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  Issue Number 13 • Tuesday, March 19, 2024  


Campus Champion

Emily Gallagher, a political science major and geographic information systems (GIS) minor, wraps up her final semester at SUNY Cortland fulfilling a GIS internship with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Graduating in just three years, Emily’s commitment to campus activities has made her an accomplished leader and promoter. Since her freshman year she has helped draw large turnouts as the Cortland Nites event manager. This led to her positions as SGA events coordinator, Equestrian Club president and Student Government Association rep for the Crochet Club. Now, following months of planning, this Campus Champion will launch her grand finale — The Big Event on April 21. 

Photo by student photographer Marissa Deluca

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, March 19

Panel Discussion: A World in Turmoil: A Conversation with SUNY Cortland faculty and students, Moffett Center, Room 115, 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 20

Intro to Handshake and LinkedIn: Presented by Career Services, online, register on Handshake, 4 to 5 p.m.

Brooks Museum Lecture Series: “Tibetan Buddhism, China, and the Politics of Tension,” as part of the series theme the Culture of Power, Moffett Center, Room 115, 4:30 p.m. A reception begins at 4 p.m. in the Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 116.

Braiding Sweetgrass Book Club: Corey Union, Room 209, 7 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 21

Women’s History Month Lecture: "Devouring Refusal: Black Women’s Lineages Revisited from Combahee to Cunt," Old Main Colloquium, Room 0220, noon to 1 p.m.

Panel Discussion: I See You: BIPOC Alumni in Predominately White Occupations, featuring careers in law, government and policy, Old Main Colloquium, Corey Union Voice Office or via Zoom, 6:30 p.m. Open to all students and alumni. Students are encouraged to register on Handshake

Friday, March 22

Lecture: Health Disparities: Through the Lens of Poverty, presented by Multicultural Life and Diversity Office Intern Allie Schwerthoffer, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 1 to 2 p.m. Please register to attend this presentation

Cortland Nites: Carnival, Corey Union Function Room, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 23

Musical Performance: Flame, having disabilities themselves, their mission is to change the world through their high-energy music. Corey Union Function Room, 6 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Monday, March 25

Money Talks Mondays – Goal Setting and Budgeting: Presented by Career Services, register on register on Handshake, 4 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday March 26

Workshop: Understanding and Advocating for Racial Justice, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge, 3 to 5 p.m. Register for Racial Justice Workshop #2

Women’s History Month Film: Picture a Scientist, Old Main Brown Auditorium, 5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27

Women’s History Month Sandwich Seminar: Developing Reproductive Justice from Cairo to Casablanca, presented by Jessica Marie Newman, visiting assistant professor, Cornell University, Old Main Colloquium, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Career and Experience Fair: Corey Union Function Room, 1 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 28

Sandwich Seminar: Feminism in a Time of COVID and Genocidal Racism, Old Main Colloquium, noon to 1 p.m.

Women’s History Month Panel: Women in the Food System: Health and Well-being, presented by local health professionals, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Old Main Colloquium.

Dowd Gallery Artist’s Workshop: Bryan Thomas will give a hands-on demonstration of vinyl cutting at 5 p.m.

Friday, March 29

Cortland Nites: $3 Movie Night, Crown City Cinemas, 8:30 p.m. Transportation is provided to all off-campus events.

Monday, April 1

Speaker: The Beloved Community - It Starts with Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate through Kingian Nonviolence, Student Life Center, Room 1104, 9 to 10:30 a.m., check-in at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 2

Faculty Presentations: Teaching Effectiveness Panel – Using Feedback to Inform Your Teaching, presented by the Faculty Development Center, Old Main Colloquium, Room 0220, 4:30 to 6 p.m. 

Alumni Speaker Series: Marketing/Graphic Design Careers, Corey Union Fireplace Lounge and online, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Physics and art departments host eclipse viewing  


One of nature’s most beautiful wonders will soon be seen by SUNY Cortland students, faculty and staff when a total solar eclipse transforms midday to dusk. 

The Physics and Art and Art History departments are co-planning a viewing event for Monday, April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. in front of Bowers Hall.   

