A vitality that inspires

Shineman Center observation deck

A vitality that inspires

Expressions of SUNY Oswego’s dynamic spirit proliferated in 2012-13. The year brought us new and renewed places for learning and engagement, an influx of funding to expand our margin of excellence, new academic programs to launch students on rewarding careers, and some impressive talent to ignite students’ intellectual and activist passions.

Shineman Center

Shineman Center

World-class facilities

World-class facilities are preparing our students for success. New and renewed places for learning and engagement in the sciences, technology, engineering, teacher education, athletics and college life beyond the classroom give Oswego students a distinctive advantage for the future.

The year’s most breathtaking development was the completion and dedication of the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation. A $118 million project, the Shineman Center helps SUNY Oswego prepare the next generation of exceptionally trained and globally engaged scientists and engineers. “This is our boldest and most ambitious project in more than a decade of construction and rejuvenation that has transformed our living and learning environment,” said President Deborah F. Stanley.

The new center is home to all 16 of Oswego’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, including some of our most distinctive academic offerings, like meteorology and human-computer interaction. The science facilities’ upgrade extended to the 400-acre Rice Creek Field Station where we built a new $5.5 million structure and an adjacent observatory. The interest surrounding the advent of state-of-the-art learning and teaching science facilities has led to a significant jump in the enrollment of students in these disciplines. Our efforts to kindle innovative thinking and discovery have resulted in an explosion of undergraduate research, which students present at national and international conferences, and we see our graduates going on to elite research institutes and doctoral programs.

Rice Creek Field Station

Rice Creek Field Station

“We aim to prepare scientists here who have developed a healthy respect for our planet‘s biodiversity and humanity‘s place in the universe and who will use their knowledge in service to future generations of life on Earth.” Deborah F. Stanley
President, SUNY Oswego

Both the Shineman Center and new Rice Creek building are designed to achieve gold certification under the Green Building Council standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Green features include the state’s largest geothermal-well installation, which will reduce the Shineman Center’s energy costs and carbon emissions, roof gardens, solar panel arrays, rain gardens to collect storm-water runoff and water bottle filling stations as well as systems for monitoring water and energy use. All give students opportunities to learn about sustainable practices.

“We aim to prepare scientists here who have developed a healthy respect for our planet’s biodiversity and humanity’s place in the universe and who will use their knowledge in service to future generations of life on Earth,” President Stanley said.

Education, athletic, online improvements

The year also saw exciting advances in other places where our students live and learn.

A $5.8 million addition to Wilber Hall features two new manufacturing laboratories that “let students experience, learn and develop skills that go with current, and even future, technology,” said Dan Tryon, a technology education faculty member in the School of Education.

Romney Field House

Romney Field House

On south campus, a $2 million project breathed new life into the college’s former ice hockey home. Romney Field House is now an up-to-date multipurpose athletic facility, a weather-protected place for track and field, lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, field hockey and soccer teams to practice.

With an explosion of users on smartphones and other portable devices, Oswego rolled out a new mobile website while launching complementary apps on the Apple and Android platforms. About a quarter of the traffic to Oswego’s online presence came via mobile devices in 2013 and will only grow.

Our 153-year-old college continuously evolves to meet the needs of our students and the challenges of new economic and social realities, and 2013 was a landmark year in the transformation of our campus facilities.

Shineman Center Nucleus with Fusion Café

Shineman Center Nucleus with Fusion Café

Inspiring greater investment

Our ideas, skills and track record build confidence that resources will produce results and last year attracted funding that expands our margin of excellence in many areas, most notably science and engineering education.

Students and faculty show their faith in our college when they sign on for years in this learning and teaching community, investing a part of themselves in the institution. They create a college community, full of possibility, that in turn becomes a magnet for investment from beyond the college. In 2012-13, external funding we received — from alumni, foundations and government — is making possible new opportunities for our students and our region.

Chemistry Professor Casey Raymond

Chemistry Professor Casey Raymond

Not surprisingly, many of these new opportunities are in the sciences and related disciplines, as we focus on providing our students with expertise that is in high demand. Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman, a 1965 graduate of Oswego and professor emerita of education, made a gift of $5 million, which included $4 million from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, in memory of her late husband, Dr. Richard S. Shineman, a seminal figure in the sciences at Oswego. The gift establishes an endowment that will support an endowed chair in chemistry and opportunities including initiatives of the faculty of the Shineman Center.

The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program awarded $15 million to a group of four SUNY institutions that will establish an Institute of Environmental Health and Environmental Medicine. Oswego’s contribution will be a Center for Innovation in Wireless Technology. Oswego also received a SUNY High Needs Program grant of $183,800 to accelerate development of our engineering programs.

