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The Bulletin: Campus News for the SUNY Cortland Community

  Issue Number 13 • Tuesday, March 13, 2012  


Campus Champion

Much has been written about SUNY Cortland’s superior athletic teams. But there’s something to be said about one of the people who keep the nearly 700 student-athletes healthy. Sonya Comins ’96, the College’s head athletic trainer, treats every ache and pain, from a football player’s sprained ankle to a cross-country runner’s shin splints. A former basketball player, Comins tore her anterior cruciate ligament during her Cortland career and today helps student-athletes with their recoveries. She supervises a four-person staff, four graduate assistants and field experience learning for athletic training majors, and also teaches two courses in the Kinesiology Department.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, March 13

Grad Finale: Corey Union Function Room, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 13

Open Mic Night: Lasagna Night followed by Open Mic, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m. 

Wednesday, March 14

Sandwich Seminar: “Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia,” Jessica Cornell, Alzheimer’s Association, CNY Chapter, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, March 14

Women’s History Month Panel Discussion: “Women’s Paths of Success,” Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 3-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 14

Brooks Museum Lecture Series: “Does a Text Have a Sex?” Victoria Boynton, English, 4:30 p.m., Moffett Center, Room 2125. A reception will begin at 4 p.m. in the Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126. 

Wednesday, March 14

Wellness Wednesday Series: “So You Want to Get Some Body Art: Health and Safety in the Tattoo and Piercing Industry,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m. 

Thursday, March 15

Sandwich Seminar: “The Effects of Media in a (Post)Feminist World,” student Cara Shulman, professional writing major, women’s studies minor, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Thursday, March 15

Opening Reception: “This is Not How I Thought it Would Be” performance by Dean Ebben, guest artist, as part of “Bound by Silence” exhibit, Dowd Gallery, Room 162, 4-6 p.m.

Friday, March 16

Red Cross Blood Drive: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, noon-5 p.m.

Friday, March 16

Memorial Ceremony: For Roger E. Sipher, SUNY distinguished service professor of history emeritus, Interfaith Center, 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 17

Student Diversity Conference: Sponsored by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, Corey Union, 9 a.m.

Saturday, March 17

Children’s Museum Series: “Zumba,” McDonald Building, 60 Tompkins St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, March 17

Student Diversity Conference Speaker: Felipe Luciano will address civility and intersecting themes of coalition, Corey Union Function Room, 1-2:30 p.m.

Monday, March 19

Faculty Monday Afternoon Talks about Writing: “Academic Dishonesty: What to Do about It and How to Prevent It,” Gigi Peterson, History Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m. 

Monday, March 19

Interview and Etiquette For Educators: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20

High School Leadership Day: Corey Union, 9 a.m. 

Tuesday, March 20

Alumni Speaker Series: Human Services and the Helping Professions, Career Services, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Summer Job and Intern Fair: Sponsored by Career Services, Corey Union snack bar hallway, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Sandwich Seminar: “The Human Energy Field: Fact or Fiction” Lesley Teitelbaum, Psychology Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Artist Talk: “Vital Signs” presentation and video screening by Dani Leventhal, guest artist, as part of “Bound by Silence” exhibit, Dowd Gallery, Room 162, 4:45-6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Documentary: “Miss Representation,” a Sundance film that uncovers a glaring reality of female objectivity we live with but fail to see, Corey Union Function Room, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Wellness Wednesday Series: “Play with a Purpose,” Ellen A. Gooch, senior counselor and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m. 

Thursday, March 22

Films on U.S. Immigration Issues:AbUSed:  The Postville Raid,” Luis Argueta’s documentary about a 2008 immigration raid at a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-134, 2:50-4:05 p.m.

Thursday, March 22

$ Concert: Simon Shaheen Trio performs traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles, Corey Union Function Room, 8 p.m.

Friday, March 23

$ Musical: “Violet,” Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 24

$ Conference: “Genomics and Its Translation to Clinical Practice in the Communication Sciences,” Sperry Center, Room 105, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Pre-registration by March 14 required.

Saturday, March 24

Children’s Museum Series: “Stories Through Different Mediums,” McDonald Building, 60 Tompkins St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, March 24

$ Zumbathon: Park Center gym, 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 24

Celebration of Women: Ceremony to honor the women of SUNY Cortland and the Cortland community, Corey Union Function Room, 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 24

$ Musical: “Violet,” Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m. 

Sunday, March 25

$ Musical: “Violet,” Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 2 p.m. 

Sunday, March 25

Actors Presentation: “Violet, A Talk Back with the Actors,” Dowd Theatre following the 2 p.m. performance

At SUNY Cortland, Greeks Make the Grade


When it comes to grade point average, SUNY Cortland’s Greek organizations are dispelling any false stereotypes that may hover over fraternities and sororities.

That’s because the collective GPA for Cortland’s social Greek organizations, at 3.11, exceeded the College’s average undergraduate GPA, at 2.99, during the Fall 2011 semester. Fraternities and sororities both earned average GPAs higher than their gender counterparts at Cortland.

