Campus Update

Mon Aug 25, 2014
Library awards $400 collections grants to faculty

Penfield Library awarded its Faculty Teaching and Research Collections Grants to 11 faculty members in April. The grants of $400 each support faculty members’ research interests or curriculum needs of the students in their courses.

This year’s Faculty Teaching and Research Collections Grants were awarded to Daria Bakina of the psychology department in the area of social cognition; Sandra Bargainnier of the health, promotion and wellness department in the areas of worksite health promotion and wellness, classroom assessment, and curriculum development and assessment; Charlotte Cartwright of the history department in the areas of medieval families, gender and political power; Ceylan Cizmeli of the psychology department in the areas of intimate partner violence and prenatal maternal stress on adverse birth outcomes; Fiona Coll of the English and creative writing department in the areas of 19th century literature, technology and culture; Craig Graci of the computer science department in the area of cognitive musicology; Christopher Harris of the computer science department in the area of human-computer interaction; Mark Kulikowski of the history department in the areas of Russian history, Cold War, Vietnam War and American foreign relations; David Lambie of the philosophy department in the areas of meta ethics, moral psychology and moral motivation; Tamara Sullivan of the counseling and psychological services department in the areas of professional practice in the schools and child and family mental health; and Georgina Whittingham of the modern languages and literatures department in the area of contemporary Spanish narrative.

The material purchased will enhance the Penfield collection in the chosen subject areas. Each title will receive a distinctive label with the faculty member’s name and department.

Faculty reading books purchased by grants.

New books—Eight of the 2014 faculty recipients of Faculty Teaching and Research Collections Grants look over books their awards have brought to Penfield Library.

Mon Aug 25, 2014

Since July 14, University Police have investigated several cases of theft and other incidents and made 19 arrests.

Life saved

On Saturday, July 26, the Oswego Harborfest 5K race came through campus. As
Officer Thomas Woodruff handled traffic, he noticed a runner down. Officer Woodruff immediately responded, as a cell phone caller contacted the 9-1-1 Center reporting a man was having a seizure.

Officers Evan Proulx and Daniel McCarthy arrived shortly thereafter. Officers determined that the man was not breathing and did not have a pulse. They administered two shocks from an Automated External Defibrillator, which all patrol vehicles carry. They also began CPR until Menter Ambulance, SUNY Oswego SAVAC Ambulance and the Oswego City Fire Department responded to the scene.

The man was stabilized and transported to Oswego Hospital. He was subsequently transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse where he received advanced cardiac care. He was released after 11 days in the hospital and is continuing to recover, he wrote to University Police.

Felony arrest

A 25-year-old Oswego man was charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, a class E felony, as well as driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more, both misdemeanors, and several infractions.


Officers charged two 18-year-old Cayuga Hall residents with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. They are accused of smoking marijuana in public and running from a police officer.

Motor vehicle misdemeanors

A 54-year-old Oswego man was charged with seven misdemeanors: driving while intoxicated, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, third-degree fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more and resisting arrest as well as several infractions.

A 55-year-old Washington, D.C., woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated and several infractions.

A 40-year-old Mount Pleasant, Texas, man, a 59-year-old Hannibal man, and a 19-year-old Onondaga Hall resident were each charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more and an infraction in separate incidents.

A 25-year-old Oswego man was charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and an infraction.

Police charged four men with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle: a 24-year-old Rochester man, who was also charge with several infractions; a 28-year-old Oswego man, who was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration; a 37-year-old Oswego man, who was also charged with infractions; and a 23-year-old Wolcott man, who was also charged with an infraction.

Police charged three people with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration: a 48-year-old Newark woman; a 44-year-old Fulton man; and a 21-year-old Oswego man, who was also charged with an infraction.


Police charged three men with possession of marijuana: a 24-year-old Watertown man; a 29-year-old Fair Haven man, who was also charged with soliciting; and an 18-year-old Johnson Hall resident.

Heroin antidote on hand

Oswego’s University Police Department has 25 naloxone kits to be used in the event of a heroin overdose on campus. Earlier this summer, the college registered through a state Department of Health program, allowing SUNY Oswego to receive the heroin antidote along with training for first responders, paid for by the Division of Criminal Justice Services. There was no cost to the college.

