September 29, 2009- The first session for the 2009-2010 season dealt with the issues and concerns that come with teaching the first year student. Presenters included Gina Occhiogrosso, Professor of Art, Angela Gordon, Professor of Business, and Joseph Pryba, Assistant Director of Resident Life. Presenters spoke about the challenges first year students face and how to overcome these challenges.

           The session began with Gina Occhiogrosso presenting the Foundation of Art program and what it does to help students transition into college life. Occhiogrossos class is structured around making the first year as clear and enjoyable to students as possible. This is done by presenting them with a schedule of events, materials needed, and expectations of the course 2 months prior to the beginning of the semester. This allows students to have an understanding by the time they arrive at Saint Rose. Occhigrosso also talked about the concept of community, and the importance of getting students involved in the art community at Saint Rose. 

          Next, Angela Gordon spoke about the Business 111 course, which is required for all first year business and administration students. In this course students are introduced to business disciplines and create strong cohorts as a way to strengthen team work. This course also gives students the opportunity to create a business plan from the ground up. In doing so they are creating a personal development plan which help them operate their goals and present them with opportunities. 

          Finally, Joseph Pryba talked about the mission and goals of the Office of Residence Life. Pryba spoke about programs such as RA planned programs, student centric programming, and policies and procedures that are used in order to give students the freedom of creating their own policies while still staying within the boundaries of Saint Rose. To conclude the presentations Pryba ended with expressing the challenge of encouraging interaction and involvement on campus. 

          Following the presentation, an open discussion took place where topics such as how to communicate to students, concept of openness, encouraging shared experience learning, challenges faced by transfer students, and the effect hybrid classes have on first year students were discussed among faculty and staff.

Below you will find the materials each presenter shared during the session, as well as links to other helpful and informative resources.


The College of Saint Rose

Office of Residence Life


Our Mission: The Residence Life program seeks to foster an environment that complements the academic mission of the College. It is dedicated to the development of each person’s abilities and facilitation of each individual’s responsibility to himself or herself and the people with whom each lives and interacts. Students will be encouraged to gain an understanding of diverse lifestyles, enhance classroom learning, and make lifelong friendships.


Our Means to Accomplish this Mission: The Office of Residence Life requires that RAs offer a variety of programs to their residents to help them form a community and to complement what they are learning in the classroom. Residence Life recognizes the importance of offering programs that provide our students with the following:

  • An understanding of community living
  • A stronger connection to their academics
  • Motivation to succeed
  • An appreciation of and respect for diversity
  • An ability to plan for the future
  • A sense of creativity
  • An internal value of integrity


All of the planned and implemented programs are based on the needs of the residents to help them further their development as responsible community members. Through programming, interpersonal development and shared experiences, we work to offer social learning throughout the Residence Hall environment. This inherently fosters an atmosphere in which students can become civic-minded, responsible members of the greater community. 




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