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Six Faculty and Staff Members Earn Chancellor’s Awards

Six Faculty and Staff Members Earn Chancellor’s Awards

05/11/2016 

Six SUNY Cortland faculty and staff members received the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence during the 2016 Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies.

The honorees are:

  • Andrea Harbin, associate professor of English — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching;
  • Amy Henderson-Harr ’83, assistant vice president of research and sponsored programs — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Beth Shiner Klein, professor of childhood/early childhood education — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service;
  • Mechthild Nagel, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies (CGIS) — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities;
  • Pamela Schroeder, secretary II for the associate provost for academic affairs — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service; and
  • Bradford Snyder, associate director of campus technology services — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

The Chancellor’s Awards provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the pursuit of excellence at all 64 SUNY campuses. Each campus president submits nominations, which are reviewed by the SUNY Committee on Awards.

This year’s award winners are profiled below:

Andrea Harbin

Harbin, who joined the College’s faculty in 2008, specializes in 14th and 15th century medieval literature as well as digital humanities pedagogy. She has taught 13 different courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, on authors from Shakespeare to Chaucer and on topics from the history of the English language to the Bible as literature. Harbin’s teaching has been characterized as exemplary for the comprehensive approach she takes to clarifying historical context. This often involves explaining politics of the time, local connections to world events and essentials of the early English language in innovative and engaging ways.

Andrea Harbin
Andrea Harbin

Memorization of text proves crucial to understanding medieval literature, so Harbin elects to incorporate technology as one of her main teaching tools — displaying digital artifacts and integrating student podcasts to perform the works being discussed. Course teacher evaluations commend Harbin’s enthusiasm and the student engagement in her classroom, suggesting that her mixed media techniques stimulate interest and understanding. “Shakespeare is a hard subject to get into, but her love and appreciation for his work makes things more enjoyable,” one student commented. “I hope to emulate (her) style when I become a teacher,” wrote another. Likewise, colleague evaluations noted students’ understanding of different literary approaches and the substance of classroom discussions.

In fall 2011, Harbin took both undergraduate and graduate students to observe and perform at the Southeastern Medieval Association Conference in Decatur, Ga. Additionally, along with Professor of English David Franke, she has accompanied students on a popular New York City trip that provides a hands-on demonstration of the evolution of writing. One of Harbin’s most recent classroom innovations unites written text with digital elements. In a Middle English course, for example, students receive the traditional text along with a new augmented reality text, which includes audible passages read in Middle English, translations of passages into modern English and, eventually, three-dimensional rendering of buildings such as cathedrals and cottages to offer a virtual tour. The result is a resource that pairs technology with teaching and learning, a tool that brings many far-reaching applications that cross disciplines.

Harbin in 2013 received a SUNY Cortland Excellence in Teaching Award for tenure-track faculty members — another indicator of her classroom effectiveness. She is the 50th SUNY Cortland faculty member to earn the system-wide teaching honor.

Amy Henderson-Harr

Nominated by 12 faculty scholars from all three colleges on campus for her success at motivating faculty and staff in the area of grant writing, Henderson-Harr is credited with being unwavering in her passion for what she does. The 28th College professional to receive this award, she has devoted more than 25 years of service to SUNY Cortland, including since her promotion in 2006.

Amy Henderson-Harr
Amy Henderson-Harr

“Few are given the privilege to work in an office where its purpose is to provide a space for the imagination,” Henderson-Harr has noted about her work. Described as being always open to thinking outside of the box, she has directed discipline-specific and interdisciplinary grant preparation in the sciences, teacher education, international education, civic engagement and the fine arts. “She vastly improved the ability of the Research and Sponsored Programs Office to provide critical resources to faculty and staff engaged in research and scholarly activity at a teaching-focused institution,” nominators observed.

Henderson-Harr employs innovative approaches to increasing grant award numbers across campus. She won institutional praise for providing all Cortland faculty members with the opportunity to improve their grantsmanship skills and knowledge of the proposal development process, critique and revision of proposals to create successful applications. Moreover, she has elevated her office into a campus-wide service that has altered the paradigm of grant acquisition. Under Henderson-Harr’s leadership, grant proposal submission numbers tripled and research and development expenditures more than doubled.

She played key roles in major successful grant applications including the AASCU American Democracy Project grant, the Main Street SUNY Cortland Initiative, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching initiative, and Live from the Heart of New York, a New York State Music Grant.

