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2012, Issue 1

The call


A newsletter of the School of Commercial, Applied and Liberal Arts at Paul Smith’s College

Letter From the Dean It’s In this issue: Out and about 2 Chef’s minute


Closer to home 4

my pleasure to introduce CALA – our new school of Commercial, Applied and Liberal Arts. Academically, our programs remain the same; administratively, though, we’re bringing several disciplines under one umbrella, a shift that will benefit students. CALA’s programs include culinary arts; business; environmental studies; hospitality; liberal arts; recreation, adventure travel and ecotourism; and our new programs in integrative studies and artisan entrepreneurship. While our organizational structure is new, our goals remain constant. We’re providing hands-on, brains-on

experiential education that helps our students become successful and productive members of their communities. In fact, we are already developing new opportunities in CALA. Students who take part in our Ecuadorian partnership, for example, will study culture, food, recreation, hospitality and business in some of the world’s most distinctive habitats and world heritage sites. Our permaculture design course promotes sustainable food practices. We’re offering more from the bakery and hosting several Sunday brunches at our student run St. Regis Café this summer. And don’t forget our Spring Boomerang event

for hospitality students and alumni as well as our fall business symposium. It’s an exciting time to be at Paul Smith’s College. I hope you can get involved with some of the events we host and that you’ll continue to support the college and our students.

Phillip A. Taylor III, Ph.D., MBA Dean of Commercial, Applied & Liberal Arts

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goodbyes ? After almost 40 years teaching at Paul Smith’s,

Prof. Charles Alexander plans to retire in May. Hired in 1973, he has taught or designed courses on several topics, including mass media, American literature, art of film, nature and art, and Mark Twain. Over the years he has published a number of articles, spoken on literary and Adirondack topics, performed in local theater and worked for Mountain Lakes PBS on a weekly film show and documentaries. Alexander, although looking forward to more time to write and garden, will be teaching one course each semester for a while. “I don’t know if it’s possible,” he says, “to completely give up what’s become so much a part of me.” ? William “Shakes” McLaughlin,

professor of business, officially retired from Paul Smith’s in Dec. 2010, but has stayed on as an adjunct and teaches in the fall semester. He splits time between Saranac Lake and Vero Beach, Fla.

out and about ? Prof. Eric Holmlund and Dean

Phillip Taylor traveled to Ecuador in January to explore the possibility of an exchange program with The University of San Francisco de Quito. The program would expose Paul Smith’s students studying several disciplines, including culinary arts, hospitality and the natural resources, to Ecuadorian culture, environment and approaches to sustainable development. “Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world – there’s the Amazon basin rainforest, the snow-capped volcanic highlands and the far-flung Galapagos archipelago,” Holmlund says. “We want

? Prof. Kirk Peterson retired in May

after 38 years at Paul Smith’s. He writes: “Reflecting on the past 38 years of teaching, what stands out is the wonderful camaraderie I’ve had with so many staff and students. Though I first taught composition, I was given the opportunity to broaden my horizons, moving into the teaching of Spanish, Latin American studies and Adirondack history, and to travel and study in almost a dozen Spanish-speaking nations. It was equally rewarding to be part of an altruistic and creative team that put together our first governance process and moved the college to four-year-degree status. I feel lucky to have been a part of all of this and continue to enjoy my teaching, albeit at a more relaxed pace.” ? After teaching at Paul Smith’s for 34 years,

Prof. Ruth Smith retired in May 2011.

“During that time, I enjoyed teaching and working with all the great people,” she said. “I have so many good memories, too. Now, I’m keeping very busy playing in the Adirondacks, traveling to new places and visiting with family and friends. I always enjoy learning what my former students and friends are up to and welcome messages through my Paul Smith’s email address.”

Paul Smith’s students and faculty to have a meaningful interaction with the Ecuadorian students and faculty, and the scientific field stations in the Amazon and the Galapagos, as well as

a world-class campus in Quito, will provide excellent opportunities for that.” Paul Smith’s hopes to start working with the university as early as this summer. The travel plans don’t end there. Students will study solar energy use in Germany and Switzerland this May; Taylor designed the 10-day tour to show students how modern alternative energy can work in different parts of the world. The group will visit the International Solar Energy Society and sites that combine historical interest with modern practices. They’ll tour the UNESCO Biosphere in Lucerne, Switzerland, and a solar park in southwest Germany that makes enough electricity for 1,500 households.

chef’s minute

New faculty


reetings from Cantwell Hall! “Local” and “sustainable” are two buzzwords that have gotten a lot of attention in the culinary world – and we’re committed to both of those concepts at Paul Smith’s. Here are some of the things we’re working on: n Many of our classes are collecting vegetable trimmings that will be used as pig

food for a small farm in Rainbow Lake. Our goal is to feed the pigs a healthy diet so they become fat and flavorful. Ultimately, we plan on serving the pork at a dinner on campus this fall. n Can’t make dinner? The A.P. Smith’s Bakery is open every Tuesday and

Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. under the direction of Chef Deborah Misik, who was recognized by the American Culinary Federation as a certified pastry chef in 2011 (The same group recognized me as a certified executive chef last year, as well.) n We’re growing pea tendrils in the

greenhouse; planting a plot for the second consecutive year in Gould’s Garden for the culinary program; and going on field trips to see area vegetable farms, creameries, bison producers and food service providers.