The college also qualified for the recently announced Attorney General’s program providing naloxone to SUNY colleges, but when it became apparent that those kits would not arrive in time for the start of the semester, college officials chose to go through the Department of Health/Division of Criminal Justice Services program instead, University Police Chief John Rossi said.

DCJS has collaborated with the Harm Reduction Coalition to provided trainings for law enforcement throughout the state. SUNY Oswego has 10 officers trained to use naloxone currently. Two Oswego students overdosed and died in their rooms last spring, one off campus and one on campus.

The college included a unit on heroin addiction in the summer orientation program for all new students and has several educational programs planned this semester, including a presentation next week.

Related story: Police chiefs reunite to recognize former top cop

Mon Aug 25, 2014
Oswego to play Utica College in Frozen Dome Classic

The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team will play in a historic tripleheader of games known as the “Frozen Dome Classic” Saturday, Nov. 22, at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome, hosted by the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Oswego will play a contest against Utica College that afternoon with the Crunch to follow in a game against the Utica Comets.

Also playing before those two games will be law enforcement agencies from both the Syracuse and Utica areas.

Purchasing a ticket will allow fans to see all the action that day. Sections of tickets have been blocked off for Oswego fans and students. The Division of Development and Alumni Relations is selling tickets for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college at Oswego Athletics will pass along information about student ticketing when details become available. Ticketmaster is selling general admission tickets.

“We are very thankful to the Syracuse Crunch and Mr. Dolgon for giving Oswego State the opportunity to partake in this historic event,” said Laker head coach Ed Gosek. “It will be a honor to be a part of this day and to have another classic battle with Utica College.”

The ice rink will be set up similarly to the Carrier Dome’s basketball configuration. Using this layout, the renowned Carrier Dome can seat more than 30,000 fans. Since 1983 the Dome has broken the NCAA’s men’s basketball on-campus attendance record 14 times, most recently when the Syracuse Orange hosted the Duke Blue Devils on Feb. 1 and 35,446 fans attended.

The Crunch and Comets will attempt to break the AHL’s single-game indoor attendance record that was set in 1997 as 20,672 fans watched Carolina beat Kentucky 5-4 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carlina. That is the fourth-largest regular season crowd to view an AHL game. Outdoor games take the first three spots, including the Crunch’s 2-1 win over Binghamton in 2010 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

“Four years ago the Syracuse Crunch staged the first outdoor game in American Hockey League history, attended by a record-setting crowd,” said Crunch owner Howard Dolgon. “On Nov. 22 we will once again make history by playing the first-ever professional hockey game in the iconic Carrier Dome, a facility that has hosted numerous major sporting and entertainment events. We greatly appreciate the partnership with Syracuse University and plan on doing everything we can to put on a first class show.”

Mon Aug 25, 2014
New faculty, staff talent infusion adds to campus

This year’s New Faculty and Staff Orientation saw a remarkably large and diverse group of newcomers bringing a variety of talents to campus.

The Academic Affairs Division hired 32 full-time tenure-track faculty members, two full-time librarians and 11 visiting assistant professors to provide an infusion into a robust faculty corps. Almost half the tenure-track faculty—16—come to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to address increased enrollment in STEM disciplines. (See related story on enrollment.)

This dovetails with a college priority to provide increased classroom resources when funding allows.

The professional staff supporting student success also saw a boost. Activities welcoming new faculty and staff last week invited 42 professional staff hired within the past year filling posts that help the college on its mission “to contribute to the common good by lighting the path to wisdom and empowering women and men to pursue meaningful lives as productive, responsible citizens.”

For brief bios and photos of new faculty and professional staff, visit

Mon Aug 25, 2014
Literary citizenship theme, 'Monk' creator to highlight series

A teacher and author nationally known for promoting “literary citizenship” will kick of the 2014 Living Writers Series at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in the Marano Campus Center auditorium.

Stephanie VandersliceIt’s no coincidence that Stephanie Vanderslice (pictured), a Huffington Post blogger on living a writer’s life as well as a former CASE U.S. Professor of the Year in Arkansas, will lead off the annual series speaking about ways writers can engage for the greater good, said organizer Donna Steiner of the English and creative writing faculty.

