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First Word: Celebrating the Extraordinary

By Jonathan D. Green, President

Dear Susquehannans,

It's hard to believe that we are well into our second year at Susquehanna.

When asked what I found most surprising during year one, my response has been the remarkable number of pleasant surprises. Almost daily, I would stumble across another great thing that the members of the campus community took for granted. Many of you have heard me say that Susquehannans are gritty and that they "punch above their weight," but they are also too humble.

This edition of Currents includes stories of extraordinary achievement. You will read about the rapid success of our sports media major, which is yet another example of the curricular imagination of our faculty, who continue to develop pragmatic programs deeply rooted in the liberal arts and at the intersection of our mission and the market. We often tell prospective students that they will form many of their deepest friendships at Susquehanna. Gwen Bodner '16 and Erica Juliano '16 exemplify this in their heartwarming story of former roommates sharing a literal gift of life.

Our cover story provides examples of faculty-student research. A recent Gallup-Purdue study showed a significant increase in career engagement and happiness during adulthood among individuals who, as college students, worked on a long-term project, had a mentor, had at least one faculty member who made them excited about learning, and had a faculty member care about them as a person. These factors have a multiplying effect when they occur together. The whole is truly stronger that the sum of its parts. These are experiences that naturally develop in faculty-student research.

This was one of those pleasant surprises. Susquehanna University provides one of the richest arrays of undergraduate research opportunities in the nation. We are consistently among the top 10 colleges and universities in the country that send the highest number of students annually to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. That's total student participants, not a percentage.

The benefits of faculty-student research combined with internships and strong cocurricular activities provide an experiential constellation that the Gallup-Purdue study demonstrated maximizes a student's future potential for an engaging and rewarding career, which they strongly correlate with increased happiness. Only 3 percent of graduates in the U.S. had all of these elements during their college careers. At Susquehanna, this is a typical student experience. This is something to crow about.

Celebrating the extraordinary is a good thing. It helps us to realize how good we have it, and it helps others discover what could be theirs if they made the right choice. We are adding a regular feature of bragging points, which will include a selection of accolades and achievements we would like everyone to know about Susquehanna. That's where you come in. If word of mouth is the best form of advertising, we have a public relations agency of over 19,000 to spread the word and celebrate. And we have so much good news to share. Help us put the SU gem in the jewelry store window.

Yours Ever,

Jonathan D. Green

President



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