the Paul Smith’s faculty as an associate professor of English. He earned his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania; a master of arts in liberal studies with a focus on American literature and culture from Skidmore College; and undergraduate degrees from SUNY Plattsburgh and North Country Community College. Before arriving at Paul Smith’s, he served as associate professor and English department chairperson at Clinton Community College and adjunct lecturer at SUNY-Plattsburgh. Andermatt lives in Saranac, N.Y.

fundraiser for local food pantries, which is sponsored by the college, TRiO, Sodexo and many other local and national businesses. I am so excited about all the different projects and events taking place all over campus, and we’d love to share them with you in person. If you’re near Cantwell Hall, please stop in to say hello – we love hearing what our alumni are doing! –Chef Kevin McCarthy

ecotourism collaboration with a college in the Dominican Republic this January, when Profs. Joe Dadey and Brett McLeod and 13 students traveled to the Caribbean. Students worked on four different projects with colleagues at the National School of the Environment, located in the mountain town of Jarabacoa. Together, they constructed three tenting platforms and designed a resources inventory guide, an interpretive trail and brochure, and a plan to improve community participation in local projects. They relied on guides to teach them about

the Paul Smith’s College faculty as an assistant professor of environmental studies. Abatemarco specializes in environmental thought and culture. Her dissertation, “Ethics in the Local Food Movement: An Interdisciplinary Humanistic Analysis,” studied the local food movement from the perspectives of literature, ethics and ethnography. Abatemarco earned her Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Vermont, her master of arts degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and her bachelor of arts degree from Green Mountain College. Abatemarco currently lives in Saranac Lake with her husband, Josh, their son, Birch, and their two dogs, Pace and Ruca.

Andrew S. Andermatt joined

n And we’re preparing food for a

? Paul Smith’s College launched its

Tatiana Abatemarco joined

the area’s existing ecotourism venues and sampled a variety of accommodations, travel companies and adventure activities. They also spent time at a high-mountain organic coffee plantation to learn the ins and outs of direct trade in the coffee industry and tourism development in the Dominican Republic. In their down time, they played pickup baseball games with the Dominican students, saw rare iguanas, visited caves that revealed ancient indigenous

pictographs and went rafting, canyoning, deep-sea fishing and snorkeling.

closer to home

? Designing sustainable

homes, farms and gardens that mimic natural ecosystems – a practice known as permaculture – is becoming more and more common. And it’s a trend that more students at Paul Smith’s will be privy to, as the college plans to offer its third certified permaculture design course at the VIC this

August. The program, consisting of design principles and a practicum component, will be offered as a two-week class, which teaches students the fundamentals of providing food, water, energy and shelter for themselves and their communities without pollution or wasted resources. “Since most of our environmental

problems relate to unskillful design, permaculture focuses on designing with ecosystems in mind,” says Tom Huber, director of TRiO Student Support Services and coordinator of the course. “It provides an integrated model for transitioning to a sustainable future.” The curriculum covers topics including home design,

2010 Permaculture Design Course members pose by a newly sheet-mulched keyhole garden.

soil fertility, landscape design, appropriate technology, pest management and aquaculture. The meals during the course will consist mostly of organic food from the Adirondacks/ North Country region.

? Ask most students, past and present, and they will agree that living and learning on campus at Paul Smith’s, and having access

to everything the Adirondacks offers, is an experience like no other. Yet for some would-be students, especially those already entrenched in family life and a job, earning a bachelor’s degree while living on campus is outside the realm of possibility. That’s where ACE comes in. The Accelerated Career Experience (ACE) program, the college’s foray into distance learning, is in its third year of delivering a Paul Smith’s hospitality education to students outside the blue line. Expanding from the original partnership with Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, ACE can now be found at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, as well. The program is geared to students who already have an associate degree in hospitality; in addition to on-site courses, they also take online classes. With the first group of students graduated, 10 more slated for 2012, and a growing student body, ACE is gathering momentum quickly. For more information, check out

? While you’re soaking up the sun this

? When LOCALs banded together to fend off Wal-Mart and open the

summer, teenagers from all over the country will be sharpening their business skills on campus. From June 24-30, the 14-to-18-year-olds at Camp Start-up will learn how to write and present a business plan for their own mock venture. They’ll learn from business owners with real world experience and go behind the scenes to look at the inner workings of cool local businesses. (They’ll also indulge in some more typical summer activities, such as hiking and canoeing while they’re in the Adirondacks.) For more information or to register, visit

Saranac Lake Community Store last fall, the New York Times and CBS News covered the story. And capstone students in the business management and entrepreneurial studies program played a part in that news. Investors raised more than $500,000 to open the store, which filled in the hole created when Ames left Saranac Lake in 2002. The students worked closely with the community store’s board, generating a notebook packed with advice and research. “This is true experiential learning,” says Prof. Patricia Pillis. “This capstone dealt with what was actually happening in the community. It was a partnership between the college and community, which demonstrated how valuable and hard-working our students are.” To check out the store and read the national stories, go to

The Call, 2012 No. 1  

School of Commercial, Applied and Liberal Arts newsletter - Paul Smith's College

The Call, 2012 No. 1  

School of Commercial, Applied and Liberal Arts newsletter - Paul Smith's College