“Literary citizenship is answering the question, ‘What can I contribute, what can I give back, what can I offer to the community in which I live and write,” Steiner said. “What does the life of a writer mean?”

Vanderslice’s scholarly essays on the teaching of creative writing have been published nationally and internationally. She has published three books, including “Rethinking Creative Writing.” Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many journals and online publications.

Other speakers in the Living Writers Series—all 3 p.m. on selected Mondays in the Marano Campus Center auditorium—will include a poet, a fiction writer, an essayist and the screenwriter who created the television series “Monk.”

On Sept. 15, novelist Richard Duggin, founder and director of the University of Nebraska graduate writing program, will appear. Duggin’s novels include “The Music Box Treaty,” “Woman Refusing to Leave” and “Snipehunters.”

Penny Guisinger, the founding organizer of Iota: The Conference of Short Prose, will make a presentation on Oct. 20. Her essay “Coming Out” was named a finalist in last year’s Fourth Genre essay contest, and the essay “Provincetown” earned an editor’s choice award from Solstice.

William Trowbridge, whose latest poetry collection “Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems” was published this year, will speak on Nov. 10. The Kansas City resident was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012-14.

The creator of the acclaimed detective series “Monk,” Andy Breckman, will make a presentation about screenwriting on Nov. 3. His film credits include “Moving,” “Arthur 2,” “True Identity,” “Sgt. Bilko,” “Tourist Trap” and “Rat Race.”

The series will wrap up Nov. 17 with Michelle Garcia, a 2006 alumna of SUNY Oswego in journalism who minored in political science and women’s studies. The California resident is managing editor of Her rise from editorial assistant for The Advocate magazine was rapid, and Steiner said she believes Garcia’s talk on having a plan for what happens after college will resonate with students.

Fri Aug 22, 2014
Nearly 2,200 new students continue strong enrollment trends

The college’s second consecutive large fall class of new students—coupled with more returning students living on campus—are filling up SUNY Oswego’s 13 residence halls, including the 12-building Village complex.

Students at TorchlightAbout 1,420 freshmen and 750 transfer students arrived on campus over the last week and a half, a bit fewer than last year’s boom of just over 1,500 freshmen and nearly 800 transfers, according to Admissions Director Dan Griffin.

“We are right on track to where we need to be, given the big bump we had last fall,” Griffin said. “We knew we were not going to need to repeat that. We knew we just wouldn’t have the capacity.”

Residence Life and Housing dealt with move-ins of 1,872 new students, 2,390 returning students, 140 resident assistants and about 100 first-semester-only international students—at a time when the college aims to take Waterbury Hall offline for renovations by mid-December.

“Making this all work is like a puzzle,” said Rick Kolenda, director of Residence Life and Housing. “It’s not a normal, traditional year and last year wasn’t either.”

Yet Kolenda anticipates that normal shakeout gradually will ease the need to have 87 rooms with triple occupancy, lounges housing three or four students each and even 130 filled rooms at Waterbury.

Delicate balance

Griffin said the delicate balance of residence hall capacity and enrollment shifted this year due to the increase in the number of sophomores following last year’s expansive freshman class; about 200 more returning students in all, including juniors and seniors opting for the residential experience; and the admission of more students from father afield who can’t commute.

This year’s freshman class includes only 270 from Oswego and contiguous counties. “I go back as far as 1998, and this is by far the smallest class from Central New York,” Griffin said. “In 2001, the high-water mark, it was 526.”

Driving that trend are fewer college-bound high school students from Upstate New York due to birth rates and outmigration, and the college’s multipronged efforts to recruit Downstate, in other states and internationally.

“We attract students according to the programs we offer. Adding engineering is an example—we’re attracting different students into those programs,” Griffin said.

With a record 11,020 applications to consider, the Admissions Office has kept the acceptance rate at about 49 percent for the third consecutive year. The overall quality is “a tick better in terms of standardized scores and GPAs,” Griffin said, and the State University’s selectivity matrix shows a slightly stronger class as well.

STEM rising

As the number of freshmen choosing to enroll in the School of Education continues to dip—down 49 from last year to 122 this fall—freshmen enrollees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines are on the rise. At 407, the number is 30 more than last fall and 94 more than in 2012.