“That’s what I like to call the social Greek trifecta,” said Sandra Wohlleber, the College’s assistant director for campus activities and Greek affairs, referring to the fact that fraternity, sorority and total social Greek GPAs all exceeded the undergraduate average.

“One of the criticisms that’s often laid out against any fraternity or sorority is that they’re social groups, so they don’t pay as much attention to their academics,” Wohlleber said. “Parents are always asking: ‘If my son or daughter joins this group, is it true that their grades are going to go down?’”

Matthew Budofsky, a senior adolescence education: social studies and history major, boasts an academic track record that emphatically rejects that notion. The former president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity carries a 3.86 GPA.

“Not to sound silly, but I’m here to go to school,” Budofsky said. “Do we like to have fun? Of course. But school’s always the first priority.”

The Kappa Sigma chapter house on Tompkins Street is a far cry from the fictional Delta Tau Chi fraternity from the 1970s comedy film “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Kappa Sigma’s 29 members earned a 3.1 average GPA during the fall semester, tops among SUNY Cortland’s three social fraternities.

“There’s bound to be someone in the house to help you with your work if you need it, whether it’s a quick question or whether it involves editing a paper,” said Budofsky, who lives with four students pursuing the same major.

Greek GPAs at SUNY Cortland have climbed steadily since Wohlleber started working at the College in 2005, she said. Every semester, she uses a spreadsheet to track each Greek organization’s average GPA. She then sends big-picture numbers, such as the number of GPAs that improved or declined, to fraternities and sororities.

 “Obviously, there’s something that’s being done or something that’s being said,” Wohlleber explained. “Looking at the improvements — in terms of the numbers themselves and the attitudes of students within the groups — they’ve been rewarding.”

Potential scholarships from national chapters motivate students, Wohlleber said. The same can be said for improved academic programming, which may include library study hours or peer tutoring.

Higher academic standards come with social Greek life, said Kathryn McKenna, a senior communication studies major from Pearl River, N.Y., and a member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.

“We like to suggest that our pledges go to study hours in the library,” McKenna said. “It’s not mandatory, because it could be interpreted as a form of hazing, but it demonstrates that we take pride in what we do.”

With a 3.21 chapter GPA during the fall semester, Alpha Sigma Alpha’s 59 members achieved the highest GPA among SUNY Cortland’s five social sororities.

Besides the College’s eight social Greek chapters, its single service fraternity, three Latino fraternities and new Latina sorority, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, have shown their academic promise. The 27-member Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, for instance, earned a 3.22 GPA during the fall semester. Small participation numbers last fall didn’t slow the Latino fraternities from showing overall GPA improvement while maintaining their pledge to campus service.

“It’s so easy for any student organization, especially the Greeks, to get colored with a negative overtone,” Wohlleber said. “That’s why I’m so proud of them. Their performance academically, it’s thrilling.”

Alumni Fund Drive Recognizes Anthony Tesori '39


As the story goes, when Anthony “Tony” Tesori ’39 left the Navy after serving in World War II, Donnal V. Smith, SUNY Cortland’s president at the time, was waiting for him with a job offer on the Maryland dock as Tesori disembarked from the boat.

Tesori became a SUNY Cortland faculty member, coach and administrator while earning his master’s and doctoral degrees at New York University. He served the College selflessly for more than two decades, from 1946 to 1967, notably negotiating a critical land deal that allowed the institution to remain and grow in Cortland.

Forty-five years later, a cohort of World War II and post-World War II era SUNY Cortland gradautes continue to find ways to thank their mentor for his monumental influence in their lives.

Anthony "Tony" Tesori '39
Anthony "Tony" Tesori '39 is shown above in a recent photo; to the left, in his year book photo; and below, as coach of the 1949 golf team. 

“The soldiers and young women who were here after WWII right through the 1950s knew him,” said Peter VanderWoude, manager of planned gifts. “In 1961 he became director of admissions. Many former students attribute their success in their careers and life largely to Dr. Tesori.”

Tesori of Rockledge, Fla., turns 97 in December. A committee of alumni from the Class of 1949 are asking their classmates to capture what’s described as a “Double Play” for the former physical education major by making gifts totaling $20,000 to support two different causes with a meaningful connection to him. Their letter-writing and telephone appeal will reach out to local residents who remember the Cortland native as well.

The committee is chaired by William “Bill” Mahon and includes Anthony “Tony” Grandinette, Edward “Ed” Olivari, Rose Marie Luppino Kleinspehn, Aubrey Christie Nutter, Marcus “Marc” Martone, Otis Sennett and Charles “Chuck” Meisenzahl.

Many years ago, some students Tesori served while teaching and directing the Student Teaching Program worked with him to create the World War II Generation Scholarship at SUNY Cortland. Because the current endowment fund of approximately $15,000 is not enough to sustain the minimum $1,000 or greater academic scholarship intended for a SUNY Cortland student, it is not currently being awarded.

