Campus Update

Thu Apr 30, 2015
May grads prepared for next stage

More than 1,700 SUNY Oswego students are eligible to take part in the three Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16, with many already set on their next stage of life.

Thu Apr 30, 2015
Chancellor's Award honors longtime electrical supervisor

John Ferlito, a 38-year college employee and, since 1998, the campus electrical supervisor, will receive the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

John FerlitoIn day-to-day operations and in preparation for special events, Ferlito’s hallmarks are customer service, dedication and personal follow-through, according to utilities manager John Bricker, who nominated his Facilities Maintenance and Operations colleague for the award.

“Customer service is his strong point,” Bricker wrote. “He makes sure everybody’s needs are met, by using a personal touch. He will dedicate whatever time is needed to make sure events go off without a problem. He makes himself available and talks to people to see if he can do anything more to help.”

Behind the scenes, the electrical crew’s role is often of critical importance. Long hours for Ferlito and his team led up to the big day Oct. 16 when Al Roker, the Weather Channel and NBC’s “Today” show set up in Marano Campus Center, followed by Charlie Rose, Roker and three other media stars at the Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, topped off at night by the campus-produced “Tomorrow Show,” featuring Steve Levy and college President Deborah F. Stanley in a public launch for the “With Passion and Purpose” $40 million fundraising campaign.

With primary responsibility for electrical distribution system maintenance on campus, Ferlito also has taken on many other tasks. One was improving the visibility of Pathfinder’s police station with new exterior lights. Then-Chief Cynthia Adam of University Police publicly thanked Ferlito and his crew for helping the station become a “beacon of the night.”

Ferlito also oversees the electrical system’s safety. “He insures that the electrical system on our campus is reliable and up to code,” Bricker said.

The medal for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service will be conferred on Ferlito at Oswego’s December commencement ceremony.

Thu Apr 30, 2015
Part-time teachers Cuccaro, Motto earn Provost's Award

Carlo Cuccaro in counseling and psychological services and Christine Motto of English and creative writing are 2015 recipients of the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Part-Time Faculty.

Carlo Cuccaro

Carlo CuccaroIn a letter recommending Cuccaro, Michael LeBlanc, chair of counseling and psychological services in the School of Education, said the longtime school psychologist at Lanigan Elementary School in Fulton “embodies the ideals” of this honor.

“His teaching is excellent and well received, his use of advanced technology and creative teaching techniques surpasses many of our full-time faculty, and he is well respected by both students and faculty as demonstrated by his evaluations and service to the CPS Department of SUNY Oswego,” LeBlanc wrote.

An adjunct instructor here for 20 years, Cuccaro earned both a master’s degree and a certificate of advanced studies in counseling and psychological services at Oswego. He has taught “Educational Handicapping Conditions and Learning Disabilities,” “Foundations of Educational and Psychological Appraisal,” “Research Methods for Classroom Teachers,” “Professional Problems in School Psychology,” and numerous others both inside and outside his department.

“I love teaching,” Cuccaro wrote in a statement of his teaching philosophy. “I feel energized trying to engage a group of people in a meaningful way over a given topic. I thrive on the laughter, head nods and smiles of students.”

When he first became a teacher, Cuccaro developed a “do not do” list that served as the foundation for his career as an instructor, including do not test on things that are never discussed in class, do not stand behind a podium for the entire class and do not allow students to totally “check out” in class.

Cuccaro wrote that he has supplemented his early list with a set of practices and beliefs to guide his teaching. “I feel an immense responsibility to be prepared, respectful, engaging, professional and knowledgeable,” he said. “Ultimately, I want to challenge students to think about their own learning far beyond the grade they earn in class.”

The nomination noted Cuccaro connects very well with students, who routinely give him among the highest possible evaluation scores and praise. “He is always concerned with his students’ perception of their learning and competence,” student Megan Furman wrote in a supporting letter. “If his students doubt themselves, he is willing to support them in any way and provide opportunities to work on their skills.”

Author of several research articles in peer-reviewed journals, Cuccaro received the 2004 Frank Plumeau School Psychologist of the Year Award from the New York Association of School Psychologists.

Christine Motto

Christine MottoDirector of creative writing Leigh Wilson said Motto, a part-time faculty member since 1999, “has contributed in countless ways” to the success of students, faculty and the writing program.

“Anyone passing Professor Motto’s office or classrooms can hear the buzz of student discussion, often punctuated by laughter—she distributes joy to her students as much as she distributes the self-discipline and skills young writers need,” Wilson wrote in nominating Motto for the teaching-excellence award.

