Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

  Issue Number 8 • Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023  


Campus Champion

Aaren Woodworth is a senior physical education major with a concentration in outdoor adventure education. Aaren’s enthusiasm is his super power — he inspires the next generation of movers while changing the culture around how physical education is taught with the focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. He’s president of the SUNY Cortland Alliance of Physical Education Majors Club and was named Outstanding Major of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. An exceptional public speaker, Aaren presents in classrooms and on regional and statewide stages. He recently added a national engagement to his 2024 schedule, addressing the Society of Health and Physical Educators at the SHAPE America convention.

Nominate a Campus Champion

Tuesday, Dec. 5

SUNY Cortland Holiday Pottery Sale: Hosted by the Art and Art History Department: Old Main lobby, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

COR 101 Student Facilitator Poster Symposium and Appreciation Event: Memorial Library, first floor lobby outside of Advisement and Transition and Pearson Testing Center, noon to 3:30 p.m. 

SUNY Cortland College-Community Orchestra Concert: Max Buckholtz, conductor, Rose Hall, 19 Church St., Cortland, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

SUNY Cortland Holiday Pottery Sale: Hosted by the Art and Art History Department: Old Main lobby, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Red Cross Blood Drive: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, noon to 5 p.m. Click here to make an appointment.

COR 101 Student Facilitator Poster Symposium and Appreciation Event: Memorial Library, first floor lobby outside of Advisement and Transition and Pearson Testing Center, noon to 3:30 p.m. 

Sandwich Seminar: Sustainable Self-Reliance Programs in Nepal: Presented by Ute Ritz-Deutch, Philosophy and History departments, who will speak firsthand about her experiences in Nepal, Old Main Colloquium, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Networking and Job Search 101: Online, register on Handshake, 4 to 5 p.m.

Teaching, Research, Service Awards Ceremony: Corey Union Function Room, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. RSVP by Nov. 24.

Friday, Dec. 8

Wegmans Flu Vaccine Clinic: Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UUP Cortland Chapter Holiday Event: Cortland Beer Company, 4 to 7 p.m. Please RSVP to

Concert: Spitfire, Dowd Fine Arts Center main auditorium, doors open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m.

Classes end

Monday, Dec. 11

Moonlight Breakfast: Open to all students regardless of meal plan status, The Bistro, 10 to 11:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 15

Final examination period

Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12

PAWS For Stress Relief: Student Life Center, 3 Court Gym, noon to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 17

One-Day Workshop for Professional Staff and Faculty: The Hidden Connection: Linking Executive Function with Student Behavior and Success, two full-day (6-hour) workshops will be offered: Jan. 16 – for professional staff, Jan. 17 – for faculty, space is limited, reserve your seat now using this RSVP link.

Thursday, Jan. 18

President's Spring Opening of School Meeting: Corey Union Function Room and available virtually, 9 a.m.

Monday, Jan. 22

Spring semester classes begin

This is the last issue of The Bulletin for the fall semester. The next issue of The Bulletin will be published on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Spring 2024 Bulletin publication dates

Bulletin #9 Tuesday, Jan. 23

Bulletin #10 Tuesday, Feb. 6

Bulletin #11 Tuesday, Feb. 20

Bulletin #12 Tuesday, March 5

Bulletin #13 Tuesday, March 19

Bulletin #14 Tuesday, April 2

Bulletin #15 Tuesday, April 16

Bulletin #16 Tuesday, April 30

Students present research at conference in Cuba


Three SUNY Cortland students traveled to Cuba recently to present their undergraduate research efforts on urban redlining, identifying human remains and invasive jumping worms, marking the university’s first student visits to the communist island nation since the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The Cortland group flew to the country for the 2nd Cienfuegos International Scientific Convention at Cuba’s Universidad de Cienfuegos. There, the students presented their Cortland research to a wider international audience.  

The students selected to represent Cortland and their presented research were: 

  • Madison Hodges, a junior geographic information systems major from New York City — Mapping Connections of Redlining on Urban Neighborhoods of New York. Hodges worked with Christopher Badurek, professor of Geography.  

  • Caleigh Pfalzer, a senior anthropology major from Akron, N.Y. — Resolving Commingling and the Identification of Human Remains at the State University of New York at Cortland. Pfalzer worked with Kent M. Johnson, associate professor of sociology/anthropology. 

  • Elizabeth Serafin, a senior biochemistry major from Oneonta, N.Y. — Temporal Dynamics of Invasive Jumping Worms. Serafin worked with Andrea Dávalos, associate professor of biological sciences, and Laura Eierman, associate professor of biological sciences. 

