President Cosentino welcomed in Lander’s largest freshman class as well as returning students at the 144th Opening Convocation ceremony that took place August 31st at the Josephine Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. Dr. David Mash, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs presided over the ceremony and reminded students new to collegiate life the opportunities available at Lander like studying abroad, honors societies, academic symposium, and the importance of FALS (Fine Arts and Lectureship Series) credits.
President Cosentino plans to focus on student health and wellness as he enters his 2nd year as university president. He cites technological advances, the speed of change and a disruptive world as motivators for Lander students. Cosentino’s vision and new programs have reinvigorated Lander’s exterior and interior image. With an increase in enrollment for the first time in years and more than 15 new faculty members in the Nursing, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences departments, it is no surprise that he will continue to change Lander for the better. Cosentino ended on a complimentary note towards faculty, describing them as “brilliant people who care greatly about [the success] of their students” and encouraged the students to “share your ideas, your troubles…just because you are not at home does not mean that you are alone”.
Gail Moore, associate professor of Accounting, was the keynote speaker of the afternoon. Moore won the Distinguished Professor award last spring at the academic awards ceremony in April for her extraordinary abilities to help students excel in their internships and careers by providing guidance and mentoring. Moore’s address, “What I Didn’t Know”, reflected back to her time as an undergraduate student who did not involve herself with on-campus organizations, clubs or internships, that would have later benefitted her in the future. Moore stated that if students don’t ask, they don’t seek, therefore they don’t know, she urged incoming freshman to step outside of their comfort zones to build connections that last beyond college.
At the State of the University address in September, President Cosentino plans to address how he will cope with one of the growing problems throughout college campus in America: student wellness and mental health issues.