Director's Bio |
Message from the Director
Watch Google Video - An Introduction to Pierian Spring Academy - . Bob Carlson
Fifty Plus - 9 min - Sep 20, 2006 -
[... more ]
It has been an exciting ride over the past eight years serving as director of PSA. When I took over the reins of PSA I envisioned many possibilities for its growth and relevance to the lives of the adult members of Sarasota/Bradenton area. I am pleased with how this period of time yielded fantastic success made possible and supported by many hard working and dedicated people.
Let me state the ways:
- We activated a board of directors that have assumed greater responsibilities in defining and supporting the mission of PSA and related tasks.
- We expanded our course offerings from less than 20 twelve-week courses in 2004 offered in winter months only to 88 multi-week courses offered in fall, winter and spring; summer and fall lectures; and special topic symposia.
- We have increased our enrollments from less than 200 to over 1,000.
- We continued to receive excellent feedback on our classes and the quality of our faculty.
- We recruited a highly competent senior program administrator (Debbie Cowles) and faculty dean (Stan Nikkel) whose combined dedication has resulted in a greater spectrum of course offerings and greater efficiency in organizing our day-to-day operations.
- We have designed a state-of-the-art website that allows ease of use and facilitates online registration.
- We have expanded classroom venues from one central location to four disbursed locations in Sarasota County and increased the availability of classroom up-to-date information technology.
- We have formed partnerships with four major sponsoring organizations (Argosy University, Eckerd College, Plymouth Harbor and Senior Friendship Center).
- We have received a variety of grants to upgrade our data information system and to experiment with new program strategies.
- We have recruited an outstanding director designate (Janis Cohen), who will assume directorship responsibilities in May, 2012.
It is important to recognize the "we" in the above accomplishments which bode well for the future health of PSA. All of the past successes were the result of a variety of people stepping forward and lending their expertise to what challenges and opportunities were at hand. There are many* who made the past eight years so successful and I am indebted to their commitments and strong support. I know PSA is in great shape going into the future and I look forward to playing a somewhat different role in enabling the fulfillment of PSA's potential in serving the ageless learning interests of adults in Sarasota/Bradenton area.
A hearty thanks to y'all,
Robert V. Carlson
*At the risk of possibly overlooking people who played a significant role, here are some folks I would like to recognize:
- Board presidents – past presidents Ed Hoerr, Dan Idzik and present president Barry Levin.
- Other board members – Mary Jane DeGenaro (VP and e-newsletter) John Gartner and Molly McCartney (marketing gurus), Jerry Hamovit (legal savvy), Larry Brown and Leon Ellin (past and present treasurers), George Stassa (Geek squad leader), Pete Tannen (cover design creator), Joanne Swick (volunteer chair).
- Volunteers – Dale Smith (photographer), Luther Roseboro (computer technician), Vicki Eckl (Development), Josh Joshi (website master).
- Founder – All of this would not have been possible without the vision and perseverance of PSA's founder Joel Larus.
Back to top
Robert V. (Bob) Carlson, the director of the Pierian Spring academy, is an emeritus professor at the University of Vermont as well as president of ABC Associates, Inc., an educational consulting firm.
He has had wide experience as a teacher and educational administrator for over forty years. He was a full professor at the University of Vermont, a visiting professor at the University of Oulu in Finland, a laboratory school administrator at the University of Iowa and has also had experience as a public school administrator and an elementary classroom teacher.
Dr. Carlson is an author of three books in the educational field as well as many articles and research papers. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master's degree from S.U.N.Y. at Brockport, and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Rochester. He makes his home in Sarasota, Florida.
Back to top
Bob Carlson, Ed.D., PSA's executive director, will step down from his position at the end of the 2011-2012 academic season. Janis Cohen, a retired attorney, has been appointed as executive director designate and will work closely with Bob throughout the year until he retires in April 2012.
Before retiring in 2008, Ms. Cohen was Vice President and Managing Counsel of Investments at Unum Group handling commercial transactions. Previously, she was employed by Unum in various legal positions, was in-house counsel handling corporate governance and human resources for a nonprofit
organization in Portland, ME, and had been in private practice in Portland and Chicago. Early in her career, she worked as a juvenile officer, psychologist and human services consultant. She has served on numerous civic and philanthropic boards at the local and state levels.
Ms. Cohen holds a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in Psychology from Georgia State, an M. Ed. from University of Southern Maine and a J.D. from the University of Maine. She resides in University Park with her husband David Cohen, a retired U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge. Judge Cohen will teach a course about the Federal Court system in PSA's winter semester.
Back to top
Enquiries please call: 941-716-2471 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org