Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

  Issue Number 5 • Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012  


Campus Champion

There’s no better time to be taking a course titled “The American Presidency,” and no one better to teach it than Distinguished Service Professor Robert J. Spitzer. This noted authority on U.S. politics and gun control is a sought-after speaker beyond his political science classroom. He’s led numerous election talks, including one on campus this month. He’ll also present his newest book chapter to an Ohio audience and will have taped four weekly TV shows by October’s end. Then there’s his role as author: the regular Huffington Post contributor has penned 14 books and more than 500 articles, book chapters, reviews, papers and essays.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, Oct. 23

Unity Celebration: Corey Union Function Room, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 23

District Attorney Forum: Democrat Mark Suben and Republican Keith Dayton, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 23

Native American Film Series: “The Thick Dark Fog,” Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

Sandwich Seminar: “Energy Management on Campus/A Key Pillar of Sustainability,” Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, Oct. 24

Panel Discussion: “Cross-Cultural Miscommunication,” Moffett Center, Room 2125, 4:30-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

Wellness Wednesday Series Event: “Diversity within the LGBTQ Community,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26

Halloween Party: Sponsored by SGA, Corey Union Function Room, 7-10 p.m. 

Friday, Oct. 26

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 27

Children’s Museum Series Event: 21st Annual Education Club Halloween Party, Corey Union Function Room, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 27

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 28

Breast Cancer Walk: Sponsored by Women of Color, starts at Corey Union, 11 a.m.

Sunday, Oct. 28

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 2 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 29

Lecture: Presented by Power from the People Author Greg Pahl, Sperry Center, Room 204, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Native American Film Series: “To Brooklyn and Back: A Mohawk Journey,” Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

Tues. Oct. 30

Lecture: “From What You Know to What You Can Do: Simulated Interaction Models to Enhance Teacher Preparation,” Benjamin Dotger, Syracuse University School of Education, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 30

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

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Wellness Wednesday Series Event: “Trick or Eat!” with New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 1

Community Roundtable: “Beyond 2012: A New Space Odyssey,” Brice Smith, Physics Department, Park Center Hall of Fame Room, 8-9 a.m., refreshments served at 7:45 a.m. 

Thursday, Nov. 1

Conference: 2012 Francis J. Cheney Education Leadership Breakfast, “The School Principal: Version 2012,” Corey Union, registration at 8 a.m., program 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Thursday, Nov. 1

Dowd Gallery Exhibition Reception: Faculty Biannual, runs through Saturday, Dec. 15, Dowd Gallery at 9 Main St., 3rd floor, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 1

Speaker: “Communicating Cultural Invisibility in Children’s Literature,” by Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi, Corey Union, Room 201, 6-7:30 p.m. 

Friday, Nov. 2

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Nov. 3

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 4

27th African American Gospel Music Festival: Featuring seven choirs, Corey Union Function Room, 4-6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 4

Musical: “Spring Awakening,” Old Main Brown Auditorium, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 3

Glow Skate: Park Center Alumni Arena, 9-11 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 6

Board of Elections Voting: Park Center main lobby, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Recreation Conference Planned for Nov. 8 and 9


John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist, author and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States, will pay a visit, courtesy of the acting skills of Lee Stetson, during the 62nd annual SUNY Cortland Recreation Conference Thursday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Nov. 9, at the College.

Muir, who founded the conservation organization Sierra Club and whose activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas, died almost a century ago.Stetson's re-enactment of the great naturalist, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Corey Union Function Room, is free and open to the public. In the presentation of “The Spirit of John Muir,” Stetson will lead participants on a fun romp through some of the very best of the naturalist John Muir’s grand, thrilling adventures in his beloved western wilderness.

Stetson’s historical re-enactments through John Muir Productions have been presented in Yosemite National Park since 1983 to more than a quarter of a million visitors and have toured the country from Washington D.C. to Hawaii. He took part in Ken Burn’s critically acclaimed PBS series “National Parks — America’s Best Idea.” 

That day Stetson will give a second special session at the all-conference gathering, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the same location.

John Crompton, among the world’s foremost experts on marketing and financing public leisure and tourism services, will deliver the prestigious Metcalf Endowment Lecture at this year’s conference. Crompton, a university distinguished professor of recreation, park and tourism sciences at Texas A&M University, will discuss “Getting Past the Labels: What Business Are We In?” at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, in Corey Union Function Room. The lecture is free and open to the public.

John Crompton
John Crompton will keynote this year's conference. Lee Stetson, portraying the late naturalist John Muir (shown on the upper left), will be a highlight of the conference. 

Crompton’s talk will address the issue that too many people associate with this field: the inherent triviality of recreation activities rather than the profound personal and community benefits that they deliver. The presentation will explore those benefits and suggest how they can be communicated more effectively to taxpayers and elected officials.

“Spark Your Inspiration With Recreation” is the theme of the two-day gathering, the nation’s oldest continuous collegiate-sponsored recreation education conference.

Sponsored by the College’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies and the Campus Artist and Lecture Series, the conference receives additional support for its Metcalf Lecture from the Metcalf Endowment Fund.                                   

“The conference theme is intended to inspire one and all to be motivated to pursue goals, positively change day-to-day behaviors and encourage others to do the same,” said conference co-coordinator Meaghan Stadtlander. “Recreation can help the mind and body during activities and throughout everyday life at work, school and home.”

“The conference planning class has been working hard since January to coordinate and organize this event,” added conference co-coordinator Jessie Kushaney. “We encourage anyone involved or interested in the field of recreation to attend.”

Registration takes place at 7 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday in Corey Union. The fee is $125 for professionals and $60 for SUNY Cortland students to attend both days; and $90 for professionals to attend Thursday or Friday only. The non-SUNY Cortland student group rate to attend both days is $60 each for 10 or more students. The additional cost to receive Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits is $8. The registration fee includes meals.

Additional information may be obtained by calling (607) 753-4939, by e-mailing or online at, where the brochure and registration form may be viewed or printed. Online registration is available through the website at

More than 300 students and professionals are expected to attend the conference, which will offer more than 50 educational sessions and practical workshops on recreation management, therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, environmental education, and leisure and society. A research symposium also is planned.

Topics will include the national trails system, adaptive skiing and snow sports, the national parks service, motivation, personal happiness, reconnecting children with nature, inclusion, teambuilding, personal growth, stress management, generational differences, playground accessibility, outdoor recreation, and ethics, among others.

The conference is planned and directed by SUNY Cortland recreation majors in the Special Events Planning class taught by conference advisor Leiko Benson, an adjunct professor in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department.

The students and the committees they chair include:

• Adam Houle of Angelica, N.Y., graphics and printing;

• Dan Maximowicz of Binghamton, N.Y., finance;

• Jessie Kushaney of Auburn, N.Y., hospitality and program co-coordinator;

• Kelsey Persons of Syracuse, N.Y., alumni affairs and volunteer;

• Matt Wryk of East Aurora, N.Y., public relations and marketing;

• Meaghan Stadtlander of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., registration, office manager and program co-coordinator;

• Mitch Galvin of Oswego, N.Y., special programs;

• Stephaney Dery of Lakeville, N.Y., program; and,

• Tyler Merriam of Saranac Lake, N.Y., research symposium and evaluation.

