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The Bulletin: Campus News for the SUNY Cortland Community

  Issue Number 14 • Tuesday, April 7, 2015  


Campus Champion

“‘Health’ means so much more than ‘physical wellness,’” Cathy Smith said, sharing the characteristic, twinkling smile familiar to countless students. During her 24 years at the College, Smith has spearheaded awareness efforts ranging from tobacco use to sexual assault. Retiring soon as health educator, Smith said she takes special pride in the grief support group she helped start soon after her arrival. “We live in a culture where we say, ‘Death shouldn’t happen,’” Smith said. “But we have a number of students dealing with the death of a loved one.” For caring so much about everyone she has touched, Smith truly will be missed.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, April 7

Film Series: “A Long Way Home,” (1997) as part of the Rubble Films: Classics of Post-1945 European Cinema, Sperry Center, Room 104, 7 p.m.

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

Take Back the Night March: Sexual Assault Awareness Week Event, Corey Union steps, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 8

Union Matters Chapter Meeting and Lunch: “Civility/Bullying in the Workplace,” Corey Union Function Room, buffet opens at 11:45 a.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “The Object at Work: Material Culture in the Service-Learning Writing Course,” by Geoff Bender, English Department, and John Suarez, Service-Learning Office, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Information Session: 2020 Information Resources Strategic Plan presentation, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 1:30-3 p.m. To preview the plan, the document is available at

Brooks Lecture Series: “Livable World/Livable Planet: The Social Aspects of Ecological Sustainability,” William Skipper, Sociology/Anthropology Department, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 4:30 p.m. A reception to welcome speakers begins at 4 p.m. in the Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

Presentation: “The Why, What and How of Project Based Learning (PBL),” Corey Union Function Room, 4-6 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday Series: “It’s On Us: Let’s Talk About It,” Sexual Assault Awareness and Programming Committee panel discussion, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 9

Sandwich Seminar: “Solitary Confinement in New York,” by Ute Ritz-Deutch, History Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Global Crisis Week Lecture: “The Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity and Ukraine’s Far East,” by Zenon Wasyliw from Ithaca College, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 7 p.m.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week Event: “Tim Collins and The Script,” a one-man show that examines rape culture, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

Global Crisis Week Panel Discussion: “ISIS Forum: A State of Crisis,” Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 7 p.m.

Educator’s Talk: “Politically Active Teacher? Me? Yes, You!” by Timothy D. Slekar, a founder of the national movement encouraging concerned parents to keep their children from participating in high stakes school testing, Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 10

Portfolio Development Workshop: Sponsored by the Provost's Office and the Faculty Development Center, Corey Union, Caleion Room, 9-10:30 a.m. RSVP to Susan Suben, Faculty Development Center

Performance: “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 11 

Spring Open House: Park Center Alumni Arena, 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m.

Green Days Event: FesTREEval! SUNY Cortland Green Reps will provide information about sustainability on campus and how to live a more sustainable life, Student Life Center, 1- 4 p.m.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week Event: “Build-A(wareness)-Bear, hosted by Safer, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 3-6 p.m.

Performance: “Legally Blonde,The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 12

Performance: “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 2 p.m.

Monday, April 13

Interviewing Etiquette Program For Educators: Corey Union Function Room, 5:30 p.m. Registration required, call Career Services at 607-753-4715

Tuesday, April 14

Information Session: 2020 Information Resources Strategic Plan presentation, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 10-11:30 a.m. Preview the plan at

Green Days Event: Campus Tobacco Litter Cleanup, meet at the Corey Union steps, 11:15 a.m. Continues until 1:15 p.m.

Green Days Film Screening: “Bag It,” a documentary that follows a man as he navigates the crazy, plastic world, where Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes. “Bag It” shows what people can do about it right now, Sperry Center, Room 104, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15

Wellness Wednesday Series Green Days Event: “Our Place in the Universe,” hosted by the Physics Department, includes a “night” star trek of the Earth’s universe, complete with constellation myths and cultural ties, in the new Bowers Hall Planetarium, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 16

Sandwich Seminar: “It’s On Us: Title IX, Sexual Violence Reporting, and Response,” by Nan Pasquarello, President’s Office, Mark DePaull, University Police Department, and Gemma Rinefierd, Student Conduct, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Green Days Poster Presentation: “Resources, Distribution and Food Scarcity," 1-2 p.m. and “Repurposing Waste and Auto Trip-tally Survey,” 2-3 p.m. Both sessions presented at Neubig Hall by students in the Writing Studies class.

Green Days Film Screening: “Genetically Modified Organisms,” sponsored by NYPIRG, Sperry Center, Room 104, 6 p.m.

Friday, April 17

2015 SUNY Cortland Sports Medicine Symposium: Open to professionals and students, Corey Union Function Room, registration by email to or day of event from 8:30-8:50 a.m.

Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference, keynote address, “From Physical Education to Kinesiology: Physical Activity for Quality of Life,” by Diane L. Gill ’70, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 12:30-1:20 p.m. followed by concurrent and poster sessions until 5:30 p.m., Sperry Center. Visit the Transformations Website at

Performance: “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 18

Honors Convocation: Park Center Alumni Arena, 7 p.m.

Performance: “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 19

Lose the Shoes Benefit Soccer Tournament: To aid in the fight against HIV and AIDS, 1 p.m.

Performance: “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” presented by the Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, April 21

Local Sustainability Lunch: hosted by the Auxiliary Services Corporation, Bistro Off Broadway in the Student Life Center

Poetry Reading: Michael Snediker, University of Houston, will give a poetry reading from his recent works, including the Apartment of Tragic Appliances and The New York Editions as part of the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee’s r/evolution series, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Lecture: Michael Snediker will give a lecture from his forthcoming manuscript, Contingent Figure: Aesthetic Duress from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, which reads disability theory and aesthetics across the long American 19th century. Snediker is also the author of Queer OptimismLyric Personhood and other Felicitous Persuasions, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 4:30-6 p.m.

Green Days Lecture: “Sustainability and Social Change,” by Dominic Frongillo, an international expert in building sustainable communities, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 7 p.m.

Open Mic Night: Corey Union Function Room, 7 p.m.

Transformations Set for April 17


Stem cell therapy, the effects of exercise intensity on memory and a historical analysis of Cortland during the Prohibition era represent just a few of the topics to be explored at Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference.

The annual academic event will again showcase SUNY Cortland’s best student research and creative work across all academic disciplines on Friday, April 17. The conference, now in its 19th year, takes place from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Sperry Center. It is free and open to the public.

Diane L. Gill ’70, a professor in the kinesiology department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and a former physical education major at the College, will kick off the event’s schedule with a keynote address at 12:30 p.m. Gill’s work focuses on the connections between psychology and physical activity.

Regular classes across campus will continue during the conference. Complimentary refreshments will be served from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Sperry Center first-floor food service area.

“Once again, this year’s conference will feature many transformational experiences that our students have had through their work with faculty on research and creative activity in a variety of settings: the laboratory, the studio, in the field or in the community,” said Bruce Mattingly, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Transformations Committee.

More than 60 projects and presentations represent the hands-on research and creative work that 116 SUNY Cortland students have been refining throughout the 2014-15 academic year. Transformations highlights student work at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as the meaningful working relationships those students share with faculty members. Every project featured at the event includes at least one faculty mentor.

