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  Issue Number 6 • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016  


Campus Champion

The force behind the four political candidate forums and the debate and election watch parties recently held on campus was TJ Keegan, a senior business economics major. TJ proved a master at securing commitments, managing facility and promotional logistics and moderating. And last week, TJ was promoted from chapter president of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a group he founded at SUNY Cortland, to serve as a state chair of the national chapter. During Cortaca, find TJ and YAL members from Cortland and Ithaca College uniting to raise awareness of our rights to exercise free speech, with the help of oversized Free Speech Balls.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, Nov. 8

Native American Film Series: “Drunktown’s Finest,” Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

Election Night Watch Party: Free pizza and wings, Corey Union Function Room, 8 p.m.-midnight

Wednesday, Nov. 9

Sandwich Seminar: “Dissecting the 2016 Elections: The Day After,” presented by Political Science Department faculty members, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Cortaca Car Smash Fundraiser: Taking place between the tennis courts and Lusk Field House, 2-6 p.m.

Brooks Museum Series Lecture: “Mass Extinction Then and Now: Deconstructing Ecosystems and Biodiversity Loss,” presented by Christopher McRoberts, a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Geology. He will discuss how the Triassic period mass extinction offers humanity lessons for today’s world, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 4:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: “Revitalizing Maya Traditions: Object, Place, Time,” Jeremiah Donovan, Art and Art History Department; John Henderson, Anthropology Department, Cornell University; Sebastian Purcell, Philosophy and Art and Art History departments, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge at 5 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: “Managing Your Reputation in the Social Media Age,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, free refreshments, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 10

Sandwich Seminar: “Neurobiology of Drug Addiction Concerning College Students,” by Marla Hairston, psychology honors student, and Joshua Peck, assistant professor of psychology, Old Main Colloquium, noon-1 p.m.

Lecture: “History of Picasso’s ‘Guernica,’”presented by Brett Troyan, History Department, as part of the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee’s series theme Art & Everything, Sperry Center, Room 106, 4:30 p.m.

Grocery Bingo CORTACA Edition: Corey Union Function Room, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 11

Admissions Open House: Student Life Center, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Non-Traditional Students' Week Event: Veterans’ Day Brunch, the Non-Traditional Student Organization will host a brunch for our veterans and adult students. Non-Traditional Students' Lounge, Cornish Hall, Room 1221, stop by when you can between 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Veterans Day Ceremony: Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 3 p.m., a reception will follow in the Margaret A. Curry ‘52 Main Lobby

Friday Films at Four: “The Candidate,” (1972) directed by Michael Ritchie and presented by Scott Anderson, Geography Department, Old Main, Room 223, Modern Languages Lab, 4 p.m.

Psychic Readings: A CORTACA 2016 event, Student Life Center, 5-9 p.m.

Escape Rooms: Beat the clock and escape the rooms, a CORTACA 2016 event Student Life Center, 5-9 p.m.

CORTACA Mug: Activities, prizes, live music and free food, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12

J.O.Y.F.U.L. Family Times: “Our 5 Senses!” event for children ages 2-8 and their families, Education Building, Child Care Center, 10 a.m.-noon

CORTACA Free Speech Ball: Express yourself, share a comment, sponsored by the SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College chapters of the Young Americans for Liberty. Stadium Complex parking lot, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Corey Union steps, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Student Life Center, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

CORTACA Jug Football Game vs. Ithaca College: The first 1,000 SUNY Cortland students to enter receive a Blaze coupon good for one free hot dog, bag of chips and beverage, Stadium Complex, noon.

CORTACA GlowRage: The Ultimate Paint Party Experience: Moffett Center gym, show starts at 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door.

Sunday, Nov. 13

CORTACA Clean-up: Volunteers should meet outside of Brix, 60 Main St. at the corner of W. Court St., noon-2 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 14

Non-Traditional Students’ Week Event: “Coffee, Croissants and Conversation, Non-Traditional Students' Lounge, Cornish Hall, Room 1221, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Non-Traditional Students’ Week Event: Non-Trad Week Fiesta, the Non-Traditional Student Organization will host a South of the Border luncheon. Non-Traditional Students’ Lounge, Cornish Hall, Room 1221, stop by when you can between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Documentary: “Black Russians,” (U.S., 2014), investigates the lives of contemporary Afro-Russians aged 10 to 65, born and raised in Soviet Russia, Sperry Center, Room 104, 4:30 p.m.