“It’s slowly evolving into a different college,” Griffin said.

The same can be said for the steady increase in students from diverse backgrounds, racially and socioeconomically. More than 1 in 4 freshmen—26 percent—are from underrepresented groups, while underrepresented transfers comprise 19 percent of the total.

“That sort of reflects what’s happening in the state—the whole state of New York is becoming more diverse,” Griffin said. “But I think it’s more than that. You have to be a welcoming place. I think if we weren’t a welcoming place where diversity is celebrated and embraced, people catch on to that pretty quickly.”

Among the many beneficiaries of Oswego’s scholarships, the college welcomed eight new Possibility Scholars, more than half from underrepresented groups; 14 STEM Scholars, about half underrepresented; and provided “Destination Oswego” scholarships to nearly 100 talented students from outside New York state, including international students. Some of the new arrivals earned multiple scholarships.

“Our scholarship program served us well in recruiting diverse students,” Griffin said.  “We can provide hope to some students and we can provide a real enticement to others.”

So, as Residence Life and Housing continues to work the puzzle pieces for fall 2014 room arrangements, Admissions has moved on to fall 2015 recruitment, taking steps such as hiring a full-time counselor who lives and works in New York City and its metro area.

“It’s really going to be essential for us, because that entire Metro New York area—including New Jersey, Long Island and in particular the five boroughs—with the increase in the numbers and the interest and the demand there, it became just practically untenable to send someone down there all the time, so to have someone right there is going to be great. We’re excited about that,” Griffin said.

PHOTO CAPTION: Lighting the way—Faculty, staff and students by the hundreds greet the class of 2018 in the 25th annual Welcoming Torchlight Ceremony last Friday at the Marano Campus Center arena. The college enrolled nearly 2,200 new students—about 1,420 freshmen and 750 transfers—for fall 2014.

Fri Aug 22, 2014
NIH grant to assist study of lead's effects on children

A grant from the National Institutes of Health will help chemistry faculty member Kestutis Bendinskas advance understanding of how low levels of lead affect children’s cardiovascular health.

Junior biochemistry major Ethan Walker prepares to load a slide with a blood sample as Kestas Bendinskas of the chemistry faculty observes.Thanks to $99,000 from NIH’s Environmental Health Sciences institute and collaboration with top experts in metabolomics at the University of Michigan, Bendinskas is working to develop skills and research to identify how environmental lead in very small amounts—from lead paint chips, piping, gasoline and other manmade sources—damages the circulatory systems of children.

The NIH supplemental grant spins off a $1.8 million study led by Syracuse University’s Brooks Gump, a professor of public health who formerly was in SUNY Oswego’s psychology department. Gump and his team are investigating racial and socioeconomic disparities in 300 children at high risk of exposure to environmental toxicants in three Syracuse ZIP codes, in cooperation with researchers from SUNY Oswego, SUNY Upstate Medical University, St. John’s University and other institutions.

In the current grant, Bendinskas, SUNY Oswego colleague James MacKenzie of the biological sciences department and three undergraduate students have sorted, preliminarily tested and stored samples from about 100 children in Gump’s Syracuse study group. The samples will be shipped and further tested and analyzed using advanced instruments available at the Michigan’s Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core, led by Bendinskas’ mentor for metabolomics, Charles Burant, the University of Michigan’s Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism.

“The current grant is a perfect fit for our institution, because we consistently promote undergraduate research,” Bendinskas said. Oswego undergraduates assisting with the study include Ethan Walker, Hannah Valentino and Sasha Padilla.

Walker, a junior biochemistry major, has been working with the Syracuse samples for a year at SUNY Oswego’s Mammalian Culture Room in the Shineman Center.

“It’s taught me valuable lab skills,” he said. “Proper pipetting, learning how to work with hazardous materials like blood. Learning proper machinery operation and handling everything with proper care.”

‘High quality samples’

The grant comes through the NIH Common Fund, which strategically supports the expansion of expertise in metabolomics—the systematic study of hundreds of substances the body needs or produces to sustain life—by promoting data sharing, collaborative training and mentoring, and development of next-generation technologies for testing and analysis.

Michigan’s Burant expressed enthusiasm for the project. “I am impressed with the way in which the team has systematically collected the samples, which should provide high quality samples that will have a very high likelihood of providing new insights into the biological actions of lead in this vulnerable population,” he said.

