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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

A Reason To Be Thankful

November 20, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise across the country, and we must continue to do our part to stop the spread. However, we have many reasons as a campus to be thankful. Since August, SUNY Potsdam has completed approximately 14,000 COVID-19 tests. To date, our positive rate is 0.1%.

Our campus results are remarkable, and you are all the reason why.

This low rate has come with both personal and professional sacrifices for many people. COVID-19 has shifted the way we learn, work, and interact with one another. I know you are exhausted. I know you miss your colleagues and friends. I know you miss the traditional Potsdam experience.

But please know that you are all remarkable individuals. In the face of a health crisis and so much uncertainty, you have persevered. You have shown kindness and care for others through your actions and determination to do the right thing. Today, I am so proud to be a SUNY Potsdam Bear. You have modeled to others what can happen when a campus community comes together. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed by our local community, by SUNY and across New York State.

I am grateful for our ongoing partnership with St. Lawrence County and our excellent public health partners, and our colleagues in the Associated Colleges. These partnerships have ensured that we had the information needed to keep the health and safety of our entire campus community as our number one priority.

As I have said in our town halls in recent weeks, our students should be commended for showing remarkable personal responsibility and respect for the safety of our campus and community.

As for our extraordinary faculty and staff, while there are many individuals and departments across campus that deserve special recognition for their efforts, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the following individuals and their teams. These individuals exhibited tremendous leadership while working tirelessly to develop and execute plans that made our semester safe and successful.

  • Bette Bergeron, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Julie Dold, Director, Residence Life
  • Eric Duchscherer, Interim Dean of Students
  • Tracy Harcourt, Director, Student Health Services
  • Andy Martin, Director, Facilities Planning
  • Patrick O’Brien, Director, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Melissa Proulx, Director, Human Resources

Over the coming weeks and months, I hope that you will join me in thanking them and the many individuals who played a part in our planning and response to this ongoing health pandemic.

This is a bittersweet moment as we pivot to virtual for the remainder of the semester. Please know that wherever you finish your semester, we are here to support you.

I look forward to seeing you all soon, and in the meantime, please stay healthy.

Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.