Among this year’s many poster and presentation session titles:

  • “The Effect of Heroin Self-Administration on Perineuronal Nets Using an Animal Conflict Model of Abstinence and Relapse”
  • “Effect of Weight Loss on Wrestlers’ Mood and Motivation”
  • “Capturing Parents’ Perspectives for a Youth Needs Assessment”
  • “Moot Court Oral Argument Demonstration: Somerville and DeNolf v. Olympus”
  • “Determining the Impact of Road Salt Application to a Small Creek”
  • “The Impact of Media during Hurricane Katrina”
  • “Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Wounds in Racehorses”
  • “The Not-So-Dry Years of Prohibition in Cortland”
  • “How to Improve Students’ Working Memory”
  • “Getting It Up: Improving the HPV Vaccine Uptake Among Male College Students”
  • “Institutional Linkages to Foster Employment Through the Creation of New Business Enterprises”
  • “Writers Read: Performances from the Professional Writing Program”

Gill, the event’s keynote speaker, focuses on social psychology and physical activity with an emphasis on mental well-being. She has published more than 100 journal articles, several book chapters and her own scholarly text, Psychological Dynamics of Sport and Exercise.

She is the editor of the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal and previously served as editor of the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and Quest, a scholarly journal for higher education professionals in kinesiology and physical education. Gill also has led the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, the exercise and sport psychology division of the American Psychological Association and the research consortium of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

At UNCG, Gill has served as associate dean of the School of Health and Human Performance, head of the Exercise and Sport Science Department, and director of the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness. From 2010 to 2014 she was the Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to arriving at UNCG, Gill held positions at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, and the University of Iowa. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Transformations” was renamed from Scholars Day in 2011, when a special planning committee reorganized the event to reflect the College’s strategic priorities, which include achieving academic excellence and promoting transformational education.

Besides Mattingly, the Transformations Committee includes: Martine Barnaby, associate professor of art and art history; Phil Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology; Patricia Conklin, associate professor of biological sciences; Daniel Harms, associate librarian at Memorial Library; David Miller, distinguished teaching professor of geography; Lisa Mostert, media operations associate with Campus Technology Services; Charlotte Pass, associate professor of literacy; and Kevin Pristash, associate director of college union and conferences.

Transformations is supported by the President’s Office, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Office, and the Auxiliary Services Corporation. The Student Alumni Association provides volunteers for the event.

For more information, including the complete schedule of events, visit the Transformations web page or contact Mattingly at 607-753-4312.

Awareness Campaign Attacks Sexual Assault


 It’s on us, all of us – students, faculty and staff – to prevent sexual assault.

Throughout the month of April, members of the SUNY Cortland community will have numerous opportunities to learn about the issue and show their dedication to keeping all students safe from unwanted sexual contact.

The events start with tonight’s Take Back the Night March and end right before Spring Fling with the release of a student-produced video about how SUNY Cortland students can spot and stop sexual assault. All month long, students will be urged to educate themselves about the meaning of consent and sign the “It’s On Us” pledge to take action against sexual abuse.

“It’s On Us” is a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses. The campaign, launched by the White House last fall, asks men and women across the United States to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault.

Nationally, studies indicate that at least 1 in 5 women and one in 12 men experience unwanted sexual contact during their time in college. At SUNY Cortland, that would amount to hundreds of students every year.

“The numbers are unacceptable. It is critically important that all members of the campus community understand what constitutes affirmative consent,” said Nan Pasquarello, the College’s Interim Title IX coordinator. “We must all learn to identify potentially dangerous situations and intervene when we see something that doesn’t look right.”

Title IX, a law intended to fight sex discrimination, considers sexual assault an extreme form of discrimination. The coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the College’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in all the operations of this College. Reportable behaviors include sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence and sexual harassment.

As part of that effort, stickers providing resource information about sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment will begin to appear this month on the inside of bathroom stall doors in campus buildings. Based on similar programs at other colleges, the stickers will be gradually installed by campus work crews until they appear in every men’s and women’s restroom stall on campus.

Awareness events scheduled for April include:

Take Back the Night March

Part of a national awareness campaign against sexual violence.

Corey Union Corey Union Steps
Tuesday, April 7, 8-9 p.m.

Sponsored by SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape)

Wellness Wednesday Series "It's On Us: Let's Talk About It"

Panel discussion about sex assault prevention, communication and affirmative consent

Corey Union Room 220 - Exhibition Lounge
Wednesday, April 8, 7-8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Health Promotion Office and the Sexual Assault Awareness and Programming Committee (SAAPC)

 Sexual Assault Awareness Talk "SCRIPT" by Tim Collins

An award-winning, one-man play that explores male attitudes toward women and rape.

Sperry Center Room 205
Thursday, April 9, 7-9 p.m.

Sponsored by SAFER

SAFER – “Build-A(wareness)-Bear”

The first 100 students get to stuff a free bear and dress it with a SAFER shirt

Corey Union Room 220 - Exhibition Lounge
Saturday, April 11, 3-6 p.m.

Sponsored by SAFER

Sandwich Seminar: "It's On Us: Title IX, Sexual Violence Reporting, and Response"

Learn about the role Title IX plays in responding to sexual assault

Brockway Hall, Jacobus Lounge - Room 112
Thursday, April 16, 12-1 p.m.

Sponsored by President’s Office and Title IX Office

Take the “It’s On Us” Pledge

Students can take social-media selfies with the “It’s On Us” logo and sign the pledge to act against sexual violence. Watch a preview of the SUNY Cortland “It’s On Us” video.

Corey Union steps

Thursday, April 23, 12-4 p.m.

Friday, April 24, 12-4 p.m.

Sponsored by Residence Life and Housing and Sexual Health and Assault Prevention Educators (S.H.A.P.E.)

Capture the Moment


Jaclyn “Jackie” Collins, center, plays the lead character of Elle, the UCLA Malibu sorority girl headed off to Harvard Law in the Performing Arts Department’s presentation of “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” which opens this weekend at Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre. Cast members include Sarah Shaiman, left, as Margot, Catherine Skojec, top, as Serena, and Catie Young, right, as Pilar. Tickets for the first time may be purchased in advance online by credit card at and also will be sold at the Dowd Center box office one hour prior to the six performances, which continue through Sunday, April 19.

In Other News

Talk to Focus on Teacher Activism

Pencil_WEB.jpg 04/06/2015

As education policy debates grow louder both nationally and across New York state, SUNY Cortland will host a nationally respected educator who is calling for teachers to practice political activism on behalf of their profession.

Timothy D. Slekar, a founder of the national movement encouraging concerned parents to keep their children from participating in high stakes school testing, will share his thoughts Thursday, April 9.

Slekar’s talk, “Politically Active Teacher? Me? Yes, You!” takes place at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105. It is free and open to the public. Free parking also is available.


“Part of our role as one of the largest preparers of teachers in New York state is to foster and encourage dialogue on difficult issues related to education,” said Andrea Lachance, dean of SUNY Cortland’s School of Education. “Right now, the act of educating itself is at the heart of some of the most heated debates across the country.

“We felt it important to bring a speaker to campus who will not only bring a critical and national perspective on these issues, but will also encourage lively debate on topics of interest to all of us invested in education.”

Topics such as teacher evaluations, performance-based funding and job tenure continue to be points of contention between policy makers and teachers unions. Slekar’s talk suggests that political activism is difficult, but necessary, given that public schools serve as focal points for communities and help build the foundation of democracy. Slekar, dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis., often weighs in as an education policy analyst on radio and television and has appeared on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News.

He also hosts the “BustED Pencils: Fully Leaded Education Talk” blog and weekly podcast at His research has been published in top education journals that include Teacher Education Quarterly, Theory and Research in Social Education and Journal of Thought. He is a founding member of United Opt Out National, a non-profit organization that aims to eliminate high-stakes testing in schools.