Cortland alumni presenting at this year’s conference include William Zimmerman ’76, Karen Pittleman ’79, Celeste Bernardo-Dunn ’85, Jim Raulli ’87, John LaRue ’89, Eric Byers ’90, Frances Pizzola ’86,  David Peppel ’97, Andrew Pierce ’97, Bruce Matthews ’77, Jacqueline Johnston ’08, Karen Armstrong ’98, Jessica Daily ’01, Art Servidone ’00 and Amy Kochem ’08.

This year, the conference social will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Brix Pubaria on 60 Main St. in Cortland. The event is sponsored in part by Parkitects.

Crompton, who currently also serves Texas A&M as a Regents professor and a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence, received his basic training in England at Loughborough College, where he earned undergraduate degrees in physical education and geography and a Master of Science in Recreation and Park Administration. He also has an M.S. from University of Illinois.

In 1970, he joined Loughborough Recreation Planning Consultants (LRPC) as their first full-time employee. When he left as managing director in 1974, LRPC had developed into the largest consulting firm in the United Kingdom specializing in recreation and tourism, with a full-time staff of 25 and numerous part-time associate consultants.

In 1974, he joined Texas A&M University, where he also received his doctorate in recreation resources development.

He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in both the Recreation and Parks Department and the Marketing Department at Texas A&M. Crompton presently teaches exclusively in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences Department. He also was chosen as the university’s Cintron University Professor for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Possibly the most published scholar in the history of both the parks and recreation, and the tourism fields, Crompton is the author or co-author of 18 books and a substantial number of published articles in the recreation, tourism, sport and marketing fields. He has conducted many hundreds of workshops on marketing and financing leisure services. Crompton has delivered keynote addresses at the World Leisure Congress and at annual national park and recreation conferences in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

Among his many awards and honors, Crompton was recognized with a National Park Foundation’s Cornelius Amory Pugsley Award for outstanding national contributions to parks and conservation.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) presented him with its Distinguished Professional Award, National Literary Award and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for outstanding research. The Society of Park and Recreation Educators named him a Distinguished Colleague. Crompton has received the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s Travel Research Award. The U.S. Department of Agriculture bestowed on him its National Award for Teaching Excellence.

Crompton is a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor for Excellent Teaching in the state of Texas. He accepted the Bush Excellence Award for Public Service personally presented by President George H. W. Bush.

Currently a board member of the National Recreation Foundation, Crompton was a member of the NRPA’s Board of Trustees for nine years. He is a past president of four professional associations, the Texas Recreation and Parks Society, the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators and the Academy of Leisure Sciences.

In 2006, the city of College Station, Texas, named a new 16-acre neighborhood park, John Crompton Park. Crompton served four years as a city councilman for College Station from 2007 to 2011, and was mayor pro tem in 2010-11 of the city of 95,000 residents.

Lecturer to Focus on School Simulations


Future teachers and those interested in teacher education will learn how role-playing can improve classroom interactions during a SUNY Cortland lecture Tuesday, Oct. 30.

“From What You Know to What You Can Do: Simulated Interaction Models to Enhance Teacher Preparation” takes place at 7:15 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205.

The discussion is free and open to the public.

Benjamin Dotger, an associate professor of teaching and leadership at Syracuse University, will lead the lecture. A short reception with refreshments precedes the talk and a question-and-answer session will follow.

Dotger’s approach to preparing future teachers borrows from the medical school curriculum, which puts aspiring doctors in simulated situations with standardized patients. He’s credited with implementing the Standardized Parent Conferencing Model, a teacher development tool that uses role-playing parents and students to act out interactions a teacher may encounter in the classroom.

“Students might be student teaching or observing in the classroom but sometimes they don’t have those interactions that they’re going to encounter,” said Kerri Freese, the College’s Noyce Project coordinator. “He’s created these situations for future teachers so they’re prepared in the field.”

Through a partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., Dotger also developed the School Leader Communication Model, a tool that extends the use of simulations to the preparation of school leaders.

He will discuss simulation examples and procedures during his SUNY Cortland talk, outlining both the research and instructional potential of role-playing. His concluding remarks will emphasize recent efforts with the simulation method, focusing specifically on mathematics and science scenarios in a secondary education context.

Dotger’s ties with SUNY Cortland date back more than a year, to when he served as a keynote speaker at the National Science Foundation Noyce Regional Conference, an event co-hosted by the College. He received high marks in conference evaluations and both pre-service and current teachers showed an interest in learning more about his methods.

Currently, he’s working with SUNY Cortland students and faculty members with his science, technology, engineering and math trial simulations.

Freese likened the experience to a driving simulator.

“Unless a teacher invites a student-teacher to lead a parent-teacher conference or a meeting with a struggling math student, the student-teacher isn’t going to necessarily have every imaginable experience,” she said. “It’s that real, live experience he’s trying to replicate. With enough rehearsal of sensitive situations, the right words will come more easily.”

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Spencer Foundation, the Ewing Marian Kauffman Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation support Dotger’s work.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English education from Elon University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, respectively, and a doctorate in philosophy from North Carolina State University.

Dotger’s SUNY Cortland lecture is sponsored by the Campus Artist and Lecture Series; the Chemistry and Mathematics departments; the SUNY Cortland Noyce Project; the Education Club; and the Office of the Assistant Provost for Teacher Education.

For more information, contact Freese.

Capture the Moment


Rehearsals continue this week as the Performing Arts Department prepares “Spring Awakening,” the Tony Award-winning rock musical adaptation of a landmark play about the discovery, passion and confusion of teenage sexuality. Leading men include, from left, Charles O’Connor as Georg, Rasheem Ford as Melchior, Ben Shimkus as Ernst and Paul Warren Smith as Hanschen. The play will be performed from Friday, Oct. 26, to Sunday, Oct. 28, and Friday, Nov. 2, to Sunday, Nov. 4, in Old Main Brown Auditorium. This venue has been selected for productions while Dowd Fine Arts Center is renovated. Friday and Saturday performances start at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

In Other News

College Hosts District Attorney Forum

town_hall.jpg 10/22/2012

Local politics take center stage Tuesday night at SUNY Cortland, when the College hosts a forum for the two candidates for Cortland County district attorney.

Democrat Mark Suben, the incumbent district attorney, and Republican Keith Dayton will discuss their public policies and respond to questions at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205.

SUNY Cortland Distinguished Service Professor Robert Spitzer will moderate the event, which is hosted by the College’s Political Science Association.

“Students have organized this completely and I think it’s a great credit to them,” Spitzer said. “It underscores the importance of local issues to SUNY Cortland students and the idea that they are affected by their local government.”

