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  Issue Number 18 • Monday, May 24, 2010  


Campus Champion

American women have a champion in Professor Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, whose authoritative research in urban geography and gender issues has shed a valuable light on the link between daily commutes and gender segregation in the workforce. While SUNY honored her with its Chancellor’s Award for Excellence on Saturday, she brings distinction to our campus each day by using her academic expertise to make our world a better place.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, May 25

Luncheon: United University Professions (UUP) Recognition Luncheon for Professionals, Corey Union Function Room, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26

Summer Session I begins. Runs through Wednesday, June 30.

David Berger Honored for Faculty Service


David F. Berger, a professor in the Psychology Department at SUNY Cortland, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service at the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 22, in the Park Center.

The Chancellor’s Award process begins at each of the 64 SUNY campuses with nominations submitted by the respective presidents. The SUNY Committee on Awards then reviews the nominations and makes its recommendations.

He becomes the seventh SUNY Cortland recipient of the award, which recognizes his extensive service and leadership in the area of faculty governance since his appointment to the Psychology Department faculty in 1968. Through the decades Berger has witnessed and actively contributed to the evolution of the present identity of SUNY Cortland.

“Berger has served as a Faculty Senator for some 12 terms,” noted the Nominating Committee. “He started his career during turbulent times and quickly established his voice as a faculty advisor. He has demonstrated supreme integrity and deep conviction in his more than 43 years at SUNY Cortland.”

In 1970, when SUNY Cortland students took over the Miller Administration Building in protest of the Kent State shootings, Berger was the sole faculty member who entered the building to speak directly with the students. Despite facing significant criticism from his fellow faculty colleagues, Berger believed strongly that, as Faculty Senate advisor to the student organization, it was incumbent upon him to attempt to keep open the lines of communication between students and administrators. This technique proved effective, and no bodily harm or physical damage occurred.

Four decades later, and with more than 37 years of service to Faculty Senate and numerous other committees, Berger exemplifies service and leadership in the area of faculty governance.

He has chaired various personnel committees at the College, including the Social Sciences Personnel Committee Personnel Committee, the All-College Promotions Committee and the Management Confidential Evaluation Committee, and was involved in the establishment of the College Research Committee and served on the Telecommunications and Computing Committees. He helped initiate SUNY Cortland’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

At the SUNY-wide level, Berger has served on and chaired the Senate Committee on Health Sciences and Health Services and the Senate Graduate and Research Committee.

Berger currently is conducting research with Psychology Department colleague John Lombardo on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which has important implications for public health policy and problems related to the consequences of ADHD for schools and the criminal justice system. Previously, he was a Fellow with a small group of international scholars exchanging knowledge about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder from genetics to treatment in Oslo, Norway.

Among his many contributions as a Cortland community volunteer, Berger is a member of Blue Ribbon Committee — Cortland Community Assessment Team and the Sub-Committee on Health. He was involved in the establishment of a new clinic in downtown Cortland to provide community access to affordable dental services and, most recently, has focused the Committee on the problems associated with childhood obesity and behavioral health.

“‘Service’ has been Dr. Berger’s credo throughout his past 43 years on the SUNY Cortland campus,” stated the committee. “Moreover, Dr. Berger’s strong sense of loyalty to SUNY Cortland has been unfalteringly present in all that he has accomplished. Rarely thinking twice about serving, he never hesitates to ‘go the extra mile,’ to step in wherever and whenever needed.”

After joining the SUNY Cortland faculty as an assistant professor of psychology, Berger was promoted to associate professor in 1971 and to full professor in 1982.

He holds an A.B. degree in psychology with physics and mathematics minors from New York University College of Arts and Science; an M.A. degree in experimental psychology from Adelphi University; and a Ph.D. in the psychology of learning and motivation with minor in physiological psychology from Emory University.

A resident of Cortland, Berger and his wife, Michele, have three children and nine grandchildren.