The event will offer eager eclipse fans:

  • A limited supply of SUNY Cortland-branded solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing. 
  • Telescope viewings of the eclipse.
  • Catering with pizza and wings provided by Cortland Auxiliary Services and funded by the Physics and Engineering Club.
  • Two 30-minute planetarium shows at 2 and 2:30 p.m. that focus on lunar and solar eclipses, moon phases and star gazing (limited seating).

“The April 8th eclipse will be a total solar eclipse for most of CNY, and the next visible solar eclipse in the contiguous U.S. will not happen until 2044,” said Sean Nolan, a lecturer in the Physics Department and the director of the university’s planetarium.   

“This unique event can serve to bring the whole campus community together. Now more than ever, we need to come together and enjoy these rare moments. We also hope that this event will build interest in astronomy and science in general.”   

A total eclipse occurs when the moon lines up at the perfect distance between the sun and an area on the Earth to fully hide the sun, resulting in “totality” and a view of the sun’s outer corona. It occurs along a narrow path for a short time, making them rare. Cortland will see 99% of the sun covered by the moon’s shadow. 

The entire eclipse event will take place from 2:08 to 4:34 p.m., while the maximum eclipse will be visible for a brief time in Cortland County starting at 3:23 p.m.  

“Several colleagues in the Physics Department — myself, Beth Pennell, Chelsea Guy, and Zach Eridani — started brainstorming a viewing event last fall,” Nolan said. “We met with Todd Malone (director of Campus Event Management) in January to discuss the logistics of running a campuswide event.” 

Looking directly at an eclipse can cause serious and permanent damage to your eyes, so all members of the SUNY Cortland community are reminded to only view the eclipse through special, protective lenses. 

Glasses made specifically for solar viewing, provided for free at the viewing event, are safe, as is projecting the Sun’s image onto an indirect surface. One thousand custom eclipse glasses were bought by the Physics Department and will be provided for free. Participants can also learn more about the scientific process of a solar eclipse and how past scientists used total solar eclipses to advance scientific knowledge. 

The Art Exhibition Association (AEA) plans to host a pinhole-camera-making workshop in the lead up to the eclipse. The cameras will offer a safe way to capture a lasting image of a natural wonder that won’t be seen again in the area for decades. The next total eclipse through New York state won’t occur until 2079.  

“During the eclipse we will invite students and faculty to engage with the tool we created to view the eclipse in an alternate and exciting way,” said senior Chloe Loewenguth, treasurer of the Art Exhibition Association. 

Some results from the cameras may be posted to the Art and Art History Department’s website for wider viewing after the eclipse. 

Joining arts and sciences together isn’t as strange as it might appear, according to Wylie Schwartz, assistant professor in the Art and Art History Department and faculty advisor to the AEA. 

“Any material that an artist works with, whether it be clay, glass, wood, stone, steel or even digital technologies, is inherently physical and requires an intimate knowledge of the properties of that material. Seen in this way, it makes sense to me that these fields would offer ample opportunities for collaboration.” 

While the Art Exhibition Association has a list of events that includes everything from film screenings and museum trips to jewelry workshops, Schwartz said the eclipse has been a unique opportunity. 

“In contemporary art practice today, creating a work of art can involve facilitating a group experience designed to call attention to something larger than oneself, and this is something the AEA club members had in mind when proposing this event,” Schwartz said. “The mythology surrounding eclipses throughout history and the technologies — like the pinhole camera — that we have created to view and capture images of the eclipse are all within the realm of the aesthetic.” 

Three students earn SUNY Chancellor’s Awards


Three SUNY Cortland seniors will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award — the highest student honor presented by New York’s public university system — at a ceremony to be held April 11 in Albany, N.Y.

The university’s recipients of the 2024 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence are:

  • Kaitlyn Hoitt, an archaeology major from Fairport, N.Y.

  • Abbey Hunt, a criminology major from Baldwinsville, N.Y.

  • Annabella Nilon, a biomedical sciences major from Horseheads, N.Y.