From left: Daniela Baban Hurrle, Madison Hodges, Maria Timberlake, Elizabeth Serafin and Caleigh Pfalzer during their visit to Cuba.

Maria Timberlake, director of the Undergraduate Research Council (URC), co-managed the trip with Daniela Baban Hurrle, director of Cortland’s International Programs Office. Others in the travel group included students and faculty from Mississippi, Columbia University and University of California campuses. 

“The trip was an eye-opening experience in many ways,” Serafin said. “I have traveled abroad before to countries like England and France, but Cuba was different, and not in bad way. I learned about the history, art, cuisine, traditions and economy of Cuba, which are all very different from the U.S. The initial purpose of going was to present my work, which I successfully accomplished with pride, but what I found there was so much more. 

“I really experienced a different way of life from what I have always known. From that experience I gained new friendships and made connections with people of all different ages and backgrounds from around the world.” 

The group arrived in Cuba on Monday morning and left the next Saturday. The students each got a $1,000 SUNY Global Learning for All Scholarship and other International Programs scholarships to offset their program fees and travel expenses.  

Beyond the conference, students also had an opportunity to live with a Cuban host family, collaborate with various Cuban university students, experience the local cuisine, visit historic locations and play softball with Cuban baseball players. 

Timberlake, who also presented at the conference on undergraduate research and barriers to students from underrepresented backgrounds, said that the first day there they were able to visit a botanical garden and artist studio and have a welcome dinner. The second day kicked off the research presentations. Pfalzer, whose work on identifying forensic remains was of particular interest to the Cuban university, was invited to present at an additional symposium of anthropology faculty. 

SUNY Cortland's trip to Cuba was its first since the COVID-19 pandemic.  

This was the first time, according to Timberlake, that the Undergraduate Research Council worked on a trip like this with the university’s International Programs Office. After a successful experience, she expects there will be more. 

“Cortland has so many good study abroad experiences and we were thinking about how we could incorporate undergraduate research a little more into those international partnerships.  Study abroad often involves taking a class or getting credits for a course but seeing the students share their research in Cienfuegos inspired us to think more broadly at how the URC and International programs could collaborate.” 

Ahead of the trip, there was a call for interested students to apply. Timberlake received four applications from students involved in the program. Originally, only two spots were expected to be available for the Cuba trip, but International Programs was able to secure enough funding for all four applicants, three of whom accepted. 

This trip to Cuba was the first for Cortland since 2019, when the pandemic disrupted plans, and international travel programs were paused. It was Timberlake’s first time there. 

“While students learned the techniques of crafting a research question, collecting and analyzing data in their specific discipline, the role of the URC was to assist the students in communicating their results with different audiences, learning from other undergraduate scholars, and experiencing research in a global context,” Timberlake said. “‘Make a difference in the world by engaging your intellect and curiosity through research is our guiding principle.” 

SUNY Cortland has worked with colleagues in Cuba to develop educational and cultural exchanges since 2016. In 2017, SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum first visited the country with other faculty and administrators, and will return in February with Mary Schlarb, assistant vice provost for student achievement and senior international officer, to explore student opportunities.  

This follows a recent invitation for Bitterbaum to join a SUNY meeting with a Cuban delegation hosted by Chancellor John B. King Jr. at the SUNY Global Center in New York City. 

“I am so thrilled when our students and faculty have the opportunity to travel abroad, especially when the itinerary can include an experience like presenting research,” Bitterbaum said. “There is nothing quite like learning in a global classroom, and we will look forward to building similar international partnerships for many years to come.”  

Students aid family in off-campus fire


When a house on Clayton Avenue in Cortland caught fire Nov. 18, three SUNY Cortland students who live across the street were among the first to respond to help the two families who escaped from the blaze.

The accidental fire at 37 Clayton Ave. badly damaged the homes and apartments and belongings of seven children under 14 and five adults. Firefighters removed three dogs from the residence, saving one of them.

That evening, at the sound and sight of the Cortland Fire Department’s fire engines, Holly Wright, Jessie Ciufo and Seylah Ferguson brought blankets and warm outwear to their displaced neighbors — including three women’s varsity lacrosse team coats.

Wright is the women’s lacrosse team captain. Ciufo, who doesn’t play lacrosse, is president of the Cortland Dance Company, a student sport club. They both live at 40 Clayton Ave., with several women’s lacrosse players. Ferguson lives at 38 Clayton Ave.

