David Allen, newly hired, hopes to expand international flavor at Norwich

David Allen, the new assistant director of the International Center and Services, at his desk at Norwich University.                                                                                      Darwrin Carozza photo

David Allen knows all about what it’s like to travel and learn in a foreign land. So it’s no surprise he is making the most out of his new occupation at the Norwich University International Center.

Hired at the beginning of February, the new assistant director for international programs and services speaks clearly on what his main goals and future projects are.

“A big initiative Norwich has at the moment is the internationalizing of the campus,” Allen said. “If we cannot bring students in, we will bring them out, so they can come back and further deepen the university community.”

Norwich prides itself in having an international perspective, and affirms in its vision statement that students will be, “American in character, yet global in perspective.” This international perspective can only be achieved by immersing the student body in the rest of the globe, and bringing international students to the university.

“By studying abroad, you have the opportunity for transformation,” Allen said. “I did not understand it when I was studying abroad, but it really does give you a different perspective of the world.” [Read more…]

New Norwich University website ready to launch after two years of work

A screenshot of Norwich’s current website. A total revamp of the site has been under way for two years and will launch soon.

After two years of work, Norwich is close to unveiling a completely new website that will “bring Norwich University, online, to the 21st century,” in the words of Norwich’s office of communications.

The revamped website, which is the digital face of the university, is expected to be rolled out to the public sometime this month.“It’s our front door to the world and we want to do NU proud,” said Loida Alvarez, the director of web services in the office of communications for the university. “This launch is just the beginning.”

The overhauled website will serve as an “integral part of recruiting new students, faculty, and staff. This will allow the university to build on the proud tradition that is already in place,” said Nick Fischer, the administrative assistant in office.

The theme behind the development of the new website was “three clicks or less,” according to Jeff Dobbin, one of the web developers who works in the office, which is located at the northern end of the campus in Flint Hall on Central Street.

“We want to make people explore as much as they want but also find what they want to find in three clicks or less,” Dobbin said. “That was a key. It was difficult, but it was something we emphasized.”

In the same vein, the OC focused heavily on making the website easier to access and use on mobile devices, something that is difficult to execute on the current site.

“There was a study recently that showed that 79 percent of prospective students in the next generation are looking for schools on their mobile device first before they would apply,” Dobbin said. “That was kind of the background behind, ‘okay, we need to redesign.’” [Read more…]

Norwich bids former Cadet Mo Smith adieu

Having spent a career in the Army traveling everywhere from Hawaii, Germany, Japan, Chicago, and back again to Northfield, Vt., Maurice “Mo” Smith accomplished just about everything one could hope to accomplish in a lifetime.

During World War II, he spent time teaching young troops how to maintain and fix tanks for the Army. Upon retirement he returned home to maintain the family business of owning and operating drive-in movie theatres.

Mo accomplished many things during his lifetime. He made a career for himself, had a family, and gave back annually to the institution he was most proud of, Norwich University, making him a lifetime member of the Alden Partridge Society, for donating over $20,000 back to the school.

Colonel Maurice H. Smith passed away on Sunday, February 4th, 2018. [Read more…]

Norwich resolute about maintaining marijuana prohibitions on campus

Martha Mathis, now in her 26th year as the Dean of Students at Norwich University, has witnessed a vast number of challenges that the school has faced and overcome; for each challenge, her judgment has never changed.

“I think anything that has the potential to interfere with your success, I would not be for,” Mathis said. “Anything that can be competition for students to be the best that they can be, I am always going to vote no.”

NU will face a new test in the coming months, however, one that Mathis warns could have the potential to “really change the course of your life.”

With that risk in mind, the University plans to stay firm with its policies after the state of Vermont’s decision to legalize marijuana, according to ther Norwich University administration.

“It isn’t really going to affect us at all, in terms of our policies,” said Dr. Frank Vanecek, the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life. “We are going to maintain our rules and regulations regardless of what the state decides to do.” [Read more…]

‘Tis the season to be SAD

Junior Tony Rodriguez using a HappyLight.

It’s not unusual to see cadets outside the chapel on the coldest days of the year, blowing bubbles, watching them freeze and roll along the concrete.