Slekar earned a Ph.D. in social studies education from the University of Maryland at College Park while working with seventh- and eighth-grade teachers in Baltimore. His 24-year career in education began as a second-grade teacher in Williamsburg, Va. He also taught fifth grade in York, Pa., and served as a faculty member at Penn State Altoona.

For more information on Slekar’s talk, contact Alexis Abramo, the grants project manager for SUNY Cortland’s School of Education.

Musical ‘Legally Blonde’ Opens April 10

LegallyBlonde_group_WEB.jpg 04/07/2015

SUNY Cortland will be getting its pink on for six main stage performances of the hit Broadway musical “Legally Blonde, The Musical” starting Friday, April 10.

The College Performing Arts Department’s production will offer the bubbly, intelligent sorority girl Elle Woods as a character who parades through classrooms and courtrooms wearing suits in the distinctive color.

As in the book by Heather Hack and the popular 2001 Warner Brothers film upon which the musical is based, Elle — to be played by Jaclyn “Jackie” Collins, a senior from Bayville, N.Y. — will deliver the triple whammy of pink blonde bombshell upon audiences for four evening and two matinee shows in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.

Elle’s former boyfriend Warner Huntington III — portrayed by Benjamin Shimkus, a junior from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — will perform as the jerk who thought he had left Elle behind in Malibu, having wanted her to become more “serious.”

The evening shows begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 10; Saturday, April 11; Friday, April 17; and Saturday, April 18. The two Sunday matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on April 12 and April 19.

Ticket purchases have moved online for the first time. They may be bought in advance online by credit card at and also will be sold at the Dowd Center box office one hour prior to each performance. Ticket prices are $8 for all students and children, $15 for SUNY Cortland faculty, staff and senior citizens and $18 for general admission.

The Performing Arts Department joins a popular wave in bringing this musical to the theatre.

“The musical has only recently been available and a lot of colleges across the country are doing it,” said Kevin T. Halpin, who is directing and staging the College’s production.

“It’s a really good show for colleges to produce because it features a cast with contemporary ages to the students you have, and it’s got a really large female cast,” said Halpin, an associate professor of performing arts. “In most musical theatre programs, there tend to be more women than men, so ‘Legally Blonde’ gives more women the chances to shine.”

“Legally Blonde, The Musical,” with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, springs from a growing tradition of films adapted for the stage, Halpin said.

In the early days of film and stage, successful plays were made into movies and never the other way around, he noted.

“It’s kind of going the other way, to turn a movie into a play,” Halpin said. “But in the last decade or so, there’s been a big trend towards taking popular films and adapting them to stage versions, both musical and non-musical.”

The movement got its start with the 1960s-era Mel Brooks film “The Producers,” which Brooks adapted into the 2001 Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick that won a record-breaking 12 Tony awards.

“After that, there was ‘Young Frankenstein.’ Then ‘Shrek.’ Then all the Disney stuff,” such as Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ Halpin said.

“Now it’s very popular to take the big films and produce them as a Broadway play,” he said. “Right now, Disney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is being developed off Broadway and is slated to be produced on Broadway.”

The movement persists, despite some major flops in the genre, Halpin noted. One of the most notorious ones was a musical takeoff in the late 1980s on “Carrie,” the legendary Stephen King horror book and subsequent cult classic film.

“‘Legally Blonde, The Musical’ was very much a popular success,” Halpin said. “It found the great balance of not taking itself too seriously and bringing these characters to life musically on stage.

“They are great characters to play with and to let them get expanded into what it takes to be a force on stage. The musical flows on stage, it works really well. It’s just a lot of fun: nothing too heavy, not sad all the time, all very much about having a great time.”

“Legally Blonde” will be produced at SUNY Cortland by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. In addition to Halpin, the production staff includes Mark Abrahamson as stage manager, Preston Marye as technical director, Joel Pape overseeing lighting and sound design, Myra Giorgi as set designer, Mark Reynolds as costume designer and Josh Smith as music director. The scenic artist is Beth Gailor, assistant choreographer is Catherine Skojec, assistants to the director are Amber Johnson and Anna Starr, and assistant stage mangers are Emily Woods, Steffanie Chesnutt and Hayley Pytel.


Honors Convocation Set for April 18

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R. Lawrence Klotz, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences, will deliver the keynote address at SUNY Cortland’s annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 18.

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

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

Girish Bhat, the recipient of a SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence and Teaching, will hold the mace during the procession. Carrying the ceremonial gonfalons will be Kevin Pristash, director of student union; Peter Ducey, professor of biological sciences; Mary Ware, professor emerita of foundations and social advocacy; and Susan Rayl, associate professor of kinesiology. The reader for the ceremony will be Robert Spitzer, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and professor of political science.

R. Lawrence Klotz
R. Lawrence Klotz

Klotz, who has served the College for 36 years, will give an address titled “Our Global Experiment.” 

“I will talk about the changes that have occurred in greenhouse gas levels over a lifetime and what I have come to understand about global climate change by teaching about it,” said Klotz, who was honored with a 1989 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“I will consider the opportunities for students in different majors to make a difference in combatting dangerous global climate change for future generations,” he said.

Klotz joined the College in 1979 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and to professor in 1989. In 2002, the State University of New York named him a Distinguished Teaching Professor, which is a promotion above the rank of professor.

He teaches Biological Sciences I, Limnology, Field Biology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Studies, Climate Change Biology and the Conservation Biology Internship.

Many of his awards go beyond his many accomplishments in the discipline of biological sciences.

Klotz was inducted in 1990 as an honorary member of Phi Eta Sigma, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines.

He was presented with a 1999 Volunteer of the Year Award from New York State West Youth Soccer Association.

In 2000, the SUNY Cortland Student Government Association recognized him as the Faculty Advisor of the Year. Klotz in 2005 was elected into the College’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi interdisciplinary honor society.

In 2005, the SUNY Research Foundation gave Klotz a Promising Inventor Award to recognize a faculty member’s first invention disclosure.

The College in 2006 acknowledged him with an Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award.

His scientific research, encompassing areas such as phosphorus pollution in streams, has been supported by college, state and federal grants. Klotz has taken part in major federally funded research projects at SUNY Cortland involving the recruitment of math and science teachers.

Until recently, and for many years, he oversaw the Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education, located seven miles south of the campus, and obtained grants to support physical improvements such as signage and a nature guide for visitors to the College’s fieldwork site.

His research has been widely published in respected publications in his field and he is a popular lecturer.

From 2009 to 2013, Klotz served on the SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Advisory Council.

He earned his bachelor of science from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and received both his master of science and doctorate from the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

The Honors Convocation Committee is chaired Philip Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology. Committee members include Sila Argle, supervising janitor, physical plant; associate professor and chair, kinesiology; Mark Dodds, associate professor sports management; Mary Gfeller, associate professor of mathematics; Samantha Howell, special events coordinator, president’s office; Kimberly Kraebel, professor of psychology; Virginia B. Levine, executive assistant to the president, president’s office; Tara Mahoney, assistant professor, sport management; Joy Mosher, associate professor of childhood/early childhood education; Jerome O’Callaghan, associate dean, school of arts and sciences; Kevin Pristash ’85, M.A. ’91, director of student union; Tracy Rammacher, director of publications and electronic media; Lee Scott-Mack M.S.Ed. ’01, associate registrar, registrars office; Bradford Snyder, associate director of campus technology services, media services; Kimberley Slater ’96, M.S.Ed. ’02, associate director of financial aid; and Susan Vleck, special events assistant, president’s office.

For more information, contact Samantha Howell at 607-753-5453 or


Red Dragons Capture Pair of National Crowns

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When wrestler Joe Giaramita and gymnast Maddy Scozzie recently traveled to the national championships for their respective sports, their mindsets were similar: do it for the team.

