I am very excited about the continued evolution and success of the college’s Advising Center (see cover story). In a broad sense, it is about improving and further differentiating our program — and our students — on a national and global scale.

The Advising Center is the front door to the college and the place for answers to all student questions, ranging from admission requirements and course selection to student records and degree completion — nearly any issue a student may face on a daily basis. While many of us did not have such a resource during our college days, I assure you that navigating college and a career path today is much more complex and costly — but with more opportunities for impact and success as long as we can help guide and support our students while they are here.

Mentorship of students by our faculty, who are the experts in their disciplines and hold the key to important relationships with agencies and organizations, is a critical component of education both in and out of the classroom and will not be minimized under our new model. We need to ensure that our students can have access to and develop mentoring relationships with faculty, and that our faculty can interact with and get to know our students. I am confident we are on the right path with the Advising Center — serving our students is the college’s highest priority.

Our 25th college anniversary celebration in September was a huge success, and much fun to boot! Our planning committee did an outstanding job of orchestrating a fantastic weekend. It was wonderful to have alumni and friends back on campus to enjoy conversation and reconnect. Some great stories were told, and an impromptu Sunday breakfast at Gillies downtown to round out the weekend was a major draw for many.

Over the course of the weekend, we heard from former deans Greg Brown and Mike Kelly, and Professor Emeritus Dave Smith about the early years in the college and reflections on their experiences. Someone needs to write a book! Our video on the history and evolution of the college premiered at the Saturday night jubilee, eliciting both smiles and tears. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it on the college homepage (cnre.vt.edu).

The Dean’s Advisory Council also met in September for two days of conversation about ways to improve the college. The council is helping the college with advice, advocacy, and access to networks. Many thanks to Mike Melo (’79 B.S. forestry) for his leadership of the council.

Members of the council serve as our eyes and ears on the horizon, helping us to see into the future and ensure the relevancy and impact of our work and the success of our students. We talked in detail about student internships and success skills, and ways that we can improve in these areas.

Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season. Thank you for your interest in and support of the college, our faculty, staff, and students. 2017 has been a great year for the college and we look forward to continued successes in the New Year.

Warm regards on behalf of our faculty, staff, and students,


Paul M. Winistorfer