Girish Bhat Earns SUNY Award for Outstanding Teaching


Girish N. Bhat, associate professor and chair of the History Department at SUNY Cortland, will be honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching during the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 22, in the Park Center.

He becomes the 52nd SUNY Cortland recipient of the award. Evidence of Bhat’s excellence in the classroom was found in student comments, letters from former students, colleague statements, students’ teacher evaluations and through class visits by committee members.

“Together, it strongly suggests that Bhat has high expectations for his students who, in turn, appreciate that he likes them enough to make sure they learn a good deal in his courses in order to receive good grades,” stated the Nominating Committee. “His classes stretch his students intellectually.”

“Dr. Bhat is a great teacher, demanding, but very fair and helpful when you need it,” wrote one of his Russian History students.

While Bhat has an earned reputation as a tough grader, the scores he receives on teacher evaluations consistently place him near the top.

The Nominating Committee recognized that student comments on teacher evaluations frequently extol the traits of a fine teacher: “He might be the best teacher I’ve ever had. He gets an A+.” “He is very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject and adjusts to his class’ needs.” “Always willing to help.” “Overall excellent teacher!” “I usually don’t like history but I loved this class. He is wonderful!”

Bhat has developed and offered 13 courses for the College, from first-year to graduate level. His area of scholarly expertise is late tsarist Russia, though he volunteered early on to fill an important gap for his department by regularly teaching a European women’s history course.

He has published four journal articles, a book chapter on the Russian justice system and five book reviews.

“A recurring observation of Dr. Bhat’s teaching was that his lessons ‘connect the dots’ or ‘make connections’ for his students,” stated the Nominating Committee, praising Bhat’s ability to seamlessly blend lessons on art, music, photographs and pictures of artifacts drawn from both fine and popular culture so his students experience the flavor, as well as the components, of an era. 

 “Taken together, these practices indicate a teacher who introduces students to new information while concurrently guiding them to analyze it,” the committee stated. “Dr. Bhat wants his students to learn history in a way that goes beyond memorization; he obviously understands that truly learning history has to do with reflection, analysis and application.”

Bhat received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994 and was promoted to associate professor at Cortland in 1998.

Bhat resides in Ithaca with his wife Sharon Steadman, an associate professor in the Sociology/Anthropology Department at SUNY Cortland.

SUNY Chancellor Recognizes Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo


Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, a professor in the College’s Geography Department, will be honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

She will receive the prestigious award during the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 22, in the Park Center.

Promoted to full professor in 2002, she becomes the ninth member of the SUNY Cortland faculty to receive the award, which recognizes her continually evolving and expanding research interests throughout her almost 22 years at the College.

Through her research and scholarly activities, Johnston-Anumonwo has distinguished herself in the fields of urban geography, African studies and geographic education. 

The Chancellor’s Award process begins at each of the 64 SUNY campuses with nominations submitted by the respective presidents. The SUNY Committee on Awards then reviews the nominations and makes its recommendations.

A respected scholar and authority in the field, Johnston-Anumonwo’s accomplishments and contributions to the profession encompass gender, race, transportation and urban employment issues; gender and development; and multiculturalism. She considers these themes to be closely interrelated and often takes an interdisciplinary approach in her research activities. She makes a point of applying her research to her teaching.

“She is particularly well known for her research on gender and ethnic disparities in commuting patterns observed in urbanized communities across the United States,” said Florence M. Margai, associate professor and graduate director in the Geography Department at Binghamton University.

Through her detailed analyses on the topic, Johnston-Anumonwo has brought to this research increasing sophistication by integrating issues of workplace location and comparative analysis of multiple urban settings following for example, both the publication of her article “Gender, Race and Employment Access in Buffalo, New York,” in 1995, and a research study funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1996.

