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June 18, 2013

SUNY chief honors 15 local educators

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Fifteen faculty and staff at the area’s three public colleges have gleaned 2012-13 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.

Nancy Zimpher, State University of New York chancellor, on Monday announced that 312 faculty and staff members in the SUNY system have been recognized for consistently superior achievement and commitment.

“SUNY employs an exemplary body of faculty and staff across the state and the annual presentation of these awards underscores our deep appreciation for those who serve SUNY campuses, students and communities,” Zimpher said in a media release. “Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.”

At SUNY Oneonta, seven staffers received the recognition, while five at SUNY Delhi and three from SUNY Cobleskill were honored. The awards are presented in six categories — faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities, teaching, and classified service, and local recipients were honored at recent on-campus events.

At the State University College at Oneonta, recipients included Joanne Curran, associate dean of the division of education.

Curran said she had been nominated by a colleague and the excellence in professional service was appreciated and a nice conclusion to her SUNY career.

“I was honored,” said Curran, who will retire from SUNY this summer and join Sage College of Albany as dean.

Other SUNY Oneonta recipients were:

• Susan Bernardin, professor of English and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, excellence in scholarship and creative activities.

• Nathan Gonyea, associate professor in the educational psychology, counseling and special education department, excellence in teaching;

• William Walker, assistant professor in the Cooperstown Graduate Program, excellence in teaching;

• William Simons, professor of history, excellence in faculty service;

• Kathy Meeker, director of the grants and development office, excellence in professional service.

• Kay Gale, music department secretary, excellence in classified service.

SUNY Delhi

At the State University College of Technology at Delhi, a release said recipients were:

• David Brower, chair and associate professor of hospitality management and an alumnus, excellence in teaching. He was cited for fostering an a fair and rigorous academic environment and engaging students in a team-centered approach to teaching that uses real-world scenarios.

• Bret Meckel, associate professor of veterinary science technology, excellence in faculty service. He is a veterinarian on campus for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, director of the International Studies African Wildlife Management Program and has provided leadership for several campus-wide initiatives.

• Julee Miller, assistant professor of culinary arts, excellence in scholarship and creative activities. She has designed courses with baking concentrations, including “Baby Cakes,” a course launched in 2012 in which students learn to operate a retail venture by marketing and baking cakes for the campus community.

• John Padovani, director of residence life, excellence in professional service. During his tenure, the college has benefited from a stable residence life staff because of improved recruitment, training and development. He has served the campus in many leadership roles.

• Lynn Oles, secretary for athletics, excellence in classified service. She has contributed to the success of regional and national athletic events and the annual Athletic Hall of Fame inductions. She also volunteers with on-campus and community groups.

“These extraordinary individuals contribute to student success in so many ways,” college President Candace Vancko in a media release. “They are great representatives of Delhi and SUNY.”

SUNY Cobleskill

Recipients at the State University College of Agriculture and Techology were Edward J. Stander, for excellence in scholarship; Marsha S. Foster for excellence in professional service; and Ann Collins for excellence in classified service.

Debra Thatcher, SUNY Cobleskill’s acting president, said the three employees were worthy of the honor and that “their dedication to student success is outstanding.”

According to the college’s release:

• Stander, professor in the mathematics and natural science, has become a world authority on ice/dam interactions and has been awarded more than $1 million in grants. His mentoring of a non-traditional student at SUNY Cobleskill earned the College a $10,000 endowment for the Department of Natural Sciences as an expression of the student’s gratitude.

• Foster, a grant director, has helped shape how SUNY Cobleskill can better meet the needs of its students. Her grant application, designed to improve retention and engagement of students, resulted in an award of $1.96 million on behalf of SUNY Cobleskill from the U.S. Department of Education. She has overseen the development of academic assessment plans, promoted professional development for faculty and staff and participated in gender and cultural diversity studies and programs.

• Collins, in 28 years at the college, has demonstrated skill, professionalism and loyalty, which led to current position as a secretary in the provost’s office and her role as an outstanding resource for faculty, staff and students.