Campus Update

Mon Jun 15, 2015
Michel named dean of education

President Deborah F. Stanley has named Pamela Michel as dean of the School of Education, effective July 1.

Mon Jun 15, 2015
Daylight Hour: College commits to turn off lights at lunchtime Friday

SUNY Oswego will join many other SUNY campuses and hundreds of organizations around the world in a campaign to raise awareness of the value of simple daylight. Members of the college community are asked to switch off lights in day-lit offices for one hour at noon Friday, June 19.

Daylight Hour is a global social media campaign by the Building Energy Exchange to promote the energy, cost and health benefits of using daylight when electric lighting is unnecessary.

“The June 19, 2015, Daylight Hour is an effort to raise awareness of energy savings,” said Karren Bee-Donohoe, executive director of SUNY’s Office for Capital Facilities. She noted that SUNY averages $640,000 per day in total utility costs and that her office is working with campuses on several efforts to reduce that number.

“Behavioral impact can be much greater than most people recognize. This event will help illustrate the impact our decisions have on our overall energy costs,” she said.

In an all-campus email announcement earlier this week, President Deborah F. Stanley asked members of the college community to participate in the Daylight Hour by turning off lights and any other electrical equipment that is not needed from noon to 1 p.m. Friday.

“The Daylight Hour campaign is in line with our sustainability goals, our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our participation in the U.S. College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment,” she said. “It also supports our goals of operating cost efficiently and promoting a healthy living, learning and working environment.”

The Building Energy Exchange points out that the times when daylight is most available coincides with peak energy demand—the time when business districts are running computers and air conditioning and demanding the most energy from the grid. This peak energy is the most expensive energy, and typically the dirtiest and most harmful to the global climate because the oldest, least efficient plants are brought online to meet this need.

The organization adds that studies suggest day-lit spaces promote health and well-being, improve productivity and reduce absenteeism. Using daylight is an opportunity to conserve energy, save money and promote the well-being of the many people who spend their days indoors.

“People often wonder what they can do to help prevent climate change. We simply ask them to join their peers, turn off their lights, and enjoy the daylight,” said Richard Yancey, executive director of Building Energy Exchange.

To learn more about Daylight Hour, visit

Mon Jun 15, 2015

Mon Jun 15, 2015
Writing Institute features award-winning writers

The 2015 Oswego Writing Institute, co-sponsored by the SUNY Oswego School of Education and the Fulton City School District, will feature noted authors as speakers Aug. 18 and 19.

Matt de la Pena and Laura Vaccaro Seeger will make keynote presentations. De la Pena has written many young adult novels, including “Ball Don’t Lie.” He has received numerous awards from the American Literary Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association. Seeger is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award winner and the author and illustrator of the children’s book “First the Egg.”

Both authors will be available for teacher professional development and book signings.

Titled, “Best Foot Forward: Inspiring Writers of Today and Tomorrow,” the institute will be held in the Marano Campus Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

In addition to the author keynotes, participants will choose from a variety of professional development options focused on the writing process and Common Core aligned writing instruction.

This year’s institute will benefit the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County. There is no charge to attend the two-day event, but all donations will benefit the coalition.

To register for the institute, contact Christine Walsh at or Carri Waloven at

Mon Jun 15, 2015
WRVO collaborating with other stations on Upstate Insight

WRVO Public Media, a multi-station public radio network based at SUNY Oswego, has received a $40,560 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Titled Upstate Insight, the grant is helping to fund the coordination and sharing of regional news and public affairs coverage among stations serving Upstate New York.

Upstate Insight collaborators include WXXI Rochester, WSKG Binghamton, WMHT Schenectady and associate partner WBFO Buffalo as well as WRVO. The stations are working together to train reporters in new forms of story development, production and presentation including in the use of publicly available databases for reporting and analysis.

The project is a follow-up to an earlier CPB-funded project, Innovation Trail.

“Innovation Trail was a highly successful multi-station collaboration that became a model for public broadcasters around the country seeking to cooperate in newsgathering,” said WRVO General Manager Michael Ameigh. “We learned that when reporters and editors cooperate, the result is better, deeper coverage, and more of it.”

Now in its 46th year of broadcasting from the SUNY Oswego campus, WRVO has nine repeater transmitters scattered across the central and northern regions of Upstate New York. Much of the WRVO program schedule is also carried by radio stations at SUNY Cortland and Colgate University. Reports produced by WRVO"s regional news staff are often heard in NPR national news broadcasts and are available as free downloads from

Mon Jun 15, 2015
Oswego recognized as 'College of Distinction'

Innovative learning opportunities at SUNY Oswego grew in 2014-15, earning the school recognition again among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. Oswego has been included in the Colleges of Distinction consortium for more than a decade.

