Thursday, May 6, 2021

Students left impressed with Enyedi

Newly appointed President Alexander Enyedi is friendly, outgoing and passionate about making a positive impact at Plattsburgh State.

“The goal is to speak to at least eight students daily,” Enyedi said. This was a tradition he formed while in California as a provost. Doing the math, he said, “If I talk to eight students a day, five days a week over the course of a 10-week period, that’s about 400 students a semester. But considering that a semester averages 15 weeks, the number gets closer to 600.” If he does that over the course of the academic year, that’s about 1000 students — about a fifth of the PSU population.

Enyedi’s goal with these interactions is to get to know students and find out what is enriching or lacking from their college experience.

“He actually remembered me even though we last saw [each other] about two weeks ago,” said Shawn Mckeever, head community advocate of Adirondack Hall. “This is someone that cares. I’ve met former President Ettling, and while we did have a conversation, I didn’t feel like he was trying to get to know me. Enyedi asked me piercing questions, such as ‘why Plattsburgh State?’ and ‘What’s something that has made your Plattsburgh experience uncomfortable?’”

While Enyedi has been having informal meetings, he also plans to meet students through public meetings. Until those meetings, Enyedi is spending about an hour a day getting to know students.

“[A] Majority of our students understand the importance of a well-rounded education,” Enyedi said. “This can be seen [in] the multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary interests students have, such as having multiple majors or minors.”

He wants to create an environment that will foster these interests. The end goal is to have students career-ready.

In any initiative Enyedi introduces, his end goal will be to arm students with skills such as critical thinking, articulation and networking aspects crucial for life after college.

“After hearing him speak at CA training, I’m expecting him to make a significant impact,” Ella Levasalmi, head CA for Defredenburgh Hall said. These skills are probably one of the many impacts Levasalmi expects.

“There are three Es I plan to work on while at Plattsburgh,” Enyedi said. “The first E is Engagement”. He wants to increase campus interaction with the community through entrepreneurship, education, healthcare and innovation.

“I was pleasantly surprised when he spoke to each of us after giving a general speech” said Jennifer Stanton, executive vice president for the SA.

The two spoke during SA training, which signaled to Stanton the president’s commitment to engage with the student representatives.

“The next E  I plan to work on is enrollment,” Enyedi said. He plans to stabilize it through a diverse mix of faculty programs.

“Equity is the last E I plan to work on,” he said.

He plans to achieve equity through conversations with the campus and community on what an equitable environment would be like.

“I think it’s the mark of a good leader to be able to connect with a diverse group,” Adora Ejiogu-Asinugo, an orientation ambassador at the spring 2020 international student orientation, said.

Being able to connect with people lays a solid groundwork for equitable conversations.

Enyedi appears to be familiar with Plattsburgh’s turbulent history. The most recent controversy — the snapchat incident of spring 2018 — in which a student shared racist remarks on snapchat seems to guide Enyedi’s final E.

Enyedi has hit the ground running. Like many PSU students, he loves Plattsburgh’s exclusive location and natural beauty. He fell in love with the community and wants to explore the Plattsburgh area. Enyedi is already making good on his word to engage in conversations with eight students a day.

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