The Chancellor’s Awards are given each year to students from SUNY’s 64 campuses who have demonstrated academic excellence while balancing leadership roles, campus involvement, community service and achievements in the arts, athletics or career-related pursuits.

Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a committee to review and select outstanding graduating seniors. Nominees are reviewed by the Chancellor’s Office and winners are selected. Each honoree receives a framed certificate and medallion to wear at Commencement in May. This year, nearly 200 students from across the SUNY system will be recognized.

Including this year’s honorees, 109 SUNY Cortland students have earned the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence since the program began in 1997.

More information about each 2024 SUNY Cortland recipient is included below:

Kaitlyn Hoitt
Fairport, N.Y.


A member of the U.S. Navy Reserves, Kaitlyn Hoitt’s commitment to service is matched by her leadership and academic achievement. She founded the university’s Student Veterans and Military Club, a student organization that honors and supports veterans in their post-service lives, while earning consistent recognition on the President’s or Dean’s lists for high grades.

Professors credit Hoitt for performing at a graduate level in her undergraduate classes. The archaeology major’s research on phytoliths, the mineral particles formed inside plants, has offered insight about the foods that people ate in the past. This work led Hoitt to a three-semester internship in the university’s Archaeology Lab, which spurred a presentation at Transformations, SUNY Cortland’s annual student research event. Faculty members also credit Hoitt’s exceptional work ethic and global worldview.

Her service, both to the campus and the greater good, stands out equally.

As a petty officer in the U.S. Navy and member of the New York State Naval Militia, Hoitt devotes weekends to military service and remains on standby for emergencies across the state. In addition to serving as president of the Student Veterans and Military Club, she has helped rebuild homes and lead a women’s Bible study as a member of Cru, a Christian student group on campus. She also holds a unique distinction as the first young woman from the greater Rochester area to achieve Eagle Scout rank, an honor that she earned prior to her time at SUNY Cortland, along with a Girl Scouts Gold Award.

Abbey Hunt
Baldwinsville, N.Y.


Abbey Hunt is on track to graduate in May at just 19 years old, having earned several honors for high academic achievement. According to her advisor, Elizabeth Bittel, assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, Hunt stands out in one of the university’s largest academic majors thanks to a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills and a willingness to examine systems of inequality.

Hunt has made the Dean’s or President’s lists every semester, achieving a 3.86 cumulative GPA. That success led to meaningful work outside of the classroom, where she contributed as an undergraduate research assistant to Bittel’s long-term study of disaster recovery and civil war in Sri Lanka. The COVID-19 pandemic twice canceled Hunt’s travel plans after she was accepted into the Rotary Youth Exchange Program as a student ambassador in high school. Still, she plans to draw on her training and the organization’s commitment to service.

After graduation, Hunt will travel to Spain to attend Spanish language school and volunteer, before pursuing a career in law enforcement. Her eventual goal is to work for the FBI.

Her talent in fiber arts also led Hunt to establish the Cortland Crochet Club, a student organization that promotes sustainable fashion and community art. The club’s clothing and blankets have been distributed across campus and Central New York, even to local veterans groups in Hunt’s hometown — an effort that aims to promote goodwill and understanding on and off campus.

In addition to high grades, Hunt is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and she will be inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma National Honor Society for criminology. She also has earned the Paul E. and Ethel McCloy Smiley ’31 Scholarship for leadership and community service.

Annabella Nilon
Biomedical Sciences
Horseheads, N.Y.


Annabella Nilon has defined excellence in the sciences during her time at SUNY Cortland through undergraduate research, community involvement and superior achievement in her courses.

Nilon’s achievements go beyond an impressive 3.98 cumulative GPA. An aspiring physician, she already has co-authored a published manuscript and presented this research nationally, a “monumental accomplishment,” according to Theresa Curtis, professor of biological sciences.

Their work together has attempted to create a model for detecting odors using bioreceptors, the cells used by living things to identify smells. This project earned Nilon summer funding from the university’s Undergraduate Research Council and support from the U.S. Department of Defense, which hopes that it may lead to a device capable of detecting dangerous airborne threats. The multi-year research effort also led Nilon to present twice at the university’s Transformations student research conference in addition to being selected as one of only two student speakers at SUNY Cortland’s Michael J. Bond ’75 M.D. Alumni and Undergraduate Science Symposium.

