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  Issue Number 15 • Tuesday, April 5, 2016  


Campus Champion

It’s the problem-solving aspects of science that Tariq Hussain credits with his passion for chemistry. The sophomore chemistry and biomedical sciences dual major attempts to take all of it in. “The facility (Bowers Hall) is amazing, the professors motivate us and there are so many opportunities to get involved,” Tariq said. He’s done exactly that, reviving the Chemistry Club last year and connecting it with a local elementary school and the American Chemistry Society. This year as its president, he formed partnerships with the Biology and Physics clubs. Next year? His sights are set on serving as Student Government Association treasurer — a new opportunity to seize.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, April 5

Lecture: “Cortland’s Red Scare: Immigration, Radicalism and Civil Liberties in the Post World War I Period,” by Randi Storch, History Department, Sperry Center, Room 104, 4:30 p.m.

Open Mic Night: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6

EAP Lunch and Learn: Marijuana and Trending Drugs in Cortland County, Old Main Faculty Colloquium, second floor, noon

Sandwich Seminar: “Problem-based Learning,” by Madeline Egan, intern with Institute for Civic Engagement, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Distinguished Voices in Literature Lecture: “A Conversation with Ethan Young, Graphic Novelist and Illustrator,” presented by the English Department, Sperry Center, Room 205, 4:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Russia and Its Role in Contemporary Eastern Europe,” by John Ryder ’73 from American University of Ras Al Khaminah, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 4:30 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday Series: “Treasure Your Spiritual Wellness,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 7

Lecture: “East, West and in Between: Universities in the Arab World,” by John Ryder ’73 from American University of Ras Al Khaminah, Old Main Colloquium, noon

Sandwich Seminar: “Heroin Epidemic: How Medication Assisted Treatment and Harm Reduction Strategies Improve Health in Rural Settings,” panel discussion, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Artists’ Talk: Sculptor Kevin Dartt in conjunction with the COORDINATES exhibition at the Dowd Gallery, will present at the Foundry, the low, gray building adjacent to the Professional Studies Buiding, from 4:15-5 p.m., followed by an iron pour and performance from 5-7 p.m.  Dress for being outdoors part of the time.

Family Literacy Activities: “JOYFUL – Joining Our Youth, Families, and University for Learning” event includes projects, books and songs for children ages 2-8 years, Memorial Library Teaching Materials Center, 6-7:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Discoveries from Rapa Nui (Easter Island): New Species and Novel Ideas,” by Jut Wynne, assistant research professor at Northern Arizona University and research scientist with the SETI Institute, Carl Sagan Center, Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

Poskanzer Lecture: “Armed and Dangerous: the Impact of Guns on Public Health,” by Amy Thompson, a health educator, author and international presenter on the relationship between public health and gun violence, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

Green Days Presentation: “What Porter Ranch Can Teach Us about Seneca Lake,” by Joe Heath, general counsel for the Onondaga Nation, and music by Colleen Kattau, Modern Languages Department, as part of the “Where Are We?” Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee Series, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 8

Transformations 2016: “Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference,” Bowers Hall and Sperry Center, 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Transformations Keynote Lecture: “The World of Scholarship and Scholarship in the World: Life After Cortland,” by John Ryder ’73 from American University of Ras Al Khaminah, Bowers Hall, Room 1129, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, April 11

Teacher Recruitment Days 2016: Park Center Alumni Arena. Continues through Tuesday, April 12

Green Days Lecture: “Planning Communities as if People Eat,” by Samina Raja from the University of Buffalo, as part of the “Where Are We?” Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee Series, Sperry Center, Room 104, 4:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Migrants and Refuges from Asia: Should They Stay or Should They Go?” Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13

Lecture: “Brazil’s Rio Olympics: Sport Management, Socio-Economics and Refugees,” Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “How to Read an Image: Storytelling in Contemporary Comics,” by Tyler Bradway, English Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Brooks Series Lecture: “Communicating Self in a Networked World” by Natalie Bazarova, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 3-5 p.m.

Green Days Sun Run: An Earth Day Celebration, features a march, run or race toward the solar panels on campus, Student Life Center, 5 p.m.

Alumni Speakers Series: “Careers in English and Professional Writing,” Old Main, Room 220, 6 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday Series: “Interrupting Rape Culture,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

Green Days Sandwich Seminar: “Living Zero Waste on a College Campus,” by Amy Garside, residence hall director, Shea Hall, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Workshop: “NYPIRG Tenant’s Rights Workshop – Smart Moves,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 15

Lecture: Robert Hackenson will discuss Sexual Assault Awareness Week, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 5:30 p.m.

Concert: Spring A Capella, Corey Union Function Room, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 16

2016 Honors Convocation: Park Center Alumni Arena, 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 17

Lose the Shoes Fundraiser: SUNY Cortland sports fields, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir Concert: Old Main Brown Auditorium, 3-6 p.m.

Monday, April 18

College Council Meeting: Miller Building, Room 405, 4 p.m.

Presentation: “Through My Eyes” Café Night, students and families of recent immigrants will tell their stories, as part of the “Where Are We?” Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee Series, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Green Days Event: “Sustainable Habitats for Humanity,” Corey Union Caleion Room, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19

Louis Larson Lecture and Performance Series: A screening of the film “Milk,” followed by a talk, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

Green Days Event: “Caterpillar Gardening: The Plants that Butterflies and Moths Need to Complete their Life Cycles,” by Colleen Wolpert, Sperry Center, Room 204, 7 p.m.

Initiative Supports Cortland-Bound Community College Students


SUNY Cortland wants to help community college students earn a bachelor’s degree.

Although about 75 percent of community college students begin their two-year programs with the goal of transferring to a four-year college, only 25 to 35 percent actually make the leap, according to a recent study.

The obstacles that interrupt their progress are varied: financial difficulties, personal or family problems and academic weaknesses to name just a few. Community colleges also enroll a high number of adult, working students; financially disadvantaged students; and first-generation college students, all of whom may face significant challenges.

To help these students meet those challenges and move from a local community college to a successful career at SUNY Cortland, the College is partnering with Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) and SUNY Broome Community College to create a seamless, resource-filled pathway to a bachelor’s degree.

“I think people are starting to see there is a connection between a two-year and a four-year experience,” said Carol Van Der Karr, SUNY Cortland’s associate provost for academic affairs. “Students don’t see this as, ‘All of a sudden, my life at college begins when I come to Cortland.’ They began two or three years ago, planning to come to Cortland.”

The project aims to build a well-defined route for ambitious students, starting from their first days at the community college through the transfer process and on to baccalaureate completion. All along the way, they would get consistent support from SUNY Cortland.

A key aspect of the initiative will be SUNY Cortland’s hiring of a mobility transfer advisor who will spend time at all three campuses regularly, working directly with students and faculty at each institution.

This Completion Path Collaborative program is a four-year pilot made possible through a $240,000 grant to the College by the SUNY Expanded Investment and Performance Fund. It is one of several new initiatives launched at various SUNY institutions in an effort to help meet SUNY’s goal of awarding 150,000 degrees annually across the 64-campus system by 2020. SUNY graduated 93,009 students annually in the 2012-13 academic year, according to information provided on its current Fast Facts page. Successful programs will become system-wide models.

The advisor, who will have background in admissions, academic advising or student services, will go beyond planning the client’s most efficient course selection strategy. He or she will make informed referrals for students, linking them with services on their two-year campus that address their specific needs. This could be academic tutoring, financial aid advising, counseling or some other barrier to successful degree completion.

Additionally, discipline-specific collaborations will take place among faculty of the three colleges, to make sure all academic transfer needs are met. The grant also provides funds to support a liaison at each community college to serve as a link between the campus and the mobility transfer advisor. And planned SUNY software eventually will help the colleges plan and track each student’s progress. The project also proposes field trips for interested community college students to visit and establish positive contacts on the Cortland campus.

“This is an emergent model,” Van Der Karr said. “In SUNY, many of the two- and four-year campuses have informal relationships. This is probably a more formalized system and it is certainly a more intensive system because having someone there every week, that’s pretty intensive.”

The project’s initiators would be pleased to see a 5 percent increase in transfer student retention at SUNY Cortland, where the current baseline is 85 percent; as well as an increase in two-year completion, including reverse transfer, of 5 to 10 percent; and a 5 percent increase in four-year degree completion.

The collaborators also hope to include a yearly faculty symposium to bring the critical people from the different campuses together in a specific discipline.

“One example might be bringing together all the science faculty at once from the three colleges,” said Carol Costell Corbin, assistant director for transfer credit services. “The faculty might ask each other, ‘What are their students’ skills? What do they need, for example, in how well they do lab work?’”

The project will incorporate SUNY’s unique “transfer finder” function that is being developed on the DegreeWorks online platform, Costell Corbin noted. The function will let students compare what they have completed with degree programs across the SUNY system.

“The best results come from interactions with a person,” which the online system won’t replace, she noted.

All-Star Cuba Symposium Open to Students, Faculty


Former U.S. Defense Secretary and Senator William S. Cohen will headline a symposium of diplomats, business people, academic experts and baseball executives in discussing how various forms of diplomacy can be used to bridge the differences between Cuba and the United States. 

The symposium, a first-of-its-kind gathering, will be held on the SUNY Cortland campus in Cortland, N.Y., on April 28, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

All interested students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community are invited to attend the event, either for the full day or for one or more of the panel discussions.

To register for the free symposium, please sign up here.

An up-to-date schedule of the day's events can be found here.

