Campus Update

Thu Mar 06, 2014
College signs national pact to boost study-abroad participation

SUNY Oswego has signed on with the newly launched Generation Study Abroad program, agreeing to increase the college’s participation in study abroad opportunities to 20 percent of undergraduates—1 in 5—by 2019.

Oswego representatives meet with staff at Democratic Republic of Congo's Medical Center MwindaCiting the challenges of rapid globalization, the Institute of International Education announced the five-year Generation Study Abroad in early March. Its ambitious goal: bringing leaders in education, business and government together to double study-abroad participation nationally, reaching 600,000 students by the end of the decade.

Oswego joined 150 higher education institutions in 41 states as early partners in the effort, including large universities such as Cornell, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Purdue, as well as four other SUNY colleges and universities.

Joshua McKeown, Oswego’s director of international education and programs, said the help of new short-term options for study-travel, the Global Laboratory summer-research program and other initiatives have increased participation in the last five years to 15 percent of the college’s undergraduates from about 5 percent, and Oswego is poised to make the next move upward.

“I think this is the perfect time to take on this challenge,” McKeown said. “As an institution we have moved deliberately and strategically towards expanding education abroad over the past decade, embedding it well into the curriculum of all four schools and colleges, creating more experiential programs abroad, research and service opportunities, and ways for our faculty to teach and lead students abroad in every discipline where there is interest. This represents a further growth opportunity that we are ready for as a campus.”

The college has sent students to 40 countries the past seven years, from Argentina to United Kingdom, from Mexico to China.

“We recently made the top 10 list nationally (IIE’s Open Doors report) for master’s level study abroad enrollments, regularly are at or near the top rank for SUNY comprehensive college study abroad enrollments, and were cited by the Middle States reaccreditation team for our international programs,” McKeown said.

International skills

IIE found in its annual study conducted with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that with 295,000 students in credit and non-credit programs abroad in 2011-12, less than 10 percent of U.S. college students participate.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” said Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

Through partnerships with governments—early signatories included France, the German Academic Exchange Service and Norway’s Centre for International Cooperation in Education, as well as the U.S. State Department—and donors in business and community organizations, IIE hopes to overcome financial and other barriers to broader participation of undergraduates in study-abroad initiatives.

McKeown said he believes the culture shift in study abroad—from expensive option to achievable necessity—is well under way at Oswego. The key to achieving the Generation Study Abroad goal, he said, has been support from across campus and from top administrators for a wide range of sustainable study-travel programs.

“I know with the right commitment to creative programming, student financial assistance and incentives for faculty involvement, we can reach that 20 percent participation threshold,” he said. “My counterparts at other institutions are sometimes envious of the great support my office receives from, and relationship we have with, senior leadership. It really creates the right climate for growth, innovation and experimentation, reasonable risk-taking and for us as an institution to be committed more than ever to being a genuinely internationalized campus.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Research and travel—The summertime Global Laboratory is one way SUNY Oswego is increasing the number of students who travel overseas as part of their education. Here, biological sciences faculty member Webe Kadima, third from left, meets with staff members at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Medical Center Mwinda and students, including three from SUNY Oswego: Jesse Vanucchi, second from left; Amanda Shedd, standing second from right; and Yvaline Dorce, seated right.

Tue Feb 25, 2014
Sigma Xi recognized for excellence

The SUNY Oswego Chapter of Sigma Xi was named a Sigma Xi Chapter Program of Excellence for 2013, recognition bestowed on the top 2 or 3 percent of Sigma Xi chapters nationally.

Mon Feb 24, 2014
Acting Company's visit complements classroom efforts

This week’s residency and performances by the Acting Company—William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” tonight and Sir Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” Thursday in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre—aim to tie into and inspire classes for writers, actors, artists, future scientists and others.

Artswego Director John Shaffer said he has been pleased that so many professors have taken him up on offers to incorporate the play and speaking opportunities from members of the renowned troupe into their classes and syllabi.

Robert Moore discusses his “Transformations” sophomore seminar.

Courses that will benefit from in-class visits or seeing the performances include Robert Moore’s sophomore English seminar “Transformations,” inspired by the productions coming to Oswego, and three taught by Patrick Murphy, an English professor who is also the college’s resident Shakespearean scholar—“Shakespeare: An Introduction,” “Literature and Psychology” and “Shakespeare: Interpretative Theories.”