Native American Film Series: “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 p.m.

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

College Singers Concert: Performing Arts Department, Dowd Fine Arts Theatre at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

Wellness Wednesday: “Great American SmokeOut,” Student Life Center, noon-3 p.m.

Non-Traditional Students’ Week Event: “Scholarships for Non-Traditional Students,” Cornish Hall, Room 1310 (Computer Lab), 1:30 p.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “‘Lock Her Up,’ ‘Build the Wall,’ and ‘the Radical Fringe’”: The Politics of Language Post-Election,” by Karla Awles, English Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Presentation: “Guernica: Poetry and Music,” Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee event, Dowd Fine Arts Atrium, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 17

UUP Chapter Meeting Luncheon: “Difficult Communication/ Reflective Listening Workshop,” by John Suarez, Office of Service-Learning, Institute for Civic Engagement, Corey Union Function Room, noon-1 p.m., buffet opens at 11:45 a.m. R.S.V.P. by email to

Sandwich Seminar: “Oral History Projects for Cortland County,” by Evan Faulkenbury, History Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 18

Non-Traditional Students' Week Event: “Planetarium Show,” family event limited to 40 seats. Non-traditional students should RSVP to Cheryl Hines, Bowers Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 20

M.O.V.E. Celebration of Men: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 12-2:30 p.m.

Full Week of Cortaca Jug Events Planned


The SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College football teams won’t meet for the 58th annual Cortaca Jug rivalry game until Saturday, Nov. 12, but students can begin celebrating the legendary tradition Monday, Nov. 7, as a week of Cortaca-related activities and events kicks off.

The activities range from psychic readings and escape rooms to our Lose the Blues T-shirt campaign and an otherworldly glow-paint dance party. It’s a red and white week of contests and school spirit that culminates with the annual football contest itself — which Sports Illustrated dubbed “The Biggest Little Game in the Nation.”

“Very few colleges our size have anything remotely like the Cortaca Jug,” SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum said. “It’s a source of institutional pride and a bridge between students and alumni — some of whom graduated more than half a century ago.”

Cortaca Week events are planned to give students safe options for celebrating the legendary clash of gridiron rivals. SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College will square off at noon Saturday, Nov. 12, at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.

The game will be televised live on Time-Warner Cable, channel 325, in the Cortland-Ithaca region, and will be available through the campus cable system on channel 20. It will also be streamed live over the Internet through the Cortland Athletics website.

Cortaca Week at a glance:

Monday, Nov. 7: Cap it off

  • Cortaca hat giveaway alert, noon. Learn where and when the Student Government Association will be giving away free Cortaca baseball hats this day by checking the association’s Instagram account @CortlandSGA. To get a hat, students must be following SGA’s Instagram account.

Tuesday, Nov. 8: Lose the Blues, witness history

  • Cortaca hat giveaway alert, noon, on Instagram @CortlandSGA
  • Lose the Blues, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Student Life Center. Exchange any article of blue-colored clothing for a brand-new red t-shirt emblazoned with the winning design of the 2016 Cortaca Jug student t-shirt contest, sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association. All donated clothing will be given to charity, and will count in the College’s competition against a similar “Shed the Red” campaign run at Ithaca College.
  • Election Night Watch Party, 8 p.m., Corey Union Function Room. You’ve (hopefully) cast your vote, now watch the fate of the nation unfold with your fellow Red Dragons while munching free pizza and wings. Remember, the colors of Cortaca are red, white and blue!

Wednesday, Nov. 9: Crunch a car for Cortaca

  • Cortaca Philanthropy Car Smash, 2 to 6 p.m., outside between the tennis courts and Lusk Field House. For a small donation to the United Services Organizations, a nonprofit group that assists United States military personnel and their families, students can take a sledgehammer to a soon-to-be-scrap vehicle. Sponsored by Theta Chi fraternity.
  • Wellness Wednesday reputation management presentation, 7 p.m., Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. Learn why career-minded students should think twice before every impulsive Tweet, Snapchat post, Instagram offering or Facebook comment at the Cortaca edition of “Managing Your Reputation in the Social Media Age.”