So the first “out,” in baseball parlance, of $10,000 is sought to fully endow the World War II Generation Scholarship Fund.

The second worthy cause is to create a lasting reminder of a College employee whose management of student teachers in the field was possibly second to none in the state, and whose negotiating skills rescued the campus from becoming landlocked in the City of Cortland with nowhere to grow.

Years ago, Tesori’s many well-wishers created a modest plaque recalling his contributions to the College. Overgrown at present, the marker lies along Pashley Drive near Whittaker Hall just beyond where Neubig Road crosses Broadway.

The second “out,” of $10,000, would underwrite the construction of an enhanced monument to honor Tesori in a location closer to the College playing fields. The improvements would add information about Tesori, elevate the marker and place benches and new shrubbery nearby.

Mahon, the Class of 1949 Committee chair, recalls that Tesori always met with and advised student teachers prior to and early in their classroom experience and trained them to assess the quality of their learning experience. His former students recall keeping notes for Tesori on the performance of host school mentors. Mahon said he had a wonderful experience student teaching in the Bronxville (N.Y.) School District as a result.

“I thought his technique was just way ahead of the field at the time,” Mahon said. “For the 34-and-a-half years that I hired people in physical education in the Bay Shore (N.Y.) Schools, I used his techniques for every practice teacher that I had.”

Tesori always emphasized the professionalism of teaching.

“He would say, ‘You’re to dress like a professional,’” Mahon said. “‘That means a shirt and tie. You’re to be professionally minded.’”

The 1949 men's golf team
 The Tesori Double Play Fund

Alumni are welcome to learn more about the appeal by contacting the committee members William Mahon and Anthony Grandinette. Mahon can be reached at 2012 Turnberry Lane, Wachesaw Plantation, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, or (843) 651-7508. Grandinette can be reached at 259-2 Winner Circle, Apt. 2, Naples, FL 34112 or (239) 417-1007. Or questions may be directed to Peter VanderWoude at (607) 758-5309.

To make a gift to the endowment fund, checks should made payable to the Cortland College Foundation and the words “Tesori Double Play” should appear in the memo area of the check. Checks should be sent to the Cortland College Foundation, P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045.

“Dr. Tesori spent many years traveling the state,” noted VanderWoude. “He went to every high school in the state. He would keep tabs on the student teachers we had out there and help them get jobs. Early on he even worked on establishing alumni chapters around the state.”

A physical education major at Cortland who excelled in football, basketball, track and baseball, Tesori served his country with Atlantic and Pacific amphibious forces from 1942 to 1945.

As a faculty member at SUNY Cortland from 1946 to 1952, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in education. Tesori directed student teaching, and coached varsity basketball, tennis, golf and football as an assistant coach.

He went on to coordinate student teacher field services, then directed admissions and records until 1967.

A Cortland native, Tesori has a wealth of experience in the history of the College, according to VanderWoude.

“Tesori said he remembers walking past the old Cortland Normal School in downtown Cortland the day after it burned down, when he would have been younger than four,” VanderWoude said, referring to the historic fire of 1919.

His local connections were very useful in 1947, when President Smith was having trouble obtaining an adjoining 27-acre piece of land to grow the campus. When President Smith found out that Tesori knew the property owners, George and Pearl Jenman, he directed him to speak with them right away, finding a substitute instructor to teach Tesori’s next class.

“Even though the Jenmans knew me and I explained how important this land was to the College, Mr. Jenman wouldn’t budge,” Tesori recalled in a 2006 interview. “It took many months, but eventually Mrs. Jenman came around and persuaded George. If the College was unable to obtain that land, the state would have forced President Smith to find another site for the campus, as other SUNY campuses did.”

The Jenman Tract currently encompasses the site of Davis Field, Lusk Field House, the varsity baseball field and tennis courts. The property acquisition paved the way for subsequent expansion to the west when the Abdallah family contacted Tesori to sell their farm to the College.

"Probably the personality of the city would have changed if the campus had moved," VanderWoude said. "The land deal allowed us to keep the campus right where it was."

Inducted into the College’s C-Club Hall of Fame, Tesori also was named a SUNY Cortland Distinguished Alumnus and a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Special Appreciation Award.

In 1967, for reasons of health, Tesori left the city and campus that was his home for nearly all his life. He retired from SUNY Fredonia in 1970. The University of Central Florida subsequently sought him out to help establish a branch campus. He retired from there in 1980.

“Tesori really views his career as being Cortland,” VanderWoude said. “He was born here. Initially he thought he might want to become a medical doctor. He came here because of the physical education program, which at the time prepared students to be able to enter the medical field.”

The rest is history, one that has richly rewarded SUNY Cortland.

Capture the Moment


Have you ever wondered what campus is like after most students and faculty clear out for spring break? Matthew Antonelli, a senior kinesiology major from Deer Park, N.Y., had the normally packed Tomik Fitness Facility to himself March 9. A similar quiet hung over the empty residence halls, dining facilities and classrooms until things returned to normal Monday. Welcome back!

