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Spring 2017 | Ventures

Football Awards Banquet

Stevenson University senior defensive back Austin Tennessee and football head coach Ed Hottle led a total of seven Mustangs who were honored on March 2 at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

Tennessee was honored by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers and American Football Networks as the Rocky Myers Division III Defensive Player of the Year. Hottle was recognized as the ECAC Division III South Coach of the Year. In addition, Tennessee, senior Billy Lewis, junior Dan Williams, senior Devonte Williams, junior Preston Addo, and sophomore Ashton Leschke were recognized as ECAC All-Stars.

Tennessee, named a consensus First Team All-American by and the AFCA, was also selected as the East Region Defensive Player of the Year and the Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 2016, Hottle led the Mustangs to a 9-2 record and a final ranking of No. 20 in the Top 25 in the team’s sixth season. Stevenson earned its first Middle Atlantic Conference title with an 8-1 conference record, the program’s first NCAA appearance, and Hottle was the MAC Coach of the Year.

Women's Swimming

In just the program’s third season, the Mustangs finished in fourth place at the 2017 MAC Swimming Championships while scoring a program-record best 349 points. At the event, the team broke 16 of the 18 records and finished with a school record nine medals with two gold, five silver, and two bronze. Sophomore Colby Stein won the first gold medal in program history after taking the 100-yard backstroke with a school record time of 59.18 before freshman Melanie Milam picked up the second gold medal with a first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, in a school record time of 2:07.39. Head coach John Stuhltrager earned Coach of the Year honors for the 13th time in his career.

Indoor Track and Field

The Stevenson men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams have set a new standard: breaking records. This season the men’s team has broken seven individual records as well as the 4x200 relay. The relay finished in a time of 1:30.86, which ranks sixth collegiately and second in Division III. Meanwhile, the women’s team has broken eight individual records as well as three relays. Freshman Danika Ani’s school record shot put throw of 13.82 meters, ranks first in the MAC and sixth in Division III.

Women's Basketball

Women’s basketball senior Sara Tarbert has stamped her name not only in Stevenson history but in NCAA history as well. This season, she set the program record in points and rebounds as well as recording her 2,000th career point. Tarbert also holds the school record in field goals made. Currently, she has 27 consecutive double doubles, setting a new Division III record. That mark also ranks tied for fifth across all three divisions in a career while her 26 consecutive double doubles this season has her tied for fourth collegiately.

Want More?

Check out and find videos, photographs, stats, schedules, interviews, and much more. To stay up-to-date, bookmark the site and visit it frequently.

Kevin Manning

By Sherry Bithell

The fact that Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., was a visionary became clear as early as his inaugural address as Villa Julie College’s fourth president in 2000.

He said, “We see a world longing for love, children seeking protection, parents needing guidance, the sick wanting help, nations needing food. … There are many people who need the help that only higher education can provide. And maybe Villa Julie College and higher education can assist in making this journey more meaningful and more possible for all.”

During his 16 years president, from 2000 through 2016, Manning’s vision transformed Stevenson University substantially, more than fulfilling the theme for his inauguration: “A New Era for Leading in Learning.”

Under Manning’s leadership, Villa Julie College saw a change in name and status, becoming Stevenson University. Today, the University has seven Schools and the student enrollment has doubled since 2000. Recognizing the importance of career education, Manning’s administration made it a priority, introducing the concept of Career ArchitectureSM, unique among American universities. Today, Stevenson alumni report an average 92 percent job and/or graduate school placement rate for its students within six months of graduation. During his tenure, SU raised more than $10 million for scholarships, improving college access and affordability for thousands of students.

Some of the most visible signs of Manning’s impact on the University can be seen in its physical growth. Stevenson created a second campus in Owings Mills, transforming the University from a commuter school to a residential campus and Owings Mills into a “college town.” Additionally, in terms of property, the size of the University is more than double what it was in 2000 with a 500 percent growth of actual facility space. Today, the Kevin J. Manning Academic Center, which opened on Owings Mills North in fall 2016, is the University’s largest academic space at 200,000 square feet.