Giaramita, a junior who entered as the No. 4 seed in the 197-pound weight class, had his sights set on an individual national title at the NCAA Div. III Championships in Hershey, Pa. So in order to keep calm and save energy during matches, he focused his attention on fellow teammates who also were vying for national crowns.

Scozzie, a junior who was competing at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championships in La Crosse, Wis., said she wasn’t even thinking about the second day of competition, which determines individual titles. Her primary focus was the team competition.

“Since gymnastics is so team-oriented, we don’t even think as much about the second day,” said the Ashburn, Va., native. “You’re really just going all in as the team.”

Both Red Dragons ended up capturing individual national titles in March — the College’s first in two years.

“Once I won, it was incredible,” said Giaramita, of Elwood, N.Y. “It was euphoric.”

It also was dramatic. After knocking off the bracket’s top seed with a pin in the semifinals, he won a 6-4 decision with a takedown in overtime. Giaramita, who finished 32-1 on the season and now boasts three All-America honors in his career, went 5-0 at the national championship en route to SUNY Cortland’s first individual title in wrestling since 2006.


“I didn’t really care about seeding because I knew that I had to beat the best to get there,” said Giaramita, whose only loss on the season came in November to a three-time NCAA Div. I qualifier from Harvard.

Scozzie, who finished in a four-way tie for the title in uneven bars, entered the second day of competition aiming for an effort she could be proud of. She finished with a career-best score of 9.80.

“I thought, ‘That definitely was the best routine of my life,’” said Scozzie, whose title gave SUNY Cortland’s Athletics Department an even 100 individual national crowns in its history.

The College’s gymnastics team finished fifth nationally and its wrestling squad placed 13th. Both Giaramita and Scozzie — while still enjoying their individual success — said the goals for their senior seasons start with their respective teams.

“It’s always about the team really,” Scozzie said. “As a team, a national championship is the goal.”

Div. III Week Celebrates All Abilities

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A fundraiser benefitting the Special Olympics highlights SUNY Cortland’s Div. III Week celebration, a fitting event given the College’s yearlong recognition of the 25-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

All ticket proceeds from the SUNY Cortland women’s lacrosse game Saturday, April 11, plus money raised by a raffle during the game will be donated to the Special Olympics New York Southern Tier chapter. The No. 5 nationally ranked Red Dragons host Oswego at 1 p.m. at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.

Special Olympics athletes who attend Saturday’s game will be recognized at halftime. SUNY Cortland students studying adapted physical education also will attend, as will local participants in the weekly adapted community recreation sessions run by the students. During the game, those students will coordinate activities for these community members in the grass area near the Stadium’s White Field. Each year, roughly 250 SUNY Cortland students — the majority of them physical education majors — provide active opportunities for more than 200 people with disabilities in the community, from toddlers to adults.

Throughout 2015, in recognition of the ADA’s historic anniversary, the College is celebrating both its role as an educator of advocates as well as its longstanding commitment to people of all abilities. The recognition includes a webpage devoted to SUNY Cortland adapted programs and special initiatives, stories about campus community members who promote accessibility and a winter/spring edition of the alumni magazine spotlighting graduates who are living out the work.

The NCAA Div. III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) formed a national partnership with Special Olympics at the 2011 NCAA Convention, and it has become one of many inspiring projects that the SUNY Cortland Athletics Department has taken on. The work aligns well with the Div. III philosophy of equally valuing academics, athletics and meaningful pursuits off the field.

The College has celebrated Div. III Week every year since its inception in 2012. This year, it runs Monday, April 6 to Sunday, April 12, and each day during the week, the College will spotlight a student-athlete who represents the well-rounded balance of the Div. III experience.

Jeff Vanzant

Jeff VanZant

On the ice, the senior captain of the men’s hockey team led a roster with nine freshmen in 2014-15. His work outside the rink was even more impressive. Over the past two seasons, the Barrie, Ontario, native has organized commemorative jersey raffles raising money for autism awareness and wounded veterans. Together they pulled in more than $9,500.

“A lot of the young guys look to the upperclassmen as leaders,” Vanzant said. “It starts with doing good work off the ice. I guess that’s where the idea came from.”

Taylor Hudson

The senior All-American was good enough to play two sports at the Division I level but most coaches asked her to pick one. Not at SUNY Cortland, where she discovered the right two-sport balance. Hudson played three seasons on the women’s soccer team and has earned three All-America awards in track and field. In March, she finished second nationally in the high jump and broke her own school record in the event.

“I wanted to play both and the coaches here were accommodating,” she said. “When it came to what I wanted to do, they were willing to work with me.”

Lindsey Minor

Minor, one of just three players in program history to be named a three-year team captain, started every game since her sophomore year. She was equally as dependable off the basketball court. During her sophomore year, Minor was matched with a local child with disabilities in one of her classes. Their friendship has continued long after the course ended. His family often traveled to her away games and she routinely checks in on the adapted physical education programs he enjoys at the College.

“He’s been an inspiration to me,” Minor said. “He’s 100 percent one of the reasons I want to be a special education teacher.”

Tim Beauvais


The senior goalkeeper set two major goals for his team this year: earn respect on the field nationally and also within the College’s Athletics Department for a high team GPA. His school-record six straight shutouts were a big reason the men’s soccer team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993. The sport management major’s success in the classroom also secured him a spot on the NSCAA Scholar All-America first team.

“Since day one, our coaching staff stressed the importance of excelling in all that we do, including our schoolwork,” said Beauvais, who likely will compete for a semi-professional team after graduation.

Liz Ingalls


Div. III student-athletes like Liz Ingalls make the most of every minute in the day. When she’s not competing for the nationally fifth-ranked women’s lacrosse team, the junior goalkeeper and economics major often is preparing free tax returns for community members. She’s one of two dozen civic-minded students saving local residents tens of thousands of dollars through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. 

“Time management is key and fortunately I’ve been able to balance everything,” said Ingalls, who ranked third nationally last season with a 5.89 goals against average. This summer, she’ll pursue an internship with Merrill Lynch.

Note: the free tax prep services wrap up Sunday, April 12. They will be offered two more days: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. at Access to Independence, located at 26 N. Main. St.

Campus Plans HeartChase Event April 18

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SUNY Cortland students will participate in games and activities and compete for prizes to raise awareness about their heart health during the College’s first “HeartChase” event on Saturday, April 18.

The new American Heart Association (AHA) event that is geared to the collegiate crowd runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the campus lawn in front of Brockway Hall.

“HeartChase is a brand-new initiative for the northeast,” said Lauren Zuber ’10, the AHA’s northeast director for HeartChase since January 2014.

The hour-and-a-half long event organized by SUNY Cortland students mixes a ‘Minute to Win It’ type question-and-answers with the scavenger hunt type activities that have become popular on reality television.

“It’s an easy way to get people to understand what we’re trying to do,” said Zuber, a former communication studies major who is based in Wallingford, Conn., and now lives in Hartford, Conn. “It’s like a race.”

Participants paid a $10 fee and for more than a month have been attempting to raise an additional $100, recruit four more people for their team and plan their unique team t-shirts, said Zuber.

People can register to participate in the event by visiting

Zuber explained that the AHA is trying to connect with college students in a different way, having previously successfully reached elementary to high school students with its “Jump Rope for Heart” initiative and on the community level with its biggest initiative, the “Heart Walk.”

“It’s a short event: they will show up, we will give them an application code and we have a Google Map pop up that kind of guides them through the game,” Zuber said. “For participants, we make it super easy.”