In Other News

One Day Remains in Facebook Photo Contest

facebook-f.jpg 03/27/2012

Grab your camera. You’ve got one day left to help us find the perfect cover photo for SUNY Cortland’s Facebook page.

On Friday, March 30, the College’s official Facebook page will make the switch to the social network’s Timeline design, which incorporates a dominant horizontal cover photo.

Students, alumni, faculty and staff are invited to share their best SUNY Cortland shots on the page’s Wall from now through Wednesday, March 28.

Submissions should reflect life on the main College campus, its Raquette Lake Outdoor Education Center, Hoxie Gorge or Main Street SUNY Cortland.

One winner will have his or her work displayed as the giant backdrop for thousands of SUNY Cortland’s Facebook fans to see.

The College will change the photo after a period of time, so participants will have additional opportunities to submit images in the future. Submitted photos should be 850 pixels wide and at least 315 pixels tall. The image can be repositioned, but only an 850 by 315 pixel area will be visible.

For more information, contact the College’s Public Relations Office at (607) 753-2232.

Blaze wants you.

Early Sell-Out Expected for Wiz Khalifa Tickets

wiz_WEB.jpg 03/13/2012

A few words of advice for SUNY Cortland students seeking tickets to the College’s Spring Fling concert, headlined this year by Grammy-nominated rapper Wiz Khalifa: show up early.

“We expect to sell out very quickly,” said junior Delvin “D.J.” Johnson, one of the co-chairs in charge of lining up music acts for the College’s Student Activities Board.

Tickets for the concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 in Alumni Arena, go on sale Saturday, March 24. Roughly 3,500 tickets, which cost $20 for SUNY Cortland students and $30 for the public, will be sold.

The popularity of the 24-year-old rapper, who in 2011 hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Top 100 Chart with his hit single “Black and Yellow,” should create a high demand for tickets.

SUNY Cortland students, however, have first priority when tickets go on sale. Tickets will be sold exclusively to students from noon to 7 p.m., or until they are sold out at the Corey Union Information Desk.

Students will be allowed to purchase one ticket and must show their College ID. Students will not be allowed to purchase tickets for their friends, even if they have that friend’s Cortland ID.

“I’ve been telling people not to wait,” Johnson said. “I'd recommend to be in line on the very first day, as close to noon as possible.”

Tickets will stay on sale exclusively to SUNY Cortland students on Monday, March 26, and Tuesday, March 27. They will be sold from noon to 7 p.m., or until they are sold out, at the Corey Union Information Desk. 

If tickets are remaining, they will be sold to faculty, staff and the general public from Wednesday, March 28, through Friday, March 30. Tickets will be sold from noon to 7 p.m. at the Corey Union Information Desk.

Khalifa joins a long list of big-name artists to play SUNY Cortland’s Spring Fling, a list that includes the Black Eyed Peas, O.A.R. and the Fray. Kid Cudi, last year’s headliner, played to a sold-out arena.

Khalifa, a Pittsburgh-raised rapper, has three albums to his credit and his own label, Taylor Gang Records, under parent company Atlantic Records. “Black and Yellow,” a song named after the colors associated with professional sports teams in Pittsburgh such as Steelers football and Pirates baseball, established Khalifa’s mainstream success. The track earned him a nomination for Best Rap Song at the 2011 Grammy Awards and spawned several remixes and parodies by other recording artists.

“Rolling Papers,” Khalifa’s debut album with Atlantic, came out in March and hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It features other mainstream hits such as “Roll Up” and “No Sleep.”

Khalifa also stars in a recent television commercial for Bing, the Internet search engine.

Passion for Politics Born at Model Senate

State_Capitol_WEB.jpg 03/13/2012

Five SUNY Cortland students will play the role of New York state senator for a day when they take part in the CUNY/SUNY New York State Model Senate Session Project on Saturday, March 24.

The Latino/Hispanic heritage program, a joint project of CUNY’s Edward T. Rogowski Internship Program and SUNY’s Office of Diversity and Educational Equity, is part of the annual Somos El Futuro (We Are the Future) Conference in Albany, N.Y.

Approximately 60 CUNY and SUNY students will debate a proposed Senate bill at the New York State Capitol.

“This is such a powerful experience for the students,” said Noelle Chaddock Paley, the College’s director of multicultural life and diversity and the group’s faculty advisor. Paley, along with SUNY Cortland senior Jose Valdez and staff members from the College at Brockport and Morrisville State College, helps prepare students for the Senate experience.

Prior to the mock session, each student is assigned a Senate district and briefed on a proposed bill. This year’s bill proposes suspending the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas and oil.

The students, sitting in the same Senate Chamber seats that belong to state senators, are allotted three minutes to speak on behalf of their districts before a vote is taken.

An evening gala with Latino/Hispanic politicians caps the Senate simulation.

