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SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. The college says the agreement will “promote a partnership for ongoing communication and commitment to exploring mutually beneficial activities and experiences further.”

SMWC says both schools are working to provide opportunities for students to enroll in undergraduate or graduate programs and establishing a joint effort to support faculty, teaching, research and study abroad exchanges.

“This new partnership will help students and faculty, through the various areas of collaborations, to broaden their own sense of identity, widen their cross-cultural perspective and awaken in ways that lead to new multifaceted ideas,” said Dr. Lamprini Pantazi, dean of the business and leadership department at SMWC. “They will learn how to strategically lead a team of diverse people and collaboratively analyze and address complex problems that transcend borders.”

The agreement is part of the college’s expansion of its global leadership initiatives. Earlier this year, SMWC announced its first doctoral program in global leadership, which launched this fall.

SMWC says it is also in the process of signing a similar MOU with Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.

SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — After a year of development, President Dottie King has launched a new master plan for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. The college says the goal is to look at how it will position its physical space to enhance the community for students, while “establishing a future athletics district on the north end of campus and preserving its historic campus and natural setting.”

During a presentation with other college officials, King outlined her vision for the next five years, 10 years, and beyond.

“We looked at land, building and space usage as well as the historical nature of our campus as plans were being sketched out as to what the campus might look like in the future,” said King. “We paid special attention to look at our beautiful green spaces and took into account the pedestrian pathways for our students as we consider where to expand parking and adjust traffic patterns.”

Among the goals for the next five years, the master plan aims to complete the college’s new residence and dining hall, which is set for August. The school also looks to update and renovate a variety of spaces on campus, including the creation of a new student success center; addressing parking, exterior lighting, wayfinding and pedestrian pathway needs; and renovating the auditorium at the college’s Conservatory.

SMWC also plans to develop a full athletics complex on campus as it adds several new programs this year, including men’s basketball, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s wrestling, and swimming and diving. The college will also look to add a second doctoral program.

Over the next 10 years, the college seeks to add a third residence hall to address increasing enrollment, expand academic space with an addition to Hulman Hall, and expand equine facilities with a community event center and academic offerings.

You can view the full list of goals outlined by SMWC’s master plan by clicking here.

SAINT-MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. (Inside INDiana Business) — Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has added a new position, the dean of business and leadership, to support  academic programs. The college has promoted Lamprini Pantazi to the role from graduate director and professor of leadership. 

SMWC says Pantazi was involved in launching SMWC’s first doctoral program, a Ph.D. in Global Leadership, and she supervises the Master of Leadership Development program and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Leadership. 

“This is an incredible opportunity to lead with virtue and courage to prepare the new generation of change-makers for emerging global challenges,” Pantazi said.

SMWC Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Janet Clark says the promotion to dean means Pantazi will become a member of extended cabinet.

SAINT-MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Pomeroys will soon compete in the River States Conference (RSC) after their membership was approved by the Council of Presidents. The RSC approval comes after SMWC’s membership into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics earlier this year. The College will be eligible for NAIA and RSC postseason play by the 2022-23 academic year.

SMWC competes in 14 of the 17 sports offered by the conference, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s golf. RSC Commissioner Michael Schell says the college is a welcomed addition.

“They are an established and well-run program who, like our other members, emphasize academics and character in athletics. The Woods is a great addition to our conference, and we look forward to them competing with us in the fall,” said Schell.

Prior to the college’s acceptance into the RSC, the Pomeroys had not been affiliated with any conference since starting scholarship athletics. President Dottie King says the transition is positive. 

“I am thrilled that Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will become part of the River States Conference,” King said. “I have already been warmly welcomed by member presidents and I look forward to both serving alongside them and creating competitive rivalries among our teams.”

The RSC has 13 members in five states- Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

SAINT-MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College joins two other schools as new members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Pomeroys will join Iowa Wesleyan University and Louisiana College as new members on July 1, 2021. The College will be eligible to play in postseason competition during the 2021-2022 academic year.

“Becoming a member of the NAIA has been an initiative of the College and intercollegiate athletics for several years as part of the Aspire Even Higher Strategic Plan. I am appreciative of the team who helped to bring this to fruition,” said Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management and institutional technology.

