Bulletin News

Chancellor’s Awards Honor Four Faculty and Staff Members


Four SUNY Cortland faculty and staff members will receive the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence during the 2015 Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16, at Park Center Alumni Arena.

The honorees are:

  • Ralph Carrasquillo, director of residence life and housing — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Julie Lenhart, head coach of the College’s softball team — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Rhonda Moulton, secretary II for the Dean of Arts and Sciences — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service; and
  • Susan Wilson, an associate professor in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty 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:

Ralph Carrasquillo

Ralph Carrasquillo
Ralph Carrasquillo

Carrasquillo, the College’s 26th recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, has made significant contributions to the quality of student life on the SUNY Cortland campus as director of residence life and housing for the past seven years.

He has 26 years of experience directing residence life and housing on college campuses, including 22 years on SUNY campuses including SUNY Cortland, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Oneonta.

“Ralph is unwavering in his effort to make SUNY Cortland a student-centered community,” wrote C. Gregory Sharer, vice president for student affairs, in a letter supporting the nomination. “Because of his approach, he has received recognition for his work in civic engagement, support of the Educational Opportunity Program, of the LGBTQI community and for the campus’ child care center.”

A staunch advocate of diversity, inclusion and equity, Carrasquillo in Fall 2014 developed and piloted the College’s gender inclusive housing community. He established the Judson H. Taylor Leadership House learning community, a living and learning leadership experience for students. Under his leadership, the highly successful Green Rep program, a student-centered sustainability program, was implemented in all residence halls and he launched a unique housing program for visiting international scholars.

Carrasquillo instructs the Cortland Experience, designed to help incoming freshmen adjust to campus life, and has served on numerous campus committees, including those supporting a tobacco-free campus, environmental sustainability, behavioral assessment and providing child care on campus.

Students both at SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oneonta presented him with many awards recognizing his superlative ability to connect with them.  

Carrasquillo shares his expertise on campus safety standards and student behavior assessment with SUNY system administration. He frequently presents at conferences for student personnel and diversity professionals.

Carrasquillo has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Educational Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling/Higher Education from SUNY Oneonta.

Julie Lenhart

Julie Lenhart
Julie Lenhart

The 27th SUNY Cortland staff member to be recognized with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service also will go down as one of the most successful coaches in the College’s storied athletics tradition. Earlier this year, Lenhart became the eighth softball head coach in Division III history to win 800 games. In 2014, she was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame.

During her 21 years at SUNY Cortland, Lenhart’s players have earned 24 all-America honors, six academic all-America awards and nearly 100 all-conference selections in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).

“There are many that are very good at their craft, but some that are beyond good, beyond great even,” wrote SUNY Cortland Director of Athletics Mike Urtz ’94. “They are true difference makers in their sport and in the lives of those around them. One of those truly special difference makers is Julie Lenhart.”

SUNY Cortland’s softball team has punched a ticket to the eight-team Division III World Series seven times under Lenhart, finishing as national runner-up in 2013. Her coaching staff has been honored seven times as the NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year and three times as the SUNYAC Coaching Staff of the Year.

Beyond the softball diamond, Lenhart earned a reputation as a respected teacher, mentor and student advisor. She has contributed to campus-wide committees on gender equity and affirmative action. She has assisted celebrations that include the Cortland YWCA’s Girls Day Out National Girls and Women in Sports Day in the community. She also served as the College’s NCAA senior woman administrator from 2002 to 2004.

Lenhart earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Ohio Northern University and a master’s in counselor education from University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Rhonda Moulton

Rhonda Moulton
Rhonda Moulton

Moulton, the longtime secretary II for the Dean of Arts and Sciences, becomes the seventh SUNY Cortland recipient of the classified service honor, created by SUNY in 2009 and presented in recognition of outstanding job performance, flexibility, creativity and exemplary customer service.

Moulton has devoted the past 12 years to serving the needs of all 18 academic departments within the School of Arts and Sciences.

She is recognized for her extraordinary skills as a listener and an efficient problem solver. She brings to projects the cohesiveness of a team player and an invaluable institutional memory.

“Ms. Moulton is well known for her commitment to assisting faculty, students and their families,” wrote SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “She is highly respected for her communication efforts, including the impeccable organization of the annual Transformations event, a full-day of concurrent workshops, poster sessions and keynote presentations devoted to undergraduate research.”

Moulton also plays a significant role in organizing the annual Academic Hall of Fame celebration.

She demonstrates great resourcefulness, assisting in the oversight of budgeting, faculty travel funding and academic scheduling.

“She is generous of her time and addresses the needs of each individual, providing superior customer service,” Bitterbaum wrote.

Understanding the importance of professional development, Moulton constantly strives to update her skills, especially in the area of technology. A consummate professional and a role model for the campus, Moulton’s demeanor is always friendly, approachable and helpful.  

“She is widely respected within the campus community,” Bitterbaum wrote. “She is genuinely committed to SUNY Cortland and its students, faculty and staff.”

Moulton joined the College in 1997 as secretary I in the Research and Sponsored Programs Office and was was promoted to her current position in 2003.

Susan Wilson

Susan Wilson
Susan Wilson

Wilson’s service takes on many forms that stretch beyond the therapeutic recreation discipline. Sought-after campus committee member, tireless community volunteer and devoted faculty advisor for the College’s softball team describe just a few of her most prominent roles. The associate professor of recreation, parks and leisure studies is the College’s 12th recipient of the Faculty Service Award. She has earned a reputation as an exceptional advocate for students since joining the SUNY Cortland faculty in 1998.

Students across campus — from the School of Professional Studies to the School of Education — depend on Wilson’s unique teaching and advising abilities. Her attention to student needs underscores a major reason she received the Student Affairs Faculty Connections Award in 2010-11. Nowhere is her commitment more evident than the softball diamond, where she has devoted countless hours of her time to one of the most successful teams on campus — both in the classroom and in competition.

Wilson also stands out as a member of several campus-wide committees devoted to crucial topics such as curriculum, faculty development and the implementation of Title IX. A Faculty Senate member and past department chair, she served as the interim associate dean of the School of Education in 2011.

“Dr. Wilson seeks out opportunities to be involved and provides service to the campus beyond what is expected,” wrote Abby Thomas, the director of Advisement and Transition. “The work she chooses to take part in holds great meaning.”

In the community, Wilson is a strong supporter of the Cortland YWCA, the Council of Churches and an often-tapped expert on therapeutic recreation for the aging. Several state and national organizations in the discipline also benefit from her knowledge. In 2008, she received the Kimberly A. Kiernan Outstanding Professional Award from the New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks and leisure studies from Western Washington University, a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Clemson University.