Thursday, Nov. 10: Play Bingo for food and Red Dragon gear

  • Lose the Blues, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Brockway Hall, Room 203.
  • Cortaca hat giveaway alert, noon, on Instagram @CortlandSGA
  • Grocery Bingo – Cortaca Edition, 8:30 p.m., Corey Union Function Room. Students can win groceries and SUNY Cortland or Cortaca apparel by playing Bingo. Sponsored by the Student Activities Board.

Friday, Nov. 11: See the future, escape the present, celebrate tradition

  • Cortaca hat giveaway alert, noon, on Instagram @CortlandSGA
  • Psychic readings, 5 to 9 p.m., Student Life Center. Want to know who will win Cortaca? A gathering of working psychics are available to share their extrasensory perspective on student concerns. You can decide whether they really have “the sight.”
  • Escape Rooms, 5 to 9 p.m., Student Life Center. Groups of friends can work against the clock to solve puzzles and piece together clues needed to break out of one of several themed “escape rooms.”
  • Cortaca Mug, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Interfaith Center, across the street from the Dowd Fine Arts Center. This is the ninth year of Cortland’s increasingly well-attended, alcohol-free Cortaca Jug pre-party. Students can win great prizes, eat free food and participate in a wide variety of fun activities. Live music features singer and guitarist John Rush, known as “The Human IPod” because he takes just about all song requests, who starts at midnight.

Saturday, Nov. 12: Cheer on the team, bask in the glow

  • Free Speech Balls – Cortaca Jug edition. Express yourself by writing a thought or comment on one of three giant inflatable balls rolling on campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the steps of Corey Union, and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Student Life Center and in the Stadium Complex parking lot. Sponsored jointly by the SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College chapters of the Young Americans for Liberty.
  • Cortaca Jug, noon, SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. The first 1,000 SUNY Cortland students to enter will receive a Blaze Coupon good for one free hot dog, a bag of chips and a beverage. The Student Life Center and all campus dining facilities will maintain their normal hours, although the game between Cortland and Ithaca will be playing on all video and television screens.
  • GlowRage, 8 p.m., Moffet Gymnasium. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this electronic dance music party, which features a D.J and washable neon paint that makes the whole room glow. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Sponsored by the Student Activities Board, which posted some GlowRage videos on their Instagram page.

Sunday, Nov. 13: Thank the community

  • Cortaca Cleanup, noon to 2 p.m., meet downtown outside of Brix restaurant. This popular, annual event shows the community that SUNY Cortland students are responsible, civic-minded people.

Student Reconstructs Lost Maya Pigment


For centuries, scientists from around the globe have probed the secrets of an ancient azure pigment known as Maya blue that vanished thousands of years ago. Maya blue is singularly resilient, adding color to Maya artifacts millennia after other pigments have worn away.

Although descendants of the Maya have begun creating ceramic pottery using the traditional methods of their ancestors, they had long ago lost the recipe used to create the durable paint ancient Maya artisans began using on ceramics and stonework around A.D. 300.

Until, that is, SUNY Cortland senior Kelly McKenna figured it out.

McKenna, an art history major and archeology minor, drew on her chemistry background and began a quest to find the right mix of natural compounds that would yield a contemporary blue paint that closely mimics the lost, nearly permanent, sacred pigment of the Maya.

Having earned an undergraduate summer research grant to recreate the rare pigment, McKenna — under the supervision of SUNY Cortland’s Jeremiah Donovan, a professor of ceramics in the Art and Art History Department — rolled up her sleeves and dug clay from the banks of the nearby Groton River. Her work paralleled the process the Maya used to collect clay from the rain forest surrounding them.

Donovan’s 40 years of experience studying ceramics in international cultures — including the unique clay compositions yielded by differing geographical locations — helped discover that local source of suitable clay. Working with Scott Moranda, an associate professor in SUNY Cortland’s History department, he examined the distinctive sediment of the Groton river.

“[Moranda] and I walked the land this past summer and discovered old brick factories in the area, which also had areas of clay excavation,” Donovan said.

With the help of Moranda’s historical research on Groton’s brickyards, Donovan deduced that the local river would house the ‘right’ clay for McKenna’s experiments.“Together Professor Donovan and I used shovels to dig up a decent amount of clay to make about 20 test tiles,” McKenna said. “Digging clay, especially when wet, is a laborious task.”

Kelly McKenna, an art history major and archeology minor, and Jeremiah Donovan, a professor of ceramics in the Art and Art History Department

Working mainly out of the ceramics studio, McKenna spent roughly 35 to 40 hours a week measuring and processing clay, using a kiln to heat tiles and alter chemical composition.

