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One of the highest priorities of The Rensselaer Plan was the creation of a new Office of the First-Year Experience headed by its own dean, Lisa Trahan.

The first achievement of this group has been to provide the newest members of the Rensselaer community — freshmen, transfers, graduate students, and new faculty and staff — with revamped orientation programs.

Orientation now includes much stronger emphasis on the “nuts and bolts” of college life, such as meal plans and housing, mentoring, student activities, behavioral expectations, institutional vision and values. There is also a concurrent orientation for parents.

Rensselaer Women's Soccer

Rensselaer Athletics: Good Sports
Athletics plays an important role in campus life. Rensselaer boasts 23 NCAA intercollegiate varsity teams — 11 of which are women’s — and three junior varsity squads, involving nearly 600 students. Last year, the average winning percentage of all 23 intercollegiate teams was .656, and 14 teams advanced to post-season play. In addition, more than 1,350 students participate in athletic club sports, administered by the Rensselaer Union.

The men’s hockey team celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002, and finished third in the ECAC championship. By season’s end the Engineers earned rankings among the Top 15 in national polls. Junior Marc Cavosie ’02 was named ECAC Player of the Year, only the second Rensselaer hockey player in history to receive this honor, and was a finalist for the national Hobey Baker Award.
A weeklong program before classes begin, called “Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond,” introduces new students to each other and the community in a lasting and meaningful way. Programs include wilderness, community service, entrepreneurial, and cultural/historical experiences that build strong affinity groups.

A new pre-orientation Web site helps transfer students to make the transition to Rensselaer. Evaluation of transfer credits takes place earlier in the admission process, and a weekend of activities, mentoring, and orientation events for transfer students — scheduled earlier in the summer — helps ease them into the Rensselaer community.

Entering graduate students and faculty are offered welcome programs that introduce them to local resources and serve as forums for meeting other faculty and students. Sessions on technology, teaching strategies, and research also provide support to these newest members of the Rensselaer community.

The experimental media and performing arts center. The building of an experimental media and performing arts center is a critical element of Rensselaer’s efforts to achieve prominence as a world-class university, as it will enliven and elevate the quality of campus intellectual and creative life. Such a center will help Rensselaer to attract a more diverse and stronger student body and to retain the highest quality faculty and staff.

As a performing arts center, it will allow Rensselaer to link collaboratively to the arts communities in the region and around the world. And it will provide the means to display Rensselaer’s distinctive position in electronic arts and communication, while enhancing traditional and classical performing arts.

As a gathering place, it will broaden the intellectual discourse on the campus by bringing national and world leaders to Rensselaer to address critical issues such as the impact of science and technology, ethics, economics, and social change. Rensselaer also will be able to serve as host to intercollegiate competitions and exchanges.

An international juried competition resulted in the selection of one of the world’s leading architectural design firms, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and its New York subsidiary, NPGUSA. Site work for the center will begin in 2003 and the building will open in early 2006.

People, Programs, Platforms

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Rensselaer Magazine: December 2002
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Marketing and Media Relations.

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