What Others Are Saying

“Kudos for your transformative leadership at Stevenson and for the strong and innovative leadership model you established for a MICUA presidency. That model has resonated in the Baltimore region and in Annapolis. Personally, I thank you for your generous collegiality ever since my arrival at MICA.” - Samuel Hoi, President, Maryland Institute College of Art

“You will be missed as a visionary by all and as a role model of composure and professionalism by those who have the honor to know you as a friend. ... Dr. Manning, such a mission seemed like a matter of course for you... But to us, it was extraordinary, and every meeting with you made us ask ourselves how we could also transform young lives for the better.” - Gilbert R. Trout, Director of Investment Real Estate, Trout Daniel & Associates LLC

As we look ahead, Manning’s tenure is well worth a look back. Watch From Strategy to Reality: The Presidency of Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D. below.

To read the full timeline of Stevenson’s history, go to


Student Success

By Sherry Bithell

Students walking into Garrison Hall South, the home of the new Center for Student Success, find themselves faced with three doors: to the right, the Office of Student Success; directly ahead, the John L. Stasiak Academic Link; and to the left, the Experiential Learning Center. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure story: Which doorway should they enter? Because of what the new center’s centralized location offers, the answer could be “all of them.”

Although the Center for Student Success is new, the University has long offered the services that now are all found in Garrison Hall South. As Christine Moran, Ph.D., Dean of Student Success, points out, what the center really offers is a centralized location for easy access to coaching, advising, and support.

“In universities across the country, student retention often drops between freshman and sophomore years,” says Moran. “We believe the center’s services and resources will help students maximize their academic potential, persist in their studies, and go on to graduate. For example, our Student Success Coaches assist traditional freshmen with their transition to college, educate students about University-wide expectations and resources, and guide them through a process of developing individualized plans for success.”

Additionally, she says, the center gives students a way to explore other resources that promote their academic success, such as tutoring and experiential learning opportunities, and to engage and connect with other members of the campus community.

The Office of Student Success

Terra Hall, Director of Student Support, was quick to learn one immediate benefit of the center’s location. “With the greater visibility of our offices, students and faculty are more prone to dropping in. We’re between the Brown School of Business and Leadership and the Rockland Center, so students walk past us all day. If there are students walking by whom I’ve been trying to contact, I can see them and walk out the door to talk with them.”

Because of this centralized location, Hall says, the center connects Stevenson’s mission of meeting students where they are—physically as well as personally.

The Office of Student Success, which helps transition freshmen students into college life, provides a holistic and comprehensive support network, says Moran. “Our success coaches help students develop individualized plans for success and supports them in all aspects of their college lives: academic, personal, social, and career. The goal is that by their sophomore year, students are equipped to navigate their college experience.” During their sophomore year, students work with faculty advisors who can use their discipline expertise to share information about their specific academic programs, coursework requirements, internships, research opportunities, and more.

As noted earlier in this article, retention is a national issue when it comes to getting students to return for their sophomore year. Yet Tasha Gooden, Director of Student Success, says that the office drills down even further, focusing on freshmen retention from fall to spring—and that Stevenson’s doing well in that area with a 93.6 percent retention rate.

“Having one person you can go to as a resource, I feel, is what has kept some students here,” she says. All freshmen are assigned to a Student Success Coach with whom they have four mandatory meetings in the fall and three in the spring. Within the first 10 days of school, the office saw 86 percent of the freshmen student body.

Gooden, who currently serves as one of the office’s five coaches, says that the goal is to build a relationship with the students. “I see the success coaching team also serving as life coaches to our students. How do we get students settled here and empower them to make the choices that will allow them to transition successfully in to their sophomore and later years? We want to get to know them. If students feel connected, they tend to do better. We build trust and in return they are pretty honest with us.”

Disability Services is another resource located in the Office of Student Success, providing individual services and support to students with disabilities. In addition, this office collaborates with various campus partners to ensure equal access to educational opportunities and facilitates accommodations that assist students in achieving their academic and professional goals.

Overall, Moran says of the Office of Student Success, “Our approach empowers students to take ownership of their academic success from the very beginning and provides a pathway for students identify and overcome obstacles that may impede their individual progress while allowing them to set goals and follow through on steps to achieve those goals.”

