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  Issue Number 9 • Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021  


Campus Champion

Todd Malone ’11, SUNY Cortland’s assistant sport facilities manager and Alumni Arena manager, has a new mission this semester. With the thousands of faculty, staff and students returning to campus who will be pool tested for COVID-19 in the Student Life Center, Todd plays a major role in the university’s COVID testing, overseeing daily schedules and staffing. “We still need more employees to volunteer for at least one COVID-19-related support activity identified in this Volunteer/Redeployment form,” Todd said. With enough volunteers, he can work his magic to streamline five testing stations and 25 staff volunteers to push through 1,500 tests every Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Wednesday, Jan. 27

New Student Advising Assistance: WebExAdvising, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Welcome Week: Escape Room, Virtualescape room, 8 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 28

Spring 2021 Opening of School Meeting: Hosted virtually by the President's Office, online via Webex, 9 a.m.

Welcome Week: Find a Friend, Virtual Find a Friend event, 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 29

Student Conduct 101: For faculty and staff, join the Student Conduct staff and faculty volunteers, online via Webex, 10 a.m.

Welcome Week: Transfer Takeoff and Tours, Corey Union Function Room, 1 to 3 p.m. 

Welcome Week: Game Show: The Price is What? 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 30

Welcome Week: Mentalist Mark Toland, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 31

Welcome Week: Bingo, 8 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 1

Spring Semester first day of classes

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Welcome Week: New Transfer Student Trivia, 5 p.m.

Welcome Week: Trivia Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Wellness Wednesday Podcast: I Had COVID-19, Now What? presented by Athletic Trainer Katrina Marshall, available on Soundcloud.

Workshop: Intro to Handshake and LinkedIn, sponsored by Career Services, online via Handshake, 4 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4

Welcome Week: New Transfer Student Game Night, 6 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 8

Speed Resumes Workshop: Sponsored by Career Services, online via Handshake, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Virtual Interview Essentials: Sponsored by Career Services, online via Handshake, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Workshop: SafeZone Train the Trainer: For those that participated in a SafeZone training in the past and want to be a trainer. Register and a link will be emailed, online via Webex on 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Wellness Wednesday: COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Black Communities, presented by Health Educator Lauren Scagnelli and Senior Counselor Roueida Ghadban, 5 to 5:30 p.m.

Teaching in a pandemic


When the pandemic forced schools across the nation to shift to online education, there weren’t many resources immediately available to help teachers adjust.

Last fall Jessica Huber ’20, then a senior English major from Lake George, N.Y., who aspires to become a middle-school teacher, decided to try to fill that void.

As her capstone project for an English class, Huber created ‘Teaching Through a Screen!’ an audio podcast featuring interviews with teachers discussing what the experience was like for them and offering tips for effective online teaching.

“This is a topic that is really interesting to me because I’m studying to become a teacher and I’m curious to find out what it has been like for teachers during this time of COVID-19,” said Huber, who graduated after the fall semester.

Jessica Huber '10 marks a graduation moment on the steps of Old Main.

“It was something that was definitely outside of my comfort zone, which was why I decided to do the podcast in the first place,” Huber said in a recent telephone interview from Lake George, where she currently works part-time at a preschool while she pursues substitute teaching opportunities.

“It was something that people could reach anywhere. I never had a final project that you could take with you anywhere, which is why I decided to make it a podcast.”

Huber’s creation was unveiled on Dec. 11, the last day of classes  for the fall 2020 semester. Assistant Professor of English Danica Savonick shared with her 1,700 plus Twitter followers an excited message about one of her stellar students.

“Each episode includes interviews w/ educators about their experiences trying to teach online amidst a pandemic. Have a listen!” Savonick wrote.

The project evolved last fall out of the required capstone project in Savonick’s course, Reading for Race, Gender and Sexuality.

“There's a statement in the syllabus about ‘Learning Amidst a Global Pandemic,’ and we really tried our best to always prioritize community, care and flexibility throughout the course,” Savonick said.

