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  Issue Number 4 • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017  


Campus Champion

When Kaity Eber reflects on her first year, the health major/communications studies minor remembers hanging out in her dorm room and watching friends go home on weekends. Midway through her second year, she connected with seven ambitious women and together they re-founded Nu Sigma Chi, a philanthropic sorority that originated in 1928. Kaity hasn’t slowed since, juggling her final semester classes while serving as Nu Sigma Chi’s vice president of recruitment and public relations. Kaity collected nearly $2,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) as homecoming queen, a fine example that forming relationships is essential for success.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, Oct. 10

Panel Discussion: “Expanding the Literary Canon in the Secondary Classroom,” presented by a panel of current secondary school teachers to discuss classroom management, public advocacy, and learning in the modern American classroom, hosted by the English Education Club, Old Main, Room 220, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 11

National Coming Out Day: Information at Student Life Center lobby, noon to 3 p.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “Re-viewing the Battle of Gettysburg in 3D Maps Using After-Effects and ArcGIS Technologies,” by John Sheehan, Sociology/Anthropology Department, and Cody Doane, geography student, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Distinguished Voices in Literature: Reading and book signing by poet Jericho Brown, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 5 p.m.

Presentation: Child development expert Sandi Schwartz ’68, a nationally recognized author, speaker, and parent coach, sponsored by the Education Club and the School of Education, Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: “I Didn’t Realize I Was _____ Phobic,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 12

Sandwich Seminar: “Immigration Policies in the Age of Trump” by Ute Ritz-Deutch, History Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon to 1 p.m. 

Dowd Gallery Noise Workshop: By (rust) Echoes artist Zeke Leonard, Dowd Gallery, 4-5 p.m. 

Round Table Discussion: The Race Project, sponsored by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, Corey Union Caleion Room, 5-6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 13

Kickoff Luncheon: State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) Campaign, for volunteers, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 11:30 a.m. The campaign will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 18, and extend through Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Monday, Oct. 16

Inclusive Excellence Café: For faculty and staff, hosted by the Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

Sandwich Seminar: “Urban Migration in India: Food and Family Life in Transition,” by Hayden Kantor, postdoctoral associate at Cornell Anthropology, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: “Rx Prescribed for You,” Student Life Center Lobby, noon-3 p.m.

Faculty/Staff/Alumni SafeZone Training: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 4 to 7 p.m.

Alumni speaker: Graduate programs in counseling and school psychology, presented by Zach Longo ’15, Alfred University, Sperry Center, Room 0106, 7-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 19

Sandwich Seminar: “Intergroup Dialogue,” presented by the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office and James Felton, Chief Diversity Officer, Old Main Colloquium Room, 4-5 p.m.

Dowd Gallery Performance Rehearsal: By (rust) Echoes artist Zeke Leonard, Dowd Gallery, 6-7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 20

Films at Four FilmFest: “Lost in Translation” (2003), Modern Languages lab, Old Main, Room 223. Refreshments will be served beginning at 3:50 p.m.  

Saturday, Oct. 21

Cortland Survivors Brunch: For cancer survivors, those still battling the disease, and their caregivers, sponsored by the Colleges Against Cancer Club, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. RSVP requested. 

Sunday, Oct. 22

Cortland Area CROP Hunger Walk: Registration begins at 1 p.m., walk starts at 1:30 p.m. at Grace and Holy Spirit Church, 13 Court St. 

Tuesday, Oct. 24

Graduate School Day: Sponsored by Career Services, Corey Union Function Room, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

New York Campus Crunch: Free cider, apples and apple crisp at selected Auxiliary Services Corporation locations beginning at 11 a.m.

$1 Million Grant for Milkweed Study May Produce Medical Benefits


Milkweed plants are a common sight along country roads and in pastures. They’re an annoyance for many farmers, an endangered cause for environmentalists and the sole food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars.

SUNY Cortland biologist Steven Broyles is part of a team that recently received $1 million to explore whether the plant also holds secrets that could help treat heart disease and cancer.

Broyles, professor and department chair of biological sciences, is a co-principal investigator of a $1 million Enabling Discovery Through Genomic Tools (EDGE) award, which was overseen by the National Science Foundation’s Biological Science Directorate.

