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January 2016

Become a “Career Coach”

Dear Parents,

On behalf of the Parents Committee and the Career Center, we wanted to take this opportunity to inform and engage you. Throughout the year, the Career Center interacts with students on a variety of topics – from career exploration to finding an internship to preparing for post-graduate success. As the parents of a Clarkson University student and members of the Parents Committee, I know that many of us engage in these sorts of discussions with our students. Recently, the Parents Committee reached out to the Career Center to better understand how collectively “we” can help not only our students, but also assist in their efforts to help all Clarkson students.
To this end, we are seeking some initial feedback from all of our parents regarding a potential new program – Career Coach. The Career Center and Office of Alumni Affairs have already teamed up to offer Clarkson alumni pathways to coach and to provide career-related advice to our students. As parents, we too can provide similar advice to students regarding interview tips, industry information, and résumés to name a few.
If you are interested in serving as a student resource for the “Career Coach” program, have questions, or want to speak with a parent representative, please send an e-mail to Jeff Taylor, Director of the Career Center at
We wish you and your student a great semester!
Dan & Joan Gibbons, Co-Chairs, Parents Career Services Committee
Jeff Taylor, Director - Clarkson University Career Center

Jeffrey Taylor
Director of Career Center


Studying Abroad: Opportunities are Amazing


Clarkson’s study abroad/exchange program offers students the opportunity to study at some of the finest universities across the globe. We develop partnerships with universities that are well-matched to Clarkson’s academic programs. In some cases, students also have the opportunity to conduct research abroad. Depending on their major, students can choose from over 40 universities in over 20 countries.

It’s an opportunity to not only study in a different country, but to learn and understand cultural differences. In some cases, our students can hone their language skills, although the majority of our partners teach in English. The skills students gain from this experience are very valuable in our global economy. Demonstrating to an employer that you are willing to leave your comfort zone and immerse yourself in another culture and have academic success at a completely different university for several months, speaks volumes to those who hire our students.

Thursday, January 28th is the application deadline for the 2016-17 academic year study abroad program. Encourage your son or daughter to apply.

Career & International Services Office

Do You Want to Build A Snowman?
Helping your student survive the long winter                          


The campus your student has returned to looks very different from the one he or she left at break…. Yes, winter has finally come to the North Country, frosting every surface in sparkling white snow... well, it only sparkles when the sun shines… and the sun only comes out when it is super cold. All of these qualities are what make winter at Clarkson University more than just a season. It’s an experience!

As a transplant from warmer climates myself, winters here never cease to impress me and to challenge me. This certainly applies to our students as well, who battle frigid temperatures to get to class, or find themselves developing a serious case of cabin fever from long periods spent inside. Winter lasts a while here, too – often carrying over into the start of spring. After so long, it can take a toll on energy and mood. Winter blahs and blues are not an uncommon phenomenon. At SHAC (Student Health and Counseling), we see an increase in physical illnesses, but also in sleep problems, low motivation, and depressive symptoms. Although the rigorous academic pace at Clarkson may contribute to some distress, many times we hear students associate some of their problems with the weather. You may notice this when you talk to your son or daughter – perhaps he or she feels constantly tired, or lethargic, or has a hard time with the cold. He or she may seem unhappy or worried about keeping up with coursework, given these issues. You may be worried, too!

These are some of the challenges that the winter can present. So let me share some of the advice we at SHAC offer to students who come to counseling feeling this way. There are ways to cope with winter blahs and blues successfully and maybe even grow to enjoy the frosty semester!

Dress appropriately. I can’t tell you how many times I look out of my office window and see students walking to class in subfreezing (sometimes subzero!) temperatures through snowy paths in tennis shoes or sweatshirts. Some of our native Northern New York students are unbelievably hearty in this kind of climate, it’s true – but many other students are simply not prepared, and did not bring the essential items to safely dress for winter in the North Country. This will invariably impact their physical health, and could also affect their mental wellbeing. As a concerned parent, check that your student has warm socks, insulated winter boots, a heavy parka, gloves, hat, scarf, and even thermal undergarments for those who can’t tolerate cold. If they need to acquire those items, we can suggest a few affordable local options – or you can order the gear online and have it shipped directly to campus. The people here dress for the weather very seriously, and from what I have learned in my years adjusting to it – for good reason! Don’t let your student be caught out in the cold.