The candidates, who are seeking a four-year term as Cortland County’s top prosecutor in the Nov. 6 election, won’t directly debate back and forth with each other, Spitzer said.

Rather, they will respond to questions and offer their points of view on various issues, he said.

The audience is invited to bring its own questions.

Suben, who previously served as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office and as a senior assistant district attorney in the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, has held the Cortland County District Attorney’s seat since 2008. He also appears on the Working Families Party line.

Dayton previously served as Cortland County’s public defender for 12 years. He’s also listed on the Conservative Party line.

Tuesday’s event is the second of two scheduled forums between the candidates. They participated last week at a similar event attended by nearly 100 people at the Cortland Elks Club.

Election Day polling places can be found on the Cortland County Board of Elections website.

Dowd Gallery Exhibit Highlights Faculty

Lori_WEB.jpg 10/29/2012

Call it leading by example.

Twelve faculty members in SUNY Cortland’s Art and Art History Department will contribute their artwork to the “Faculty Biennial 2012” exhibition, which offers students the opportunity to view the work of their mentors and community members the chance to appreciate a wide range of media produced by local artists.

Chad Hovey
Pictured above: Chad Hovey, Hippopotamus
Anthropos, 2011, mixed media, 16" x 20"
Pictured above left: Lori Ellis, Garden
Sublime, 2012, oil on canvas, 50" x 50"

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs from Tuesday, Oct. 30, to Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Dowd Gallery’s temporary off-campus location at Main Street SUNY Cortland, 9 Main Street.

The College’s gallery is based on the third floor of Main Street SUNY Cortland for approximately two years while the Dowd Fine Arts Center undergoes renovations.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday.

An opening reception will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, and two artist talks take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Featured artists include: Jeremiah Donovan, Lori Ellis, Charles Heasley, Chad Hovey, Kevin Mayer, Jenn McNamara, Paul Parks, Jaroslava Prihodova, Vaughn Randall, Liz Sharp and Bryan Thomas.

Kathryn Kramer also is represented in the show by a virtual presentation of her research.

These faculty members teach in areas that include art history, ceramics, design, fibers, foundation studies, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Group tours of the Dowd Gallery are available. For more information, contact Gallery Director Erika Fowler-Decatur at (607) 753-4216.

Cortaca Jug Ticket Info Released

helmets.jpg 10/18/2012

With less than three weeks to go until the SUNY Cortland football team goes for its third straight Cortaca Jug win, the demand for Stadium Complex seats is building.

The College hosts the 54th annual rivalry game between SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College, which kicks off at noon on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Here’s a complete rundown of ticket information:


Current SUNY Cortland students who have paid the athletic fee; faculty and staff members; and Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) employees with a valid College ID are allowed one free ticket, which can be picked up during the following dates and times in Corey Union, Room 406:

  • Sunday, Oct. 21: Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 22: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Lost or stolen tickets cannot be re-issued. A ticket is general admission for first-come, first-served seating in the general admission section. No re-entry is allowed. A ticket is no longer valid once an attendee leaves the stadium.

All ticket holders entering the Stadium Complex should expect to be patted down. Diaper bags or totes holding essential medicines, etc., are subject to inspection.

The following items are prohibited: alcoholic beverages; food; artificial noisemakers; backpacks, bags, carryalls and totes; banners, flags or signs attached to sticks or poles; bottles, cans, containers, coolers; pets of any kind; tobacco products; umbrellas; and weapons of any kind.


Information on alumni events and tickets associated with the Cortaca Jug game is available on the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association Cortaca Jug page.


Any remaining tickets available after the student, faculty and staff pickup will be sold online Sunday, Oct. 28, beginning at noon. The website for that sale will be posted at a later date.


The game will be televised live on Time Warner Cable Sports in the Cortland and Ithaca areas. More details will be released later.

Time Warner's broadcast also will be available as an Internet webcast.

The game will be broadcast live on both WXHC (101.5 FM) in Cortland and Central New York and WICB (91.7 FM) in Ithaca. Both of those radio broadcasts will be simulcast on the Internet.

Roundtable Talk Looks into Outer Space

space_WEB.jpg 11/02/2012

For those who want to hit the snooze button on the subject of outer space, Brice Smith would ask them to consider a world without smartphones, television sets and geographic information system (GPS) devices.

Smith, an associate professor and chair of the College’s Physics Department, will discuss the topic in “Beyond 2012: A New Space Odyssey,” on Thursday, Nov. 1, during a Community Roundtable at SUNY Cortland.

Smith will speak at 8 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room. A question-and-answer session will follow. Refreshments will precede the lecture at 7:45 a.m.

Sponsored by the College President’s Office, the Community Roundtable is free and open to the public.

The talk looks at a topic many miles above sea level but one of significant importance: outer space.

“From the retirement of the space shuttle fleet to the launch by SpaceX of the first commercial space flight to the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, the future of both human and robotic space exploration is changing rapidly and in profound ways,” according to the talk’s abstract.

A world with smartphones, televisions and GPS devices is only possible with outer space, according to Smith. All of them rely on space and satellite reception to operate efficiently and effectively.

The exploration of outer space is more important now than ever before, given its potential for civilians and the military, Smith said.

“I’m going to talk about missile defense because it’s something that still comes up and it’s one of those points that is not as understood as it should be in terms of what it means for the future of space, particularly with respect to the possibility of anti-satellite warfare, which I don’t think gets a lot of attention,” said Smith, who has generated several articles and presentations related to nuclear weapons.

“Mostly, I am going to talk about the civilian roles of space, how NASA’s mission is changing and also where we’re at and what people are thinking about where we should go.”

Smith said he intends to “give people a sense of where we are, the changes likely to happen, and the different visions that people have for what NASA’s next action should be.”

The topic also proves important given the Nov. 6 presidential election. Each candidate has a different plan for space exploration, Smith said. The path that U.S. space exploration takes will depend on the candidate who wins the election, he contends.

Smith joined the College as an assistant professor in 2006 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009. He also served as a visiting faculty member at Cornell University from 2008 to 2012. Prior to coming to SUNY Cortland, he worked at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Md., from 2003 to 2006.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Washington University in St. Louis and a doctorate in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Community Roundtable series provides programs on diverse intellectual, regional and cultural topics of interest to College faculty, staff and community members. Two more roundtables are scheduled this academic year. They will take place on the first Thursdays of April and May.

Parking in the Park Center lot is open to the public during the roundtables. For more information, contact the President’s Office at (607) 753-5453.

Web Connects Student to Election Discussion

google_plus_logo.jpg 10/23/2012

When a national honor society needed a select group of tuned-in political science majors to join an interactive discussion on the 2012 elections, one of the students it called was a promising SUNY Cortland senior.

Douglas Scott, a political science major from Candor, N.Y., was one of six students nationwide who conversed with forecasting expert and University at Buffalo Professor James Campbell. Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for political science, organized the event.

