What Presenters Need to Know

Ed Russell, Curriculum Co-Chair, emails all presenters each semester.  The email contains a web link to a Google form asking for course and presenter information.  Please complete and submit the form.

NOTE:  The course form is a Google Form. Fill it out as much as you wish the first time, then submit it, and then copy and save the url so you can go back to it later and update your replies. You can do this mulitiple times, just be sure to save the url to get back to your last version of the Google Form.  Please fill it out as thoroughly as you can.



The SOAR Office is currently closed. However, someone is checking the phone and email several times a week, so please feel free to use them.


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

Lyn Swafford: lynatsoar@gmail.com

Jim Barry:
  Ed Russell: edmundrusselljr@gmail.com

  Janet van Weringh:

*SCHEDULING CHAIR:                                                                                                                                   David Mathie:  davidgmathie@gmail.com  

  Byron Whitney: byronwhitney16@gmail.com                                                                                                Carol McRobbie:  camcrobbie@gmail.com

  Bill Mein:


Q. suggest a SOAR course or offer a SOAR course yourself?
Anyone on the SOAR Curriculum Committee; or call 315-267-2690 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 if it's a technical issue, contact Janet

Q. get something copied for your course?
A. Call or email 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 or email the SOAR Office at 315-267-2690 or 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. 

6. David Mathie creates a master spreadsheet showing each presenter's contact information; and his/her requests for space, times/dates, needed tech, etc.  

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. Mark Coleman creates a document of all course descriptions, presenters, dates and times, locations. This document is sent to all SOAR members just before it is time to register.

9. Janet van Weringh enters all information into the SOAR database, which then populates to our website. It is also used to register our members and print out all necessary documents. 

10. 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 $75 SOAR membership fee, due with fall registration).

11. As soon as possible, the Ambassdor team, lead by Bill Mein, is selects ambassadors for each class from the members who volunteer for the job, and the Tech Assistant team, led by Jerry Sharpe, selects tech assistants for each class.

12. CLASSES BEGIN! Classes typically start the second Monday in September and the second or third Monday in March. 

13. 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).

14.  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).

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


Updated: 2021-03-01 13:48:30

More Info About Soar


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

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