An Honors Program member who earned SUNY Cortland’s Merit Scholarship, Nilon shares her motivation through her leadership and service. She is president of the university’s Biology and Pre-Medical Clubs; a volunteer emergency medical technician; diversity, an equity and inclusion peer mentor in biological sciences; a supplemental instruction leader and a resident assistant.

In the larger community, she has worked in multiple hospitals and healthcare systems as a medical assistant, patient transport aide and emergency department volunteer to help further her planned career in medicine.

Capture the Moment


Construction workers inside Cornish and Van Hoesen halls continue work on a $27 million reconstruction project that began last summer and is expected to continue through 2025. The upgrades will bring all elements of the Communications and Media Studies Department together into one state-of-the-art location on campus. Also, improvements are designed to better serve students at the university’s Conley Counseling and Wellness Services, Disability Resources and the Educational Opportunity Program.

In Other News

The Big Event Returns April 21

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The Big Event, a student-run, communitywide civic-engagement project that caught the attention of New York’s Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado during a recent campus visit, will take place on Sunday, April 21.

With a total of 460 volunteers signed up to participate, registration allowing organizers to match groups with the 47 identified job sites is now closed. However, volunteers will continue to be accepted up to morning registration at the event.

Those signed up have significantly exceeded last year's 405 volunteers at 40 sites.

The university’s Student Government Association (SGA) is once again organizing the event, which became a Cortland tradition in 2015 by sending hundreds of SUNY Cortland students to out into the Cortland community, cleaning, raking, painting and otherwise sprucing up a mix of private residences and businesses in their town.

SGA officers will give a presentation about The Big Event at Cortland’s spring administrative meeting on Monday, April 22.

The Big Event is the SGA’s largest, with Fall Festival coming second, said SGA Event Coordinator Emily Gallagher, a senior political science major from Cortland.

“It’s just a great way for us to match students with community projects and kind of get them out there so SUNY Cortland is involved with the community,” said Gallagher, who is co-organizing the event with SGA President Joe Mascetta. “We’re not two separate things. There isn’t just SUNY Cortland. Or the City of Cortland. Or Cortland county. It’s all one thing.”

Gallagher and Mascetta got an opportunity to describe The Big Event to Delgado during his Feb. 28 visit to campus to hear from students about the university’s wide-ranging community service efforts and learn how the state can help students in their efforts. That student input will help inform the early development of New York’s Office of Service and Civic Engagement, a new state office created  by Governor Kathy Hochul in January that Delgado is tasked with developing.

In a recent Big Event, varsity athletic teams really moved the goalposts in tackling big spring cleaning jobs around town.

“I got to explain to him the community service aspect that Cortland has, and it’s through this event,” Gallagher said. “I briefed him on what we did, which is we send students out into the community to give back on one big day of community service.

“He said he thought that if every SUNY campus had something like this going on, it would be something like what that office he’s creating would be looking for,” Gallagher said of Delgado, who described Cortland’s program as a potential model for the rest of the state.

“He was impressed that we have something like that in place.”

Planning is well underway, Gallagher noted. Updates will be available on the Cortland SGA’s Instagram page.

On the big day, volunteers should check in at Park Center Alumni Arena between 9 and 9:30 a.m., where they are welcome to share a light continental breakfast. Participants will then organize into groups and depart for work sites by their own transportation at 9:30 a.m., continuing to depart through the morning. The Big Event will run through 3 p.m.

Volunteer work may include raking leaves, cleaning up trash, painting front porch steps, or any other requests SGA receives from community members.

Student volunteers help a local homeowner spruce up their porch with coats of fresh paint.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but the SGA will supply tools for those who don’t bring them. The SGA also is asking worksite hosts to supply the necessary tools for their site, if possible.

