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Former Harvard Assistant, Nathan Leaman, Named Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach at Union College

Posted on Jul 29, 2003

Nathan Leaman

Schenectady, N.Y. (July 29, 2003) – Former Harvard assistant coach Nathan Leaman has been named the Dutchmen's new head men's hockey coach, Union Director of Athletics Val Belmonte announced.

Leaman spent the last four years as a part of Crimson head coach Mark Mazzoleni's staff, helping bring Harvard back to the forefront of men's hockey both in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and nationally. With Leaman as an assistant, the Crimson earned bids to the NCAA tournament in 2002 and 2003, were ECAC champions 2002-03 for the first time in 10 years and had a 20-win season.

“I was very pleased with the outstanding pool of applicants we received for this position,” said Belmonte. “We wanted the candidate to be a excellent fit for the College and the hockey program, while wanting Union to be a ideal fit for the candidate.”

“Nate has experienced success with every program he's been a part of, making this an exciting transition with the continued growth of Union Hockey. He has distinguished himself amongst his peers with his impeccable integrity, work ethic, leadership skills, and thorough knowledge of the game. Nate is one of the up-and-coming coaches of his generation and we are thrilled to have him on staff.”

With Harvard, Leaman has worked extensively with the league-leading special teams and forwards. As one of the top recruiters in the country and Harvard's recruiting coordinator in 02-03, Leaman has had a hand in recruiting 12 NHL draftees, with the Crimson consistently being ranked near the top of college hockey in the number of players with NHL rights.

Senior captain Glenn Sanders served as the official spokesman for the Dutchmen. Sanders speaks with Ken Schott of the Daily Gazette and Chris Fitzgerald of the Troy Times Record.

Leaman is also active in youth hockey, serving as a head coach at the USA Hockey Under-14 Festival in the last two summers. This past year, he was selected by USA Hockey to be the head coach for the Massachusetts U. S. Select Under-16 Team at the USA Hockey Festival in Rochester, New York.

Prior to coaching at Harvard, Leaman was a volunteer assistant coach with the 1999 NCAA Champions University of Maine under coach Shawn Walsh. He worked with the Black Bears' defense, video analysis, on-campus recruiting, and student-athlete academic progress. Leaman was also the associate coach for one season at Old Town High School in Maine.

Leaman is a 1997 graduate of Cortland State University (NY), where he earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science. He graduated as one of the top scorers in Red Dragons' history, and served as team captain his junior and senior seasons. While at the University of Maine, he earned his Masters in Biological Sciences.

What others are saying about Union's new head coach…
Val Belmonte, Union's Director of Athletics, is interviewed by John Spadafora of TV channel 10

“This is the ideal opportunity for Nate to prove himself and everything he can do as a coach. He has earned the respect of his players, is one of the best recruiters in the game, and I have nothing but admiration for him. He has been a big part of Harvard's success and will continue to bring success to Union College.”

Bill Cleary, former Director of Athletics – Harvard

“I think the world of Nate and Val hit a home run with this hire. He is a great up-and-coming coach in collegiate hockey. He impacted Harvard so positively in so many ways from the special teams to the forwards to recruiting. It is a loss for the Crimson, but a tremendous opportunity for Nate and Union couldn't be in better hands.”

Mark Mazzoleni, Head Coach – Harvard Men's Hockey

“Union has hired an outstanding young man to lead their men's hockey program. From Maine to Harvard, Nate has done an excellent job with coaching and recruiting and he will bring this to the Dutchmen as well.”

Grant Standbrook, Assistant Coach – University of Maine Men's Hockey

“Union is lucky to have Nate as a head coach. In the three years of playing for him, he has done an excellent job for Harvard and he's ready for the challenges at Union. We are all disappointed to lose him, but the entire team is happy that Nate has the opportunity to be a head coach.”