Wright and Ciufo sit on their porch, with the damaged home behind them. The image above this one also shows Ferguson.

Over the next hour-and-a-half, the three seniors stayed to give water and Gatorade to the family and firefighters and offer gentle hugs and words of reassurance to children and the mothers while firefighters controlled the blaze and investigated the scene. City firefighters were assisted by City of Cortland Police, the Homer Fire Department, NYSEG, National Grid, and the Cortland County 911 center.

“You never know how you’re going to react in those kinds of moments,” said Wright, an inclusive childhood education major from Huntington, N.Y., about the boy with an injured pet dog they sheltered. “In that moment, it was just us being there with him and letting everyone know that, yes, we’re college kids, and that’s a different world, but we’re here with them no matter what.”

The courage, kindness and quick action of Wright, Ciufo and Ferguson were acknowledged by the city of Cortland and its fire company in a presentation of plaques to the three women at the Cortland City Council meeting on Dec. 5 at City Hall. The ceremony was attended by city fire and rescue officials as well as SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum and Vice President for Student Affairs Greg Sharer.

Cortland Mayor Scott Steve vividly remembers how Wright and Ciufo, a criminology major from Brockport, N.Y., comforted a 13-year-old boy who had lived in the burning house.

“They went and got one of their lacrosse coats and were just standing there hugging him,” Steve said. “He was just sitting there, couldn’t take it all in because all the family members were just falling apart.

“It was not a pleasant scene. There was a dog that was suffering, and one dog passed away. I had a firefighter laying on the ground trying to resuscitate it, but he couldn’t get it back.”

Derek Reynolds, deputy chief, Cortland City Fire Department, is thankful for the students’ actions, while firefighers focused on putting out the fire.

“The students’ willingness to help keep the family members calmed down, give them a place to shelter in a warm place while the fire suppression efforts were going on was extremely helpful,” Reynolds said. “Even after the fire was out, and we were investigating the fire, the students still had their house open to the family members to stay warm, make phone calls and do whatever else they needed to do.

“It was an amazing sight to see the town and gown relationship flourish,” he said. “We were pretty excited to see the college students step up and help community members in need when the time arose.”

Good citizens Ciufo, Wright and Ferguson are flanked by Mayor Scott Steve and fire and rescue officials.

Ferguson, a physical education major from New Windsor, N.Y., didn’t know the other two women, but joined them on the scene, watering and walking a surviving dog.

“I am just grateful that we were here to help them,” she said

Wright and Ciufo think their family background might explain why they simply sprang into action and stuck around for the next hour and a half.

Wright’s dad volunteers as a firefighter. Her oldest brother is a New York City Police officer while a second brother is currently training to become a state trooper. Her sister is a social worker, and her mother teaches children with a hearing disability. Ciufo’s mom is a nurse, and her dad works for a public water authority.

The morning after the fire, the pair from 40 Clayton Ave. returned to present 24 donuts and a case of water to the family members salvaging their belongings.

“It’s just something to eat and also, there’s little kids there, to distract them for a moment,” Wright said. “Like, I’ve got a strawberry frosted donut, I’m O.K.”

Donations to help the families may be dropped off at the Cortland Fire Station, 21 Court St. An update on the families and their needs can be found on the mayor’s Facebook page.

Capture the Moment


A student visits the recently relocated SUNY Cortland Cupboard, a food pantry open to students in need of food and personal hygiene items at no cost. The Cupboard moved from the basement of 7 Calvert St. to Old Main, Room B-05 in the building’s basement level. Students can use the entrance by the Bowers Greenhouses, go down the stairs and into the double doors. In the vestibule, use the stairs on the left to go down. The Cupboard is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students will need to swipe their SUNY Cortland ID card to enter. 

Follow us to SUNY Cortland Cupboard’s new location in Old Main.

In Other News

Football earns first-ever national title in thriller

National_champion_360x240.jpg 12/15/2023

SUNY Cortland’s football team capped the most successful season in program history with the ultimate prize: its first-ever national championship trophy.

The Red Dragons won the 50th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in thrilling fashion, 38-37, over previously unbeaten and top-ranked North Central College (Ill.), snapping a 29-game winning streak for the Cardinals. The national championship took place Dec. 15 at Salem Stadium in Salem, Virginia, and was broadcast live on ESPNU and ESPN+.

North Central was the defending Division III national champion and had established itself as the nation’s premier Division III football program over the past five years, bringing a 56-2 record into the game since the start of the 2019 season.