In addition to Secretary Cohen, moderators and panelists will include two former U.S. ambassadors as well as Cuban and American academics, business executives, government officials and baseball representatives. The highly respected panelists will explore business and academic opportunities created by the recent opening of relations between the former Cold War rivals and discuss how the two nations’ shared passion for the game of baseball can facilitate this effort.  

The symposium is co-sponsored by SUNY Cortland and the Caribbean Baseball Initiative (CBI), an organization seeking to promote goodwill and understanding between the U.S. and its Caribbean neighbors through a shared passion for the sport of baseball. Founded by managing general partner Lou Schwechheimer, a current minor-league baseball executive and owner, CBI has engaged with Cuban counterparts for more than a decade in an effort to build a baseball bridge between Cuba and the U.S.

The unique inclusion of baseball will bring an exciting energy to the symposium as the sport has been a cultural force in both nations since the late 19th century. Just last month, the eyes of the world turned to a Havana baseball diamond as Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays played against the Cuban National Team during President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba. 

 “Our reengagement with Cuba has been closely watched over the past 16 months and through this we have been able to observe the many forms that diplomacy can take,” Secretary Cohen said. “I am excited to join this event and continue the conversation.”

Secretary Cohen, a former member of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate and Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, will deliver the symposium’s keynote address. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, an international strategic advisory firm located in Washington, D.C. Secretary Cohen will be joined by two colleagues from The Cohen Group, who are also two of the U.S.’s most highly distinguished diplomats: Ambassador Marc Grossman and Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, who will moderate panel discussions on business environment and the bilateral relationship, respectively. 

Ambassador Grossman, currently a vice chairman at The Cohen Group, served as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs – the State Department's third-ranking official. He also held the positions of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

Ambassador Davidow, currently a senior counselor at The Cohen Group, headed the State Department's efforts in Latin America, as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and also served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela and Zambia. Both former diplomats retired with the rank of career ambassador.

“SUNY Cortland is honored to host this unique and important event; a early step in what we believe will be a long and productive relationship between Cuba and the United States,” said College President Erik J. Bitterbaum, who will deliver the symposium’s opening remarks. “The best way to understand and bridge the differences between people and countries is through dialogue, which is what this symposium is designed to do.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will present remarks on behalf of the SUNY system, which is engaged in its own academic Caribbean Initiative.   

SUNY Cortland is a public, comprehensive college of approximately 7,000 students in Central New York. It is a Division III athletic powerhouse whose baseball and women’s lacrosse teams won national championships in 2015. SUNY Cortland has extensive international study partnerships in dozens of countries and is home to a highly respected sport management program.

For general information contact:

Frederic Pierce

Public Relations Director

SUNY Cortland

O – 607-753-2420

C – 607-345-4609

For baseball-related information contact:

Jordan Kobritz

Chair, Sports Management Department

O – 607-753-2196

C – 928-925-1114

Capture the Moment


Retired General Ann Dunwoody ’75, the first woman ever to attain the rank of four-star Army general and one of the most decorated alumni in the College’s history, returned to campus for a two-day, executive-in-residence visit this week. A former physical education major, Gen. Dunwoody spoke about leadership and her military experience during a public lecture Monday night. She also visited classes housed in several different academic departments, including business economics, communication studies and physical education. Video of her public talk will be shared with the campus community when it is available to be viewed online.

In Other News

Campus Ties Run Deep for ‘Transformations’ Keynote Speaker

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The week ahead will be a homecoming of sorts for SUNY Cortland alumnus John Ryder ’73, a respected international scholar who previously served the College as a faculty member and dean.

Ryder, SUNY Cortland’s former dean of arts and sciences who now serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs and student success at American University of Ras Al Khaminah in the United Arab Emirates, will deliver the keynote talk Friday afternoon at “Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference.”

He also will offer two additional campus lectures on topics with international relevance. Ryder’s full schedule of public talks includes:

  • Wednesday, April 6: “Russia and its Role in Contemporary Eastern Europe” will consider several issues of importance such as terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and instability in the Middle East. The lecture takes place at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.
  • Thursday, April 7: “East, West and in Between: Universities in the Arab World” will address the importance of Muslim higher institution institutions, including those satellite campuses with ties to the U.S. The talk begins at noon in the Old Main Colloquium.
  • Friday, April 8: “The World of Scholarship and Scholarship in the World: Life After Cortland” serves as the topic of Ryder’s ‘Transformations’ keynote remarks. He speaks at 12:30 p.m. in Bowers Hall, Room 1129.

Ryder’s ties to Transformations are particularly meaningful. In 1997, when he was dean of arts and sciences, Ryder was responsible for establishing Scholars’ Day, the event that preceded Transformations. 

In 2011, a special planning committee renamed and reorganized Scholars’ Day to reflect the College’s strategic priorities of providing a transformational education and fostering academic excellence. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the day’s activities continue to highlight student achievement and encourage scholarship in the future.

Ryder, who specializes in American philosophy and boasts extensive experience in international education, has worked full-time overseas for nearly six years. This summer, he will become the founding provost of the American University of Malta, a European island country located in the Mediterranean Sea. He previously worked as director of the SUNY system’s International Programs Office and was the president of a university in the Eurasian country of Azerbaijan before taking his current job.

From 1980 to 2002, Ryder put together a distinguished career at SUNY Cortland beginning as a lecturer of philosophy. He eventually chaired the College’s Philosophy Department and co-founded the Project for Eastern and Central Europe. Ryder served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 2002 before directing SUNY’s Center on Russia and the United States, which created various exchange programs between the system and Russian institutions.

Ryder also has helped establish dual-degree programs with higher education institutions in China, Mexico, Turkey and several other countries. From 2002 to 2012, he served as president of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy (AUDEM), which united scholars representing all academic disciplines from the U.S. as well as Central and Eastern Europe. 

His own research focuses on issues in systematic ontology and epistemology as well as social and political philosophy. Ryder has authored and edited many published works, most recently including The Things in Heaven and Earth: An Essay in Pragmatic Naturalism (Fordham University Press, 2013). His papers have been translated and distributed throughout Europe, where he continues to tour universities and conferences as a guest speaker.

Ryder’s visit to SUNY Cortland is being sponsored by the College’s Project on Eastern and Central Europe, the Transformations Committee, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Philosophy Department. Additional support has been provided by Auxiliary Services Corporation, the Clark Center for International Education, the International Programs Office and the History and Political Science departments.

For more information on Transformations, including the complete schedule of events, visit the conference’s Web page or contact the School of Arts and Sciences at 607-753-4312.

Residence Hall Director Strives to Waste Less

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“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is just the minimum for Amy Garside, who is taking the phrase to a whole new level with a zero waste lifestyle. After going 31 days producing minimal waste, the SUNY Cortland residence hall director gave insight into her personal achievements during a campus talk April 14.

Garside, a SUNY Cobleskill graduate with a bachelor’s in plant sciences/environmental sciences, shared her journey and gave simple sustainability tips at her talk “Living Zero Waste on a College Campus.”

Amy Garside
Amy Garside

At the end of February, Garside, who works in Shea Hall, wanted to hone in on an Earth Day challenge. When she found that bloggers online had decided to take on zero waste challenges, she was inspired to begin her own change for the month of March.

During this time, Garside decided to focus on being more conscious of the 5 R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot, while sharing her everyday goals and accomplishments through her blog, “31 Days of Zero Waste.”

“It’s encouraging to see each day producing less and less,” Garside said. “The days that I don’t produce any waste make me really happy.”

Garside set aside three bins for waste, recyclables and compost in her apartment. Each day she would keep her waste and distribute it in the appropriate bins to see her progress over time. Readers could follow along as she posted photos and recaps of the day throughout the month.

“One thing I did think was hard in this challenge is replacing the products I use and finding alternatives to personal care products.”

recyclable materials

She switched her grocery shopping to the Local Food Market in Cortland and tried to implement more of her own cooking rather than using food products that came pre-made in packaging.

“In the natural organic food section I purchase bulk ClifBars that I would normally buy individually, and put them in my own containers,” Garside said.

“Another great habit I got into was when I go out to eat, I bring my own containers for takeout.”

Garside has decided to extend her initiative through the months of April and May, now making her goal a three-month-long lifestyle change.

Her April 14 presentation was part of the “Green Days” Sandwich Seminar series, sponsored by the President’s Office.

Visit for background on Garside’s challenge.

Prepared by public relations intern Bethany Lunden

Green Days Grows at SUNY Cortland

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Red is Green at SUNY Cortland, especially during the month of April.

That’s when Green Days, the College’s yearlong celebration of sustainability and environmental awareness, reaches its peak with four weeks of earth-friendly lectures, events and activities.

Formerly known as Sustainability Month, Green Days 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.

April’s 2016 Green Day events include:

What Porter Ranch Can Teach Us About Seneca Lake

April 7, 7 pm, Jacobus Lounge

With a talk by Joe Heath and music from Colleen Kattau, this event will focus attention on the local politics of fracking and the fight against natural gas storage under Seneca Lake.  Sponsored by the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee.


Planning Communities as if People Eat

April 11, 4:30 pm, Sperry 104

Dr. Samina Raja of the University of Buffalo will introduce her research program, which focuses on understanding the role of planning and policy in building sustainable food systems and healthy communities. She is the Principal Investigator of the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab (the “Food Lab”). In partnership with collaborators nationwide, Raja is currently directing Growing Food Connections, a comprehensive five-year initiative funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to build capacity of local governments to strengthen food systems.  Sponsored by the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee.