Kenny Smith, Captain – Harvard Men's Hockey

Overall Record
ECAC Record
ECAC Finish
2003-04 Nate Leaman 0-0-0 0-0-0 —-
2002-03 Kevin Sneddon 14-18-4 10-10-2 Sixth**
2001-02 Kevin Sneddon 13-13-6 8-11-3 11th
2000-01 Kevin Sneddon 12-18-4 8-13-2 9th*
1999-2000 Kevin Sneddon 8-24-1 6-14-1 10th*
1998-99 Kevin Sneddon 3-26-2 1-19-2 12th
1997-98 Stan Moore 6-22-4 4-15-3 12th
1996-97 Stan Moore 16-13-3 11-8-3 tied for 5th*
1995-96 Bruce Delventhal 7-19-4 4-15-3 11th
1994-95 Bruce Delventhal 9-16-4 6-12-4 tied 10th*
1993-94 Bruce Delventhal 15-11-4 10-9-3 6th*
1992-93 Bruce Delventhal 3-22-0 3-19-0 12th
1991-92 Bruce Delventhal 3-21-1 2-19-1 12th
*qualified for ECAC playoffs **hosted first round ECAC playoff game
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College mourns passing of Tom Racht

Posted on Jul 29, 2003

Thomas A. Racht Jr.

The College is mourning the passing
of Thomas Racht Jr., a member of our Facilities Services Department, who died on
Tuesday, July 22, after a battle with Crohn's Disease. He was 44.

Racht had been with the
College since 1986, most recently as the building maintainer for the Reamer Center, the Yulman Theater, the
Arts buildings, North College, and Richmond Hall.

In his career at Union he had worked in cleaning,
grounds, and building maintenance.

“Tom's service to the campus
community can be best remembered in his pleasant nature and hard work, which
has affected all those who came in contact with him during his many years on
campus,” said President Roger Hull. “We will all miss Tom's warm personality
and friendly smile.”

A graduate of Linton High School, Racht was a Section II
wrestling champion and a member of the section's All-Star football team. He was
a member of the Rotterdam Elks Lodge 2157 and an avid Adirondack outdoorsman.

Survivors include his
mother, Claire Relyea; stepfather, Robert Relyea; a sister, Debra Curran and
her husband, Daniel (an electrician with Union's Facilities Services); and
a brother, Timothy. His father, Thomas Racht Sr., died in 1974.

Interment was in Memory's
Garden, Colonie.

Memorial contributions may
be made to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Inc., 4 Normanskill Boulevard, Delmar, NY  12054.

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Concordiensis editor-in-chief Jeremy Dibbell to venture overseas

Posted on Jul 23, 2003

The following is based on a story that was published July 22, 2003 in The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.

This summer Concordiensis editor-in-chief, Jeremy Dibbell will jump from covering campus affairs to foreign affairs.

A senior at Union College in Schenectady and editor-in-chief of the student
newspaper, Concordiensis,
Dibbell is one of a dozen college journalists from
around the country participating in the 11th annual Anti-Defamation League
Albert Finkelstein Memorial Study Mission to Israel, Poland and Bulgaria.

“Everybody keeps
saying, 'Aren't you scared to go to Israel?' But I say it's a chance, it's an
opportunity and you can't turn down opportunities when they come to you,” Dibbell, 21, said. “So I see it as an adventure.”

The students, who all
hold leadership positions at their college papers, will visit several sites and
meet with government officials, historians, journalists and others to learn
about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the history of Jewish communities
in Europe and the Holocaust, according to information provided by the ADL.

“These students are
the future journalists of tomorrow,” Sara Ladenheim,
an ADL spokeswoman, said. “It provides them with an
interesting perspective that they otherwise wouldn't be able to get just by
reading other media.”

The Anti-Defamation
League, which fights anti-Semitism, was founded in
1913. The study mission was established by a gift from
philanthropist Bidi Finkelstein, in memory of her
late husband.

