Self Evaluation, Karen Goodlad, Assistant Professor, 2011
I feel opportunity is defined as a favorable moment of circumstances. It is creating a moment (or moments) that I find is most important as an educator at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. The school year of 2010 and 2011 was a year filled with creating opportunities for students, the department and the college. These opportunities are within and out of the classroom and are representative of teaching, scholarly and professional growth and service to various communities.
Opportunities for students are best captured when a clear and cohesive path towards graduation is understood and prepared for in order to reach ones goals. As the Advisement Liaison for the Department of Hospitality Management, I set the foundation for students to be prepared for such opportunities. To start, I work with the faculty to ensure they are well prepared to communicate the best path a student can take to attain their academic goals. I accomplished this through workshops and individual training sessions. The most recent workshop involved the entire department and focused on planning for upper level “area of focus” and “elective” courses as well as the various study abroad programs available to our student. Faculty members were presented with various scenarios and worked together to identify which course of study a student can embark on. This resulted in an understanding of various “pathways to graduation” that best suit a student’s academic and career objectives.
In a continuous effort to lead the department in maintaining standards for helping students understand their “pathway to graduation”, I individually mentor new and established faculty on understanding the numerous and intricate aspects of the advisement process. This may include evaluating a student’s potential course sequencing, understanding behavioral science and social science sequencing, plotting electives, identifying stop codes, and understanding probation standards among other aspects of student transcripts and degree audits. Faculty members are well prepared to ensure students are advised properly.
These advisement efforts are made to ensure that each first-time freshman, lower junior and newly enrolled student, transfer or readmit, meet with a full-time faculty advisor to establish an individual path for success in college. Through the workshops offered and individual mentoring, faculty recognize and respect that after an advisement session, the student should clearly understand their “path to graduation” and how to use the available resources to attain services provided by the college.
Working with transfer students is an additional role I take as advisement liaison. Many transfer students have unexpected and unusual course sequencing and my expertise in analyzing and interpreting their transfer credits allows for a greater ease of transition for the student and to allow them to better meet their academic expectations and responsibilities as a City Tech student.
New Student Orientation
I feel it is important to ease the transition of new students into our department so that they feel welcome members in their new community. This is why I take a leadership role in the department’s New Student Orientation sessions. These sessions are a key moment in time for establishing our high levels of expectation and performance, including the promotion of diversity issues, academic standards and our powerful sense of community. The objectives are set out as:
- familiarize students with the facility;
- familiarize students with the curriculum;
- familiarize students with the department culture;
- and provide the opportunity for students to develop communities.
Once again this year, student leaders from various areas of focus of our department were helpful in communicating our goals and objectives and in setting forth our culture from a peer point of view. Student leaders are vital to the success of orientation and create opportunities for themselves as leaders and their new classmates as our future leaders.
Internship Faculty Advisor
My role as the liaison to students working with the Walt Disney World College Program provides students with real world work experience with a Fortune 100 leader in hospitality management. During the 2010/2011 school year, over 20 students have obtained internship positions with the Walt Disney Company, while four graduates were promoted to management positions. In addition to the success for this school year, over 30 students have been recruited for the fall 2011 semester, more than ever in our school’s 30 year history with the Walt Disney Company.
Disney provides students with unique learning conditions that cannot be replicated in any other organization. I have noticed that students benefit from their Disney College Program internships and return to City Tech with increased maturity and contribute in positive ways in and out of the classroom. Many develop a greater understanding of their career path, while others return with an established sense of their role as a student and future industry leader.
As part of their studies, students prepare a professional portfolio of their experience to use as they seek positions in the New York work force. It is evident that Disney College Program students gain a greater perspective on topics such as leadership, diversity, and personal and professional development and reap long term benefit from the vast number of effective learning experiences.
As students return to City Tech some decide to become Disney College Program Campus Representatives. I work to guide these students on developing marketing plans to promote the recruitment sessions. These students understand their impact in the culture of their department and college and value the lessons they learn during this period of professional growth. Students identify target markets, establish a plan to reach these markets and execute their plans effectively and in a professional manner; leading to five consecutive semesters of dramatic growth in student participation in recruitment sessions.
It is for these reasons that I value my role in the internship so much.