Motto, a 1989 alumna of what was then the English/writing arts program at SUNY Oswego, also has taught poetry writing, composition and courses with a service learning component, as well as participating in the summer intensive English program. She pursues a writing career—including fiction and poetry publications in national journals and a novel and poetry collection among current submissions to publishers—and has done readings around the region.

Students such as senior creative writing major Ryan Greenfield, who submitted an additional letter of nomination, respond to Motto’s teaching style. “Laying the foundations of skills, Professor Motto works with her students to develop strength in their abilities,” Greenfield wrote. “She uses humorous anecdotes to create a fun and comfortable learning environment for all.”

In an indication of the rigor of her classes, another student wrote in an end-of-semester evaluation, “I honestly loved the class. We had a great class dynamic and I always enjoyed coming to class. Not a class for the faint of heart.”

Motto, in a statement of teaching philosophy, said she starts each semester with a quote from Roald Dahl that the essence of good writing is rewriting. “Overall, I strive to find a common ground where the students and I can begin, and a common vision that invites students to challenge themselves and me,” she wrote. Her objective, she wrote, is “to teach students not to settle for mediocrity, and ultimately gain confidence to communicate effectively in a competitive world.”

A creative-writing judge the past two years for the GENIUS Olympiad, Motto also has participated frequently as an honors thesis adviser at Oswego. She has a master of fine arts degree from George Mason University and has taught there and at American University, Syracuse University, Jefferson Community College and Cayuga Community College.

Wed Apr 29, 2015
SUNY honors Michaelis, Morris for professional service

Andrew Michaelis, systems administrator and Oracle database administrator, and Gary Morris, director of career services, are recipients of the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Andrew Michaelis

Andrew MichaelisMichaelis, a 1991 alumnus and 23-year college employee, received praise from supporters at Oswego and across SUNY as a technological visionary, an admired and emulated innovator, ingenious problem-solver and selfless collaborator.

Stanley, in a letter forwarding his award nomination, called Michaelis “a futuristic thinker” who “maintains a fierce commitment to keeping our campus ahead of technological changes.”

Michaelis’ supporters said his job titles don’t do credit to all that he has taken on and accomplished, among them efforts that have increased the efficient use of databases and other technological tools, saved countless hours of time for students, faculty and staff and reduced the use of paper.  He has become a leader in SUNY in solving complex data access, security and interface problems, and higher education software vendors have moved to adopt his solutions.

Michaelis’ many contributions include his role in developing myDegree, a mobile app to provide students with information on their progress toward a degree in four years under terms of the Oswego Guarantee; a secure system for instant creation of email and computer accounts for new students and faculty; code that taps the college’s Ellucian Banner student information system and other databases to automate registration under the First Choice course-selection program for freshmen; in-house solutions to allow professors to view students’ photos and key documents in the MyOswego course registration and management system; and a first-in-SUNY method to apply Single Sign-On user authentication to Banner.

“Inside the Administrative Technology team that Andy is part of, he is recognized as a leader and mentor,” wrote Sean Moriarty, the college’s chief technology officer. “When there are problems, Andy works diligently to ensure that students have access to (mission-critical systems) as quickly as possible, regardless of the time of the issue. But his true value is that his vision creates a roadmap of what needs to be accomplished now to implement tomorrow’s solutions.”

Michael B. Notarius, chief information officer for SUNY’s Information Technology Exchange Center, wrote that he has long worked collaboratively with Michaelis, most notably on the SUNY-wide Identity Management initiative critical to SUNY Federated Services and the Open SUNY venture. “Andy was the first to share his expertise on Identity Management with integration to the Banner student information system,” Notarius wrote.

In 2014, Michaelis was one of the first six members to receive the Student Information and Campus Administrative Systems organization’s Partner Award for Outstanding Service. In addition to his SUNY Oswego computer science degree, he has numerous systems and database certifications and has made several presentations at SUNY-wide conferences.

Gary Morris

Gary MorrisIn a letter forwarding Morris’ award nomination to SUNY, President Deborah F. Stanley lauded innovations that have advanced Career Services’ reach and effectiveness, including the annual Health Care Conference, his longstanding commitment to globalization efforts and a multifaceted approach to gathering first-destination data on the college’s graduates.

“Gary has moved our campus forward in several ways,” the president wrote. “He routinely masters cutting-edge technology, staying abreast of new technological advances and using them strategically to enhance his department’s program and service delivery. He is well-known on campus as a collaborator, regularly bringing together faculty and staff to engage in discussions that ultimately benefit our students and overall campus community.”