In a game that featured two prolific offenses, the Cardinals took a 7-3 lead into halftime before a back-and-forth second-half shootout that saw 65 points scored, three lead changes and three ties. North Central scored a touchdown on a 60-yard pass to cut Cortland’s lead to 38-37 with 1:20 to play, but the Red Dragons stopped the ensuing two-point conversion and protected the ball to secure the win.

Cortland junior quarterback Zac Boyes was sensational, completing 26-of-34 passes for 349 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 123 yards on 16 attempts. The team’s receiving corps was led by senior Cole Burgess (11 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns), sophomore Joe Iadevaio (eight receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns) and senior JJ Laap (two receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown).

A full game recap is available on the SUNY Cortland Athletics website.

Cortland finishes the season with a 14-1 record, extending the program record for wins in a season. The Red Dragons entered the Division III playoffs ranked 11th nationally in the final poll of the regular season and earned five straight wins against Top-25 opponents. Cortland also was the first school from New York to reach the Division III title game since Ithaca won the 1991 national title.

The national championship is the university’s 26th team title overall.

Purchase Championship Gear

The SUNY Cortland Campus Store has 2023 National Champions gear available for purchase.

The university’s Athletics Department also has created an online store for a limited time. Orders are due Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Support the Red Dragons

Fans can support the Red Dragon football program by making a gift that helps improve the student-athlete experience.

Consider making a gift of $38.37 as a nod to the final score of the national championship or $118 in honor of the 118th team being the first in program history to win the Stagg Bowl.

Class adds sensory equipment 

PE_Playscapes_W_and_E_WEB.gif 12/05/2023

In a small gym room in Van Hoesen Hall this week, 22 physical education majors wrapped up their semester of working closely with 3- and 4-year-old children from the adjacent SUNY Cortland Childcare Center on basic movement skills by hosting a very special carnival. 

The 13 tots were led through a variety of carnival stations, spending 50 minutes jumping, hopscotching, tossing balls overhand and underhand and other physical activities designed by students to teach 16 different fundamental movement skills. 

The SUNY Cortland students in the preschool PE class taught by Helena Baert, associate professor of physical education, laid out the carnival activities using Fit and Fun Playscape vinyl rollout mats and stickers aimed at helping youngsters improve their physical dexterity.  

“Those playscapes make a good job of incorporating academic knowledge with knowledge that the preschoolers have to obtain just about movement, because the young kids, they love to move,” Baert said. “They just love to play on the mats, to be creative and do different things on the mats.” 

The slightly adhesive and reusable vinyl products are made by a small business based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., that creates school supplies to aid physical and mental development. 

A carnival entertained and educated 13 children thanks to SUNY Cortland physical education majors.

“It’s different activities every time,” said Maria Wishart, a childcare center caregiver, who spoke over the rambunctious din of her tiny charges and their student/teachers in the busy activity room. “It challenges them, they engage in it, and they have so much fun.” 

Both the pre-kindergarten children and physical education majors in Baert’s classes are benefitting from approximately $3,000 worth of equipment that Baert brought to campus from the Nov. 20-23 New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYSAHPERD) conference in Verona, N.Y. Some she acquired through a $1,000 NYSAHPERD Foundation grant and the rest she was allowed by the manufacturer to keep after demonstrating the equipment at the conference. The mats cost about $200 to $300 apiece and a sticker sets can cost even more. She’s holding some of the new items, a series of garden-themed stickers, for next semester. 

The play equipment pieces are carefully applied to a clean floor, protected with a wax coating and left in place to be used through a whole semester, Baert noted. If well cared for, they can be removed and reused over and over. 

Baert said she began to adopt the equipment after years of coming up with her own creative ways to mark space to cue the young children in their fledgling natural movements.  

Tim Davis, an associate professor of physical education at SUNY Cortland, had used a set of the equipment last year to design sensory pathways for Cortland’s Racker Center, where physical education students get field experience helping teach motor skills to children with special needs. 

“The preschoolers cannot walk all the way to Park Center or the Student Life Center,” Baert said. “We were trying to find a space where the children could walk from the Childcare Center.” 

This semester, Baert’s classroom relocated into a new, wooden-floored multipurpose gym space closer to where the tots are cared for. Remodeled by campus Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, Room 27 A Van Hoesen had been vacated by SUNY Cortland Emergency Medical Services. 

The activities at the event used Fit and Fun Playscape mats, designed to help improve physical dexterity.

