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NY6 Presidents Support #DoublePell

The presidents of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium member institutions have sent a joint letter to the United States Congress members representing their districts, asking them to support doubling the Pell Grant for qualified students. The letter reads:

We, the presidents of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium member institutions, write to request your support for doubling the Pell Grant through the budget reconciliation process this fall and before the program’s 50th anniversary in June 2022. Doubling the Pell Grant is of vital importance to our communities, state, and nation, for several reasons.

First, Pell Grants benefit students from all backgrounds and all corners of New York State. Nearly 60 percent of Black students; half of Indigenous American students; nearly half of Latino students; and 30 percent of White students use Pell Grants to help pay for college. Doubling Pell funding is the single most important step Congress can take now to make college more accessible and affordable for low-income and first-generation students.

Doubling Pell will remove financial barriers to higher education not only for current Pell recipients, but also for an increased pool of eligible, working-class students, reducing levels of student debt substantially. Increased Pell Grants will allow individual students to attend the institution that best fits their needs and aspirations, whether that is a community college, a public university, or a private liberal-arts college such as our institutions.

Higher education plays a critical role in preparing individuals to thrive in the new economy that is developing as a result of the pandemic. Doubling Pell Grants will accelerate the return to economic stability for the individuals who receive this assistance and thereby stimulate economic recovery in communities throughout the state.

This investment will pay off not just for recipients but for our nation as well. Studies have shown that the income levels for bachelor’s degree recipients are 40 percent higher than those of individuals who enter the workforce with a high school degree. The tax revenue from college graduates aided by higher Pell awards means the money spent to increase the Pell Grant maximum is returned to government coffers within a decade - a stunning indicator that this investment works both for individuals and for taxpayers.

The Pell Grant program has been enormously successful, helping more than 100 million students from low- and middle-income households pursue their dreams and achieve their goals in higher education – including many members of Congress and their staff. We ask you to support the increase in Pell Grant funding, and we thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Brian W. Casey, Colgate University

David Wippman, Hamilton College

Joyce P. Jacobsen, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Kathryn A. Morris, St. Lawrence University 

Marc C. Conner, Skidmore College

David R. Harris, Union College

Marsella Named NY6 Project Manager

Kimberly Marsella of Wilton, NY, will join the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium as project manager, effective August 16. In this role, Marsella will be responsible for coordinating the member schools’ academic and co-curricular collaborations, particularly in faculty development, faculty research, off-campus study, and undergraduate student research. 

For more than 20 years, Marsella has been at Skidmore College, most recently as director of academic advising, a position she has held since 2013. Other roles she has held at Skidmore include Environmental Sciences program coordinator and lecturer, and director of special programs. She has participated in a broad range of academic-related committees at Skidmore, has been the recipient of numerous grants, has mentored several student research projects, and is a frequent presenter at academic and professional conferences and meetings. Marsella holds a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and a master’s degree from the University of Vermont, both in geology.

 “Kim brings a wealth of experience in academic program administration, working extensively with faculty and staff to ensure student success,” said Amy Cronin, executive director of the New York Six. “In addition, she has participated in a number of Consortium programs and has a keen understanding of how the New York Six can enhance the experience of faculty and students through collaboration.” 

Morris Begins Tenure as SLU President

Kathryn A. (Kate) Morris assumed the presidency of St. Lawrence University on July 1, following the retirement of Bill Fox, who led the university for 12 years. President Morris,  the 19th president of St. Lawrence, has dedicated her life to higher education and chose to become a professor because she understood the impact of teaching and mentoring on students’ lives. She arrived at St. Lawrence following a distinguished career at Butler University, where she most recently served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for eight years. Prior to her time as provost, President Morris served as a professor of psychology and was chair of that department at Butler. Her areas of expertise include social psychology, the psychology of gender, methodology, and statistics.