Participation by members of Greek organizations, student clubs and athletic teams has fostered a strong turnout in the past, Gallagher noted. This year will feature a strong showing by Greek organizations including Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Delta Tau along with student athletes from football, women's lacrosse, women's soccer and club baseball.

Founded at SUNY Cortland in 2015 by Ashlee Prewitt ’14, the student club Actively Involved in the Community (AIC) was previously responsible for organizing this event each spring. More than 400 volunteers participated in the first The Big Event in Cortland.

For Gallagher, who is interning with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Cortland office, The Big Event is the first time she has given back to her own community.

“High School would have been my chance, but it was the COVID high school years, my junior and senior years,” in the Homer schools, said Gallagher, on track to graduate from Cortland in just three years. “So, I didn’t have much of a chance. It’s a pretty big chance, too, now so I’m enjoying it.”

Student shares mental health research nationally

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SUNY Cortland junior Kyla Young combined her love for helping people during campus emergencies with original research about mental health challenges facing college first responders that recently earned her a speaking engagement at a national conference.

“You have to be brave. Don’t share your feelings,” explained Young, a biomedical science major from Brooklyn, N.Y., who serves as crew chief of SUNY Cortland’s volunteer EMS, SUNY Cortland Emergency Medical Services. “You don’t say how you’re doing after a call. You go through the most traumatic things and are like, ‘Alright, well, time for the next one.’ You’ve got to get on the truck and go back out.” 

Young, a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) who also works for a local ambulance agency, TLC, covering Cortland’s surrounding areas, presented her findings in February at the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation’s Conference (NCEMSF) in Baltimore, Maryland.

Members of the SUNY Cortland Emergency Medical Services crew share a moment.

The conference is the largest gathering for college-based emergency medical service (CBEMS) providers in the country. According to Young, up to 3,000 people attended the event.

Young’s co-presentation with Jena Curtis — SUNY Cortland health professor and mentor to Young’s research — was well received and the discussions following the presentation could lead to furthering this research in the future.

“I think that seeing statistics and data about college EMS providers and being able to identify with the material made the students think about the mental health and well-being of their members and their own,” Young said.

In general, EMS providers feel they don’t always have the time or outlets to process all they experience on call, Young explained. She also said there is a belief that the constant stress of the EMS lifestyle and the need for coping mechanisms may lead to poor mental health and unsafe behavior.

“Everyone always thinks (of professional EMS workers in general), ‘They’re alcoholics. They smoke and they do recreational drugs. They’re sleep-deprived and don’t eat well,’” she said.

At the conference, Young summarized her conclusions about the overall health and well-being of students who provide campus EMS services and encouraged attendees to spread her one-sentence takeaway for them: “Oh, well, I’m not doomed.”

“College students have a big thing about being stressed and having anxiety and mental disorders,” Young said. “And EMS providers, in general, have those same things. So, if you look at the cross-section between it, how does that compare?”

Young continued, “Is it that (students) have less chance of getting a mental health diagnosis because they’re in college-based EMS? Or is it higher because they have to deal with schoolwork? Someone had to explore it.”

The desire to understand that distinction catalyzed Young’s research.

Mentor Jena Curtis, left, and Kyla Young invite conference attendees into their session.

Last summer, the SUNY Cortland Undergraduate Research Council granted Young a stipend to complete her research. Along with Curtis, the pair collected data from CBEMS providers around the country that fueled their presentation.

“I didn’t think I’d get accepted,” Young said of her invitation to co-present with Curtis. “(The conference) doesn’t really invite students; they have a separate event for students.”

“Very few undergraduate students get to initiate ground-breaking research projects that have real-world impacts on their future professions,” Curtis said.

“This research only happened because Kyla was personally and professionally interested in supporting the well-being of collegiate EMS, and because SUNY Cortland has such strong support for undergraduate research.”

When Young isn’t responding to emergencies or working on her research, she has responsibilities around campus. Enrolled to earn 18 credit hours this semester, Young is an admissions tour guide, CPR instructor and president of the Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students club.

With so much on her plate, Young questioned how CBEMS providers’ mental health fares against those of full-fledged EMTs.

