Rick Trietley embraces new position

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

Many times, Larry Sudbrook said, Rick Trietley has stopped by practice to see how the team was doing. Or walk down to Sudbrook, the baseball coach’s, office to chat about everything that was going on.

“Rick was always somebody that cut through the Reilly Center and its offices upstairs,” Sudbrook said. “He’s got an athletic background. He likes athletics. He has the army background of competition and working out, and being in shape was something that always led Rick to certainly being seen and being present in the building.”

The athletic coaches better get used to seeing a lot more of Trietley.

Since being named vice president of Student Affairs at St. Bonaventure University, Trietley has added the athletic department to his Student Affairs division which also includes: the Damietta Center, Career and Professional Readiness Center (CPRC), Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership (CARL), Residential Living and Conduct, Safety & Security and the Wellness Center.

He has taken the time to meet with every coach and athletic staff member. He said getting to know the issues the individuals face is essential to his new position.

“Taking over the responsibility for athletics is just a huge thing,” Trietley said. “Our athletics department is very large. And really when you look at NCAA DI athletics, it’s a very large operation. And until I have a few months under my belt of overseeing athletics and learning about our athletics program at an in-depth level, (his position) is going to remain real busy.”

One decision that Trietley was a part of shortly after beginning his new position was what to do with the two vacant Sports Information Director posts. Once Jason MacBain and Matt Moretti left for Florida Gulf Coast, the decision was made to bring in a new senior associate director of athletics for external communications who will oversee all of the fundraising and communications in the department.

Steve Mest, the current associate athletics director for external relations, will also become the new associate director of communications, overseeing the sports information department. The full reorganization also includes a few graduate students and interns that will assist Mest and the yet-to-be-hired new assistant AD.

Pertaining to the student-athletes, Trietley said the department is continuing to focus on drug and alcohol issues, and this year started a program called Alcohol EDU.

“We’re pretty excited about this program because what this program does is it’s an online program that every one of our incoming freshmen had to complete prior to coming on campus,” Trietley said. “And Alcohol EDU is proven scientifically by studies the national government has done to work. So we’re very happy that out students now have that training, are able to look hard at the results of the surveys of that training and now program at that level to help our students avoid binge drinking.”

For part two of the program that tries to shed the “Bonaventure is a party school” phrase, students fill out another survey five or six weeks after coming to campus to see if their habits have changed.

Trietley also spoke of how the school has recently changed its student health care provider, switching from Dr. Shake’s office in Olean, N.Y. to Champion Corporation, which is based in Coudersport, Pa. He said the new provider has been a “big hit” so far on campus.

Trietley’s role in strategic planning has helped himself improve at making adjustments for the students, he said.

He reviews most of the judicial cases at Bonaventure and helps Vito Czyz, director of Safety & Security, provide the safest environment for the students.

Trietley said without the great individual directors in the Student Affairs division, his job would be much more difficult.

And Steve Kuchera, the former associate director of CARL, had his work at Bonaventure thought highly enough of to get a promotion and move down to work at a school in Virginia. After he left, Abby Cohen, former associate director of First Year Experience, interviewed and received the associate director of CARL position. Chris Brown, former coordinator for housing and residential education, was then named the new associate director of First Year Experience.

All the reshuffling of the decks has left an opening at the top of the Residential Living and Education office.

“What we’re doing at this time is totally revamping the job description,” Trietley said. “We wanted to take our time and rework the job description then start the recruitment process. Our goal is to hire a person for the start of the spring semester. In the meantime we’re taking the two RDs and giving them interim additional responsibilities, but we definitely intend to fill that position.”

When he’s not revamping titles and reorganizing departments, Trietley is extremely friendly and personable, Sudbrook said.

“Everybody likes a chance to hear their boss’ thoughts and for their boss to hear their thoughts; whether you agree or whether he agrees,” Sudbrook said. “When you hear each other’s thoughts you know where you’re coming from. This is my 29th year at SBU and it’s the first time anybody at that level has come and spoke to each coach individually to hear them out. It was certainly something that got everybody off on good footing.”

Potential plans for renovations of Robinson and Falconio halls are currently being discussed, Trietley said. A renovation that could pay major dividends.

“As a college prospect is looking at schools, though it’s not going to be at the top of their list, certainly where they live is going to be important,” he said. “We’re thinking renovation to Rob-Fal could make a major difference.”

The Richter Center has no renovations on tap after receiving nearly all new workout machines this past summer. Trietley said Bonaventure is the only school in the nation with the high-tech equipment. The machines have been replaced every three years.

Trietley will, however, not become complacent with any aspect of his division.

“We spend our summers constantly reviewing what we’re doing, how we’re doing and in what ways can we do better,” he said. “While there may not be major changes in each department, each year you are going to see changes. We’re just trying to offer a better service and program with the student body.”


Trietley named vice president for Student Affairs


[Image courtesy of sbu.edu]

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

Rick Trietley has worn many different hats in his ten years at St. Bonaventure University. Through different job titles, one thing was always certain: his commitment to Bonaventure students.

Trietley, an Olean, N.Y. native and 1986 Bonaventure graduate, has been named vice president for Student Affairs, where he will report directly to university president Sr. Margaret.