Working in tandem with researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Cornell University, Broyles will study the molecular and chemical ecology of two milkweed species, common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica).

Here’s why that’s important: milkweed plants produce toxins called cardenolides that deter pests. Monarch caterpillars ingest so many cardenolides that they have a natural immunity, and actually become toxic themselves to many predators.

Those same toxins, cardenolides, may also play a role in fighting heart disease and cancer, Brolyes and other scientists suspect. By developing genetic maps of the milkweed plants, Broyles and his colleagues hope to better understand where cardenolides are produced and ultimately how they may be used in medicine.

“All plants are marvelous chemical factories. They produce a diversity of chemicals,” Broyles said. “They have a variety of interactions with a mammal’s system. Some of them block sodium pumps in the heart tissue and the molecules are aligned with other well-known heart medicines, medicines that are used to treat heart failure. Knowledge of these pathways and these novel molecules could lead to new medical and pharmaceutical discoveries.”

Broyles, who specializes in pollination biology, will work to establish a genetic standard in the milkweed plants growing in the new campus greenhouse built adjacent to Bowers Hall.

“In order for this project to work, we have to create some inbred lines,” Broyles said. “That’s where I come in, trying to create the inbred lines. It simplifies the genetics by removing some of the variation.”

Principal investigator Georg Jander of BTI, a non-profit focused on plant research and affiliated with Cornell University, is the project’s leader on genomics, the study of the full genetic composition of an organism. Anurag Agrawal, a co-principal investigator, is a professor in Cornell’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who specializes in plant-insect interactions. Lukas Miller, also a co-principal investigator, has worked to develop genetic databases for plant life at BTI.

The three-year grant will allow Broyles to hire undergraduate students to assist with his greenhouse research during the summer months, including one student who will go to Cornell each summer to help with the genomic portion of the research.

Broyles also wants students to document parts of the research project on video to encourage teachers to incorporate milkweed lessons and experiments in their classes.

Results of the team’s research will be posted to the currently-under-construction so that scientists around the world can begin to digest the data.

EDGE, a new program, awarded 10 grants to research organizations and teams to develop genomic tools for organisms that have not yet been deeply studied by the scientific community.

Milkweed, which Broyles has studied for decades, is a complex plant that fits that description. Broyles said that there are two to three billion nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA, in each of the more than 100 varieties of milkweed. Mapping and understanding the genomics of the plant is going to be a painstaking process, but Broyles can’t wait to get started. The possibilities are endless.

“There’s no way to quickly and completely understand all that,” Broyles said. “There is a lot of research to be done. The avenues for investigation continue to broaden as new technologies become available. Ten years ago, we couldn’t do this.”

Alumni, Undergraduates Connect at Science Symposium


When Michael Bond ’75, M.D. and Eileen Jaffe ’75 say that undergraduate research experiences at SUNY Cortland changed their lives, it’s no exaggeration.

Both found faculty mentors as undergraduates who pushed them to do unique and independent undergraduate research projects that allowed them to become industry leaders in their respective fields.

That’s why Bond and Jaffe were so excited to participate in the Alumni-Undergraduate Science Symposium on Oct. 7 at the Parks Alumni House. They want the current generation of SUNY Cortland students to follow their path, crafting their own research and unlocking academic and career opportunities.

“The students can really excel and take on things they’d never take on and accomplish anything beyond what they thought they could do,” said Bond, medical director of Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Orlando, Fla.

This was the second Alumni-Undergraduate Science Symposium at SUNY Cortland. The first was held during the spring semester of 2017. Alumni with backgrounds in scientific research return to campus to share their results — and more importantly, their experiences — with three dozen current students. A number of the students and recent alumni also presented updates on their research.

Jaffe studied chemistry at SUNY Cortland under the late Arden Zipp. Her original undergraduate research, focusing on vanadyl acetylacetonate anodes, prepared her for graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

“I was totally seduced by research and I’ve been doing it for the rest of my life,” Jaffe said. “That experience with Arden doing undergraduate research, I never would have been able to do that if I went to a big university.”