Henderson-Harr regularly serves as a mentor to student interns, instructing them in grant writing activities and their very successful community improvement projects. A research compliance officer, Henderson-Harr has shared her knowledge about effective grant writing, fund seeking funding, leadership and goal development and developing community networks with many outside groups.

Henderson-Harr has been honored multiple times by student groups for her leadership, community service and positive influence on their lives. She is the deputy operations manager for SUNY Research Foundation, responsible for maintaining an “ethical environment and culture of compliance” for all the foundation’s pre- and post-award and human resource functions. Henderson-Harr has been an active and dedicated leader within the city of Cortland, receiving the 2003 YWCA Volunteer of the Year Award and recognition for her extensive interactions with the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Cortland and New York State Youth Bureaus and AmeriCorps.

Beth Shiner Klein

Klein’s service extends across several key areas, most notably environmental education at the College and within the local community. A SUNY Cortland faculty member since 1999, she has proven to be a leader of sustainable initiatives on the College’s Climate Action Committee and beyond. Klein chairs the group’s sustainability curriculum subcommittee and she remains active in planning SUNY Cortland’s “Green Days” events every year. Klein also was crucial to the efforts that earned SUNY Cortland a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2015.

Beth Shiner Klein
Beth Shiner Klein

“Dr. Klein models for her colleagues and her students how one person can make an impact in a profound and substantial way towards addressing the challenges that communities face, even when some of those challenges, like climate change, can seem insurmountable,” said Andrea Lachance, dean of SUNY Cortland’s School of Education. “Her investment in addressing issues at the local and global levels gives those of us around her hope that we too can make a difference in the many worlds which we all inhabit.”

Klein’s commitment to sustainable living has provided a natural entry to her community leadership and service to students. A hands-on approach to preservice teacher preparation has resulted in applied learning experiences such as science days, math nights and field trips to Lime Hollow Nature Center in Cortland and the College’s William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake. In the community, she serves as a member of the Cortland County Local Agricultural Promotions Subcommittee and currently leads Sustainable Cortland, a regional group tackling key topics such as the production of local foods, composting and solar energy.

Klein also has distinguished herself among her professional peers as a leader in science teacher education. She has worked on the board of directors for the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), served on the advisory board for Teacher Environmental Education Preparation in New York State, and made contributions to groups such as New York Presidents for Climate Action and the North American Association for Environmental Education. Klein also co-founded the ASTE Environmental Education Forum, and actively participated in another ASTE forum, Women in Science Education (WISE), to promote women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This effort has earned praise from colleagues across the nation.

A prolific researcher, Klein is the author of an assortment of published books, book chapters and articles on topics from environmental education to teacher professional development. Her work has been supported by 14 major funding awards, including a Teacher/Leader Quality Partnership Grant supported continuously by the New York State Education Department.

She is the 13th SUNY Cortland faculty member to earn the system-wide faculty service honor.

Mechthild Nagel

Nagel’s areas of scholarly interest are diverse, and they include subjects such as criminal justice ethics, feminist philosophy, diversity studies, critical race theory and social ethics. A SUNY Cortland faculty member since 1999, she has earned an international reputation for her expertise, offering more than 130 presentations, workshops and talks across the globe in countries that include Germany, Greece, Iceland and Poland. Nagel’s published work spans 21 articles, 28 book chapters, six co-edited anthologies and one monograph, Masking the Abject: A Genealogy of Play. She also has served as the editor of several journals, including Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, the unique publication she founded at the College in 2002. Wagadu has earned international acclaim in emphasizing women’s rights, interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and equity in Africa and elsewhere.

Mechthild Nagel portrait
Mechthild Nagel

Nagel’s academic work on criminal justice ethics and prison reform also has garnered international recognition for her position as a prison abolitionist. She has published many pieces on the topic, including the 2013 book, The End of Prisons: Voices from De-institutionalization Movement. Her reputation among colleagues across the globe also stands out. “At conferences, her reputation is one of high-level collaboration and strong initiative for new insights and directions of research and teaching,” wrote Cynthia Willett, a professor of philosophy at Emory University. As president of the New York African Studies Association, Nagel in 2014 brought together scholars from 22 institutions to a statewide conference at SUNY Cortland.

The awards and honors for her scholarly work are numerous. They include an invitation from the National Endowment for the Humanities to serve on a 15-member panel in 2007 themed around “Philosophical Perspectives on Democracy, Law and Human Rights,” visiting scholar roles at Cornell University and Hochschule Fulda in Germany, and an Outstanding Achievement in Research Award from SUNY Cortland in 2009. In terms of service, Nagel works on several editorial review boards and also mentors many fellow philosophy scholars — from young doctoral candidates to other senior faculty members in the discipline.

