Bulletin News

Faculty receive Chancellor’s Awards


Two SUNY Cortland faculty members received Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement.

The honorees are:

Timothy Davis, associate professor in the Physical Education Department, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Faculty Service. Davis is a leading scholar and practitioner in the field of adaptive physical education and has provided valuable outreach to children in the local community.

Nance Wilson, professor in the Literacy Department, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Wilson is a prolific scholar whose research has had a substantial impact on the field of literacy education.

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 winners are profiled below:

Timothy Davis

Timothy Davis

Davis has served his academic discipline, SUNY Cortland students and members of the local community in numerous innovative ways. He is the director of SUNY Cortland’s Sensory Integration/Motor Sensory (SIMS) Movement Center and the CHAMP (Cortland-Homer Afterschool Mentorship Program)/I Can Do It afterschool peer mentorship initiative and is the creator of Project DREAM, a service-learning program established to address the needs of transition-age students with disabilities preparing for adulthood.

The long-standing faculty advisor to Project LEAPE (Leadership and Exercise in Adapted Physical Education), Davis helps current SUNY Cortland students plan diverse programming for children and adults with disabilities.

Davis is president of the Adapted Physical Education Section of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and is national chair of the Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) program. He manages the national standards and certification process in adapted physical education sponsored by the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPERID).

He is a widely respected authority in the field of adaptive physical education, having made many presentations at professional conferences and authored important published research, including “Sensory Motor Activities Training of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” in Palaestra in 2017. Davis has secured several grant projects that allowed students to offer adaptive physical and outdoor education experiences to children and adults with physical disabilities.

Davis “has respect from colleagues nationally and internationally and is referred to as one of the best in his field and is sought after for mentoring programs and staff,” one collaborator mentioned.

Dedicated to the success of SUNY Cortland students, Davis has given his time to serve as chair or member of many master theses and honors project committees. He has also provided students with summer research and professional development opportunities.

In addition, he also serves as faculty advisor to SUNY Cortland’s varsity baseball team, the club baseball team, and is a member of the College Affirmative Action Committee, the NCAA Financial Aid Review Committee and the President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence.

Davis is board president and co-founder of Access for Independence of Cortland County, a non-profit that assists people with disabilities to lead independent lives. He has also been involved with Little League and offering soccer clinics for children with disabilities.

He has received the Professional of the Year Service Award from the New York Parent Network and the Franziska Racker Center, the SUNY Cortland Civic Engagement Leadership Award for Outstanding Service to the Community and University and the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Inclusion Network of Cortland County.

Davis earned his B.A. in physical education and his M.A. in adapted physical education and early intervention from the California State University, Chico. He was awarded a Ph.D. in adapted physical education and early childhood special education from the University of Virginia.

Davis is the 17th SUNY Cortland faculty member to earn this recognition.

Nance Wilson

Nance Wilson

Wilson is a leader in the field of literacy education, having published 15 peer-reviewed articles, seven peer-reviewed chapters and co-authoring a book, Literacy Assessment and Instructional Strategies: Connecting to the Common Core, since arriving at Cortland in 2014. Her vast research has demonstrated her expertise in literacy pedagogy, assessment and teaching reading in the middle grades.

Her research focuses largely on teaching and learning literacy. Central to her scholarship is preparing teachers to develop metacognitive readers, digital literacy and critical text analysis of young adult literature. She has also made considerable research contributions in related literacy education areas, including recent work on investigating online teaching platforms and tools.

“She has achieved the rare accomplishment — contributing to her field in a way that significantly benefits both practitioners and scholars,” said associate professor Kimberly Rombach of the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department. 

As chair of the Literacy Department from 2016 to 2020, Wilson secured the program’s Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation review and expanded in-person and online course offerings. She created an annual Literacy Conference at SUNY Cortland that entered its fifth year in 2021. The conference draws keynote speakers and attendees from around the nation to share research and best practices in inclusive literacy education.

She organized a conference in 2020, “Beyond the App: Student Focused Literacy Instruction Online,” which was geared to connect U.S. and Egyptian teachers of children in grades 3 through 9 and was held jointly online with the Graduate School of Education at American University in Cairo.

Wilson has served as editor to the journal Reading in the Middle and other disciplinary journals and is an editorial review board member for Reading and Writing Quarterly. In 2015, she received the Brenda S. Townsend Service Award from the American Reading Forum, one of the nation’s foremost organizations for literacy scholars through which Wilson has served as vice chair, chair and past chair.

She earned a B.Sc. in elementary education and secondary education social studies from New York University and her M.Ed. degree in reading from the University of Central Florida. She earned her Ph.D. in reading, writing and literacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Wilson is the 18th SUNY Cortland faculty member to earn this recognition.