Bulletin News

David Miller to Address Honors Convocation


David Miller, a SUNY Cortland professor of geography and a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, will deliver the keynote address at the institution’s annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 20.

The College will recognize 486 students for their academic accomplishments at the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. An academic procession of SUNY Cortland faculty will open the Honors Convocation. A reception for the honorees and guests will follow in the same location.

Students will be acknowledged for a variety of achievements, including ranking among the top five percent in their respective classes and receiving College-wide and departmental awards and scholarships. The Donald Parish Brooks Scholarship Award will be presented to the residence hall having the highest cumulative grade point average.

R. Lawrence Klotz, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and professor of biological sciences, will hold the mace during the procession. Carrying the ceremonial gonfalons will be Catherine Smith, health educator with the Health Promotion Office and Student Development Center; Steven Broyles, professor of biological sciences; Janet Duncan, associate professor of foundations and social advocacy; and Ben Wodi, professor of health and coordinator of field experiences in health. Marshals will be Mark Dodds, J.D., associate professor of sport management; Ellis McDowell-Loudan, professor and co-coordinator of Native American Studies; Orvil White, assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education; and Jeffrey Walkuski, associate professor of physical education.

The reader for the ceremony will be Walkuski.

Miller, who has served the College for 31 years, will give a slightly tongue-in-cheek address titled “Fishing as the Affirmation of Hope.”

A self-described “field guy,” Miller for the past 16 years has co-directed the College’s Geographic Information Systems Lab, where he teaches Geographic Information Systems, GPS Technology, Physical Geography, and Resource Geography. He is the author of numerous articles published in professional journals.

In Spring 2002, he began the first of three summers kayaking solo down the Missouri River. Articles on his expedition and the technology that he carried have appeared in Pocket PC Magazine, The Professional Surveyor and The Small Craft Advisory.

A member of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, he has served as a “forward scout” for the bicentennial re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s voyage up the Missouri River. His Missouri River fieldwork was the basis for his book, The Complete Paddler.

David Miller
Ever ready for adventure coupled with learning, Distinguished Teaching Professor David Miller embarked on three summer solo kayaking trips down the Missouri River in the early 2000s.

Miller also is a member of the National Association for Search and Rescue and has tested equipment for Sierra Designs. He led 10 Earthwatch Expeditions at Punta Allen, Mexico focusing on mapping lobster production and fishermen’s territories and the long-term impacts of habitat construction for spiny lobster. Miller teaches a marine biology field course in Belize every other winter. For the past three summers, he has driven around the U.S. in his home-built, mint green 1958 Chevy Hot Rod Pickup, at work on a book about Hot Rodding and Custom Cruising at the end of the fossil fuel era.

He received a prestigious rank promotion to Distinguished Teaching Professor from SUNY in 2004 for having demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to the intellectual growth of students and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. He was honored in 1998 with a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Promoted to professor in 2000, Miller has chaired the Geography Department and played an important role in the broader Cortland community.

A native of Rapid City, S.D., Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 1970 and a master’s degree in personnel and counseling in 1973 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He also received master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

The Honors Convocation Committee is co-chaired by Joy Mosher, associate professor of childhood/early childhood education; and Philip Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology.    

Committee members include Sila Argyle, supervising janitor for physical plant; Darci Bacigalupi, curriculum specialist, Registrar’s Office; Mark Dodds, assistant professor of sport management; Nicole Garifo, student representative; Mary Gfeller, assistant professor of mathematics; Ron Gray, supervising janitor for physical plant; Kimberly Kraebel, associate professor of psychology; Beth Langhans, scholarship coordinator for the Division of Institutional Advancement; Virginia B. Levine, executive assistant to the president; Jerome O’Callaghan, associate dean of arts and sciences; Kevin Pristash ’85, M.A. ’91, associate director of College Union; Tracy Rammacher, director of publications and electronic media; Lee Scott-Mack, associate registrar; Brad Snyder, associate director of Classroom Media Services; Susan Vleck, interim special events coordinator; Rashad Williams, student representative; and Christopher Xenakis, lecturer in political science. 

For more information, contact Vleck at 607-753-5453.