The discussion arena was a half-hour Google Plus Hangout — a video chat essentially — that saw each student participant ask Campbell two questions related to the upcoming elections.

Pi Sigma Alpha Google Plus Hangout
SUNY Cortland senior Douglas Scott participated
in a Google Plus Hangout with Pi Sigma Alpha
Executive Director James Lengle, left, and 
University at Buffalo Professor James Campbell.

The online conversation took place Oct. 16.

“It went very well, especially considering this was (Pi Sigma Alpha’s) first time doing something like this,” said Scott, who was recommended for the discussion by SUNY Cortland Distinguished Service Professor Robert Spitzer.

The idea for the Google Plus Hangout came from The New York Times, which has used the social medium to connect its readers with high-ranking officials.

“It was great to have access to Dr. Campbell,” said Scott, who asked questions related to the polarization of voters since 1996. “I thought his answers were enlightening.”

Campbell, a professor of political science and a past president of Pi Sigma Alpha, fielded questions about the presidential election as well as U.S. Senate races, Scott said. Earlier in the day, Campbell participated in a panel session at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on the topic of forecasting elections.

The college students asking the questions came from universities across the country and represented both major political parties, Scott said.

“Both sides were well-represented, which was nice,” he said. “And the questions never seemed to push on partisan issues in the way they were asked.”

Scott, who hopes to pursue a Master of Public Administration at Binghamton University after he graduates from SUNY Cortland, boasts the highest grade point average in the College’s Zeta Delta chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha. Formed in 1970, Cortland’s chapter was one of the first to be established among political science departments in the SUNY system.

AmeriCorps Plans Energy Conservation Day

Compact_flourescent_WEB.jpg 10/23/2012

SUNY Cortland AmeriCorps members and volunteers will deliver a little light bulb that carries a big message on Saturday, Oct. 27.

On that day, the College’s “Make a Difference Day,” they will team up with the College’s Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) and Sustainable Cortland to distribute 500 energy-efficient light bulbs and educational packets to City of Cortland residents.

“If all 500 homes installed the compact florescent bulbs from their energy packet, $5,264 would be saved annually and 47,190 pounds, or 23.6 tons, of carbon dioxide emissions would be avoided, the equivalent of taking four cars off the road or saving 592 trees,” said Sara Watrous, an AmeriCorps member at Sustainable Cortland and an event organizer. Her information came from Douglas Roll, the College’s energy manager, who serves on the Campus Climate Action Plan Committee.

The “Light It Up Cortland” event begins at 10 a.m. at Main Street SUNY Cortland, 9 Main St., with refreshments, registration and a line-up of speakers on the topic of living sustainably — how to save energy, save money and reduce one’s carbon “footprint.”

A collaborative effort between the College and community to promote energy efficiency and conservation by city residents, the celebration continues at 11 a.m., when volunteers will take to the streets for two hours of door-to-door awareness building and distributing light bulbs and information to 500 city dwellings.

“I hope to have 50 volunteers visiting homes in the community on Saturday,” said Watrous. “Many of them will be AmeriCorps volunteers and SUNY Cortland students.”                

Each of the 500 homes will receive:

• one compact florescent light bulb (CFL);

 • a variety of educational materials, including: an “Energy Action at Home” workbook from the New York State Energy Efficiency and Development Agency (NYSERDA);

• information regarding public transportation and the new Cortland 211 system from Seven Valleys Health Coalition; and,

• information from the Chamber of Commerce on buying locally to save energy and support local businesses.

The speakers at the 10 a.m. event will include:

• Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton of Assembly District 125, who will give a global perspective on needing to take action to conserve energy, protect the environment, and plan for the future;

• Barbara Henza of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cortland, who will outline the actions individuals can take for energy efficiency and the benefits of CFLs;

• Jonathan Wood of Green Sun Solar, who will discuss advances in solar energy;

• Frank Kelly, who is co-chair of the City of Cortland’s Environmental Advisory Committee. He will discuss the need to promote energy conservation in the city; and,

• Janeille Franzenburg, an AmeriCorps member with the Seven Valleys Health Coalition, who will speak on public transportation and the new 211 system.

 The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin will provide closing remarks before sending out the volunteers.

The overall goal of this citywide campaign is to reduce energy use of Cortland households.

“In light of ‘A Campus Conversation on Climate Change’ that took place on Oct. 3 at SUNY Cortland, we are excited to take to the streets and educate residents about energy conservation,” Watrous said.

“It was my idea to apply this to Cortland but it’s something that Cornell University and the Cooperative Extension did for a ‘Day of Service’ among 1,200 homes in Tompkins County about two years ago,” she said.

‘Make a Difference’ day is a national day of service that was conceived of as a volunteer day to promote sustainability in Cortland by ICE Director Richard Kendrick.

“We are proud to be working with Cortland Wholesale Electric to purchase the Compact Florescent Light Bulbs,” Watrous added. The company offered a reasonable price for the merchandize and the “Light It Up Cortland” group was pleased to work with a local business.

“This is the first energy efficiency educational event that Sustainable Cortland has done, although the group has organized a number of educational programs,” she said.

For more information, e-mail or call the Institute for Civic Engagement at (607) 753-4271.

VP Earns “40 Under 40” Distinction

kim_pietro.jpg 10/23/2012

SUNY Cortland Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kimberly Pietro has been tapped as one of Central New York’s “40 Under 40” winners, a distinction reserved for 40 of the area’s brightest individuals who are 39 years old or younger.

Pietro, 35, will be recognized Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the “40 Under 40” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at the Oncenter in Syracuse. The luncheon benefits 40 Below, a non-profit organization of young professionals and community members dedicated to revitalization in Central New York.

“I’m humbled, to say the least,” Pietro said. “Although this is an individual honor, I think it really speaks to the type of people we have working at SUNY Cortland — hard-working, ambitious, civic-minded — from President Erik J. Bitterbaum on down. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really talented people in my career and that certainly has held true in my brief time at the College.”

According to the “40 Under 40” award description, the honor recognizes “individuals who have excelled in the workplace and in the community. This group demonstrates diverse backgrounds, experiences and skills; they thrive on active community involvement and appreciate the importance of their role in advancing public good.”

Pietro joined the College in June and oversees all of SUNY Cortland’s efforts in alumni relations, fundraising, government affairs, public relations and print and electronic communications.

A member of the College’s five-person President’s Cabinet, the institution’s primary leadership team, Pietro also serves as executive director of the Cortland College Foundation Board. She oversees SUNY Cortland’s Educating Champions: The Campaign for Cortland fundraising initiative, a bold initiative to raise $25 million to support the College’s institutional goals, as well as a 37-member staff.

Prior to joining SUNY Cortland, Pietro served as the associate vice president for development at Onondaga Community College. In that role, she helped the college raise the $7.5 million goal set by its Reach Beyond capital campaign. She was responsible for several complex projects related to fundraising, sponsorship opportunities related to the college’s SRC Arena and corporate and foundation partnerships.