Sun Run: An Earth Day Celebration

April 13, 5:00 PM, Student Life Center

Join NYPIRG at SUNY Cortland as they host a demonstration to show New York that students support renewable energy NOW! The group will start at the Student Life Center at 5 p.m. with guest speaker Mecke Nagel. Then they will march, run and RACE towards the solar panels on campus! Special guests will include representatives from Solarize Central New York, and from SUNY Cortland's Sustainability Energy Systems Program. To register for the run/walk/march go to:

Living Zero Waste on a College Campus

April 14, 12:00-1:00 pm, Jacobus Lounge

What is a zero-waste lifestyle and how can you accomplish it on a college campus? Inspired by bloggers Lauren Singer and Bea Johnson, SUNY Cortland Residence Hall Director Amy Garside decided to try a zero-waste lifestyle and chronicle her journey for one month. Starting March1, Garside challenged herself give up trash cans. All garbage that she produced she kept and carried with her for one month. The catch was that she had to live a zero-waste lifestyle while residing on a college campus and traveling to a national conference. In this presentation the audience will receive an introduction to living a zero waste lifestyle and learn where our trash goes when it’s taken away. You can also follow Garside’s challenge at

"Sustainable" Habitats for Humanity

April 18, 6:00 pm, Caleion Room, Corey Union

The goal of the Habitat for Humanity Club’s program is to teach ways for students to create sustainable and environmentally friendly living spaces for themselves now and in the future. The group will share statistics about how much energy and waste a household emits per year. Then they will break the audience into four groups. Each group will go to a station where they will learn a specific aspect of living in an environmentally friendly home with a hands-on activity.

Caterpillar Gardening: The Plants That Butterflies & Moths Need to Complete Their Life Cycles

April 19, 7-8:30 pm, Sperry 204

Gardening for butterflies and moths is more than planting nectar sources for adults. Native plant expert Colleen Wolpert will show how people can assist them in all stages of their lifecycle as well as distinguish them from pests.

Plant Fair

April 20,11:00 AM, In front of Memorial Library (rain Location Cornish Hall Lobby)

Student Affairs Sustainability Committee and Campus Garden Committee

Join us for the annual plant fair!


JOYFUL: Celebrating our Earth - A family event

April 30, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM Memorial Library, Teaching Materials Center 

JOYFUL is an acronym for Joining Our Youth, Families, and University for Learning.  Come join the group on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Teaching Materials Center of Memorial Library for a fun family event celebrating our Earth.  Art projects, books, poems and songs for children age 2-8 and their families.

Anti-racism Ally Looks to Instill Change

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SUNY Cortland’s Black Student Union (BSU) asked students to voice their thoughts on issues of race last semester. Now, the College is beginning to put those thoughts into action.

On Wednesday, April 13, international anti-racist educator Tim Wise will discuss how to overcome racism in society at his talk “Challenging the Culture of Cruelty: Understanding and Defeating Race and Class Inequity in America” at 7 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public.

“This is the first big effort the campus is showing to make changes,” said Jonah Reardon, SUNY Cortland’s Dragon Hall residence director.

“We are really focusing on the information students gave us from the town hall meetings and doing something about it,” said Reardon, referring to feedback gained from two all-campus meetings held during the fall semester and organized by the Black Student Union (BSU).

Named among the “25 Visionaries Who are Changing the World” by Utne Reader, Wise prompts his audiences to recognize their own role in co-creating a fair society and fighting the idea of white privilege.

“As capitalism developed, nationally, internationally and then globally, elites often used racism and notions of white supremacy to maintain and extend their powers,” Wise said on his website.

He encourages his audience to stand up in situations that challenge inclusion.

As a college activist, the Tulane University graduate began taking a leadership role with social justice issues when he fought for divestment from apartheid in South Africa. Later he served as a youth coordinator and associate director for the Louisiana Coalition against Racism and Nazism. He also has worked on improving economic inequality and combatting poverty in New Orleans.

From 1999 to 2003, Wise was an adjunct professor at the Smith School of Social Work in Northampton, Mass. He also advised the Fisk University Race Relations Institute in Nashville, Tenn.

Wise has authored numerous books including Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, Colorblind, and Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor. He has spoken on more than 800 colleges and high school campuses and to community groups across the nation.

Wise has appeared on CNN and MSNBC to discuss race issues, and was featured in a 2007 segment on “20/20.”

This event is sponsored by the offices of the President, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Student Affairs; the offices of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Professional Studies, and Dean of Education; the offices of the Director of Corey Union, Multicultural Life and Diversity, and Residence Life and Housing; Student Government Association; BSU; Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educations (C.U.R.E.) Program; Alumni Engagement; and the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association.

Visit the website for more background on Wise. For more information regarding the event, contact Reardon at or 607-753-2178.

Prepared by public relations intern Bethany Lunden

Health Educator to Discuss Firearms

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Amy Thompson, a health educator, author and international presenter on the relationship between public health and gun violence, will speak on Thursday, April 7, at SUNY Cortland.

Thompson, a professor of health education at the University of Toledo, who among many areas of health research has studied guns as a public health risk, will begin at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205.

The talk, titled “Armed and Dangerous: the Impact of Guns on Public Health,” represents the ninth Charles N. Poskanzer Lecture sponsored by the College’s Health Department. The lecture is free and open to the campus and community.

Amy Thompson
Amy Thompson

The event is supported by the Charles N. Poskanzer Fund, an endowment named in honor of the late SUNY Distinguished Service Professor emeritus who taught in the College’s Health Department for 40 years.

Among diverse research topics, Thompson has focused attention on firearms including gun violence inside schools, psychiatric residency directors’ perceptions of firearm access by the mentally ill in the U.S., and university presidents’ perceptions and practices regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses.

She wrote a chapter for the 2012 book Public Health, “Gun Violence: A Public Health Epidemic.”

She co-authored articles on the subject for publication in periodicals including Journal of Community Health and Journal of American College Health.

Thompson has addressed international health educators on the subject at conferences in San Pao, Brazil, and Montreal, Canada; and national audiences at professional gatherings.

From May 2002 to August 2003, she served as director of education and research for the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. She was responsible for coordinating educational programming and research related projects and for organizational advocacy activities.

Thompson, who joined the University of Toledo in 2010 as an assistant professor and achieved the rank of professor in 2013, has doctorate and master’s degrees in her field from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Thompson founded in 2013 and directs the Center for Health and Successful Living, the first of its kind interdisciplinary chronic disease center focusing on community engagement and student learning and retention.

Thompson was honored as the 2013 National Health Education Advocate of the Year and as a 2015 University of Toledo Cultural Ambassador. She is an honorary member and the immediate past president of the national health association in her field, National Eta Sigma Gamma.

The Poskanzer Fund was established through the Cortland College Foundation as an endowment to support an annual, public lecture offered by the College’s Health Department in honor of its former colleague. Since Poskanzer’s death in 2010, the fund has continued to grow through donations made in his memory. The Poskanzer Lecture allows the Health Department to bring national leaders in public and community health to campus to meet with students and faculty and to deliver a public lecture on a current public health issue.

For more information on the Poskanzer Lecture, contact Al Sofalvi, assistant professor of health, at 607-753-2980.

Cortland Plays Key Role in New SUNY Project Targeting Relationship Violence

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Victims of sexual and interpersonal violence often need to leave unsafe situations quickly, heading to local rape crisis and domestic violence shelters with just the clothes on their backs. A new SUNY system-wide effort will provide them important resources and personal care items, thanks to a major assist from SUNY Cortland and a local employer. 

“SUNY’s Got Your Back,” a project led by the system’s Title IX Coordinators Association and announced by Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on Monday, offers victims “comfort bags” — essentially backpacks that include crucial information and other necessary items, such as a toothbrush, soap and shampoo. All 2,500 hygiene kits in those bags were donated by J.M. Murray, a local manufacturing and packaging company that utilizes the skills of people with disabilities.

“We’re a brand new organization of Title IX coordinators and as we kicked off, we wanted to launch a project that gives back to our different communities throughout New York state,” said SUNY Cortland Title IX Coordinator Nan Pasquarello, an executive board member of the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association (STIXCA). “J.M. Murray really stepped up by providing the starter products for every single bag in the SUNY system.”

SUNY is partnering with the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) on the project.

The initial goal was to provide 2,016 backpacks during the 2016-17 academic year from SUNY campuses to local rape crisis and domestic violence programs such as the YWCA Aid to Victims of Violence in Cortland. Pasquarello initially approached J.M. Murray about providing a single item for the bags, but the company offered to provide a small package with several personal care supplies.

Each comfort bag also will come with a card with key resources listed on it as well as “personal touch” items from each campus that students will help prepare, Pasquarello noted. Some bags might include crayons and coloring books for victims with children.

“This is a way of giving back to those rape crisis and domestic violence programs that are available to our students if they need them,” Pasquarello said. “It’s to let people know that we care and that they’re not alone.”

Last fall, SUNY unveiled two web-based tools to support victims of sexual assault or domestic violence, whether the victim attends a SUNY school or lives in a nearby community. The first resource is a mobile website — SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Resource (SAVR) — which lists all of the resources and contact information available by SUNY campus or zip code. The second is a multi-lingual resource — Visa and Immigration Resource for Colleges and Universities — which colleges and universities can customize to share critical information with international students in their native language. 

For more information about “SUNY’s Got Your Back,” visit the project’s webpage.

Athletics Offers Free Admission to Seniors

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Individuals who are 60 years or older who already make the Cortland area their home have a new reason to feel it’s the ideal place to spend their sunset working years or retirement.