“Hearing what people had to say makes me want to continue to do research like this and try programs and protocols to increase mental health and wellbeing at different agencies,” she said.

For Young, the next step is having her research published in NCEMSF’s journal. A Ph.D. may be on the horizon, increasing her credibility and allowing her to create widespread mental health improvements in emergency medical services.

Prepared by communications writing intern Jean-Andre Sassine Jr. '23

Prizes offered for student opinions

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Students, your opinion could be worth a free 2024-25 parking pass.

Or, tuition for a summer or winter course.

You might even score some extra Commencement tickets.

All you need to be eligible for a chance to win is complete SUNY’s Student Satisfaction Survey when an email with the survey link shows up in your email inbox. The survey will take 15 to 20 minutes and is being administered at all SUNY campuses to assess areas of strength and areas where things might be approved.

Invitations will come from, and may already be in your inbox. The survey will remain open through April 5.  

Completing the survey enters you in a random drawing for the following:

  • Tuition for a Summer Session 2024 or Winter Session 2025 class (three available)
  • Additional Commencement tickets (two sets of two available)
  • Additional Cortaca Jug tickets (four sets of two available)
  • A parking permit for the 2024-25 academic year (one available)

Additional information is available on Cortland’s website.

Vote for Blaze in SUNY's Mascot Madness!

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It’s been a banner year for Cortland’s Red Dragons, with conference titles in eight different sports and the university’s first-ever national championship in football. 

And last week we had another impressive upset: Blaze, SUNY Cortland’s official red dragon mascot, made it through the first round of SUNY’s annual Mascot Madness tournament, beating the University of Albany’s Great Dane Damien with 51% of the vote.

That’s a notable accomplishment given that voting opened and closed during SUNY Cortland’s spring break and Albany has a student body more than twice the size of Cortland’s. 

Now, Blaze needs your help to get through the second round to ultimately win a coveted prize: bragging rights as the most popular symbol of school spirit in New York’s 64-campus public university system. 

Cortland’s red dragon is combatting Ram-bo, the horned sheep mascot of Farmingdale State College. All students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and friends of friends are encouraged to vote for Blaze once each day through Friday, March 21, at 3 p.m., along with potential future rounds. The competition follows a March Madness-style bracket. 

A full voting schedule is included below, along with a Q&A from SUNY’s Meet the Mascots page. All are encouraged to share their support for Blaze on social media with Cortland friends near and far. 

Voting Schedule

  • Round 2: March 19 (noon) – March 21 (3 p.m.)
  • Round 3: March 22 (noon) – March 26 (3 p.m.)
  • Final Four: March 27 (noon) – March 29 (3 p.m.)
  • Finals: April 2 (noon) – April 4 (3 p.m.) 

Meet the Mascot: Q&A with Blaze 

Who are you, where are you originally from, and where do you do your mascot thing? 
I am Blaze, the mighty Red Dragon promoter of SUNY Cortland spirit, defender of Cortland pride and symbol of university greatness. I was born on the barren plain of Mordor and ruled in the Great Hall of Thrain in the dark bowels of the Lonely Mountain . Kidding. I’m from Staten Island. 

What’s a unique new thing (building, club, activity, employee, etc) on your campus that you treasure? 
It’s gotta be the Student Life Center: 150,000-square-feet of athletics courts, workout areas, swimming pools, combat rooms, climbing walls and active, happy students. No other campus has anything quite like it. 

If you could start your own new club or major on campus, what would it be? 
Among Cortland’s many specialties are kinesiology, biological sciences, physical education and exercise science, so I think a minor in dragon anatomy would be a great addition.

What’s your hidden talent that you haven't told anyone about yet? 

Crocheting. I find it keeps my talons nimble. Plus, it is the most recent of the nearly 100 official student clubs on campus. 

What campus cheer gets you pumped up and why? 
C-State! Most powerful two syllables in Division III athletics. 

What sport would you play if you were a student-athlete? Feel free to share details of how the uniform would work for you. 
I’d love to be on our national champion football team, but I’d end up melting the face guard of my helmet whenever I breathed hard. Plus, shoulder pads are murder to fit over wings. 