Dibbell said he plans to keep an extensive journal
while on the trip, parts of which he'll publish, in
addition to other pieces he'll write for the student newspaper.

“It's a lot more
than covering events on campus, which are important and exciting to cover,” he
said. “This is a whole new ball game.”

Concordiensishas a world news section, Dibbell said, but “it's
hard to report world news in a college newspaper 'cause
… you're a weekly, and you can only get what you find in other places.”

He said some
discussion panels stemming from the trip will probably
be held on campus.

Dibbell said he's excited
to see everything on the trip.

“It all, to me, is
going to be a new world,” he said. “I've been to Spain, France and England before, but never ventured forth to Poland and Bulgaria.”

One of the issues he
hopes to examine is Israel's national service program, as Concordiensisand
Union College have been very active in pushing for a
national service program for high school and college students.

The students, who
leave July 31 and return Aug. 15, were chosen from
between 80 and 100 applicants, through interviews and essays, said Ladenheim, who described Dibbell
as a “dynamic kid.”

“He exemplifies
leadership. He's an excellent writer,” she said. “He's coming to the mission
with a very open mind.”

Dibbell graduated from Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School in 2000. While a senior in high school, he
was active in campaigning for Sen. John McCain's bid for president.

“I've left
organized politics,” the self-described moderate Republican said. “I'm still
active in terms of advocacy. I tend to fire off letters to the editor every
once in the while.”

On campus, he's a resident assistant and a member of several college
committees, he said.

A political science
major, Dibbell said he hasn't
decided what he will do after he graduates next spring. Though he enjoys
working at the college newspaper, he said, he doesn't
plan a career as a reporter. His interests are history and politics, he said,
and he's considered eventually teaching at the college

But, he said, “it's too far down the road.”

“But what can a
youthful adventurer, a mere individual, hope to accomplish for the benefit of
virtue or the world? What! Almost anything he wills to
undertake and desires to persevere in.” Eliphalet Nott, 1811

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NORMAN PAUL AUBURN dies at 98 – Acting Union College president 1978

Posted on Jul 23, 2003

Norman P. Auburn, 98, former Union College acting president, died July 21, 2003, after a short illness.

Born in Cincinnati, Dr. Auburn was a 1927
graduate of the University of Cincinnati. For five years, he was
a manager and editor in the construction trades before returning to the
University in 1933 to begin a career in higher education. He edited the alumni
magazine and directed the alumni association before appointment to the evening
college, where he was a dean and professor. In 1943, he was
appointed vice president, dean of administration, and secretary of the
UC Board of Trustees.

In 1951, he was named
president of the University of Akron. During his 20 years,
he oversaw the creation of four colleges, the law school, and several doctoral
programs; guided the university's fiscal base from the city to state; and aided
in its growth as an internationally known institution. He is
considered among the university's founders.

In 1971, Dr. Auburn was named
president emeritus and consultant to the University of Akron. As senior vice
president of the Academy for Educational Development until 1989, he was acting
president of a number of colleges, including Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1978.

In 1963, he served as director of First Federal
Savings & Loan of Akron and of First National
Bank of Akron. He oversaw the merger of First Federal
with Charter One Financial in 1988, and at his death, he was director emeritus
of Charter One Bank.

Dr. Auburn also served as a trustee for Lane
Theological Seminary and the University of Dayton, and as the president of
the Herman Muehlstein Foundation of New York City from 1965 until 2002.

The University of Akron will hold a memorial

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Latinos make gains in colleges

Posted on Jul 21, 2003

Mayra Serna was determined to attend college so she could experience life outside of California. She spent months researching universities and colleges on the East Coast, but she didn't find her ideal school until a friend told her about Union College in Schenectady.

Serna, 18, is at Union this summer, before the start of her freshman year, for a five-week academic boot camp, taking classes in subjects such as study skills, math and English.

“I really like it. I like that it's a small school. I think that's going to help me stay on track,” said Serna, who plans to major in education this fall with the goal of becoming a teacher.

