengthen them and create new ones, while adapting [the experience] for specific students you might see at Hinman,” Newberry said. “It’s a very diverse population, so it takes a diversity of activities to get everyone involved.”
As a faculty-in-residence in the community in the fall of 2021, Newberry got to know the community by participating in Dorm Wars – an annual weekend competition between students from each building at Hinman College. Students participate in physical activities such as tug of war and capture the flag, as well as musical performances and skits.
Newberry also plans to find ways to ensure the survival of the Hinman Public Service Learning Community (PSLC). The PSLC is a way for students interested in community service to connect and live with like-minded students. PSLC students all live on the same floor in Hughes Hall, take civic engagement classes together, and participate in volunteer work together. The PSLC has always been an important part of Hinman’s identity on campus.
At CIW, Merriwether is excited about the greater opportunity to connect with undergraduate students through her new role.
As part of his transition to the role of faculty member in residence, he learned about the history of the community and the structure of CIW. Because of the common disposition, CIW is a close-knit and friendly community that Merriwether is excited to join.
“I hope everyone comes over to say ‘hello’ this semester,” Merriwether said. “I’ve never been a fan of the ‘ivory tower’ where professors are so disconnected from students, and in many other universities this may be the case. It’s not so much like that in Binghamton, but I really want students to feel like they can come up to me and talk to me about anything they want.
He wants to start new traditions in the community, such as creating new communities of learning, especially for pre-health and pre-vet students, due to his work with animals both professionally and personally. Outside of her work at the university, Merriwether raises and cares for alpacas on her farm in Vestal and occasionally works at a research station in Peru. He is excited about future opportunities to bring the animals to campus to interact with students, both for students to learn from them and as stress relief animals.
As the University’s first assistant vice provost for academic enrichment, Ortiz now oversees many different programs, including college professors; the first-year research immersion program (FRI); the External Center for Undergraduate Scholarship and Research, which includes the Source Project — a first-year research experience in the humanities and social sciences; and the Binghamton University Scholars Program.
Previously, Ortiz was a college professor at CIW for six years, where he was known to students as “CP Steve,” so he understands the positive impact they can have on students, especially freshmen. year living on campus. He plans to take what he learned during his time as a college professor to inform his work in this new role.
“Even though I’m an administrator now, I still try to focus on how programs can be student-centered,” Ortiz said. “I always try to push the perspectives of the students so that [programs] can work optimally for them.
As a former college professor, Ortiz has a keen understanding of the importance of college professors to residential communities and the identity of the university community on campus.
“I consider the college professor program to be one of the really valuable things the University does for undergraduates,” Ortiz said. “It’s an opportunity for a large university to maintain a smaller liberal arts atmosphere. Residential communities have their own classroom and teachers attached to them and things like that. They all have their own traditions and their own atmosphere. All of these things help bring freshmen into the University in a really impactful way.
The University is also currently seeking applications from tenured faculty members for the position of Collegiate Professor at Newing College with a start date of July 1, 2022. For more information, go online.