SUNY Cortland Athletics, in a partnership with the Cortland County Area Agency on Aging, recently began offering master passes to allow these senior citizens, along with one guest, into every regular season home athletic event free of charge.

Proponents hope a much greater age range of Red Dragon fans will fill the stands at the Stadium Complex, Corey Gymnasium and other campus athletic venues.

“We are already getting calls and requests, which is awesome,” said Jaclyn Lawrence ’12, assistant director of athletics for events, marketing and development at SUNY Cortland.

The inquiring seniors are responding to an advertisement in the Area Agency on Aging’s March-April senior newsletter.

“It’s absolutely a win/win, that’s how I see it,” Lawrence said. “Our athletic program is not about making money, it’s about having people in our stands and integrating into the community more. It’s about having young people learning from older people. It’s what I’ve been trying to do in my position: get more people involved.”

The teams should soon begin to see more boosters alongside court, field and rink.

“It just happens to work out timing-wise,” Lawrence said. “Our students tend to come to a Friday night basketball game and then the team plays again on Saturday afternoon when the older people might be more inclined to come. That kind of balances out.”

Events covered by the master passes that ordinarily would cost senior citizens $3 per person include football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, women’s gymnastics, wrestling and field hockey. Regular admission to those games is $4.

The guest passes allow for some really pleasing fan combos of senior citizen couples as well as parent-child and grandparent-grandchild, Lawrence noted.

“An older gentleman called after the ad ran in the senior newsletter and was so excited about the master passes,” Lawrence said. “His granddaughter is studying sports medicine here and now he can go to games where she’s doing athletic training stuff.”

Postseason play isn’t covered by the master passes because the College is required by the NCAA to charge admission, Lawrence said. Neither will the master passes be honored at Red Dragon games played at other colleges or special competitions like the Cortaca Jug football game.

SUNY Cortland Athletics currently doesn’t charge admission for baseball, softball, swimming, track and field, or soccer. Lawrence has noticed that about 30 percent of people in the stands at baseball games are from older generations and wonders if the rest of the games will soon begin to see that much age diversity.

Athletics will work closely with the Area Agency on Aging to send fall, winter and spring sport schedules to all the senior citizens with senior passes.

Lawrence conceived of growing the Red Dragon fan base over the holidays in Fort Myers, Fla., where she noticed that about 80 percent of attendees at a Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball game were senior citizens.

“I never realized it until I went to this collegiate game and saw it for myself,” she said.

While Cortland County has nowhere near the resident base of senior citizens that Florida does, Lawrence is convinced that the master passes should improve the number of fans attending home games. But the benefits go way beyond that.

“In Florida, I noticed they were super engaged in the game, super excited,” she said. “They behave like true fans, not talking with friends or on their phones. They get to know the athletes and feel totally at home in their venue. They were standing up, cheering and clapping during starting lineups.

“The older generation appears to be better fans, more positive and louder,” Lawrence said. “They’re not distracted by other things.”

By chance the next day a Tompkins County senior citizen emailed Lawrence inquiring about entertainment opportunities in Cortland County, where the woman planned to move soon.

“I met for an hour with this woman, Carol Milton, to get her perspective on things,” Lawrence said. “Going to that game and then getting that email from her, it was perfect timing.”

Lawrence offered the woman a master pass and in turn was referred to Elizabeth Haskins, who directs Cortland County Area Agency on Aging. Lawrence and Haskins began a correspondence that led to the master passes incentive.

Interested individuals in this age group can obtain a master pass by calling the Area Agency on Aging at 607-753-5060 or Lawrence, at 607-753-4923. The business-card sized, laminated passes also can be picked up at one of Cortland County’s eight senior centers.

Female Gospel Ensemble Raises Voices

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When SUNY Cortland junior Karlene Anderson first wanted to start a small chorale derived from the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir, only females were interested.

As a result, Anderson and the ensemble chose a name, Proverbs 31, to reflect a Bible verse considered to be an ode to Christian women.

Directed by Anderson, the choral ensemble is made up of Jocenelle Alcime, Crissana Christie, Lisa Hamilton, Margarita Harper-Ottey, Stephanie Hector, Laura Marte and Jennifer Pharnord. In addition to these core eight Gospel Choir members, the ensemble also features Carlos McArthur.

“Proverbs 31 is a platform for us to embrace our musical culture,” said member Christie, a senior biomedical sciences major from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Anderson, a junior childhood education major from Cambria Heights, N.Y., said she always has loved to sing. A part of the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir since her first year at the College, in Fall 2014 her desire to direct a choir led her to form Proverbs 31.

“Proverbs 31 is the example that we are supposed to be to other young women,” Anderson said. “We try to stay strong in our faith and encourage our neighbors.”

More than a singing group of humble young women, Proverbs 31 is a family, she said.

“It’s like gaining a bunch of siblings,” Anderson said. “We have a bond for life.”

The chorale connects in a spiritual bond of fellowship outside of rehearsal, for example, by making meals together.

“One night we were having a dinner and making toasts and after I spoke all of us embraced each other,” said Hector, a childhood/early childhood education major from North Baldwin, N.Y. “I felt a part of the group and a true member. I knew they honestly loved me and cared about me.”

After Anderson graduates this May, the legacy of Proverbs 31 will shift into Hector’s hands.

“Our message behind Proverbs 31 will continue to stay true,” Hector said. “We will inspire you and push you forward.”

With a songbook similar to that of the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir, Proverbs 31 members practice to harmonize on a higher level than the Gospel Choir. Students wishing to join the group are encouraged to join Gospel Choir first before they audition to be a part of the small group.

Rehearsals take place at 7 p.m. Sundays in the Dowd Fine Arts Center, Room 111. The Gospel Choir practices at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the same location.

The Gospel Choir 2016 concert will feature both groups at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Old Main Brown Auditorium.

The Gospel Choir and Proverbs 31 are supported by Alumni Engagement; Cortland College Foundation; Division of Student Affairs; President’s Office; Educational Opportunity Program (EOP); Multicultural Life and Diversity Office; departments of communication studies and political science; and Student Government Association.

For more information on the Gospel Choir and Proverbs 31 performances, contact Seth Asumah, SUNY Cortland distinguished teaching professor and chair of political science, at 607-753-20644; Deyquan Bowens; or Deborah Dintino.

Prepared by public relations intern Bethany Lunden

College Seeks Efficiency Ideas

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Frustrated by workplace inefficiencies that seem to waste time or money?

Inspired with an idea to improve how things but aren’t sure who to tell?

Share your thoughts through SUNY Cortland’s interactive efficiency survey.  All members of the College community are encouraged to visit the site and submit ideas for making the college more efficient and sustainable.

To participate, simply go to

In addition to anonymously posting your own thoughts, the site allows you to vote for or against the ideas of coworkers, students and other participants.  To date, more than 131 efficiency ideas have been posted.

The effort began during the Fall 2015 semester when Vice President for Finance and Management David Duryea assembled an Efficiencies Advisory Committee composed of faculty, staff, and administrators across many different departments. He charged the committee with surveying the college community for their ideas about reducing costs, streamlining processes, and eliminating waste. The committee, chaired by Kathleen Lawrence, an associate professor in communication studies, posted the survey on March 28. Submissions will be accepted through Monday, April 18.

To ensure transparency and encourage engagement through voting, all submissions are publicly posted. The committee hopes to hear from students, alumni, faculty, staff and and local residents.

After the survey period is over, the committee will sort through the submissions and comments, classifying them into meaningful groups and themes. They will then be passed along to the President's Cabinet.

To participate in the survey, just go to

GIS Majors Map Out Their Futures

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Nick SanPhillipo ’15 came to SUNY Cortland with a wide range of interests and curiosity, but still not entirely decided on the right academic major.

Today, less than a year after his graduation, he’s working as a geographic information system (GIS) specialist in a growing field he discovered at the College. It’s a discipline that commonly uses computers and global positioning system (GPS) technology for mapping purposes, one that brings many valuable applications for monitoring the environment. 

Better than simply finding a major or a job, SanPhillipo has gone a step further in helping current SUNY Cortland GIS majors map out their own futures. He recently returned to campus to recruit students at the College’s annual Career and Internship Fair, offering hands-on summer work opportunities that eventually could turn into careers.

“The possibilities in this field are endless,” said SanPhillipo, who resides in Hewlett, N.Y., and works with New York American Water. “Some companies are just now seeing what GIS is capable of providing and what it might do for them in the future.”

Nick SanPhillipo ’15 presented in an advanced GIS class when he returned
to campus to recruit current students for internships.

The number of practitioners relying on the technology-inspired work is rising, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They include government agencies, disaster response teams and providers of public utilities like the one that hired SanPhillipo. Water companies commonly map underground pipes to streamline maintenance and monitor their condition. Many other employers are gathering similar data.

“We’re seeing a real growth in the number of jobs out there,” said Wendy Miller, an associate professor of geography who invited SanPhillipo to speak to her advanced GIS class when he came back to visit. “There’s lots of activity in environmental science, whether it’s the (Department of Environmental Conservation) mapping forests or a private group working with a logging company to harvest sustainably or a non-profit group assessing river health.

“Really, it’s anything you can think of.”

SanPhillipo credited the summer internship he obtained with the Department of Public Works in Cortland as a crucial point in his undergraduate career. Before graduation, he had gained crucial experience updating maps and using GPS software to track the department’s fire hydrants and valves.