SMWC was required to meet several membership goals before being accepted, including financial stability, sports sponsorship and accreditation. 

“Joining the NAIA is an exciting and progressive step for SMWC and allows us room to grow,” said Athletic Director Deanna Bradley. “This national affiliation will assist The Woods with building a more competitive program when it comes to recruiting, provide post-season opportunities for all of our programs while focusing on the holistic development of our student-athletes and staff.”

SMWC says it will have the second-largest athletic department among the schools new to the NAIA, with 14 different offerings. The College has added seven varsity sports in the last six years, which coincided with the opening of the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center. The school says more teams are planned, including men’s basketball in the fall of 2021. 

SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is updating and changing its plan for in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester. The college has sent all students an email outlining new protocols and guidelines for how and when students will return. 

“We want our students and families to know that their health and safety, as well as their academic, athletic and co-curricular experiences, are at the forefront of our minds as we continue to plan for what the fall will look like at The Woods,” said Janet Clark, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and student life. “We are following ever-emerging best practices for colleges and universities across the state and nation during the COVID-19 pandemic as we seek to reopen responsibly and with intentionality.” 

New students will move in on August 14 and the majority of others will arrive on August 16. Student-athletes, international students and resident assistants will move in at separate times, with all protocols designed to minimize interaction and provide for proper social distancing. 

The fall calendar will be changed as well, with in-person classes on August 18 and continue through November 20 when students will return home. A week-long Thanksgiving break is planned, with students finishing the last two weeks of the semester remotely. There is no fall break scheduled.

The college is planning on using new spaces for classes to allow for proper social distancing, and time to clean and sanitize rooms between classes. O’Shaughnessy, The Woods Cafe and The OSC dining halls are being reengineered to meet safety standards and students will either be served or carryout options will be available.

College administration is recommending everyone to wear a mask in public space and common areas, with masks to be provided for all students, faculty and staff. Using masks in classrooms will be determined on a department-wide basis. Women’s and men’s soccer and women’s and men’s cross country and volleyball players will move in August 10, with all athletes being required to follow NAIA and USCAA health and safety guidelines. The fall schedule of sports have yet to be determined. 

Clark says contingency plans are also in place.

“We realize plenty of unanswered questions remain, but please know our faculty and staff are focusing on finalizing the details for Fall 2020 to allow for a safe and healthy experience,” said Clark. 

The college’s plans for reopening are outlined here

SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College says it will distribute cash grants totaling $319,000 to all campus-based students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The college says grants are coming from funds made available through the federal stimulus package.

The college says all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled as of March 2020 could receive a grant of $700 from the SMWC Emergency Student Relief Fund.

The funds were made possible through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The fund is designed to provide relief to students throughout the nation who were forced to leave campus midsemester due to the pandemic.

Dr. Dottie King, president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College said, “This crisis has created a level of added anxiety and stress, disrupting the lives of our students in ways we cannot imagine. Which is why we are making the intentional decision to distribute this money to as many students as possible within the guidelines set forth by the government.”

The college says 451 campus-based students were notified about procedures to apply for funding, and grants will be distributed directly to students for technology or loss due to disruption of childcare, housing and healthcare. Funds may also be used for books and supplies, but the college says they cannot be used for lost tuition or campus housing.

King added, “Being a Woods student means being part of a family. It is both a responsibility and an honor to care for these members of our family, and I am glad that we will be able to alleviate some of the burden this situation has created for their lives.”

The application deadline is May 8, after which time the college says it will disburse the funds by check directly to students. Any remaining funds following the first round of grants will be allocated to students with the greatest need during a second round.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — No tuition increases are on the horizon for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students. The college will keep its academic year 2020-21 tuition the same as the current rate and will guarantee undergraduate students pay the same rate for four years. The current tuition is set at $29,950 per year. 

“We want to convey to students and families that a college degree from The Woods is affordable,” said Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management and institutional technology. “We hope this guarantee brings comfort and ability for families to map out college expenses knowing that there won’t be a surprise down the road with a change in tuition.”

The college currently has a 95 percent placement rate for graduates who receive employment in their major or are admitted to a graduate school within six months of graduating.