“It isn’t only for the preschoolers, it’s also the space where we teach and instruct our college students,” Baert said. “They sit on three benches and use clipboards. We very much use active learning, not sitting and listening to a lecture.” 

Anthony Degraffe, a physical education major from Bay Shore, N.Y., stood opposite a series of youngsters whom he had worked with all semester, on a Copy Cat mat, modeling physical moves their developing bodies could achieve. 

“After (the child) completed the copy-cat mat with me, I’ve realized that the mat does a very good job at getting the children to understand their colors while also being able to be active,” Degraffe said of the capstone experience, which gives class members 10 of the needed 100 hours of observation or student teaching experience.  

“(She) went from just knowing her favorite color to being able to mirror me when I said the color as well as watching me,” Degraffe said. 

Adrian Marzullo ’25, a junior physical education major from Syracuse, N.Y., watched a steady stream of youngsters try out an activity on a mat covered with different colored shapes.  

“I would say that really all the mats are all about the engagement that it brings to the (preschool) students,” he said. “When they see the mats, their eyes are instantly drawn to them, wanting to go run and jump all over them. These are great ways to help bring the imagination out of the kids and keep their energy high.” 

“Our students have worked all semester to build the relationships so they can get to this point where the children are comfortable to go with the teacher to every station and comfortable enough to learn from that teacher,” Baert said. 

On Jan. 19, both physical education students and professors will demonstrate the new uses of the play equipment when SUNY Cortland hosts the South-Central Zone AHPERD conference at SUNY Cortland.  

“Fit and Fun Playscapes will be sponsoring the conference and will bring additional mats to showcase,” Baert said. “They will also come the day before to visit the gym so we can share what we have done and get some feedback.” 

Some mats are being shrunk in design to fit the bodies of preschool children, based on Baert’s suggestion.  

“The session will discuss how to include ‘mild,’ ‘medium’ and ‘spicy’ tasks to provide a variety of challenges with different difficulty levels for all kids that are developmentally appropriate so that every child can learn,” she said, applying common terms to working with young children.  

Arizona conference connects students with STEM careers

Arizona-Conference-2.jpg 12/05/2023

Five SUNY Cortland students had a chance to strengthen their future career goals through a trip to the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) from Nov. 15 to 18 in Phoenix, Arizona. 

The visit to the conference, which supports historically excluded students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, was organized by the Cortland chapter of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program with help from the Cortland College Foundation, and was funded through a grant from The John Ben Snow Foundation.  

This was the first time the university attended the conference. 

“We were there for four days, and the conference is a mixture of professional development and scientific presentations.,” said Christa Chatfield, professor of biological sciences and co-director of Cortland LSAMP with Professor Tricia Conklin, chair of the university’s Biological Sciences Department. “There was a program about gap years, there was one about time management — so ranging from all different kinds of professional skills.” 

Cortland has been a part of LSAMP, which has a stated goal to “assist universities and colleges in diversifying the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce,” for three years.  

From left: Abbey Heneghan, Bradley Blake, Dwayne Jones, Christa Chatfield, Kyla Young and Saliou Diallo at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists in Phoenix, Arizona.

The students from Cortland selected for the trip and their majors were: Bradley Blake of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., biochemistry; Mamadou Diallo of Brooklyn, N.Y., biomedical sciences; Abby Heneghan of Manorville, N.Y., biology; Dwayne Jones of Brooklyn, N.Y., biology; and Kyla Young of Brooklyn, N.Y., biomedical sciences. 

Heneghan, who wants to become a physician assistant, expects to take a gap year after graduation, using the time to work while studying for the Physician Assistant College Admission Test. 

“I was able to gain so much knowledge, networking and communication skills,” she said. “This experience was truthfully so impactful on my career. I hope to keep attending the ABRCMS conference in the upcoming years.” 

Chatfield said that even though the students’ research wasn’t far along enough for them to present, the experience they gained as students was invaluable to their future plans, and that they may be able to discuss their findings at next year’s conference in Pittsburgh.  

“They had a chance to interact with a lot of students who are in graduate or medical programs who are from underrepresented groups,” Chatfield said. “So, I think having a conversation with the student at a program that you want to join about what it’s really like is an invaluable connection to really know if it’s the right place for you.” 

The students’ growth from the start to the end of the conference was tangible, she noted. 

“They all really felt empowered and enthusiastic about their careers and what might be possible after meeting all of these people who were ahead of them in the process.” 

Young said what she’s learned through LSAMP so far has helped her to pursue a job in emergency medicine. 