Rev. William Wick has seen nearly three decade’s worth of Vermont winters, and while his office may be decorated in skiing memorabilia, he understands that the snow may not bring joy to everyone. This is why Wick keeps bubble-blowing supplies in the cabinet of his office: It’s a way to combat the blues that can come with a long winter.

“Those who have been here longer, know that it’s coming again. First thing for anything, you may anticipate cold stuff, but don’t know what it’s like to walk through it,” Wick said. “Sometimes they don’t realize what is happening, sometimes they’re aware of it and they can adjust. Other times it’s a ‘Why am I feeling this way?’” [Read more…]

Road to the ring not an easy path

For some unlucky juniors in the Corps of Cadets, the cherished goal of finally putting on the traditional junior ring may have to wait.

According to these cadets, they are thwarted by a failure to meet certain requirements they think are unfair or should be changed.

Since the early 19th century, it has been a Norwich tradition for junior cadets to receive class rings. The coveted ring carries a lot of sentiment and reflects accomplishment, a representation of the three years completed, and graduation ahead.

But as with many things at Norwich, the junior ring is not given – it must be earned – and that means cadets have a list of requirements to fulfill before they can wear one.

[Read more…]

Corps overhaul aims to boost cohesion

Norwich University’s Corps of Cadets is dramatically revamping its structure after nearly a decade under the current system. The new structure will restore companies where rooks stay together all four years, a system where strong company bonds are formed, in a change that will affect all aspects of training, as well as cadet life.

Col. Michael Titus, the 55th Commandant of Cadets, laid out the reasons for the overhaul of corp’s structure. The structural system the Corps currently operates on has been in place since around 2010, and there have certainly been many lessons and issues observed in that time, said Col. Titus. That system is divided, with freshmen rooks placed in their own individual platoons and companies, and upperclassmen in their own respective units as well, with there being very little interaction in between.

“What’s developed over time under the current construct, is two separate Corps and two different standards, one for the upperclassmen, and one for the rooks,” said Col. Titus. “As much as the upper-class leadership wants to hold their subordinates to a standard, there is no intrinsic catalyst for them to do so.”

Col. Titus’s hope is that if upperclassmen are in the same battalions, same companies, “they will be more apt to lead by example, because they will be reminded of the standards they were held to when they were rooks.” [Read more…]

How NU is dealing with sexual violence

In its effort to create a safe student environment, Norwich is working on several fronts to deal with sexual misconduct or violence, including collaborating with a novel student-run organization.

Norwich University has always tried to maintain the safest environment for students and the overall community, free from any form of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, according to Stephanie Drew, who oversees the university’s programs under Title IX. That 1972 federal education law prohibits sex discrimination and sets out procedures to deal with sexual assault and harassment in colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

“Unfortunately, here at Norwich like any other institution, violence is a reality,” said Drew who is Employee Relationship Equal Opportunities and Title IX Coordinator at N.U. “It does happen here, but we are not unusual with dealing with these cases. We are trying really hard with our programming efforts to share a better awareness and prevention of this topic.”

Sexual misconduct refers to different unwanted actions, behaviors, and words forced on a non-consenting person, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation. Even though in the majority of the cases reported women are the victims, this type of violence happens also among men. [Read more…]

Campus construction, renovations on target

Other than some minor setbacks due to weather and injuries, construction on the Norwich campus is well underway, keeping under budget as well as sticking to a tight schedule.

“Construction has gone as smoothly as expected,” said Dick Terk, project manager for construction at Norwich University. “It has been a great place to work, and the people we are working with are fantastic.”

Engelberth Construction of Colchester, Vt., has been the main contractor in the construction on campus, working with Norwich Facility Operations to ensure that all construction goes smoothly for both the company and the Norwich community.

“The students especially, are the most respectful of any campus that I, myself, have worked on,” said Terk, noting the company has had no problems with students or faculty interfering with construction. [Read more…]

Happy faces on 100s night

Seniors gathered for Legacy beer from 14th Star brewing and celebratory glasses as they started their countdown to graduation. Video whiz Jim Black, a former Guidon reporter who just graduated this fall, captured the scene. 100th night