Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

  Issue Number 13 • Tuesday, March 26, 2019  


Campus Champion

When prospective students and their families visit SUNY Cortland, there’s a good chance Jamie McKinney will be one of the first friendly faces they see. At the front desk in the Admissions Office, Jamie greets everyone who has scheduled a weekday tour — welcoming them to campus, matching them with student tour guides and helping to satisfy their various requests. Recognized for her energy and positivity, Jamie offers genuine help to students, colleagues and strangers alike. The spring marks an especially busy time, with Open House taking place Saturday, April 6, and many future Red Dragons confirming their college decision.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, March 26

Lecture: “Doctors Without Borders Around the World: When Emergencies Won’t Go Away,” presented by Patricia Carrick, board of directors, Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers) Moffett Center, Room 2125, 6 p.m.

School of Education Series Lecture: “Naming the Moment, Building the Movement: Five Lenses for Democracy, Education and Social Justice,” by Kevin Kumashiro, sponsored by Foundations and Social Advocacy, Sperry Center, Room 205, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27

Active Shooter Training: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 9 to 10 a.m.

Wellness Wednesday Series: “Food for Thought,” suggestions on how small changes can make a difference in your diet, Student Life Center lobby, noon to 3 p.m.

Sandwich Seminar: “The Study Place Project,” presented by Associate Professor Raymond Collings and Professor Leslie Eaton, Psychology Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Madame President: Inclusive Student Leadership at SUNY Cortland,” Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 2 p.m.

Lecture: “Pink Triangle Legacies: Holocaust Memory and Gay Rights Activism,” presented by Jake Newsome, historian with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Sperry Center, Room 106, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: “Barriers to Election Success,” sponsored by the Institute for Civic Engagement, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 4:30 to 6 p.m. An Action Team intern will moderate as local officials describe challenges that they faced while conducting election campaigns.

Lecture: “Sex and Scripture: What can the Qur’an tell us about male privilege and gender equality?” presented by Ithaca College Professor Asma Barlas, Sperry Center, Room 105, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 28

Sandwich Seminar: “What the Vape is Going on Here?” panel discussion, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon to 1 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Gender and Gender Identity Abroad, sponsored by the Health Department, Old Main Colloquium, 2 to 3 p.m.

Lecture: Phoebe Brown, director of the Alliance of Families for Justice, will speak about the challenges families face when loved ones are incarcerated, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 2:45 to 4 p.m.  

Facilitator Training: One Love Escalation and/or Behind the Post Facilitator, for students, faculty and staff, Old Main Colloquium, “One Love Escalation” from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and “Behind the Post” from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.

Gallery Discussion: “Ask a Curator Night,” question and answer session as part of the Faculty Biennial 2019 exhibit; Jaroslava Prihodova and Bryan Thomas will discuss curating exhibitions, organizing programs and projects, Dowd Fine Art’s Center, 5 to 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 30

Literacy Department Symposium: “Teaching for Hope, Actions for Change,” Sperry Center, 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keynote speaker is Dr. Nicole Sieben, author of Writing Hope: Strategies for Writing Success in Secondary Schools

Mr. Move Event: Sponsored by Men of Value and Excellence, Corey Union Function Room, Mocktail, 5 p.m.

Earth Hour: At 8:30 p.m. local time, SUNY Cortland residence halls will join people around the world to celebrate this grassroots movement for the environment by turning out the lights for an hour and sparking conversations about nature and the unique diversity of life on Earth.

Monday, April 1

Film Screening and Discussion: “‘A Girl Like Anna,’ a Conversation on Sexual Violence,” Sperry Center, Room 105, 5 p.m.

Focus Group on Religion and Spirituality: “Religion and Spirituality,” sponsored by Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office, Old Main Colloquium, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Green-flix Environmental Documentary Series: “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste,” followed by a discussion facilitated by Brock Ternes, visiting assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 2

Lecture:Talking About Human Rights in India,” by Ute Ritz-Deutch, a lecturer in the History Department and volunteer leader for Amnesty International, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 5 to 6 p.m.

Escalation Workshop: As part of the It’s On Us Week of Action, Sperry Center, Room 105, 7 p.m.

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

Wednesday, April 3

Sandwich Seminar: “Still Laboring: Unions and Workers’ Rights,” panel discussion moderated by Kristine Newhall, Kinesiology Department, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Brooks Lecture Series: “Newfangled Vampires and Zombies in Latin American Literature and Film,” presented by Carmen Serrano, an assistant professor of Spanish, who has studied how vampire and zombie figures have inspired Latin American films since the 1950s, Moffett Center, Room 2125, 4:30 p.m. A reception to welcome Serrano will precede the lecture across the hall at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

Wellness Wednesday Series: “Who is Jane Doe? Sex Trafficking in the U.S.” presented by Health Educator Lauren Scagnelli, as part of SUNY Cortland’s It’s On Us Week of Action, Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 6 p.m.

Biological Sciences Lecture: “Impacts of Plastic Pollution Ingestion and Conservation of Albatross at Midway Atoll,” Sperry Center, Room 205, 6 p.m.

Thursday, April 4

Sandwich Seminar: “SUNY and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” presented by Matthew Brubaker, campus energy manager, and Beth Klein, campus sustainability coordinator and professor of childhood/early childhood education, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, noon to 1 p.m.