The five SUNY Cortland students who will act as senators this year include: Vanessa Cruz, a senior Spanish and international studies major from Inwood, N.Y.; Phoebe Felix, a sophomore business economics major from the Bronx, N.Y.; David Paulino, a freshman international studies major from the Bronx, N.Y.; Jonathan Rodriguez, a junior international studies major from Yonkers, N.Y.; and Davante Saba, a freshman exercise science major from New York City.

Valdez, the student coordinator and a business economics major from the Bronx, N.Y., became the first SUNY Cortland student to attend the conference two years ago. A sophomore at the time, he was the College’s lone representative in 2010.

“I’ll admit, it was scary at first,” said Valdez, who went on to participate with other students in 2011. “Like a lot of college students, I didn’t know a lot about politics. It seemed like an opportunity that a lot of people wouldn’t normally take.”

A brave opportunist, Valdez worked with Paley to verse himself in state politics. Both years, he researched the proposed bills thoroughly and prepared thoughtful speeches related to them.

Both years, however, he drew the role of one of the last senators to speak.

“If you’re the first person to speak, you don’t have to persuade; you just have to be well-spoken,” said Valdez, who twice drew the role of a Republican senator. “I was always close to last, so I’d have to re-work this speech that I’d been working on for a month, right there on the spot.

“I’ve learned too much (about politics),” he joked. But more than the persuasion skill set he gained, the ability to network with other Latino/Hispanic students and politicians proved invaluable.

In his two years attending the conference, he’s met former Gov. David Paterson and Yolanda Vega, the recognizable voice for the New York Lottery, and other well-known people.

“A lot of the big-time people you meet, they were once in our shoes,” Valdez said. “They’re Latinos you don’t normally see in the media. They’re people you can look up to, not just baseball players or basketball players or rappers.”

Valdez’s friends from the program have gone on to pursue internships in politics, healthcare and on Wall Street. He’s planning to move on to graduate school, and he’s already been accepted at Wake Forest University.

“We’re a network,” he said. “We stay connected.”

Paley praised the student effort that keeps the Model Senate program running at SUNY Cortland.

“This year, for the first time, we had a very competitive applicant pool from which these students were chosen,” she said. “Really, it’s the student passion from Mr. Valdez and others that has kept driving this program at SUNY Cortland.”

Developed in 1997 by CUNY, the Model Senate Session Project was launched at the request of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force of the New York State Legislature. The New York State Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion funds the majority of the trip for SUNY students.

Physical Education Student Teachers Honored

PhysicalEducation_WEB.jpg 03/12/2012

Eighteen senior physical education majors at SUNY Cortland were recognized with Lenore K. Alway/Anthony P. Tesori Awards for their outstanding work in student teaching in New York state schools during the Fall 2011 semester.

Physical Education Department faculty members nominated 12 men and six women for the recognition. The students received a certificate.

The men’s award honors Anthony P. Tesori, a 1939 graduate who gave the College many years of leadership in athletics and administration and earned the College’s C-Club Hall of Fame Award for his achievements before and after graduation. The Alway award, given to women, acknowledges the late Lenore K. Alway, the pioneering head of women’s physical education at the College from 1941 to 1965.

The Tesori Award honorees and the schools or school districts where they completed their teaching are:

• Michael Esteves of Pleasantville, N.Y., at Mount Vernon City School District and Bedford Central School District.

• Michael Gimblette of Ossining, N.Y., at Hendrick Hudson Central School District and Somers Central School District.

• Anthony Giuliano of Harrison, N.Y., at Tarrytown Union Free School District and Irvington Union Free School District.

• Alexander Greenberg of Harrison, N.Y., at Peekskill City School District and Scarsdale Union Free School District.

• Scott Hamlin of Liberty, N.Y., at Sullivan West Central School District – Elementary School and Sullivan West Central School District – Secondary School.

• Christopher Heim of Amherst, N.Y., at Williamsville Central School District and Amherst Central School District.

• Mike Howell of Binghamton, N.Y., at Maine-Endwell Senior High School and Chenango Bridge Elementary School.

• Christopher Infante of Nanuet, N.Y., at South Orangetown Central School District – Elementary School and South Orangetown Central School District – Middle School.

• Miles Levesque of Tupper Lake, N.Y., at Lansing Junior Senior High School and South Hill Elementary School.

• Nick Mangan of Orangeburg, N.Y., at Ramapo Central School District and Byram Hills Central School District.

• Ryan Strader of Cicero, N.Y., at Central Square Central School District and Baldwinsville Central School District.

• Frank Zambrano of Nanuet, N.Y., at Ramapo Central School District and Pearl River Union Free School District.

The Alway Award honorees and the schools or school districts where they completed their teaching are:

• Jenna Monahan of Holbrook, N.Y., at Deer Park Union Free School District and Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School District.

• Brittney Reed of Cortland, N.Y., at Manlius Pebble Hill School and Moravia Senior High School.