After registering for HeartChase, participants are encouraged to recruit players for their team and make sure they are registered. They will then download the HeartChase app on their smart phone and start their team’s fundraising efforts to earn Game Advantages.

On game day, they are urged to wear their best team costume.

Once the game starts, the teams try to get as many points as possible by completing checkpoint challenges and finding hidden donations before the clock runs out. The HeartChase app tracks their team’s points.

The Game Advantages will make winning easier by allowing the lucky team to do things like skip to the front of a checkpoint line or completely skip a checkpoint and still get the points.

“Each college is different and it’s up to the community to figure out which checkpoint is most fun for the audience,” Zuber said. “We could offer healthy food and eating, heart trivia, lots of relay races, and a hands-only CPR station.”

The top prize will be given to the team that has the most points. Awards will be presented to the top fundraiser, the best costumed team and the team with the most creative name.

Gregory family
The Gregory family, boasting both SUNY Cortland alumni and current students as members, is committed to helping with the upcoming HeartChase event. Here they model their creative costumes.

“Unlike other events, this one is primarily created by volunteers, staffing the 10 different checkpoints,” Zuber said. “I’m there to help and support them, that’s my job.”

One campus HeartChase committee volunteer is her own brother, Brett Zuber ’14 of Smithtown, N.Y., a former sport management major who returned to his alma mater to pursue a graduate degree in international sport management. Working with another student, Melanie Sjoblom, a health education major from Waverly, N.Y., Brett Zuber is helping recruit volunteers and sign up participants from across the campus and community.

The HeartChase committee received recognition as an official Student Government Association-approved club, Zuber said. She had explored starting the new group, the AHA club, with the College’s health educator, Catherine Smith, who in turn helped Sjoblom get the club in place as a means to sponsor annual heart healthy events. Sjoblom is serving as the first AHA Club president and Brett Zuber is a club member.

The event became community-wide after Zuber spoke to Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin ’94, who also coaches the College’s swimming and diving team. Community members have the same signup fee and process.

Zuber also has worked closely Alumni Engagement at SUNY Cortland to involve alumni in the outreach. In November, she helped out the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association with a soft-launch, HeartChase pre-Cortaca event.

 Cortland is one of the early institutions of higher education to give HeartChase a trial run this spring, Zuber said. Prior university participants include the University of Connecticut and Providence College.

“I think at the end of the day it’s a win-win situation for the College and the American Heart Association,” Zuber said. “I just think that it’s a good cause. I’m all about healthy living and heart disease is a preventable illness.”

Students Plan ‘Celebrate Sound’ 5K Run/walk

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With over 50 million people in the United States alone facing some form of hearing loss, one SUNY Cortland student club plans to spread awareness.

On Sunday, April 12, members of the College’s chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) hope to encourage as many volunteers as possible to take part in the first CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence run/walk in New York state.

Hosted in partnership with the Sertoma Club of Vestal, N.Y., the five-kilometer awareness run/walk was created to promote hearing health.

CELEBRATE SOUND will start at 10 a.m. outside the Professional Studies Building. The 5K is open to members of the campus and the Cortland community. Public parking is available for participants in the Professional Studies Building lot.

Registration for the event can be done in advance online or the day of the event at 9 a.m. at the start site.

The registration fee, which supports the advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals with impaired hearing, is $15 for students, faculty and staff and $20 for the general public. Individuals who would like to donate to the cause can visit the CELEBRATE SOUND website.

“It’s important for us as students to be involved and raise awareness as well as support the cause,” said Kassandra Gacek, president of the SUNY Cortland chapter of NSSLHA, which organized the event.

“Hearing is such a big part of language development and communication, which is what we study as pre-professionals,” said Gacek, a senior dual majoring in Spanish and speech and hearing science from Airmont, N.Y.

Michael Pitcher, advisor to SUNY Cortland’s chapter of NSSLHA, noted, “I think it speaks to a number of issues, like their interest in the profession and causes outside of the classroom.

“We have a professional obligation to advocate for individuals with disabilities and part of that advocacy is public awareness,” said Pitcher, a SUNY Cortland lecturer of communication disorders and sciences and the College’s coordinator of audiological services. “We need to instill that responsibility in our students and events such as this speaks to that obligation.”

To date, $7,126 has been raised to date toward the fundraiser goal of $10,000. Proceeds go to Sertoma, a national charity that strives to improve the quality of life for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss. Sertoma will donate half of the net proceeds to Hearing Charities of America. The other half will be used to purchase iPads for in-clinic therapy sessions in the College’s Communication Disorders and Sciences Department.

To find out more, donate or register, visit the CELEBRATE SOUND website. For information, contact Pitcher at 607-753-5036.


SUNY Cortland Plans Green Days Events

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For the month of April, the SUNY Cortland campus community annually doffs its classic red and white school colors and dons green to share with everyone its pride in environmental conservation.

April marks Green Days 2015, a month-long campus and community celebration of environmental awareness and earth-friendly practices. Formerly known as Sustainability Month, this series of events explores the many diverse ways SUNY Cortland plays a leading role in reducing carbon emissions, improving how resources are used, researching new environmental practices and educating students and the community about climate change.

The series events began Wednesday, April 1, with a noon sandwich seminar on “How Green is the Green Republic.” It will conclude at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, with “The Big Event” in the Park Center Alumni Arena.

In between will be guest lectures, community cleanups, group discussions, educational tours and hands-on learning activities. Most events carry an open invitation to all members of the Cortland community.

The series features as a highlight a Tuesday, April 21 talk by Dominic Frongillo, internationally recognized for his work in clean energy and sustainability. A five-time delegate to the United Nations, he will discuss “Sustainability and Social Change” at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Fireplace Lounge.

For the full schedule of Green Days events, browse the event’s website, which can be accessed by visiting and selecting the “Get Involved” link on the left side of the page. For more information on any of the events, contact Katherine Ingraham, the Green Days committee chair and the College’s assistant director of residence life and housing, at 607-753-5508 or

These events will continue the series:

  • Saturday, April 11: FesTREEval! Join the SUNY Cortland Green Reps in the Student Life Center from 1 to 4 p.m., learning about sustainability on campus and how to live a more sustainable life. Prizes and giveaways are in store.
  • Tuesday, April 14: Campus tobacco cleanup, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., meeting at the Corey Union steps. No ifs, ands or buts, everyone is invited to join faculty, staff and students as they make a difference by ridding the beautiful spring campus grounds of cigarette litter.
  • Tuesday, April 14: The multiple award-winning documentary film “Bag It” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104.  Directed by Suzan Beraza, “Bag It” was filmed in the Bahamas, England, Germany, Ireland, Midway Atoll and many locations across the U.S. “Bag It” follows “average American" Jeb Berrier as he navigates our crazy, plastic world, where Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes. “Bag It” shows what people can do about it right now.
  • Thursday, April 16: Students enrolled in this semester’s Writing Studies class will offer poster presentations on the topics of “Resources, Distribution and Food Scarcity,” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and on “Repurposing Waste and Auto Trip-tally Survey” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both sessions are in Neubig Hall.
  • Tuesday, April 21: The College’s Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) will host a “Local Sustainability Lunch” at Bistro Off Broadway in the Student Life Center.
  • Wednesday, April 22: Campus energy manager Matthew Brubaker, from the College’s Facilities Planning, Design and Construction Office, will present a sandwich seminar on “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at SUNY Cortland” at 12:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. This is the building industry’s highest measurement of environmental sustainability for new facilities and is administered through the U.S. Green Building Council. Brubaker will share the many ways sustainability has been designed into all new and renovated structures across the campus. These residential facilities and lecture halls now provide a living laboratory for students in how humans can achieve a smaller footprint on the environment.
  • Wednesday, April 22: The Student Affairs Sustainability Committee will host a plant fair at 11 a.m. on the Memorial Library plaza.
  • Wednesday, April 22: The New York Public Interest Research Group's (NYPIRG) project manager at SUNY Cortland, Gabriel Recchio, will host a two-hour talk on “NYPIRG to Climate Change and Reforming the Energy Vision” at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105.
  • Thursday, April 23: The College’s ASC will host a “Local Sustainability Lunch” at the Neubig Hall dining facility.
  • Monday, April 27: A Local Food Panel will address “What’s In It for You?” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Corey Union Fireplace Lounge. Participants are invited to come learn about why one should buy local foods, where one can find local foods, how to support local food production and how to start one’s own local food business. Panelists will include Chastity Mydlenski from the Local Food Market in Cortland; Matt Gross from the Wholeheart Cafe in the Local Food Market; Allan Gandelman from Main Street Farms and Local Agricultural Promotions Committee in Homer, N.Y.; Christine Applegate of Applegate Farm and the Virgil (N.Y.) Farmers Market, a recognized local food expert; and Carly Arnold Dougherty from Food and Ferments of Truxton, N.Y.
  • Saturday, May 2: The Big Event, a one-day volunteer project that aims to round up the efforts of SUNY Cortland students, employees and alumni, begins at 9 a.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. The mission is to simply say “thanks” to our neighbors in the Cortland Community. It also exemplifies how much students care about the environment in which they live and builds positive relationships between the campus and the larger Cortland Community. The Big Event is to be held on the same day as the Cortland Downtown Partnership’s annual community clean-up.
  • Thursday, May 7: A trail ribbon cutting ceremony and tour celebrating the completion of Operation Greenspace! will take place in the Cortland Rural Cemetery from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The town-gown event marks the opening of the cemetery to public, educational visits with an informational kiosk, interpretive signs and tree identification plates. The project teamed the Cortland Rural Cemetery board of trustees and employees with the College’s art and art history, biological sciences, geography, geology and recreation, parks and leisure studies department faculty and their student interns.

Dominic Frongillo

Frongillo was the former deputy town supervisor and councilor of Caroline, N.Y., Tompkins County, who made history at age 22 by becoming the youngest person ever to serve on the council. Elected to a second term in 2010, he was as one of the youngest deputy town supervisors in New York state.

Frongillo has traveled to climate negotiations in Indonesia, Denmark, Mexico and South Africa. In Copenhagen, he coordinated and delivered a statement from over 100 young elected officials from 30 U.S. states calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to renew America’s leadership in clean energy.

In 2012, Frongillo founded Elected Officials to Protect New York, a bipartisan initiative of over 825 elected officials from all 62 counties calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue the moratorium on fracking until the drilling method is proven safe for all New Yorkers.

He served under Governor David Paterson on the advisory panel for New York state’s far-reaching 2050 Climate Action Plan, is trained by Vice President Al Gore as a climate presenter for the Climate Reality Project, is a published author, and is a trainer for the national Young Elected Officials Network and Front Line Leaders Academy.

A graduate with honors from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology in 2005, Frongillo earned an independent degree in Sustainable Community Development.  He co-founded and led Energy Independent Caroline, coordinating three “Lighten Up!” campaigns which delivered an energy-saving light bulb to a total of 20,000 households in three hours, the largest campaigns of their kind in the Northeast and inspiring similar campaigns across the country.

In 2012, Jeff Thigpen, author of On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials, profiled Frongillo as one of America’s 16 most notable young elected leaders. Liz Walker, in her book Creating Sustainable Communities: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, New York, profiled him as of the region’s foremost champions for the clean economy. Frongillo appears in the documentary “Dear Governor Cuomo: the Concert Protest Film.”

He currently resides in Freiburg, Germany, where he leads international business development for Thomas Daily, a leading market intelligence provider for the commercial property industry with a focus on sustainable development.

College Continues ‘Global Crises Week’ Series

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In America, all eyes are drawn over and over to news about war, famine, ecological catastrophe and acts of inhumanity that currently engulf large swaths of the world.

SUNY Cortland students will have an opportunity to gain an understanding of the complex, but critical, events that dominate the headlines. The College is hosting “Global Crises Week,” a series of lectures and events that began on April 6 and continue through Thursday, April 9. The events explore crises ranging from the human causes of the world’s current ecological upheaval to bloody conflicts in the Ukraine and the rise of the violent Islamic State group.

Sponsored primarily by the Clark Center for International Education and the international honor society Phi Beta Delta, the programs are free and open to the public.

“This week we will tackle environmental and sustainability crises, the major current violent conflicts in the world and lessons learned from a crisis of the past,” said Alexandru Balas, director of SUNY Cortland’s Clark Center for International Education and coordinator of its International Studies Program.

“We think that it is important for the campus and the larger Cortland community to explore, from an academic perspective, some of the ongoing global events which are in the news headlines,” he said. “To give a global perspective on these crises, we will have speakers from different departments at SUNY Cortland, but also guests from Ithaca College and — via SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning online technology — from Zirve University in Gaziantep, Turkey, just a stone’s throw away from Syria.”  

The events continue on Tuesday, April 7, with the College’s yearlong “Rubble Films: Classics of Post-1945 European Cinema” series. The feature picture will also serve as SUNY Cortland’s annual Holocaust Memorial Event. The 1997 film, “The Long Way Home,” begins at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104. Written and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris, the Academy Award-winning movie tells the story of the post World War II Jewish refugee situation from liberation to the establishment of the modern state of Israel. The documentary features Morgan Freeman, Edward Asner and Sean Astin.

On Wednesday, April 8, SUNY Cortland sociologist William Skipper will take a look at how human activity has created the ecological crisis that the planet faces today. This activity can include technologies as well as economic, political and socio-cultural systems and processes.

Skipper, a SUNY Cortland assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, will present “Livable World/Livable Planet: The Social Aspects of Ecological Sustainability” beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125. A reception will precede his presentation at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126. His lecture continues the 2014-15 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series, which is themed “Culture, Technology and Sustainability.” 

On Thursday, April 9, Ithaca College Professor of History Zenon Wasyliw will discuss “The Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity and Ukraine’s Far East” at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall, Jacobus Lounge. Wasyliw, who also coordinates his college’s social studies teacher education program, joined Ithaca College’s faculty in 1989. He wrote published articles in the areas of Soviet, Ukrainian and global history as well as social studies teaching pedagogy. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Binghamton University.

Also on Thursday, April 9, a panel will present the “ISIS Forum: a State of Crisis” at 7 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. The forum will examine many aspects of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Topics will include what a caliphate is in historical terms; how the term relates to what ISIS wishes to establish in the modern day Middle East; how ISIS arose; how it acquired fighters; what is its current status in terms of control of territories; why the group destroys objects of art; whether or not this destruction of art amounts to war crimes; and what impact ISIS has had on surrounding nations in the Middle East.

The forum speakers will include Balas; Sharon Steadman, a SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology and representative of the Asia-Middle Eastern Studies Committee; Benjamin DeLee, a SUNY Cortland assistant professor of history; and Andreas Kotelis, a faculty member at Zirve University in Gaziantep, Turkey.

Born in Greece, Kotelis has a doctorate in political science from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey; a master’s degree in conflict resolution and analysis from Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey; and a bachelor’s degree in Balkan, Slavic and oriental studies from University of Macedonia, Economic and Social Sciences in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The “Global Crises Week” series also is supported by the Asia-Middle Eastern Studies Committee; the Project on Eastern and Central Europe; the Political Science Department; the Center for Ethics, Peace, and Social Justice; the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies; and the History Department.