Lecture: Data Colonialism Talk, sponsored by the Philosophy Department, Old Main Colloquium, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

It’s On Us Pledge: T-shirt giveaway, Student Life Center lobby, 5 to 7 p.m.

Artist’s Talk: Faculty Biennial 2019, featuring art and art history faculty members Jeremiah Donovan, Charles Heasley, Hannah Hones, Scott Oldfield, Vaughn Randall and Wylie Schwartz, Dowd Gallery, 5 to 6:45 p.m.

Distinguished Voices in Literature: A reading and conversation with Sapphire, bestselling author of Push and The Kid, Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, 5 p.m.

Friday, April 5

It’s On Us Pledge and Tie-Dye Event: Casey and Smith Towers lounge, 4 to 5 p.m.

Greek Showcase: Old Main Brown Auditorium, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Performance: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a crowd-pleasing musical comedy, Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 6

Spring Open House

Kente Celebration: Hosted by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, Corey Union Function Room, 6 p.m.

Performance: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a crowd-pleasing musical comedy, Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 7

Strength and Conditioning Symposium: Sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Athletics and Kinesiology departments, Park Center, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Park Center.

Yards for Yeardley: Help raise awareness about dating violence and show your support for healthy relationships by logging yards and participating in tabling activities in honor of Yeardley Love and all those affected by relationship violence. Lusk Field House, noon to 4 p.m.

Performance: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a crowd-pleasing musical comedy, Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre, 2 p.m.

Tenth Conference on Diversity Planned


Noelle Chaddock energized thousands of SUNY Cortland students as the College’s principal diversity representative for eight years until 2016. Many students and faculty still mention her deeply positive impact on campus life.

Chaddock, now the associate provost and deputy Title IX coordinator at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., will return to Cortland Saturday, April 13, to have a conversation about the social and individual responsibilities of those working to make the world more just.

She will deliver the keynote speech during the 10th annual Student Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Corey Union.

Chaddock, who also served as SUNY Cortland’s chief diversity officer and directed the College’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, will discuss “Performing the Social in Social Justice: Mindfulness, Intentionality, Co-conspirators and Persistent Resistors” at 12:30 p.m. in the Function Room.

“This year we are expecting 300 in attendance with representation from about 16 institutions across New York state,” said Lima Stafford ’12, assistant director of multicultural life and diversity at SUNY Cortland.

This year’s conference will offer 28 presentations, with more student presentation proposals submitted than ever before, Stafford noted. The lunch hour will feature cultural performances.

Students attend an academic seminar on the SUNY Cortland campus.

Participation in the keynote lecture as well as other conference activities is free to SUNY Cortland students, but registration by Friday, April 5, is required. The registration fee is $23 for non-SUNY Cortland students and is $28 for outside institution representatives, community members and SUNY Cortland faculty, staff and alumni. The price for all registrations includes a breakfast buffet, lunch and giveaways.

Chaddock returns to SUNY Cortland as one of the co-founders of the conference. She served SUNY Cortland in diversity, equity, inclusion, access and social justice roles from 2009 to 2016. Chaddock helped create, and then in 2014 was appointed, as the inaugural chief diversity officer at SUNY Cortland. She chaired the SUNY system-wide Faculty Senate’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee, which helped shape SUNY’s chief diversity officer hiring requirements.

She will invite participants to unpack the roles of “white feminism,” “allyship (serving as allies to disadvantaged groups)” and “warrior” as they relate to social justice behaviors in higher education and student populations.

“We need everyone at the table to do this work, that has been proven,” Chaddock said. “What we are not doing well, however, is examining the intrarelationships between those with privileged socio-racial locations and those who are living the realities of oppression and marginalization.”

A transracial adoptee — African American child raised by a white family — in Binghamton, N.Y., she has a Ph.D. in philosophy, interpretation and culture from Binghamton University.

Chaddock’s recent scholarship and forthcoming book, Antagonizing White Feminism: Women’s Studies, Feminism, Gender Identity, and the Academy look at the construction of privileged identities within social justice work.

Chaddock teaches in Africana Studies and theatre, having recently directed the production “Harlem to Hamilton” to a sold-out audience in the McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College. Her current scholarly interests include womanism, critical race theory, the realities of genealogical artifact and inheritance, equity and inclusion in higher education and faculty governance’s role in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and outcomes.

Currently residing in Memphis with her daughter, Morgan Celeste, Chaddock has been appointed the vice president of equity and inclusion at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She will begin that role on June 1.

The Student Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice was created to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity and a venue to share their academic research and work product, build their resumes and network with other students across New York state around the core values of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. The student-led conference allows participants to problematize, conceptualize, research and present across a wide range of disciplines. The conference focus is in line with the strategic goals of the SUNY system as well as those of SUNY Cortland.

For more information, contact the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office at 607-753-2336.

“Spelling Bee” Musical Offers L-A-U-G-H-S


“May I have the definition of the word?”

“Can I have the language of origin?”

“Could you please use it in a sentence?”

Most 12-year-olds don’t use these phrases on a regular basis.

But for the six oddball middle schoolers of the “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” trying to control their sweaty palms and rapidly beating hearts, those lines mean it is their time to shine.

SUNY Cortland’s presentation of this crowd-pleasing musical comedy about competitive spelling opens on Friday, April 5 in the intimate Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre.

Sara Den Bleyker, a junior from Rochelle Park, N.J., plays Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest and most high-strung of the spellers. The name of Den Bleyker’s character points to the musical’s absurd humor but she also appreciates the heartwarming way it treats the six awkward spellers.

“I think there is a sort of nostalgia behind it,” Den Bleyker said. “Even if you weren’t a kid who was in spelling bees when you were younger, I think it’s a show that everyone can relate to because everyone went through adolescence and went through the things the kids are going through in the show.”

Chip Tolentino, the defending champion of the Putnam County Spelling Bee, will be played be Anthony Acevedo, a sophomore from Port Washington, N.Y. The character is an athlete and a Boy Scout who finds himself hilariously struggling with his changing body in the middle of the competition.

“I relate to Chip a lot. I see a younger version of myself in him so it wasn’t that hard to get into the character,” Acevedo said. “Plus, it’s super funny. It’s a bit of a challenge for me because I see myself as more of a dramatic actor, so playing a comedic character is tough but it’s very fun and it’s opened my eyes a lot.”

The humorous nature of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” means that SUNY Cortland’s student actors have spent time working on their comedic chops.

Kiera Welsome, a sophomore from New York, N.Y., is no stranger to musical comedy, as it happens to be one of her favorite genres. However, Director Deena Conley has worked with students on the delivery of comic lines so that they mesh with everything the audience has already learned about the character.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" actors
Left to right: Sara Den Bleyker, Kiera Welsome, Zach Glanton, Liz Earle, Maurice Jerry and Anthony Acevedo.

“You’re playing a real person and you’re not saying it to get a laugh, you’re saying it genuinely and it just happens to be funny,” Welsome said. “So it’s about the intention more than saying it because we want the audience to laugh. This is a real person who really feels that way and is saying that and it just so happens that it’s insane and absurd and that’s why it’s funny.”

Welsome plays Marcy Park, the perfectionist from a strict family who speaks many languages, is an All-American hockey and rugby star and plays multiple instruments.

Maurice Jerry, a junior from Baldwin, N.Y., plays Leaf Coneybear, a home-schooled student who comes from a family of hippies. He has tried to tap into his own youthful spirit to capture Leaf on stage, which he hopes is one of the main messages attendees take from the show.

“There is a lesson of just being happy and enjoying life and to find that inner child and that inner kid,” Jerry said. “It’s a fun show to see and I hope audiences love the show. There is some audience interaction that we’ll be doing.”

In the cozy Lab Theatre, audiences may feel like they are right on stage with the spellers.

“This is not like any other show that you’ve seen,” Acevedo said. “You go to musicals that are funny and plays that might be sad but this show is just so hilarious and so interactive with the audience that you can’t leave and not be happy. It just brings the best out of people, for the actors on stage and the people in the audience.”

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which opened April 5, will be performed on April 11 at 7:30 p.m., April 12 at 7:30 p.m., April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 14 at 2 p.m.

The venue is limited to 70 general admission seats per performance. There will be no late seating after the show starts.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $16 for senior citizens and SUNY Cortland faculty and staff, $14 for SUNY Cortland alumni and $10 for current students. They are available at

Student actors performed "I Speak Six Languages" on WSYR's "Bridge Street" on April 4. View a video of the song online.

Capture the Moment


Junior Micah Assibey-Bonsu reacts, alongside assistant coach Phill Wiltshire '11 M '13, after breaking a 36-year-old school record in the triple jump with his distance of 15.00 meters (49' 2.5") at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships March 9 in Boston. The Central Islip native finished as the national runner-up in the event. (Photo by

In Other News

Month of Sustainability Events Continues

Red is green story.jpg 03/26/2019

SUNY Cortland’s Greenflix Environmental Documentary Series, which kicked off a month of events, activities and presentations related to sustainability with a documentary on food waste, will present a documentary about the impact that the clothing industry has on the global environment. 

“The True Cost” will be screened from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 29 in Moffett Center, Room 2125. It will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Brock Ternes, visiting assistant professor of sociology/anthropology.

Also scheduled this month are several events sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) which illustrate how the global problem of food waste hits home on campus.

On April 23, ASC will offer tours of the Bistro and show its equipment, a worm-composting bin and provide demonstrations on cooking with food scraps, a technique that Bourdain and other top chefs endorse and practice in the documentary.

Other sustainability events scheduled for April include:

  • The new student club Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP) meets biweekly at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17 and May 1 in Old Main, Room G-25. LEAP will hold a “Grow Your Love Earth Day” even on April 22, where participants will plant flowers and plants in pots and decorate them.
  • The Big Event will happen between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at a variety of sites on and off campus. The day starts with a light breakfast kick off in the Corey Union Function Room. From there, volunteers will go to job sites in the Cortland area where they will complete tasks such as raking, gardening and painting. Jobs will end no later than 1 p.m. All volunteers receive a free event t-shirt. Volunteers can register in groups or individually. All members of the SUNY Cortland community are encouraged to volunteer. In order to register all groups will need to have a head count and t-shirt sizes to successfully complete the form. 
  • A biology lecture, “The Forgotten Fragrances: How Floral Scent Structures Plant-pollinator Interactions,” starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17 in Bowers Hall, Room 1129. Robert Raguso, professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University, will speak on the importance of bees as pollinators. What if we're wrong about how pollination works? How might we better understand the ecosystem services provided by all pollinators, not only to human food security but also to biodiversity in the wild, if we were to think like pollinators do? Raguso’s talk aims to fill in some gaps about the fragrant part of flowers and how floral scent contributes to reproductive isolation, floral mimicry and the complex "social network" food webs that bind pollinators to plants from meadows to rainforests.
  • A tour of the Bistro will take place at lunchtime on Tuesday, April 23. Participants will be able to view ASC’s composting equipment, explore a vermiculture bin and learn about plant-based nutrition.
  • “Grow Your Own Vegetable Plant,” a Wellness Wednesday Series event, will be held between noon and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 in the Student Life Center lobby. Attendees will learn about growing plants and receive a plant they can take to grow at home.
  • A composting workshop, “Composting and DIY Worm Bin,” starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 in Newmark Pavilion in front of Memorial Library.
  • NYPIRG’s Sun Run will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at the Student Life Center. Runners can registration at 1:30 p.m. or in advance by email. Students, faculty and staff will hear from a speaker on the progress of solar energy and then walk or run to the campus solar panels.
  • “The True Cost,” part of the Greenflix documentary series, will be screened from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 29 in Moffett Center, Room 2125. This film unpacks the impact the clothing industry has on the global environment. It will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Ternes.

For more information on SUNY Cortland’s sustainability efforts, visit the Sustainability Office online.

Events Raise Sexual Violence Awareness

Emergency_pole_WEB.gif 03/26/2019

During April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, three national events promoted by the One Love Foundation and SUNY aim to raise understanding and promote engagement within the SUNY Cortland campus community.

  • One Love Foundation “Escalation Workshop.” Trained student, faculty and staff facilitators will conduct a workshop on dating violence on Tuesday, April 2. The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105.
  • Yards for Yeardley. The College’s third annual Yards for Yeardley event will again seek to raise awareness regarding healthy and unhealthy relationships among college students on Sunday, April 7. The walking event takes place from noon to 4 p.m. in the Lusk Field House.
  • Behind the Post. This event explores the façade of normalcy often created by happy social media posts that hide troubled or abusive relationships. It takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, in Corey Union, Room 209.

The “Escalation Workshop” involves students watching a 45-minute film that depicts a typical college relationship that develops quickly into a toxic situation. The students will then engage in a 45-minute question-and-answer process.

“It’s based loosely on the true stories of dating violence deaths,” said Nan Pasquarello, the College’s Title IX coordinator.

The national One Love Foundation offers a number of educational tools like the “Escalation Workshop” to help participants recognize warning signs and help themselves or a loved one address relationship violence.

“Last year, One Love Foundation was trying to have all the campuses walk a ton of yards for Yeardley,” Pasquarello said. “And SUNY Cortland will certainly do that on another date (April 7). “But this year, SUNY is calling the ‘Escalation’ workshop the 5K, meaning it’s not a 5K race, but they want to make sure that during April, at least 5,000 students across SUNY are educated about relationship violence.”

The College’s Yards for Yeardley event on April 7 honors people like Yeardley Love, who on May 3, 2010, just three weeks before her graduation from the University of Virginia, was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend. This year’s focus will be on getting 5,000 students across SUNY to become educated on what to do when they or a loved one is confronted by domestic violence, in an educational campaign called the SUNY One Love Healthy Relationships 5K.

“Yards for Yeardley is a well-established tradition that the students know is a fun event,” Pasquarello said. “But we want students to know why they are there. We want to take it on to the next level around dating violence prevention.

“It’s not just to ‘beat Oswego’ with yards but so they really understand why they are there. We want to continue to keep that fun tradition going and honor Yeardley around dating violence while increasing the educational engagement of the event.

“We opted not to go outdoors this year because it’s April in Central New York,” Pasquarello said. “Last year, that was just so much fun, but we had to dash indoors at the last moment.”

The It’s On Us Action Team, Title IX Office, Athletics, Residence Life and Housing and Student Government Association have teamed up to host this year’s Yards for Yeardley Event.

“We really see the strength in having these collaborations,” Pasquerello said. “We’re reaching more students.”

The “Behind the Post” workshop features a short film followed by discussion on how social media posts can have an effect on relationships and how these postings are perceived.

“‘Behind the Post’ is getting students to examine real life versus what people post online and how there can be a disconnect around relationship status,” Pasquarello said. “It’s really interesting.”

Additional “Escalation” and “Behind the Post” workshops will be scheduled in April and early May.

The events highlight the two weeks of daily activities during April that members of the campus community have planned aimed at making SUNY Cortland an exception to the sobering statistics facing college campuses nationwide: During their time in college, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually attacked, 40 percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker and only 2 percent of incapacitated rape survivors report their assault.

Volunteers serving on the campus’ It’s On Us Action Team will offer a “Week of Action for Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” during the first week of April. Members of Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) have scheduled their own “Week of Action” during the second week of April.

One recently added event to the month is “Denim Day,” on Wednesday, April 24, an awareness-raising partnership between the YWCA Cortland Aid to Victims of Violence (AVV) and SUNY Cortland service learning project interns Lydia Colombo, Sonia Devora Vallejo, Monica Ferguson and Viktoria Kalmatskaya. Volunteers will give information at tables in the lower level lobby area of Corey Union.