• Caitlin Sharkey of Palenville, N.Y., at Saugerties Central School District and Saugerties Central School District.

• Megan Shirey of Springfield Center, N.Y., at Herkimer Central School District and Richfield Spring Central School District.

• Jennifer Thorpe of Lakewood, N.Y., at Beverly Martin Elementary School and Cincinnatus Central School.

• Jenna Wenk of Ossining, N.Y., at Lakeland Central School District and Peekskill City School District.

For more information, contact the Physical Education Department at (607) 753-4955.

Teacher Recruitment Set for March 26 and 27

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Approximately 460 Central New York college students and 55 school district recruitment professionals from New York and other states are expected to attend the 27th annual Central New York Teacher Recruitment Days on Monday, March 26, and Tuesday, March 27, at SUNY Cortland.

Hosted every year by SUNY Cortland, the event is organized through the College’s Career Services office and co-sponsored by the Central New York Career Development Association, which represents the career services offices of 13 area public and private colleges and universities.

The event participants will include education students who are graduating this spring or summer or who graduated last December with bachelor’s or master’s degrees and will receive their teaching certificates by Fall 2012.

The association’s Teacher Recruitment Days allow colleges that have teacher education programs to collaboratively attract a large number of school district administrators, said Lisa Allen, assistant director of career services and the event coordinator.

Teacher Recruitment Days, which takes place in the Park Center Alumni Arena, will attract representatives from approximately 35 school districts in New York and a number of southeastern states. Virginia Levine, SUNY Cortland executive assistant to the president, Andrea Lachance, interim dean for the School of Education, and Marley Barduhn ’76, M ’79, assistant provost for teacher education, will offer opening remarks at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 26. Orientation of recruiters and students will follow for the next several hours. Recruitment interviews will take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on March 26 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27.

Student Teacher
During her semester of student teaching, one SUNY Cortland student experiences her anticipated career in the field of education. In the photo above to the left, college students from all over the region meet with prospective employers during a previous Teacher Recruitment Days at SUNY Cortland. 

“With Teacher Recruitment Days we’re trying to provide services for students in as many ways as we can,” to supplement interviews with the school district recruiters, Allen said.

Last year, the graduate schools that are part of the consortium’s member institutions were invited to have a table at Teacher Recruitment Days, she noted. This year, seven graduate schools will be represented at the recruitment fair.

Once again, a Counselors-on-Call program will place career services staff members with background in the educational field in one area of the arena to provide pointers on career advancement, Allen noted.

Registration for Teacher Recruitment Days is already closed. However, area residents with teaching qualifications may obtain a list of the job openings through one of the career services offices in the association. The association members are: Binghamton University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Empire State College, Elmira College, Ithaca College, Le Moyne College, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam, Syracuse University, Utica College, Wells College and Cazenovia College.                 

For more information, visit the Teacher Recruitment Days website at

Memorial Ceremony Set for Roger Sipher

The campus community will gather for a ceremony in memory of Roger E. Sipher at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at the Interfaith Center on the corner of Prospect Terrace and Calvert Street.

Sipher, a longtime Cortland resident and SUNY distinguished service professor of history emeritus, served SUNY Cortland for 43 years. He died on Jan. 14.

Sipher had retired in 2004 after serving as a member of the SUNY Cortland History Department since 1961. But, until he became ill last year, he had continued reporting daily to his office, maintaining close friendships with former colleagues and attending his beloved SUNY Cortland sports events.

“Roger had an incredible dedication to students, a unique sense of humor, a love of history,” recalled History Department Chair Randi Storch. “He was a community builder in the department, across the campus and through his profession. There are hundreds of teachers and public school administrators who owe their careers to him.”

Another former colleague, Professor of Political Science Thomas Pasquarello, shared a similar observation.

“Roger Sipher cared deeply about his students, and they returned the favor,” Pasquarello said. “He had a great sense of humor, and used it to great effect in his teaching. His dedication to the craft of teaching influenced generations of teachers. Students who enrolled in the professional semester often remarked that they had become interested in the program because of good things they’d heard about Roger from their teachers.”

Pasquarello was referring to the College’s former secondary social studies curriculum, which Sipher helped to create in 1971, and which included the innovative and nationally renowned professional semester program for seniors. He coordinated the curriculum until his retirement.

In 1976, Sipher received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1987, he was presented the Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award by the Central New York Council for the Social Studies and Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich. The following year, Sipher received the Distinguished Social Studies Service Award from the New York State Council for the Social Studies. He was named a Distinguished Service Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees in 1995.

Sipher is survived by his son, John Sipher; grandsons, Will, J.C. and Marc Sipher; his daughter, Kate Sipher; his former wife, Ann Sipher; and brother, Erton Sipher.

Inspirational Journey of “Violet” Comes to SUNY Cortland

A powerful story set in the Deep South during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement will unfold as a musical performance in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre at SUNY Cortland March 23 to 25 and March 30 to April 1.

