Bulletin News

Honors Convocation Set for April 18


R. Lawrence Klotz, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences, will deliver the keynote address at SUNY Cortland’s annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 18.

The College will recognize 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.

Girish Bhat, the recipient of a SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence and Teaching, will hold the mace during the procession. Carrying the ceremonial gonfalons will be Kevin Pristash, director of student union; Peter Ducey, professor of biological sciences; Mary Ware, professor emerita of foundations and social advocacy; and Susan Rayl, associate professor of kinesiology. The reader for the ceremony will be Robert Spitzer, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and professor of political science.

R. Lawrence Klotz
R. Lawrence Klotz

Klotz, who has served the College for 36 years, will give an address titled “Our Global Experiment.” 

“I will talk about the changes that have occurred in greenhouse gas levels over a lifetime and what I have come to understand about global climate change by teaching about it,” said Klotz, who was honored with a 1989 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“I will consider the opportunities for students in different majors to make a difference in combatting dangerous global climate change for future generations,” he said.

Klotz joined the College in 1979 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and to professor in 1989. In 2002, the State University of New York named him a Distinguished Teaching Professor, which is a promotion above the rank of professor.

He teaches Biological Sciences I, Limnology, Field Biology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Studies, Climate Change Biology and the Conservation Biology Internship.

Many of his awards go beyond his many accomplishments in the discipline of biological sciences.

Klotz was inducted in 1990 as an honorary member of Phi Eta Sigma, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines.

He was presented with a 1999 Volunteer of the Year Award from New York State West Youth Soccer Association.

In 2000, the SUNY Cortland Student Government Association recognized him as the Faculty Advisor of the Year. Klotz in 2005 was elected into the College’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi interdisciplinary honor society.

In 2005, the SUNY Research Foundation gave Klotz a Promising Inventor Award to recognize a faculty member’s first invention disclosure.

The College in 2006 acknowledged him with an Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award.

His scientific research, encompassing areas such as phosphorus pollution in streams, has been supported by college, state and federal grants. Klotz has taken part in major federally funded research projects at SUNY Cortland involving the recruitment of math and science teachers.

Until recently, and for many years, he oversaw the Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education, located seven miles south of the campus, and obtained grants to support physical improvements such as signage and a nature guide for visitors to the College’s fieldwork site.

His research has been widely published in respected publications in his field and he is a popular lecturer.

From 2009 to 2013, Klotz served on the SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Advisory Council.

He earned his bachelor of science from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and received both his master of science and doctorate from the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

The Honors Convocation Committee is chaired Philip Buckenmeyer, associate professor and chair of kinesiology. Committee members include Sila Argle, supervising janitor, physical plant; associate professor and chair, kinesiology; Mark Dodds, associate professor sports management; Mary Gfeller, associate professor of mathematics; Samantha Howell, special events coordinator, president’s office; Kimberly Kraebel, professor of psychology; Virginia B. Levine, executive assistant to the president, president’s office; Tara Mahoney, assistant professor, sport management; Joy Mosher, associate professor of childhood/early childhood education; Jerome O’Callaghan, associate dean, school of arts and sciences; Kevin Pristash ’85, M.A. ’91, director of student union; Tracy Rammacher, director of publications and electronic media; Lee Scott-Mack M.S.Ed. ’01, associate registrar, registrars office; Bradford Snyder, associate director of campus technology services, media services; Kimberley Slater ’96, M.S.Ed. ’02, associate director of financial aid; and Susan Vleck, special events assistant, president’s office.

For more information, contact Samantha Howell at 607-753-5453 or samantha.howell02@cortland.edu.