Denim Day” was started in 1999 in Los Angeles by the group Peace Over Violence after the 1998 overturning of a 1992 rape conviction in Italy, according to the student interns. The Italian Supreme Court threw out the conviction reasoning that the young girl was wearing tight jeans. The officials believed that because the jeans were so tight, she had to have helped to take them off, thereby giving consent. The next day, women in the Italian Parliament wore tight jeans to make a stand against the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“In honor of this case, Denim Day has been hosted on a Wednesday in April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness month,” wrote the four service learning volunteers to SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “We are asking for your support to recognize this day by wearing jeans. We are hoping that we can table for this event and allow faculty to get involved as well. We will provide stickers for faculty who wish to be involved.”

“It’s On Us” is a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses. Launched by the White House in 2014, the campaign asks men and women across the U.S. to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault. To take the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge, visit It’

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

According to Pasquarello, the College’s involvement for several years in the It’s On Us and GreenDot educational movements of bystander responsibility to help stop sexual assault and relationship violence has helped raise awareness on campus and encouraged more campus members to report and address issues.

For more information on the “It’s On Us Action Team events during the first week of April, contact Pasquarello at 607-753-2263. For SAFER event details during the second week, contact club president Andreanna Whitaker.

Sexual Assault Resource Card Available

SAVR_card_logo_WEB.gif 03/26/2019

SUNY is reaching out to help students act quickly in the event of sexual violence.

Two resources, the SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Response card (SAVR) and the Keynect Up phone card download, will be making their way around the SUNY Cortland campus during April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, bearing the words “There for you when you need to be there for a friend.”

Nan Pasquarello, the College’s Title IX coordinator, and others will be passing out what look like business cards. But the cards can connect a SUNY student, faculty or staff member by internet with whatever services they need following a sexual assault or to help a friend in that situation quickly and on the move.

The SAVR cards can locate nearby resources by zip code when the individual isn’t close to campus and identifies the Title IX resources on all the SUNY campuses as well as state and national domestic violence hotlines and shelters. SUNY has provided the campus with the SAVR cards for free.

The Keynect Up phone card is a simple download to a cellphone by texting the word cortlandt9 to 444999.

“I’ve purchased enough Keynect Up cards for all members of the campus community to download all safety and resource information into their phone,” Pasquarello said. “It’s a free resource to people.”

The Keynect Up cellphone contact card also outlines SUNY’s amnesty program so victims or their companions who have taken drugs or alcohol will learn they don’t need to fear adverse action if they call for help when a sexual assault or relationship violence has occurred.

Plus, the Keynect Up cellphone card download contains links to more information about the definition of affirmative consent, the Student Bill of Rights, sexual and interpersonal violence response, and options for confidentially disclosing sexual violence.

“It’s a nice creative way to get all this information into their phones in case they ever need to help somebody else,” Pasquarello said. “Most people don’t think they’ll ever need the information themselves, but they would be willing to put it into their phone in case someone else needs it.”

During April, the College plans two weeks of daily activities plus many other events aimed at making SUNY Cortland an exception to the sobering statistics facing college campuses nationwide: During their time in college, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually attacked, 40 percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker and only 2 percent of incapacitated rape survivors report their assault.

The College’s involvement for several years in the It’s On Us and GreenDot educational movements of bystander responsibility to help stop sexual assault and relationship violence aims raise awareness on campus and encouraged more campus members to report and address issues.

“It’s On Us” is a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses. Launched by the White House in 2014, the campaign asks men and women across the U.S. to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault. Pasquarello encourages campus community members to take the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge by visiting It’

For more information, contact Pasquarello at 607-753-2263.

Sapphire, Author Behind “Precious,” to Speak on Campus

Precious.2.jpg 03/26/2019

A decade ago, the movie “Precious” broke new boundaries in Hollywood, winning critical acclaim and an Oscar with a gritty, gut-wrenching tale about an illiterate black teenager, pregnant and HIV-positive after being raped by her father.

The book on which the film was based, originally titled Push, created a similar stir when it was released in 1996, launching a former tutor for troubled high school students into the ranks of respected novelists, poets and chroniclers of realities that many would rather ignore.

Sapphire, the pen name of New York City-based Ramona Loften, wrote the story — and a follow-up novel, The Kid — by weaving together traumatic pieces of former students’ lives and her own horrific personal experiences.

She will read excerpts from her work, and discuss her writing process and inspiration, at SUNY Cortland’s Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge on Thursday, April 4 at 5 p.m. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Sapphire is visiting Cortland as part of the English Department’s Distinguished Voices in Literature series, which brings poets, fiction writers, essayists and scholars to campus for readings and lectures.

“Sapphire brings marginalized voices to the forefront and I think that’s incredibly important now, given what’s going on around us,” said Heather Bartlett, an instructor in the College’s English and professional writing programs. “She’s an important voice. She is successful in her field and she is a writer but she also explores the issues of poverty and race and equality and brings attention to the kind of issues that are often set aside and made to be invisible.”

Bartlett is co-founder and co-director of the Distinguished Voices series with John Leffel, an assistant professor in the English Department.

In addition to her two bestselling novels, Sapphire has written two books of poetry, American Dreams and Black Wings and Blind Angels. Her work has been translated into 13 languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin and Bomb. She has performed her work at the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Franklin Furnace, the Bowery Poetry Club, Literaturwerkstadt in Berlin and Apples & Snakes in London.