“I view the new position as an expansion of my previous position as vice provost for Student Life,” Trietley said. “…With the change in report structure I will now have regular and consistent communications with Sr. Margaret which will provide her with a more in depth understanding of the issues, trends and best practices that are important to our student body.”

“Having more regular and direct engagement with Rick will enable me to better understand and articulate the opportunities for support as I interact with our alumni, donors, and external funding organizations, as well as a better understanding of the trends, issues and best practices that are important to our current students,” Sr. Margaret said.

Trietley’s past jobs at Bonaventure:

  • U.S. Army ROTC Professor of Military Science (June 2003-June 2008)
  • Director of Safety and Security (July 2008 – February 2009)
  • Vice Provost for Student Life (February 2009- August 2013)

Trietley’s wife is also a Bonaventure graduate.

Additionally to reporting directly to Sr. Margaret, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is now under the Student Affairs Division, Trietley said. Student Affairs now consists of the Career and Professional Readiness Center; Safety and Security; Center for Student Wellness; Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership; the Damietta Center; and Residential Living and Conduct.

“The vast array of services, educational opportunities and co-curricular opportunities provided by all seven of these departments will enhance the overall student experience and contribute greatly to student success,” Trietley said. “The Student Affairs staff and I welcome the Athletics Department to our team and look forward to the opportunities that this change provides.”

Trietley’s colleagues praised the promotion.

“In all of the roles he has played at the university, he has demonstrated tremendous leadership and collegiality,” said Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations. “He is highly organized, extraordinarily student-focused, and eager to take on a challenge.”

“I was particularly impressed, while he was director of safety and security, by the way he brought together our region’s law enforcement and emergency response personnel and organizations to create a Memorandum of Understanding that established an unprecedented level of coordination and support for St. Bonaventure University in terms of crisis management, training, and preparedness.  We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that and for his leadership in creating our crisis response plan.”

Sinsabaugh said Trietley either created or helped create various organizations such as the CPRC and the Wellness Center. He also co-chaired the team that created Bonaventure’s strategic plan, Your Teams – Our Extraordinary Future.  Sinsabaugh also praised him for his work in strengthening Bonaventure’s Student Government Association.

Trietley attends every SGA meeting.

Abby Harrington, SGA’s executive vice president, has worked closely with Trietley.

She said Trietley often goes out of his way to be helpful to students and if she emails him, he almost always gets right back to her. She said she believes he truly has the students’ best interests in mind.

“Our university should be thankful having such a great person working alongside its students,” she said.


Bonaventure and community walks together during the March of Dimes

By Danielle Clark, Assistant Features Editor, @ddaniellee11

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 16)—The crisp fall temperatures did not stop over 400 participants from walking in the March of Dimes fundraising event on the Allegheny River Trail Saturday morning. 

Upbeat music, food and a carnival-like atmosphere united local community members and St. Bonaventure University students, faculty and staff to fight for one common cause – healthy babies.

The March of Dimes is a non-for-profit charity that works to help mothers have full-term pregnancies as well as research the problems that threaten the health of babies, according to their website.

This year, the university teamed up with Olean General Hospital to become an official co-sponsor of the annual March for Babies event which was previously held in Olean.

“We recommended to March of Dimes that they considered moving [the walk] to the campus,” said Rick Trietley, provost for student affairs. “We have the Allegheny River Trail, and we thought we could get much more student and faculty and staff participation, and they were very amenable to that.”

The walk started at 11 a.m., but the festivities began long before then. Volunteers arrived as early as 6 a.m. to set up, while participants checked in one by one up until the walk. 

Volunteers shared their personal stories with the walkers, telling how March of Dimes has had an impact in their own lives.

Leah Brownstein, a sophomore history major, said that was her favorite part of the whole day.

“It was good to know that what we’re doing here is actually making a difference and hearing it right in front of us only reassures that,” she said.

The 5K walk circled the campus and ended on the Hickey Dining Hall lawn where it started. Participants stayed after the walk to take advantage of the plentiful food, inflatables, caricatures, face painting and music.

Paige Giammusso, a sophomore psychology major, said she enjoyed the scenic views along the walk.

“I thought the location was really nice,” she said. “It’s a beautiful trail so it was a really enjoyable walk.”

Julie Hall, director of field services in the school of education, said she participates in the walk every year to give back for what March of Dimes has done for her own family.

“The March of Dimes actually helped me when I was a baby,” she said. “I was born with three holes in my heart and had heart surgery as an infant, and March of Dimes supported my family through that.”

Robbie Chulick, executive board secretary of SGA, said he thought the day was very successful.

Chulick said as of right now, the event raised over $45,000, although the campaign runs for two more weeks after the walk itself.

According to Chulick, over 20 St. Bonaventure teams participated. The team that raised the most money was “Buzzed About Babies” with $787, closely followed by “The Bona Venture” with $775.

“Getting the Olean community to Bonaventure kind of unites us, so I think from here it’ll definitely grow,” Chulick said.

Treitley agreed and said it was great to see the community come together to do something that’s worthwhile.

“It’s a joint effort,” he said. “The bottom line here is that this helps children, and I think that fits perfectly with Bonaventure’s mission and our Franciscan values.”