Provost to deliver Downstate grad address
W. Richard Stephens, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alfred University, will address graduates of Alfred University’s Downstate program during the annual exercises at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott in Brooklyn, NY.
During the ceremony, 105 students will received their master’s degrees in counseling or literacy education or a certificate of advanced study in mental health counseling.. They join the 579 students who have completed their master’s degrees from Alfred University through the Downstate program since it began in the fall of 2006.
Students enrolled in Alfred University’s Downstate programs attend classes weekends at locations in Brooklyn and on Long Island, and spend two weeks in the summer on Alfred University’s main campus in Alfred, NY, taking additional courses.
Stephens is completing his first year as AU provost, coming to AU after serving as chief provost at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Since coming to AU, Stephens has re-introduced the Allen Term during the mid-winter break between semesters, and has actively promoted expansion of off-site programs and on-line courses.
Additionally, he was instrumental in guiding the final phase of the recent campus self-study that successfully led to Middle States reaccreditation for the University, and hosted the review team that visited campus in April.
While at Catawba, Stephens expanded summer school offerings; led the review, revision and implementation of the general education curriculum; led the redevelopment of evening and graduate offerings to include off-site programs; and encouraged a focus on instructional technology and classroom pedagogy.
He was involved in developing new programming for recording arts in music, graduate degrees in education, business and athletics training and undergraduate programs in the health sciences, while furthering facilities upgrades in theater and classrooms.
A native of southern Illinois, Stephens earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from Greenville (IL) College, and graduate degree in sociology and philosophy, from the University of Kansas.
He served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor and chair of the department of sociology at Greenville College; as a visiting professor of sociology at Nizhni Novogrod State University in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia; as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA; and as chief academic officer and dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Husson University in Bangor, ME.
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