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Ithaca College to Greet Incoming Students with Academic Convocation and Community Picnic

 ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College will officially welcome some 1,625 incoming students to campus on Monday, Aug. 29, with the annual Convocation ceremony and community picnic. Convocation is slated to begin at 11 a.m. in Ben Light Gymnasium.

A long-standing custom, Convocation introduces new students to the Ithaca College learning community and helps to set an academic context for their college careers, which will culminate in the completion of degree requirements and the traditional Commencement ceremony.

President Tom Rochon will deliver the main address. Also offering remarks will be Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Lawrence M. Alleva ’71, vice chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees; and Scott Nachlis ’12, president of the Student Government Association.

Recognized at the ceremony with be the five recipients of the 2010–11 Faculty Excellence Awards, which honor demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service: Marina Caillaud, associate professor of biology; Mead Loop, associate professor of journalism; Jeffery Meyer, assistant professor of music performance; Gladys M. Varona-Lacey, professor of modern languages and literatures; and Fred Wilcox, associate professor of writing.

Convocation will also include four brief presentations intended to provide a sense of the research and collaborative opportunities available to students.

  • Joyti Jiandani ’11 will discuss a paper she presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research on the race-related experiences of ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, Native American) students on a predominately white campus.
  • Music education graduate Amelia Baran ’11 and associate professor of music education Baruch Whitehead will discuss their successful effort to establish a creative arts outreach program at the McCormick Center, a youth detention facility in nearby Brooktondale.
  • Jack Powers, assistant professor of television-radio, will talk about how his study of the influence of media on human behavior led to an invitation to work with the creators of the hit television show “Modern Family.”
  • Jennifer Muller, assistant professor of anthropology, will present on the research she is conducting with students analyzing remains from the Newburgh Colored Burial Ground, a historic African American cemetery.

For the 14th year, the ceremony will be immediately followed by a picnic lunch on the academic quad (rain location: Terrace Dining Hall) designed to bring first-year students closer together with faculty, staff and administrators.

The following day, members of the Class of 2015 will gather in small groups with faculty and staff facilitators to discuss the First-Year Reading Initiative selection, David Malouf’s “Ransom.”

Classes for the fall semester begin on Wednesday, Aug. 31.