Jaffe currently serves as professor of molecular therapeutics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where she integrates biology, chemistry and physics to develop an understanding of protein structure-function relationships. She and Bond are both members of SUNY Cortland’s Academic Hall of Fame.

When Jaffe described her current research, she opened a few eyes among the current students.

“I tried to make it short and tell them about work I’m doing,” Jaffe said. “One of the young women comes up to me afterward and says, ‘You know, that’s the first time anyone has made proteins sound exciting. I could see myself working on proteins.’”

William Baerthlein ’76 and Jennifer Morrison-Diallo ’05 joined Bond in presenting on topics related to connecting undergraduate experiences to professional careers. Morrison-Diallo, the assistant director of hospitals and director of the behavior support team at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. spoke about decreasing restrictive clinical interventions with adult psychiatric patients. Baerthlein, who spoke about infertility issues in African clawed frogs, retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy and also served as a department head and physician, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at E.J. Noble Hospital in Gouverneur, N.Y.

Jaffe also offered advice to current students about how to find the right graduate program, particularly from a financial perspective.

“To stand in front of a group of students and say how privileged I am to get up in the morning every day and go to a job that I love was wonderful,” Jaffe said. “Some people don’t get that opportunity but I’ve had it for decades.”

Senior Tashania Treasure, a biomedical sciences major, presented on her undergraduate research project. She was joined by Stefania Buta ’17, who received the President’s Recognition for Engaged Learning and Leadership Designation in Undergraduate Research in the spring. Buta spoke about her work in psychology.

Shawn Wilson ’13, a product engineer for INFICON (Instruments for Intelligent Control) in East Syracuse, discussed his experiences as a chemistry major and how he uses that in his career. INFICON provides instruments for gas analysis, measurement and control.

Marla Hairston, a junior psychology major from Buffalo, N.Y., was among the students invited to participate in the symposium. Listening to the presentations and meeting with alumni over lunch, Hairston found her passion for research was strengthened by their stories.

“Am I going to want to wake up every day and go to work and do this?” she said. “It’s not even going to be a job if it’s something you love. That came across from everyone who talked. They’re so in love with what they do that it’s not even a job for them. They get so much happiness out of helping people or making these advancements.”

Hairston, who works with Associate Professor of Psychology Leslie Eaton in the College’s electroencephalography (EEG) lab studying electrical activity in the brain, knows her hands-on undergraduate research will give her a leg up on the competition when she starts applying to graduate schools. She plans on continuing her research in the neuropsychology of traumatic brain injuries.

That was Bond’s experience in the mid-1970s when he was applying to medical schools. His work with Psychology Professor Emeritus David Berger helped Bond become just the second SUNY Cortland alumnus to enroll directly in medical school. Bond recalls jaws dropping when he explained the research he had done in medical school interviews.

“We were designing research projects,” he said. “They couldn’t believe that at this institution students were doing what we were doing.”

Bond, along with former classmate Wayne Marley ’75, M.D., created the David F. Berger Summer Research Fellowship in 2015, an award for the College’s top undergraduate pursuing independent research in biology, chemistry or psychology. Treasure, who presented at the Science Symposium, is the College’s most recent Berger Fellow, studying possible treatments of a virus that causes the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Bond also donates his time to return to campus for the Science Symposium and the annual “Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference.” He sees undergraduate research as SUNY Cortland’s greatest tradition and he wants to inspire the next generation of students to search for answers and change the world.

“People say that this doesn’t happen without me and that’s not really true,” Bond said. “This doesn’t happen without them. I’m only doing this because these people are worth it. Here, it’s going to have a really huge impact on people and these people deserve it. It’s a thrill to me to give people these kind of things.”

View a video from the Science Symposium on YouTube.

Capture the Moment


Campus officials, faculty members and guests participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the updated Ross E. Bowers Hall Science Museum and Greenhouse on Sept. 28. The museum is located in the first-floor lobby of the recently renovated science complex. Ribbon cutters included, from left, President Erik J. Bitterbaum, Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences Steven Broyles, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences John Sternfeld, Dansville High School physics teacher Michael Terry ’13, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction Director Robin Shutts, Distinguished Professor of Geology Christopher McRoberts and senior conservation biology major Brandon WilliamsRead more.

In Other News

CROP Hunger Walk Set for Oct. 22

Cropwalk 360240.jpg 10/10/2017

The CROP Hunger Walk has been a tradition in Cortland for 22 years.

The 23rd annual event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 22, starting at Grace and Holy Spirit Church on 13 Court St. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and the walk starts at 1:30 p.m.

To register and donate, visit

SUNY Cortland’s athletic teams, fraternities and sororities, clubs and COR 101 students have made it a fundraising success. The 419 students, coaches, faculty and staff who participated in last year’s walk raised more than $6,000 that went toward fighting hunger locally and around the world.

“The biggest reason why we decided to do it is because the money stays in Cortland,” said head softball coach Julie Lenhart. “It’s nice to do an event where a lot of the money stays locally but it also helps fight world hunger as well and the cause is so good.”

SUNY Cortland’s softball team raised $1,695 in 2016, the top-grossing group on campus. Awards are issued to the top fundraisers among athletic teams, Greek organizations, clubs, and COR 101 classes. For the first time, residence halls will be included in the 2017 awards.

Lenhart and her players solicit donations from friends and family members. Their team spirit and willingness to take on a challenge have propelled the softball team to the top of the CROP Hunger Walk standings.

“It became this goal that if we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it right,” Lenhart said. “We’ve been able to for the last two years as the top fundraiser.”

CROP Hunger Walks are sponsored by Church World Service and have been held all over the world since 1969. The walks raise approximately $20 million each year, with 25 percent of donations returned to local food pantries and feeding programs in host communities.

Theta Chi will handle information and signup tables and day-of-walk registration. Blaze will be on hand to greet walkers. The walk will take place rain or shine.  

For more information, contact history lecturer and local CROP walk coordinator Jim Miller at 607-753-4771.

Teaching, Parenting Expert Returns to Campus

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It’s been almost 50 years since Sandi Lederman Schwartz ’68 graduated from SUNY Cortland, but to her it feels like yesterday.

“Every time I come back to New York, I meet up with a bunch of my sorority sisters and we get together and tell stories. It always feels like we’re back in Shea Hall,” she said.

Schwartz will be returning to her alma mater on Wednesday, Oct. 11 to give a talk aimed at education majors about her life, experiences and what she learned as a teacher and parent. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105 and is free and open to the public.

Schwartz, a former Alpha Delta sister, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. Her teaching career spanned 45 years.

“I went to Cortland because they had such a good teaching reputation,” she said.

When Schwartz gives her talk to students on campus, she wants her words to help aspiring teachers realize that being a teacher is more than the curriculum, it’s about knowing who you are as a person and what you can impart to children. She hopes that her story will make students reflect on themselves and why they chose this career path.

“It’s not all about curriculum, planning and grades, it’s about connecting human to human. It’s about who we are as the teacher or the person who is in the life of a child,” Schwartz said.

Since fifth grade, Schwartz knew she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and work with children.

“My fifth grade teacher asked for volunteers to help in a kindergarten classroom during recess and my hand just shot up. When I went into the classroom, I knew I was home,” she said.

After having what Schwartz describes as a “two wonderful student-teaching experiences at Cortland,” she went to New York City where she received her master’s degree in child development and education from Columbia University. She taught as a kindergarten teacher at New York City Public School 171 and trained student teachers at Hunter College until she took a leave of absence to raise her son, Matthew.

While at home, Schwartz taught private piano lessons and volunteered to play piano for her son’s kindergarten production at the Reuben Gittelman School in Rockland County.

“When the principal saw the way I interacted with the children he asked if I was a certified teacher and the next thing I knew I started teaching music at the school,” she said.

After teaching there for 14 years, Schwartz later became executive director of Citigroup's Children Center in lower Manhattan and worked there for six years. In 2004, she moved to California to become the program director for the Child Development Department at Mt. San Jacinto College, where she oversaw two campus schools and taught courses for education majors.

While training teachers, Schwartz, who was a mother herself, wondered, “Who teaches parents these things?” This curiosity led Schwartz to create Leading Edge Parenting, a consulting business that focuses on transforming the way parents and educators respond to the needs of children. Co-founded with her daughter, Melissa Schwartz, the mother-daughter duo travels the country giving workshops and speeches that inform parents how to speak and discipline their children while forming trustworthy relationships.

In 2013, with the help of her daughter, Schwartz wrote a book titled Authentic Parenting Power: Shift Your Thoughts, Change Their Behavior. The book gives suggestions to parents about how to deal with some of the toughest parenting challenges and how to understand the inner world of children.

Schwartz was presented the New York State Excellence in Leadership Award by Gov. George Pataki in June 2002. The award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to New York State’s children and families and the education system. Schwartz was recognized for her leadership and courage in dealing with the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 when she was the executive director of the Citigroup Children’s Center.

Schwartz is looking forward to returning to SUNY Cortland with her daughter, Melissa.

“This feels very special to bring my daughter to see where I went to school and where her dad came to visit me while we dated during college,” she said.

Schwartz hopes that her personal story will encourage SUNY Cortland students to do some soul-searching.

“I hope my story makes students reflect on themselves and their hopes and dreams. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we are the same little boys and girls on the inside,” Schwartz said.

For more information, contact the School of Education at 607-753-5431.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern McKenzie Henry

College Participates in National Transfer Week

Transfer 360240.jpg 10/05/2017

With 897 new transfer students on campus this year, SUNY Cortland will show its dedication and appreciation for them as part of a week-long, national event.

This fall, SUNY Cortland is participating in the first National Transfer Student Week presented by The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS).

From Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, students, faculty and staff can engage in several activities to acknowledge the many campus contributions of the College’s students who have joined Cortland, usually as juniors, after transferring significant college credits from a different institution.

“SUNY Cortland strives to offer a supportive and inclusive community to all new and returning transfer students,” said Emily Quinlan, coordinator of Transfer Student Services. “Transfer Student Services provides several social and academic programs and events to assist new transfer students with their transition to the college and to continue to show support throughout their time on our campus.”

“Take a Transfer to Lunch” gives faculty and staff a chance to treat these unique students to a meal and connect outside of the classroom. A $20 ASC food voucher will be provided. An online application is available.

Faculty and staff who themselves experienced beginning their undergraduate studies at a different university than the one where they earned their degree are encouraged to show their transfer pride by wearing an “I Was a Transfer Student” sticker. The decals are available through Transfer Student Support.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Residence Life and Housing hosts a Transfer Trivia Night beginning at 6 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room. Students will have an opportunity to compete for prizes, get a bite to eat and have fun with others.

Greg Diller, the College’s transfer mobility advisor, will hold a Transfer Buddy Appreciation gathering on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Advisement and Transition Office in Memorial Library, Room A-111. SUNY Cortland Transfer Buddies are returning transfer students who volunteer to assist new ones as they adjust to life at the College.

Quinlan works hard to make sure these individuals feel welcome at SUNY Cortland.

“We want to acknowledge they’re a large and important population on campus,” she said.

Each year, SUNY Cortland welcomes approximately 900 transfer students with an average 3.0 incoming GPA. This fall, the top three institutions that sent aspiring baccalaureates to the College were Onondaga Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College and Suffolk Community College.

Tau Sigma is the national honor society for transfer students who currently attend four-year institutions. The SUNY Cortland Chapter was established in 2004 and since then has grown to 999 members. Requirements to join Tau Sigma and more information about the chapter may be found online.

SUNY Cortland’s Advisement and Transition provides support and services for transfer students. Previous events put on by Transfer Student Services include a Welcome Barbecue and Transfer Takeoff, a chance for transfers to mingle with each other and meet their Transfer Buddies. COR 201 is a one-credit course offered at SUNY Cortland for transfer students to learn more about the College and community.

For more information, contact Quinlan at 607-753-4726 or visit SUNY Cortland’s Transfer Student Support page.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern McKenzie Henry

SUNY Cortland Offers Campus Crunch Day

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With 25 different varieties of apples grown locally, New York state and the SUNY Cortland campus want to celebrate with several fun, free events!

On Tuesday, Oct. 24 the state will hold its annual Campus Crunch Day. At the College that day, the campus dining operator SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) will support local apple farmers by holding events in its dining and retail facilities with help from ASC’s main vendor Maines Food Distributions.

ASC will give out free apples, cider and apple crisp to the campus community from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Newmark Pavilion (in front of the library). The campus mascot, Blaze, will be there in support of Campus Crunch Day.

The ASC also will promote eating healthy in general as well as all the health benefits apples have to offer. ASC nutritionist Andrea Hart will be present at Newmark Pavilion to answer questions anyone may have about eating healthy.

Food choices at the different eateries will include caramel apples, sautéed apples, apple stuffing and many more options.ASC_bistro_salad_bar_WEB

“We should eat more locally grown apples because it helps promote sustainability and supports the local economy and farmers,” said ASC Director of Food Services Theresa Baker. “There is so much you can do with apples and people are not aware of it.”

The day’s main purpose is to celebrate New York state farming and agriculture and highlight New York’s position as the second largest state for apple production in the country, with 29.5 million apples grown yearly.

ASC encourages everyone to participate in Campus Crunch Day and post a picture on social media of themselves crunching an apple at noon with the hashtags #NYCampusCrunch and #cortlandasc.

For more information, contact Baker or call 607-753-2424.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Navita Ramprasad

SUNY Cortland Launches 2017-18 SEFA Appeal

SUNY Cortland will kick off its 2017-2018 State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) campaign on Friday, Oct. 13, with an 11:30 a.m. luncheon for volunteers in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

The campaign, which relies on state employee volunteers to canvas co-workers for donations, will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 18, and extend through Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The only authorized fundraising campaign among state workers, SEFA is directed by the United Way of Cortland County and unites fundraising efforts for a group of agencies under a common umbrella.

During the 2016-2017 SEFA campaign, 285 SUNY Cortland employees donated a total of $40,608. Heather Drew and Pam Schroeder return to serve as co-chairs again this year.

“The SEFA campaign provides help and support to those in need,” Drew said. “We hope the campus community will be generous again this year by showing their support and donate to this this very worthwhile cause.”

According to Christella Yonta, campaign associate for the United Way for Cortland County, last year’s United Way donations were allocated to more than 16 health and human service programs at 10 United Way Community partner agencies. Donations helped provide aid to victims of violence, support to parenting or pregnancy risk teens, literacy education for adult learners, scholarships to working parents for quality childcare and many other essential services here in Cortland County.

The College will offer incentives for employees who donate to the 2017-18 campaign. At the campaign’s end, a drawing for five prizes will be conducted. First prize is a reserved campus parking space located in the lot closest to the winner’s building. To be eligible, an employee must pledge at least $104. Everyone who donates a minimum of $25 will be eligible to win one of three $25 Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) gift cards. Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) members who donate at least $25 will be eligible for a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant.

SEFA campaigns are also conducted at the State Department of Labor, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the Office of Court Administration and the State Police. Decisions are made locally about which agencies are included and how funds are distributed. The community-based SEFA committee is composed of representatives from state agencies and managers of human service agencies. Pledging takes place once a year.

Participants can choose to have their gifts shared among different organizations within Cortland County, used in another county of their choice or designated for individual local, state, independent or international organizations. Examples of local agencies include the United Way for Cortland County, Madison-Cortland New York State ARC, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Catholic Charities, Cortland Area Child Care Council, Cortland County Child Development Center, Family Counseling Services, Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture, Salvation Army, Franziska Racker Centers (special children’s center), United Service Organization, J. M. McDonald Sports Complex, YMCA and YWCA.

Local members of the Cortland County SEFA Committee include: Kathleen Burke, SUNY Cortland United University Professions (UUP) employees; Christella Yonta, federated campaign coordinator for the United Way for Cortland County; Gary Evans, SUNY Cortland management/confidential employees; Laurie Klotz, SUNY Cortland UUP employees; Lois Marshall, NYSDOT, CSEA employees; Donna Raymond, NYSEC, CSEA employees; Antoinette Tiburzi, SUNY Cortland professor emerita, Cortland County SEFA chair; and Lori Porter SUNY Cortland, management/confidential employees.

For more information about SEFA in New York state, visit the website

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Carol Van Der Karr, Susan Wilson, Andrea Dávalos, Michael Hough and Tim Baroni

Carol Van Der Karr, Academic Affairs, Susan Wilson, Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, and Andrea Dávalos, Michael Hough and Tim Baroni, all from the Biological Sciences Department, volunteered at the 24-hour community BioBlitz Sept. 8 and 9 held at the Cayuga Nature Center in Ithaca, NY. The event was sponsored by Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Sciences (SIPS) and the Cayuga Nature Center and the censing work was done at the both the center and The Smith Wood Preserve in Trumansburg, a patch of old growth forest near Taughannock State Park that has recently yielded newly discovered species for the Cayuga Lake Basin. A BioBlitz is the cataloging of all life forms, from mammals to bacteria, that can be found in a defined area over a 24-hour time span. It is meant to serve as a baseline snap shot of biodiversity for the area. The first ever BioBlitz was held in 1996 at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. Such events are now common across the US and can cover small or large areas, such as national parks, and the time frames can be extended to a year or more. Van Der Karr and Wilson helped with the census for mollusks (snails and slugs) and annelids (worms). Dávalos assisted with identification of non-native annelids, Hough helped with identification of plants and Baroni with collecting and identification of fleshy fungi (mushroom and relatives). The BioBlitz started at 5 p.m. Friday at the Cayuga Nature Center and included talks and demonstrations that evening until 9 p.m. on snails, slugs, bats, spiders, moths and other nighttime insects. Saturday’s events began at 10 a.m. and included talks, walks and demonstrations on plants, fungi, microbiology, bees, large wild animal back yard feeding and birds. In addition, some of the selected organisms collected by the survey teams and brought to the nature center for identification were placed on display, along with field guides and literature on identification of organisms in nature. The event drew nature enthusiasts from as far away as Rochester, N.Y., and resulted in an overflow parking capacity at the center on Saturday.    

Heather Bartlett, Laura Davies, Tim Emerson, Mario Hernandez, Jeff Jackson and Kevin Rutherford

Heather Bartlett, Laura Davies, Tim Emerson, Mario Hernandez, Jeff Jackson and Kevin Rutherford, all from the English Department Composition Program, presented together at the SUNY Council on Writing Conference on Sept. 9. Their panel was titled, “Making Changes: Revising a First-Year Writing Curriculum within a Teaching Community.”

Laura J. Davies

Laura J. Davies, English Department, had her chapter, “Getting to the Root of the Problem: Teaching Reading as a Process in the Sciences,” published in the edited collection What Is College-Level Reading, published by the University of Colorado Press.

David Kilpatrick

David Kilpatrick, Psychology Department, was quoted twice by Sir Jim Rose, who was the Chair of the U.K. Reading Panel, which reviewed the scientific literature on teaching reading and released the Rose Report (2006). His quotes were from David’s book Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties (Wiley, 2015) and written in The Teacher Magazine, a publication for teachers in Australia.

Kathleen A. Lawrence

Kathleen A. Lawrence, Communication Studies Department, has had a second poem, “I Am Puerto Rico,” accepted for publication in New Verse News. Her poem will appear on top of the page on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The poem speaks to the beauty, strength and indomitable spirit of the people of Puerto Rico and the richness of their culture despite the ravages of Hurricane Maria. 

Jaclyn Pittsley

Jaclyn Pittsley, English Department, is coordinator of the Campus Equity Week Rally planned for 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27 in front of Brockway Hall. She serves on the executive board of SUNY Cortland’s chapter of United University Professions, the group that is hosting the event.

Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer, Political Science Department, is the author of two recent articles about the consequences of the Las Vegas mass shooting. His article, “America Used to be Good at Gun Control. What Happened?” was published on Oct. 3 by The New York Times.

His article, “An American standoff: How contemporary pro-gun orthodoxy is at odds with the Constitution and U.S. history,” was published Oct. 8 in the New York Daily News.

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