Students in the course chose their own topics and mediums for sharing their findings in their final assignment. Huber designed, wrote and produced the trio of audio podcasts, each containing compelling stories of coping with significant, pandemic-related obstacles for the sake of inspiring children to learn. A written transcript accompanies her listening series.

Danica Savonick's class displays their capstone projects.

“Jessica did a lot of additional reading and research on the topic of online teaching amidst the pandemic because she was so passionate about the topic,” Savonick said. “Then the task became figuring out how her podcast could contribute to these ongoing conversations.”

In “Teaching Through a Screen!” Huber interviewed two individuals she knew, student teacher Annie Williams and working teacher Olivia Sutton, about what it is like teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Huber coaxed them to answer the questions about what most educators have struggled with daily fulfilling their jobs.

“One fun fact I love: the idea to break her material into three ‘episodes’ actually came from another student in the class during a peer review session,” Savonick noted. “It was a fantastic suggestion and Jess could see that. The content is much more accessible in smaller chunks.”

Williams was a SUNY Cortland student completing her semester of student teaching with a kindergarten class in Otselic, N.Y., last spring when the virus abruptly shut down that face-to-face experience. Her discussion on the podcast encompasses her roles both as student and as teacher.

“The reason I wanted to include her in the podcast was to give a little different perspective,” Huber said.

Sutton is a 10-year teaching veteran of 7th grade English language arts at a middle school in South Glens Falls, N.Y. She provided Huber with observation hours last year before the pandemic broke out.

“So I got to know her very well,” Huber said. “She is someone who has really inspired me and helped me find my true love for teaching.”

“I was interested to find out if teaching with all technology was difficult for her or if she was enjoying it,” Huber said. “The Google Classroom and teaching online, listening to a voice recording for teaching, showing your face through a camera screen, these were new things for Olivia, while Annie Williams on the other hand was used to doing those things.”

Huber most admired how Sutton developed ties with individual students across the physical divide of the internet.

“Olivia took the time to send out a letter each week to a different group of her students,” Huber said. “She wrote to let them know she is there for them whenever they need her, which is what I thought was such a wonderful idea.

“When they were taken from classrooms and made to take courses completely online, I thought it's so important to give them encouraging words and work, so they don’t check out,” Huber said.

Even when the pandemic can be viewed in the rearview mirror, the podcasts may remain a valuable tool. Huber said she could continue to produce them on other topics.

“I think that there are definitely benefits to online teaching that come from the pandemic,” she said. “It’s important to have the in-classroom time, but for any student who can’t make it to the class or be there a certain amount of time, having teachers learn about more online resources is beneficial.”

Huber had some help with feedback on some interview drafts, but otherwise completed the project by herself, even teaching herself how to record and edit audio content on iMovie and researching what platform would be best for uploading her completed episodes so that they could be shared on the internet. She even spliced together two free digital melodies to design the podcast’s theme music.

“I think that students are heroes for continuing their education amidst such uncertain and frightening conditions,” Savonick said about her class. “I treated every conversation, every blog post, every project  — like Jess' and others’ — as a small miracle that exists against all of the odds. We could not have had more obstacles facing us, and yet students persisted and created some truly amazing things.”

University helps police assess community perception


Danielle Jaghab, a  senior criminology major from Bellmore, N.Y., wants to dedicate her life to improving the way police and community members relate to one another.

She got off to a good start last semester when she and her class helped two local police agencies review their performance in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring all departments to review their policies and procedures in the wake of public outcry created by police killings of unarmed people of color.

Last summer, the Cortland City Police Department and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office asked Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology Mary Cannito-Coville to help them assess the quality of their interactions with members of the public. Cannito-Coville developed a survey with the help of Jaghab and other students in her Criminology or Sociology 333/The Police course, which focuses on the role of police in society.

Safety concerns related to COVID-19 prevented students from talking directly with members of the community, but they helped shape and fine tune the survey; partly by taking an early version of it themselves.

The students took the survey before it was released to the public, Cannito-Coville said.

Students chat with University Police Department officers nearby a campus safety location, a blue light and telephone.

“And these students are studying policing for the course, so they were able to offer content feedback for that. If people feel bogged down by questions, they are less likely to answer them, so my students were able to offer some feedback on avoiding that.”