Push won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction; the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s First Novelist Award; and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by The Village Voice as one of the top 25 books of 1996 and by TimeOut New York as one of the top 10 books of 1996.  

“Precious,” the film adaptation of the novel, received two Academy Awards: One for Best Screenplay, which Sapphire was involved with, and one for Best Supporting Actress, which went to Mo’nique for her portrayal of the main character’s abusive mother.

“I remember first reading Push, and it kind of changed my life, as a writer and a reader,” Bartlett said. “She is such an important and amazing figure.”

The Distinguished Voices in Literature series is made possible through the generous support of the President’s Office, the Haines Fund, the Provost’s Office, the Dean’s office, Campus Artist and Lectures Series, Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee, ASC, Alumni Association, Cortland Writers Association and the English Department.

Historian-Philosopher to Discuss Human Rights

Agreement_black_business_WEB.gif 03/26/2019

Ute Ritz-Deutch is a human rights activist on a mission to make the world a better place. And she’ll use whatever form of communication is available to help her do it — leading classroom discussions, giving lectures, hosting her own radio show and generating news coverage.

Most recently, that coverage was by national news organizations in India.

Ritz-Deutch, a SUNY Cortland History Department lecturer and volunteer leader for Amnesty International, gave a series of talks this January in Mangalore, where SUNY Cortland has a study abroad program. Several Indian media outlets reported on her lectures.

She will discuss an updated version of that presentation, “Talking about Human Rights in India,” on Tuesday, April 2. The lecture will run from 5 to 6 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

“It is a global review of 2017 based on human rights reports,” Ritz-Deutch said of her Indian lectures. “I first gave my talk in India in January and at that point we didn’t have the 2018 review data yet. I plan on covering some of the same data, but part of the presentation is reflecting on my India talks.”

 Ritz-Deutch was invited to speak in Mangalore because of her involvement with Amnesty International. While there, she gave 10 human rights talks in 13 days, six of them at St. Aloysius College and affiliated campuses. The other lectures took place at Padua College, St. Agnes College, Karnataka Theological Research Institute and at EMPOWER, a Muslim graduate student association.

“St. Agnes, where I gave my last talk, invited the press and much to my surprise I ended up in three newspapers and their campus publication,” Ritz-Deutch said. “Two of the papers, The Indian Expressand The Hindu,are national news organizations.”

Ute Ritz-Deutch teaches part time in the College’s History and Philosophy departments and also is an instructor at Tompkins Cortland Community College. She has taught courses on teaching, public speaking, research, writing, ethno-history, immigration studies, human rights, immigrant rights and indigenous rights.

Photo by Michelle Bonkosky on Unsplash. The image above left is by from Pexels.

She currently teaches a course on Prisons and Punishment through the Philosophy Department. She plans on taking her students to Albany, N.Y., to lobby for solitary confinement reform.

“I have done that in previous semesters as well,” she said. “It is one of my areas of activism.”

The seasoned grassroots organizer is a member of both the Ithaca Chapter of Amnesty International and the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition. She has a doctorate in history from Binghamton University.

Radio listeners in the region might have heard Ritz-Deutch’s brand of enthusiastic historical discussion combined with human rights advocacy on the “Out of Bounds” radio show broadcast on Community Radio WRFI Radio at 88.1 FM in Ithaca, N.Y., or at 91.9 FM in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Her “Framing Our Democracy” talk series for the show bills itself as fostering intelligent radio interviews with people thinking outside the mainstream. Ritz-Deutch, who for her outstanding community service was awarded the 2012 Civic Engagement Leadership Award by SUNY Cortland and the City of Cortland, also is a DJ on Radio Free America.

For more information, contact Ritz-Deutch at 607-351-8033.

Biographer of College Founder to Speak

CortlandNormalSchool_1914_WEB.gif 03/26/2019

If a sign of being famous means having your very own biographer, then Henry S. Randall, the late founding president of the Cortland Normal School, is a historic celebrity.

Richard Schieffelin ’75, an historian, lecturer and SUNY Cortland graduate in history who is working on Randall’s biography, will deliver a lecture supported by photos and illustrations on SUNY Cortland’s transformational early leader Wednesday, April 10, at the College. The event is part of the College’s yearlong Sesquicentennial Celebration, marking 150 years since its beginnings as Cortland Normal School.

Schieffelin, who also completed graduate studies in American history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will discuss “Henry S. Randall (1811-1876) Founding President of the Cortland Normal School and Leading Advocate for Public Education in Nineteenth Century America.”

The talk, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge, is free and open to the public.

Henry S. Randall (1811-1876)

Randall, who was himself a respected biographer of former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, was president of the Normal School’s initial board of managers, which operated the school. The former New York secretary of state and Cortland County superintendent of schools was also one of Cortland’s few early citizens to earn national fame.

The Randall Farm was a center for experimentation by the self-described Jeffersonian Democrat, and he wrote many works on agriculture. When Jefferson’s descendants chose Randall to write a biography of the Virginian, Randall gained full access to all the letters and records at Jefferson’s estate at Monticello. His 1858 book Life of Jeffersonwon him wide acclaim and remained a standard work well into the 20th century.

Biographer Schieffelin’s family connections to the Cortland community date back to Randall’s era in the 19th century, said Richard Powell, event organizer and an instructional services librarian at SUNY Cortland.

“This subject should appeal to any with an interest in the first few years of the Normal School, history, education or even agriculture,” Powell said.