The trip let the Cortland students connect with recruiters for different schools and post-bachelor programs.

“I was interested in going to ABRCMS because I plan on submitting presentations for national conferences, so I thought I could get a look into what it looks like firsthand,” she said. “This was my first big conference ... so it was pretty exciting. We attended different scientific talks, professional development workshops, networked with people from across the country and talked to representatives from different colleges, universities and post-bachelor programs.” 

The students were able to connect with recruiters for those programs and have fees waived for whichever programs they chose to apply for. An exhibition space gave participants a chance to talk to close to 500 exhibitors who were recruiting for their schools. 

“They all gain the skills of self-promotion and communication,” Chatfield said. “The first day ... they were all really nervous to converse with these individuals, but by the last day of the exhibition they were walking right up and introducing themselves and saying what they’re interested in and where they were going to school.” 

Cortland LSAMP also directs the Summer Bridge program, which lets first-year and transfer students get summer experience ahead of their first semester with a visit to the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks. They work with faculty to collect scientific data about the geology, biology and chemistry of the lake. 

Participants in LSAMP get to attend two seminars featuring visiting scholars from underrepresented backgrounds and go to a regional symposium of LSAMP-involved schools — an alliance called the CNYLA — where students come together near the end of the summer to present their research. 

Jones, who plans to attend medical school on his way to becoming a physician, said he’s found LSAMP to be a help to him from the start. 

“I was able to meet fellow Cortland LSAMP students during our trip to Raquette Lake trip as well as a few professors in a relaxed and casual setting. Also, being able to do research is a great experience for students, however it may seem intimidating to get into. I’m glad this program gave me a way to become involved in research during my first year at Cortland.” 

Speakers sought for TEDxSUNYCortland 2024

Ted_x_web.jpg 12/05/2023

SUNY Cortland will host its second annual TEDxSUNYCortland event on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium.  

The theme for this official TEDx event is Reclamation. We’re looking for creative ideas about how we can all reclaim hope, health and humanity.   

We encourage SUNY Cortland faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members to consider whether they have something to say about reclaiming something that’s been lost or in danger of slipping away.

Your insights, your vision, your experiences are important. Be brave and share your big idea with folks from throughout Central New York — and beyond. 

You can apply to be a speaker using this link. It will take you to an official TEDx site where you can find the speaker application and reserve your seat for TEDxSUNYCortland. 

Last year’s inaugural campus TEDx event was a huge success, featuring 10 speakers that included three SUNY Cortland faculty members. You can view their TEDx presentations on YouTube:

Assistant sociology professor Marcus Bell

Performing Arts Lecturer Renee Heitmann

Modern Languages Lecturer Shena Driscoll Salvato

TEDx is the localized version of the globally focused TED conferences featuring talks that explore big ideas about science, culture, tech, education and creativity. TEDx presentations follow the same format and spirit. Whether it’s a research interest, an innovative program or a way of looking at things from a new perspective, SUNY Cortland’s faculty and staff offer a rich universe of possibilities.  

'Stop the Bleed' makes campus safer 

Stop-Bleed-1.jpg 12/05/2023

Loss of blood can kill a person within five minutes, making early care critical to preventing a trauma victim from falling victim to one of the most common causes of preventable death. 

“Stop the Bleed,” a new program on SUNY Cortland’s campus, is designed to give bystanders the tools that make a difference in those early moments. 

Those tools include free training for all university community members and more than a dozen unique bleeding control kits strategically placed around campus.  

“During a traumatic bleeding incident, the actions that are taken in those first precious minutes are critical in the 'chain-of-survival’” said Frank Cullen ’06, Emergency Manager for the University Police Department (UPD). “Nationwide, there are many instances of loss of life from bleeding that could have been prevented had there only been resources available.” 

Rarely are medical professionals or first responders the first on the scene of an emergency, which is why Cullen said it’s vital to empower everyone to help when they can. 

Look for these kits on campus in case of a bleeding emergency.

Free 90-minute training sessions on June 7th and November 8th at the Student Life Center were the first in a series giving students, faculty and staff a chance to learn about the new, red-colored kits installed on campus as part of the program. Eve Mascoli, assistant director of Recreational Sports for Facilities and Aquatics, and UPD Lt. Chris Austen are helping Cullen with the classes. At least two to three training sessions are expected to be held each semester. 

The emergency kits contain gloves, bleeding control dressing, a tourniquet, gauze dressing, trauma shears and a marker, and can used by anyone present in an emergency to help mitigate a severe bleeding injury. The planned training sessions are designed to give those same bystanders the training and confidence needed to offer treatment until professional help arrives. 