Read any good books lately? 
Lately I’ve been getting into the Game of Thrones novels. Did you know the red dragon in the books is based on me? True story. 

Favorite pizza topping? 
Screaming villager. Joking! But I am 100% paleo, so it would be a meat-lover’s pizza on a bone meal crust. With anchovies. 

If you were SUNY Chancellor for a day, what would you do? 
I would create the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fire Breathing and then show that reptile from SUNY Oneonta how it’s done! 

How would you celebrate being named SUNY Mascot Madness Champion in 2024? 
I can fly and exhale smoke, so skywriting a congratulations message over Grady Field would be a no brainer.

Chinese politics scholar to speak

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, the scheduled speaker is unable to attend.

The following panel of SUNY Cortland Faculty members will discuss the topic instead:

  • Alexandru Balas, professor, International Studies, coordinator of Clark Center for Global Engagement
  • Danielle Candelora and Anisha Saxena, assistant professors, History Department
  • Sharon Steadman, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Sociology/Anthropology Department.

One of the more interesting political struggles of contemporary times is the emerging divide between the Tibetans and Beijing over the lineage of the Dalai Lama, the traditional spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism.

Allen Carlson, an associate professor in Cornell University’s Government Department who has focused his scholarship on international relations, will visit SUNY Cortland on Wednesday, March 20, to discuss Tibet and its relationship with China.

The director of Cornell’s China and Asia-Pacific Studies program and adviser for its East Asia Program, Carlson has researched China’s close scrutiny of the tradition of reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism and the politics around the selection process of lamas and rinpoches.

His lecture, “Tibetan Buddhism, China and the Politics of Tension,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 115.

Seating will be limited, so attendees are advised to arrive early to secure a seat. A reception to welcome Carlson will precede the talk at 4 p.m. in the adjacent Brooks Museum.

The talk continues the university’s yearlong exploration of power struggles through different lenses, themed “The Culture of Power.” Presented by the Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series, the lectures are free and open to the public.

The interdisciplinary talks touch on topics ranging from extremist groups in today’s world to gendered power wielded centuries ago. Speakers in the five lectures discuss how the drive for supremacy shapes religious movements, impacts the dynamics of filmmaking and pushes people to excel in physical feats. Attendees at the seminars will be treated to excellent presentations on important topics that affect how we live our lives and how we understand the world around us.

Carlson, whose scholarship also encompasses  Chinese foreign policy and Asian security, currently is exploring the issue of nontraditional security in China’s emerging relationship with the rest of the international system.

Allen Carlson

In 2005, Carlson was chosen to participate in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program. He earned a Ph.D. from Yale University’s Political Science Department and an undergraduate degree from Colby College.

The final  series presentation will be:

Framing Truth: Exploring Power Dynamics in Documentary Filmmaking — Samuel Avery, an associate professor in SUNY Cortland’s Communication and Media Studies Department and coordinator of Cortland’s annual Blackbird Film Festival, will address the behind-the-scenes power struggles that occur during the creation of documentary films and nonfiction docu-series. The genre often attempts to present reality in its unfiltered form, allowing viewers a transparent look into the authentic truth of a subject’s life. However, beneath the surface of candid storytelling lies a complex web of power dynamics that significantly influence the production, presentation and interpretation of these narratives. The power imbalance between the individual being documented and the one directing the camera can affect the level of trust, consent and agency given to the subject. Many other complex, ethical issues may affect the delicate balance between storytelling and exploitation. April 10, 2024.

The Brooks Series honors the late Distinguished Teaching Professor of sociology and anthropology emerita at SUNY Cortland, Rozanne M. Brooks, whose donated special collection of ethnographic objects to the Sociology/Anthropology Department established the Brooks Museum in 2001.

The 2023-24 Brooks Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Cortland College Foundation and Cortland Auxiliary. For more information, contact organizer and Brooks Museum director Sharon Steadman, a SUNY distinguished professor in SUNY Cortland’s Sociology/Anthropology Department, at 607-753-2308.

