New Student Newsletter
August 14, 2013
Vol. 3
August 14, 2013 

Dear Students,


 Welcome to our entering first-year and transfer students. You have been accepted and enrolled in a very special college. The Princeton Review, which has named ESF as one of the nation's 150 "Best Value" colleges and universities and one of the 322 Green Colleges, describes ESF as "nationally renowned" and quotes ESF students who describe the College as "a small, personal school" with "tough coursework" where professors are "brilliant in their fields" as well as "supportive and easy to find and speak to." Students say that they are impressed by faculty members who "can back up their teaching with real experiences."


Everyone at ESF is committed to helping you to be successful. However, this is a shared responsibility. We are all committed to "A Better World through Environmental Discovery." You would not have been accepted if we were not confident that you could succeed and make a difference. We are here to join you on that journey.


You will look back at your college experience as one of the best times of your life. Please embrace this opportunity and make it a defining experience.


We are your partners on this journey to fulfill your dreams.


Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., Ph.D.


General Reminders, Orientation Info and Centennial Hall: 
It's Here!!
 Orientation is Here!
In one week from today, you will arrive on campus for move-in and Orientation!  If you are living on campus, you will start your day with move-in at Centennial Hall with the assistance of the Mighty Movers on Wednesday, August 21st from 9am-2pm.  
Once you have moved in, please check-in for Orientation at the Bray Hall Rotunda.  We will have your Orientation folder and some goodies for you.  The Hospitality Hour begins at 2pm on the Quad and the official Welcome starts at 3pm in Syracuse University's (SU) Hendricks Chapel. 
We've planned a lot of great events for you and encourage you to attend every one of them as they are for your benefit!  In addition, you will get a chance to meet with Orientation Leaders throughout the five days of Orientation who are very eager and excited to meet you.  Please make sure you utilize them whenever you need them! 

Moving Into Centennial Hall on August 21st

Centennial Hall Logo


We are extremely excited that in  you will be moving in to Centennial Hall!! Make sure to like the official Centennial Hall Facebook page for some move-in tips!

To make the move-in process as smooth as possible, we ask that you follow the following instructions.


1)      Please print out the move in pass located at and display it in your windshield.

2)      When driving to Centennial Hall make your way onto Almond Street heading south which runs under I-81.

3)      Almond Street will turn into Van Buren Street. Turn right immediately after the bend in the road. This is Renwick Ave. Take the fork in the road immediately on the right. This is Fineview Place.

4)      Follow Fineview Place until it dead ends at the Centennial Hall parking lot and make a left onto Oakland Street. Centennial Hall will be on your right.

5)      There might be a line, so please bring your patience with you! If you are waiting in a holding line, the student should go to building with their photo ID to complete the check-in process and get their key.

6)      The Mighty Movers will help to unload the items from your car. You will need to move any large, heavy, or valuable items on your own for safety.

7)      Once your car is unloaded, one person will need to remove the car from Oakland Street and proceed through the ESF and SU campuses to Comstock Ave. When you reach Comstock Ave, make a right and drive down Comstock until you get to the Manley Field House. Park your car in the Manley South Parking Lot.

8)      There is a bus stop in the parking lot. The ESF BioBus will be making regular pick-ups and drop offs between 9am and 2:30pm and between 4pm to 7pm. The bus is not large and at times might need to make several passes to be able to pick up all of our ESF families and friends.

9)      We hope that you have a wonderful experience during move-in and over the course of the upcoming year in Centennial Hall!

Meet the Staff in Student Affairs!
Office of Student Affairs 

The transition to college can be both an exciting and challenging time for students and families. While an adjustment period is typical and expected, some students may find themselves struggling a bit more and in need of additional support. We enjoy having students stop by the Office of Student Affairs for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons you might find it helpful to meet with us include having difficulty adjusting to college life, experiencing academic stress, having problems in peer and/or other relationships, have a pre-existing mental or physical health or disability concern, or are concerned about accommodating a disability. One of Student Affairs' many functions is to support and assist students in exploring and addressing these concerns and issues to optimize the likelihood of your being successful in college.


ESF has a unique relationship with Syracuse University, and through your student fees, you will have access to the full-range of programs and services available there. The Student Affairs staff works closely with several Syracuse University offices including the Office of Disability Services, the Counseling Center, and Health Services, and can help to connect ESF students with the many resources available there.


