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Cynthia Benton to Address Honors Convocation

 Cynthia Benton to Address Honors Convocation

03/30/2011 

Cynthia Benton, a SUNY Cortland professor of childhood/early childhood education, will deliver the keynote address at the institution’s annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 16.

The College will recognize 405 students for their academic accomplishments at the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. An academic procession of SUNY Cortland faculty will open the Honors Convocation. A reception for the honorees and guests will follow in the same location.

Students will be acknowledged for a variety of achievements, including ranking among the a top five percent in their respective classes and receiving College-wide and departmental awards and scholarships. The Donald Parish Brooks Scholarship Award will be presented to the residence hall having the highest cumulative grade point average.

Paul Luyben, professor of psychology, will carry the mace during the procession. Carrying the ceremonial gonfalons will be Timothy Phillips, associate professor of economics; Anne Burns Thomas, assistant professor of foundations and social advocacy; Noralyn Masselink, professor of English; and Yomee Lee, associate professor of kinesiology. Marshals will be Peter Han, assistant professor of sport management; Gigi Peterson, assistant professor of history; Shufang Shi, assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education; and Jeffrey Walkuski, associate professor of physical education.

Readers for the ceremony will be Caroline Kaltefleiter, associate professor of communication studies, and Professor Emeritus of English Arnold Talentino, coordinator of the College’s Honors Program.

Cynthia Benton
Professor Cyntia Benton

Benton, who has served the College for 13 years, will give an address titled “This is Your Brain on Charlie Sheen: Multitasking, Creativity and the Future of Problem Solving.”

“My interests focus on how we learn, how we process information, and how we can preserve creativity in our lives,” Benton said. “Recent brain research indicates high incidences of multitasking and information overload, caused by multiple electronic sources, block the ability to think clearly and problem solve creatively. If we focus on all the information we hear from multiple sources and don’t take time to think, it results in mental mush. My talk focuses on giving the brain what it needs to be creative.”

As a professor in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department, Benton teaches graduate research methods, undergraduate fine arts and instructional methods. She coaches master’s projects each year in the department.

Her research interests include the study of teachers as researchers, male elementary teachers’ career paths, and faculty communication and career development. Her research has been published in Teacher Education Journal, Action in Teacher Education, and Teacher Education Quarterly. She is the author of book chapters and a course text on cross-cultural humanities.

Benton has delivered many conference presentations in her field. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association of Teacher Educators, and American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.

Benton, who joined SUNY Cortland in 1998, chaired the Department of Education for her first four years. From 2003-2007, she chaired the Department of Childhood/Early Childhood Education in the new School of Education. She was promoted to professor in 2005.

Benton taught research methods and human growth and development courses as an associate professor in the Masters of Education Program at Le Moyne College from 1994-98.

From 1989-92, she was chair of education and associate dean for educational planning at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. She also taught educational psychology, designed assessment programs and implemented faculty development for the college.

Her early teaching experience includes six years of K-12 music education and choral conducting in New Castle, Pa.

Benton received a Ph.D. in higher education with a specialization in teacher education from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where she taught for five years and was assistant director of the Teacher Education Laboratory. During her graduate work and as an instructor in the Master of Education program at UCLA, she worked with Madeline Hunter, John Goodlad, James Popham and Merle Wittrock.

Benton earned a Master of Education in Counseling from Westminster College and an undergraduate degree in music education from Geneva College in Pennsylvania.

She resides in Homer, N.Y. She has two children, Christina and Nicholas DeCorse.

The Honors Convocation Committee is co-chaired by Joy Mosher, associate professor of childhood/early childhood education; and Mary Gfeller, assistant professor of mathematics.

Committee members include Sila Argyle, supervising janitor for physical plant; Nancy Aumann, interim associate dean of education; Darci Bacigalupi, special events coordinator; Philip Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology; Mark Dodds, assistant professor of sport management; Brenna Filipello, student representative; Stacey Goldyn-Moller, executive director of alumni affairs; Thomas Hanford, associate registrar; R. Lawrence Klotz, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and professor of biological sciences; Kimberly Kraebel, associate professor of psychology; Virginia B. Levine, executive assistant to the president; Kevin Pristash ’85, M.A. ’91, associate director of College Union; Tracy Rammacher, director of publications and electronic media; David Smukler, assistant professor of foundations and social advocacy; Brad Snyder, associate director of Classroom Media Services; Brooke Weidman, student representative; Stephen Wilson, professor of performing arts; and Christopher Xenakis, lecturer in political science.

For more information, contact Darci Bacigalupi at (607) 753-5453 or darci.bacigalupi@cortland.edu.