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Convocation kicks off fall semester

Convocation kicked off the fall semester with help of President Scott and all faculty and staff. This semester’s convocation welcomed faculty and staff from all departments of campus. 

Convocation took place Thursday, August 15 in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts for a campus-wide welcome before classes start the following Monday. Scott with help of few other faculty and staff members led convocation. During convocation, new members of both the USS and UPS were welcomed along with staff and faculty new to PSU. 

Scott focused the convocation on aligning with the PSU mission statement, which is to provide a transformational experience for students. He also discussed working toward the four goals for Pitt State. 

“Well, I think you saw in that room right there that there’s just tremendous excitement about what we do and the difference it makes and we’ve just got a great group of people, faculty and staff, to make this all happen, so we’re just excited they’re here and we’re ready to get going, Scott said. 

Scott is proud of the work and achievements that the Pitt State faculty and staff members have contributed to the university. 

“It’s very clear that we have faced very challenging times in a lot of different ways, but today I highlighted some really great achievements whether it’s facilities, we were able to do a little on the salary side of increasing salaries, reducing the healthcare premium costs,” Scott said. So some really good things have happened even within the challenges that we’ve had, so I think there’s a lot of hope for a really great future.” 

Howard Smith, provost and VP of academic affairs, also helped lead convocation as Scott welcomed him into his new position as provost. Smith holds hopes in his new position. 

“I’m actually hoping that we stabilize some of our enrollments,” Smith said. I’d like to see us also continue some initiatives on some of our programs where we continue to improve them so they’re current.” 

Shelly Grimes, HHPR faculty member, hopes students feel at home at Pitt State and that they “truly feel like a Gorilla.” 

“… I think that’s what separates us from the larger universities is that we can give more hands-on attention and help them not only be good academic students but good people as they progress through their professional career; a little more personal touch,” Grimes said. 

Grimes particularly liked that all faculty and staff members attended this semester’s convocation. 

“I really loved the fact that everyone was invited to the opening meeting today, all departments on campus,” she said. “As again, we’re not just one department, we’re a whole and it takes all of us to make the university successful and go well. And I can’t say enough how important it is to be kind to one another on a daily basis and collaborate with other departments across campus and Dr. Scott proved that today that it’s important that we all collaborate and work together.” 

Smith pointed out what he enjoyed most about convocation, which was seeing what makes Pitt State the university it is. 

“I think what was good was to know that we continue to be, I think, an outstanding institution,” Smith said. We’re getting grants, we’ve got achievements that our faculty and staff are accomplishing, I think that was great.” 

Scott, along with the faculty and staff in attendance, expressed their joy and excitement about the school year beginning. 

“Just extremely excited, I think this is my 32nd year to get started and every year I think, ‘can I be more excited than last year?’ and I am, I’m ready to get going,” Scott said. 

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