Hiram College

Dear Hiram Friends,

It’s been almost a month since our May graduation, and the summer happenings are now in full force.

Among the many exciting activities, students are working with faculty and staff in their internships in campus labs and at the James H. Barrow Field Station. In addition, our summer workshops, camps, and institutes—focused on art, nature, crisis simulation, creative writing, and community resilience and climate change—are attracting kids from 3-4 years of age to high school teenagers to Hiram’s campus and field station. Both locations are adorned in beautiful blooms.

And speaking of kids, Matt Sorrick ’91 is leading five different nature camps. These range from nature’s colors for youngsters, to full-day discovery hikes at Hiram’s Field Station for older kids, to more strenuous programs where teenagers log in hikes and canoe trips that respectively introduce them to Northeast Ohio’s geologic history and the upper Cuyahoga River ecosystems. You can find details about such camp opportunities at this link.

For those of us who are young of heart but older than Mr. Sorrick’s campers, you may want to learn more about the exciting work being conducted by Professor Denny Taylor ’73. This summer, Professor Taylor will be leading three Learning Streams International Institutes. These Institutes attract high school students and teachers, along with undergraduate students and faculty, from both the U.S. and Pakistan. They all come together to develop a deeper understanding of climate change and its impacts on both day-to-day life and the future health and well-being of our ecosystems. Participants get hands-on experience in research techniques, learn more about Hiram’s version of mindful technology, and complete various types of field projects. You can learn details and how engage at this site.

At this time of the year, even more outdoor activities abound. Lucy Chamberlain ’77 is, once again, sharing her nationally-recognized expertise and love of plants with two student interns. They are learning about botany, ecology, and conservation through tending to Hiram’s gardens. Working side by side, Lucy is a real treat as she helps these interns delve into the “why” of garden practice. She is also a stickler for helping them learn both the common names of species and their Latin names, as well. You can learn more about their experiences here.

On other fronts, children and teenagers are getting in some old fashion “sweat time” as the athletics camps and clinics run through August. On a related note, we are excited to be hosting the Cleveland Comets women’s professional softball team. They are living on campus and using all of our athletic facilities until August 15th.

Another event that has both high school teachers and staff, as well as college faculty and staff abuzz is our first annual Tech and Trek Conference. The conference is a joint collaboration between Hiram College and WVIZ/PBS Ideastream, sponsored by Hiram College’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. From June 20th through 22nd, middle school, high school, and college/university educators will descend on Hiram. Eighty of them have registered for this conference that showcases the intersection between mobile technology and mindful use of technology, and we would love to have some of our alumni register as well! It is not too late to do so. Come spend some time at your alma mater hearing presenters from all over the region share their own innovations in teaching and learning and give examples of high-impact student experiences in their own schools. Sessions topics will range from augmented and virtual realities to flipped classrooms with plenty of hiking and meditation in between!

This summer also brings the conclusion of the academic redesign process. Three weeks ago, the Dean of the College, Dr. Judy Muyskens, presented the recommendations that came out of her work with the SAT advisory faculty group. She then consulted with two faculty governing committees and the faculty at large. I received a comprehensive report from all of these groups last week and used them to craft my recommendations for the Board of Trustees. The Board voted unanimously to accept all recommendations I presented as I shared with you in my May 30th email. If you want to read more about the academic redesign, please visit this page.

If reading about the redesign is still not enough to sate your curiosity or interest, please consider attending the State of the College conversation at Alumni Weekend. Consider this your personal invitation to join me; the Chairman of the Board, Dean Scarborough ’77; and Vice Chairwoman, Betsy Juliano ’85 for a conversation about the College’s academic redesign, its latest changes, and its increasingly bright future. This will take place as a coffee chat session on Saturday June 16, at 10:15 AM, in the Pritchard Room on the second floor of the Library.

In addition to that session, Alumni Weekend is chock full of intellectually stimulating programs, recreational activities, partaking of adult beverages, and good ole fun with time to catch up with old (and new) friends. This year, our RSVP list includes alums from 1951 all the way to 2018. Nine reunion-year classes are meeting, ranging from 1968 to 2013. If you need a refresher about our planned activities, please check the Registration page and Program linked here.

Thank you for all that you do for your alma mater, and I hope to see you at Alumni Weekend!

On behalf of all of us at Hiram College, thank you for your investment in our future!

Your President,
President Varlotta Signature

Lori E. Varlotta