Schieffelin was born in Cortland and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. After graduating from Wisconsin he moved to northern Virginia where he worked for 33 years in the aerospace industry. Schieffelin retired early to devote himself full-time to completing the biography of Randall. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Josie. 

Richard Schieffelin ’75

“While continuing his archival research, Rick has shared preliminary findings and interpretations with a number of Cortland audiences,” Powell said.

In 2016, Schieffelin lectured to several Cortland and Syracuse groups on “The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy and Henry S. Randall: the Making of a Family Defense.” Between February 2016 and August 2017, Schieffelin wrote a series of five short articles on Randall that appeared in The Bulletin of the Cortland County Historical Society.  

“I first met Rick Schieffelin when we were reviving the College Archives at Memorial Library a few years ago,” Powell said.

From that first meeting, Powell was able to find materials for Schieffelin as he pursues his biography.

Memorial Library recently upgraded its College Archives collection, hired Jeremy Pekarek as the first full-time archivist and instructional services librarian and began to actively encourage the public as well as the campus community to use its historical resources just as Schieffelin has done.

Schieffelin’s talk is presented by the College’s Memorial Library, with funding from a Sesquicentennial Planning Committee grant.

“I sought a Sesquicentennial Grant to bring him to campus to talk about his favorite subject,” Powell said.

For more information on the lecture, contact Powell at 607-753-2289.

SUNY Cortland’s yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary began last July 14 and runs through Alumni Reunion 2019, July 11 to 14. To learn more about the College’s historic year, take a tour of the College timeline and purchase a College history book at For more information on the SUNY Cortland Sesquicentennial, contact Sesquicentennial co-chairs Mary Kate Morris ’06 or Erin Boylan. Alumni should check for email from the alumni association or visit RedDragonNetwork at for updates about planned events.

Red Dragon Wins National Gymnastics Title

EmmaSchulz_NCGAChamp_1 final.jpg 03/26/2019
OSHKOSH, WIS. - Cortland sophomore Emma Schulz (Poughquag/Arlington) won the Division III national title on floor exercise at the 36th Annual National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Schulz posted a score of 9.825 to win the title, just ahead of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Kiya Bjorge's score of 9.80. Schulz is Cortland's first gymnastics national champion since Maddy Scozzie on uneven bars in 2015 and the Red Dragons' first floor exercise champ since Lindsey Marranca in 2005. In all, Cortland gymnasts have now won 17 NCGA national titles (18 overall), and Cortland Athletics now boasts 106 individual national titles across all sports.
(left to right) Cortland All-Americans
Rachel Filipski and Emma Schulz

"I'm really excited to know the work I put in this season paid off," said Schulz following the meet.
In addition to her national title, Schulz also registered one of Cortland's two national runner-up finishes at the championship. She tied for second on balance beam with a 9.75 along with Ally Blixt of Wisconsin-La Crosse, with Wisconsin-Whitewater's Franchesca Hutton claiming the title with a 9.775. Senior Rachel Filipski (Lancaster) tied for second place on vault, along with Whitewater's Lauren Marshall, with a season-high 9.75. Shadae Boone of Wisconsin-Stout was the vault champion with a 9.825.

Schulz and Filipski earned All-America honors, which go to the top eight finishers in each event. Filipski earned vault All-America recognition for the third time, while Schulz was a repeat All-American on balance beam and earned her first honor on floor.

Freshman Megan Hanley (Lynbrook/Malverne) narrowly missed All-America honors on beam, tying for ninth place with a 9.625. The All-America cutoff score was 9.65. Other Red Dragon highlights included a tie for 11th for Schulz on vault (9.60) and a tie for 12th place for senior Lindsay Riggs (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Trabuco Hills) on floor (9.675).

Cortland's top three scorers on vault were Filipski, Schulz and senior Lily Szafranski  (Williamsville/Williamsville South) (9.50). The top three Red Dragons on bars were sophomore Emily Speciale (San Antonio, TX/James Madison) (9.20), sophomore Vivian Trevisani (Colchester, VT) (9.00) and junior Sidney McConnell (Winchester, CA/Vista Murrieta) (8.825). Schulz, Hanley and Riggs (9.325) were Cortland's top three on beam, and Schulz, Riggs and sophomore Julie Giardina (Wantagh) (9.475) were the Red Dragons' top three on floor.

In addition, Cortland seniors Filipski and Riggs were recognized as NCGA Senior All-Americans in Academics award winners at the meet. The awards go to seniors with at least a 3.0 overall grade point average who appear on the team's NCGA squad list for the current year. The winners must be in their final year of athletic eligibility as well as seniors academically.

Cortland finished sixth in the final team standings with a score of 185.50. Brockport won the national title with a 191.05, followed by UW-Stout (190.275), UW-Whitewater (190.15), UW-Oshkosh (189.40), Ithaca (187.975) and Cortland. The Red Dragons were making their 32nd NCGA Championship appearance - the most of any school.

"I'm incredibly proud of this team and everything they have accomplished this season," said first-year head coach Sierra Day. "The nationals stage only got a glimpse of what's to come for this program."