Pietro worked at Le Moyne College from 2001 to 2010, rising through the positions of assistant director and director of annual giving to become director of major and planned giving. In her most senior role, her work was instrumental in the college’s $50 million Achieving New Heights capital campaign.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University of South Carolina, where she was a first-team All-American and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in softball in 1999. After graduation, Pietro served as an assistant softball coach at Syracuse University.

She holds a Master of Science in Higher Education from Syracuse University and a Master of Business Administration from Le Moyne College.

Funny Alum Finds Way into TV Spots

rj_kelly_2.jpg 10/18/2012

R.J. Kelly III ’87 gets paid for taunting children. He also gets laughs. Lots of them.

Kelly, a former SUNY Cortland hockey player, is perhaps best known as the ever-smiling and loveably sleazy corporate guy on the Ally Bank commercials. He offers wide-eyed little kids ponies, toy trucks and other goodies, only to steal them away to make a point about the dangers of fine print.

In his current commercial for AT&T, Kelly plays an adoring dad watching his daughter do ballet on a new HTC One smart phone. The charming, video version of the dancing tot is clearly preferable to the real-life daughter, who viewers learn is in time out.

Nicknamed ‘Hollywood’ as a student, the tirelessly aspiring actor should serve as an inspiration to any SUNY Cortland classmate who was more likely to be spotted roughhousing on the playing fields or wolfing down food in the cafeteria than melting into the furniture of the Memorial Library all-night study room.

“I had the best time here,” Kelly said of the College in a recent telephone interview. He spent two years on the varsity hockey team, played club rugby and invented some sports of his own.

“We used to play full-contact Nerf basketball at my friend’s house,” Kelly said, recalling contests that bordered on brawls at the off-campus apartment of Gary Madura ’88. “Somehow, the thing was seven feet in the air. And I remember going past him and just nailing it, and putting my foot against the wall to jump off against it. And my foot went right through his wall. And I said, ‘Well, see you later dudes.’ That was one you really couldn’t fix with toothpicks.”

Family and professional obligations have kept Kelly, a Darien, Ct., native, bouncing from coast to coast since graduation, and he’s showing no sign of slowing down yet. In addition to being a familiar face in commercials, this summer he had a small, recurring role as a Secret Service agent in the USA Network’s limited-series drama “Political Animals,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Ellen Burstyn.

But if his buddies from the hockey team ever get together on campus, Kelly said he’d find some time for a return trip to Cortland.

“I had a great core group of friends I still keep in touch with and get together with a couple times a year,” Kelly said. “I’ve never been back, but last year I contacted the hockey coach to see if there would be a hockey team reunion at Cortland sometime.”

He recalls times at Cortland when his stomach depended on the kindness of classmates.

“I remember running out of my meal plan points, and running out of them so early. The girls in the dorm would always eat less than the men and would be dieting, and so you would get one of them to run down with you to use some of their meal points on you.”

Kelly can turn most topics into amusing stories. That includes his less-than-stellar academic record.

“After graduation I had dreams, or rather nightmares, for about six years that I didn’t graduate,” Kelly confided. “I’d run in and look at my graduation certificate and breathe a sigh of relief.”

A dutiful son, Kelly had fulfilled his father’s wish that Kelly major in economics, a subject he despised. In return, his parents supported his decision to attend SUNY Cortland, which meant the Connecticut family had to pay a relatively hefty, out-of-state tuition rate.

Kelly is quick to admit he just squeaked through, usually taking only four classes at a time and unable to transfer his French language business credits for one year’s worth of study in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. While abroad, he also played on a business-sponsored, semi-pro hockey team.

“I loved my English classes,” Kelly said. “But I’m awful at numbers, at all math and I just hated economics. My final class was in finance, and I needed it to graduate. I went in and got extra help from my professor, Timothy Phillips, and I took the test. I even wrote on the test ‘I don’t know what I got here, it feels like a B, but I need to get out of here. I cannot stay here any more. I’ve been here almost seven years.’

“I got my B. I graduated.

“It was a great education,” added Kelly, a prep school graduate from Hampton School of New Hampshire. He said he thinks the College stacked up well against any private university he might have attended instead.

Right after graduation, Kelly tried to make a living with his voice and engaging, guy-next-door persona. First he sold telephone yellow page ad space in the Connecticut area.

“I couldn’t stand it,” Kelly said. “You know why? Because I hate selling people (stuff) they don’t want and they don’t need.”

But he made some good friends there.

“I goofed around and kept in touch with them enough that they knew I wanted to do acting. So through them is how I got my first job acting. I had started taking classes in improvised acting at Circle Repertory Theatre.”

Before it closed in 1996, this long-lived Manhattan experimental theatre had trained a long list of eventually famous playwrights and actors. The list includes writers David Mamet, Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams and actors Alec Baldwin, Olympia Dukakis, Laurence Fishburne, Ed Harris, Timothy Hutton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christine Lahti, John Malkovich, Demi Moore, Mary-Louise Parker and Gary Sinise.

Kelly’s first job acting in a commercial was considerably less respectable; an advertisement for Oasis, an establishment that he carefully referred to as a “burlesque bar.”

“I told my dad, ‘Hey, I got a job.’ And he said, ‘Don’t do it. It would be a big mistake.’ I thought it was going to be a really tasteful ad, with me strolling along the beach.

“Cut to — a cheesy trailer that said, ‘It’s no oasis!’ — with me at the bar with the girls dancing and me eating. Of course they wanted to make like it’s a great place to eat, so I’m eating a sandwich while girls are dancing onstage.

“So that was my first commercial,” Kelly said. “And it lasted about five minutes, because it aired during the March madness basketball tournament and everyone started calling the station to say, ‘Take this off the air, I’ve got kids watching.’”

Kelly built his early acting credentials with performances in regional television commercials, voice-overs and small roles in soap operas.

He moved to Los Angeles hoping the proximity to Hollywood would pay off. Between endless auditions and the ad assignments he was able to pick up, he worked as a carpenter to support his growing family: his wife, Jackie; a son, Robert Jackson Kelly IV, 10; and a daughter, Erin Patricia, 5.

Kelly got a big break when he met Hank Perlman, director and owner of Hungry Man Productions, when he shot the video for MLB 2006, a video game about Major League Baseball.

“The director, Hank Perlman of Hungry Man Productions, is a great guy, a great director,” Kelly said. “Afterward, Perlman said, ‘You’re funny. I’d love to work with you again. People have said I’m funny and they’ve never called me back. Hank calls me all the time for auditions. I owe a lot to Hank. Then the Ally Bank ad campaign came up with eight national spots and I booked it.” Since then, I have shot 16 nationals with him.”

The advertising industry considers the eight-ad Ally Bank series to be groundbreaking. Analysts have dissected the effectiveness of the ads, which show indignant young children being hoodwinked, one by one, through the fine print and gimmicks foisted on them by Kelly, acting in the role of “The Other Banks.”