“Violet,” the tale of a bitter young woman’s cross-country journey in search of healing for a disfiguring scar, will be presented by the SUNY Cortland Performing Arts Department. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays on the play dates.

Tickets are $16 for the general public, $14 for senior citizens and SUNY staff, and $7 for all students and children. Tickets are on sale at Jodi’s Hallmark Shop on Main Street in Cortland and at the door prior to each performance.

“Violet, A Talk Back with the Actors” will be presented on Sunday, April 1, following the 2 p.m. performance.

“Violet” tells the story of a horribly scarred girl who ventures out in search of a popular televangelist she believes can cure her disfigurement. During the journey, she finds healing for her soul as she and the audience experience different types of beauty, love, courage and faith and explore what it means to see beyond appearances.

Inspired by Doris Betts’ short story, “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” the play was created by composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright and screenwriter Brian Crawley. The show opened on March 12, 1997, at Playwrights Horizons in New York City, and became one of the most acclaimed off-Broadway productions of the 1990s. 

The music in “Violet” ranges in genre from blues to bluegrass, country and western, Southern rock and gospel, with each song and its supporting choreography propelling Violet along on her personal odyssey.

For more information, visit the Performing Arts Department website or call (607) 753-2811.

Series Invites Alumni in Human Services and Helping Professions

A panel of SUNY Cortland alumni will visit campus to discuss their experiences in the human services and helping professions on Tuesday, March 20.

The panel, which continues SUNY Cortland’s 2011-12 Alumni Speaker Series, will begin at 7 p.m. in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. The presentation is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Panelists include Diane Shaw Lowery ’81, an alcohol and drug abuse prevention counselor for the West Genesee (N.Y.) Central School District; Richard Blythe ’73, the county clerk for Broome County; Kelly Eagan ’94, the staff development coordinator for Cortland County Department of Social Services; and Barbara Roumanis Barnes ’87, a social worker for the Homer (N.Y.) Central School District.

The human services and helping professions panel is the fifth of six discussions planned with alumni professionals throughout the academic year.

The final Alumni Speaker Series event will feature graduates who pursue careers in recreation and leisure on Tuesday, April 3.

The Alumni Speaker Series is sponsored by the Alumni Affairs Office and Career Services. For more information, visit the Career Services website at or call (607) 753-4715.

High School Students Attend Leadership Conference March 20

Approximately 120 students and 20 school advisors from nine area high schools who are interested in learning more about leadership skills will attend the 16th annual High School Leadership Day Conference on Tuesday, March 20, at SUNY Cortland.

Sponsored by the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office (FESP), the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Corey Union.

The conference is designed for students in grades 9 through 12, school counselors, club advisors and coaches. Attendees will participate in a variety of interactive workshops, meet students and advisors from other schools and be inspired by leaders from different career and educational backgrounds.

The theme for this year’s conference is “You Can Lead!” A variety of activity-based workshops will challenge students to explore leadership examples found in popular movies, the emotional and legal consequences of cyberbullying, the components of face-to-face communication, and the traits that constitute an effective leader and teamwork in action. There will be a double-session workshop or “emotional spa” for high school advisors to allow them to network, learn helpful suggestions and discuss ways to de-stress.

Presenters include Pam Strausser, president of Cosmos Hill Associates and senior human resource consultant at Cornell University’s Department of Organizational Development; 13 Leadership Education and Development (LEAD!) students from Cortland’s junior and senior high schools and Homer High School; and one former LEAD! member who currently attends SUNY Brockport. 

Participating SUNY Cortland staff members include Mary Kate Boland, leadership and community development at Campus Activities and Corey Union; Ralph Carrasquillo, Residence Life and Housing; Tracey Messinger, Migrant Education Outreach Program; Calvin Ruthven, Career Services; and Catherine Smith, Health Promotion/Student Development. Retired career services associate director Louis Larson will return as the master of ceremonies.

SUNY Cortland student presenters include Samantha Califano, intern, Health Promotion/Student Development, and Jamie Piperato, president, Student Government Association. Piperato will present the keynote address “The Leader Inside Us All.” 

For more information, contact FESP at (607) 753-2824 or email School Partnerships Coordinator Karen Seibert.

Panel Discussion Celebrates Women with SUNY Cortland Ties

Five women who developed their careers at SUNY Cortland will share their insights as part of a Women’s History Month panel discussion on Wednesday, March 14.

The fourth annual “Women’s Paths of Success” discussion, which takes place at 3 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, will feature input from Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, professor of geography; Jamie Piperato, president of the Student Government Association; Necca Root, administrative aide for the Student Conduct Office, Nancy Sternfeld, College physician emerita; and Carol Van Der Karr, associate provost for academic affairs.

Each panelist will discuss the factors that led to her successful career at SUNY Cortland. Jena Curtis, an associate professor of health, will moderate the talk.

The event is co-sponsored by the Committee on the Status and Education of Women/Women's Initiatives; Affirmative Action; Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Committee; Women’s Studies; the President’s Office; the Vice President for Student Affairs Office; the Provost’s Office and the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office.