Bendinskas said the inspiration for incorporating metabolomics research in the larger study of the effects of low levels of lead in children came from conversations with Gilbert S. Omenn, director of Michigan’s Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, following a presentation Bendinskas made on the research at the 2013 congress of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies in St. Petersburg, Russia. Omenn has pledged the assistance of experts and bioinformatics tools in the analysis of lab research on the Syracuse samples.

“If and when we understand the mechanism, then hopefully we can affect the mechanism in such a way that it negates lead’s effects on the cardiovascular outcome,” Bendinskas said.

PHOTO CAPTION: Handle with care—Junior biochemistry major Ethan Walker prepares to load a slide with a blood sample as Kestas Bendinskas of the chemistry faculty observes. Bendinskas recently received NIH grant funds to do broader analysis of low levels of environmental lead in children’s blood streams, which can lead to cardiovascular damage.

Fri Aug 22, 2014
Architects for Sheldon Hall renewal win award from peers

Architects for 100-year-old Sheldon Hall’s 2011-13 exterior renewal recently earned a top design award for historic preservation from the American Institute of Architects New York State.

WASA/Studio A of New York City—working closely with SUNY Oswego’s Facilities Design and Construction office as well as State University Construction Fund representatives—won AIA New York’s Award of Excellence in Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation.

Sheldon HallThe two-year Sheldon Hall exterior renewal project put the college’s Old Main on course for its next century. The building remained fully occupied as contractors restored the cupola and replaced the four long-missing clocks, updated lighting with a new LED and linear-halide system, rebuilt the parapets, replaced the granite steps and iconic columns, put down a new copper roof, added fleece-reinforced waterproofing for gutters, replicated hundreds of terra cotta replacement moldings, repointed the brickwork and replaced damaged bricks, installed special-order historic replicas of the windows and much more.

“It is wonderful to have Sheldon Hall, which is so intertwined with the college’s identity, finally and fully restored,” President Deborah F. Stanley said
in the summer 2013 edition of Oswego, the college’s alumni magazine.

The AIA’s award letter to WASA/Studio A noted that architects from California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, D.C., served on the jury for the 2014 New York Design Awards.

All winning projects in the competition will be on display Oct. 9 to 11 at the AIA New York State Design Conference in Saratoga Springs. The award presentation will take place Oct. 10.

PHOTO CAPTION: Glory recaptured—Architects from WASA/Studio A in New York City recently earned the American Institute of Architects New York State Award of Excellence in Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation for work on Sheldon Hall’s exterior renewal. Now poised for its next century, the college’s Old Main gleams in this April 2013 photo by SUNY Oswego photographer Jim Russell.

Fri Aug 22, 2014
Campus, alumni to show colors, pride for Friday celebration

Green and Gold Day, a campus tradition tied to national College Colors Day, will feature a celebration and group photo at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Class of ‘86 Memorial outside the Marano Campus Center, directly across from Funnelle Hall.

Students, faculty and staff—as many as possible clad in Oswego green and gold—will gather for green and gold cookies and for a photo capturing the college’s spirit and pride.

The same day, Oswego alumni around the world will join the celebration by sharing photos of themselves in their green-and-gold gear via Facebook, and with an #oswegopride tag on Twitter and Instagram.

Organized by the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, Green and Gold Day is sponsored by Auxiliary Services, the Future Alumni Network and the Oswego Alumni Association, with support from The Fund for Oswego.

Fri Aug 22, 2014
Graduating seniors face deadlines

Seniors who expect to graduate in May 2015 should file to graduate by Oct. 1 for their names to be listed in the commencement program.

Those students who will complete requirements in August 2015 should file by Feb. 1.

Degree forms are filed online via myOswego or in the Registrar’s Office, Room 307 of Culkin Hall.

Next step: senior check forms

Senior check forms are mandatory for graduation. These forms are generated by filing to graduate and are sent to students’ advisers. Seniors who have filed to graduate should next meet with their advisers to do the senior check form. Senior check forms for students graduating in May are due back to the Registrar’s Office by Dec. 1. Senior check forms for students graduating in August are due back to the Registrar’s Office by April 1, 2015.

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