Top image courtesy of Sasin Tipchai for Pixabay 

‘Harvest Week!’ culminates ‘Food’ series

Soup_eating_WEB.gif 03/19/2024

SUNY Cortland will culminate its yearlong series of events on the theme of “Food” with a “Harvest Week!” featuring a community group’s sustainability presentation, a film, a lecture, a book discussion and a bestselling author’s talk from Monday, April 8, to Friday, April 12.

“This has really been a team effort across campus,” said organizer Benjamin Wilson, an associate professor and chair of the Economics Department, regarding “Harvest Week!” in particular. Wilson also chairs the series presenter, the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC), an all-campus committee of faculty and staff appointed by the provost.

This year’s interdisciplinary series has focused on how sustenance is taken for granted until weather disasters, invasions, wars, supply chain issues or corporate greed place this urgent topic on America’s own dinner table. The 2023-24 “Food” series events are free and open to the public.

SUNY Cortland's Bistro off Broadway in the Student Life Center is where many students' food choices are made.

One feature of each year’s series is a common read book, with a goal to build community through literature. MacArthur Fellow and author Robin Wall Kimmerer, who wrote Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, will discuss her work that comprises this year’s common read on the final day of “Harvest Week!”

The CICC organizers have arranged the following “Harvest Week!” events:

  • Cortland Food Project (CFP). The campus community is invited to learn about local food systems and interventions by members of this local organization from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Monday, April 8, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. Formed in 2016, CFP is a multidisciplinary group representing the Local Agricultural Promotion committee, Sustainable Cortland and the Cortland County Hunger Coalition.
  • Film screening. The documentary “Food, Inc.,” will be shown, ensuring the audience will never look at dinner the same way. The two-hour film will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, in Sperry Center Hobson Lecture Hall.
  • Book discussion. On Wednesday, April 10, students in Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, will discuss the “Burning Sweetgrass” book section. The program will run from 7 to 8 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 209.
  • Dyed Green’ podcast. Podcast hosts Max Sussman and Kate McCabe will hold a conversation from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.
  • Visiting author lecture. Kimmerer will lecture on “The Good Harvest” Friday, April 12, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Corey Union Function Room. A book signing will follow.

Kimmerer’s award-winning Braiding Sweetgrass eBook is available for free through the “Library” tab on MyRedDragon.

Braiding Sweetgrass offers a series of beautiful and thought-provoking essays in which Kimmerer brings together Indigenous wisdom and practices in Western botany to emphasize and embrace our reciprocity with the natural world.

Braiding Sweetgrass provides us with a new approach to food, showing us that the plants and animals that feed us are not just a source of bodily nourishment, but also our family and our teachers, said Abigail Droge, assistant professor of English and a CICC “Food” series organizer. The book features interwoven narratives that take place locally in the Central New York landscape.

Kimmerer, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, N.Y., is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She founded and directs the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at ESF and was named a 2022 MacArthur Fellow, which is awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to talented individuals in a variety of fields who have shown exceptional originality in and dedication to their creative pursuits.

Organizers may arrange additional events during the semester. For more information on this year’s common read, contact Abigail Droge, assistant professor of British literature and culture, at 607-753-4331; or Wilson at 607-753-2436. To volunteer to support this year’s activities and programming or for more information, visit the “Food” website or contact Wilson.

Kimmerer's lecture is co-sponsored by the Student Government Association, Student Activities Board, ASC, the Provost’s Office, the Haines Fund, the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, the Surette Fund, and numerous academic departments. The Cortland Food Project is also supporting and promoting the event.

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Kevin Dames

Kevin Dames, Kinesiology Department and Sutton Richmond from the University of Florida had their article titled “A static posturography guide to implementing time-to-boundary” published in the Journal of Biomechanics. This work summarizes the state-of-the-field in time to boundary methodology, interpretation, and application for postural stability assessments. As a supplement, they also share a full MATLAB script and sample data to produce the outcome for universal access to the methodology, a resource hitherto not available. Lack of comprehensive, transparent methodology presentation in past literature has limited comparisons among studies or feasibility of establishing normative data given possibility of dissimilar data processing routines. 

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