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Honors Convocation to recognize academic achievement

Honors Convocation to recognize academic achievement

04/18/2022 

Steven Broyles, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences, will deliver the keynote address at SUNY Cortland’s annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 23.

The university will recognize more than 387 students for their academic accomplishments at the event, which begins at 5 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. A reception for the honorees and guests will follow in the Park Center Corey Gymnasium.

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Steven Broyles

The ceremony marks the first in-person Honors Convocation since 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Honors Convocation is a special celebration of SUNY Cortland’s most successful students,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “It will be wonderful to again hold this event in person and recognize our students with their families, friends and faculty members present.” 

Students will be acknowledged for a variety of achievements, including ranking among the top five percent in their respective classes and receiving university-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.

Broyles, the keynote speaker, has frequently been recognized for his extraordinary skill as a consummate instructor, caring mentor and recognized expert in his field since joining the university 30 years ago. Colleagues have noted his effective teaching is deeply rooted in his intellectual expertise and unwavering commitment to student success.

Broyles  was promoted to professor in 2004 and in 2020, the State University of New York named him a Distinguished Teaching Professor, which is a promotion above the rank of professor.

He was honored in 2002 with a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 2012, by SUNY Cortland with the Rozanne Brooks Dedicated Teaching Award.

During his speech, Broyles plans to draw parallels between the development and education of a migratory songbird with development and education of SUNY Cortland students taking a similar leap into the unknown.

“I will draw on a couple of past experiences that I use to influence my life and career today, and I will encourage our honors students to find their meaningful stories to share with others,” he said.

A recognized expert in the milkweed and trillium plant species, Broyles was described by a Cornell University colleague as “one of the deans of milkweed reproductive biology. Since 2016, Broyles has served as a co-principal investigator with Cornell University faculty on a $1 million National Science Foundation study to examine the development of genetic and genomic resources for milkweed.

His extensive community service work with his students includes a series of tree surveys of SUNY Cortland, the city of Cortland and the town of Homer. Municipal stakeholders use the survey results to help them secure community improvement funding.

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A 2018 Honors Convocation awardee accepts congratulations.

He earned his bachelor of science in biology from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his master of science and doctorate in botany from University of Georgia.

An academic procession of SUNY Cortland faculty will open the Honors Convocation. Christopher McRoberts, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of geology, will hold the mace. Carrying the ceremonial gonfalons will be Tracy Rammacher, director of marketing; Patricia Conklin, professor of biological sciences; Chris Widdall, professor and assistant dean for assessment and accreditation, School of Education; and Michael Pitcher, lecturer IV, communication disorders and sciences.

The Honors Convocation Committee is co-chaired by Philip Buckenmeyer, associate professor of kinesiology, and Laura Davies, chief of staff, President’s Office. Committee members include Tina Aversano ’96, manager of compliance and stewardship, Division of Institutional Advancement; Jennifer Buell, assistant director of building services and fleet services, Transportation; Vincent DeTuri, associate dean, arts and sciences; Tracey DelVecchio, event relations assistant, President’s Office; Monica Edwards, content manager, marketing; Samantha Howell, special events coordinator, President’s Office; Tara Mahoney, associate professor, sport management; Jenn McNamara, interim director, Honors Program; Charlotte Pass, associate professor, literacy; Matthew Pitcher, scholarship coordinator, financial aid; Kimberley Slater ’96, M.S.Ed. ’02, associate director, financial aid; Bradford Snyder, associate director, campus technology services, media services; Chris Valenti, assistant director, systems administration and web services; Susan Vleck, special events assistant, president’s office; and Ryan Vooris ’08, associate professor, sport management.

For more information, contact Special Events Coordinator Samantha Howell at 607-753-5453.


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