“I liked that the work was hands-on,” said SanPhillipo, who pursued a concentration in advanced geospatial applications and a minor in computer applications. “I liked that it could be in the office but that it also involved field work.” 

Miller noted that other students follow similar paths — leveraging local opportunities during college to eventually land jobs across the country that advance business, the environment and infrastructure planning. SanPhillipo had earned one five minutes away from his house roughly just a couple months after his graduation.

“It’s such a growing field,” he said. “There’s just so much opportunity.”

Diplomat’s Visit Brings International Education to Cortland

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In preparing to represent the West African country of Cameroon during an upcoming Model United Nations (MUN) trip to New York City, student members of the College’s team asked their faculty advisor about the most crucial duties of a diplomat.

Advisor Dennis Weng decided to go directly to the source. He began a flurry of phone calls and email messages that eventually resulted in one of Cameroon’s diplomats driving up to Cortland from the country’s New York City embassy several days before the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference, which took place March 27 to 31.

“The best way to get students involved is to help them find what they’re interested in,” said Weng, an assistant professor of political science at the College. “Some are interested in a career in international affairs so I thought why not contact a real diplomat and see how he or she responds.” 

Eventually, on the Friday before the College’s spring break started, he received a reply. Cameroon’s ambassador to the UN, Michel Tommo Monthe, had noticed the multiple requests. Not only did he invite SUNY Cortland’s 18 MUN participants to tour the New York City embassy during their visit, he also offered to send a diplomat to the College to answer questions and help students prepare for their role.

That’s why Nganje Kinge Monono, a second counselor at the Republic of Cameroon Mission to the UN, drove up to Cortland on March 22. 

“We’ve never had the opportunity for a diplomat to come to Cortland, so just getting him here was a huge feat in itself,” said Corey Morris, the student president of MUN and a dual international studies and business economics major from Henderson, N.Y. “Our club also has nine members from international countries, so they appreciated how big of a deal it was.”

Cameroon diplomat
Nganje Kinge Monono, pictured far left, a diplomat from Cameroon, visited
campus at 
the request of Assistant Professor Dennis Weng, pictured far right,
to help prepare students in Model United Nations for their trip to a national

Student MUN members have spent the semester researching Cameroon, a culturally diverse nation of more than 22 million people, and preparing position papers in two-person groups modeled after the UN’s actual committees, Morris explained. While in New York City, the students pretended that they are from Cameroon while addressing topics such as sustainable energy, drug trafficking and healthcare.

Monono spent time with faculty members from academic departments that included Africana studies, international studies and political science. He answered student questions in small group and large lecture hall settings inside Sperry Center. Roughly 30 students attended his public talk. They asked about his path to becoming a diplomat, his most important duties and some of his job’s biggest challenges.

“It’s an art,” Monono said of his profession, emphasizing the importance of speaking, writing and effective negotiation skills. “I represent my country. I represent my government. I always have to remember that.”

His remarks offered an insider’s perspective of diplomatic immunity, the resolution process and the future of the UN.

“What you’re doing with Model UN goes a long way in educating what it’s like to be a diplomat,” Monono told students. “With Model UN, you start to understand (the UN) still is very relevant today.”

The rewards of his job are numerous, he said, but so are its difficulties — namely the time demands, living apart from family and maintaining a public image that represents Cameroon well. He fielded a question about the potential for a personal opinion to conflict with the nation the person represents.

“It’s sometimes hard for your personal opinion to be understood as your own,” he said. “Don’t forget that you’re representing a country and the country’s interests are bigger than your own.”

Weng said he was impressed by the turnout of SUNY Cortland students, the thoughtful questions that they asked and their interest in careers related to international affairs. He particularly was moved by an exchange between Monono and Welly Ekoumilong, a senior international studies major from New York City whose family came to the U.S. from Cameroon.

Ekoumilong’s late father also served as a Cameroonian diplomat and Monono knew him well. 

“I’m happy I had the opportunity to shake his hand,” Ekoumilong said. “He remembered my family and my mother still keeps up with the politics of Cameroon so it was very special.”

Weng said the practice for the MUN conference also opened students’ eyes to a potential career path in international affairs.

“I think students learned that being a diplomat can be a proud career if you love representing your country but that you also need to have passion because it’s not always pretty,” Weng continued. “I think they saw that it’s inspiring and it’s work worth doing.”

Chancellor Recognizes Four Students for Excellence

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Three SUNY Cortland seniors and one recent graduate were honored with the State University of New York’s top student awards in Albany, N.Y., on April 5.

The College’s recipients of the 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence are:

  • Brittnie Daugherty, a senior sociology/criminology major from Marathon, N.Y.
  • Kyle Davis ’15, a political science and communication studies major from Cortland, N.Y.
  • Ricardo Destinvil, a senior political science major from Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Jennifer Scheu, a senior psychology major from Centereach, N.Y.

This award is given each year to students from SUNY’s 64 campuses who have demonstrated academic excellence while balancing leadership roles, campus involvement, community service and achievements in the arts, athletics and/or career related pursuits.

Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a committee to review and select outstanding graduating seniors. The nominees are forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review and the selection of a group of finalists. Each honoree receives a framed certificate and medallion to wear at Commencement in May.

Along with this year’s honorees, 80 SUNY Cortland students have earned the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence since the program began in 1997.

The College’s 2016 honorees go beyond expectation.

Here’s a more in-depth look at each 2016 SUNY Cortland recipient:

Brittnie Daugherty

Daugherty was apprehensive as the first person in her family to attend college and concerned about the challenges she would face. Her fears did not hold her back from soaring in her studies and taking advantage of many opportunities the College has to offer, including service as Student Activities Board (SAB) club president, resident assistant, Judson H. Taylor Leadership House manager, teaching assistant, tour guide and orientation assistant.

Daugherty’s success began with an SAB meeting she attended her first year of college.

Brittnie Daugherty
Brittnie Daugherty

“I found my second family there and they have really helped me to grow as a person,” Daugherty said.

She takes great pride in her work as RA and Leadership House manager. Residence Life and Housing helped her to find comfort in transitioning to a college environment, and she continues to return the favor with her own residents.

Daugherty earned a spot on the Dean’s List and President’s List every semester. She was inducted into the Cortland chapter of the national interdisciplinary honor society Phi Kappa Phi and was recognized for her campus leadership with the Outstanding First Year Student Award, an Outstanding Student Leader Award and the Excellence in Leadership Award.

Daugherty plans to pursue a master’s degree in student affairs. She also has advice for her classmates.

“No matter what, passion is key,” Daugherty said. “Anyone who asks me how to get more out of their experience here, I tell them ‘Think about what they want to do and enjoy doing it.’”

Kyle Davis ’15

As a Cortland native who lived in town, Davis took a front row seat in campus life.

The dual political science and communication studies major soon became familiar with campus community members for his involvement in the Cortland Christian Fellowship Club (CRU), serving as president and treasurer. He immersed himself in intramural leagues and club tennis, tutoring, serving as a teaching assistant for COR 101 and as a senior tour guide.

“I had the best of both worlds,” Davis said. “I recommend to any local student to get involved in clubs, organizations and jobs on campus. Unless you do, you won’t develop those college experiences and make new friends.”

Kyle Davis
Kyle Davis

Davis said joining CRU helped him to find his niche on campus, and helped guide him along his college career. With the organization, he became more active in the Cortland community leading bible studies at various local churches and participating in Loaves and Fishes by serving hot lunches to those in the community in need.

According to Davis, his beliefs encouraged him to persevere and succeed in and outside of the classroom despite any challenges he faced.

“Knowing what you believe in and how you believe helps a lot to overcome that,” Davis said

For his determination and success as a political science major, Davis was recognized with the William Rogers Memorial Award for Excellence, presented to the student with the highest grade point average (GPA) in political science.

Davis graduated in December summa cum laude with an overall 4.05 grade point average. He was named to the President’s and Dean’s List every semester of his college career, and was inducted into the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha as well as Phi Kappa Phi.

He is currently interning for The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and plans on pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.

Ricardo Destinvil

Destinvil is not afraid to hold back his ambitions or his voice on campus.

He has been actively involved in promoting diversity within the community, which has included creating and directing two short PSAs called #Don’tBoxMeIn, a campaign to dispel common stereotypes.

“College is all about where you fit in and Cortland is great when it comes to inclusion,” Destinvil said. “Everyone here has always supported me.”

Destinvil, a political science major, has served as an intern for the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office as well as an activist in his role in the Black Student Union (BSU). Last semester, he spoke at both BSU town hall meetings on adding even more inclusion strategies on campus.

Ricardo Destinvil
Ricardo Destinvil

At the College, Destinvil also has taken on the position of an undergraduate fellow for the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), which has meant attending NASPA conferences and events on behalf of SUNY Cortland. He also assumes the role of building supervisor for the Student Life Center in which he oversees student recreation.

Destinvil has been named to the Dean’s List five times and is a member of the national political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha. The Cortland Writer’s Association literacy magazine has published two of his short works, “Father/Son” and “Angel in Disguise.”

The resident assistant and previous orientation assistant credits many of his successes and opportunities to these two positions.

“Being an RA has been one of the biggest blessings of my life,” Destinvil said. “It gave me an idea of what I want to do in my career path.

“I realized the impact I truly had on students in helping them to transition into their college experiences.”

Destinvil will pursue a master’s degree in higher education student affairs at the University of Connecticut.

Jennifer Scheu

Scheu had always aspired to play collegiate volleyball until she broke her hand before coming to SUNY Cortland. She did not let that setback prevent her from enjoying the sport at the College and accomplishing even more.