In each, an ordinary-looking child is either cheated during a “fun” activity like hide-and-seek or during a giveaway of childhood booty ranging from candy eggs to real-life ponies. The catch is always the “fine print” or hidden fees.

The tots express genuine, remarkably adult outrage in reaction to Kelly’s bait-and-switch behavior. One child is offered a pony and seems satisfied when she is handed a small, plastic replica. Then a second child is delighted when Kelly chirrups and a live pony ambles up to her. “You didn’t say I had to ask for a real pony,” the first girl remarks with a look of sharp disapproval.

“What it was, A, was a genius campaign,” Kelly said. “And B, the way Hank filmed it was great. He put a little ear bud microphone in my ear and there were hidden cameras for a ‘Candid Camera’ style filming. So the kids’ reactions were real and that’s why they were so great. I had a lot of latitude there, too.

“So (Perlman) would just say to me, ‘Walk them down, start whenever you want.’ Then he’d say, ‘OK, reset’ and he’d whisper suggestions into my ear. He has really great ideas to make things funny and funnier. Each time I reset the action, she would think, ‘I’ve got to get the horse this time, he can’t be that big a jerk.’ That’s where you’d get the real reaction.”

In addition to Ally Bank, Kelly has had roles in national ads for Lowe’s, Trident Layers Gum, a Time Warner Cable spot with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmy Johnson for Certain-Dri, Hershey Chocolate, Sony PlayStation and commercials for Sears, Motorola, Dodge Magnum station wagon, Frito-Lay and AT&T. He also performed in commercials for the Maryland Lottery, a Japanese commercial for Nikko Cordial shot with Ichiro Suzuki of the New York Yankees, and a Memphis Cigarettes print ad for the European market.

On television, he has played the part of Frank Jones on the soap opera “One Life to Live” and was on the cast of the “Pelican Park” children’s TV show.

He took to the New York City stage to portray Devlin in the Crescent Theatre Company production of the edgy Harold Pinter play, “Ashes to Ashes.”

Kelly can imitate the accents and vocal tones of a polished business executive, an American or Australian cowboy, a California “dude,” and a wonder-struck, engaging children’s storyteller. His voiceover credits include advertisements for Best Western, Friendly’s Restaurants, Ski Doo, Bombardier snowmobiles, Toyota, Drive Time, the American Heart Association, Wheel of Fortune, PNC Bank and Delta Dental.

He visits Manhattan for auditions regularly and travels to Los Angeles several times a year to meet with film executives.

“We were in California for five years or so, and then (five years ago) we moved back to Connecticut because my mom was dying,” Kelly said. “Within a week, we put our house on the market and rented an RV.”

Kelly reclaimed his roots nearby his hometown of Darien, in Wilton, Ct.

During an extended acting dry spell, when Jackie, a schoolteacher, was home on maternity leave, Kelly started his own landscaping business serving the Wilton area.

“I called my son when he was about three and told him, I need to start a new company and I need a name,” Kelly said. “And he said, ‘I know, you should call it, “Jackson and Dad’s.”’ He even drew the card. It’s funny, it’s great. So we still have the company going.”

Today the company has 30 steady clients and three employees.

“I’m still going to keep that because it’s good money and I can keep the guys working,” Kelly said. “I’ve got a guy to run out and take a picture of the site and I do estimates and get to go out and shake hands sometimes. It runs. I want a job where I can go to the city anytime. And cutting grass is not rocket science.”

Not long ago, while emceeing a local charity event, something Kelly is sometimes asked to do, he met Dina Berlanti, the event co-producer. Dina is the sister of television writer, producer and director Greg Berlanti, whose credits include executive producer of “Dawson’s Creek,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Eli Stone,” “No Ordinary Family” and one of Kelly’s new favorite shows “Arrow.” Kelly contacted Berlanti to express admiration for his work, and was invited to Los Angeles for introductions and auditions in several upcoming television dramas.

“Greg took the time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. He is an incredible person.”

Kelly, who was keenly interested in increasing his television drama role credits, tried out for two of Berlanti’s productions before he got the call from Warner Brothers for a part in “Political Animals.”

“I had a recurring role as the personal bodyguard of the ex president, played by Ciaran Hinds,” he said.

The first televised segment aired on July 15 and the series ran through Aug. 19 with Kelly appearing in four episodes.

Kelly still plays hockey. In recent winters, he’s played it on a backyard ice rink with mostly middleclass companions like those he grew up with, firefighters, police officers and other working people. The backyard, however, is owned by someone who’s not so ordinary: actor and comedian Denis Leary.

“Great guy, obviously funny. Loves hockey!” Kelly said.

“He was not a SUNY Cortland grad, but you know who worked with him all the time was (the late actor, director and producer) Ted Demme (’85),” Kelly said. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Ted, but he directed Denis in ‘The Ref’ and ‘No Cure for Cancer.’”

Six degrees of Cortland.

Kelly emceed a charity event in July to raise money for a local teen center and was one of many area celebrities to show up and help out with National Hockey League player Ryan Shannon’s “Big Assist,” which helps support people with spinal cord injuries.

“When someone asks, I find it very hard to say no to any charity,” Kelly said. “I wrote a few jokes to announce the starting line up NHL players. I brought my son, Jackson, to the ‘Big Assist’ and he was in heaven getting autographs from the hockey players. It feels good to help as little as I did for that event; walking in and making a few jokes. If I can help keep things funny, that’s great.”

Cherokee Scholar to Discuss Children’s Books

Childrensbooks_WEB.jpg 11/02/2012

A child’s cultural education begins in part in the pages of a children’s book, according to Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi.

A Cherokee, she has focused her research on stereotyping throughout American history. Her work on the subject of children’s books and their impact on the cultural development of children has been published over the past several decades.

A doctoral student in American and transnational studies at University at Buffalo, Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi will discuss “Communicating Cultural Invisibility in Children’s Literature” on Thursday, Nov. 1, at SUNY Cortland.

The talk will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 201. The event is sponsored by the Campus Artist and Lecture Series and the Faculty Development Center. The program is geared to faculty and staff, educators and future educators. Families with children are welcome.

Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, a pan-indigenous association seeking to ensure that the voices of indigenous and Hispanic peoples in the Americas are heard throughout the world.

Her message about culture is a universal one: understanding begins with becoming more aware of what our children are taught and the influence children’s literature has on society.

“Based on assumptions of the universality of values and Euro-western culture epitomizing societal achievement, children’s books dating back to the early 1700s have been designed to educate and socialize America’s youth by exposing youths to diverse cultures and experiences,” she said.

“Stories about indigenous peoples and cultures remain popular throughout the history of children’s literature,” Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi said. “However, since the civil rights movement parents and educators have raised concerns about the perpetuation of damaging stereotypical depictions and inaccurate depiction of traditional gender roles more in line with Euro-western social norms than indigenous cultures. Calls for greater accuracy and authentic inclusion have met with unexpected resistance and inequity in representation, despite indigenous authors entering into the realm of publishing children’s books.”