But the productions also will help Craig DeLancey and his “Introduction to Philosophy” students examine existential issues, provide opportunities for graphic design students to interpret and communicate the productions, show theatre majors the richness of the craft, potentially inspire creative writing students and engage some students of Anne Caraley of the physics department.

“Physicists need to be broadly educated in college because they’ll only get more narrow in their studies in the future,” Caraley said of why she wants her students to enjoy the performances. “Better expose them to everything while we can.”

Moore, an English professor and director of the college Honors Program, created “Transformations” as a course that examines literary works and how they are adapted and transformed—with “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” as primary examples.

“A play is meant to be performed . . . whereas when you’re reading a poem or a short story or something, it’s basically your interaction with the text. You’re really interacting with the writer,” Moore said.

“But when you see a performance, you have not just the words that the playwright created, but you have the intervention of the director, you have actors interpreting the roles, you have lighting, sets, costumes, all that contributes to your experience,” Moore explained. “You will be amazed at how what is difficult to understand when you’re reading in early-modern English in a text, how clear it becomes when you have actors who are embodying this language.”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” is “both a profound and very funny play,” Moore said. “When you see actors doing it, that humor becomes lots more evident.”

Patrick Murphy explains the nuances and timeless nature of “Hamlet,” and how “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” relates to it.

Murphy said one reason “Hamlet” has remained popular over the centuries is how it expertly tackles timeless issues including certainty and uncertainty in well-crafted and compelling storytelling.

Hamlet’s actions, especially toward his love Ophelia, are full of seeming contradictions sometimes left to readers to interpret. “The text of ‘Hamlet’ is constantly wavering between showing and telling,” Murphy explained.

“Stoppard’s ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ is a comic telling of a certain aspect of ‘Hamlet’: that we all live under a death sentence,” Murphy said. “In between the beginning of the sentence and the final period where we all lose our heads, so to speak, what we find is that there’s a lot of room for humor in between.”

Craig DeLancey ponders Shakespeare, Stoppard and existentialism.

The introductory philosophy class DeLancey teaches addresses such questions as “does human life have any purpose?” and “does the universe have any purpose or order?”

The world of Shakespeare tends to portray a sense of order and purpose, he noted. “Obviously something’s rotten in Denmark, things have gone wrong, but the very fact that that they can go wrong shows that there can be a right to it all,” DeLancey said.

“And ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ portrays arguably a world in which the protagonists are unable to find any order,” DeLancey said. “Even in the opening scene it seems they can’t find a reliable disorder. And yet they’re in the same world it seems, right? The same events are surrounding them. They’re talking to each other.”

Similarly, many of us co-exist with people who think the world has more or less purpose, said DeLancey, and these plays reflect how we try to live with others who may have different views of the world. “Nothing is quite like theatre for engaging us and making us sympathetically feel . . . the import of those questions,” DeLancey added.

Tickets for each Acting Company performance in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre are $18, or $25 for both plays. Student tickets for college or secondary school students cost $5 per performance. Tickets are available at any SUNY Oswego box office, online at or by calling 315-312-2141.

Mon Feb 24, 2014

Since Feb. 10, University Police have investigated several cases of vandalism, theft and marijuana use, and made 11 arrests.


A 21-year-old Onondaga Hall resident was charged with third-degree assault. He is accused to beating up another student during an argument while exiting the “D” bus. The victim was transported to Upstate Medical University Hospital with a concussion and broken nose.

A 25-year-old Brewerton man was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors, and refusal to take breath test and driving with sub-standard lights, both infractions. A 22-year-old West Monroe man who was in the vehicle was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
Both are accused of possessing cocaine.

A 21-year-old commuter student was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more, both misdemeanors, and refusal to take breath test, failure to use signal, unsafe left turn and moving from lane unsafely, all infractions.

An 18-year-old Rochester man was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors, and speeding, an infraction. When officers pulled him over, they said they noticed an odor of marijuana. They said they discovered more than 25 grams of marijuana and Rice Crispies treats made from marijuana in his vehicle as well as a small wooden billy club.

An 18-year-old Riggs Hall resident was charged with second-degree criminal trespass. As a prank, police said, he entered another resident’s room without permission while she was sleeping and put sticky notes all over the room.

An 18-year-old Oneida Hall resident was charged with third-degree criminal tampering. He is accused of breaking an exit sign in Oneida Hall.

A 22-year-old Oswego man was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, a misdemeanor, and following too close, an infraction.


Three teenage students were charged with possessing marijuana: one Cayuga Hall resident and two Seneca Hall residents.