Not only did Scheu play for the women’s club volleyball team, she served as its president, treasurer and secretary.

Finding a balance between school and play is important for Scheu.

“Students should not limit themselves,” she said. “They should take opportunities. It’s important to remember that college is not all work, but to have fun too.”

Jennifer Scheu
Jennifer Scheu

Meanwhile, she was a teaching assistant for abnormal psychology, a lead assistant in research for the Cortland Psychophysiology Laboratory (CPL) and a research assistant with the Cortland Attention Laboratory.

Scheu volunteered locally for Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, assisting patients with a range of mental and physical illness, and for the YCWA Aid to Victims of Violence, providing support to individuals who have experienced domestic abuse.

Scheu has maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.16, has made the President’s List every semester and was inducted into the national interdisciplinary honor society Phi Kappa Phi and the international psychological honor society in psychology, Psi Chi. In 2015, she presented a research project on social stimuli at the College’s “Transformations” conference dedicated to student research and creativity.

For her hard work in the Psychology Department, she has been awarded the Psychology Academic Excellence Award, given to a student who has completed over 90 credit hours and has the highest GPA, and has been honored with the Psychology Major Achievement Award. Scheu also earned the Academic Achievement Award for the School of Arts and Sciences, presented to five students with the highest cumulative GPA.

She credits her professors with helping her advance her academic career.

“The experience and knowledge I have gained from these opportunities has helped prepare me for the future,” Scheu said.

Scheu will pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Prepared by public relations intern Bethany Lunden

College Marks 20 Years of Student Research ‘Transformations’

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SUNY Cortland will showcase the College’s top academic work across all disciplines with “Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference” on Friday, April 8.

Celebrating its 20th year in 2016, Transformations features nearly 70 different projects involving more than 125 undergraduate and graduate students. The event, which is free to attend and open to the public, takes place from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Bowers Hall and Sperry Center. Classes will be held as scheduled during the conference.

“Transformations marks one of the biggest days of the academic year and deservedly so,” said Bruce Mattingly, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and chair of the conference committee. “Our students, with the guidance and support of their faculty mentors, have invested countless hours in their impressive scholarly work.

“This is a hard-earned opportunity to share their research and creativity with the larger campus community. Presenting at Transformations serves as a major accomplishment in the college careers of our most promising students.”

An afternoon of student-led presentations and poster sessions follow a keynote address from John Ryder ’73, SUNY Cortland’s former dean of arts and sciences who now serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs and student success at American University of Ras Al Khaminah in the United Arab Emirates. In 1997, when he was the College’s dean of arts and sciences, Ryder was responsible for establishing Scholars’ Day, the event that preceded Transformations. 

Ryder’s talk, titled “The World of Scholarship and Scholarship in the World: Life After Cortland,” begins at 12:30 p.m. in Bowers Hall, Room 1129. Complimentary refreshments will be available from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the first-floor service area of Sperry Center. 

In 2011, a special planning committee renamed and reorganized Scholars’ Day to reflect the College’s strategic priorities of providing a transformational education and fostering academic excellence. The day’s activities continue to highlight student achievement and encourage scholarship in the future.

Among this year’s many topics representing a variety of different academic departments:

  • “Factors Judges Consider when Determining the Admissibility of Psychological Autopsies into Criminal and Civil Proceedings”
  • “Hoxie Gorge Floral Diversity and Pollination Syndrome”
  • “Road Salt and its Effects on River Water Chemistry in Cortland, N.Y.”
  • “Using the Alter-G Treadmill with Overweight Patients at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease”
  • “SUNY Cortland Student Life Center’s Impact on Student Recruitment, Satisfaction and Success”
  • “When One is Not Enough: A Qualitative Exploration of Nonmarital Childbirth Among Low-Income Single Mothers”
  • “Moot Court Oral Argument Demonstration: Kedesh College and A.R.H. v. United States”
  • “Action Research in Professional Development Schools: Improving Teaching and Learning in the Elementary Classroom”
  • “The Regulation of FIFA as a Corporation Operating within the European Union”
  • “Digital Storytelling: Using Free Web 2.0 Tools and Mobile Apps to Engage Young Learners”

A complete list of projects can be found in the Transformations program.

Ryder, who specializes in American philosophy and boasts extensive experience in international education, has worked full-time overseas for nearly six years. This summer, he will become the founding provost of the American University of Malta, a European island country located in the Mediterranean Sea. He previously worked as director of the SUNY system’s International Programs Office and was the president of a university in the Eurasian country of Azerbaijan before taking his current job.

From 1980 to 2002, Ryder put together a distinguished career at SUNY Cortland beginning as a lecturer of philosophy. He eventually chaired the College’s Philosophy Department and co-founded the Project for Eastern and Central Europe. Ryder served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 2002 before directing SUNY’s Center on Russia and the United States, which created various exchange programs between the system and Russian institutions. 

Ryder also has helped establish dual-degree programs with higher education institutions in China, Mexico, Turkey and several other countries. From 2002 to 2012, he served as president of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy (AUDEM), which united scholars representing all academic disciplines from the U.S. as well as Central and Eastern Europe.

His own research focuses on issues in systematic ontology and epistemology as well as social and political philosophy. Ryder has authored and edited many published works, most recently including The Things in Heaven and Earth: An Essay in Pragmatic Naturalism (Fordham University Press, 2013). His papers have been translated and distributed throughout Europe, where he continues to tour universities and conferences as a guest speaker.

Besides Mattingly, the Transformations Committee includes: Phil Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology; Patricia Conklin, professor of biological sciences; Elena Grossman, assistant professor of art and art history; Anita Kuiken, senior assistant librarian in Memorial Library; Lisa Mostert, technology support assistant with Campus Technology Services; Charlotte Pass, associate professor of literacy; Kevin Pristash, director of campus activities and Corey Union; and Kimberly Rombach, associate professor and chair of childhood/early childhood education.

Transformations is supported by the President’s Office and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. SPARK, formerly known as the Student Alumni Association, provides volunteers for Transformations.

For more information, including the complete schedule of events, visit the Transformations Web page at or contact the School of Arts and Sciences at 607-753-4312.

SUNY Cortland Celebrates the Division III Difference

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The NCAA’s Division III distinguishes itself by emphasizing a well-rounded student-athlete experience, one that blends academic excellence, leadership and athletic accomplishments.

In celebrating those qualities, SUNY Cortland Athletics will recognize NCAA Division III Week by honoring major contributors to the program’s unmatched success — Red Dragon student-athletes — beginning Monday, April 4.

“Division III Week is a chance for us to reflect on the far-reaching accomplishments of our student-athletes — not just the awards and accolades they win on the field, but also the sacrifices they make and their efforts off it,” said SUNY Cortland Director of Athletics Mike Urtz ’94 M ’99. “SUNY Cortland produces champions in competition, in the classroom and in the community, and this week marks a great opportunity to recognize that.”

Division III Week will be recognized formally during halftime of the SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse game on Wednesday, April 6. The date coincides with National Student-Athlete Day and the College’s approximately 175 student-athletes who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher will receive certificates for their efforts. The Red Dragons host Union College at 4 p.m.

Student-athletes with unique stories and who embody the Division III experience will be spotlighted each day throughout the week with short videos. Red Dragons past and present are invited to use #D3Week or #whyD3 and join the conversation by sharing their own successes.

Friday, April 8
Erin Wolstenholme, softball

It’s hard enough to play one sport at the collegiate level — let alone two — but that’s exactly what Erin Wolstenholme has done at SUNY Cortland while perfecting the art of time management as a two-sport student-athlete in women’s basketball and softball.

The Oneonta, N.Y., native excelled at both sports in high school in addition to soccer. Everything aligned late in her college search process when Erin decided to attend SUNY Cortland, where she wasn’t forced to focus on one. Early on, however, the demands of playing sports in back-to-back seasons took a small physical toll and Erin battled through injury. 

She persevered with a positive attitude and unwavering effort, and she’s currently in her final sports season as a Red Dragon — serving as a co-captain and starting shortstop for the College’s nationally ranked softball squad.

Thursday, April 7
Carrel Joseph, men’s basketball

As a child growing up in Haiti, Carrel Joseph was surrounded by friends who played soccer, easily the country’s most popular sport. Carrel excelled as a goalie, though he always gravitated more towards basketball. Sports made the adjustment easier after a catastrophic earthquake forced his move to the U.S. — away from his parents — in 2010. Carrel continues to chase his dreams at SUNY Cortland, where he’s a member of the men’s basketball team.

His time as a Red Dragon has included several highlights on the hardwood. This past season, he helped lead his team to a SUNYAC Championship and the NCAA Tournament’s second round. Carrel also was named most valuable player of the SUNYAC Men’s Basketball Tournament after posting a career-high 24 points in the conference title game.

Ask him for the season’s best moment and he’ll point to a December win over SUNY Poly. Although his personal stat line was modest, Carrel’s excitement was understandable: his mother made the trip from Haiti to see him play in person for the first time in his college career.

Wednesday, April 6
Colleen Wright, women’s lacrosse

Colleen Wright anchors the defense of the nation’s top Division III women’s lacrosse team. And she does it while playing with Type I diabetes, a condition she has managed since childhood that forces the team’s senior captain to wear an insulin pump at all times.

Colleen’s body cannot regulate blood sugar on its own, which means high blood sugar levels can force vomiting while low levels can cause seizures. The condition is especially difficult to manage during competition.

That didn’t stop Colleen from starting every game during last season’s national championship run. This past winter, she also served as a youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, consulting with high school students who plan on attending college with the same condition.