There are 14 kits on Cortland’s main campus, with plans for Antlers, Camp Huntington and Brauer Field Station of the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education to have one kit each by next spring. Cullen hopes to keep adding kits to campus each year until all buildings have at least one onsite. 

Currently, all kits are in buildings near existing AED (automated external defibrillator) cabinets, but Cullen encourages community members to use the university’s Emergency Preparedness website to brush up on where to find them before they’re needed. 

“That page will give people a more in-depth understanding of the program and where the current kits are located on campus.  Knowing where kits are beforehand can help save precious time during a traumatic bleeding incident and help to increase survivability for the injured party.” 

The "Stop the Bleed" training session on Nov. 8.

According to the World Health Organization, hemorrhages are the most common worldwide cause of preventable deaths, with approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths from bleeding. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports “unintentional Injury” as the leading cause of death for people in the country aged 1 through 44. 

The procedures for Stop the Bleed were developed by government and health care officials after the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. With lessons learned from both Sandy Hook and Tactical Combat Casualty Care used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, Stop the Bleed adapted those lessons to focus on simple techniques that could be applied to save lives in a wider scope of emergencies. 

“I first had the idea of bringing the program to the campus after I had attended an event at another university and saw the kits in various buildings on that university’s campus,” Cullen said. “And while the program was developed from active shooter incidents, most kits are used more for noncriminal incidents such as accidents and workplace injuries.” 

But whether or not a Stop the Bleed kit is nearby, Cullen advised to always follow basic rules in an emergency situation. 

“First calm and keep your own personal safety mind,” he said. “In high-stress situations some people may be so focused on helping others that they fail to see the active hazards that can harm them. Once you’ve accounted for your own safety and if you’re trained, respond according to your training and immediately contact 911. For those that aren’t trained, seek help, call 911 and follow the instructions of the emergency dispatcher.” 

Kerry Mincher honored for service

54th_Service_Aw_Kerry_Mincher_plaque_WEB.gif 12/01/2023

Among SUNY Cortland’s classified employees, Kerry Mincher is perhaps the least likely to press the “call forward” button. She’s all about providing a caller with the requested information on the spot, if she knows it, or finding the answer and returning the call.

“Kerry recognizes the importance of providing exemplary customer service,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum of Mincher, an administrative assistant II in the Division of Student Affairs since 2019 and a 23-year SUNY Cortland employee. “She is always willing to track down information and assist others.”

Mincher was honored on Dec. 1 with the prestigious 2023 President’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

The award was created in 2002 to annually spotlightone 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 is presented at the annual Service Awards Ceremony, a 52-year-old event for classified employees with a holiday luncheon sponsored by the Human Resources Office in Corey Union.

At this year’s event, Bitterbaum presented Mincher with a plaque to acknowledge her outstanding service to the university. On hand to celebrate with her were her husband, Craig Mincher; her two sons, David and John; and her parents, Grace and Roger Howland. A graduate of Newark Valley (N.Y.) High School, Mincher earned an associate degree as a paralegal at Tompkins Cortland Community College.

Honored for years of service were these 25-year employees, from the left, Darwin Bartholomew, Colleen Trinkle and Jennifer Baker.

In 1994, Mincher was hired as a keyboard specialist at SUNY Upstate Medical Center’s clinical campus in Binghamton, N.Y., where her numerous roles included preparing and distributing all materials for the geriatric, surgery and radiology programs.

She joined SUNY Cortland in 2000 as a secretary I in the Business Office. In 2010, she was promoted to administrative aide in the Purchasing Office. In 2014, she was elevated to secretary II in the Finance and Management Office. In 2019, she accepted a lateral transfer to serve in the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.

“Kerry joined Student Affairs in the summer of 2019,” said Greg Sharer, vice president for student affairs, who nominated her for the award. “While she was learning about the division, she quickly became a key person for COVID-19 communication. She fielded many difficult calls from parents during a time of anxiety and uncertainty.”

More recently, Mincher has pinch-hit for the Student Conduct Office in the absence of administrative support staff while managing her own responsibilities.

“Her demeanor, confidence and skills are an example of what all staff should embody,” said Rebecca Nadzadi, director of student conduct. “Beyond that, she is intelligent, kind and a friendly face to see every day at work.”

“Kerry is an adept multitasker,” Sharer said. “She maintains a positive attitude in stressful situations. “She manages challenging calls from parents on a regular basis.”