Mon Feb 24, 2014
International scholar Hyeji Kim plans to help women, children

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Hyeji Kim, a senior majoring in global and international studies, with minors in women’s studies and in peace and conflict studies. She transferred here under terms of SUNY Oswego’s agreement with Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, has been very active on campus and is on track to graduate in December.

Hyeji KimQ. Where did you grow up?
My hometown is in Busan, South Korea, very southern part. It used to be called Pusan. It is South Korea’s second largest city. It is on the ocean and has a beautiful beach.

Q. How did you and other South Korean students adapt to Oswego life??
I was first president of Korean Oswego Student Association, KOSA, with help of friends and Dr. TJ (Taejin Jung of communication studies). When I first came here, there were only eight students from South Korea on SUNY Oswego campus. There were more than 40 students from program after one year. I felt the necessary organization to give us a voice here and also with American students, to share our culture.

Q. What kinds of things has KOSA done?
We had a lot of programs from our association. Do you remember “Gangnam Style”—Psy? We had a (Psy) flash mob between Campus Center and Cooper. And in ALANA fashion show we had a K-pop dance performance. People loved it, so we were invited to a charity party for the dance performance. We also offer a Korean language class that is 1-on-1 tutor system. So Korean students have more opportunity to speak out in English with American students, and American students can learn Korean language.

Q. Have you made many American friends at Oswego?
Yeah, I did. (Big smile.) They are really open-minded here, especially Hart Hall, which is an international building. And the students in Hart Hall helped me to be open-minded to American students and helped me to be able to easily speak out and make new friends on campus. It would have been hard to make friends in America if I wasn’t prepared for English. Hankuk program helped me a lot to be prepared for that, too.

Q.  What do you think of your professors at SUNY Oswego?
They are really, really nice, really helpful. They don’t mind put extra time for help. I need more help, comparing to American students, because English is my second language. I really appreciate that. I can really ask questions and get answers. All the professors know my name, they know all the students’ names, because they are interested in their students.

Q. What has been your favorite course at SUNY Oswego?
It’s really hard to pick out one ... One is “International Perspectives on Women.” It helped me to narrow down that I want to work for (women). I learned the reality of the women in this world, like dowry or honor killing, that’s still going on in some parts of Asia. I also liked (the course) “Human Trafficking”—I went to India over winter break. I want to work to block that and on empowerment for women.

Q. We understand education is a high priority in South Korea.
Education is very important in my country. In the past, they didn’t push girls to go to high school. Now they do. There are two kinds of high schools in South Korea, one for studying and going to a university and the other is for getting a job right after high school. I went to study. It is really competitive.

Q.  What was high school like?
We need to decide our major before we apply for the university. Medical school starts from undergraduate years. I had to be the best in my school to go to medical school. (So) I started to think about other career that I can work for people who are in need of help like my father (a doctor) does. Students in high school study very hard. We go to the school at 7:30 in the morning and come out at 11 in the night.

Q. What kinds of experiences have led you to want to help others?
Every Sunday after church—I’m Christian—my father gave free treatment to foreign workers. I went to help my father when I was young. That was the first time I started to meet foreigners. I also went to the Philippines two summers in high school as a medical missionary. In the capital, I was shocked. Rich is richer, poor is poorer. I worked with poor children. I told myself, “I need to get a job to help people, not only for me.” I have gone to Cambodia in two summers. I educated children how to wash themselves and brush their teeth.

Q. How did you decide to go to Hankuk University?
Since I was really young, even in elementary school, I wanted to study abroad. But my parents were not ready (then) to send me to another country. After I took the SAT, I was looking for a university in America. It was really a miracle—they made a program between Hankuk University and SUNY Oswego and several other SUNY colleges.  It was really competitive.

Q. What do you want to do in the future?
I want to enter international organizations—I’m starting to narrow down what field I want to work for. I went to India with my “Human Trafficking” class. I met girls who are mistreated and forced (into sex work). I want to work for children and women who are minorities in their society. I’m pretty sure I want to work in the UN or NGO (nongovernmental organization).

Q. What are your other interests?
I like College Choir. I’m doing that every semester. I think it’s really helped my pronunciation. They require clear pronunciation when you’re singing for the audience. Also, the meetings at KOSA help me to have time with my Korean friends and feel like home.

Q. Can you tell us about your mother and any siblings?
I have a younger brother, 17, and younger sister, only 9. My mom didn’t work when I was young, but my father wanted her to work now so she can make her own money and feels empowered, so she manages art gallery now—it’s half art gallery and half cafe.

