Chancellor's Award Winners Shaped Alumni Lives
Two Oswego faculty members were honored with prestigious SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.
Former students raved about Martha D. Bruch's ability to make chemistry fun, hands-on and understandable in and outside her classroom, and the State University of New York system has recognized her talents through a 2010-11 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Oswego forensic economist Dr. Lawrence Spizman, whose research has long guided legal decisions involving the personal injuries of children, received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.
Bruch is associate professor of chemistry at SUNY Oswego and director of its Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory.
Ellen Schneider M '08, a former student of Bruch's and now a Marcellus High School chemistry teacher, praised Bruch's generous gifts of time and talent in classrooms around the region.
"It is what she does outside the lecture hall that truly makes Dr. Bruch an extraordinary teacher," Schneider wrote.
Wendy Ballard '03, M '05, a fifth-grade teacher at Leighton Elementary School, said Bruch pays four or five visits to Ballard's classroom a year. "She has a passion for chemistry that shines through in her teaching," Ballard wrote.
"Personally, physical chemistry was very difficult for me," wrote Andrew M. Camelio '09, now a first-year graduate student in organic chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, "but I was successful in the class because Dr. Bruch used examples and relationships to help me understand the material better. The ability to teach a student better than a textbook can is the true art and role of a teacher, and Martha Bruch exemplifies this perfectly."
Joy Logan '09, M '11, who earned a master's in teaching chemistry, wrote, "Dr. Bruch goes above and beyond her responsibilities in helping me develop my academic résumé. She frequently invites me to participate in demonstrations for school children."
"I am honored my colleagues nominated me," Bruch said. "It was really their hard work that got this done. I also owe a tremendous amount to Ken Hyde (recently retired distinguished teaching professor of chemistry) who helped me in the early stages of my career, and I am grateful to him for his inspiration."
Spizman, a professor of economics, coauthored a 1992 article with colleague John Kane that modeled for attorneys, judges and other economists the now widely accepted basis for quantifying the future earnings of children in personal injury cases.
Frederick G. Floss '79, a former student of Spizman's and now a professor of economics at Buffalo State College, wrote that Spizman and Kane's scholarly work has been seminal, cited routinely in this state's courts and in nationally regarded books and articles. It has guided the expert testimony and further research of other forensic economists.
"Lawyers, chambers of commerce and community groups all over Central New York use his research," Floss wrote. "Professor Spizman's ability to clearly use his academic research and apply it to local problems is a major strength."
Spizman's talent for research that generates community benefits has been of great benefit to his students, Floss said.
"As a former student of Professor Spizman's," he wrote, "I attest to his concern for his students and the high regard we have for his work. I also know he continues to bring back his former students to share their research with his current students at Oswego."
— Jeff Rea '71
Above: Martha Bruch. Below: Lawrence Spizman.
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