April 13, 2017

Excellence in Part-Time Mentoring Goes to Robert Wasserlauf

Rober Wasserlauf, Excellence in part time mentoring
Robert Wasserlauf, center, receives award from President Merodie Hancock

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 13, 2017) Robert Wasserlauf, a part-time mentor in Business, Management and Economics, with the college’s Canandaigua location, received the Empire State College Foundation Award in Excellence for Part-Time Mentoring.

“It is an honor to receive the Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-Time Mentoring,” said Wasserlauf. “My work at Empire State College has been the most gratifying in my life. I am indebted to my colleagues for all their support. I am also thankful for the opportunity to serve our students; they have enriched my life.”

“I congratulate Robert Wasserlauf for winning the foundation Excellence in Part-Time Mentoring award,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “The large number of candidates, the rigorous selection process and the high standards and accomplishments, in terms of teaching, mentoring, scholarship, innovation and community service recipients must achieve, is very impressive. These are people who best represent aspirations of the college community. They have contributed their talents, passions and often their entire careers, to their colleagues, to higher education and adult learning, the communities where they live and work and, most importantly, to the overall success of the college and its students. Robert is an outstanding member of the faculty and is an inspiration to all of us.”

Wasserlauf, working on a part-time basis at the college while overseeing his own business, was lauded for his willingness to take on a full load of students and to contribute extensive service to the college, including standing in for the location coordinator when she was on sabbatical. His colleagues describe him as a dedicated faculty mentor who cares deeply about his students and their academic progress. Students have said that Wasserlauf “makes me feel proud of what I have accomplished,” and that he is “an inspiration to me…”

Wasserlauf has served on the Center Personnel Committee, the Workload Consultation Committee, the Genesee Valley Center Council and the Educational Planning Task Force. Recently, he agreed to work with his Business, Management and Economics colleagues to organize a residency enrichment program. He is described as well respected by his colleagues and students alike. In 2015-16, his colleagues selected him to be his region’s Area of Study convener, where he has been proactive in his leadership role, according Jonathan Franz, former dean and professor of psychology.

Wasserlauf holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and two graduate degrees, one in business administration and the other in history education. He has helped students for whom history was a difficult subject have “a great learning experience,” according to colleague Lorraine Lander, coordinator of the Canandaigua location.

About the Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-Time Mentoring

The criteria for selection for this award include superb performance as a mentor, including in the areas of teaching, student advising, scholarship and service to the college. Additionally, the recipient must demonstrate mastery of teaching methods, have an ability to work with students from a variety of backgrounds and academic preparations and set high standards in actively helping students attain academic excellence. In short, the mentor is someone who is applauded by his or her colleagues, students and peers in the discipline.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system yearly, educates nearly 19,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 30  locations across the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and coursework on site, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 78,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.