Faculty and Staff - March 20, 2024

The finish line is in sight!

The time between the end of spring break and Commencement truly flies by! There are so many great events and opportunities happening during this time, like the 48th annual Model United Nations Conference, which starts today! We’re welcoming hundreds of surrounding high schoolers to campus for this incredible opportunity, so please take a moment to say hello if you see these students and their advisors on campus this week. A special thanks to Jennifer Disney, the Model UN faculty advisor, Katie Hartnett, the program assistant, and the many Winthrop students involved for all of their hard work in organizing this year’s event.

I’d like to inform you of a few other upcoming events and news tidbits below.

Faculty/Staff Town Hall Reminder
As I announced in last month’s update, we’ll be holding a March 26 town hall that will take place at 11 a.m. in Richardson Ballroom. This town hall will be an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at the university by asking questions of me and the vice presidents. You may submit questions in advance by sending an e-mail to townhalls@winthrop.edu. In case you cannot attend, the town hall will be recorded and a viewing link will be shared afterwards. Look for a reminder on the morning of the town hall with details for the virtual option.

Collegiate Disc Golf National Championship
Next month we’ll be hosting the Collegiate Disc Golf National Championship at our renowned disc golf course and other courses in town. Hundreds of athletes representing Division I, II and III teams will compete during the April 3-6 event. Hopefully beautiful Carolina weather will greet these teams, and if you have the chance, head out to the Winthrop Lake to watch some of the best collegiate disc golfers compete for the national championship. Check out the schedule.

Director of University Events
I am pleased to share that Heather Carter is our director of university events. Many of you already have worked with Heather in her previous role as events manager, and some may know her from her nearly five years of administrative work with the psychology department or as a graduate of the Master of Education in Learning Design & Technology program. We’re thrilled to have Heather with us in this elevated role, and her demonstrated experience both at Winthrop and at York Tech will continue to position us well to host a variety of campus and community events on our campus. Please congratulate Heather when you see her, and reach out to her if you anticipate planning an event.

Recent Media Coverage
Our investment in club sports as an enrollment driver has been in the news lately, and I wanted to clarify a few points. The scholarships being offered to club sport players are the same academic scholarships we offer other students. They are not NCAA scholarships or even athletic scholarships. Offering these kids help to get to Winthrop shows our commitment to meet them where they are – doing what they love, whether cornhole or esports or disc golf or, dare I say, maybe even drone racing in the future. We are still “all in” on our traditional sports – we want those conference championships we’ve made a name for ourselves achieving – but this is putting us on the map in a different way, for a different type of student, and that is exciting!

Our annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE) event will be held on April 12 around various parts of campus. This always impressive event features undergraduates from all disciplines presenting or performing their scholarly and creative work. I attended last year’s SOURCE as part of inauguration and was blown away with our students and their level of work. Here at Winthrop we champion our commitment to undergraduate research, and this event showcases that commitment. I encourage you to make time to stop by SOURCE this year.

Faculty/Staff/Retirees Ceremony
Please join me on Tuesday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. in Richardson Ballroom (note the location change this year!) to officially recognize the achievements of our retirees, service award recipients, and winners of the Staff Member of the Year Award, Faculty Student Life Award and Mary Spann Richardson Award. This is always a great event to celebrate, connect and close out the spring semester. I hope to see you there!

As always, there’s a lot happening during this time of the semester, and I want to thank you for your part in helping make Winthrop the vibrant community we know and love.


Edward Serna