If you are eligible for accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact the Office of Student Affairs, 315-470-6660, as soon as possible to begin this process. We work directly with the Syracuse University Office of Disability Services in providing accommodations. You can learn more about this process or the documentation guidelines by visiting


The staff in the Office of Student Affairs has as its primary mission advancing individual student learning, well-being, and success by intentionally designing involvement and engagement opportunities to promote contributions to the College community and greater society. We are here to help, and we can be contacted by calling or visiting the office in 110 Bray Hall, 315-470-6660.


Multicultural Affairs Office


The Multicultural Affairs Office exists to support underrepresented students and to foster a campus community where cultural diversity is appreciated.  Multicultural Affairs hosts adjustment programs for newly enrolled students that facilitate their transition into college life. To encourage student retention and their best academic achievement, incentives and interventions are provided throughout the academic year.  Additionally, all members of the campus community are encouraged to expand their cultural horizons through participation in numerous cultural enrichment activities sponsored by this and other College departments.


Other resources and services by the Multicultural Affairs Office are:


Language Bank

If you speak more than one language fluently you can assist the Syracuse and campus communities by volunteering for the Language Bank. Agencies or individuals contact the Language Bank for help with document translation, interpretation, or social networking situations. Multicultural Affairs acts as a go-between to connect the Language Bank with student, staff, and faculty volunteers.


Cultural Book Club

Comprised of students, faculty, and staff, the Club meets twice each semester to discuss a novel or non-fiction book. Along with the lively conversations that take place at Club meetings, Multicultural Affairs provides sample food from countries portrayed in the books. Members not only begin to look forward to sharing their thoughts, but they also anticipate trying out various national and international cuisines. After discussing the current book, Club members bring ideas and vote for the next reading which is advertised and open to the ESF community. All are welcome to participate.


Collections For Loan

Multicultural Affairs has a collection of multimedia resources available to the ESF community to support academic and multicultural learning.


Web page

The Multicultural Affairs website features information about memberships in professional scientific organizations, internship lists, a calendar of activities, applications for CSTEP, and The Multi-Ethnic Resource Directory of Syracuse and Onondaga County. This directory provides a list of ethnic restaurants, clubs, organizations, and services within the greater Syracuse area.


Community Service and Service-Learning Office


If you are looking to venture off-campus and make a difference in the community, visit the Community Service and Service-Learning Office in 14 Bray Hall!  The Community Service and Service-Learning Office fosters reciprocal co-curricular and academic partnerships between the College and the greater community.  The Office assists students, faculty, and staff with community engagement opportunities and serves as a resource for community organizations seeking partnership with the College.


Volunteer opportunities are publicized via e-mail as they become available, and the Office also coordinates several programs including the Saturday of Service, Campus Day of Service, and Federal Work-Study employment opportunities with community organizations. 


To better acquaint first-year students with ESF and the community, over 20 service projects are planned each fall specifically for first-year students through the First-Year Experience.  First-year students are expected to complete at least one of these projects, which provide new students with the opportunity to get off campus and learn more about their new community using skills and knowledge gained during the first few months at ESF.  More details, including how to sign-up, will be provided in September. 

Academic Information:  Biology informs your life!

Biology informs your life!


Biology here at ESF is more in-depth and difficult than a majority of AP BIO courses and those taken at other institutions, as we build a solid foundation for upper-level coursework and inform all aspects of our students' lives by taking the following course objectives very seriously:

  • Understand major biological concepts and how all sciences share common rules of evidence to explain phenomena
  • Learn the language of Biology
  • Recognize the diversity of life and how to classify organisms
  • Describe form, function, organization, and life cycles across the full range of living organisms
  • Communicate how organisms interact and are interdependent with other organisms and their environment
  • Interpret, judge, and debate statements made about biological systems and controversial biological ideas
  • Understand that scientific knowledge is based upon evidence and conclusions are tentative and subject to revision in light of new evidence
  • Develop laboratory and field proficiencies
  • Learn and apply conventions of technical writing in biology
  • Foster curiosity in the living world and have fun

An excellent resource to refresh you on what you learned in your HS biology classes, and to prepare you for EFB101 at ESF, is to watch Biology Crash Course videos (#s 19-40) on Youtube's education channel: Once you are here, some of the most important things to remember are:

  • Be organized and use your time wisely. Remember, for every hour you are in class, you should spend 3 hours outside of class going over previous class notes, reading the textbook, doing end of the chapter questions (in the book or online), and preparing for the next class.
  • Think about your major. Most majors at ESF require biology as a core course in the degree program. Think about why that might be the case, then focus on how biology will fit into your field of study, and eventually, your career.