“Professor Johnston-Anumonwo’s work has made valuable contributions to geography, as well as to closely aligned disciplines with concerns for the changing social composition of America’s workforce and its urban and suburban environments,” said Elvin K. Wyly of the University of British Columbia. “Her work is quantitatively sophisticated, theoretically rigorous, empirically rich and crafted with a judicious eye towards the balance between basic theory and the need for relevance in applied public policy.”

In addition to co-authoring and co-editing four books, Johnston-Anumonwo has contributed nine chapters in published books that often serve as texts for classroom discussion both on and off the SUNY Cortland campus. A dynamic and popular speaker, and recipient of numerous travel grants, she has made more than 54 presentations at statewide, national and international conferences on topics ranging from gender and ethnicity, to human geography and geographic education. Her published work, which, according to John Frazier of Binghamton University, “appears in the best journals in her discipline,” has received more than 150 citations by other researchers in the field.

“Ibipo is an active researcher, but she is also an active research interpreter” states Donald Ziegler, past chair of The College Board’s AP Human Geography Development Committee. “Her article linking the journey to work with occupational sex segregation is, along with the work of Susan Hanson, the definitive work that demonstrates the importance of considering daily travel and transportation in understanding the broad and persistent patterns of sex segregation in the American workforce,” said Wyly. 

“Dr. Johnston-Anumonwo sustains a high level of quality scholarship on critical national and international issues, disseminates her work in important outlets and is recognized for her valuable contributions by key scholarly groups,” said Janice Monk, professor of Geography and Development and Research Social Scientist Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona.

Johnston-Anumonwo joined the SUNY Cortland faculty in 1988 as assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1994. She served as interim co-chair of the Geography Department in January-August 2002, and as acting chair in Summer 2003.

She holds a B.Ed. in teacher education from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and an Ed.M. with a concentration in international development from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was awarded a Ph.D. from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts where her dissertation study focused on “A Geographic Perspective on Occupational Segregation.”

Johnston-Anumonwo has contributed her professional expertise to the community as a member of the Cortland YWCA, Zonta and the Syracuse Jack and Jill Organization. She is married to Justus and resides in Cortland, N.Y., with her two children, Obi and Kachi.

Louis Larson Achieves Excellence in Professional Service


Louis Larson, associate director of Career Services at SUNY Cortland and employee for the past 23 years, will be honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Larson will receive the prestigious award during the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 22, in the Park Center.

Larson becomes the 22nd SUNY Cortland staff member to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, recognizing his extensive record of professional service to the institution and beyond. Since joining the staff in 1987 as assistant director of Career Services and later as associate director, the Nominating Committee noted Larson’s positive and enduring impact on students, faculty, staff and alumni who have had the good fortune to interact with him.

“I would place the process of writing a résumé and cover letter in the same category as going to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or visiting the dentist,” said one of Larson’s former students. “It is just one of those stressful life experiences that everyone has to go through but most would rather avoid, that is, unless you are working with Louie Larson on your job search and application.”

Characterized as an “ambassador for SUNY Cortland” by eight people who recommended him for the award, Larson conducts approximately 75 student workshops a year. In addition, Larson schedules at least 500 one-on-one sessions with students each year. He’s known for his unique ability to deliver information in a meaningful and engaging way. A charismatic and skilled speaker, Larson is often invited to classrooms to speak.

“How do I tell such an amazing person how much they have had an impact on me?” wrote one student. “It’s not easy! When I think of you, Louie, I wish there were more people on this planet like you. What a wonderful place it would be!”

“He is at once a teacher, a dynamic speaker at College events and an exceptional career counselor,” said Denise Knight, English Department.

Prior to joining SUNY Cortland in 1987, Larson was an admissions counselor, academic advisor and assistant director of admissions at Mayville State University in North Dakota.

While serving at the U.S. Naval Academy, he earned his associate of arts: liberal arts degree from Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Md. He earned his bachelor of arts in social science/history from Mayville State University, N.D.; and his master of arts in counseling with an emphasis in student affairs and career development from the University of North Dakota. In 2000, he became a National Certified Counselor, National Board for Certified Counselors.

