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Lander Launches New Academic Year with Opening Convocation

Retired U.S. Army Col. Frank Grand

Signaling the official start of its 146th academic year, Lander University hosted its Opening Convocation in Finis Horne Arena, Tuesday, Aug. 28.

"I love it when students return to campus," said Lander President Richard Cosentino, now in his fourth year leading the university. "We have a family of inspiring faculty and staff who work tirelessly to make Lander a great institution, and because of them, I know that our students will have the opportunity to be successful."

Speaking directly to the students in attendance, most of whom were members of Lander's newest freshman class, President Cosentino provided a word of caution. "You're at a crossroads in your life. You're now adults and the stakes are high. Keep your wits about you and develop a lifestyle that positions you for success. This includes staying out of trouble, going to class, doing your work, and getting enough sleep."

Keynote speaker
Retired U.S. Army Col. Frank Grand, who held several senior staff positions with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the U.S. Department of Defense, emphasized the importance of a person's attitude. "Life is all about attitude. I can train a skillset, but I can't train an attitude. Beliefs drive behaviors, and behaviors drive outcomes," he said.

Faculty recognition
In addition to one-on-one mentoring provided for student research and hours of work volunteering in civic and community activities, the scholarly achievements of Lander's faculty were recognized during the ceremony.

Among the works completed during the 2017-18 academic year were:

  • Three published books
  • 12 book chapters
  • 29 journal articles
  • 18 papers in volumes of proceedings
  • 12 essays or encyclopedia entries
  • 10 book reviews
  • 114 presentations to external audiences at state, regional and national conferences
  • 46 creative activities, such as art events and musical performances

Faculty achieving tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor include:

  • Dr. Liz McDowell (Nursing)
  • Asma Nazim-Starnes (Art)
  • Dr. Franklin Rausch (History)
  • Dr. Christine Sacerdote (Teacher Education)
  • Dr. Stan Vinson (Finance)

Dr. Michael Brizek, associate professor of management, was granted tenure.

Faculty promoted to the rank of professor are:

  • Dr. Lisa Brodhacker (Chemistry)
  • Dr. Lillian Craton (English)
  • Dr. Lee Vartanian (Teacher Education)