 Lastly, our textbook for Biology will be Campbell Biology In Focus and we'll be using the online homework associated with it called Mastering Biology.  When you arrive on campus you can order your textbook and the bundled code for Mastering from ESF's bookstore. For our General Biology laboratory, EFB102, you will be picking a copy of the lab manual from ESF's Copy Center, located in the basement of Bray Hall.

Meet ESF Student Leaders
Introduction to the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program


My name is Stephen Grant and I have been a student at SUNY-ESF  for the past three years. My friend Tom Ryan and I are approaching our senior year at ESF and spent some of our last, relatively free, summer reflecting on what defined our time at college. Tom has always been heavily involved in clubs such as the Birding Club and Alchemist Society, and ranked them highly. I have been a part of the Syracuse University Rugby and Quidditch teams and remember those times well. What we looked back on most fondly, however, was our participation in the Orientation Leader and Mentoring programs as both first-year students and now as leaders.


As a first-year student my two floor mentors were both experienced students that I could come to with any question. What impressed me was how available they were to help with my problems or to organize an adventure, and how they treated us as their equals. We were all students to Ryan and Shelby, and that translated into a great amount of respect for the two of them. This is what directly influenced me to become a mentor, so that I could try to pass on what I have learned, both mistakes and triumphs, to incoming first-year students.


The mentoring program aims to provide academic and social aid as new students enter ESF. Mentors are often well versed in the rigors of college life and can field questions with ease as they draw from their experiences. I feel what makes the mentor program so strong is the inside look at student life. A student's perspective is often different from faculty or staff, and mentors are peers who have recently gone through the same trials as their mentees. They can help to provide a balance between academic grace and social shenanigans. Many such as Tom Ryan are incredibly involved in the community, have good grades, and still make time for friends.


The program is not mandatory and can be shunned by students who already feel acclimated to college life. I would highly recommend it, as the moments in mentoring have given me fond memories I can look back on during this summer's twilight, with the friends it helped me to win.


-Stephen Grant, Head Mentor for 2013

In This Issue
Quick Links
First-Year Retreat Info
First-year students are also
required to participate in the First-Year Student Retreat in September to build connections with their peers and the
College's faculty and staff. Details cabe found here.
ESF Traditions
Learn about some sustainability initiatives at ESF!

Join ESF's own Green Campus Initiative (GCI), a student club that strives toward sustainability initiatives on campus. We meet once a week to accomplish our sustainability goals and propose new ideas. A few accomplishments of GCI in the past few years include de-lamping Moon Library, implementing centralized trash and recycling on the first floor of Baker, spreading the word on hosting zero-waste events, maintaining upkeep of our off-campus garden, and of course, making compost. Composting is done easily by keeping a green bin in every building on campus. You can find one in the foyer and basement of Moon Library, the 3rd floor of Baker, and even in the 2nd floor EFB student lounge in Illick. Our system is located at the old greenhouses between Bray and Oakwood Cemetery. Feel free to check it out! GCI has created the composting system on campus and the work-study position that allows students to compost dairy, eggs, meat, orange peels- basically anything you can consume. So next time you see a green bin, you know what to do!

A Note about Textbooks


The SUNY-ESF College Bookstore has teamed up with Follett Virtual Bookstores (FVB) to launch the SUNY-ESF Online Bookstore, the one place to find all the books you'll need for your classes!  As a new student at ESF, you will be registering for your classes when you arrive on campus for Orientation in August.   Once your schedule is finalized, you will be able to purchase your books online.  We will have computers and staff available to assist you with the process.   There will also be a presentation during Orientation that will go over the entire process.

When you purchase your textbooks through the Online Bookstore, a portion of all sales comes back to the Alumni Association which is used for student programming.  This includes the New Student Ice Cream Social, the Student Poster Session, Festival of Places, the Champagne Toast, and a number of other events throughout the year.



SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Office of Student Affairs | Student Involvement and Leadership
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