Siena College is honored to recognize the accomplishments of DR. Paul w. thurston as the recipient of the 2021-2022 award.

Dr. Thurston has served on numerous boards, committees, and task-forces including the School of Business Curriculum and Strategic Planning committees, the Center for Academic Community Engagement (ACE) High Impact Initiative Team and Nonprofit Excellence and Transformation (NExT) Steering Committee, Siena’s Board of Instruction, Committee on Teaching and Faculty Development, Sustainability Committee, and the Core Curriculum Review and the Faculty Development on Diversity Issues task forces. He currently serves as Chair for the Management Department, and as a member of both Siena’s Core Advisory Committee and Student Retention and Success Committee. He is a faculty advisor to the School of Business Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma and to the Siena Outing Club. 

He has led others in service as the Chair of the School of Business Curriculum and Strategic Planning committees, Chair of Siena’s Institutional Review Board, Coordinator for the College Core Curriculum, and Director of Academic Integration for the Center for ACE. As Curriculum Committee Chair, he championed efforts to extend internship opportunities to Business students and incorporate Franciscan Concerns into the core business curriculum. Under his leadership, the Core Advisory Committee improved the proposal submission process, implemented a comprehensive assessment of the core curriculum, explored students’ concerns with courses focused on Diversity and Social Justice, revised core learning goals, and implemented a common tool for student feedback. As Director of Academic Integration, he led efforts to align the Center and college’s learning goals, structured the learning assurance process, updated the Center’s strategy, improved professional development for VISTA fellows, restructured the NExT program as a consulting internship, and increased emphasis on community engagement in the college strategic plan.

Dr. Thurston incorporated service into his teaching and research through the development of seven courses using community engagement pedagogies. These courses provide Siena students with opportunities to offer professional services in change management, strategic planning, and organizational research to dozens of nonprofit organizations in the Capital Region. The students cherish these applied projects and refer to them as some of their most memorable academic experiences. Graduate students in his MBA capstone course this spring conducted research and identified best practices for serving those who are experiencing homelessness compromised mental wellness in the Capital Region. 

Dr. Thurston earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Systems Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Studies from the University at Albany.