Mon Feb 24, 2014

Richard Cocks of the philosophy department is the author of two recent online articles. Both draw on the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, specifically, his book “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.” Cocks’ “Taleb, Mystery and Conservatism” appeared in The Brussels Journal. His “Damage Done: Philosophy, Medicine, and the Preventable Harm We Do” appeared at People of Shambhala. Both articles appeal to Taleb’s thoughts about the limitations of theory. One of his key concepts is summed up in a quotation from Nietzsche: “What is unintelligible is not necessarily unintelligent.” In other words, just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it isn’t true or doesn’t exist, Cocks said.

Shashi Kanbur, professor of physics and earth sciences, conducted a webinar on “The SUNY Oswego NSF S-STEM/STEP Bridge Camp: An Assessment Strategy” on Feb. 20. The camp is designed to help STEM students navigate through their first-semester math and chemistry courses, which have typically been bottlenecks and problem courses for them. He described the development of the camp, logistical and administrative issues, and analysis of the results using both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Student broadcasters Shaune Killough, Joseph Salvatore and Daniel FrohmOswego students, from left, Shaune Killough, Joseph Salvatore and Daniel Frohm, pictured, tied for third in the instructional-educational video category of the national Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts. The writing, videography and production team of broadcasting majors shot some scenes from Onondaga County’s Air 1 helicopter for their video made under contract with the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium. The consortium is working to modernize radio communication between emergency responders in Central New York. Through communication studies faculty member Marybeth Longo and a production company she helped form, Great Laker Communications at SUNY Oswego, the three set to work on the Motorola-sponsored $10,000 film explaining the need for reliable communications among the wide variety of first responders in the state. Nine counties in Central and Northern New York cooperate with the consortium’s project for an effective cross-agency mobile radio communications system for E-911, fire, law enforcement and other responders. The project had mentoring and assistance from Longo and from sound and lighting professionals. In the BEA competition’s category for radio hard news reporting, Patrick Malowski took honorable mention for a piece titled “Harlem Shake Translation Possibly Controversial.” The senior broadcasting and mass communication major put together his audio report as part of a multimedia package for a broadcast journalism course. Malowski seized on the opening line of Baauer’s version of “Harlem Shake” that, translated from Spanish, says, “with the terrorists.” The resulting news package—with interviews from students, a professor of Spanish and others—was published on the broadcast journalism students’ blog, Oswego News. Malowski is spending this semester interning in the newsroom at WOIO, the CBS affiliate in Cleveland. The BEA festival, “one of the most competitive student media competitions in the country,” according to Michael Riecke of the communication studies faculty, drew hundreds of student entries in 38 categories and more in categories for faculty. Judging focused on professionalism, the use of aesthetic and creative elements, structure and timing, production values, technical merit and overall contributions to the discipline.

Ice Effects performingThe Ice Effects, pictured, the college’s synchronized figure skating team, competed at the Eastern Synchronized Figure Skating Competition on Feb. 1 in Hershey, Pa., and advanced to the nationals in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 17 skaters leave today with their coaches Melissa Manwaring and Marie Driscoll of the college’s staff. They will compete March 1 against 12 other collegiate division teams from across the country. The Ice Effects will be the only team from New York. Oswego is the only SUNY institution with a team. The Ice Effects won a gold medal at the recent Empire State Games in Lake Placid. The team is currently ranked 10th in the nation. The Ice Effects finished 11th at the nationals last year. They also went to the nationals in 2010 and 2009. (Photo by Paul Harbour)

Roberta Schnorr, professor in curriculum and instruction, on Feb. 8 received the Celebrate Literacy award from the Central New York Reading Council. She was selected for the award because of her commitment to preparing teachers to provide students with disabilities the rich and effective literacy instructional opportunities they deserve and because of her service and collaboration with the council over the years, as well as her published contributions to the field. Schnorr, Amanda Fenlon of the curriculum and instruction department, and 17 students in the master of science in education special education program attended CNYRC’s February conference.

K. Brad Wray, professor of philosophy, published a paper, “Specialization in Philosophy: A Preliminary Study,” in the March issue of the journal Scientometrics.

In Memoriam

Garrick Utley, 74, senior fellow and professor of broadcasting and journalism, died Thursday night, Feb. 20, at his home in New York City after a battle with cancer.