Mon Jun 15, 2015
Professor helps guide new book on evolution of home economics

The field once known as home economics is alive, well and informing many other branches of knowledge, according to a new book co-edited by history professor and Honors Program Director Gwen Kay.

Mon Jun 15, 2015
College honored for advancement, communications projects

Three SUNY Oswego projects—the strategic plan, the campaign launch and the tobacco-free initiative—have earned regional and international awards.

Mon Jun 15, 2015
As more students struggle with English, Syracuse teachers go back to school

A group of Syracuse elementary and secondary teachers are building their expertise to teach students with limited English proficiency through a partnership with SUNY Oswego and the New York State Education Department.

The department approached SUNY Oswego’s School of Education last fall about the need to improve instruction for the growing numbers of students in urban schools who are learning English.

Oswego has a strong undergraduate program to prepare teachers of English as a second language (ESL), but the state Education Department wanted to target other teachers, because they also have English language learners in their classrooms.

“They wanted us to start in January,” said Dr. Pat Russo, professor of curriculum and instruction and director of Oswego’s Center for Urban Schools. Even though the timeline was tight, she and her colleagues felt, “We couldn’t say no. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

She leads what became the Intensive Teacher Institute Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Clinically Rich Graduate Certification Program in partnership with the Syracuse City School District.

It is underwritten by the state Education Department with $220,000 for two years. Costs are also shared by the district, the college and each teacher-student.

The 15 teachers now in the program are scheduled to receive graduate certificates in teaching English to speakers of other languages in December.

They will have completed a demanding 12-month program: five courses at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center and three 60-hour practicums—on top of their duties as teachers. Each has a school-based mentor who is an ESL teacher. The new graduates will be recommended for additional teaching certification in this area.

The program is now recruiting up to 20 more Syracuse teachers to start in January 2016.

Cultural perspective

The teachers in the program learn about how language works and about how cultures differ, that middle class American ways of looking at the world are not universal, that each English language learner has a distinct background, and that there are resources in the community that can help them connect with the students and their families.

“We position them as learners,” said Bruce Long Peng, director of Oswego’s linguistics program, professor of curriculum and instruction, and a member of the team Russo assembled to deliver the program. He tells the teachers, “If you let it happen, the students can teach you how to teach them.”

His vision is that in five years many teachers throughout the Syracuse district will have the cultural and linguistic perspective and skills to work effectively with English language learners while teaching their subject to all their students.

Graduates of this Intensive Teacher Institute “will be stronger teachers overall,” Russo said, better equipped to meet the distinctive needs of each of the children they teach.

Plans call for expanding the program to Rochester and Utica as funding becomes available, she noted.

Thu Jun 11, 2015

Graham Bradley of the atmospheric and geological sciences faculty has received $1,153 from St. Lawrence University to support his contribution this summer to the project “Salvage Excavations of Group R-183, an Ancient Maya Metalworking Houselot at Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico.” Elizabeth H. Paris of St. Lawrence’s anthropology department leads the project, which is funded by a grant from the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Lisa Evaneski, associate dean of students and Title IX coordinator, was selected to participate with representatives of SUNY General Counsel, New York State Department of Health and the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault at the action planning meeting for sexual violence prevention on college and university campuses, sponsored by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association in Atlanta in July. This meeting is a part of “Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.”

Sophomore Danielle Grasmeder rode Peppy to a National Reining Horse Association individual open reining championship while representing the Oswego State equestrian team in the International Horse Show Association finals May 2 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Grasmeder, a marketing major from Queensbury, and three other top finishers in the NRHA individual open reining event earned the opportunity to participate in the annual NRHA Derby at the end of June in Oklahoma City, according to an article in the American Quarter Horse Journal.

Shashi Kanbur, professor and chair of physics, is a co-author of a paper selected for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. The paper is titled “Period-Luminosity Relations Derived from the OGLE-III Fundamental Mode Cepheids II: The Small Magellanic Cloud Cepheids.” The lead author is Chow-Choong Ngeow of Taiwan’s National Central University and co-authors include Anupam Bhardwaj and H.P. Singh. In addition, Kanbur is a member of international teams that have obtained observing time on two satellites. He is on the working group for Cepheids and RR Lyraes for a recently launched Kepler satellite. Two Oswego undergraduates will participate with this group and may be able to visit Konkoly Observatory in Hungary in connection with this project. Katrien Kohlenberg of the Institute of Astronomy at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium leads the project. Kanbur is also part of a team of Taiwanese and U.S. astronomers that obtained observing time on the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope to observe Cepheids in M33 in the H band, a project that is important for the extra-galactic distance scale and efforts to measure Hubble’s constant to better than 3 percent accuracy independent of the cosmic microwave background. Ngeow leads that project.