Championship Web Page

2019 NCGA Women's Gymnastics Championships; March 23; Oshkosh, Wis.

1) Brockport - 191.05
2) UW-Stout - 190.275
3) UW-Whitewater - 190.15
4) UW-Oshkosh - 189.40
5) Ithaca - 187.975
6) Cortland - 185.50

Complete Results

Blaze Advances in Mascot Madness

5 blaze.jpg 03/26/2019

On the face of it, the second round of SUNY’s Mascot Madness 2019 should really be a slam dunk for Blaze, the SUNY Cortland Red Dragon.

In voting that began at noon today (Tuesday, March 26), our ferocious, fire-spewing mythical reptile is facing off against what amounts to a whiskery ball of tree-clinging fur about the size of a cocker spaniel.

That’s right, Baxter Bearcat of Binghamton University.

Of course, when you look beyond the Google entries for binturong, the Asian mammal commonly known as a bearcat, the matchup looks a lot more challenging.

Mascot Madness is essentially an online popularity contest, based on votes. Binghamton University has more than 17,000 students. SUNY Cortland has less than 7,000. So the math is in their favor. And Binghamton is really good at math.

Blaze, however has a secret weapon — you. And your friends. And your family.

By visiting and casting frequent votes in favor of Blaze over Baxter in Round 2, the dedicated students, alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends of SUNY Cortland can beat the odds and move on to the Elite Eight. Last week, Blaze crushed Reggie the Raider, Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s pirate mascot, in the opening round of the tournament.

If this is your first experience with Mascot Madness, here’s what’s going on: For the seventh consecutive year, the 64-campus SUNY system is hosting a competition to determine its most popular college mascot. Mascots battle, tournament-style, in brackets patterned after those used for the NCAA basketball championships, using online votes of support to keep score.

Voting in the second round will continue until 3 p.m. Thursday, March 28, and SUNY allows every unique email address to vote once every 24 hours. This is probably the time to tell you that the voting process is a little cumbersome. Please stick with it — you don’t want to get on a fire-breathing Red Dragon’s bad side.

In addition to instructions for voting and a printable Mascot Madness bracket, the site offers profiles of all participating SUNY Mascots.

If Blaze overcomes the odds and beats Baxter in Round 2, Cortland’s great beast will advance through the following schedule:

  • Round 3 — March 29 – April 2
  • Semifinals — April 3-5
  • Finals — April 9-11

So let’s demonstrate that Red Dragons not only exist outside of “Game of Thrones,” they win.

2019 Cortland Challenge Breaks Records

I Gave 360x240.jpg 03/18/2019

Thanks to the support of 2,072 donors, the 2019 Cortland Challenge was a record-breaking success.

The total number of donors on March 6 was a new Cortland Challenge record, as was the $210,947 raised to support the needs of current and future SUNY Cortland students.

SUNY Cortland offers its thanks to the alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends who contributed to this year’s Challenge.

“We are amazed by how successful the Cortland Challenge was this year and even more so by the support that we received from the SUNY Cortland community,” said Natasha McFadden, associate director of the Cortland Fund. “It was such an exciting day and we exceeded all of our expectations, so thank you to everyone who participated.”

Last year, 1,384 donors raised $151,360 for the College’s annual 24-hour fundraiser.

A number of generous alumni made matching gifts as the Challenge hit key thresholds. Lynne Parks Hoffman ’68 gave $5,000 to the SUNY Cortland Parks Alumni House Expense Fund at 607 donors. Michael Leeolou ’81 and Catherine Suarez Leeolou ’81 made a gift of $10,500 at 1,000 donors and Patrick Mullaney ’89 gave $10,000 once the Challenge broke the previous record of 1,384 donors. An anonymous member of the Alumni Association Board made a gift of $10,000 once the Challenge reached 1,868 donors in honor of the year of the Cortland Normal School’s Founding.

Jane Grastorf ’62 pledged $3,000 toward a Power Hour, which reached its goal of at least 150 donors between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

John Belmonte ’85, Anthony Moon ’86 and Susan Moon and the C-Club Board of Directors combined to provide $10,200 in matching funds to support the Athletics Challenge segment of the Cortland Challenge.

New this year was a Residence Hall Challenge. Glass Tower Hall had the most donors and won a pizza party for the building.

For a list of Athletics Challenge winners, visit

Suggest a feature story

Faculty/Staff Activities

Tyler Bradway

Tyler Bradway, English Department, was invited to present a keynote lecture at Cornell University for the English Department’s Graduate Student Conference, which was held on March 15 and 16. His lecture was titled “Queer Narrative Theory and the Belongings of Form.” 

Stephen Halebsky

Stephen Halebsky, Sociology/Anthropology Department, wrote the chapter on “Big Box Stores” for the recently published The Routledge Companion to the History of Retailing. His contribution had been solicited by the editors.

Ute Ritz-Deutch

Ute Ritz-Deutch, History Department, recently had her chapter titled “TransGerman Experiences in Southern Brazil: The Stutzer Family in Blumenau, 1885-1887” published in the book Becoming TransGerman: Cultural Identity Beyond Geography.

Greg Sharer

Greg Sharer, vice president of student affairs, was a panelist at the 2019 NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. The panel consisted of selected authors of the recently published book, Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs: Using Triage Practices to Foster Well-Being. NASPA is the acronym for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. 

Submit your faculty/staff activity

The Bulletin is produced by the Communications Office at SUNY Cortland and is published every other Tuesday during the academic year. Read more about The Bulletin. To submit items, email your information to

© 2021 SUNY Cortland. all rights reserved.