Oswego’s faculty and staff were more successful than ever in securing outside funds to support advances in teaching and research, seeing an 18 percent increase in grant funds for the year. Among the largest grants awarded in 2012-13:

  • A five-year, $872,523 award from the National Science Foundation to boost the retention of freshmen and sophomores majoring in science, technology, engineering and math. “This will be one piece in the puzzle to streamline success for our students from high school to graduation,” said Dr. Fehmi Damkaci, assistant professor of chemistry.  

  • $553,448 in federal Race to the Top funding for an intensive teacher preparation program in high-need schools that also will enhance the college’s model of undergraduate teacher education going forward.

Funding beyond our basic operating budget helps to distinguish the educational experience that Oswego offers and move our college into the top ranks in higher education.

Shineman Center interaction

Shineman Center interaction

New offerings

Academic offerings approved in 2012-13 address new needs in our society and new opportunities for our students. Added degree programs in engineering and health services and fresh options in a range of disciplines aim to launch students on rewarding careers.

A second bachelor’s degree program in engineering, a graduate degree leading to health-related careers, and a series of new minors give students additional options as they prepare for fulfilling and productive lives ahead.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Rachid Manseur

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Rachid Manseur

Electrical and computer engineering joins software engineering in our selection of more than 60 undergraduate majors. The new degree program aims to help meet demand regionally and nationally for engineers in such cutting-edge fields as bioinstrumentation, robotics and power systems and in embedded systems such as microprocessors, which are omnipresent in products from cars to refrigerators. ECE students will get valuable experience in the new Center for Innovation in Wireless Technology.

The new MBA degree program in health services administration prepares professionals with management skills necessary for a variety of careers in a fast-growing and complex industry. Available fully online or in a hybrid format with some classes at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse, the master’s program aims to serve mid-career health care professionals as well as people wishing to switch careers to health care, said Dr. Richard Skolnik, dean of the School of Business. “The program meets the increased need for the efficient and effective delivery of services in the health care sector, a large and growing industry,” he said.

Shrewd students often add a second major or a minor to their bachelor’s degree to diversify their skills and distinguish themselves in the job market. Oswego’s recent streamlining of general education requirements has made this possibility even more attractive to students, and faculty are developing new minors for them. In 2012-13, we added minors in technology, logic and human development to the 54 already in the catalog.

Filling workforce needs in health services

Filling workforce needs in health services

All these new programs open new lines of inquiry and discovery for students, along with opportunities for experiential learning with our partners in business and industry. They help prepare students to make valuable contributions to the economic vitality of our region and beyond.

New planetarium

New planetarium

Impressive talents

Achievers distinguish our faculty and guest speaker rosters in every discipline and ignite students’ intellectual and activist passions. 2012-13 brought a surge of new talent to our college.

Oswego filled its first endowed professorship and appointed a broadcasting legend in a hiring year that increased the full-time faculty members on staff by 8.6 percent.

Willock Professor of Finance Mary Rodgers

Willock Professor of Finance Mary Rodgers

As the first endowed faculty member at SUNY Oswego, Dr. Mary Rodgers, the Marcia Belmar Willock Professor of Finance, brings us three decades of Wall Street experience, an interest in financial history and dedication to opportunities for students. As an analyst for Merrill Lynch, Rodgers once managed $400 million in portfolios. Now she shares her contacts from the New York Stock Exchange, Standard & Poor’s and Merrill Lynch with her students and has embedded the Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum in our finance program to help graduates achieve this prestigious designation.

A former anchor of the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News and moderator of “Meet the Press,” Garrick Utley joined our faculty as a senior fellow and professor of broadcasting and journalism. The longtime NBC and ABC news veteran moderated Oswego’s fall 2012 Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit and taught through fall 2013. (He passed away while this report was in production.)

Broadcasting and Journalism Professor Garrick Utley

Broadcasting and Journalism Professor Garrick Utley

Faculty newly hired in 2012-13 are exceptionally well prepared. Many hold Ph.D.s from distinguished research universities, including the University of Chicago, University of Texas-Austin, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, Paris Descartes University and University College London.

Visiting speakers

Students thronged to see guests to campus who, having strived for years to accomplish impressive results in their fields, had occasion to share their experience, insight and advice and to stir the ambitions of those who would follow their lead.

  • Lilly Ledbetter, an activist for whom the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was named, was a highlight of Oswego’s Ernst & Young Lecture Series on Gender Equity.

  • Writer and television producer David Benioff — best known as co-creator of TV’s “Game of Thrones” — came to campus to address students’ questions about his novel “City of Thieves,” the 2012-13 Oswego Reading Initiative selection, and gave tips on careers in writing.

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo made SUNY Oswego a stop on his signing tour for the 2013 state budget, generously chatting with students and others after his presentation.

  • Dr. Anthony Cortese, a pioneer in advancing environmental sustainability in higher education and a role model for students in the sciences and policy-making fields, spoke after receiving an honorary degree at the dedication of the Shineman Center.
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