“There wasn’t a typical day per se. Each day was different and each day required a new way of looking at the problem to find a solution,” McKenna said. “Whether it was that the pigment ratios were not quite right or the scales couldn’t register such a fine amount, each day was a new challenge.”

Uniquely singular to that of the Maya people of Central America, this mysterious blue pigment is impervious to weathering, acid and harsh solvents. The resilient sky-blue hue remains vibrant on pottery, murals and other artifacts produced by the Maya people centuries after other colors have faded away.

Scientists have long known that the remarkably stable Maya blue results from a unique chemical bond between indigo dyes from the Añil plant and palygorskite, a clay mineral with unusual properties. But it was unclear how the ancient Mayas made the mixture so durable.

That’s the secret McKenna set out to discover. After conducting a number of tests by heating a mixture of palygorskite with a small amount of indigo dye, McKenna noticed there was a missing piece — an adhesive agent — that when added made the pigment the most resilient.

Replicating the mysterious Maya blue is no easy task. “There’s a lot of trial and error,” McKenna said. “I’m so grateful Professor Donovan was here to guide me when I was stumped.”

“I tried four different materials to get adhesion: Copal Resin, Bentonite, Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) and Gum Arabic,” McKenna said. “The samples that had CMC added to the calcine pigment gave the best results.”

This ambitious art history major will continue doing more research when she joins Donovan on a study abroad program in Belize in January to share her research discovery with the indigenous San Antonio Women’s Collaborative. The pair plan to help the group of rural village entrepreneurs — which includes five artisans who demonstrated their craft at SUNY Cortland earlier this year — create the blue pigment using materials local to their region in the Central American country of Belize.

“Based on the work I’ve done just by being in a ceramics studio, it shouldn’t be too difficult for members to make the blue pigment and apply it to their ceramics,” McKenna said.

Members of the women’s collaborative are now producing and selling authentic Maya pottery created using traditional methods developed thousands of years ago. The group re-learned the ways of their ancestors with the help of Donovan, and that of SUNY Cortland student researchers.

The ancient blue pigment has been absent from ceramics produced in the region since its disappearance. McKenna’s discovery will help to further authenticate contemporary pottery as part of a millennia-old artistic tradition.

McKenna’s research, the materials she used and the two pottery pieces to which she applied her recreated Maya blue pigment, are on display at “Future of the Past: Revitalizing Ancient Maya Ceramic Traditions in a Modern Maya Community,” on exhibit at the Dowd Gallery through Thursday, Dec. 1. Along with 35 contemporary pottery pieces are 20 ancient Maya objects on loan from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.

An upcoming panel discussion, “Revitalizing Maya Traditions: Object, Place, Time,” will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Brockway Hall, Jacobus Lounge. Panelists will include Donovan; Sebastian Purcell, assistant professor of philosophy at SUNY Cortland; and John Henderson, professor of anthropology at Cornell University.

Capture the Moment


Sophomore midfielder Michael Miner heads the ball during Cortland’s 1-0 victory versus Oneonta in the championship game of the SUNYAC Men’s Soccer Tournament last Saturday at the Stadium Complex. The team has earned a berth into the 62-team NCAA Division III playoffs, and Cortland will host a four-team regional on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13. The Red Dragons play Morrisville State in the opening round, Saturday at 5 p.m., while Scranton faces Penn State Behrend at 7:30 p.m. The two winners will meet in the second round at the Stadium Complex, Sunday at 5 p.m.

In Other News

College Recognizes Non-Traditional Students

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Eli Feathers juggles the everyday trials of being a father to four youngsters with a driving ambition to enter the field of physical therapy.

That combination led Feathers, 35, to become one of hundreds of non-traditional students enrolled at SUNY Cortland.

“One thing that I find interesting about nontraditional students, we seem to be more vocal,” said Feathers, a senior exercise science major who is currently the vice president of the College’s Nontraditional Student Organization. “I guess that it helps being a father of four little runts.”

While his wife, Jessica, commutes for work to and from Syracuse, N.Y., Feathers cares for the children and a wide assortment of family pets on the homestead in Truxton, N.Y. On any given weeknight the father of 11-year-old Payton and 5-year-old Luciana and foster dad of 5-year-old Rileigh and 4-year-old Grayson meets a succession of buses dropping off returning members of his brood. He also prepares a dinner for the whole family and then chauffeurs youngsters to dance lessons or sports practice.