Larson resides with his partner, Pete O’Connell, in Cortland and Trumansburg, N.Y. They have three children, Daniel, George and Margaret, and two grandchildren.

Capture the Moment


Graduate Alexis Glen captures a special moment on stage with President Erik J. Bitterbaum at undergraduate Commencement on Saturday. She wears the Kente stole, symbolizing higher education’s connection to rich cultures, intellectual traditions and academic achievements of the Africana world. In total, nearly 8,000 people, including graduates, their guests, faculty members and platform parties, were in attendance at the ceremonies, which included graduate Commencement on Friday evening and two undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday.

In Other News

Summer Session I Classes Begin May 26

Larson,LouisChancAwardofExcelweb1.jpg 05/18/2010

The first day of classes for Summer Session I is Wednesday, May 26. Classes begin at 8 a.m.

Walk-in Registration and Drop/Add

Walk-in registration and drop/add will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26. Undergraduate registration will take place in the Registrar’s Office, Miller Building, Room 223. Graduate student registration will be held in the Graduate Studies Office, Brockway Hall, Room 216.

Students must be prepared to pay all fees in the Student Accounts Office, Miller Building, Room 323, immediately following registration.

Students who have registered and paid for their courses should not attend registration unless they wish to change their schedules.

For more information, call (607) 753-4702.

Student Health Service Hours

The Student Health Service, located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26, will be open during both summer sessions. Clinical hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Friday and closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Clinicians will see walk-in patients from 9-11 a.m. and those with appointments from 1-3 p.m.

For more information, call (607) 753-4811.

Summer Session Office Information

The Summer Session Office is located in Brockway Hall, Room 216. Office hours are 8 a.m.-
4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Mary Cervoni, graduate studies and Summer/Winter Programs, may be reached at (607) 753-4800.

Questions about undergraduate Summer Session registration should be addressed to the Registrar’s Office at (607) 753-4702. Questions about graduate Summer Session registration should be addressed to the Graduate Studies Office at (607) 753-4800, or by e-mail at

Tau Sigma Scholarships Awarded

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Tau Sigma, the national honor society for transfer students, has awarded $1,000 scholarships to two SUNY Cortland students, including Melissa Fromm.

A physical education major from Albion, N.Y., Fromm will graduate from SUNY Cortland on Saturday, May 22.

After transferring from Monroe Community College, Fromm became an active member of Tau Sigma and the Alliance of Physical Education Majors (APEM). She eagerly helps transfer students transition into their new environment, answering questions about academics and extra-curricular activities and often meets with new students during the summer before the school year. A natural leader, she served as vice president and president of the Cortland chapter of Tau Sigma, was president of APEM and a teacher’s assistant and class mentor while at Cortland.

Fromm was inducted into the interdisciplinary honorary Phi Kappa Phi, received SUNY Cortland’s Major of the Year Award and the Bessie L. Park Award, presented to a female physical education major for outstanding efforts and contributions to the campus, community and the profession.

“During my two years at SUNY Cortland I have completed several community service activities that have helped me to become a stronger person,” said Fromm, who also made the Dean’s List, the President’s List and was a member of the SUNY Cortland Swim Team.

She coached a community swim club for children with special needs, assisted with a sports event for Cortland middle school students, collected food for low-income families and participated in a program that helped to develop motor skills physically challenged children and adults.

“So far, the physical education classes, community services and extra curricular college experiences have made me successful in life,” said Fromm. “When I’m in the real world helping America’s youth become physically educated, I’ll look back at this great educational experience at Cortland.”

Fromm hopes to be a teacher who can help to decrease the amount of childhood obesity. Her immediate plans are to attend graduate school to receive her master’s degree in adapted physical education. From there, she aspires to build curriculums for adapted students who need physical education.

The second Tau Sigma scholarship recipient is Joseph Piliero of Hampton Bays, N.Y.