A community health major from Huntington Station, N.Y., Colleen wants to become a health educator or a nutritionist after graduation, working to meet the needs of people with diabetes and helping them excel just as she’s done.

Tuesday, April 5
Luke Zuber, men’s soccer

Luke Zuber didn’t accumulate any statistics during his one and only season as a goalkeeper for the College’s men’s soccer team. His importance was evident in other ways, more specifically the challenges he overcame before earning a roster spot as a walk-on in his final season. 

It took time to settle on the perfect academic major, though the Maine, N.Y., native eventually found it in fitness development. Last year, he was cut from the College’s club team. But neither of those setbacks compare to the medical hardships Luke conquered just to attend SUNY Cortland. He beat brain cancer and several bouts with seizures throughout his childhood, even earning Eagle Scout distinction as a teenager.

His medical past forces him to play soccer with limited feeling and mobility in his right foot — something that Luke continues to make up for with his heart.

Monday, April 4
Maddy Scozzie, women’s gymnastics

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who embodies the term ‘student-athlete’ more than Maddy Scozzie.

Very few of her peers can say that they’ve won a national championship. Even fewer can say they’ve done it while achieving perfect marks in the classroom. Maddy, a senior on the College’s women’s gymnastics team, remarkably has done both — earning a national title on the uneven bars in 2015 and maintaining a 4.04 grade point average over her four years.

A native of Ashburn, Va., and a childhood education major, Maddy aspires to be a schoolteacher. She most recently garnered National Collegiate Gymnastics Association All-America accolades for the fourth time in her career and last summer was named a Capital One Division III First Team Academic All-American, an honor she rates as one of her proudest accomplishments at SUNY Cortland.

Onondaga Nation Litigator Joe Heath to Speak

CICC_Where_2015_16_WEB.gif 04/06/2016

Joe Heath, the general counsel for the Onondaga Nation since 1982, will team up with a musical SUNY Cortland faculty member to focus attention on the local politics of fracking and the fight against natural gas storage under Seneca Lake Thursday, April 7.

Joe Heath
Joe Heath

Heath, an attorney since 1975, and Colleen Kattau, an associate professor of Spanish in the Modern Languages Department, will present “What Porter Ranch Can Teach Us about Seneca Lake” at 7 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge.

Her talk continues SUNY Cortland’s yearlong program of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions and concerts themed on “Where Are We?” Events are free and open to the public.

Heath’s most visible work for the Onondaga Nation has centered on environmental protection, particularly under the Clean Water Act and focusing on Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek.

He also has represented the Onondaga people in the areas of archeological site and unmarked burial site protection; Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act repatriation and litigation; Indian Child Welfare Act litigation; hunting and fishing rights; treaty rights; excise tax issues; and land rights.

Heath, who has spoken to landowners in more than 40 towns, will share his knowledge of the many different environmental dangers created by fracking based on his research with community groups over the last six years. For four of those years, he also educated landowners on how to terminate their leases and manage the many questionable ways gas companies are seeking to extend old leases.

Heath previously gained extensive experience in civil rights litigation as one of the four lawyers representing the class action against New York state for the 1971 Attica prison assault and brutality. He also has worked with criminal defense; constitutional law and protection of free speech and assembly; protection of abused and neglected children; and fighting domestic violence.

Heath is an active member of Veterans for Peace.

Kattau, a singer-songwriter, has produced several compilation benefit CDs including “Singing Clear: Clean Earth, Air, Water Round Here.”  

Colleen Kattau
Colleen Kattau

She will perform songs influenced by the movement for alternative energy and against hydraulic fracturing and fracked gas storage in New York state and beyond.

Kattau, who specializes in Latin American literature and culture, is interested in nueva canción or ‘new song’ social movements as they relate to Latin American culture, and translation.  She has written published articles on the new song movement and on women writers, and has created multimedia presentations on art and activism.  

She is active in a sister city partnership between Central New York and Cajibio, Colombia where both communities work together to face similar problems and environmental challenges brought on by corporate incursion.  

“Music has always been an important part of social change activism,” Kattau said. “I will offer two or three songs from the organizing efforts to stop fractured gas storage in Seneca Lake and from the larger movement to make New York state frack-free and wholly powered by renewable energy. In these movements everyone sings — so be ready to sing along!”

Policymaker to Discuss Community Nutrition Planning

A University at Buffalo researcher considering the role of planning and policy in building sustainable food systems and healthy communities will discuss “Planning Communities as if People Eat” on Monday, April 11.

Samina Raja, an associate professor in the University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department, will speak at 4:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104.

Samina Raja
Samina Raja

Raja serves as the principal investigator of the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab — the “Food Lab” — research involving her own team in partnership with collaborators nationwide.

Raja currently directs Growing Food Connections, a comprehensive five-year initiative funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to build capacity of local governments to strengthen food systems.  

Locally, Raja works with partners in Buffalo and surrounding communities to advance the state of food systems planning and policy. She has worked closely for the last 10 years with the Massachusetts Avenue Project to document how its community-based efforts can strengthen food systems and inform food policy and planning.

Raja is a steering committee member of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities-Buffalo coalition, led by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., which strives to encourage policy and environmental change promoting healthy eating and active living in Buffalo. She currently serves on the Buffalo-Erie Food Policy Council, the first city-county food policy council in New York state. 

Immigrants Young and Old to Tell Stories

Students and families of recent immigrants from the H. W. Smith Elementary School in Syracuse, N.Y., will tell their stories in a variety of formats on Monday, April 18.

The program, “Through My Eyes” Café Night, will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge.

For more information, contact Brian Barrett, a SUNY Cortland associate professor of foundations and social advocacy.

Screening Set for ‘I Learn America’

A film about five resilient immigrant teenagers in New York City will be shown Monday, April 25.

“I Learn America” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104.

The International High School is a New York City public school dedicated to serving newly arrived immigrant teenagers, with more than 300 students speaking two-dozen languages from 50 countries.

The movie shows how these youth come together over a year at the International High School at Lafayette and struggle to learn their new land. The students strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years, confront the universal trials of adolescence and search for a future they can claim as their own.

The purpose of the film is that, through the stories and struggles of these five vibrant young people and their willingness to open their lives and share them with us, viewers can “learn America.”

Performance to Tell of Refugees, Family and Faith

Dylan Fresco’s “Welcoming The Stranger,” a 30-minute solo performance weaving together true stories of refugees, family and faith will be presented on Tuesday, April 26.

The presentation, commissioned by Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, starts at 7 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge.

Fresco shares stories of changes in identity, language, and food through the prism of immigration and acculturation in America. He makes links between his own family’s past experience of diaspora with stories of people he’s gotten to know in the Twin Cities who have arrived as refugees in the last decade.

Dylan Fresco
Dylan Fresco

“Welcoming the Stranger” has been performed for theaters, youth groups, colleges, religious organizations and employees of a mental health center. The presentation has been described as “teaching cultural competency in three dimensions.”

By holding an annual series on a different intellectual theme, the CICC committee aims to generate common topics of discussion and to establish traditions of intellectual discourse on SUNY Cortland’s campus. The series encourages faculty and staff to infuse the theme into their course curricula, engage in classroom discussions and debates around the theme, and propose campus events or speakers on topics connected to the theme.

The series also is sponsored by Campus Artist and Lecture Series grants, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs’ Office, the President’s Office, the Cortland College Foundation, the Project on Eastern and Central Europe, the Foundations and Social Advocacy and the Art and Art History departments, the Clark Center for International Education, the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies and the Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educators Program.

For more information, contact CICC co-chair Scott Moranda, associate professor of history, at 607-753-2052.

Iron Pour to Highlight Dowd Exhibition

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Ten sculptors who are geographically linked by the SUNY Cortland studio where they forged their work will hold a group exhibition titled “Coordinates” starting on Monday, Feb. 29, in the College’s Dowd Gallery located in the Dowd Fine Arts Center.

The GPS coordinates 42.589° N x 76.198° W mark the exact location of the foundry furnace at SUNY Cortland. The foundry site beside the College’s Professional Studies Building also is where some works in the exhibition were cast in an iron pour there on Feb. 12.

“Coordinates” will include a selection of earlier pieces created on-site by each of the featured sculptors, who are: Kevin Dartt, Gavin Kenyon, Elizabeth Kronfield, Marie Lorenz, Lionel Maunz, Nikki Moser, Margherita Raso, Matthew Wicker, Vaughn Randall and Jeff Williams.

Nikki Moser sculpture

The exhibit incudes Nikki Moser's 2015 sculpture made of steel, cast iron and plastic miniature trees, titled "Jeffers Tree Farm Fracked and Piped." 

The exhibition, on display through Friday, April 15, is free and open to the public, along with all scheduled events related to “Coordinates.” Events and programs include:

  • An opening reception that will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at the gallery.
  • An artists’ talk by Lorenz and Williams will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at the Dowd Gallery.
  • An artist’s talk by Dartt will begin at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the College’s foundry. The discussion will be followed by an iron pour and performance from 5 to 7 p.m. at the same location. The pour occurs outdoors, so onlookers are encouraged to dress accordingly.

“There’s an old art school adage that sculptors have friends because their works are heavy,” said Randall, an associate professor of sculpture in SUNY Cortland’s Art and Art History Department who helped organize the show and runs the iron pours.

“It’s a little bit true, especially in the field of casting iron — and a pour takes at least four people to accomplish safely,” noted Randall, who with the other artists shares a long history of creative collaboration.