Morris, a 1988 Oswego alumnus, a 19-year employee here and the career services director since 2011, oversees career and major exploration, career development, senior transition and alumni support. A summary of his own career for the SUNY award notes he “has worked tirelessly to integrate career planning into classroom experiences through activities such as curricular infusion, classroom presentations and demonstrations.”

Among his innovations, Morris has created or coordinated NYC Career Connections, Backpack to Briefcase, the Etiquette Dinner, Online Professionalism and Sophomore Year Experience. He introduced such technological tools as Optimal Resume and Candid Career. School of Business Dean Richard Skolnik praised Morris for bringing recruiters and faculty together, developing “strong ties with numerous firms.”

Kathleen S. Evans, assistant vice president of student affairs, wrote in a letter of support, “He is consistently a very high performer, achieving extraordinary results in all projects and initiatives with which he is affiliated.” Morris initiated a three-part program to reverse declines in graduate survey responses—#Ozmystory, LinkedIn Photo Booth and Digital Dirt Squad—leveraging social media to reach graduates and current students and achieving a 65 percent response rate. The SUNY average is 40 percent, she wrote.

Morris, who has a master’s in education from Kent State University, has held leadership positions with the Central New York, SUNY and regional career development organizations. SUNY colleagues have recognized him with numerous awards, including best-in-SUNY honors for his first-destination graduate survey strategy, the sophomore-success initiative and the Backpack to Briefcase networking and workshops conference. His achievements extend beyond his duties to student engagement: He co-led an Oswego Going Global course that ended with scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro and headed a humanitarian mission to El Salvador.

Mon Apr 20, 2015

Since April 6, University Police have investigated several cases of theft and vandalism and made 14 arrests.


The Oswego County Drug Task force, Oswego city police and SUNY Oswego police arrested a 20-year-old Oneida Hall resident and charged him with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, cocaine.


A 19-year-old Fairport man was charged with third-degree criminal trespass in Onondaga Hall and seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance, concentrated marijuana oil (THC). He was a former SUNY Oswego student who received a persona non-grata letter that he could no longer be in Onondaga Hall.

Motor vehicle misdemeanors

A 26-year-old Oswego man was charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, both misdemeanors, and driving with an open container of alcohol, possession of marijuana, both violations, plus infractions.

A 21-year-old commuter student was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs, and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors, refusing field sobriety test, a violation, plus infractions.

A 22-year-old commuter student was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated DWI, both misdemeanors, refusing field sobriety test, a violation, plus infractions.

A 47-year-old Webster man was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana and infractions.

A 19-year-old Moreland Hall resident was charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and a violation.

A 25-year-old commuter student was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, and driving with no or expired insurance, a violation, and an infraction.

A 23-year-old Rochester man was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, driving with a suspended registration and no seat belt, all misdemeanors, and possession of marijuana.

Three people were charged with driving with a suspended registration: a 20-year-old Onondaga Hall resident, a 25-year-old Oswego man and a 47-year-old Syracuse man.


A 21-year-old commuter student was charged with disorderly conduct. University Police received a report of an intoxicated person who would not leave Seneca Hall. Officers arrived and escorted him outside where he urinated in front of the officers.

An 18-year-old Johnson Hall resident was charged with possession of marijuana.

Mon Apr 20, 2015
Oswego again recognized as 'green college'

Oswego is designated among the nation’s top “green colleges” again this year, Princeton Review announced in the run-up to Earth Day today.

The Princeton Review college-ranking service recognized SUNY Oswego as one of the world’s 353 most environmentally responsible colleges in the sixth annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges.”

A charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Oswego offers an academic program in sustainability studies and has designed all new facilities since 2005 to meet at least the silver rating of the U.S. Green Building Council standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The college’s residential complex of buildings known as the Village achieved LEED Gold certification. The new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation and Rice Creek Field Station facility are designed to a comparable standard.

The guide notes the presence on campus of facilities for bicycle commuters (bike storage, showers and lockers) and campus shuttle and car sharing services. It adds that Oswego has a formal sustainability committee, a sustainability office, a waste diversion rate of 19 percent and spends 13 percent of the college’s food budget on locally grown or organic products.

The Princeton Review selected colleges based on a survey conducted in 2013-14 of 861 four-year colleges to measure the schools’ commitment to the environment and to sustainability. The survey included questions on course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

Based on survey responses, the Princeton Review gave colleges “green rating” scores from 60 to 99. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with green rating scores of 83 or higher made it into the guide to green colleges. Oswego scored 92 of the possible total of 99.