Nagel is SUNY Cortland’s 13th recipient of the system-wide award honoring scholarship and creative activities. Nearly two dozen of her peers wrote letters of recommendation in support, one of them crediting her as a philosopher “with ultimate purposes of humanity in view — not a mere artist of reason, but a genuine sage.”

Pamela Schroeder

Pamela Schroeder, whose responsiveness, patience and excellent communication skills make her a welcome sight in the Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office, becomes the eighth SUNY Cortland recipient of the classified service honor.

The award was created by SUNY in 2009 and presented in recognition of outstanding job performance, flexibility, creativity and exemplary customer service.

Pamela Schroeder
Pamela Schroeder

Schroeder is accessible and responsive in dealing with a busy campus community. “Ms. Schroeder is well known for her commitment to faculty and students alike,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “Recognized for her extraordinary skills as an excellent listener and a superb problem solver, she is a team player with an invaluable institutional memory, particularly with regard to College policies and campus governance.

“Ms. Schroeder’s demeanor is always friendly, approachable and helpful,” Bitterbaum said. “She is a consummate professional and a role model for the campus.”

Schroeder is credited with being a hard-working and helpful colleague who embraces new tasks with a leader’s zeal, consistently going well above and beyond what is expected of her. Many of her accomplishments happen behind the scenes as she provides critical support to the college curriculum committees, search committees and graduate students.

She is highly respected for her communication efforts, including the development of Curriculog, an online curriculum submission system that has substantially expedited curricular decisions on campus. She also has presented at professional conferences, including at the Digital Architecture Conference.

“She understands the importance of professional development and is constantly striving to update her skills,” Bitterbaum said.

Moreover, she has enriched the campus and community through leadership roles in the State Employees Federated Appeal campaign, the Auxiliary Services Corporation Finance Committee as its chair and the SUNY Wellness Challenge steering committee. She was the first elected classified representative to the Faculty Senate and served for eight years. Schroeder’s accomplishments previously earned her the College’s 2014 President’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

A 32-year state employee, Schroeder joined SUNY Cortland in 1991 as a secretary I and in 2010 was promoted to secretary II in the division where she works today.

Bradford C. Snyder

Snyder, the 29th SUNY Cortland recipient of this award, has earned a reputation as a problem solver with an exceptional work ethic during his more than 25 years with Instructional Technology and Information Resources. He takes a lead role on many campus technology projects and installations including audio-visual builds and equipment replacement; installations of campus signage, projection and video systems, technology-ready classrooms and conference rooms; and overseeing a 54-speaker system that is integrated with the campus emergency broadcast system.

Bradford Snyder
Bradford Snyder

“Brad’s attention to detail and in-depth knowledge have been instrumental in planning technologies for classrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums and large venues,” said Amy Berg, associate provost for information resources. “He takes his job very seriously, and spends many hours working with his colleagues as well as faculty and staff to make sure that all parties are satisfied with the media technologies he oversees.”

Snyder’s service in the area of special events support has been far-reaching. He plays a critical behind-the-scenes role in assisting major campus events such as facility dedications, ribbon cutting ceremonies and openings. Additionally, he led creation of a video for the State University of New York’s Power of SUNY, “We’re on to Something Big!” as well as for the SUNY Business Officers Association and most recently led his team in video streaming a SUNY Cortland Active Shooter Webinar, now archived and available to all campus members.

He was responsible for providing technology on the SUNY Cortland campus for the Chancellor’s Launch of the Center for the Preparation of 21st Century Teachers, in 2014, as well as the Conference on Shared Services, “Harnessing Systemness: Discussions of Efficiency and Effectiveness, and the SUNY Business Officers Association (SUBOA) Annual Conference “Shared Services,” hosted on the SUNY Cortland campus in 2013 and 2011 respectively. Earlier in his career, he provided extensive technology support for Silda Spitzer’s “I Live NY” Summit, hosted on our campus.

His additional service to the SUNY system includes membership on the Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2). Other leadership roles are as secretary of the Education Technology Officers Association (EdTOA), co-chair of the Learning Environments Task Group and chair of the Bylaws Revision Subcommittee. Snyder also serves on the College’s Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement committees, the Honors Convocation Committee and the Academic Convocation Committee. He has been deeply involved in the audio-visual aspects of each ceremony.

A recipient of numerous local and statewide professional honors for his extraordinary service and dedication to technology innovation on college campuses, Snyder’s recognitions include the EdTOA Outstanding Service Award in 2010 and 2012.