He noted that Mincher manages the family communication address list with a fine-tuned sense of what parents and guardians will want to learn about their student’s Cortland experience.

The Rock, Jazz and Blues Ensemble entertained the gathering.

Chris Kuretich, associate vice president for student affairs, noted how Mincher helped him through an administrative vacancy by adding to her own tasks without hesitation — services meeting an immediate need including the distribution of grocery cards and fuel cards to students via the Student Emergency Fund.

“She has consistently provided excellent service in all of the roles she’s held at the university and has managed to go above and beyond throughout this past year,” Kuretich said.

“With her wits, guidance and thinking outside the box, we became a team” when the pandemic-related public health measures began, said Dana Smith, administrative assistant I in the Modern Languages Department. “She was constantly coming up with ways of keeping calls and emails organized, information up to date with not only me but with others working the front lines. … With each phone call and email from every parent, student, faculty member and staff member, she showed all of them the utmost respect, compassion and drive to help them out.”

Jennifer Eckert-Dennison, associate director of human resources, has observed for seven years Mincher’s hard work on campus committees, including on the CSEA executive board, assisting and managing the group’s picnic and Classified Staff Service Awards ceremony.

“One thing I can absolutely say, without hesitation, is that Kerry cares about her work on this campus,” Eckert-Dennison said.

Employees Honored for Years of Service

Service Awards luncheon attendees sampled refreshments on Dec. 1.

As is customary this time of year, 32 classified staff and Research Foundation employees who met milestone years of service with SUNY Cortland were recognized for their dedication and commitment. The 2023 Service Awards honorees are:

25 years

Jennifer Baker, Student Health Services
Darwin Bartholomew, Custodial Services
Colleen Trinkle, Custodial Services

20 years

David Coakley, University Police
Judy Daniels, Custodial Services
Anne McLorn, Art and Art History Department
Tracey Messinger, Research Foundation
Steven Rolfe, University Police

15 years

Scott Chierchio, Maintenance
Patty Fisk, Custodial Services
Lisa Hand, Registrar’s Office
Corrina Harvey, History Department
Marie Nelson, Human Resources Office
Julie Randall, Athletics Department
Sheryl Robertson, Custodial Services
Jamie Rounds, Facilities Operations and Services
Lawrence Smith, Custodial Services
Haley Zurell, School of Professional Studies

10 years

Kathleen Abbatoy, Custodial Services
Brendan Barry, Custodial Services
Steven Brown, Maintenance
Erika Caughey, Custodial Services
Ashley Clark, Custodial Services
Bonnie Daniels, Custodial Services
Bennett Gallow, Maintenance
Wilma Kile, Custodial Services
Kevin Pratt, Grounds
Nichole Schwartz, Library
Barbara Smith, Custodial Services
Michael Theobald, Research Foundation
Scott Thornton, Transportation
Robert Wright, Custodial Services

Auxiliary Services announces program grant application deadline

SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services (CAS) is now accepting Program Grant applications for the 2024-25 academic year.

Applications are submitted online and must be received by midnight on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. Applicants are asked to read the grant guidelines carefully before applying.

Each year the CAS 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’s 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 CAS. 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.

Suggest a feature story

Faculty/Staff Activities

Justin Bucciferro

Justin Bucciferro, Economics Department, had his article, “A Comparative Portrait of Long-Run Racial Disparity in the United States and Brazil,” published in Essays in Economic & Business History. Also, he presented a paper at the Economic History Association meeting held in September in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Alex Corbitt

Alex Corbitt, Literacy Department, had his article titled “Speculative F(r)ictions: A Youth Restorying Horror and Monstrosity” published in November in the Journal of Literacy Research.

Jeffrey Radloff

Jeffrey Radloff, Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department, and Bridget Miller, Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina, were selected to be the new co-editors of the peer-reviewed science education journal called Innovations in Science Teacher Education (ISTE) starting in Spring 2024. This is an Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) affiliated publication. 

Tadayuki Suzuki

Tadayuki Suzuki, Literacy Department, presented two roundtable sessions on Nov. 17 at the 2023 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention in Columbus, Ohio. “The Right to Read: The Voices of School Teachers and Preservice Teacher Students” was part of the roundtable session “Working to Understand Censorship and its Impacts on the Teaching Profession.” “Exploring the Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children’s Books with Gender Nonconforming Characters” was part of the roundtable session “Queer(ing) Conexións.”

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

© 2024 SUNY Cortland. all rights reserved.