Adult Student Honorary Recognizes SUNY Cortland Woman

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“Adult life for me has taken a twisted path.” said Rachel Alexander of Willseyville, N.Y., who will graduate from SUNY Cortland on Saturday, May 22, with a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education: Humanities.

Alexander was recently awarded the top scholarship of $1,500 from Alpha Sigma Lambda, the honor society recognizing the academic achievement of undergraduate students age 24 and older, often called “non-traditional students.”

The national selection committee was impressed with Alexander’s amount and variety of leadership activities and placed her at the top of eight winners from a pool of 107 entries.

“The path has led me to a place where I will soon benefit society by teaching our children, at the same time gaining personal fulfillment, respect and fair compensation,” said Alexander, the mother of two boys, who was admittedly sidetracked for years by the minutiae of everyday life from gaining what was truly important to her.

“I knew that I needed to go back to school, but I had many fears so I put the idea out of my head and focused on other pursuits,” said Alexander, who spent eight years working several entry-level jobs while doing extensive volunteer work.

She now views the latter as a way of avoiding her fears of returning to college. Each of her volunteer efforts centered largely on teaching and the experience and maturity gained during those years helped her to be an excellent student.

Alexander, who will graduate with a 4.04 GPA, has made the President’s List each semester and has received multiple awards for academic achievement, including the Senior Academic Achievement Award and Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award. She is a member of the Tau Sigma and Alpha Sigma Lambda honor societies and has consistently ranked in the top one percent of more than 800 students who are studying early childhood/childhood education.

She looks forward to teaching at the elementary level and has been offered a position with the St. Lucie County School District in Fort Pierce, Fla., where she will relocate with her family this August.

“If there is any moral to my story, it is that facing one’s fears is crucial, and can make all the difference in life,” concluded Alexander.

Midnight Breakfast Raises Funds for Red Cross

More than $1,000 was raised for the local chapter of the American Red Cross when SUNY Cortland’s Student Affairs Connections Committee hosted a Midnight Breakfast on May 12.

Faculty and staff members prepared and served breakfast foods to 1,019 students from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. at Neubig Dining Hall, offering them a break during the study days preceding finals week. One-dollar donations were requested at the door, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.

“Midnight Breakfast is intended to be a stress relief for the students, many of whom use the meal as a study break with some coming from off-campus to enjoy a meal with friends,” said Midnight Breakfast Planning Committee Chair Sandra Wohlleber.

The food was prepared and served by faculty and staff volunteers, including President Erik J. Bitterbaum, Provost Mark Prus and more than two dozen others.

“There’s a strong rapport between the students, faculty and staff during the breakfast,” said Wohlleber. “Along with great food and service the students receive friendly, positive encouragement.”

Participating faculty and staff members included:

Marie Agen
Amanda Anderson             
Gary Babjack                       
JoEllen Bailey  
Evan Bigam             
Harland Bigelow                 
President Bitterbaum
Jean Brown
Shirley Cahill                       
Owen Conklin                     
Steve Dangler                     
Sarah Gingrich
Eileen Gravani        
Charee Grover                     
Cheryl Hines                                   
Vicki Johnson
Janelle McAllister   
Robyn McMicken                
Rich Peagler                        
Mike Pitaro
Mark Prus                 
Calvin Ruthven                   
Greg Sharer                         
Sean Sherwood
Cheri Skipworth      
Tom Spanbauer                  
Abby Thomas                      
Sandra Wohlleber
Julian Wright

Event sponsors included ASC, SUNY Cortland Athletics Department, the Division of Institutional Advancement, Residence Life and Housing Office, the Student Activities Board, Student Government Association and the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Timothy J. Baroni,

Timothy J. Baroni, Biological Sciences Department, was an invited guest speaker at the Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC) held April 9-11 at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. He presented “Exploring for Biodiversity of Neotropical Macrofungi — A Glimpse into the Adventures of a Mycologist.”

Submit your faculty/staff activity

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