For more information, contact Balas at or 607-753-2250.

City Trip to Send Student Writers Back Hundreds of Years

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SUNY Cortland student writers will get down to the basics of their craft by examining — and in some cases handling — rare artifacts that date back more than 500 years. It’s part of an upcoming two-day trip to New York City that dives into changes in writing and inquiry over time.

Students in “The Evolution of Writing,” a 400-level Professional Writing elective, will depart Friday, Oct. 10, and make four stops in their travels: the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library and MuseumStrand Bookstore and the Cloisters, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

They’ll catch glimpses of Sumerian artifacts and early copies of both the Gutenberg Bible and Homer’s Iliad. And they likely will get to touch an incunable, a printed page from the 1500s. A docent, or an expert museum guide, will teach them about scribal arts and paper-making.

“That’s actually the coolest part of all,” said David Franke, a professor of English who for the past three years has organized the trip. “We’ll actually get to touch some of the earliest pieces to come off the printing press.”

The Professional Writing course examines shifts in writing technology over time — from Egyptian hieroglyphics to the typewriter to the advent of Twitter — as well as the changes in identity, culture and knowledge that come with them. It focuses specifically on three major events, or “technological crises,” as Franke refers to them: the advent of the alphabet, the invention of the printing press and the emergence of computer technology.

The upcoming trip provides a hands-on outlet for their work in the same way an artist might study the halls of the Louvre. New to this year’s itinerary is a visit to the Cloisters, a museum that includes several artifacts from medieval Europe.

This semester’s students have devoted plenty of their attention to arguments that assert a deep relationship between communication tools and the content of cultural conversations, Franke said. In March, the professor spoke to changes in writing as part of a talk for the College’s Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC) “R/Evolution” series. Specifically, he brought evolutionary concepts of biology to the discussion of changing writing technologies, suggesting that misunderstandings about the nature of evolution — when imported to explain the development of writing systems — cause similar kinds of distortions.

Fortunately, his class is headed to New York City to clear up those myths and view first-hand the technologies of centuries past.

Support for this year’s trip was provided by an Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) grant, the President’s Office, the College’s English Department and the School of Arts and Sciences.

UPD Offers Easy Medication Disposal

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SUNY Cortland campus community members are invited to safely throw away their unused medications at a special disposal receptacle located near the University Police Department office in Van Hoesen Hall.

The campus disposal receptacle and three others in Cortland County have been established to reduce the availability of dangerous controlled substances and to protect the water supply from being tainted by unused medication. Students, employees and community members can bring unused medication in its sealed container to the receptacle in Van Hoesen Hall at any time — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The project is an expansion of the biannual event put on by Cortland Area Communities That Care (CACTC) and Cortland Prevention Resources. Past events brought in more than 10,000 pounds of medication at collections held in Cortlandville, Marathon and Cincinnatus.

Accepted medications include: controlled substances, over-the-counter medicines, pills, powders, liquids, inhalers and pet medication. They must be in a sealed container at the time of disposal.

For more information, visit or or call 607-756-8970.

Prepared by Public Relations Office intern Sarah Kelly

Course Promotes Innovative Approaches for Community Needs

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A new course offered at SUNY Cortland aims to meet non-profit needs with creative solutions, with the eventual goal of students taking an entrepreneurial approach to solve societal issues.

Community Innovation Lab, a special topics course in sociology, has matched eight students with four local projects this semester dealing with fundraising, marketing, health program promotion and the social transition that comes after incarceration.

The students will detail their work as part of a Sandwich Seminar talk on Thursday, April 30, from noon to 1 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

“The projects all are centered around the idea of capacity-building for not-for-profits,” said Richard Kendrick, the director of the College’s Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) and a professor of sociology/anthropology. “The idea is not necessarily that we go in and we perform a service for them, but that we help the organizations build their own capacities to get things done.”

The inaugural semester’s projects include:

  • A jail transition project performing a needs assessment of current services in place for prisoners after they are released.
  • An Access to Independence bowl-a-thon aiming to raise funds and secure sponsorships for an event that benefits the agency that exists to help people with disabilities.
  • A 2-1-1 marketing plan for the Seven Valleys Health Coalition so that callers know about the resource that connects them with health and human services programs.
  • An evaluation of the Majority Rules social norming campaign, building on the college-focused program implemented in fall 2014 to change perceived norms about alcohol consumption.

Kendrick said the class is a first step towards establishing coursework in social entrepreneurship that eventually could be paired with SUNY Cortland’s business economics classes on a similar topic to create a minor program.

He leads the course along with Barbara Barton, an assistant professor of health, and Cyndi Guy, the ICE’s community innovation coordinator.

Annual Admissions Open House Set for April 11

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The 33rd annual Admissions Open House, a one-day program allowing accepted freshmen, transfer applicants and prospective students to acquaint themselves better with SUNY Cortland, is expected to attract 1,800 visitors to campus on Saturday, April 11.

This year, more than 10,700 prospective freshmen have applied for the fall semester at SUNY Cortland, said Betsy Cheetham, assistant director of admissions at the College and coordinator of Open House since its inception in 1983.

Additionally, the College anticipates more than 2,400 transfer applications for the Fall 2015 semester, she noted. In the past, more than 70 percent of prospective first-year students who attended Open House actually enrolled in the fall semester and 90 percent of the transfer applicants have enrolled.

Spring Open House is a critical part of the recruitment process of new students to the College, added Mark Yacavone ’94, SUNY Cortland assistant vice president for enrollment management.

“This program serves as a defining moment for our accepted students in determining whether SUNY Cortland will be in their future,” he said. “It is an informative and exciting day.”

Events will take place in Park Center, on the lower campus, and Corey Union, located halfway up the hill.

Visitors are encouraged to participate in a variety of information sessions and tours. The dining halls will welcome visitors to eat alongside current students at no charge for the prospective students and at the regular rate for their family members.

Open House begins at 9:45 a.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena with welcoming remarks by College President Erik J. Bitterbaum, Student Government Association President Michael Doris and Yacavone.

An academic, student services and student organization fair will be offered between 10:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Park Center Corey Gymnasium and Poolside lobby. The facility is located in the lower campus near the sports complex and tennis courts. Prospective students and their families can meet current faculty and students to discuss the College’s major and minor programs, as well as its clubs and activities. Walking tours of campus led by current students will include academic buildings and residence halls. New this year will be tours of the recently constructed Student Life Center. A shuttle bus will transport students wanting to tour the West Campus Apartments.

Information on an array of programs relating to the academic, cultural and social life of the Cortland campus will be presented between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Park Center and Corey Union. Sessions will cover housing and residence life for both freshman and transfer students, financial aid, Honors Program, career services, academic support services and dining, college store and other essential services.

Additional sessions include campus activities and involvement, Greek life, study abroad, student disability services, recreational and outdoor pursuit opportunities, intramural sports, fitness and sport clubs, childhood and early childhood education, special education, pre-med and pre-law advisement, transfer credits, and learning opportunities for students who haven’t declared a major. DanceWorks, Kickline and the Cortland Dance Company will perform, as well.

Special presentations are planned from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Rhonda Jacobs, assistant director of the outdoor education center, will discuss the College’s off-campus facilities in the Adirondacks and their role in the successful transition of youth to the campus experience in Park Center. Both first-year and transfer students can be part of an Orientation experience called the Adirondack Trailblazers. Mary Reagan, field placement coordinator, will present on “Student Teaching Opportunities at Home and Abroad” in Corey Union.

Lunch will be available in the Brockway Hall, Neubig Hall, the Student Life Center and Corey Union dining facilities.

