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Gen. Ann Dunwoody, Bert Mandelbaum, M.D., Receive Honorary Degrees

03/20/2009 

Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody '75, the first female four-star general in U.S. history, and Bert R. Mandelbaum '75, M.D., a well-known orthopedic surgeon and U.S. Soccer Men's National Team Physician since 1991, received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York during SUNY Cortland's Undergraduate Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 16.

 Dunwoody and Mandelbaum were honored in the Bessie L. Park 1901 Center Alumni Arena.

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody

Gen. Ann DunwoodyDunwoody, a 1975 SUNY Cortland graduate, became the first female four-star general in U.S. history on Nov. 14 in a ceremony featuring the defense secretary, the Army secretary, the chairman and all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two former Army chiefs of staff and other senior military officials.

A 2001 SUNY Cortland Distinguished Alumna, Dunwoody was promoted just hours before taking the helm of the Army Materiel Command, an organization with nearly 61,000 service members at 150 locations worldwide charged with equipping, outfitting and arming the service's soldiers.

Before her promotion, she was deputy commander of Army Materiel Command, one of only three female three-star generals serving at the time in the U.S. Army.


Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates heralded Dunwoody's 33-year career, calling her one of her generation's foremost military logisticians and a proven, albeit humble, leader.

The daughter of three generations of West Point graduates, Dunwoody's career as a soldier began in the Women's Army Corps and at a time when women were not allowed to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

The top job appropriate for women, according to officers and enlisted soldiers in 1975, was that of a cook. Dunwoody joined the Army's quartermaster branch.

Three years after Dunwoody was commissioned, the Army promoted its first female soldier to major general and at the same time disbanded the Women's Army Corps. A year later, Dunwoody took command of a mixed-gender company, a relatively new concept in the Army.

Among the many promotions that followed, she was selected as brigadier general by the Army General Office branch in 2000. At the time, Dunwoody was only the 11th female ever promoted to brigadier general. She was assigned as the first female commander to serve at Fort Bragg, one of just three U.S. Army Support Commands in the world.

A native of Randolph, N.Y., Dunwoody studied physical education and distinguished herself in tennis and gymnastics at SUNY Cortland. She also enrolled in the College Junior Program, which required spending four weeks during the summer of her junior year at Fort McClellan in Alabama to sample Army life.

Dunwoody clearly emulates those character traits most prized at SUNY Cortland, having always striven for "personal excellence," the desire to "make a difference in the lives of others," and her emphasis on the importance of working together.

"Teamwork is absolutely critical," Dunwoody said. "There are no one-man shows in the Army. It's all about teamwork. Small teams. Larger teams. You're always part of a bigger team, whether it's a division or a corps."

She has made significant inroads on behalf of women in the military.

"I never grew up in an environment where I even heard of the words ‘glass ceiling,'" she said. "You could always be anything you wanted to be if you worked hard and so I never felt constrained. I never felt like there were limitations on what I could do."

She has two master's degrees, one in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1988 and the second in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1995.

Dunwoody is married to Col. Craig Brotchie of the United States Air Force. 

Bert R. Mandelbaum, M.D.

Bert Mandelbaum, M.D.

Mandelbaum, a 1975 SUNY Cortland graduate, is an orthopedic surgeon practicing since 1989 with the Santa Monica Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group, where he currently serves as director of the Sports and Medicine Fellowship Program and the Research and Education Foundation.

An active member of the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA), he is presently the medical director for the FIFA Medical Center of Excellence in Santa Monica, Calif. In 2002, he was named to the FIFA Medical Research and Assessment Committee and in 2007, to its Sports Medicine Committee. He served on FIFA committees including as Olympic Medical Officer during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Recognized as one of the top knee injury specialists in the U.S., Mandelbaum is also the team physician with Pepperdine University since 1990 and the team physician for all the U.S. Soccer Federation teams.

Mandelbaum has served as the assistant medical director of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996. He was chief medical officer for Women's World Cup Soccer, which won titles in 1999 and 2003 and whose star-studded roster included Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers. The team physician to the U.S. World Cup team, he served during World Cups in 1994 in the U.S., 1998 in France, 2002 in Japan and Korea, and 2006 in Germany. He helped prepare the U.S. Men's Soccer Team to compete in successive Olympics competitions in Sydney, Athens and, most recently, in Beijing. He serves on the U.S.A. Gymnastics Sports Medicine Advisory Board.

A native of Plainview, N.Y., Mandelbaum as a youth competed in lacrosse, football and wrestling. After he graduated from SUNY Cortland cum laude in biological sciences, he attended medical school at The Johns Hopkins University and Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., earning his medical degree from Washington University in 1980. While at Johns Hopkins, he was a graduate assistant in lacrosse for Coach Hank Ciccarone, whose teams would win three national titles in the late 1970s. He also was appointed ‘B' lacrosse team coach. Mandelbaum later returned and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins. He was completing a sports medicine fellowship at the University of California (UCLA), Los Angeles, when he had the unique opportunity to become the team physician, which he fulfilled from 1986-89. The position led to his involvement with national soccer teams.

Focusing his research on injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and also on the prevention of such injuries in young female soccer athletes, he has 78 published academic journal articles and four books to his name. He is a frequent lecturer and instructor in his specialty. Among other posts, since 1995 Mandelbaum has been on the editorial board of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. From 1999-2001, he was an executive board member for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. Presently, he is president of the International Cartilage Repair Society. He is a principal investigator in collaboration with Chris Powers of the University of Southern California in a study on ACL injury and prevention that is supported by a major grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Mandelbaum has received three national awards for excellence in sports medicine research, including the U.S. Sports Academy's prestigious Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award, an honor previously bestowed on Olympic gold medal speed skater Eric Heiden and renowned four-minute miler Roger Bannister. Additionally, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine awarded its 2009 NCAA Research Award to a team of researchers including Mandelbaum who submitted the best paper pertaining to the health, safety and well-being of collegiate student-athletes.

He featured in and helped produce the video Ready, Set and Play. Injury Care and Prevention in Youth Soccer, which received the International Medical Film Society's "Freddie" for categorical excellence in 1997. Since 1997, he has served as a contributor to ESPN Sport Zone.

He and his wife, Ruth Sorotzkin, a family physician, have two daughters, Rachel and Ava, and a son, Jordan.