Next week, Rensselaer will close its Troy and Hartford campuses for the annual Holiday and Winter Break beginning Saturday, Dec. 21. The campuses will re-open on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. As the end of the year comes to a close, one usually takes time to reflect upon past achievements, failures, experiences—both good and bad—and so much more. I know that I do. Recently, an article I read noted that there are times when people may channel their energy toward a negative thought as opposed to a positive one. In such situations, it may seem like you’re running a race and consistently looking back without moving forward.

Curtis Powell

Curtis Powell

In the search for excellence, I believe that the only thing we can do is to learn something new every day, love our family, and appreciate our friends. At Rensselaer, we have a lot to be proud of, as the semester comes to a close. Rensselaer continues to be ranked among the top 50 universities, and came in at 41 in U.S. News & World Report, while the School of Engineering was ranked 23. The Lally School of Management corporate strategy and financial management program was ranked number 1 by Bloomberg Business Week; and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences’ Multimedia and Visual Communications program was ranked number 6 by U.S. News & World Report. Overall, Rensselaer continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s best colleges by the Princeton Review.

This past year, a record total of more than 16,000 high school students filed applications to attend Rensselaer for the fall. In addition, we improved the diversity of women to 31 percent, increased graduate applications by 37 percent over the past four years, and increased the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate to 95 percent.

Also, Rensselaer established the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture; the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA); and unveiled a new petascale supercomputing system—the Advanced Multi-processing Optimized System, or AMOS.

As a member of the Rensselaer community, you have contributed to these successes. When you study successful people, you’ll learn that they all saw opportunities, took risks, made plenty of mistakes, failed, and learned to channel their energy toward the positive.

During this holiday season, I hope that you will carve out time to focus on the positive things in your life, and take time to appreciate your family, friends, and colleagues. I want to thank you for all that you have done to continue to propel Rensselaer to these new heights.

On behalf of our Board of Trustees, President Jackson, and the Division of Human Resources, we extend to you and your family best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources