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  Issue Number 5 • Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017  


Campus Champion

In the recent Sandwich Seminar, “I Learned by Doing,” and in a video filmed at the Science Symposium, Marla Hairston speaks about her applied learning experiences. At the College’s psychophysiology lab, Marla’s passion for the process of research psychology is apparent. The junior honors student sees her future in neuropsychology, specifically in traumatic brain injury. She credits hands-on opportunities, faculty attention studying emotional resiliency under Associate Professor of Psychology Leslie Eaton and using SUNY Cortland’s new electroencephalogram (EEG) for focusing her career goals. Marla boasts that she picked the right college. She’ll soon join a growing list of alumni who credit their undergraduate research experiences with changing their lives. 

Nominate a Campus Champion

Wednesday, Oct. 25

UUP Union Matters Lunchtime Series: “Sixth Annual Part-Time Service Awards Banquet Program on Contingent Faculty,” Corey Union Function Room, noon-1 p.m. Buffet opens at 11:45 a.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “Learning to Fail Well, by David Franke, English Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Brooks Museum Lecture Series: “Human Rights and Realities,” student presentation, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 4:30 p.m.

Dowd Gallery Opening Reception: Exhibition “Incited/Blazo Kovacevic,” Dowd Gallery, 4-5:30 p.m.

Career Presentation: “Intelligence Jobs: FBI, NSA, CIA, Border Patrol and More,” Career Library, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-5, 4:30 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: “Discover Your Learning Preference,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 6 p.m.

Panel Discussion: “Faces of Urban Education: Who/What/Where is Urban,” presented by SUNY Cortland students, presented by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office and C.U.R.E., Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 7-8 p.m.

It’s On Us Performance: “The Script,” written and performed by Tim Collins, award-winning one-man show about sexual assault prevention, toxic masculinity and bystander intervention, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 26

Sandwich Seminar: “Art and Activism,” by Jose Faus, artist, writer, poet and community activist, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon-1 p.m.

Distinguished Voices in Literature: Reading by author Jaimee Wriston Colbert, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 4 p.m.

Presentation: “Mentors for Change: Challenges of Transitioning Returning Residents,” with mentors Phoebe Brown and Edwin Santiago, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 2 to 3 p.m. Presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

Presentation: “The Integral Rehabilitation of Old Havana,” by Felix Julio Alfonso Lopez, Ph.D., professor of history and dean of San Geronimo University, Havana, Cuba, Sperry Center, Room 110, 4:45-5:45 p.m.

Dowd Gallery Performance: By (rust) Echoes artist Zeke Leonard and guests, Dowd Gallery, 7-8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 27

Training: Re-Thinking Abilities, sponsored by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 3-6 p.m.

Campus Equity Week Rally: Brockway Hall quad, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28

Spooksville Children’s Festival: Corey Union Function Room, 4 p.m. Spooksville is a free event for families from the Cortland and nearby communities to come and enjoy fun games, activities, music and free giveaways. Sponsored by the Caribbean Student Association. Volunteers welcome.

Monday, Oct. 30

Chemistry Department Seminar: “Drug Development in the Global Pharmaceutical Industry,” presented by Steve Colgan ’80, Pfizer, retired, Bowers Hall, Room 1129, 3 p.m.

Networking: Marketing, Public Relations and Event Management, Corey Union Function Room, 5:30 p.m. 

Comedian D.J. Demers: Comedy Tour “Here to Hear.” Demers’ comedy tour coincides with Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. Demers, who has worn hearing aids since he was four years old, hopes by making audiences laugh, he can help de-stigmatize and raise awareness about hearing loss. Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 1

Sandwich Seminar: “Wasp or Mosquito? Lawrence of Arabia and the Turks,” Edward Erickson, scholar-in-residence, Clark Center for Global Engagement, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: “Netflix and Chill or Catch Feelings?,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 2

Community Roundtable: “SUNY Cortland’s ‘Civic Action Plan,’” presented by Institute for Civic Engagement staff and members of the Civic Action Plan’s Advisory Panel, Park Center Hall of Fame Room, refreshments served at 7:45 a.m.

Open Community Forum: “Answering the Burning Question of Inclusive Excellence,” Inclusive Excellence Scholar Residency Public Lecture by Damon A. Williams, Ph.D., boys and Girls Clubs of America, Corey Union Function Room, 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Lecture: “Growing a Writing Career from the Roots Up,” presented by editor and reporter Greg Sukiennik, Sperry Center, Room 205, 4:30 p.m.

Public Meeting: SUNY Cortland’s Communication Disorders and Sciences Department invites comments regarding the continuation of a master of science degree program. As part of a national accreditation process, the department seeks public comment regarding the program’s relationship with the community, preparation of students, competence of graduates, and suggestions for change or improvement. Park Center Hall of Fame Room, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Music for the Cause Talent/Fashion Show: Fundraiser event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, sponsored by the Caribbean Student Association (CSA). Students can showcase their talents and fashion, Corey Union Function Room, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 5

32nd Annual African American Gospel Music Festival: Corey Union Function Room, 4 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 6

Alumni Speaker Series: Sport Management panel, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 7 p.m.

Cortaca Jug Tickets Available Soon


SUNY Cortland students, faculty and staff next week will get the first opportunity to buy tickets for the annual Cortaca Jug football game between SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College.

This year’s game kicks off at Noon on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Ithaca College’s Butterfield Stadium. SUNY Cortland has won seven straight games in the series, which has been played each year since 1959 and is known as the “Biggest Little Game in the Nation.”

SUNY Cortland students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to purchase tickets in Corey Union, Room 406 during the following days and times:

  • Sunday, Oct. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A Cortland ID is required for purchase. Tickets cost $10, cash only, and students, faculty and staff are limited to purchasing one ticket. Seating is general admission.

If any tickets remain unsold, a general community sale will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 406. Those tickets will be limited to four per person.

Communication Disorders and Sciences Ranked No. 2 in NYS


Current students and faculty — and certainly employers — have known for years the strength of SUNY Cortland’s Communication Disorders and Sciences Department.

Now, a company created to help young people find good careers is letting prospective students know that the department is the No. 2 program of its kind in New York state. used data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Department of Education to evaluate communication disorders programs by career results, the number of each college’s majors in the field and a variety of factors including admissions rate, graduation rate, average cost of attendance and median amount of debt.

In the end, SUNY Cortland — which offers experienced faculty, opportunities for hands-on training and research and modern facilities — came in second only to the University of Buffalo, a university center more than three times the size of SUNY Cortland.

“The program has a really good reputation in the area, from Binghamton to Syracuse and from Cortland to Ithaca,” said department chair Ann Blanton. “It has a reputation for turning out well-prepared master’s students. It is a profession that is in high demand because it covers such an extensive range of the population. Literally from birth to end-of-life care.”

Undergraduate students may pursue either a major or minor in speech and hearing science. SUNY Cortland’s Master’s program in communication disorders and sciences has produced successful graduates since it welcomed its first class of students in 2013. The classes of 2013-15 and 2014-16 both had 100 percent employment rates and both had 100 percent Praxis speech-language pathology exam pass rates.

The interest from students in the field is growing because those who work in communication disorders are in demand from all angles of the medical profession. Not only are graduates working with children who have issues speaking or swallowing, they’re working with veterans who have suffered neurological problems, car accident victims and people living with progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, Blanton explained. Communication Disorders and Sciences students play a vital role in today’s medical landscape and are pushed to look beyond their specialty and understand how their work intersects that of doctors, neurologists and physical therapists.

“It’s a vast profession,” Blanton said. “The opportunities to work in the profession are huge, from schools and private practice to rehabilitation clinics and acute care in hospitals. That is the foundation of these professionals being in such demand, it covers so much. To develop a program that ranks highly in covering all that information is quite an extraordinary thing.”  

SUNY Cortland students are able to participate in many hands-on learning experiences during their studies. The department is heavily involved with local school districts to provide speech and hearing screenings. Students work with residents in local assisted living homes and traumatic brain injury patients. They also have opportunities for inter-professional education with the College’s physical education faculty.

“Rather than working in a silo, working with only speech pathologists, our students are taught as part of their program to work with students in physical education as well as physical therapists and teachers,” Blanton said. “They are given a wonderful exposure to other professions who are working with the same population.”

Blanton, who joined the faculty in August, points to Associate Professor Regina Grantham, the former chair, for her leadership in building the department.

“None of this is to my credit,” Blanton said. “I have nothing to do with the excellence of this program. I’m just fortunate enough to step into it. The architect of all this is Regina Grantham, her faculty and the administration of the College that has been very strongly supporting this program.”

For more information, visit Communication Disorders and Sciences online.

Capture the Moment


Freshmen Rachel Antonucci, left, and Sacesha Bennett stopped by Newmark Pavilion today for free apple crisp and apple cider as part of New York state’s Campus Crunch Day sponsored by Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC). Hundreds of students, faculty and staff took advantage of free locally-grown apples, cider and apple crisp distributed during lunch hours outside of Memorial Library. Cider and apples were also free at Neubig, Hilltop and Bistro, along with information on healthy eating and the health benefits apples have to offer. The annual event celebrates New York state farming and agriculture and highlights New York’s position as the second largest state apple producer.

In Other News

Cortland Hosts Statewide College Sustainability Conference

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There may be nothing funny about climate change, but attendees at the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education annual conference at SUNY Cortland are likely to do some laughing.

After all, one of the conference’s two keynote speakers became a climate activist to keep pasta from becoming an endangered species.

Peterson Toscano, a humorist who describes himself as a queer, Quaker human rights activist and performance artist, will keynote the opening day of the 2017 State of New York Sustainability Conference, to be held Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Thursday, 16 at SUNY Cortland.

Toscano’s presentation, “A Queer Response to Climate Change: What Would Walt Whitman Do?” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Old Main Brown Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public. He will also speak earlier that day at a luncheon for conference participants, sharing creative and oddball approaches to the world’s biggest problems.

Erik Foley, an expert on integrating environmental sustainability and business practices at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business, will deliver the conference’s closing keynote at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Corey Union Function Room. Foley’s talk, “The Three Dysfunctions of Sustainability,” an exploration of how business and higher education address environmental issues, is open to all conference attendees.

Between the keynotes, SUNY Cortland will host a series of conference sessions on topics that include climate resiliency, youth engagement in climate justice, art and sustainability, regional food networks, student-driven sustainability projects and carbon pricing strategies. More information is available at the conference website.

“The commitment needed to ensure a sustainable future touches all aspects of our lives and that’s reflected in the impressive variety of topics on the agenda of this conference,” SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said.  “SUNY Cortland has been a leader in this field and we are honored to host this year’s event.”

The conference is aimed at energy managers, sustainability coordinators, faculty, students and staff from public and private higher-education institutions throughout the state. Online registration is available.

Participants can register for both days with fees of $150 for professionals and $50 for students or for just one day at $90 for professionals and $25 for students. Student attendees can participate in a special dinner and networking session in the Corey Union Fireplace Lounge after Toscano’s keynote address.

For more information, or if students or faculty would like attend individual sessions, contact the conference co-chairs Matt Brubaker or Beth Klein at

This is the seventh annual conference of the coalition, an organization created to help colleges, universities and their supporting organizations share information and coordinate actions to help make New York state more environmentally sustainable.

Among the conference sponsors is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Campus Challenge program. The REV Challenge allows students from participating schools to compete with clean energy initiatives. The organization will hold a feedback session after Foley’s closing keynote on Nov. 16.

SUNY Cortland, this year’s conference host and a REV Campus Challenge participant, has been a leader in this effort. The College was:

  • One of the first colleges across the country to earn a “gold” rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Cortland was the first SUNY campus to reach that milestone. At the time, only one school in the United States — Colorado State — had done better by achieving a platinum designation.
  • The first SUNY campus to fill all of its electrical needs with renewable sources like wind and solar.
  • The first public college in New York to build a residence hall with the highest possible certification under the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system.
  • The first SUNY campus to earn membership into the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club.
  • The first school in the nation to offer a professional master’s degree in sustainable energy systems.
  • The first SUNY institution to develop a large-scale solar energy generation project (3,600 panels) using the New York Sun initiative.
  • The only New York college identified as a “pollinator friendly” Bee Campus USA.
  • The first SUNY school to sign the American College and University Climate Commitment, committing the campus to pursuing the elimination of its greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The first SUNY college to create Green Rep program — student educators hired to promote a more sustainable lifestyle across campus.


Peterson Toscano 

Health Interns Fill High-needs School Gap

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Teachers at H.W. Smith School in Syracuse, N.Y., a city with one of the highest child poverty rates in the state, were frustrated. Non-academic concerns like poor nutrition were having a negative impact on their students.

They wished, for example, they could explain to their elementary-school charges how some students’ lunchtime favorite dish, the high-sodium Americanized version of ramen noodles, isn’t a healthy choice.

The educators didn’t have the time or the knowledge to give a science-based and age-appropriate explanation of general nutrition to their kindergarten through eighth grade students. For that matter, the teachers also weren’t able to address dental hygiene, mental health, drug misuse, healthy personal habits or how to make safe lifestyle choices — all of which were needed in the at-risk community they served.

So, SUNY Cortland alumna Heather Kelly Marzullo ’03, M ’10, the school’s multi-content leader, encouraged teachers at H.W. Smith to invite SUNY Cortland health education majors who were on track to earn state certification into the elementary school’s science classrooms to address wellness topics of the educator’s choosing.

As a result, last fall and again this semester, a total of 10 undergraduates have visited H.W. Smith School to complete the health education fieldwork they started the previous semester at a school closer to Cortland.

“We noticed students in the sixth grade who were making poor nutrition choices,” Marzullo said. “For example, eating ramen noodles with flavor packets that are just loaded with sodium. With the health interns, we did a whole lesson on what you’re doing to your body when you eat that.”

With direction and support from a Smith School science teacher, the interns with an eye on their future as professional health educators are providing a needed classroom lesson on how students can wisely manage their own health.

Matthew Moyer, a SUNY Cortland assistant professor of health and instructor of undergraduate and graduate student fieldwork in the discipline, oversees health students in this fairly new partnership between Marzullo’s employer and her alma mater.

Health education is not a typical part of schooling for youngsters through the sixth grade, especially in fiscally tight times where standardized testing and a knowledge of basic reading, writing and arithmetic crowd out most other content areas, Marzullo and Moyer said.

“You won’t find a kindergarten through sixth grade health teacher at many schools,” Marzullo said. “It’s pushed to the background of what is taught.”

“It depends on the school,” Moyer noted. “From the middle- to high-school level, having a certified health education teacher deliver the discipline’s curriculum is mandatory. But with an emphasis on other areas and state testing, a lot of the other areas fall to the side.”

Good health, however, is the foundation all students need for success in school and in life.

“We need health education in the schools to really promote the overall wellness of the student,” Moyer said. “To encourage them to have positive, healthy behaviors. To give them the knowledge to put these wellness skills into place.”

More teachers have asked for the health education majors’ assistance than SUNY Cortland can provide, he said.

“There is a pretty big demand out there,” Moyer said. “A lot of times the only way they get health education content in their classroom is through our preservice teachers.”

The need is especially great at a school like H.W. Smith, which enrolls approximately 900 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, including many of whom are from refugee families from Kenya, Mali, Syria, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Bangladesh and India and are learning English as a new language.

With knowledge about their own health, these and other young students have a much better chance of completing an education.

“For example, if heathy information is given to them in the third grade, then if they are in an environment where tobacco is presented to them, they will know what tobacco can do to them and can make decisions,” Moyer said. “It’s not about giving students academic content. It’s about how they can have a healthy lifestyle on a continuous basis.”

For the SUNY Cortland students, it’s about giving them hands-on experience in an urban school with a very diverse population. The College has a strong track record of assisting with health education in rural Cortland County schools and also with the Onondaga Nation School through an afterschool program grant that has expired, Moyer said.

The H.W. Smith partnership helps SUNY Cortland progress as an institution of higher education by offering future health educators experience with urban issues. Often, the type of mutually beneficial relationships that lead to this progress are made possible by the involvement of SUNY Cortland alumni.

“In terms of our alumni, it’s about giving back to the school, understanding the importance of our preservice teachers getting out and getting what they need,” Moyer said.

Marzullo, a 2014 Syracuse City School District teacher of the year and a SUNY Cortland adjunct professor, was one of the alumni catalysts for H.W. Smith’s partnership with Cortland.

While attended a school committee meeting aimed at fostering positive town-gown relationships, she encountered another Red Dragon, Linda Tillotson Foster ’88, the College’s coordinator of field placement. Foster dropped a seed for the idea in Moyer’s ear.

“She got the whole ball rolling,” Marzullo said of Foster. “Matt encouraged his health education students to attend a lecture I gave to members of the campus chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society. I invited them to come up here and learn what are our expectations.”

It’s a three-way partnership: Foster places the interns. Marzullo finds interested teachers to work with interns. Moyer supervises from a distance.

 “We have developed a rapport,” Marzullo said of her two colleagues. “They know there is always someone there in the building if they need me.”

Marzullo works closely with educators in the classes where a SUNY Cortland intern has been placed to plan the specific area of well-being to be taught so the college student will be prepared.

After piloting the program last fall with interns working in pairs, Marzullo and Moyer decided the health interns can maximize their experience by working alone with the teacher as supervisor.

“We wanted to see how they did on their own without a partner there,” Marzullo said. “We want to give them some independence as the lead teacher.”

For Marzullo, bringing Cortland health interns into her school is only the latest expression of loyalty to her alma mater. As a teacher, she annually brings selected H.W. Smith schoolchildren to the SUNY Cortland campus to try their hand as her “teaching assistants.”

“They pass out papers for me, take notes and talk to me about their experience on the way home,” Marzullo said.

She hopes her own passion for teaching catches fire with the youngsters.

“Before we go back to Syracuse, I always go to the College Store with the students and buy them each a Cortland sweatshirt.”

The above left image includes four health education interns with their mentors at H.W. Smith School in Syracuse. Shown, from left, are Matthew Moyer, Olivia Macbeth, Kayla Lowe, Alissa Tylee, Blaze, Heather Kelly Marzullo ’03, M ’10, and Alexandra Konnerth.

College Council Honors Spauldings for Service

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Service to SUNY Cortland through membership on the Cortland College Foundation Board of Directors passed from father to son in the case of Harwood Spaulding and his son, Charles H. Spaulding.

Over roughly 40 years, SUNY Cortland has benefitted greatly from the arrangement. Together the Spauldings have provided local knowledge, support and remarkable continuity of mission to help grow the College endowment from its modest origins to more than $40 million.

The pair were recognized on Oct. 5 as SUNY Cortland’s 2017 College-Community Appreciation Award recipients. Both were present to be honored during a dinner event in the College’s Corey Union Function Room.

John Halstead, sixth president emeritus of SUNY Brockport, offered remarks with SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum during the evening’s celebration. Notably Halstead is the son of the man who appointed Harwood Spaulding to the foundation board in 1967, William E. Halstead, who was then board president.

Thomas Gallagher, chair of SUNY Cortland’s College Council, gave a welcome and co-presented the award with Bitterbaum.

Harwood Spaulding, a University of Rochester graduate, was part owner of the former Peck’s Furniture in Cortlandville, N.Y. Spaulding presided over the foundation from 1978 until 1982, during a time when the organization was geared to financing residence halls and its board was largely composed of local corporate leaders. He offered a gentle but solid voice of authority.

Spaulding’s leadership was again called upon in the early 1990s, when then-College President James M. Clark created an ad-hoc committee to review the board’s mission and composition. Spaulding embraced the committee’s recommendation to replace many community members with alumni and to redirect the foundation toward a more traditional fundraising role in the face of declining levels of New York state support for public higher education. That the transition — involving the voluntary exit of many community members from the board — took place so smoothly is credited in large part to Spaulding’s leadership, wisdom and diplomacy. He also recruited many current board members, several who were key to the fundraising success of the foundation, including his son. Harwood Spaulding was honored with a certificate of appreciation in 2004.

Charles Spaulding, who is chair of Bailey Place Insurance, has been described much like his father, a reasonable person who has been very generous to the College over the years with time, talent and treasure: always well-prepared and thorough. Charles joined the foundation board in 1993 and served as treasurer from 2004 to 2008. His solid business finance perspective has offered a counterweight to more conventional and higher risk financial industry viewpoints. A graduate of Union College with a B.A. in economics, Charles earned a law degree from Syracuse University.

It’s safe to say father and son have been equally tied to serving the local community. Harwood advised the Cortland Savings Bank during its merger with First Niagara Bank and Charles served a similar role when Alliance Bank merged with MBT Bank. Both also volunteered on the Cortland Regional Medical Center Foundation Board as well as numerous civic, religious and business organizations. Charles received a Distinguished Service Award from the Cortland County Junior Chamber of Commerce. He served as director and treasurer of the J.M. Murray Center and board director of the Cortland YMCA.

Now retired, Harwood Spaulding lives in Charlottesville, Va. Charles lives in Cortland, N.Y., and will retire later this year.

The College-Community Appreciation Award is sponsored by the College Council. It was created in 1985 as a means of thanking persons who have assisted SUNY Cortland in a significant manner. Harwood Spaulding is the 36th and Charles Spaulding is the 37th citizen to receive the honor

Service Learning’s Economic Impact

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Two years ago, SUNY Cortland students majoring in geographic information systems (GIS) volunteered to use what they learned in class to create a detailed map of the infrastructure running beneath the nearby Village of McGraw.

The experience enriched the students’ education in many ways, and it gave the small village a tool that will make maintenance of its water and sewer pipes more efficient and less expensive.

Applied learning — the term used by SUNY to describe internships, entrepreneurship, clinical placements and scores of other non-classroom experiences — is something that more than 80 percent of all SUNY Cortland students benefit from. It is well known that experiences such as that which the GIS students had in McGraw lead to better understanding, more community engagement and improved employment prospects.

What’s not well known is the economic impact all of this activity has on the College, the Cortland area and communities throughout the region.

“Applied learning is integral to SUNY Cortland’s mission and financial health, but we do not know the extent, nature and economic value of SUNY Cortland’s applied learning activities,” said John Suarez, who directs the College’s Institute for Civic Engagement.Applied_Learning_WEB

So Suarez and an advisory panel of faculty, staff, students and not-for-profit agency representatives are putting the question to the public.  

On Thursday, Nov. 2, Suarez and representatives from the College’s Civic Action Plan Advisory Panel will share details and answer questions from the public during a Community Roundtable. The roundtable, titled “SUNY Cortland’s ‘Civic Action Plan’,” will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.

Hosted by the President’s Office, the event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will precede the presentation at 7:45 a.m.

 “We will identify and develop ways in which the College can capitalize on applied learning projects,” said Suarez, who wants input on how the economic impact of real-world educational experiences can be measured and how it can be improved.

In addition to Suarez, advisory panel presenters at the roundtable will include William Viet, risk management officer; Benjamin Wilson, assistant professor of economics; Catherine Cullen, special projects officer in the School of Education; and Alexandra Cicero, an international studies and communication studies dual major.

The advisory panel will help the institute fulfill the College’s Civic Action Plan, which aims to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of applied learning projects. SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum has recently re-committed SUNY Cortland to the public value of public education and to gathering more data to ensure its sustainability, noted roundtable organizers.

“That [plan’s] purpose is to provide students with real-life challenges that demand initiative, collaboration and creativity,” Suarez said. “Applied learning projects offer such challenges. To meet that purpose and to help ensure the sustainability of such initiatives, the plan explores and builds on their direct and indirect economic returns.”

The College has earned repeated honors for the number of students conducting service learning projects and for the quality of those projects.

Among numerous other kudos, the College’s efforts have earned SUNY Cortland Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Community Engagement elective classification and a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

The advisory panel will assess such considerations as the extent of applied learning at SUNY Cortland, students’ applied learning course outcomes, and benefits to alumni, the greater Cortland community and indirect economic benefits to the College.

Examples of the returns on applied learning include direct benefits such as the ability to compose stronger external grant proposals. They also include indirect benefits such as  recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students, as well as economic ‘splashback’ to the College from improved quality of life in the city and county of Cortland — like the GIS mapping of McGraw.

 “We would want to look at what ways the interns’ service would improve quality of life and how that improved quality of life would improve the finances of the College,” Suarez said. “We can look at ways this can happen and build on them.”

This involves measuring the obvious such as transportation costs as well as the subtle effect on the College’s bottom line if the research data show that the applied learning experiences increase a student’s chances at academic success and timely graduation.

Additional advisory panel members include Brandy Strauf, family development director for the Community Action Plan of Cortland County; Christine Widdall, college task stream coordinator; Stuart Daman, assistant for institutional research and analysis; Steve Cunningham, director for institutional research and analysis; Mark Prus, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Andrea Lachance, dean of education; Cynthia Guy, the institute’s community outreach coordinator and Laura Barnstead, a political science and professional writing dual major.

For more information about the roundtables, contact Samantha Howell, special events coordinator for the President’s Office, at 607-753-5453, or visit the Community Roundtables webpage.

“Here to Hear” Comedy Tour Stops at SUNY Cortland

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When “The Hearing Aid Guy” talks, he wants you to listen. And he sincerely hopes that you laugh.

That is, after all, his job.

Comedian D.J. Demers will help SUNY Cortland recognize Disabilities Employment Awareness Month on Monday, Oct. 30, when he performs his unique standup comedy routine at 8 p.m. in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.

Also known as “The Hearing Aid Guy,” Demers makes jokes about his disability as a way to raise awareness of hearing loss and shatter stigmas through laughter.

 “I’ve begun to acknowledge that my hearing aids are not a small part of who I am,” said Demers. They are a huge part of my identity.”

Cortland is one of the final stops on Demers’ comedy tour, “Here to Hear,” which is performing  at 20 different colleges around the country in October to coincide with Disabilities Employment Awareness Month.

SUNY Cortland has a decades-old reputation for disability education and is home to a nationally respected speech and communication disorders program.

Demers, who has worn hearing aids since he was four years old,   has performed on the late-night television show “Conan” twice and competed on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent” in 2016.

“I’ve always wanted to be a comedian and I always remember as a kid having a joke ready, but I knew it would be a challenge,” Demers said during his America’s Got Talent audition. “Growing up, I think that comedy and making my friends laugh was a way for me to connect to people and be something other than a boy with hearing aids.”

Throughout his standup act, Demers pokes fun at his own disability, making audiences laugh with him, not at him.

“You found the humor in your reality of who you are,” “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel told him.

Demers was a finalist on “StandUp NBC,” the network’s annual diversity talent search.

He also won the 2014 Homegrown Comics Competition at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada, the 2013 Toronto Comedy Brawl, and earned Best Breakout Artist at the 2015 Canadian Comedy Awards. He was a featured performer at Toronto's JFL42 comedy festival in 2014.

The tour is sponsored by Phonak, a  national provider of hearing aids and other wireless communication services. According to a study from 2011 by the International Journal of Audiology, 7 percent of college students need hearing aids, but are unaware of the technology available to them. By teaming up for the “Here to Hear” tour, Demers and Phonak hope to raise awareness about available technology to help other students achieve their dreams.

College students with hearing loss may qualify to receive subsidies for hearing technology. More information is available at

Prepared by Communications Office intern McKenzie Henry

SUNY Cortland Named Economic Champion

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SUNY Cortland has long been recognized as an academic and athletic champion.

Recently, the largest business development organization in Central and Northern New York recognized the College as an economic champion as well.

Centerstate CEO, a 2,000-member independent group spread across 12 counties, earlier this month named SUNY Cortland one of the region’s 2017 Economic Champions.

That made the College one of about 300 regional organizations that demonstrated strong economic growth this year.

In SUNY Cortland’s case, Centerstate CEO was impressed with the College’s continued capital investment in its 191-acre campus, its hiring of new staff and the implementation of Live in Cortland, an initiative that encourages employees to buy homes in Cortland by subsidizing some of the purchase costs, according to David Duryea, vice president for finance and management.

The College is the biggest employer in Cortland County. Each year it generates more than $250 million in economic activity, which ripples far beyond Cortland’s borders, according to studies done by SUNY Cortland’s Economics Department.

Speaker Reshaping Sex Assault Discussion

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One in five women and one in 16 men will be victims of attempted sexual assault during their college careers.

That’s why since 2015, SUNY Cortland has been part of “It’s On Us,” a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the College’s “It’s On Us” program will bring nationally recognized actor, writer and solo artist Tim Collins to campus to perform “The Script,” a one-man show intended to help re-shape the stigma of sexual assault. Collins, who has been a playwright and performer since 2001, has appeared on ABC News, Spectrum News and NPR.Tim_Collins_WEB

In "The Script," he plays four different male characters reacting to the sexual assault of a female classmate, exploring ideas of gender roles, social norms, decision-making and relationships. Collins’ multiple personas work to educate people on sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention and toxic masculinity.

The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205, is free and open to the campus community. Part of an ongoing series of programs to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence, Collins’ performance is sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Title IX office and the It’s On Us Action Team.

The “It’s On Us” campaign asks men and women across the United States to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and become part of the solution to stop campus sexual assault.

“It is important to normalize discussion around sexual violence so people feel comfortable to talk about it, get the comfort level to intervene when something is happening and report it when something has happened,” said SUNY Cortland’s Title IX coordinator, Nan Pasquarello.

Collins strives to relate to students in a unique and creative way so they will learn more about the issue and understand how they can be a part of the solution.

He has taken his educational one-man show across the country in a variety of venues.

A recipient of the Wallis Foundation Grant, Collins was a featured performer at the 24th national “Sharing the Fire” National Storytelling Conference and was nominated for a Kevin Kline Award. He was honored as “Best Solo Performance” in the second annual Dialogue ONE Solo Theater Festival in 2012 and, the following year, as “Best Educational Show” in the United Solo Theater Festival.

SUNY Cortland’s It’s On Us Action Team is comprised of students, faculty and staff who work to help students understand the notion of sexual violence as well as domestic violence and stalking.

“It is important to bring this message in many ways to as many people as possible every semester,” Pasquarello said.

“It will take everyone reframing the norms and doing their part to reshape our culture for the better.”

For more information, contact Pasquarello at 607-753-4550.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Navita Ramprasad


Get Caught Being Green for Sustainability Month

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Not everyone thinks of October as the month for carving jack-’o-lanterns, turning up the thermostat and trick-or-treating.

Some people think of it as the time to pick locally grown pumpkins, wear sweaters indoors and recycle whatever’s in the closet and the junk drawer into a Halloween costume.

If you fall into the second category, SUNY Cortland’s Green Reps are looking for you.

In recognition of National Campus Sustainability Month, students involved with the SUNY Cortland Green Representative Program are keeping their eyes open for students drinking from reusable water bottles, riding red campus bikes, printing on both sides of their paper or doing any other sustainable activity.

Those spotted being environmentally responsible may win a prize.

“Get Caught Being Green” is an initiative to help spread awareness about how students can live a sustainable life on campus and beyond.

“Sustainability means something different for everyone. We want to make it relatable for students and something that interests them,” said Robert Binnall, assistant director of Residence Life and Housing for Operations.

Earlier this month, Green Reps began searching campus for students who are participating in a sustainable lifestyle and rewarding them with refillable water bottles, umbrellas, reusable bags and ASC gift cards. Students can also enter contests to win prizes by posting a picture of themselves doing sustainable activities on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #GetCaughtBeingGreen.

All year long, Green Reps hold events in residence halls and throughout campus to spread awareness about how students can live an environmentally friendly life. Each residence hall does something different. The events include game nights, scavenger hunts and even showings of Disney’s “Moana” to teach students how Polynesian people protect the ocean. A calendar of events is available online.

Not sure how to live sustainably? The Green Reps worked together to compile a list of “green hacks” that students can follow to save energy, water and money. These tips include shortening shower time, printing double-sided and opening the shades to use natural light instead of lamps.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly one trillion plastic bags are used yearly on a global scale, but only 5 percent are recycled. To combat this problem, Green Reps have started a plastic bag initiative in every residence hall. Students are encouraged to put their unwanted plastic bags in boxes for the Green Reps to collect and recycle. For the fall semester, Green Reps have set a goal of gathering 18,000 bags. Through Oct. 11, 6,431 have been collected. Nearly 32,000 plastic bags were collected and recycled last year.

SUNY Cortland is leading the way in reducing its carbon footprint. The College was the first SUNY school to sign the American College and University Climate Commitment, pledging the campus to pursuing the elimination of its greenhouse gas emissions. SUNY Cortland was also the first to use 100 percent renewable energy for its electricity needs. The College earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for being one of the most environmentally sustainable colleges in the nation.

The Green Reps hope to inspire environmentally-conscious behaviors in students that will last a lifetime.

Sustainability is important to Jennifer Vaughan ’16, a graduate assistant in the Residence Life and Housing Office and the Green Reps Coordinator. Vaughan, who majored in childhood education and is currently working on a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation, is planning on a teaching career.

“I want my students to live in a world where there is nature. If we don’t live sustainably now, they might not be able to enjoy our planet. It’s important to make change now so we can enjoy it in the future,” she said.

For more information, contact Vaughan or Binnall at 607-753-4724.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern McKenzie Henry

Young Veteran Earns National Scholarship for Non-Trads

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Hard work is all Corrine Edick knows.

Growing up in a blue-collar family in Brewerton, N.Y., just north of Syracuse, she worked three part-time jobs when she was in high school. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating in 2009, which eventually brought 18-hour work days for months at a time and an eye-opening tour in South Korea in 2012. Today, at 26, she’s a SUNY Cortland biology major with a 4.03 grade point average, an aspiring physician assistant and the first person in her family to attend college. 

Edick also is SUNY Cortland’s latest recipient of a competitive scholarship from Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honor society for non-traditional students. She’s one of only 12 students from across the country to earn the $3,000 prize and the third non-traditional student from SUNY Cortland to be recognized since 2010.

The College defines its non-traditional students as undergraduates who are at least 24 years old or have had an interruption or delay in their education since high school. Approximately 300 of them currently study on campus.

“As a family, we didn’t have a lot of money when I was a kid, but both of my parents worked really, really hard,” said Edick, who is completing her final semester at SUNY Cortland this fall. “I grew up seeing how hard they worked, especially my mom, and I thought that’s just how it is and that’s how it has to be.”

As far back as she can remember, serving others was part of Edick’s DNA. Her childhood best friend had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair. They still played together and she often assisted him with daily tasks such as eating and getting dressed.

“I had this inkling to help at 10 years old,” she said. “That’s what made me happiest. I feel like my role in life is to be a caregiver. That’s why I was put here — to help people feel more comfortable or to help them feel better in general.”

During high school, Edick worked as a certified nursing assistant in addition to two other part-time jobs. She befriended patients with dementia, treating them like members of her own family despite the difficulties that came with their care.

Edick knew as a teenager that she wanted to one day work in the healthcare field. But as her senior year of high school progressed, she felt pulled to a different type of service in the military.

She served four years in the U.S. Navy from 2010 to 2014 as a dry air crewman, performing special operations by helicopter. Her crew was trusted to detect enemy mines in the ocean. Once, during a six-month deployment in Pohang, South Korea, an emergency landing was required due to engine failure.

Edick said the military experience tested her physical, mental and emotional limits, especially when she lived on a Korean military base. Still, she persisted and fulfilled her service commitment.

“Being in Korea and experiencing a different way of life made me appreciate (the U.S.) even more,” Edick said. “It’s something that’s difficult to explain unless you’ve been in that situation. I was just proud to make it through and serve my country.”

She chose to attend SUNY Cortland because of what she sensed at an Open House event in 2015: quality science facilities in Bowers Hall and, more importantly, a campus that represented comfort and care. But success didn’t come easy, especially at first.


“I had been out of high school for five years, so that first semester was tough,” she said.

A course in botany proved particularly difficult. Edick considered changing majors, but her advisor, Professor Steven Broyles, encouraged her to continue.

“Looking back on it, I appreciate that experience,” she said of the botany course. “Because, in reality, it set me up for the major. I learned early on that it’s not easy. That class set up my study habits for every one in the future.”

Edick has carried a 4.0 grade point average every semester since freshman year. But like many non-traditional students at SUNY Cortland, her commitments weren’t limited to life on campus. Her mother remarried and moved to Genoa, N.Y., a small town located a half-hour west of Cortland, while Edick was in the military. Her mother also was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that attacks the nervous system.

Edick now lives in Genoa to look after her family’s dog rescue operation and help take care of her mother, who she cites as her biggest source of inspiration.

“My work ethic is largely due to her,” said Edick, whose ultimate goal is to serve developing countries through a program such as Doctors Without Borders. “My mom was and still is all that I aspire to be — strong, proud, kind, compassionate, supportive and giving.”

This past summer, Edick worked 45-hour weeks at a restaurant to continue saving money for her education. College after the military always was her goal. Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits help fund her studies now, but she knows that the path to be a physician assistant will come with even greater costs. Those additional years of post-graduate training make the recent Alpha Sigma Lambda scholarship even more meaningful to her.

“It may sound crazy, but I’m trying to pay off school before I get out,” Edick said. “I think I’m futuristic in that way. The sooner I can pay off school, the sooner I can go do charitable work, and I know that’s what will make me happiest.

“I also know it’ll be hard at the same time, but that’s what I’m used to.”

X-Ray Exhibition Reveals Human Smuggling

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A giant security X-ray scan, now on display at SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Gallery, gives viewers a peek into a small van that manages to accommodate 14 passengers: two in front, four in back and eight desperate illegal immigrants crammed into a hidden compartment in the roof.

The artistically modified scan is one of many arresting images created by Blazo Kovacevic through digital modification of X-ray security scans as part of “Incited,” an art installation that explores the plight of illegal immigration in an era of heightened security.

Kovacevic’s large-scale, multimedia installation — which opened at the gallery in the Dowd Fine Arts Center  on Oct. 23 — was created using X-ray images taken by European border patrol authorities trying to stem the flow of people trying to escape violence or pursue opportunity. The display reveals unsettling vignettes of vehicles carrying hidden illegal immigrants as their cargo.

It builds on a theme of de-humanization created by new, invasive security measures that Kovacevic, an assistant professor of art and design at Binghamton University and art director of the Binghamton University Art Museum, has explored in previous scan-based creations.

“Incited, which runs through Friday, Dec. 8, focuses on the intractable problems of human trafficking, smuggling and terrorism that dominate social and political discussions throughout the world.

All Dowd Gallery events are free and open to the public.

Born in Podgorica, capital of the Eastern European country of Montenegro, Kovacevic earned a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Montenegro and an M.F.A. in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has received numerous awards and recognitions and has shown his solo work as well as pieces that were included with group exhibitions in Europe and the United States.

Kovacevic’s artwork raises questions around issues associated with human trafficking, where people become little more than a commodity exploited for profit. It echoes the depersonalization that he feels post-9-11 security measures have imposed.

X_Ray_Purse_WEB“The concept of a disregard for individual life addresses the notion of the end of privacy exemplified by security inspections, body scans and X-rays of personal possessions in both everyday life and times of unrest,” Kovacevic said.

Upon entering the main gallery, the installation confronts the viewer with a digitally altered, life size X-ray of a delivery vehicle filled with figures symbolizing illegal passengers. The work focuses on the human body as an obscure form, devalued into an abstraction that is rapidly losing value in today’s world. It’s a view the artist gets through the lens of technology.

Kovacevic’s installation provides a visual platform characterized by a use of cutting-edge technologies. The often brightly-colored digital images contrast with the raw reality of social conflict and upheaval.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, visitors can experience a hi-tech virtual reality simulation of a traumatic experience in the life of anonymous immigrants being smuggled in a vehicle.

“The Virtual Reality 360 Experience allows the viewer to experience a few moments in the life of an illegal immigrant traveling without air, room to move, food or water together with 53 other immigrants in a small van,” Kovacevic explained.

“This simulation or reenactment, together with other works exhibited, is based on actual media reports,” he said. “The van accidentally crashes, resulting in one fatality and many injuries.”

Additional events are planned, including:

- An opening reception will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Dowd Gallery.

- An artist’s talk with Kovacevic will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Dowd Gallery.

- Kovacevic will lead a workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center.

To register for the workshop or for more information, contact Interim Gallery Co-Director Jaroslava Prihodova, or call 607-753-4216. To arrange a group tour, contact Prihodova or Interim Gallery Co-Director Bryan Thomas.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. The gallery is closed on weekends.

The Dowd Gallery is located at the corner of Graham Avenue and Prospect Terrace in Cortland, N.Y. For more information about the gallery, visit the web site

Shown above left is a detail from the 2017 piece, "Truck for Eight Illegal Passengers," an X-ray and digital print on 60 by 32-inch window blind. Above right is the 2015 work, "Aqua Purse," a UV print on 3-D Illusion film.

SUNY Cortland Alumna Maps Bright Future

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In July 2013, Mary Colomaio ’15 had just graduated from high school with 24 college credits and was eager to begin her SUNY Cortland journey as a physical education major.

But she got hurt. Colomaio was diagnosed with a herniated disk in her lower back and realized that she would not be able to start in her physically demanding major for six months.

Colomaio didn’t want to put off college. She looked for an alternative career path so she could begin her college education immediately. Intrigued by the combination of technology, geography and cartography offered within SUNY Cortland’s Geography Department, she instead chose to major in geographic information systems (GIS).

She believes her academic career shift was one of those fortunate quirks in life.

“It is exactly what I want to be doing right now,” she said.

Colomaio, the utilities mapping program manager at Cornell University, is working to develop a new GIS database which, compared to most such systems in the country, will be more capable and accessible across campus departments. Although some GIS centers have this ability, Colomaio recently told a room of current SUNY Cortland students that her project will combine more systems than ever before to bring the software capability to a new level.

Colomaio, who is pursuing her master’s degree through the University of Southern California, returned to her alma mater Sept. 27 to share her unexpected career journey. She spoke to students in the Geographical Analysis course taught by Wendy Miller, an associate professor and chair of SUNY Cortland’s Geography Department.

The College’s GIS program, one of only two in the SUNY system, strives to give students real-world experience working with computer mapping software.

For one-and-a-half years at SUNY Cortland, she interned with Facilities Operations and Services through the summer and part time during the semesters. Working under Adam Levine, facilities and geographic information systems manager, she helped create the detailed maps needed for the College’s multi-million-dollar effort to dig up, replace and upgrade the main campus electrical system.

As a Geography Department service intern, she helped the villages of McGraw, N.Y., and Dryden, N.Y., track their residential water routes to simplify future maintenance work.

“This internship sparked my interest in moving forward into this field,” Colomaio said. “I gained personal and business development through working with contractors, being on site at 7 a.m. when they needed maps, and being out in the field collecting data. It is the drive and passion for your career that shifts you into gear and says ‘I have to go to work.’”

Colomaio earned her bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Systems in two-and-a-half years because she was able to transfer 24 credits from college-level classes she took in high school. She also completed a SUNY Cortland minor in computer applications.

Time management and the eagerness to continue learning is very important in GIS, she said.

“You have to have the willingness and the drive to be constantly educating yourself about the field,” Colomaio said.

As much as she loves her job, she said she still faces the challenge of being a young woman in a male-dominated field.

“I have to solidify my presence, say this is who I am and I am not going anywhere,” she said.

She considers geography faculty members Miller and Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo to be inspirational female role models.

Colomaio had advice for students interested in the discipline.

“It will take time to learn. You have to have the passion for it and keep pushing yourself beyond,” Colomaio said. “Do an internship. It is the only way to know if this is the field for you.

“Don’t give up,” she told women in the major. “There is a support system out there and look for the influential women in this field.”

Colomaio wants SUNY Cortland to be known as the teaching and GIS school.

“GIS applies to every field of work and has a bigger role in our life than we know,” Colomaio said.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Navita Ramprasad

In the above left image, Mary Colomaio speaks with students in a Geographical Analysis course taught in Old Main.

Speaker to Discuss the Devadasi and Human Rights in India

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The 2017-18 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series at SUNY Cortland takes on the theme of “The Culture of Human Rights and Realities.”

The talks take place on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125. Before each lecture a reception to welcome the speaker starts at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

On Nov. 8, Shalini Aiyappa, who heads the Psychology Department at St. Aloysius College in India, will give a presentation on the Devadasi system, a story of sexually exploited women from the lower rungs of society in rural India.

Her talk, “The Devadasi and Human Rights: Blind Faith, Promised Redemption and Patriarchal Prison,” explores the irony that this culturally oppressive system has a religious connection that legitimizes and sanctions prostitution. The belief is that any calamity, disease or lack of a male child can be rectified by sacrificing a girl child to appease the god.

Recently poverty has driven expansion of the Devadasi system. For example, 50 percent of Mumbai prostitutes are Devadasi. The path from ritual role to commercial prostitution in the name of religion is a human rights issue.

The Indian constitution guarantees equality to all citizens and the government has passed legislation against the Devadasi system. Nonetheless, it is still practiced, relying on loopholes in, and the laxity of, the law enforcement agencies. The inhuman practice of “religious prostitution” continues today. 

The 2017-18 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) and the Cortland College Foundation.

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

32nd African American Gospel Music Festival Set for Nov. 5

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32nd African American Gospel Music Festival Set for Nov. 5

Four guest choirs will perform at the 32nd African American Gospel Music Festival on Sunday, Nov. 5, at SUNY Cortland.

The festival begins at 4 p.m. in Corey Union Function Room. The event is open to the public. Tickets are free for students and general admission but donations to support the Gospel Choir Scholarship Fund are encouraged.

The Promise Land Church in Syracuse, N.Y., directed by Deyquan Bowens, will participate in the festival for only the second time. Syracuse University Black Celestial Choral Ensemble (BCCE) returns for the 32nd consecutive year. Rounding out the festival will be Binghamton University Gospel Choir, Jamel Jett, and festival host SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir, directed by Deyquan Bowens, Africana Studies Department.

Student Government Association Vice President Gloria Hulede will extend the welcome on behalf of the College. Pastor Rita Wright from God’s Light House of Praise will present the invocation.

A mass choir comprised of all groups will come together and sing part of the grand finale. Musicians for the festival will be Deyquan Bowens playing keyboard, Benjamin Terry on drums and Thomas Carter on bass. A reception will follow in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. The event is open to the public.

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

For more information, contact Gospel Choir advisor Lima Stafford at 607-753-4895, or Seth Asumah or Deyquan Bowens in the Africana Studies Department.

Native American Film Series Starts Nov. 7

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Freida Jacques, a respected clan mother from the nearby Onondaga Nation, will introduce an award-winning documentary about the political struggles of her people on Nov. 7, launching the first of three films that will screen at SUNY Cortland during National American Indian Heritage Month.

The Good Mind, which Jacques participated in, follows members of Onondaga Nation as they try to continue the ways of their ancestors and protect their sovereignty and culture. The Onondagas, whose territory lies less than half an hour’s drive north of Cortland, are advocates for the environment and are engaged in a legal battle over ancestral lands awarded in a treaty with George Washington.

“It’s important to keep the campus and community informed about Onondaga because they’re our immediate neighbors,” said Dawn Van Hall, a retired technology support specialist who helped co-create the Native American Studies minor with Ellis McDowell-Loudan, professor of sociology/anthropology, more than 20 years ago.

All three movies in SUNY Cortland’s Fall 2017 Native American Film Series

highlight the importance of indigenous contributions to culture, music, food and history that often are overlooked. These three films explore modern issues facing traditional societies like the Onondaga Nation, Native American influences in modern music, and the story of the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree.

The films, all free and open to the public, will be shown on three separate Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 106.

 “The Good Mind,” which comes from a translation of the word for the Onondagas’ philosophy and way of life, has been shown at numerous festivals and won several awards, including the Syracuse International Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award and the Social Justice Film Festival’s Silver Jury Prize. It also won Best Documentary Feature Film Audience Choice Award from One Nation Film Festival.

Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World will be shown on Nov. 14. The documentary explores the profound influence of indigenous people on American music. The film focuses on music icons with Native American ancestors such Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Randy Castillo. The stories of these musicians are told by legends who played and were inspired by them such as Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop and Steven Tyler.

“Rumble” was directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiana and has won many awards, including Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award and the Albuquerque Film and Music Best Documentary Award.

Medicine Woman,” the final film in the series, will be shown on Nov. 28. It tells the story of Susan La Flesche Picotte, who graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889 and was the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree. The film also looks at the medical needs of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in modern-day South Dakota and explains how Picotte’s legacy survives.

“Native Americans are still alive and thriving,” Van Hall said. “They’re not the Hollywood versions you see. They don’t live in teepees and they’re not mascots. I hope the films give people more background about Native Americans and their culture.”

The series is sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Native American Studies Department, a grant from the Auxiliary Services Corporation, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs’ Office and the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies.

For more information, contact Van Hall.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern McKenzie Henry

College Launches New Online Directory

A new and improved version of the online campus directory launched on Oct. 23 features an updated look and expanded capabilities.

Employees are encouraged to make sure their directory listing is up to date by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to myRedDragon.
  2. Select the Faculty/Staff tab.
  3. In the About Me box, select Update/Edit Your Directory.
  4. Make the necessary updates.

More detailed information about how to enhance directory entries is available at the “Help” menu and the directory FAQ.

For assistance accessing myRedDragon or My Directory Information, contact The Help Center by email or phone at 607-753-2500.

Public Meeting Set for Communication Disorders and Sciences Program

As part of a national accreditation process for the master of science degree program, SUNY Cortland’s Communication Disorders and Sciences Department is inviting comments from stakeholders and the general public.

Those interested in commenting on continuation of the program, the program’s relationship with the community, preparation of students, competence of graduates, and suggestions for change or improvement, can attend the public meeting. It will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, in Park Center’s Hall of Fame Room.

For more information, contact Ann Blanton, Communication Disorders and Sciences Department by email or phone at 607-753-5423.

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Seth N. Asumah

Seth N. Asumah, Africana Studies and Political Science departments, was conference co-chair with Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, University of Ghana, for the 2017 Biennial Conference of the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) from Oct. 12 to 14 at the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana. The ASAA Conference theme was “African Studies and Global Politics.” Asumah was also one of the keynote speakers for this conference and he spoke about his research on “Africa: Rethinking Democratic Consolidation and Development.” Professor Jacob Gordon, University of Kansas; Dr. Wangui Wa Goro, African Development Bank;  rofessor Jean Allman, Washington University; Dr. Yao Graham, Third World Network-Africa; and Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, UN Economic Commission for Africa, were also plenary keynote speakers at the conference. Also, SUNY Cortland Africanists Ibipo Johnston Anumonwo, Geography Department, and Bekeh Utietiang, History Department, presented papers at the ASAA Conference in the concurrent session, “African Migrations: National Security and the Politics of Representing the Movements of Persons.” Organizations such as the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the Association of African Universities (AAU) presented their position papers on higher in Africa and the African Diaspora. Africanists, Africologists and African enthusiasts from the African continent, United States, the Caribbean and Europe, participated in this international conference.

Carolyn Bershad

Carolyn Bershad, Counseling and Student Development Center, presented “Highlights from the AUCCCD 2016 Directors’ Survey” with Peter LeViness, Ph.D., at the annual conference of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) on Oct. 15 in Denver, Colo.

Jena Nicols Curtis and Susie Burnett M ’15

Jena Nicols Curtis and Susie Burnett M ’15, Health Department, had their research article, “Affirmative Consent: What Do College Student Leaders Think About ‘Yes Means Yes’ as the Standard for Sexual Behavior?” published in the American Journal of Sexuality Education. 

Doug Langhans

Doug Langhans, Admissions Office, recently attended the European Association for International Education (EAIE) 2017 Conference in Seville, Spain. He represented Study New York, a consortium of SUNY, CUNY and private institutions formed to promote New York as a destination for international students. Langhans, Study New York chair-elect, exhibited at the conference in conjunction with EducationUSA. He met with a variety of international education colleagues to discuss the advantages of studying in New York.

Kathleen A. Lawrence

Kathleen A. Lawrence, Communication Studies Department, had a poem, “Always Blue Cops,” accepted for publication recently by Rosebud Magazine. It is an abecedarian told in three parts that can be read together as well as stand each on its own. Each of the parts is made up 26 words in alphabetical order, like the title, made up of 3 words starting with a, b and c. Also, two micro-poems were accepted for The Her Heart Poetry Annual 2017. “A Brevity of Affirmations" and “Through Colored Glasses” also will be featured on Instagram in November. 

Rhiannon M. Maton

Rhiannon M. Maton, Foundations and Social Advocacy Department, had two chapters published in an edited volume on alternative schooling and student engagement. 

Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris, Physics Department, and collaborators, had their work featured in the headline article in the October issue of Planetary Science Research Discoveries. “Accretional Layers Preserved in a Meteorite” details their research on how the visible sequence of layers in the Isheyevo meteorite tells a story of impact debris deposited, layer by layer, onto the surface of the surviving planetesimal. Also, Morris and collaborators, including SUNY Cortland senior Matt Metcalf, submitted a paper to The Astrophysical Journal Letters, titled “Thermal History of CBb Chondrules and Cooling Rate Distributions of Ejecta Plumes.”

Kristine Newhall

Kristine Newhall, Kinesiology Department, was quoted in a New York Times article, “Californians Will Soon Have Nonbinary as a Gender Option on Birth Certificates,” on Oct. 19 about California’s new legislation allowing for a gender-neutral designation on IDs and birth certificates and other official documents; specifically, how Title IX compliance might be affected by the law. Also, Newhall coauthored an article titled “‘Stick to Soccer’: Fan Reaction and Inclusion Rhetoric on Social Media” published in Sport in Society. Along with being published online, it will be in the forthcoming special issue on Women’s Soccer in the U.S., to be released in print in 2018.

Christiana Papaleo, Robert Binnall and Jonah Reardon

Christiana Papaleo and Robert Binnall, both from the Residence Life and Housing Office, and Jonah Reardon, Alumni Engagement Office, volunteered for the planning and organization committees for the College Student Personnel Association – New York State 50th Annual Conference, held Oct. 15 to 17 in Corning, N.Y. Papaleo assisted with the programming committee, while Binnall and Reardon volunteered for the marketing committee. Additionally, Papaleo presented a program titled “Redefining Disability – How to be a True Advocate,” and received positive feedback from multiple program participants. 

Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer, Political Science Department, was a keynote speaker at the Gun Studies Symposium conference held Oct. 20 at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.

Ryan Vooris

Ryan Vooris, Sport Management Department, had his article “Development of a Sport Twitter Utilization Scale” published in the Journal of Contemporary Athletics.

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