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365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ marks President Andrea Talentino's second year of service

365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ community members are celebrating the second anniversary of President Andrea Talentino’s service to the college. Since joining the college July 1, 2022, President Talentino has spearheaded facility improvements as well as guided the college in long-range planning to ensure the college’s strong future as a nationally ranked liberal arts institution.

Michael Gapen, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1991 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ alumnus, said President Talentino’s positive impact in a short amount of time is remarkable considering the notable pressures facing higher education.

“She has set the college on a course to expand and formalize the kind of hands-on, skill-based learning that is demanded by employers, and launched an ambitious community engagement program to increase 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@’s presence in the region,” Gapen said. “Her steadfast commitment to engaged learning will allow the next generation of 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ students to maximize their potential.”

Gapen’s comments highlight key tenets of the college’s strategic plan, Bold & Boundless. Launched with President Talentino’s guidance, the plan prioritizes engaged learning to prepare graduates for success as impactful leaders; maximizing student potential by identifying their strengths and needs; and partnering with the city of Rock Island to enhance neighborhood vitality.

Dr. Brian Leech, associate professor of history and faculty council chair, also commended President Talentino’s foresight in guiding the campus community toward a new strategic plan that prioritizes the “college’s engagement with our home base: Rock Island and the Quad Cities.”

“She has a dry sense of humor and knows how to connect with students,” Dr. Leech continued. “For just one example, students in my classes were thrilled to see her in the mosh pit at the college’s outdoor music festival, Sloughfest, in May. When an academic program I teach in needed a faculty member to join a team-taught course for next year, she jumped right in despite the many other demands on her time.”

Kent Barnds, executive vice president for strategy and innovation, said President Talentino hit the ground at a sprint when she joined 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@.

“Her leadership has been novel in so many ways, from the way she engages students to the way she organized the strategic planning process,” Barnds said. “I've seen her skilled leadership as she challenges the status quo and finds partners to help move a fresh agenda forward. She truly understands the needs of our students as well as our community.”

In addition to Bold & Boundless, President Talentino has set into motion a campus master plan that seeks to rebalance the college’s strategic priorities and assess housing stock and classroom spaces in order to meet current and projected needs of the college. Led by Chief Financial Officer Kirk Anderson, a 1993 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ alumnus, in partnership with Jones Architecture, Inc., the campus master plan committee continues to review options, with a report expected to be shared with the public in the near future.

“I’m proud to have joined the 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ community two years ago and proud of the connections and achievements our campus has shared during this time,” President Talentino said. “We have much to be proud of and so much more in our future to embrace what it means to continue to serve as an institution that shapes leaders to make meaningful contributions in communities near and far.”

Accomplishments during President Talentino’s tenure include:

  • Ranking No. 9 on The Wall Street Journal's list of best liberal arts schools in the Midwest, which recognizes student outcomes, the learning environment and diversity. The college was also recognized for economic diversity by The New York Times and earned the college’s fourth INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. 
  • Continued relationship-building with 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@’s vibrant alumni network across the country, including gatherings this year in Illinois, California and Florida.
  • Speaking at Uppsala University in Sweden in October 2023 as part of Uppsala’s Democracy in Higher Education Week. This trip, shared with Provost Dianna Shandy, affirmed 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@’s unique partnership with the institution founded in 1477. 
  • Chairing the NCAA DIII Athletic Training Working Group, with a charge of identifying the factors that impact DIII intercollegiate athletics departments’ ability to hire and retain athletics training staff, and establishing recommendations to address identified factors.
  • Serving on the EAB President's Advisory Council to address enrollment trends and program development and provide early feedback to shape EAB’s research focus. EAB, an educational consulting firm, serves 2,500+ organizations, schools and colleges.
  • Raising $17.4 million of the $40 million Gerber Grand Challenge, fueling the college’s ability to award the first 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@ Possible grants to 183 first-year students in the 2023-2024 academic year. 
  • Rebounding to pre-pandemic enrollment numbers in 2023-24 and welcoming a record-breaking international cohort.
  • Launching the renovation of Erickson Residence Center, thanks in part to a capital grant from the State of Illinois.
  • Investing $1 million and partnering with the city of Rock Island to create six National Collegiate Athletic Association-regulation tennis courts at Lincoln Park, adjacent to campus. These courts bring premier facilities to our men’s and women’s tennis teams and will be enjoyed by the Rock Island community, especially since three courts are also lined for pickleball.
  • Prioritizing attracting and retaining top talent by increasing the total compensation pool by 2.5% and increasing the college’s retirement contribution match by 1%.
  • Launching the inaugural Brenda Barnes Leadership Academy cohort, through which 29 female students of 365体育投注_365体育备用网址@’s Class of 2027 took part in community-building events and mentorship experiences to help them develop into future leaders.

Contact:

Nicole Lauer, 309-794-7645 or nicolelauer@augustana.edu
 


If you have news, send it to sharenews@augustana.edu! We love hearing about the achievements of our alumni, students and faculty.