The presentation will examine indigenous storylines and imagery in selected historical and contemporary children’s books written by indigenous and non-indigenous authors. Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi will make, as proposed by Edward Said, a comparative close reading against the grain of authors and illustrators’ handling of both text and visuals, as well as the intended audience, in order to expose areas of stories where the Indigenous perspective or participation has been erased or “sanitized.”

This contrastive analysis also uses Debbie Reese’s indigenizing methodology in exploring ways indigenous themes, characters and cultures can be (re)envisioned in children’s literature. Such a restoration would serve to advance children’s knowledge of diverse cultures and enhance social justice.

“As Eleanor Roosevelt once noted, it is not possible to comprehend the world from a single viewpoint,” Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi said. “In order to become good world leaders, she insisted that Americans must first come to understand the people who comprised our own nation. Understanding begins with becoming more aware of what our children are taught and the influence children’s literature has on society.”

Adare-Tasiwoopa ápi has conducted research for an education film for Educational Fundamentals, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY Empire State College and a Master of Arts in Indigenous Nations Studies from the University of Kansas.

She received a Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship. She also won a grant from the Mark Diamond Research Fund for work on her dissertation.

For more information, contact Linda Rosekrans, lecturer in English, at (607) 423-7883.


Karate Program Marks 35th Year

Karate-1-91_WEB.jpg 10/23/2012

For 35 years, a unique SUNY Cortland recreational sport program has helped hundreds of students and community members improve their discipline, concentration, physical fitness and self-esteem.

It’s also made each of them the wrong person to attack in a dark alley.

Patricia Roiger, a faculty member at the College, has been a student of the program for four years. “I think that every young woman on campus should learn Washin Ryu. The self defense aspect gave me more confidence,” said Roiger about this form of karate. “It has taught me to better understand my own body and strengths.”

The College’s Washin Ryu program this year is celebrating 35 years of practice on campus. This form of karate ¾ which takes a holistic approach to integrating mind and body, philosophy and self-defense ¾ was originally founded in Japan by martial arts master Hidy Ochiai, who brought it the United States in the 1960s. Ochiai, who has trained with Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee and has been practicing the art for almost 46 years, launched a string of karate schools and programs headquartered in the Binghamton, N.Y. area.

Locally, Washin Ryu is offered to SUNY Cortland students, staff and faculty as well as residents of the surrounding community. Washin Ryu combines physical self-defense training with mental exercises and spiritual awareness.

karate - group observation
Instructor Todd McAdam demonstrates a self-defense technique on brown belt Antonio Triana as Matthew Dearie, Brady Pennock, Michael Dearie and Dave Pennock look on. 

“What got me interested in the Washin Ryu program is my son, who takes the class as well. He was being bullied in middle school, so we started as a family,” Roiger said. “If you had asked me 10 or 20 years ago, I never would have expected myself to be doing this. Now, I have learned so much and I know that I am able to protect myself.”

“In order to succeed at this particular martial art you need focus, concentration, discipline,” said Todd McAdam, the instructor of SUNY Cortland’s Washin Ryu program. “These are things that benefit any student anywhere. I have three college-age students. The discipline and focus they are taught will carry them through not just academically but professionally as well.”

Martial arts training, according to McAdam, is a lifelong pursuit for instructors as well as novices.

sparring match

Dave Pennock, right, works with blue belt Patricia Roiger on a self-defense technique. In the upper left image, instructor Todd McAdam, left, demonstrates a move with brown belt Antonio Triana.

“What I find is like any college professor, in order to teach my students I have to constantly work at it to get better myself,” he said. “I have to answer their questions and demonstrate the techniques effectively.”

SUNY Cortland’s Washin Ryu classes are a major component of the Recreational Sports Department’s non-credit instruction program. They meet twice a week and cost $75 a semester for faculty and students. The program costs $100 a semester for community residents, said Julian Wright, director of recreational sports at the College.

“We keep the cost low to make sure it’s available to any student who wants to participate,” Wright said.

The Washin Ryu class trains from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays in the Park Center dance studios. Registration forms for Washin Ryu Karate are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Recreational Sports office, Park Center, Room 1120.


Scholar Rachel Lehr to Discuss Afghan Culture

Afghan_boy_WEB.jpg 11/16/2012

Rachel Lehr says Afghan women are much less liberated than American women.

“They value interdependence rather than the independence which we value in American culture,” said Lehr, a research scholar and educator of Afghan culture and civility with 25 years of experience in the Middle East.

“So many things are different,” Lehr said. “They have different world views, values, histories …. almost every aspect of life.”

Lehr will speak about the role of women in public and private life in Afghanistan on Thursday, Nov. 15, at SUNY Cortland. Her talk, “Women Mending Afghanistan,” begins at 7 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of the College’s yearlong “In/Common” event series presented by the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC). The “In/Common” series includes a number of book readings, film screenings and discussion topics all focusing on the common humanity shared by peoples across the globe as well as their ethnic and socio-economic divides.

The discussion will bring attention to aspects of Afghan culture underrepresented in the 2003 novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner.

“By the women being isolated at home, their language and culture is preserved,” Lehr offered as one example of the difference between Afghan and western women.

Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, she has technical expertise in areas of international development. Her two-and-a-half decades of experience have included a research focus on the Middle East, Central Asia and Afghanistan, with extensive field experience in linguistics and ethnography of Afghanistan/ Pakistan.

“I have used my knowledge of the culture in educating American diplomats to prepare for their tour in the Middle East,” Lehr said.

She works with Afghan women through Rubia, a New Hampshire-based, non-profit organization that helps Afghan women translate their craft heritage and textile skills into sustainable livelihoods and economic development opportunities.

Lehr said she became interested in these cultures due to a personal life experience and her undergraduate study of the languages. She chose to become an educator because of what she encountered during the time spent with women of these cultures and her interest in their differences with Americans.

The lecture is funded by the offices of the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; the Brooks Museum; and the James M. Clark Center for International Education.

More information on Rachel Lehr and the Rubia non-profit organization is available at For more information regarding the series’ events, contact Scott Moranda, chair of the CICC and an associate professor of history, at (607) 753-2052.

African American Gospel Musical Festival Set

GospelChoirphoto2012_WEB.jpg 12/05/2012

A sample of gospel music straight from the heart of the nation’s capital will sound through the Corey Union Function Room during the 27th SUNY Cortland African American Gospel Music Festival on Sunday, Nov. 4.

This year’s festival, featuring six other choirs from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Function Room, will include as a newcomer the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) Syracuse Chapter.

Founded by the late renowned gospel artist, Rev. James Cleveland, the GMWA has served as a platform where many of today’s great gospel artists pursued their fledgling aspirations. The Syracuse chapter’s mission and goals include enhancing and developing music talent and other arts in Syracuse.