He is convinced this double life actually improves his performance in the classroom and around campus.

“Aside from me being able to use my vocal chords, my time management skills couldn’t be sharper,” Feathers said. “Maybe this has more to do with me having a family as anything.”

Nationwide, non-traditional college students — defined as students older than 23, students raising children, students working full time, students with prior military experience or students who have an interruption in their education – make up an increasingly large segment of campus populations. At SUNY Cortland, approximately 300 undergraduate students are 24 or older, according to Cheryl Hines, coordinator of student outreach and non-traditional student support.

These students often take unique paths to realize their academic goals and achieve their degrees after overcoming obstacles that traditional, right-out-of-high-school students don’t usually face.

That’s why SUNY Cortland is once again recognizing and celebrating these dedicated students during annual Non-Trad Week, which starts on Veterans Day – Friday Nov. 11 – and runs through Friday, Nov. 18.

Non-Trad Week events include family activities, a specially tailored scholarship session, a free taco bar and a “Non-Trads Rock” T-shirt day, when anyone spotted wearing that signature shirt will win a prize. A full list of activities is available.

The College will be publicly recognizing notable non-trads throughout the week, Hines said. You can nominate someone for recognition.

“Life isn’t a straight line,” Feathers observed, describing his atypical route to an education. “It’s a highway or it’s a country back road. Sometimes you take the easy road, just go with the flow, and sometimes you aren’t well served.”

Community Health Degree Earns Accreditation

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SUNY Cortland’s Bachelor of Science in Community Health has received national accreditation through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), confirming it is one of the best programs of its kind in the United States.

“We are one of only eight stand alone — not associated with a school of public health — bachelor’s programs in the country to have CEPH accreditation,” said Bonni C. Hodges, professor and chair of the College’s Health Department, which offers the degree program.

CEPH is the premier accreditation agency for both schools of public health and for all programs, graduate and undergraduate, which are a part of schools of public health. The rub is that degree offerings outside schools of public health haven’t been accredited by the organization. Until now.

CEPH realized that there were a growing number of bachelor’s programs in public health not connected to schools of public health, Hodges explained.

So they developed criteria and a process for accreditation of programs such as SUNY Cortland’s.

“This is both a new accreditation for us and a new accreditation,” Hodges explained.

The department had sought CEPH accreditation so that the Bachelor of Science in Community Health could undergo a quality assurance review, Hodges said.

“We thought we had a very good program but the opportunity for outside review against a strong set of professional criteria to confirm this and to help us make the program even stronger was a welcome opportunity,” Hodges said. “We were among the first stand-alone programs to apply, I believe.”

The CEPH Board of Directors voted in favor of five-year accreditation for the College’s program following an 18-month self-study and a subsequent, two-day campus visit by CEPH officials in April.

Accreditation will last until Dec. 31, 2021. SUNY Cortland is required to submit an interim report next fall.

 The site visit team submitted many positive statements about the program in its final report submitted to the CEPH Board of Directors.

“Meetings with the institutional and academic leadership noted that the program was a university leader in service learning and internship experiences provided to students,” the visiting team reported.

Also noted in the report:

  • The full-time, immersive process allows students to apply all of the public health principles they learned.
  • Students express no concerns over finding or completing their placements.
  • Fieldwork preceptors find that the students are of high quality, performing work commensurate with entry-level staff.
  • Faculty are proactive in supporting the students and preceptors during the fieldwork semester.
  • Fieldwork preceptors note students’ research abilities as a particular strength, including their understanding and use of reliable sources.
  • Students are very positive about the broad advisement support offered by the faculty.
  • Students, alumni and preceptors praise the commitment of faculty to helping students be successful and to resolving any problems.

The accreditation process also served to fulfill SUNY periodic program review requirements, Hodges noted.

“Accreditation does not change anything about day-to-day operations of the program, but the College’s self-study and the site visit team did suggest some ways in which to enhance and improve how faculty run the program,” Hodges said.

On the other hand, department members were pleased to get the word out about program strengths through the review process.

“The self-study confirmed our long-standing, positive working relationships with local, regional and state public health agencies and organizations,” Hodges said, noting some of the plusses.

“Student service-learning is embedded into the program early on and students must complete a full-time, semester-long internship as part of degree requirements,” she said. “Faculty work with public health and human service agencies and organizations on a regular basis.”