Once the survey was complete, a random sampling of local residents received an introductory letter asking them to go online to complete the survey or request a paper one in the mail. The information gathering wrapped up on Jan. 22.

“I think it’s a great addition to what we’re doing for the executive order. It was just kind of perfect timing,” said Mark Helms, Cortland County sheriff.  “I think most of us in law enforcement are trying to think of ways to connect with the public, and we can’t keep talking to the same people all the time.”

Cuomo issued Executive Order  No. 203: New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, in response to national outrage following the police-involved death on May 25, 2020 of George Floyd in Minnesota as well as other lost lives that have energized the Black Lives Matter movement.

“These incidents prompted Gov. Cuomo to ask all agencies to look at their policies and procedures and come up with a plan to address racial bias and systemic inequalities,” Cannito-Coville said.

“We needed to act fairly quickly on this as the final assessment and report is due on April 1,” Cannito-Coville said.

Cannito-Coville, who joined the university at the end of August, most recently has taught, since 2018, at The College of New Jersey, in the departments of criminology and African American studies. She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University, where her dissertation was titled “Targeted: Young Black Men, Schools and the Consequences of Anti-gang Policing.” At Cortland, Cannito-Coville also serves as a faculty associate in the Africana Studies Department.

Criminology majors meet with campus officers before taking part in a demonstration of police fieldwork.

The content of her course aims to give students from all majors a deep dive into what to look for in community policing, so bringing the students in seemed natural.

“When we look at the sociological and historical aspects of policing, I encourage my students to look closely at marginalized experiences with policing,” Cannito-Coville said.

“We examine the impacts of bias and how that manifests in differences in law enforcement: how we see this impact in traffic enforcements, in school enforcements, in larger communities.”

Jaghab looks forward to completing a second hands-on learning opportunity this spring learning about advocating between minorities and the police as an intern with Citizen Action, Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier in Binghamton, N.Y. She plans to pursue graduate studies at John Jay College’s criminal justice program after graduating from SUNY Cortland in May.

“I do want to see change in our society,” Jaghab said.

“Ultimately I hope to concentrate on private investigations with the hope of once again trying to get justice for people, to ensure that everyone is correctly doing their job,” Jaghab said.

“This first internship gave me an eye-opening experience to how the police departments — especially in Cortland County — want to reform,” Jaghab said. “They are definitely more community-driven than most police departments. I definitely want that community input to see how the justice departments are working.

“I want to get to know the community and what they feel is fair and just and how to ensure they can trust the police and work together to create a better neighborhood. As I go forward with my career and become a criminologist, I want to allow myself to have that personal connection with them.”

Capture the Moment


Faculty and staff participated in COVID-19 testing at the Student Life Center on Thursday, Jan. 21. SUNY Cortland will test every student, faculty and staff member once a week throughout the spring semester. Other information related to the semester is available through SUNY Cortland’s Spring 2021 Guide.

In Other News

Edith Pennell honored for service

Cortland-Logo-news.png 12/15/2020

A colleague of Edith Pennell said that she “counters chaos with organization, delay with timeliness, carelessness with professionalism and confusion with wisdom.”

So it’s fitting that Pennell, an administrative assistant 2 in the Division of Finance and Management, was recognized on Dec. 14 with the prestigious 2020 President’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

The award was created in 2002 to annually recognize one SUNY Cortland full-time classified service employee “for extraordinary achievement and to encourage the continuation of excellence.” Nominees must have at least three years of continuous service. Supervisors, co-workers or other university community members nominate workers considered for this honor.

The President’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service traditionally has been presented at the annual Service Awards Ceremony, a 50-year-old event for classified employees that in recent years has been marked by a holiday luncheon sponsored by the Human Resources Office in Corey Union. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was cancelled.

Edith Pennell

Nevertheless, SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum on Dec. 15 surprised Pennell during an administrative meeting that she had set up with a plaque to acknowledge her outstanding service to the university.

“As I observe her work with people, whether in her division or across the campus, she is always welcoming and collaborative,” Bitterbaum said. “When you approach Edie, you feel like you can ask any question and that you have a true partner in your work. She also has great humility and shows great concern for people as individuals.”