Joan Hillsman
Joan Hillsman 

The ensemble is directed by Joan Hillsman, the retired supervising director of music for the Washington, D.C. public schools and emeritus professor of music and director of the Bowie State Gospel Choir. Hillsman moved to Syracuse in 2009, after having influenced D.C. music for more than 45 years. In Syracuse, she has served on the Mayors Transitional Team for the Arts in Syracuse and is the music consultant and presenter for Syracuse University’s “Say Yes To Education” program.

She is the author of several books, most recently, Gospel Music: An African American Artform (McGraw Hill Publishers). More information about Hillsman can be found online at

Each choir is asked to offer both a choir and an a cappella selection, and all seven choirs will raise their voices as one in celebration for the popular finale.

The event is open to the public. Tickets, with proceeds to support the Gospel Choir Scholarship and Programming Funds, are $3 for students and $5 for general admission. Children under 12 are admitted free.

SUNY Cortland Student Government Association (SGA) President Leigh Marie Weber and Vice President Erin Durgin, both choir members, will extend a welcome on behalf of the College. Vicki Johnson, SUNY Cortland Protestant chaplain, will deliver the invocation. A reception in the Function Room will immediately follow the festival.

The guest choirs include the Le Moyne College Voices of Power of Syracuse, directed by Burnell Reid; the Binghamton University Gospel Choir, directed by Shanice Hodge and Jessica Davis; the SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir, with Robert Short as director; and Syracuse University’s Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, led by Byron F. Canada.

Also featured will be the two host choirs, SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir, and Cortland A Cappella. Directing Cortland’s gospel choir will be Robert Brown, a SUNY Cortland adjunct instructor in Africana Studies. Brown also teaches music at Blodgett Elementary School in Syracuse, N.Y., and serves as music director of the New Life Community Church in Syracuse.

Cortland A Cappella is led by Noelle Chaddock Paley, who directs the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office at SUNY Cortland and teaches in the Philosophy and Africana Studies departments.

Choir musicians are Andy Rudy, keyboard; Benjamin Terry, percussion; and Reginald Seigler, bass guitar; all of Syracuse. On alto saxophone is Jamie Yaman of Cortland.

Gospel Choir officers for the current academic school year are: Deston Hudson, president, a junior sociology major from Westchester, N.Y.; Jocelyn Jones, vice president, a sophomore adolescence education: French and Spanish major from Auburn, N.Y.; Erin Kaminska, secretary, a senior communication studies major from Skaneateles, N.Y.; and Courtney Hyndman, treasurer, a junior early childhood education major from Putnam Valley, N.Y. Other officers are public relations co-directors Loren Arrington, a junior communication studies major from Rensselaer, N.Y., and Michelle Fraser, a senior speech and hearing science major from Scotia, N.Y.; Melody Byron, tour manager, a senior communication studies major from Bay Shore, N.Y.; and Hannah Greene, SGA representative, a junior history major from Buffalo, N.Y.

Gospel Choir and Cortland A Cappella are a part of the College’s Africana Studies Department. The Choir is supported by the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, the Alumni Affairs Office, the Cortland College Foundation, the Division of Student Affairs, the offices of the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the student activity fee.

For more information about performances, tickets and special assistance, contact Deston Hudson; Robert Brown; Deborah Dintino; or Seth Asumah.

‘In/Common’ Series Continues with Discussion, Film

Exploring topics that raise questions about the common humanity shared by peoples across the globe, as well as their ethnic and socio-economic divides, is the theme of the College’s year-long In/Common series, which continues on Nov. 6 and 8.

A discussion of The Kite Runner will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. This work of fiction tells the story of two friends kept apart by ethnic and class differences. SUNY Cortland faculty members who are using the book written by Khaled Hosseini in their classrooms will guide the conversation.

Siddiq Barmak’s 2003 film “Osama” will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, in Sperry Center, Room 105. "Osama," the first film shot entirely in Afghanistan since 1996, tells the story of a girl living under the Taliban regime. The story allows audiences to reflect on Afghanistan’s economic and political upheaval and, in particular, gender politics in the years between the Soviet invasion in 1979 and NATO’s American-led invasion in 2001.

The series is the eighth organized by the College’s Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC) around a single theme. The events are free and open to the public.

The “In/Common” series is funded by the offices of the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

To stay current with announcements regarding the series’ events, visit the committee’s Facebook page. For more information, contact Scott Moranda, an associate professor of history and the chair of the CICC, at (607) 753-2052.

Suggest a feature story

Faculty/Staff Activities

Timothy J. Baroni

Timothy J. Baroni, Biological Sciences Department, co-authored a peer-reviewed paper recently published in the Argentinian journal Kurtziana. The article, “New Species and Records of Pouzarella (Agaricomyetes, Entolomataceae) from Northern Argentina/Nuevas especies y nuevas citas de Pouzarella (Agaricomyetes, Entolomataceae) del Norte Argentino,” was one of 13 invited scientific publications in an edited edition on mycological topics in South America. The publication was designed to honor Leif Ryvarden, University of Oslo, Norway, for his contributions to mycological research in South America over the past 40 years. The three co-authors, all from Argentina, included Edgardo Alberta of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Buenos Aires; Nicolas Niveiro, Instituto de Botánica del Nordeste, Sargento Cabral; and Bernardo Lechner, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Baroni and his colleagues’ paper on new species and rarely observed mushrooms of northern Argentina’s national parks and reserves came from a two-week expedition made last spring while Baroni was on sabbatical leave. Baroni had been invited as guest and collaborator to study the macrofungal diversity of several remote regions in the Yungas ecosystem of northern South America by Alberta. 

Mark Dodds

Mark Dodds, Sport Management Department, served as advisor to 40 SUNY Cortland students as they gained valuable experience working at the Empire State Marathon and Expo held Oct. 21 in Syracuse, N.Y. Sport management, kinesiology, Dartfish Club and Running Club students assisted with event management, video broadcasting, sponsorship analysis, video performance analysis and the event's green initiative. Seven students and Dodds ran either the half or full marathon.

Tom Lickona

Tom Lickona, Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, joined Howard Gardner of Harvard University, William Damon of Stanford University, and other psychologists and educators asked to advise the Harvard Graduate School of Education on its proposed initiative in social-emotional learning and character education. The educators met at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Sept. 25.

Gregg Weatherby

Gregg Weatherby, English Department, has announced that his third poetry collection, Approaching Home, will be released Feb. 1, 2013, from Finishing Line Press. The poems deal with his return to Cortland after several decades. Weatherby’s collection has received advanced reviews from notable authors, including poet, translator and editor Burt Kimmelman.

Submit your faculty/staff activity

The Bulletin is produced by the Communications Office at SUNY Cortland and is published every other Tuesday during the academic year. Read more about The Bulletin. To submit items, email your information to

© 2023 SUNY Cortland. all rights reserved.