The exhibition explores a wide range of concepts.

“I’m interested in failure and our deep-seated fear of it,” Randall said of his own pieces. “By intentionally doing things wrong, I’m attempting to redefine what is right.”

Moser, from Scranton, Pa., creates work that deals with “fracking,” the controversial hydraulic fracturing method of extracting natural gas from the earth.

“My work seeks to place you in proximity to my own observations while leaving you room to seek meaning, understanding and to potentially re-evaluate your response to the ethical battles we all face,” she explains.

Vaughn Randall
Vaughn Randall's 2015 cast iron sculpture "Fear," will be displayed.

In the ongoing “Tide and Current Taxi” project, New York City-based artist Lorenz ferries people through the region’s water channels in boats she builds. A Web-blog is published about each trip, through which she compares the ancient waterway networks to new digital pathways.

Several of the featured artists participated in a mini-residency program that took place from Feb. 10 to 14 in SUNY Cortland’s beginning and advanced sculpture classes.

“This program offered students a unique opportunity to observe the full arc of the creative process from concept to mold-making to casting and finishing,” said Dowd Gallery Director Erika Fowler-Decatur.

 The Dowd Gallery is located in SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Fine Arts Center, corner of Graham Avenue and Prospect Terrace. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

For more information or regarding group tours, contact Erika Fowler-Decatur, gallery director, at 607-753-4216 or

Roundtable to Discuss Student Life Center

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Exactly what makes the year-old Student Life Center (SLC) a magnet for so many SUNY Cortland students will be discussed during a Community Roundtable on Thursday, April 7, at the College.

Julian Wright, director of recreational sports, who conceived the project two decades ago and then followed it through to fruition, will provide an overview of “Student Life Center Opportunity” from 8 to 9 a.m. in the in the Student Life Center, Room 1104. That is a change from the usual meeting location, the Park Center C-Club Hall of Fame Room.

Afterward, he will take community members who have not seen inside the unique, glass-walled complex on a tour of the facility.

Sponsored by the President’s Office, the roundtable is free and open to the public. Refreshments will precede the lecture at 7:45 a.m.

Since it opened to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 16 last year, the SLC has increased use to an average of 2,200 students per day, with up to 2,600 students some days, Wright said. This represents approximately one-third of the entire student body.

Wright, the man who spearheaded the project to construct a new focal point on campus for student recreation, social interaction and experiential learning, will answer questions after his presentation and before the tour.

During his talk, Wright will provide a brief history of the project; describe the purpose of the facility and its priority of use; will outline special programming opportunities for the College’s students, faculty and staff; discuss sustainability features of the facility; and share usage numbers for the facility and the impact it is having on the SUNY Cortland campus.

Student recreation space is located in the south wing, including two floors of fitness facilities, a three-court gymnasium, a recreational swimming pool, student lounge with video games and pool tables, a one-fifth-mile elevated running track and much more. Features in the north wing of the 150,000-square-foot complex include a 343-seat food court, Recreational Sports’ Outdoor Pursuits Center and a retail snack bar.

Mind-Body Room
Students can nurture their spirits as well as their bodies in the Student Life Center's Mind-Body Room, where new age music wafts around and a ceiling installation mimics the stars. In the photo above left, a pair of students runs the elevated track.

The College also committed to sustainability in designing and building the complex as it strives to achieve the New York state BuildSmart NY program goal, which requires all state-owned and managed buildings to reduce how much power they use 20 percent by 2020.

A succession of campus presidents and senior administrators were involved in bringing the project about. Out in the community, State Sen. James L. Seward, R-Oneonta, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, and former Cortland Mayor Martin “Marty” Mack M ’76, a senior staffer for the New York Attorney General’s Office, were all instrumental in lining up the funding for the $56 million construction project.

For more information, contact Samantha Howell, special events coordinator for the President’s Office, at 607-753-5453.

Social Studies Grad Named State’s Best for Second Straight Year

Old-main-spring-WEB.jpg 04/03/2016

Promising social studies teachers from SUNY Cortland’s Class of 2010 are staking claim to a statewide award.

For the second straight year, the New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS) presented its Susan Wasserman Memorial Award — an honor that recognizes an educator who has demonstrated exceptional potential within the first five years of teaching — to a SUNY Cortland graduate.

Troy Killian ’10, a history teacher at Corcoran High School in Syracuse, N.Y., received this year’s award at the organization’s annual recognition dinner April 1 in Albany. Classmate Lindsay Cook Janssen ’10, who teaches in the Union Springs Central School District, earned the distinction in 2015. 

“They’re both hard-working, creative, go-the-extra-mile type teachers,” said Jim Miller, a lecturer in the College’s History Department who taught both recipients and nominated them for the honor. “They represent everything that the award stands for.”

The individual winner must be knowledgeable in social studies content, excel in teaching practice and relate effectively with students. Miller noted that Janssen and Killian return to campus each fall to offer an inspiring team presentation for aspiring social studies teachers.

“They do an excellent job,” Miller said. “They talk about the realities of teaching and also the hopefulness and the positivity associated with the profession.”

Miller, who taught for 32 years in the Syracuse City School District, said he notices common traits in the successful young social studies educators who graduate from the College — most notably their passion for the profession. Perhaps not surprisingly, he took another member from the Class of 2010 to the recent awards dinner with the intention of nominating her next year and continuing SUNY Cortland’s streak of recognition.

“We’re on a roll,” he said.

Performing Arts Department Presents Spring Musical

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SUNY Cortland’s Performing Arts Department will present “Sunday in the Park with George,” a musical based on the book by James Lapine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

The play will be performed in Dowd Fine Arts Theatre from Friday, April 8, to Sunday, April 10, and Friday, April 15, to Sunday, April 17, with 8 p.m. curtain calls on Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday matinees beginning at 2 p.m.

Based on Georges Seurat’s famous painting, Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play portrays Seurat at work on his famous painting while the fascinating drama of his life unfolds around him. The Grammy award-winning score moves the audience through time as they celebrate life, love and the creation of art.

Cast members include: Kayla Arias, Hailey Aviva, John Cavaseno, Steffanie Chesnut, Andrew Cuccaro, Zachary Enders, Nikki Ferrara, Matthew Henningsen, Sean Thomas Noonan, Camille Parlman, Hailey Pytel, Kevin Rayo, Sarah Shaiman, Benjamin Shimkus, Chloe Solan, Matthew Spina, Emily Woods and Tara Zebrowski.

The director is Mark S. Reynolds and musical direction is by Frederick Willard. Myra Giorgi is the set designer; Preston Mayre is the technical director; Joel R. Pape is the lighting and sound designer; Gretchen Darrow-Crotty is the costume designer; Beth Gailor is the properties designer; and Mark Abrahamson is the stage manager.

Admission is $19 for the general public, $16 for seniors and SUNY staff, and $9 for all students and children. 

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

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Alexandru Balas

Alexandru Balas, International Studies Department and Clark Center for International Education, presented his research projects in three panels at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in March. He presented a paper titled “‘Double Agent’ Negotiators at the Ottoman-Russian-Austrian Peace Negotiations (1699-1878): Applying a Negotiation Analysis Framework to the 18th and 19th Century ‘Eastern Question’ Negotiations.” Also, he was part of two roundtable discussions on the topics of “UN-Regional Collaboration: Achievements, Stumbling Blocks, and the Way Forward” and “The Decline of Violence and the Rise of Peace in the International System.” Finally, he served as a discussant for the panel “Multi-Actor Peace Operations: Approaching a Standard Operating Procedure Theoretically and Empirically.”

Tim Delaune

Tim Delaune, Political Science Department, was a presenter and panel chair/discussant on multiple panels at the Western Political Science Association annual meeting held March 24 -26 in San Diego, Calif. Delaune presented work in progress on the lessons that can be drawn from films and literature about the American West in regard to ethical policing.

Bonni C. Hodges

Bonni C. Hodges, Health Department, was an invited participant in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) “Working Forum on Healthy Schools” held March 22-23 in Washington, D.C. The approximately 80 participants engaged in a series of activities designed to assist RWJF in setting its priorities related to fostering healthy schools as part of its initiatives to build a culture of health.

Kathleen Lawrence

Kathleen Lawrence, Communication Studies Department, had five of her poems published by the HIV Here & Now Project in March. They include “Mingle,” “Male Gaze,” “Muscle Men,” “Breasts and Below” and “Music Menu.” Also, her elegy for B. B. King will be published in an introduction to poetry textbook edited by Gerry LaFemina, forthcoming from Kendall-Hunt. In addition, she received an honorable mention for her abecedarian “Boy Hoods” in the non-rhyming poetry category of the 2015 Writer’s Digest Annual International writing competition. ?

Joshua Peck

Joshua Peck, Psychology Department, had his peer-reviewed paper titled “Abstinence Conflict Model: Toward an Optimal Animal Model for Screening Medications Promoting Drug Abstinence” published in the Journal of the International Review of Neurobiology. The article discusses the rising concern of illegal opiate drug abuse such as heroin and the misuse of legally available pain relievers that have led to serious deleterious health effects or even death. To address this concern, the article argues for the use of animal drug models that more closely approximate the human drug addiction condition. This could lead to the development of more effective environmental and pharmacotherapeutic interventions to treat opiate addiction and addiction to other drugs of abuse. 

Tiantian Zheng

Tiantian Zheng, Sociology/Anthropology Department, was invited by Oberlin College, Ohio, to deliver a campus-wide talk on April 4 on her book Tongzhi Living: Men Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China

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