Joshua S. McKeown, director of international education and programs, was recently named to the technical review panel on clarifying study abroad enrollment for the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics in Washington, D.C. The panel is part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). He will attend meetings June 23 and 24 in Washington.

Four from SUNY Oswego posing during Leadership Oswego CountyKristen Munger of the counseling and psychological services faculty; Michelle Bandla, coordinator of first-year programs; Amy Plotner, director of human resources; and Mallory Bower, associate director of Career Services, pictured left to right, graduated May 29 from Leadership Oswego County. Offered by SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, Leadership Oswego County teaches a select group of county residents community trusteeship, leadership skills, current issues and networking to a diverse group of community residents. This group embarks on a nine-month course of intensive study of leadership skills, Oswego County and its resources, vital issues of today and visioning for tomorrow. Key community members teach participants about the skills and knowledge needed to be effective leaders. Graduates of the program are better prepared to serve the community in the roles of board member, citizen, employee or to volunteer with organizations that serve Central New York.

The animated film “A Winter’s Tale,” directed and animated by cinema and screen studies May graduate Peter Myers, won honorable mention at the SUNY-wide Film Festival held April 24 to 26 at SUNY Oswego. Myers also directed the photography and designed the sound. Jesse Malone, a senior in cinema and screen studies, produced the film. Emily Stott, a junior with majors in cinema and screen studies and theater, designed costumes. Evan Maroun, a cinema and screen studies May graduate, did secondary character animation.

A paper titled “On the Detection of Heteroscedasticity by Using CUSUM Range Distribution” by Amapalavanar Nanthakumar of the mathematics faculty, Shashi Kanbur of the physics faculty and Erika Wilson, a senior who graduated in May with a major in applied mathematics and a minor in applied statistics, has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Statistics and Probability.

Tim Nekritz, associate director of communications and marketing and director of digital communications, presented two versions of “6 Suggestions for Successful Student Storytelling” at regional conferences this month. Senior communication major Lizzy Marks joined him to lend her perspective for a presentation to an overflow crowd at the SUNYCUAD Educational Conference, June 3 to 5 in Rochester. Nekritz partnered with Christopher D’Orso, assistant director of enrollment communication at Stony Brook University, for a similar presentation at the HighEd Web New York conference June 11 and 12 in Ithaca. The presentations highlighted how Oswego and other colleges partner with students through tactics like blogging, social media internships, Instagram takeovers, incoming student Facebook groups and more to support strategic institutional goals.

Michael Schummer of the biological sciences faculty teamed with scientists from four other SUNY colleges recently to win a $9,600 SUNY 4E grant titled “Developing a New York Waterfowl and Wetlands Collaborative Network.” The grant will enable SUNY Oswego to host a meeting in July to launch “a SUNY-based network of scientists, managers, stakeholders and educators to share information and develop action items aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of science-based conservation, restoration and management for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife” around the state. The grant application said the network would be modeled on one that Schummer has co-coordinated the past four years, the Great Lakes Wetlands and Waterfowl Partners Forum in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. Along with Schummer, co-principal investigators of the SUNY 4E—Network of Excellence in Energy, Environment, Education and Economics—grant are SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s James P. Gibbs, professor of invertebrate biology, and Jonathan Cohen, assistant professor of environmental and forest biology; Jacob N. Straub and Rachel E. Schultz, assistant professors in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Center for Earth and Environmental Science; Douglas A. Wilcox, Empire Innovation Professor of Wetland Science at SUNY Brockport; and Michael P. Lotito, professor of wildlife management and conservation science at SUNY Cobleskill.

Rose Throop, director of publications, was on a panel of printing experts presenting “Don’t Stop the Presses! SUNY Print Matters: Your Statewide Shared Printing Service” at the 2015 SUNYCUAD Educational Conference, June 3 to 5 in Rochester. Print Matters is a consortium of in-plant printers serving faculty and staff of the 64 SUNY institutions. The presentation highlighted broad shared-service offerings and progress updates on the Print Matters initiative. Other panel members included Catherine Chambers, director of print and mail services at Alfred State; James Kanous, manager of printing services at SUNY Brockport; Kirk Starczewski, director of publications at Empire State College; and Dan Wilson, director of campus services for SUNY Potsdam.

Danny Ziemann, the double bass instructor in the music department, won second prize ($1,000) in the jazz division of the International Society of Bassists double bass performance competition, held June 1 and 2 in conjunction with the bassists’ annual convention at Colorado State University. The panel of six judges included musical luminaries Rufus Reid and Buster Williams. Ziemann also did a presentation of his new bass method book, “The Low Down,” for more than 50 bassists and educators at the convention.

In Memoriam

Daniel P. Barach, 84, emeritus professor of music, died May 10 at his home in Oswego.

George D. O’Connell, 88, emeritus professor of art, died May 11 in the Manor at Seneca Hill.

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