For more information, email Marie Blanden, the secretary for student affairs, or call her at (607) 753-4721.


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People on the Move

ACE Program Coordinator Named

Clarke_Carol_2012_WEB.jpg 03/12/2012

Carol Clarke, who directed administrative operations for the Webster Central School District in Webster, N.Y., was named coordinator of the Access to College Education (ACE) program. She began her duties on March 1.

Employed by the Research Foundation of SUNY, she replaces Michael Ouckama of Ithaca, N.Y., who coordinated the ACE program for 13 years and retired on Feb. 29.

ACE helps academically capable high school students overcome social, financial and emotional barriers to a college education. Based at SUNY Cortland, the program works in partnership with 11 local school districts to reach students, starting in the eighth grade. The districts are: Candor, Cincinnatus, Cortland, DeRuyter, Groton, Homer, Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield, South Seneca and Tully.

More than 25 ACE-sponsored programs on skills training, motivation, and academic support are offered annually to approximately 800 ACE students and their families. Additionally, the four participating institutions of higher learning — Cornell University, SUNY Cortland, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College — offer special admissions consideration at the four institutions after successful completion of the ACE program and satisfaction of admission criteria.

Michael Ouckama
Michael Ouckama

The ACE initiative reflects one of SUNY’s statewide goals: The creation of a seamless education pipeline that prepares students for eventual success in college and the workforce. 

In the Webster District, Clarke directed administrative operations from 2006 to 2010. Prior to that, she was principal at Spry Middle School since 1994. Since joining the district in 1989, she also was curriculum supervisor in mathematics and computers K-12, assistant principal and director of secondary programs.

She previously was employed with the Mexico Academy and Central School for 13 years, first as a mathematics teacher and later for four years as the department chair.

Clarke has served as an evaluator for the New York State Administrative Certification Exams since 2009.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master of science in education and a certificate of advanced studies from SUNY Oswego.

She and her husband, Glen Clarke, associate director of research and sponsored programs at the College, live in Cortland.

During his tenure with the ACE program, Ouckama focused his energies on program assessment, revamping communication materials, spending more time with the clients and continuing to strengthen relationships between the partnership schools and colleges.

He previously served 24 years as an elementary school principal in the Ithaca (N.Y.) City School District before retiring in 1998.

Ouckama resides in Brooktondale, N.Y., with his wife, Katrina. He has three grown sons, Jonathan, Anthony and Patrick, and four grandchildren.

Faculty/Staff Activities

Seth N. Asumah

Seth N. Asumah, Africana Studies and Political Science Departments, received the “Outstanding Service Award” at the 37th annual conference of the New York Africana Studies Association (NYASA) held Feb. 24-25 at Penn State University, University Park, Pa. He was recognized for his leadership and continuing service to the organization. Asumah was also honored by the African American Studies Department and the Black Student Union of Penn State University for his contributions and leadership to the NYASA Publications Committee.

Christopher D. Gascón

Christopher D. Gascón, Modern Languages Department, presented “Taking Liberties with Cervantes, Calderón, and Lope,” at the annual conference of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater held in March in El Paso, Texas. His paper analyzes how Spanish classical theater is transformed when performed in other cultural contexts. 

Charles Heasley

Charles Heasley, Art and Art History Department, had his work accepted for the “Made in New York 2012” exhibition opening on Saturday, March 31, in Auburn, N.Y. His recent photogravure, a homage to the artist Hans Bellmer, was included as one of 74 selected entries from a total of 549, by 294 regional artists. The annual exhibition was juried by Richard Kegler and Sydney Waller. Opening reception is from 3-5 p.m. on March 31 at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Gallery, located at 205 Genesee St. in Auburn.

David Kilpatrick

David Kilpatrick, Psychology Department, presented a paper on Feb. 24 at annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists in Philadelphia, Pa. Approximately 35 school psychologists, school psychology graduate students and professors of school psychology attended his 50-minute presentation titled, “Supercharge your Reading Evaluations with the ‘Simple View’ of Reading.”

Tom Lickona

Tom Lickona, Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department, had his article, “Prevent Bullying, Promote Kindness: 20 Things All Schools Can Do,” reprinted in Catholic Education Resource Center’s (CERC) Weekly Update, an online Canadian newsletter. The article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2012 issue of Excellence & Ethics, the education letter of SUNY Cortland’s Center for the 4th and 5th Rs.

Mary McGuire

Mary McGuire, Political Science Department, will present her paper “Teaching Political Values Across Cultures: Clarifying U.S. Concepts of Individualism to Students in Beijing” on April 5 at the Midwest Political Science Association’s 70th Annual National Conference. The paper is based on work she did at Capital Normal University in Beijing during her 2009 sabbatical.

Joel Pape

Joel Pape, Performing Arts Department, is the recipient of a professional salary increase as per the Human Resources Office. Pape is a full-time instructional support technician.

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