College Continues Philanthropy Week Tradition

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As SUNY Cortland gears up for Saturday’s Cortaca Jug game, students, staff and alumni are all hoping for a big win.

At the same time, the College is once again celebrating Philanthropy Week, encouraging practices in which everybody wins.

Philanthropy Week events, featuring giveaways for students and information on how they can give back to important causes, help to educate students on the importance of philanthropy and celebrate the many individuals across the nation who choose to make contributions to important causes — like affordable, quality higher education.

Events on the SUNY Cortland campus began Monday, Nov. 7 and will run through Friday, Nov. 11.

Philanthropy Week is a time set aside every year to honor the great work done by generous people all across the country, said Erin Boylan, the interim director of The Cortland Fund, the College’s annual giving program, which benefits students directly with the money it raises.

“The impact that philanthropists have on society is more significant than could ever be measured, and we want to ensure students understand that impact,” Boylan said. “At SUNY Cortland, donations affect every facet of the academic experience and make a daily difference.”

“The week also lets us highlight all the great things our alumni do in return for the great education they received, whether it’s to establish a scholarship or make their annual contributions to The Cortland Fund,” Boylan said.

This is the third year that organizers of Philanthropy Week have devoted five full days instead of three to the enterprise, said Natasha McFadden, assistant director of The Cortland Fund.

“This week is all about teaching our students why philanthropy is so important and what it means to be an impactful philanthropist,” she said.

The effort emphasizes “the difference that our supporters make at SUNY Cortland with each and every contribution, and how gifts of all sizes can add up and have amazing results at the College,” McFadden said.

College students and staff members will be available to offer their insights into ways people give back to SUNY Cortland from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at tables located in the Student Life Center lobby Tuesday and Friday and on the ground floor of Neubig Hall Wednesday and Thursday.

At those sessions, members of SPARK, SUNY Cortland’s student alumni association, will host a variety of games in which prizes will be offered. Additionally, students will be asked to write their statements of thanks to SUNY Cortland donors. The statements will be compiled in a video and shared with donors during the week of Thanksgiving.

Students also are invited to keep up by tagging tweets and posting images about why they appreciate the College’s supporters with the #CortlandGives hashtag.

“We’ll share your statement of thanks with SUNY Cortland donors — plus, the student with the best post will win a $50 ASC Gift Card,” McFadden said.

“We hope that sharing the impact of our current supporters will inspire the next generation of donors,” Boylan said. “Our wish is that our students will remember that many are giving now to their education and that the students will choose to ‘pay it forward’ when they graduate.”

For more information, contact McFadden at 607-753-4910 or

Admissions Program to Showcase Natural Sciences Majors

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Nov. 18 Event Showcases Natural Sciences Majors

Prospective students interested in a career in the sciences can participate in SUNY Cortland’s Natural Sciences Department Showcase on Friday, Nov. 18.

Register for the event online.

The daylong event offers a special campus visit experience for students interested in the College’s biology, chemistry, geology and physics departments.

The program will include a tour of Bowers Hall, SUNY Cortland’s recently renovated science facility and opportunities to meet with professors and students.

The showcase will begin at 10 a.m. at Miller Building, 21 Graham Ave., at the Admissions Office. A campus tour will be followed by lunch and an information session. At 1 p.m., introductions and department overviews will begin in Bowers Hall, Room 1129. Two afternoon breakout sessions will conclude at 2:40 p.m., followed by a planetarium show from 2:50-3:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Admissions at 607-753-4711 or by email to

2017 Orientation, Advisement and Registration Dates Set

2017 Orientation, Advisement and Registration Dates Set

Orientation programs have been planned for 2017. Below are the program dates for January, June/July and August. All first-year orientation programs are two days with advisement and registration occurring on the second day of the program and all Transfer Orientation and Advisement programs are one day.

January 2017

Transfer Orientation and Advisement 1: Friday, Jan. 6

Transfer Orientation and Advisement 2: Thursday, Jan. 19-Friday, Jan. 20

Open Registration: Friday, Jan. 20

June/July 2017

Transfer Session 1: Monday, June 19

Transfer Session 2: Friday, June 23

First-Year Session 1: Monday, June 26-Tuesday, June 27

Transfer Session 3: Wednesday, June 28

First-Year Session 2: Thursday, June 29-Friday, June 30

First-Year Session 3: Wednesday, July 5-Thursday, July 6

Transfer Session 4: Friday, July 7

First-Year Session 4: Monday, July 10-Tuesday, July 11

Transfer Session 5: Wednesday, July 12

First-Year Session 5: Thursday, July 13-Friday, July 14


Orientation: Thursday, Aug. 24-Friday, Aug. 25

Open Registration: Friday, Aug. 25

This program is for students who cannot attend a June/July Orientation.

