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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

My Favorite Time of Year

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

Communications Students

Though I’ve often used popular culture to discuss concepts, many of my blogs have been very oriented to my academic passion of organizational behavior. This post is different as it’s more of a reflection regarding my favorite time of the year.

When I was younger, I always loved summer (and I still do), but I’ve learned to like fall even better since coming back to Saint Vincent as a faculty member. Though every day at Saint Vincent is a good day, there’s no better place to be than Saint Vincent in the fall with the leaves turning, the cooler air and students arriving back on campus. This fall, I’m particularly excited as my fiancée and I will be married in the Basilica!

There are several reasons why I love Saint Vincent in the fall and the below are but a few:

  • The students. Most importantly, the students are back. I look forward to seeing the familiar faces of students whom I have had in previous semesters as well as the new students. I teach several freshman undergraduate courses, some of which are early in the morning. I realized on the first day of fall semester several years ago during a Monday morning 8:30 a.m. class that this particular course will be the first collegiate academic experience for these students. I still remember my first college class a decade and a half later (it was Dr. Sommers’ “Contemporary Europe” at SVC) and the positive impact that it had on me. As I reflect, I am constantly reminded of the impact that my course could have on students and the responsibility that I have to help provide a positive experience. As an academic, I of course care about the research that I do, but I consider myself to be a teacher primarily and look forward to the start of teaching courses anew each academic year.
  • The atmosphere. With the students returning, there is very much an energy at Saint Vincent in the fall. It seems amplified as the leaves continue to change and the air gets cooler. I love looking out the window of Alfred 42 and seeing the horizon: the mist, the various colors and the beautiful fall skies.  I love walking around campus in the fall.
  • The opportunities. For as small of a campus as Saint Vincent is, there’s always a lot going on and it seems like there is even more bustle throughout the fall. Now that it’s fall again, I look forward to attending some lectures, panel discussions, student club meetings, dinners and other of the various activities that are open to the Saint Vincent community.

If you’re a Saint Vincent student, I hope that you will cherish the autumn time at Saint Vincent and welcome back your friends and especially welcome the new freshmen and first semester graduate students.  If you’re an alumnus, prospective student or friend of SVC, I hope you can come back and visit the college this fall. 

P.S. Since this blog was about visiting campus and taking advantage of fall activities, I thought I’d make just a small plug. Don’t forget that there will be an Information Session for the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program at 5:40 p.m. in Alfred 42 on Oct. 5. All are welcome – I hope to see you there!

What do you think?  What is your favorite time of the year to be at Saint Vincent?  Looking forward to hearing your experiences at michael.urick@stvincent.edu, through Facebook (www.facebook.com/urickmj), through LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-urick/a3/775/5b/), or in the comments below.

Dr. Michael J. Urick

Topics: Campus Life, students, Student Life, Michael Urick, MSMOE

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

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