The Academic Link

Building on that model is the office’s new proximity to the John L. Stasiak Academic Link. Philip Gillett, Manager of the Academic Link on the Owings Mills campus, says he’s already seen change for the better, calling the new location “more prominent.”

It also helps with one of his goals, which is to increase awareness of the Link’s complimentary services, which include tutoring, testing, and mentoring.

When it comes to tutoring services, Gillett says, students can actively address their academic needs with a trained, upper-level peer. And setting up an appointment couldn’t be easier. “They can stop in, call our front desk, or make an appointment online.”

Maximizing tutors, resources, and the subsequent impact on student learning success, the specialized courses the Link provides tailored tutoring for courses identified as being among the most challenging. For the spring semester, for example, tutors were available for classes ranging from Organic Chemistry and Human Anatomy to Introduction to Statistics and General Physics.

The tutoring program is staffed by qualified peer tutors through the College Reading and Learning Association training program as well as several professional tutors in particularly challenging courses. The tutors themselves attend training workshops each semester to earn individual beginning, advanced, or master levels of certification. “We’re one of the largest student employers at the University,” says Gillett. “We have 45 peer tutors, 15 front desk receptionists, and three graduate students to support students.”

The Link’s testing services cover both make-up exams as well as exams requiring special accommodations, which are coordinated closely with the Office of Disability Services. Testing services in the Link also include placement testing for incoming freshmen during Mustang Days.

Comprising the mentoring aspect of the Link’s services for freshmen students is the Partnerships and Student Success (PASS) program, which is directed by the Academic Link and supported by the Admissions Office. PASS students work with Stevenson faculty and staff who have agreed to serve as mentors. The primary goal of PASS is to provide a one-on-one opportunity to help students transition to a college landscape.

“We already serve a large number of undergraduate students through all three services,” says Gillett. “Specifically, since the start of the 2016-2017 academic year, 758 students have utilized the Academic Link for more than 3,000 appointments. Our new location will give us even more exposure, so we hope to see those numbers continue to rise.”

The Experiential Learning Center

The concept of experiential learning is for students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply that to real-world situations. In the Center for Student Success, opportunities to do so are offered through the Office of International and Off- Campus Study and the Office of Service-Learning.

Rebecca Pisano Ph.D., Associate Dean of International and Off Campus Study, firmly believes in the value of experiential learning when it comes to study abroad and domestic study away options. “These experiences equip students with firsthand knowledge and skills that enhance their Stevenson education and give them an edge in their future personal and professional pursuits.”

She, too, believes that the office’s new location in the Center for Student Success can only be advantageous. “Our new location is convenient for students to access and allows for obtaining information on multiple complementary experiences within one centralized location,” she says. “The Experiential Learning Center is also beneficial in that it enables our office to host events and meetings about the many study away options, both domestically and internationally, on site. We also host drop-in advising hours for students who have quick questions or want to connect with peer advisors that have knowledge and/or personal experience in study abroad/away.”

In addition to her administrative role in the Center for Student Success, Moran oversees the Office of Service-Learning, which she calls a powerful form of experiential education. “It enhances opportunities for learning and student development—academically, personally, civically, and professionally,” she says.

Service-learning offers both short- and long-term opportunities, Moran adds. “Students in service-learning courses are actively engaged in authentic, hands-on experiences which help them become skilled in relating theory with practice, ultimately, making them competent and competitive in their respective fields, while enhancing their employment opportunities.”

Steering Students in the Right Direction

The most important takeaway about the new Center for Student Success, in Gooden’s opinion: “We serve as a compass for all students to help them navigate successfully at Stevenson. We can direct students to the resources they need to be successful. And they can then map their own direction, not just in college but in life.”

Thanks to the new center’s set-up, a freshman student can now walk into Garrison Hall South, take a right, and meet with his or her Student Success Coach. Based on that conversation, the student could then decide to drop in at the Academic Link and make an appointment for tutoring or testing. Finally—and possibly inspired by the visits to the other offices—the student can walk into the Office of Experiential Learning to find out what opportunities will enhance his or her education. And all as soon as day one of class.

As Moran says, “This one-stop-shop model truly helps us meet our students where they are.”



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