Pennell joined the university in 2006 as a calculations clerk 1. She was promoted in 2009 to calculations clerk 2 and a year later to secretary 1. In 2017, Pennell was named secretary 2, a title that since then has been renamed administrative assistant 2.

From 1991 until she came to SUNY Cortland, Pennell had managed properties with Novarr-Mackesey Property Management in Ithaca, N.Y. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University.

Pennell currently serves as the administrative assistant to the vice president for finance and management while the role is being handled on an interim basis by Mark Prus, provost and Vice President for academic affairs.

Pennell is the consummate professional: organized, knowledgeable and detail oriented, Prus noted.

“Edie makes sure that I am where I’m supposed to be, have the materials I need, and know what I am supposed to know at all times,” Prus said.

Pennell helps him shift smoothly between his current dual academic and administrative roles.

“Equally important is Edie’s demeanor,” Prus said. “She is always pleasant and upbeat, even when things don’t go well. This has definitely been advantageous during the pandemic, but is an asset even under normal circumstances. I have witnessed firsthand the respect that everyone in her division has for her.”

Carol Van Der Karr, associate provost for academic affairs, noted, “I am a witness to the influence that she has beyond her specific role and the ways that her professionalism and dedication have impact well beyond her own office and division.”

“I am particularly impressed with her communication skills both verbally and written. She understands that not everyone is familiar with the vernacular and jargon of finance and management and makes sure that those outside of the division have a clear understanding of the purpose of meetings, meaning of memos, etc.”

Jody Maroney, director of budget and business operations, described Pennell as “extremely professional and absolutely reliable.”

Pennell consistently goes above and beyond in her responsibilities, Maroney noted.

Edith Pennell, shown second from left in the top row, was honored for her service on Tuesday, Dec. 15, during a surprise meeting with many admirers.

“She makes sound decisions and handles sensitive information confidentially,” Maroney said. “When issues arise, she listens to understand what the needs are and then helps find solutions. She thrives on planning events and perfecting every detail to make it enjoyable for all. We are very fortunate to have Edie. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Pennell has been married to Wayne Pennell for 25 years. They have one son, Joel; a daughter-in-law, Shamsi; and two grandchildren, Kalli and Max. Pennell loves her cats, gardening and walking.

Employees Honored for Years of Service

Also, as is customary this time of year, 33 classified staff and Research Foundation employees who met milestone years of service with SUNY Cortland recently were recognized for their dedication and commitment. As plans for the 2021 ceremony are being made, these recipients will be honored in person at that time as well. The 2020 Service Awards Awardees, including personnel who retired in 2020 as noted with an asterisk, are:


*Julie LaPlant, Kinesiology Department


Betsy Kulis, Migrant Education Tutorial Services (Research Foundation)


*Judah Currie, Maintenance

Mary Murphy, University Police Department

Michael Zhe, Motor Pool


Dawn Bulmer, Payroll Office


Connal Carr, Maintenance

*Bradley Holl, Mail Services/Central Warehouse

Nancy Kuklis, Admissions Office

Kathy McCracken, Custodial Services

Richard Metcalf, Maintenance

Phillip Miller, Service Group

Kerry Mincher, Student Affairs

Anthony Petrella, Custodial Services

Russell Scott, Duplicating Center

Nadia Snell, Student Accounts Office

Joanna Tobias, Administrative Computing

*Debra Whitney, Library  


Karen Diescher, Child Care Center (Research Foundation)

Nancy Hartford, Custodial Services

Greg McCartney, Maintenance

Jeremiah Rawson, Maintenance

Michelle Ryan, Custodial Services

Julie Simser, Geography and Philosophy

Marthajane Warren, Student Health Services

Anna Wilcox, Foundations and Social Advocacy


Marilyn Jones, Advisement and Transition

Stacy Alexander, University Police Department

Christopher Austen, University Police Department

Elizabeth Mokos, Custodial Services

Lisa Walker, Campus Technology Services

Ann Lang, Library

Heidi Johnson, Admissions Office

SUNY Cortland to serve as vaccination center

Vaccine.1.jpg 01/12/2021

SUNY Cortland has partnered with Cortland County and Guthrie Cortland Medical Center to host a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination center to serve eligible populations in the region.

