Ryan Chartrand

And the winner is…

Monica Schechter, associate director of Study Abroad and International Programs, has been chosen as Grand Marshal of the 2007 Poly Royal Parade.

Schechter received the news of the honored title, via hand-delivered letter, from two members of the Open House Planning Committee responsible for selecting her.

Schechter said her initial reaction to the appointment was shock, which, she said, quickly turned to joy.

“Complete surprise, that was my first reaction,” Schechter said. “I was just very honored to be selected.”

Liz Sullivan, public relations director for the Open House Planning Committee, said that Schechter was chosen Grand Marshal for various reasons.

“We try to choose somebody that closely relates to our theme,” Sullivan said. “We chose Monica because she is deeply involved with the Study Abroad Program.”

The theme of this year’s parade is “Explore Cal Poly: Begin Your Adventure.”

Schechter said the parade theme and the Study Abroad Program blend well together in relation to students.

“Certainly this fits,” Schechter said. “More and more students are seeing this as an academic adventure. It’s very much an academic and cultural experience.”

Sullivan talked about the committee’s process for finding nominees.

“We get ideas from the committee,” Sullivan said. “We discuss and choose that way. It’s just like a nomination process.”

Sullivan said the committee members had no difficulty in choosing Schechter as the Grand Marshal for this year’s parade.

“We heard some names, but when we heard Monica’s name, we all kind of knew that she was the one,” Sullivan said.

The parade itself begins at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Perimeter, winding its way through campus. The parade ends at 10 a.m. on Dexter Lawn, where the Opening Ceremonies for Open House will officially commence.

Schechter has been employed at Cal Poly since May 2000, where she began working in the International Education and Programs Office. Schechter remains busy, mentoring her students through various study abroad programs, including the National Student Exchange and CSU International Programs.

Schechter said she is happy to see her students utilize the multiple programs that Study Abroad offers.

“We are seeing students do more than one program and they’re really excited about it.” Schechter said.

“We’re really getting a name for ourselves on campus. “They all know where the Study Abroad office is.”

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