EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - She's already been on the job almost a year, but Saturday, East Stroudsburg University officially inaugurated its first female president. Students say Dr. Marcia Welsh is already making her mark.
"We've had 14 presidents, and all of them have been male," said ESU sophomore Ronald Eith.
"She's really tried to underplay that, but it is significant," said ESU Athletic Chair Dr. John Hauth. "We need to recognize it."
Welsh is also much more visible around campus, even taking to Twitter to talk to students.
"The only thing I think that we were always lacking was student pride in the university, and now, with President Walsh, I think that has already been changing," said ESU senior Cassandra Emanuelli. "All the student organizations are coming out of their shells a little bit more."
But there are challenges. State funding is flat. Welsh said ESU must tighten its belt, even as the school plans a new student center and library. She is also working to improve relations with the school's neighbors.
"Long-term, trying to tie us much more to the community in which we live, and being part of the economic engine that drives this region," she said.
Eith added: "We're not exactly a spirited school right now, but I want to see it more spirited, and the students more involved."
"She has very high standards; she expects a lot of everyone -- the faculty and the students," said Hauth.
It's a job she hopes to accomplish one hug and handshake at a time.
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