Title V Grant Initiatives
Being selected as one of the fellows in the Title V Grant “A Living Laboratory: Redesigning General Education for a 21st-Century College of Technology.” has been a great honor. This grant is allowing me, along with all the Fellows, to explore general education and implement desired high impact initiatives to reach our established and redefined objectives.
Through shared learning, discussion, workshops and team exercises my initial results have been to redesign the syllabus for HMGT 1101, Perspectives in hospitality Management, a first semester freshman course. In the fall of 2011, this course will incorporate the lessons based on the Brooklyn waterfront, a digital platform for teaching, learning and sharing, learning community initiatives and more focused business and academic writing assignments with the objective of increasing communication skills and critical thinking skills of the students.
The research and course development have lead to the opportunity present the work title Mapping and Modifying Learning Activities at the CUNY General Education Conference on May 13, 2011.
Wine Course Initiatives
I created opportunity for our students studying about wine and beverage when I was awarded a Beitler Grant. This generous grant provided the funds to purchase a Wine Aroma Master Kit and Wine Aroma Wheels. Both items were used to enhance the learning experience of 100 students in the Wine and Beverage Management course. The grant proved to greatly reduce the disparity among students with practice and familiarity of identifying various scents and aromas with those who are just developing this skill. An additional benefit of the Wine Aroma Master Kit is that it can be used over and over again for many semesters.
A further classroom enhancement is collaboration with Brooklyn Winery, an urban winery providing a “unique, entertaining, and educational winemaking experience” in Williamsburg. Students took a field trip to learn about the vinification process first hand leading to a greater understanding of the equipment used in making wine and networking with local business leaders. An added result of this collaboration was that a student secured an internship at the winery and one was hired for a part time position!
In progress are negotiations to bring students back to the Brooklyn Winery, not only for a tour but to actually go through the process of making our own proprietary wine that can be served in the Janet Lefler Dining Room.
To create an even more valuable and effective classroom for students to learn about wine and beverage, I have worked to secure approximately $8,000.00 in donations of wine as of April 27, 2011 and more donations are forthcoming. These donations have been received through relationships that have been cultivated over years of industry networks. It is through the generous donations received that students are able to experience a broad breadth of wine from extensive and prestigious wine regions throughout the world.
I believe that once the financial burden of education is lifted, retention is increased and chances to explore educational opportunities are greatly increased. Furthermore, prospects for employment in the wine industry continue to grow and supporting advanced study in wine is a path to continued academic and career success. To attain the unique skill set and knowledge base for this segment of hospitality, scholarships for students studying wine and showing potential in the wine business were secured once again this year. This year over $4000.00 in scholarship and awards will be presented to students meeting a set of criteria. An example of recent benefits as a result of wine scholarships is that one 2010 winner used the funds to travel to France to work during the grape harvest in Alsace, a prestigious wine growing region while another used the funds to support himself while interning at a restaurant with an extensive wine program. A third recipient used the funds to help offset his moving expenses as he took on a management trainee position in food and beverage with the Walt Disney Company.
The scholarships and awards are provided by Frederick Wildman and Sons, Inc. and The Wine Media Guild.
Evidence of the career success I have earned over my 15+ years in the hospitality industry is witnessed in my induction into Les Dames d’Escoffier. Members are inducted into the organization by invitation, based on “significant” accomplishments in the hospitality industry. Les Dames d’Escoffier is an organization focusing on education, philanthropy and advocacy for women in the hospitality industry and is one of the most prestigious organization in the field of hospitality. In addition to my induction I quickly began work on their scholarship committee helping to organize, evaluate and select various students meeting strict criteria. In 2010 Les Dames d’Escoffier provided $92,000.00 in scholarships. The total for 2011 was $40,000+ with fundraising efforts underway to reach a goal of $100,000 for 2012.
As a culmination to my efforts to create opportunity, my success as a mentor this year was enhanced when Theresa Evans, a HMGT candidate for valedictorian was awarded this honor. Mentoring her has been a pleasure and mentoring her through the process of applying for, interviewing for and being award the honor of valedictorian has been exhilarating. It has been a pleasure to help her find the right opportunities to achieve her goals for she is a bright, professional, hard working young woman who is willing to take risks to pursue her career aspirations. It has been an honor to work with her and her success and others like her who reach their goals and realize their dreams is why I work so hard to create the environment that I do. It is the development of the various opportunities presented thus far for each of our students and the college which I seek to accomplish with each choice I make.