The President’s Office at SUNY New Paltz has expanded.
Richard Winters joined the President’s Office in November 2013 as the Community and Government Relations Associate.
In this newly created position, Winters said he will support and assist New Paltz President Donald Christian and the Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Communication Shelly Wright with institutional initiatives outlined in the college’s strategic plan and supporting the college’s participation in the Governor Cuomo’s START-UP New York initiative.
After graduating from SUNY New Paltz in 2008, Winters said he spent the first three years of his professional career working for Former Congressman John Hall who represented neighboring counties to New Paltz in the Hudson Valley.
In this role, he led outreach efforts to constituents within the Congressman’s district and interacted with local, state and federal officials, business and community members and other stakeholders on issues affecting the district. Additionally, he was responsible for handling economic development projects, managing individual constituent casework issues and planning and executing events on behalf of the Congressman.
Christian said there was a demand for this position because he and Wright have not been able to develop a form of communication with the state’s elected officials to display the accomplishments of the college and have those accomplishments on the “radar screen” of elected decision makers.
Winters said he will have to balance his time between working on campus and off campus.
“One of the challenges in this new position will likely be balancing assignments on campus with traveling to market the college and its many exciting assets, programs and initiatives to stakeholders in the local and regional community,” Winters said.
Christian said Winters will also identify commercial properties in the region and find companies that can be a part of the START-UP New York initiative.
“[START-UP New York is] a critical piece for the college, for the regional economy and we think it’s important for students for us to be a part of that program,” Christian said.
Winters said he was “fortunate and pleased” to receive a promotion. Prior to the promotion, he spent almost three years in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. There, Winters worked with future students in the admission and enrollment processes, evaluating applications for first-year admission, conducting on and off-campus information sessions to prospective families and many other duties.
Following the college’s strategic plan, Winters said he will be looking to strengthen the school’s community and regional engagement, while trying to create and build relationships with various constituencies, government officials, chambers of commerce and other key business and community organizations.
Christian said he wants to see the strategic plan “engage the community more effectively” in two ways. First, he said he would like the college to take advantage of the resources in the community to increase opportunities for students to have internships and part-time jobs, while still attending school.