The center, located in SUNY Cortland’s Park Center Alumni Ice Arena, could open as early as next week. It is needed to meet the increased demand for vaccinations. New York state recently widened its eligibility list to include people many essential workers and people over the age of 65.  

“As a member of this special community, SUNY Cortland is always eager to help,” SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “During times like these, all segments of the community must collaborate and work together.”

Cortland County Legislative Chairman Paul Heider agreed, “Working alongside the university and the hospital allows the County Health Department to support a more robust vaccination effort in our community.”

The number of individuals who can be vaccinated continues to be based on the doses made available to the county and Guthrie each week by New York state. SUNY Cortland’s Student Health Services will work with Cortland County Health Department and Guthrie staff to administer the vaccine.

Additional information regarding the times, location, and appointments for the upcoming clinics will be announced on the Cortland County website and through local news media. Essential workers and residents can find out if they are currently eligible for the vaccine online.

Spring 2021 Welcome Week

Welcome 360240.jpg 01/26/2021

From move-in day through the first week of classes, Welcome Week is designed to help students become part of the campus community and lay the foundation for a successful college experience. All students are welcome to join. Select events are specifically for new transfer students. 

Wednesday, Jan. 27

New Student Advising Assistance, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Advisement and Transition Web Wednesday. Pop into our WebEx room with questions you have about your spring semester course schedule.

Escape Room, 8 p.m.
Someone has stolen the mascot costume! Your team’s mission is to review the case, search around town for clues, and deliver the solution. The big game is tonight and the school would like to get the mascot back. You only have a limited amount of time! Login and we’ll put you on a team. 

Thursday, Jan. 28

Find a Friend, 8 p.m.

Whether you're new this semester or a returning student, we want to help connect you with other Cortland students. Join us for this fast-paced event to meet other Cortland students. Zoom Meeting ID: 849 7221 5199. Passcode: 899594

Friday, Jan. 29

Transfer Takeoff & Tours, 1 to 3 p.m.
Corey Union Function Room

Come spin the prize wheel, get a winter treat, and find your classrooms before classes begin on Monday.

Game Show: The Price is What?, 9 p.m.
“Come on down!” In honor of our favorite bidding game show, contestants on The Price is What? will guess the cost of everyday items. If you have the closest guess without going over, you’re the winner! Get your guesses ready! 

Saturday, Jan. 30

Mentalist Mark Toland, 9 p.m.

You don't want to miss this incredibly mind-blowing mind reading show!

Sunday, Jan. 31

Bingo, 8 p.m.
Win someone Cortland gear before the semester starts! Free to play.

Monday, Feb. 1 - Classes Begin

Get Involved!

Check out all of the SGA recognized clubs and fraternities and sororities offered at Cortland.

Tuesday, Feb. 2

New Transfer Student Trivia, 5 p.m.
The top 3 winners earn Cortland swag. 

Trivia Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Join us every Tuesday night for trivia and a chance to winter Cortland gear. Since it’s just a few days before the Super Bowl, the theme is week is football trivia. All Cortland students are welcome to play. 

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Get Involved!
Check out everything offered through the Recreational Sports Office.

Thursday, Feb. 4

New Transfer Student Game Night, 6 p.m.
Try to have two devices (phone and computer or tablet) so that you can enjoying playing the games while meeting new people. Join WebEx on one and play on the other!

SUNYAC developing plan for spring sports

Sunyac 360240.png 01/26/2021

State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras has requested that the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) develop a plan, to be considered by the member schools’ presidents, to resume spring intercollegiate athletic competition safely.

These plans will be expected to meet the guidance provided by the NCAA, the New York State Department of Health, local and regional authorities and the SUNY system. They will also consider the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campuses during the early weeks of the semester.

“While there are no guarantees that we’re playing, we’re taking this as cautiously optimistic news and we’re excited to get going toward playing a spring season,” said Cortland Director of Athletics Mike Urtz '94, M '00.

The SUNYAC’s spring sports include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field and women’s tennis. Cortland also offers women’s golf, which competes in the Northeast Women’s Golf Conference, during the spring. Planning for non-SUNYAC spring sports will be led by campus athletic directors and presidents. Cortland is one of 10 full-time SUNYAC member schools along with Brockport, Buffalo State, Fredonia, Geneseo, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburgh and Potsdam.

SUNY Cortland is scheduled to begin its spring semester classes on Feb. 1. Cortland’s 2020-21 fall and winter athletic seasons were canceled due to the pandemic, as were all spring athletic events last year after March 11.

SUNY Cortland to test students for COVID-19 weekly

COVID Testing image.jpg 01/20/2021

SUNY Cortland will require students to test negative for COVID-19 before returning to campus and will test every student, faculty and staff member once a week throughout the spring semester, according to re-opening plan recently approved by SUNY Administration.

The plan, which dramatically increases testing, strengthens student outreach and eliminates breaks and holidays, is the university’s blueprint for safely returning to in-person education during the pandemic. It will continue the physical distancing, sanitizing and other safety measures in place during the fall and will require face coverings almost everywhere on campus. Classes begin Feb. 1 with a mix of in-person, online and hybrid instruction.

“We live in a time of extraordinary challenges, so we are taking extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and success of our students,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “By limiting the spread of the virus, we can provide an engaging and rewarding educational experience despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19.”

The plan, and other information related to the semester, is available online through SUNY Cortland’s Spring 2021 Guide. Under the new safety measures, all members of the SUNY Cortland community —students, faculty and staff — must:

  • Complete a daily, online screen for COVID symptoms and follow all resulting recommendations for 14 days before arriving on campus.
  • Complete a seven-day precautionary quarantine before traveling to the university.
  • Submit proof of a negative COVID test or documentation of a positive test and completed isolation period within the last 90 days before being allowed on campus.
  • Participate in pool surveillance testing immediately after coming to Cortland. Students living in campus residence halls will be tested by the university on the day they arrive. Off-campus students will participate in campus testing Jan. 25 to 31.
  • Participate in weekly, on-campus pool testing if they will be on campus for any reason.
  • Follow guidelines on physical distancing, hand washing and face coverings both on and off campus. Students are expected to cover their faces except when they are in their personal living area or eating.

As during the fall semester, students may not invite guests to campus and members of the community are not allowed to use SUNY Cortland facilities.

Statistics on COVID testing and case numbers for SUNY Cortland are available through the system-wide SUNY COVID-19 Tracker, which is updated daily.

President offers reminders before arrival

Erik bw 360240.jpg 01/26/2021

Dear students,

Many of you are planning to return to campus this week and I wanted to share some reminders of the steps you must take before classes begin. We have been working on measures that will allow us to have a rewarding semester if we all commit to doing so safely.

Things to consider: 

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result is required for all students before they come to campus. Your results should be uploaded through the COVID-19 tab on myRedDragon. Students who have tested positive within the past 90 days and completed isolation will be exempt from testing but must submit proper documentation. Details are available online.

  • Please continue to complete your daily screening on myRedDragon.

  • Students seeking more information on move-in should consult the Residence Life and Housing Office

  • Basic COVID-19 safety rules from last semester remain in place. You must properly wear a face covering at all times unless you are alone or with your Cortland household members in your room, eating or showering or brushing your teeth. You must not attend large gatherings on or off campus.

  • The Student Life Center will serve as the university’s COVID-19 testing site this spring. The facility also will be open for recreation but will require time slot reservations. Details are available online.

The Spring 2021 Guide will answer many of your questions. Please familiarize yourself with it and refer to it often. You will also find valuable information through the COVID-19 tab on myRedDragon throughout the semester.

The best way for us to have an enjoyable and productive semester is to promise to fight the spread of this virus. Be safe for yourself and all the members of the Cortland community around you.

All the best, 

Erik J. Bitterbaum 


President provides update on Student Life Center and activities

Erik bw 360240.jpg 01/22/2021

Dear students,

I know that many of your favorite activities have been limited since the start of the pandemic and I recognize the Student Life Center is a crucial part of your Cortland experience. It is an important source of your physical and mental well-being.

I wanted to share the following updates about the Student Life Center and other activities:

  • The Student Life Center will reopen at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, on a limited schedule with reservations required. Normal hours will resume Monday, Feb. 1. Recreational Sports will send more details next week.
  • The facility’s policies from the fall semester will continue. All students, faculty and staff members must reserve a time slot through the online reservation system and follow safety measures such as physical distancing and wearing a face covering.
  • Welcome Week activities start Wednesday, Jan. 27, and continue through the first week of classes. Learn more online and check the Cortland Connect events page, the SUNY Cortland Campus Calendar and the Cortland Nites Instagram for upcoming events.

I also want to include these reminders about testing and arrival: 

  • The Spring 2021 Guide and the COVID-19 tab in myRedDragon are important sources of information. All students must complete a daily screening each day starting now, before they come to Cortland. All students also must submit prearrival test results through myRedDragon.
  • Campus residents must schedule their move-in date and time through the Housing tab on myRedDragon by Sunday, Jan. 24, at 11:59 p.m. You automatically will be enrolled in surveillance testing based on your selected move-in date.
  • Students who live off-campus should register for surveillance testing online through the COVID-19 tab in myRedDragon. Off-campus students are expected to test Jan. 25 to 31.

Please understand that all safety policies and expectations from the fall semester remain in place. The Student Life Center will remain open only if we can ensure the health and safety of the campus community. You must continue to be vigilant on and off campus to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

I hope that you are healthy and that you enjoy the final week of your well-deserved winter break. Please continue to be safe. 

All the best,

Erik J. Bitterbaum 


President highlights important resources

Erik bw 360240.jpg 01/19/2021

Dear students,

A new semester is upon us. I believe in your ability to succeed in your classes and in all of your academic endeavors in the weeks and months to come.

I also believe in your commitment to meeting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to share some resources that will allow you to have a safe and successful semester.  

  • The Spring 2021 Guide may answer many questions you have about campus life and it will be updated often. Please familiarize yourself with it before classes start and refer to it regularly.

  • The guide gives you access to our SUNY-approved re-opening plan as well as a student-oriented document titled “What Students Should Know.”

  • The COVID-19 tab in myRedDragon will be another important source of information throughout the semester. Please submit your prearrival test results through the portal located here.

  • Students who live off-campus and are already in Cortland may register for surveillance testing online through the COVID-19 tab in myRedDragon.

  • Screening and testing are important tools in the university’s fight against the spread of the virus. You must complete your daily screening now, even if you plan to arrive next week. We will test all members of the campus community each week. Your participation is vital to keeping everyone safe.

The way forward for a productive and healthy semester involves simple steps with which you are already familiar: wearing face coverings, physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings. Your commitment to these and all university policies is the only way for us to safely navigate the next few months. 

Please examine these resources and put these rules into practice. We can have a great semester if — and only if — all of us dedicate ourselves to safety first. 

All the best, 

Erik J. Bitterbaum 


Spring Wellness Wednesday Series begins Feb. 3

Health podcast graphic.jpg 01/26/2021

Students can stay informed on current health and wellness issues through SUNY Cortland’s weekly “Wellness Wednesday Series,” which will include speakers, discussions and podcasts intended to help students with information about college life, including a special focus on life since COVID-19.

Sponsored by the Health Promotion Office and the Student Development Center, the series will take place each Wednesday. All events are virtual and open to the public.

On Feb. 3, a podcast titled “I Had COVID-19, Now What?” by Athletic Trainer Katrina Marshall will be available on Soundcloud.

COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Black Communities” will be discussed from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, presented by Health Educator Lauren Scagnelli and Senior Counselor Roueida Ghadban.

On Feb. 17, Senior Counselor Jennifer Talarico will present “Listening and Connecting with Our Bodies” from 5 to 5:30 p.m. We often have strong thoughts about our bodies, but how often do we hear and understand what our bodies are telling us? We will be examining the impact stress can have on our relationship with food and exercise, and the potential spectrum of disordered eating patterns. We will explore ways to increase body compassion through fostering a deeper connection to our bodies so a balance can be achieved.