Various offices and departments work together to make these events a success and to aid our new students in their transition to SUNY Cortland. The campus community is invited to participate in these programs.

For additional program information, refer to the orientation website at Any questions regarding the Orientation program should be directed to Marinda Souva in Advisement and Transition.

Student Achievements

Michael Braun, a senior political science major with a concentration in public administration and public policy, and a minor in economics, was named to the SUNYCON Fellows Class of 2016 by State University of New York Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. He was one of 18 SUNY students chosen for his interest in innovation in higher education. The students were invited to participate in exclusive events during the annual SUNYCON conference held Oct. 27-28 in New York City. They were then asked to share what they learned about the theme, “The Forces Shaping the Future of Higher Education,” with students and faculty at their home campuses. Braun is the SUNY Cortland Student Government Association president and a member of the Honors Program.

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Samuel S. Avery

Samuel S. Avery, Communication Studies Department, had his short film, “LocoMotion,” accepted into the 2016 Miami Fear Film Festival. Watch Film.

Carolyn Bershad

Carolyn Bershad, Counseling and Student Development, presented “AUCCCD Annual Survey: Scope, Trends and Current Applications” with David Reetz at the 67th annual conference of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) on Oct. 24 in Tampa, Fla.

Terrence Fitzgerald

Terrence Fitzgerald, Biological Sciences Department, is the author of a paper titled “Collectively Facilitated Behavior of the Neonate Caterpillars of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)” appearing in the current issue of the journal Insects. The paper consists of a series of studies on the behavioral ecology of the insect conducted over a four-year period by former biology students Elizabeth Fabozzi '14, Katelyn Meyer '16, Michael Wolfin '11, and junior Ryan Young, all of whom are coauthors of the paper. The studies are part of a larger project on the chemical ecology of the insect being conducted by the senior author and Frank Rossi, Chemistry Department, that is supported by grants from the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

John C. Hartsock

John C. Hartsock, Communication Studies Department, had a new article, “Challenging the American Dream: The New Journalism and Its Precursors,” published in Witnessing the Sixties: A Decade of Change in Journalism and Literature, which is volume 51 of the Groningen Studies in Cultural Change series published by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The article examines how the American New Journalism of the 1960s subverted the cultural shibboleth and cliché of the American Dream. The series is published by the academic publisher Peeters of Louvain, Belgium.

Mechthild Nagel

Mechthild Nagel, Philosophy and Africana Studies departments and Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, had her article, “Gender and the Law,” published in the current issue of Journal of Research in Gender Studies. The article is based on a keynote that she gave in Bucharest for a gender conference last spring, which was chaired by the journal’s editor, Ramona Mihaila.

Robert Ponterio

Robert Ponterio, Modern Languages Department, presented a session titled “Teaching French Culture through Literature” at the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT) annual convention in on Oct. 22 in Syracuse, N.Y. The session examined the use of literary text for the exploration of French cultural themes in their historical context and in their connections to today’s world both in France and in the U.S. Topics included the treatment of women in society in medieval France and today; the treatment of refugees in Victor Hugo, 1980’s France, and Calais; critical views of France in the occupation through film; and Romanticism in song from the 1780’s to Elvis Presley. Online lesson plans were provided to help teachers integrate the topics into their curricula. All presentation materials are available online:

Nance S. Wilson

Nance S. Wilson, Literacy Department, co-authored a book chapter, “Avid Readers in High School: Are they Reading for Pleasure?” that appears in Teaching Adolescent Literature Today, a book edited by J. A. Hayn and J. S. Kaplan to be published in November by Rowman and Littlefield. Also, Wilson presented “Beyond Questioning: Progress Monitoring Comprehension,” at the New York State Middle School Association Annual Conference held in October in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Tiantian Zheng

Tiantian Zheng, Sociology/Anthropology Department, was invited by University of Rochester to deliver a book talk on Nov. 10 on her book Tongzhi Living: Men Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China.

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