The flair q+A





MINDY KOLE



PhD, educator, innovator and all around ray of sunshine, Mindy puts students - and particularly women - first. As Associate Dean of Adult Learning at SUNY Ulster, she is a true leader and lady who takes charge for the greater good.





Tell us about your business or specialty.

I love my work. I am the Associate Dean of Adult Learning at SUNY Ulster and, along with my colleagues, work to help our growing population of returning adult students be successful in their education through our AdultEDge initiative. In addition, I have recently been part of a team that developed SUNY Ulster’s New Start for Women program, designed to help women in Ulster County who live in poverty to come back to school, earn a one-year business certificate, as well as skills and a professional network needed for living wage employment and economic mobility. Working with our community partners, the goal of the comprehensive program is to help address and remove the obstacles to success that these students face. The New Start of Women program provides support and services in the areas of (1) Job-based Credentials and Skills (2) Academic and Personal Support (3) Career Support & Mentorship (4) Cohort Community Building to Increase Persistence to help students in this program achieve success, employment and empowerment to support their children and families. New Start for Women will start in the fall of 2019 and we are now working with our community partners to put the elements of the program in place and find candidates.


How'd you get to where you are now?

I always wanted to teach college. One day a client of mine told me that SUNY Ulster needed an instructor for a course in Management, scheduled to start a week later. I reached out to the school’s Business Department and the next day was hired as an adjunct. That changed my life. From the day I stepped into the classroom at SUNY Ulster I knew I wanted to be in academia full time and make this my career. It was the start of my new page. 

What surprises you in your work?

What surprises me (but really doesn't) is the resiliency and creativity of our students. Many work full time in addition to attending school. They may have children or other family members to care for on a daily basis. Yet they persist in finishing their degrees, then going on to four year schools for a Bachelor degree, starting businesses or advancing in their careers. In a word, SUNY Ulster students rock. 


Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

Darlene Pfeiffer, our benefactor and my mentor, who always counts her blessings and gives to others. A day does not go by when Darlene isn’t thinking about what she can do next to help others. I want to be like her in everything I do. My Mom, who passed away in 2000, was always an inspiration to me. She was a teacher, a writer, an artist, a member of the Ethical Culture Society and has been a role model for me since I was a child. I have been so honored by the support and contributions to a SUNY Ulster scholarship I started in my mother’s name, the Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Science & Business Scholarship in Memory of Isabel M. Hecht.


You're a trailblazer - what are some highlights?

Highlights of my career include SUNY Ulster’s offer of a full-time position, the day I defended my dissertation and completed my PhD, and the day we received funding for New Start for Women - I knew we could now offer the program. 


Any lessons you’ve learned and would like to share?

When you find your passion, jump in with both feet. Do everything you can to be successful and you will be. 


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Mindy S. Kole , PhD, is Associate Dean of Adult Learning – Academic Affairs at SUNY Ulster, and also teaches and develops curriculum in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management and Business Ethics. Recently, Mindy was part of a team that developed SUNY Ulster’s New Start for Women program, designed to help women in Ulster County who live in poverty to come back to school, earn a one-year business certificate, as well as skills and a professional network needed for living wage employment and economic mobility. She works with a team of colleagues to plan and implement the school’s fifth annual OWN IT! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference (June 6, 2019). Mindy is an entrepreneur, founding and operating The Marketing Department, LLC, a marketing and advertising company that served small and medium sized businesses throughout the Hudson Valley, from 1996-2016. She is a former vice president of marketing at Citibank. Mindy earned her PhD in Organizational Management and Management Education at Capella University in 2016 and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.​