Go play outside. This is the part of the North Country winter that always impresses me – the enthusiasm people have for it! There is an abundance of activity in the winter, from ski bunnies and snowboarders hitting the slopes of the Adirondack Mountains, to vibrant winter festivals held in Saranac Lake, and Ottawa, Ontario. Folks are also snowshoeing and cross-country skiing over the many trails on campus – and your student can join in on the fun! Clarkson University Outing Club stays active year-round leading outdoors adventures. If nothing else, we have an amazing hill on campus that becomes a sledding paradise for kids of all ages.

Be creative inside. The indoors need not be an imprisonment in winter! The temptation to hibernate can be alluring, but it also can lead to poor sleep hygiene and social isolation. We are not bears, after all. Campus Life continues to provide ongoing indoor entertainment like Late Knight movies and events, and club activities keep students involved and connected. Encourage your student not to go into seclusion during the darker months, but to be vigilant in balancing his or her workload with relaxation and recreation. Also, make sure your student has what he or she needs to feel comfortable in the dorm rooms: blankets and pillows provide comfort and warmth for a good night’s sleep (or midwinter naps!), and lamps and colorful decor create a cozy space that brightens the mood when it’s gray outside.

Those are just some suggestions that we at SHAC would like to share with you as parents, to pass along to your students in hopes that they will weather the winter in a healthy way. Honestly, the best advice I have learned from the winters I’ve spent in the North Country is: embrace it! From dressing the part, to getting outside and enjoying nature and snow play, to staying active indoors, students at Clarkson University can learn not only to survive, but thrive in these months to come!

Theresa Samways
Associate Director of Counseling


Housing Selection for Next Year is Starting


Current students are beginning the process by which they select housing for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. Students recently received a communication from Residence Life that outlined both the time line and the process. The process consists of: 1) The Housing Exemption Process, 2) Housing Lottery and 3) Helpful Info Sessions/Events.

Clarkson, as you are aware, is a residential University with a 4-year on-campus residency requirement. Recent years have allowed us to permit a limited number of our most senior students to be exempted from the Clarkson residency requirement and we actually begin our housing selection with The “Housing Exemption Process” during the month of February. This allows the Residence Life Office to inform students of their status prior to the roll out of the Housing Lottery and students who are granted an exemption to live off-campus do not participate in the housing lottery. It also allows those students with permission to secure their off-campus housing in a timely manner as students are reminded at the beginning of the process that they should not sign a lease until they have received confirmation from Residence Life that they have been exempted.

Prior to on campus housing selection, there are three Housing Info Sessions scheduled. These sessions are designed to give students the chance to learn about the process, any changes that have been made from last year and to ask questions of the Res Life staff. Residence Life will also host two Roommate Mixers for those students who are looking for roommates for next academic year. During the mixers the Res Life team will feature activities aimed at helping students finding a compatible roommate.

The Housing Lottery, as our on-campus selection process is affectionately known, is a selection process that allows students to choose specific living accommodations for the next academic year. Students will receive another electronic communication upon their return from the spring break instructing them to log into their PeopleSoft account and select the housing link. Students are instructed to click/read the “Housing Contract” agreement in its entirety and fill in all fields in the contract. Once the Housing Contract is submitted, students receive their lottery number. “Lottery Numbers” are assigned at random by a computer program based on seniority. Seniority for housing purpose is determined by a student’s cohort and not their academic standing/year. The cohort is the class a student came in with and is assigned by the Registrar. For example, last fall’s incoming students are part of the 1st year cohort and select their housing with that cohort, regardless of their academic classification. Our 3rd year students, next year’s seniors, select their housing first, followed by 2nd year students, and then the 1st year students per the following timeline:


• January 27: Housing Info Session
• February 1: Housing Exemption Form Available 3rd Year Students (Cohort 2013 ONLY)
• February 10: Last day for 3rd Year Students to submit Housing Exemption request
• February 15: Housing Exemption Form Available 2nd Year Students (Cohort 2014 ONLY)
• February 24: Last day for 2nd Year Students to submit Housing Exemption request
• February 29: Housing Info Session
• March 1: International Village Applications Due
• March 4: Roommate Mixer (5:30pm – 6:30pm) in the Adirondack Lodge
• March 21: Housing Contracts Available via PeopleSoft (Lottery Numbers Issued)
• March 24: Housing Info Session
• March 25: Roommate Mixer
• Week of March 29 and April 5: Housing Lottery

If you have any questions or would like additional information please contact the Residence Life Office at (315)268-6642 or via

Mark DeRitis
Associate Dean of Students


From the International Students & Scholars Office


Greetings from the International Students & Scholars Office! My office manages your son or daughters immigration status if they are here on a student visa. Clarkson University is home to international students from over 45 countries!

This semester is all about the US Federal Tax system and what are you doing after graduation. Over the coming weeks I will be communicating information on ‘Filing your U.S. Federal Tax Return’ and ‘Employment benefits after Graduation’. Both are very important sessions to the international student and both will be communicated directly with your son or daughter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Tess Casler
Director of International Students & Scholars


Message from the Office of First-Year Advising & University Studies in Student Success, Diversity & Inclusion 


Student Success, Diversity & Inclusion is currently working with students who have had the opportunity to reflect on the fall semester.  During our meetings, we may discuss whether they are in the right major and/or where to find information on specializations, schedule changes, academic standing, adding/dropping courses, changing majors, double majors and minors, as well as cross-registering at the Associated Colleges.

The spring semester is often a time when many students turn their sights toward summer employment/internships or co-ops, summers school, Study Abroad, completing course work off-campus as well as graduation.  Please encourage your son/daughter to work with their academic advisor/department in their program of study to address any questions or concerns pertaining to any of these topics.  They may also choose to contact  First-Year Advising and University Studies to assist them with their concerns.  We are more than happy to help out in any way that we can.

As we move further into the semester, some things to encourage your son or daughter to watch for are: Information about Mid-Term grades, Course Enrollment, Exploring Academic Majors Event (which is held before Spring Break and Course Enrollment) and Final Exams.  

Please remember that all students may visit Student Success, Diversity & Inclusion in the ERC.  We encourage students to stop by to touch base as well as inquiries about tutoring, academic skills assistance or accommodations for disability related needs.  We are always happy to see them.

Catherine Avadikian
Director of First-Year Advising & University Studies Program


Horizons is full STEAM ahead for Summer, 2016! 

A summer camp opportunity for rising 7th and 8th grade females.


The Horizons summer program is intended to help young women embrace the excitement of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), and to better understand and communicate its everyday use and importance.

We believe that the adolescent years are very crucial in the development of a person. During this time a person is investigating their identity. Often their identity is based on the things or people around them and how they interact with them. From this they tend to formulate “conclusions” about themselves and career goals as compared to a societal norm. Sadly, although females have an aptitude equal to males in science, engineering, and mathematics, few choose to pursue careers in these areas. We're hoping that encouragement at this pivotal age may make the difference.

Through fun and challenging hands-on projects, the Horizons curriculum uses an integrated instructional module in mathematics, science, and engineering, supported by the arts and technology. We believe in a holistic approach to education. Additionally, that it is important to foster growth and balance in the life of a participant in every course. Thus, the life skills component further enhances the instruction as participants build confidence, personal insight, leadership and team spirit in an emotionally supported learning environment.

At Horizons, participants are taught by a predominantly female staff composed of teachers and other professionals. Our young guests are also accompanied and mentored by program assistants who are undergraduate or graduate college females who excel in STEAM disciplines. Group sizes are small so each participant has the opportunity to form a lasting relationship with staff and peers.

Horizons is led out of the Student Success, Diversity and Inclusion area. For more information you may email:


Cathy McNamara
Associate Vice President of Student Success, Diversity & Inclusion




This e-Newsletter is published by the Office of Student Affairs.

Kathryn Johnson
Vice President for Student Affairs & International Relations

(315) 268-3943
















Important Dates

Winter Break
February 11-14

Spring Break
March 12-20

Last Day of Classes
April 22

Final Exams

April 25 - April 29

May 7

Returning Student Check-In
August 28

Classes Begin
August 29

Academic Calendar