The podcast to be introduced on Feb. 24 is titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Information.”

Events in March and April will cover topics including bullying, sexual health, healthy eating, yoga, cannabis and the importance of sleep. We will include descriptions and links to these Wellness Wednesday events in the Feb. 23 issue of The Bulletin.

A poster listing all the Spring 2021 events can be found at Wellness Wednesday Series - Spring 2021 and on the Campus Life page of myRedDragon.

CALS Lecture Grant applications available

Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS) Lecture Grant applications are now available for the Spring 2021 semester. Applications are eligible for a maximum of $350 and are open to any club, program or department. These lecture grants will not cover performances of any kind.

Applications must be received electronically by Tuesday, Feb. 2 to be considered for February, March and April 2021 lecture programs. Applications received after this date may not be eligible for any spring semester funds remaining.

For more information visit our website at or contact Sandra Wohlleber by email or at 607-753-5769.

SCAS announces program grant application deadline

SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services (SCAS) is accepting program grant applications for the 2021-22 academic year. Applications are submitted online and must be sent by midnight on Friday, Feb. 19. Applicants are asked to read the grant guidelines carefully before submitting an application. 


Each year the SCAS Board of Directors allocates funds to support grants for a wide range of purposes and projects that enhance the life of the SUNY Cortland community. 


Although SCAS is willing to consider a wide range of ideas, it seeks to avoid duplicating other funding sources or funding projects more properly supported by state funds. Therefore, applicants should first seek funding from primary funding sources. 


SCAS grant funds may not be used for salaries, honoraria, travel normally funded by the university’s budget, or scholarships for SUNY Cortland faculty, staff or students. Funds may not be used to purchase computers, related hardware or software. All purchases will be processed in accordance to SCAS financial and related GAAP policies. 


In general, program grant funds may not be used exclusively for food for SUNY Cortland students, faculty or staff. Funding for food may be considered if the food is deemed integral to the success of the program or event. All food shall be provided by SCAS. Other grant guidelines are described in the application package and online


For more information or assistance, contact Judy Standish by email or at 607-753-4325.

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Faculty/Staff Activities

Jeremy Jiménez

Jeremy Jiménez, Foundations and Social Advocacy Department, recently had his article, co-written with SUNY Cortland alumni Tova Wilensky ’20, published in the journal International Studies in Sociology of Education. The article is titled “‘It’s my responsibility’: perspectives on environmental justice and education for sustainability among international school students in Singapore.”

Tom Lickona

Tom Lickona, Center for the 4th and 5th Rs and professor of education emeritus, published “11 Ways to Foster the Spirit of Christmas All Year Long” as the December post for his Psychology Today “Raising Kind Kids” blog.

Rhiannon Maton

Rhiannon Maton, Foundations and Social Advocacy Department, had an interview published in Spectre Journal on how the Chicago Teachers Union is advocating for marginalized communities during Covid-19. The article is titled “Building Union and Community Power During COVID-19, Interview With CTU Chief of Staff Jennifer Johnson.”

Gigi Peterson

Gigi Peterson, History Department, presented a poster session at the annual conference of the National Council of the Social Studies, which centered on the theme “Advancing Social Justice.” Due to the virtual nature of the conference, held Dec. 4 through 6, her presentation, “A Community Action Project Pilot: Teacher Candidates Take ‘Informed Action,’" will be on online display through April. She looks forward to adding sections on the Fall 2020 Community Action Projects carried out by teacher candidates in her Foundations of Social Studies class.

Ute Ritz-Deutch

Ute Ritz-Deutch, History Department, had footage from her interview with Jose Sadana included in a Dec. 14 Pacifica radio segment on the impact of elders in prison and COVID, titled “Caging in COVID.” The footage originally aired on Ritz-Deutch’s weekly radio show, the WRFI Human Rights and Social Justice Program. The Pacifica show is part of a larger program on COVID, Race and Democracy and the first nationally produced radio program in some years.

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