What Presenters Need to Know

Ed Russell, Curriculum Co-Chair, emails Course Form to all the presenters each semesterPlease complete the form and email it back to Ed: edmundrusselljr@gmail.com  

 NOTE: The course form is a WORD document. Open it and then save it to your computer; reopen it from your computer and type in your answers; save it again and then attach it to an email and send it back to Ed Russell at the above email address. Please make it as thorough as you can, especially details about your tech needs.


OFFICE HOURS:  9:00-2:00  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 

ADDRESS: SOAR  OFFICE, 382 Van Housen Extension, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676.

  Mark Coleman: 

Jim Barry:
  Ed Russell: edmundrusselljr@gmail.com

    Ruth Kreuzer
: rkreuzer@stlawu.edu

   Mark Coleman:

   Byron Whitney: byronwhitney16@gmail.com 

   Bill Mein:



Q. suggest a SOAR course or offer a SOAR course yourself?
Anyone on the SOAR Curriculum Committee; or call 315-or email the SOAR office - soar@potsdam.edu, or email one of the Committee Co-Chairs (see emails above). Also each semester, if you are a SOAR member, there is room on the registration form to suggest a course topic/presenter or to offer a course yourself for consideration. (NOTE: the more course description and presenter information you can give the better; and contact information for the potential presenter is needed)

Q. ask questions about how to set up your SOAR course?
A. contact Jim or Ed or Ruth

Q. get some tech help for your course or have some questions about the tech in your teaching room?
A. email Ruth; or to find out about tech facilities in a room -  check the "LOCATIONS" page on this SOAR web site for room information, photos, and - in some cases - a users guide)

Q. get something copied for your course?
A. Call or email Juanita Blakemore  (SOAR Administrative Assistant) the SOAR office and ask when it would be convenient to drop off your materials that need copying (be sure to call ahead before you decide to drop in to the office - office hours may vary. PHONE:  315-267-2690  Office Hours:  MWF 9:00-2:00.   OFFICE LOCATION: 382 Van Housen Extension, SUNY Potsdam. EMAIL: soar@potsdam.edu
(NOTE: Making many copies for a class - especially a large class - can get expensive and require lots of office time; please keep your number of pages to be copied to a minimum, and request copying at least a week ahead of the class day when they are needed).

Q. need to cancel your course that hasn't started yet or is already underway, or make some other last-minute change?
A. Call your SOAR ambassador AND call Juanita Blakemore at 315-267-2690 or email her the SOAR office: soar@potsdam.edu


There are now almost 400 SOAR members. Though beyond full time careers in the home and work place, they continue to be active inquisitive, energetic and creative people. SOAR members enjoy intellectual stimulation, hands-on activities, going places, and good fellowship. They love learning new things, and they love sharing what they know.


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN: How SOAR courses get from an idea to the classroom

Now you've done it! You've volunteered to offer a SOAR presentation or course. What happens next?

1. Your suggestion goes to the Curriculum Comittee Co-Chairs: Jim Barry and Ed Russell. They are discussed in committee and a balanced variety are chosen from a long list of possibles.

2. The Co-Chairs compile this working list and send it to the whole curriculum committee for discussion; a final list of suggested courses is then sent on to the SOAR Board of Directors

3. In August and September (for the following spring semester) and in February and March (for the following fall semester) the Board of Directors reveiws the growing list, and ultimately approves the final version of the course list.

4. The final course list goes back to the Curriculum Co-Chairs. Ed Russell sends out course forms to the presenters in October (for the following spring semeseter) or in April (for the following fall semester).

5. When needed, Ed Russell contacts a presenter to get more information. Course forms are bundled up and passed on to Ruth Kreuzer, Curriculum Committee member, for processing.

6. Ruth Kreuzer makes a composite list showing each presenter's contact information; and his/her requests for space, times/dates, needed tech, etc.  When needed, Ruth contacts presenters for more information and adds that to the composite list. Ruth also enters her suggestions on locations for each course. She then passes this composite list on to the scheduling team. This happens in mid January or sooner, for the upcoming spring semester, or in mid June or sooner, for the upcoming fall semester.

7. The Schedulers put the pieces of requests together to formulate a cohesive schedule/calendar of presentations and courses. They also work with presenters and location supervisors to find the best classroom fit for each course. NOTE: If at all possible, all times, dates, locations are confirmed with the presenters before going to print. (This is why it is VERY important to know presenters' extended away contact information, so that information doesn't have to be updated later.)

8. Meanwile Ruth Kreuzer creates the course booklet and sends it to the print shop at the end of January/early February (for the spring semester) and in mid July (for the fall semester). (The printed booklet comes back from the print shop 2-3 weeks later.)

8. At this point many tasks are going on simultaneously. Information is being prepared for the Registration team, and when it's ready the team enters it into ACCESS - the data base used for registration. In goes course titles, presenter information and course information, and sometimes special notes get enetered as well. 

10. Once the work of the schedulers is finished, a final print versison of the calendar and other booklet inserts (registration form, location info, linear schedule, trip/event flyers) are created. These are sent to the print shop for copying (and they return in 2-3 days).  The administrative assistant and Bill Mein, the chair of the ambassador committee, and co-chair Cynthia Bender, also are busy creating administrative inserts, as is Ruth Kreuzer and Janet van Weringh, who are now busy doing data entering into the SOAR website.

11. In this whole process Board members and many others are busy proofreading the documents and the data entries, and loose ends in the process are being tied up (or not!). When everything is back from the print shop, and the registration team says they are ready to start registration, the mailing goes out and registration commences. Our Administrative Assistant, Juanita Blakemore, has been smoothing out the process the entire way. The mailing is sent off under her supervision ~2 weeks weeks before the start of classes each semester.

12. Registration starts as soon as the registration packets are mailed out. (NOTE: The registration form is not posted online until after the mailing goes out.) There is no online registration available; but people who are away can find the course info on the SOAR web site, print out the needed forms and mail them in (along with their $65 SOAR membership fee, due with fall registration).

13. As soon as possible, the Ambassdor team, lead by the Ambassdor Chair, Bill Mein with the help of Cynthia Bender, is busy selecting ambassadors for each class from the members who volunteer for the job.

14. CLASSES BEGIN! Classes typically start the second Monday in September and the second or third Monday in March. (Even before classes begin the SOAR Board of Directors has already approved the bulk of the next semester's courses!)

15. Registration is ongoing throughout the semester. If space is available, students will be allowed to join the course through Day 1 of class. If the class is closed, members will be wait-listed and can join later if another member cancels his/her registration before class starts. If a class has already started and a member wants to join late - permission is granted only through the SOAR office (and, for some courses, only if the presenter is willing to add a late participant to the class).

16.  A SOAR semester is 10 weeks long. At the end of the semester, members celebrate with a mid-week luncheon after classes end. All presenters are invited to this luncheon (free for them) and all presenters will receive some other small tokens of our appreciation for volunteering to teach for SOAR (whether or not they are able to be at the luncheon).

17. After that, the process of getting courses for the next semester has already started.


Updated: 2019-02-10 20:12:51

More Info About Soar


382 Van Housen Ext.
SUNY Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Ave.
Potsdam, New York 13676

In person visit us at:
Van Housen Hall Extension
Room 382 (on the SUNY Potsdam Campus)

Office hours: 9:00-2:00 - Monday, Wednesday, Friday (hours may vary when SOAR is not in session)

Phone: 315-267-2690

E-Mail: soar@potsdam.edu

Visit our sponsoring institution:
SUNY Potsdam

Send comments to:
R. Kreuzer, SOAR website manager