Guests also are invited to attend campus athletic and cultural events. Home athletic events will include a women’s lacrosse game versus SUNY Oswego at 1 p.m. and a softball doubleheader versus Buffalo State that starts at noon. There will be no admission charge for athletic events on Open House day.

At 8 p.m., “Legally Blonde,” a tuneful and hilarious Broadway musical based on the popular 2003 Warner Bros. movie starring Reese Witherspoon, will be performed in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre. Tickets are available online at or at the Dowd Center box office starting one hour before the performance for $8 for Open House guests and all students, $15 for senior citizens and SUNY Cortland faculty and staff members and $18 for the general public.

For more information, visit online at or contact Cheetham at 607-753-4712.

Poet to Discuss Disability and Aesthetics

R_evolution_WEB.jpg 04/07/2015

Michael Snediker, a poet and University of Houston associate professor of English, will give a reading and lecture that explores disability theory as well as aesthetics across 19th century America on Tuesday, April 21, at SUNY Cortland.

Both the reading at 11:40 a.m. and lecture at 4:30 p.m. will be in Brockway Hall, Jacobus Lounge. They are free and open to the public.

Snediker’s poetry reading will include selections from his published work, The Apartment of Tragic Appliances (Punctum, 2013) and a forthcoming work, The New York Editions, which translates Henry James’s novels into lyric poems.

His lecture, “Weaver’s Handshake, Grave Rubbing: Sedgwick and Chronicity,” is based on his research for a book about the esthetics of chronic pain. The book, currently under contract with University of Minnesota Press, will be titled Contingent Figure: Aesthetic Duress from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

“This venture differs from work in disability studies that might take a given literary or otherwise aesthetic representation of chronic pain as the point of departure for an account of chronic pain as a lived experience,” Snediker said about his upcoming lecture. “Rather, Contingent Figure meditates on chronic pain as an aesthetic object.”

The program continues the College’s 2014-15 Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC) series, themed this year on “R/Evolution.” The presentations question the notion that evolution represents positive change and underscores how timeless issues seem to reassert themselves in the present.

At University of Houston, Snediker teaches courses in early American literature, modernism, poetics, queer theory, disability theory, and aesthetics.

“He’s a major figure in gay poetry and queer theory,” said Tyler Bradway, SUNY Cortland assistant professor of English. “I think his work will really appeal to anyone interested in contemporary representations of gender and sexuality.”

Snediker’s poetry has not only been published in his own collections but appeared in The Cortland Review, an online publication that was founded in 1997 in Cortland but is not associated with SUNY Cortland, The Paris Review, Blip Magazine, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Black Warrior Review, Court Green, Blackbird, Jubilat, Margie and Pleiades.

In his widely reviewed book Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions, Snediker offers new perspectives on his subject through close readings of Emily Dickinson, Hart Crane, Elizabeth Bishop and Jack Spicer. Published in 2013 by Punctum Books, Queer Optimism was a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award.

He has held poet’s residencies at the James Merrill House and Yaddo.

MIchael Snediker
Michael Snediker

Snediker has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to the CICC, the talk is supported by the offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Professional Studies, Dean of Education, and Multicultural Life and Diversity; the English Department; the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice; the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies; and the Campus Artist and Lecture Series.

For more information on Snediker’s talk, contact Bradway. For information on the “R/Evolution” series, contact the co-chair, Associate Professor of History Scott Moranda, at 607-753-2052. 

Sociologist to Discuss Humanity's Global Effects

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William Skipper
William Skipper

 SUNY Cortland sociologist William Skipper will take a look at how human activity has created the ecological crisis the planet as a whole faces today, on Wednesday, April 8, at SUNY Cortland.

This activity can include technologies as well as economic, political and socio-cultural systems and processes. Skipper, a SUNY Cortland assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, will present “Livable World/Livable Planet: The social aspects of ecological sustainability” beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.

A reception will precede his presentation at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

His lecture continues the 2014-15 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series, themed this year on “Culture, Technology and Sustainability.” The series events, which are free and open to the public, explore the present and future on a planet with a rapidly growing population, critical food shortages, climate change and a host of other factors that affect the quality of life across the world. Presenters discuss these issues and offer possible solutions to major global problems, including the role technology may play in helping or hindering progress toward a “livable planet.”

The series also will feature SUNY Cortland students conducting a poster session titled “Can We Sustain?” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, in the Moffett Center Sociology/Anthropology Lobby. A series of student presentations will follow from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.

Skipper, who joined SUNY Cortland as assistant professor in 2003 after serving three years as a visiting assistant professor, has research interests that include globalization, technological change, offshoring and work and work’s meanings.

A published author of journal articles and book reviews and a contributing editor to Globalization, he has presented at conferences on the effects humans are having on the Earth.

“As a consequence of mankind’s environmental influence, any serious effort to achieve ecological sustainability must include social change globally,” Skipper asserts.

From 2009 to 2012, Skipper was the SUNY Cortland coordinator of the three-year SUNY Global Workforce Project, a collaboration with the Levin Institute and SUNY Brockport to “globalize” undergraduate curricula. The initiative was funded by a U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program grant.

He chaired the College’s Sociology/Anthropology Department from 2009 to 2013 and served as interim coordinator of the College’s International Studies Program in 2006. Skipper has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Fordham University and master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from Cornell University.

The 2014-15 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation and the Cortland College Foundation.

For more information, contact Sharon R. Steadman, a SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology, lecture series organizer and Brooks Museum director, at 607-753-2308.

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People on the Move

Faculty/Staff Activities

Christopher Gascón

Christopher Gascón, Modern Languages Department, presented at the 2015 Association for Hispanic Classical Theater Symposium held March 19-21 in El Paso, Texas. His paper, “The Supernatural Turn,” analyzed why young New York City directors have integrated supernatural elements into their recent productions of 17th century Spanish plays. 

Melissa A. Morris

Melissa A. Morris, Physics Department, appeared on the Discovery Channel show “NASA’s Unexplained Files” on March 11. Also, her paper, “New Insight into the Solar System’s Transition Disk Phase Provided by the Metal-rich Carbonaceous Chondrite Isheyevo,” was published in the March 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Joshua Peck

Joshua Peck, Psychology Department, with co-authors Philip Chu and Joshua Brumberg of Queens College, had their peer-reviewed paper titled “Exercises in Anatomy, Connectivity and Morphology using and the Allen Brain Atlas” published in the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. The article discusses how laboratory instruction of neuroscience is often limited by the lack of physical resources and supplies and that the cost of acquiring, maintaining and updating the materials for these labs can be prohibitive. The authors recommend incorporating online, or e-learning, opportunities into undergraduate laboratory courses and describe a method using two free online databases, the and the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA), that freely provide access to data from working brain scientists that can be modified for laboratory instruction and exercises.

Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer, Political Science Department, presented a paper titled, “The Bush Presidency and the Unitary Executive” at a conference on the presidency of the George W. Bush administration held at Hofstra University from March 24-26. The conference brought together presidency scholars, journalists and former members of the administration to analyze the second Bush presidency.

Nance S. Wilson

Nance S. Wilson, Literacy Department, had an article published in the March issue of the Association for Middle Level Education’s magazine, This We Believe and the Common Core. The article, titled “Beyond the Hype: The CCSS and Middle Grades Instruction,” was co-authored by Carla K. Meyer of Duquesne University and Laurie A. Ramirez of Appalachian State University.

Tiantian Zheng

Tiantian Zheng, Sociology/Anthropology Department, presented “Money, Class, and Money Boys in Postsocialist China” at the Association of Asian Studies annual conference held March 28 in Chicago.

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