But census statistics show that the odds are against her. The number of Hispanics in New York state earning a college degree grew slightly between 1990 and 2000, from 9.3 percent to 11.5 percent. But Hispanics still lag far behind blacks and Asians, who are graduating from New York universities and colleges at the rates of 18.5 percent and 41 percent respectively.

Abe Lackman, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, said policymakers are becoming more aware of the importance of getting students of color into college.

Yet the number of Hispanics attending area colleges varies by school. Minority students have made up 25 percent of the University at Albany's incoming freshman classes for the past 10 years, and one-third of them have been Hispanics. There are about 100 Hispanic students at Union — 5 percent of its total 2,000 student body — and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute last fall, 240 of the college's 9,065 students or 2.6 percent were Hispanic.

Experts attribute the disparity in graduation rates to several factors, such as Hispanics living in areas with poor schools and a lack of resources.

“Part of it is the very high percentage of immigrants among Hispanics and … the background of these immigrants,” said John Logan, director of the Lewis Mumford Center at the University at Albany.

For instance, Asians tend to live in neighborhoods with high-performing public schools, while Hispanics migrate toward communities where schools aren't as good, Logan said.

But New York isn't the only state where many Hispanics aren't earning bachelor's degrees. California and Texas are facing the same challenge when it comes to graduating Hispanics from college, Logan said.

The problem, according to education experts, starts in the earlier grades. “You're not seeing high college graduation rates because you're not seeing high high school graduation rates,” said Maritza Vega, an associate in the office of higher education at the state Department of Education.

The dropout rate for Hispanics was 7.8 percent in the 1999-2000 school year, the latest numbers available from the state Education Department. The rate for white students was 2.2 percent, 3.1 for Asians and 6.2 for African-Americans.

“You're starting with a picture where majority of Hispanic students attend schools plagued with debilitating factors that will limit their success,” she said.

But some progress is being made. The state Board of Regents recently recommended the creation of a new program in which universities and colleges, schools, and community-based organizations work together to help Hispanic students succeed in education.

And the state Department of Education has developed the Companeros Education Collaborative of New York State — a statewide network of higher education, school districts, community-based organizations, churches, students and families — to help Latino students enroll in and graduate from college.

Skidmore College's Higher Education Opportunity Program — HEOP — is one example. The program gives students with strong academic and personal potential, or students who would otherwise not be able to attend college because of academic and economic disadvantages, the opportunity to pursue a college degree.

At UAlbany, the admissions staff actively seeks out minority students during its recruitment season “to make sure the student body reflects the New York state population,” said Lisa James Goldsberry, a university spokeswoman.

RPI is especially interested in seeing more Hispanics graduate from college.

In December, it received a $625,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to attract and enroll more Hispanic students in its doctoral program. Six new Hispanic students have been recruited since then, said Tom Apple, vice provost and dean of graduate education. The ultimate goal is to place the students in teaching positions.

But that program won't succeed without more Hispanics completing their undergraduate education. “It does make it difficult to recruit and makes it difficult to expand that pool of eligible Ph.D. candidates,” said Mark Smith, dean of students at RPI.

Experts say that enrolling Hispanics in college is only part of the solution. The other is getting them to succeed while there.

Jack Ling, director of diversity and affirmative action at Skidmore College, said it's important for universities and colleges to provide “hands-on care” to keep students from falling through the cracks.

Ling added that Skidmore's HEOP program intends to do just that. “If you accept these students in schools without a program like HEOP, they have a greater risk of not succeeding and you're setting them up to fail,” he said.

Serna said her experience with getting into college wasn't difficult, adding that there were plenty of resources to help Hispanic students “if you really look.”

“I've been able to find everything I need,” she said. “It's been easy for me. It wasn't a huge challenge just because I'm Hispanic.”

Nor is she daunted by grim college graduation statistics for Hispanics. “It only makes me want to graduate more and work harder,” she said.

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