Fri Feb 21, 2014
Trustees schedule hearing

The board of trustees of the State University of New York will hold a public hearing March 19 in conjunction with the March board of trustees meeting in Albany. It will be held at 3 p.m. in the Front Courtroom at the State University Plaza, 353 Broadway.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony and statements from concerned individuals about university issues.

People wishing to present prepared testimony are asked to get a letter to SUNY Board of Trustees, State University Plaza, T-11, Albany, New York 12246, or email, no later than noon Friday, March 14. The communication should identify the subject of testimony and provide a telephone number and an address. Such testimony will be limited to five minutes, and the speakers are asked to provide seven copies of their written testimony on the day of the hearing.

People who wish to make extemporaneous comments of no more than three minutes are asked to file their names with the hearing registration officer on the day of the hearing.

Fri Feb 21, 2014
Candidates for December degrees must apply to graduate

Undergraduate students who plan to graduate in December and have not yet filed online to graduate should do so no later than Tuesday, April 1.

Seniors who have already filed to graduate also need to complete their senior check forms, which their advisers will have. Senior check forms for December graduates are due May 1.

For more information, see

Thu Feb 20, 2014
Best-selling author of young-adult books to keynote Quest

Quest has chosen Bruce Coville, alumnus and famed author of books for children and young adults, as keynote speaker for the daylong celebration of scholarly and creative pursuits.

The announcement comes as the deadline—Wednesday, March 12—approaches for students and faculty to register their intent to make Quest presentations

Bruce CovilleCoville is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Campus Center auditorium.

A 1973 alumnus and author of more than 100 books in such series as “The Unicorn Chronicles” and “Sixth Grade Alien,” Coville will set an inspiring tone, said this year’s Quest coordinator, Norm Weiner, an emeritus professor of sociology and past director of the Honors Program.

“I was trying to find a keynote speaker students may have heard of and be interested in hearing,” Weiner said. “Bruce said, ‘This is great—I’d love to do it.’ He’s very excited and so am I.”

Generous to SUNY Oswego with his time over the years, Coville told graduates at the college’s December 2011 Commencement to hang onto “deepest, truest beliefs” in searching for their life’s work: “Do as you love,” he prescribed. As Coville and his wife, illustrator Katherine Dietz, struggled to sell books in the 1970s and early ‘80s, he lived by those words.

Long before his success with such international best-sellers as “My Teacher Is an Alien,” Coville worked many jobs. A former elementary school teacher—as well as former “toymaker, gravedigger, cookware salesman and assembly line worker,” as he likes to say—Coville publicly credits his sixth-grade teacher, Florence Crandall, and a professor at SUNY Oswego, the late Helen Buckley Simkiewicz, with encouraging his love of writing.

Creative immersion

Weiner said Coville’s education and its connection to the creative life is a key ingredient that will energize students at Quest.

“I think as someone immersed in creative activities, Bruce brings a lifetime of experience relevant to students,” Weiner said. “I think he can speak personally and professionally about taking risks, being creative and about the place of creativity in every pursuit, from sciences to the humanities.”

Besides writing books, Coville has authored four musicals, formed Syracuse audiobooks publishing company Full Cast Audio and appeared frequently at schools around Central New York and elsewhere to pass along his love of reading and writing. His best-selling works of science fiction, fantasy, adventure and magic have appeared in more than a dozen languages and have sparked the imaginations of millions of children.

Along with Coville’s many literary awards, the Oswego Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998, and the State University of New York system awarded him an honorary doctor of letters degree in 2003.

Student encouragement

As Quest day and the March 12 deadline for registering presentations and exhibitions approach, Weiner encouraged faculty to work with the students they mentor to fill out the revised, easy-to-complete online registration form.

“All we need is an abstract,” Weiner said. “They (entrants) will have plenty of time to polish it. We are trying to kick-start people thinking about what’s possible for Quest.”

Weiner urged students to practice their presentations with faculty sponsors. “If faculty are supportive of the students and vet the quality, we will have a wonderful response,” he said.

Events at Quest, including Coville’s speech, are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Quest tone-setter —Best-selling author Bruce Coville, who has more than 18 million copies in print of his 103 books for children and young adults, will make the keynote speech for Quest at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Campus Center auditorium.

Thu Feb 20, 2014
Oswego to join SUNY Mascot Madness -- with a twist

For the first time this year, Oswego will join SUNY’s Mascot Madness … albeit with an entrant that is an iconic statue, not a mascot.

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