Rob Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher, noted that the survey findings indicate significant interest among college applicants in attending environmentally responsible colleges. “Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our 2015 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” he said.

The free 218-page guide can be downloaded at

Mon Apr 20, 2015

Emeritus professor of political science Bruce Altschuler will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the political science department of the CUNY Graduate Center. The award will be presented at a ceremony on May 7. The award honors a graduate “who in their work and achievements, brought recognition to CUNY, our program and faculty.”

Pamela Caraccioli, deputy to the president for external partnership and economic development and Carolina Ilie, associate professor of physics, participated in the workshop “The Power of Women in STEM: Opportunities Past, Present and Future,” which took place April 9 at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. The MedTech Association and WISE Women’s Business Center co-founded the event; SUNY Oswego is a member of MedTech.

Shannon Cilento, a senior majoring in anthropology and global and international studies with a minor in museum studies, was selected as one of the top three student historians to make presentations at the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium last week. She presented her paper “From Rebels to Patriots: Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and the Involvement of Oswego in the War of 1812.” Currently an intern at Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego, she plans to attend Cornell University to pursue a master’s degree in historic preservation planning. The other two top student presenters at the Oswego symposium were graduate students at SUNY Albany and the University of North Georgia.

Matthew Dykas, associate professor and chair of psychology, received a $5,500 grant from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation for “Circle of Security Parenting,” a community program that will partner with Oswego County Opportunities to offer attachment-based parenting classes to a dozen parents of children from infant to age 4 in the county. Craig Gilkey of Residence Life and Housing and Jahleh Mohammadi, both of whom have master’s degrees in mental health counseling from SUNY Oswego, will conduct classes this spring and summer for eight weeks for two groups of six parents each, according to Dykas’ grant proposal. Videos licensed from Circle of Security International will focus the classes on issues in infants’ and children’s need for deep and enduring emotional bonds, how parents can respond sensitively to those needs and how they can become the safe haven their children can return to throughout adolescence and into adulthood. The ultimate goal is to reduce instances of child maltreatment in Oswego County, according to the proposal.

Students at honors conferenceEight honors students made presentations at the 2015 Northeast Regional Honors Council annual conference, held April 9 to 12 in Gettysburg, with the theme “Battlefields of Change.” Victoria Love, Carson Metcalf and Justine Polonski participated in a roundtable on sustaining honors teaching and learning. Their presentation was “Common Obstacles Aided by Seminar Leaders.” In a second roundtable with the same theme, Timothy Bowman and Serena Testone presented “Battling Change: From Nothing to an Honors Student Advisory Board.” Professor of English Robert Moore of Oswego’s Honors Program moderated that roundtable. Three students gave talks. Claire Cerra spoke on “The Battlefield of the American Workplace, Poetry and the Working Class.” Mollie Clarke spoke on “The Underground Battle: Representation of Organized Crime in American Fiction” in a panel entitled “Battlefields of Power.” Kimberlyn Bailey presented “The Recipe Model of Mental Disorders and Its Use as a Psychotherapeutic Tool” in a session entitled “Battlefield of Medicine.” Professor of history Gwen Kay of Oswego’s Honors Program moderated both of these sessions. Pictured from left: Metcalf, Love, Polonski, Bowman, Testone, Clarke and Cerra.

Representatives from the School of Education made presentations at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, held April 16 to 20 in Chicago. Bruce Long Peng, Jean Ann, Pat Russo and Anneke McEvoy presented “Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation: Promises and Challenges.” McEvoy and Barbara Garii, formerly of SUNY Oswego, presented “Clinically Rich in Action: Pathways to Induction and Implementation.”

K. Brad Wray, professor of philosophy, has published a contribution to the second edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. His contribution is titled “The History of Epistemic Communities and Collaborative Research.”

Several Oswego students made presentations at the Rochester Symposium for Physics Students, held at SUNY Oswego April 11. At the opening session, on astronomy, three presentations were by Oswego students: Daniel Wysocki presented “Morphology of the Large Magellanic Cloud Using Classical Cepheids,” co-authored with Oswego professor Shashi Kanbur and Sukanta Deb and Harinder P. Singh of the University of Delhi; Vincent DeBiase and Gabriel Lauffer Ramos presented “Conditional Entropy Methods for Period Detection in Variable Stars”; and Kenneth Roffo and Michael Leone presented “Fourier Analysis of CSTAR RR Lyrae Variable Stars.” Oswego students presented six posters: “Spectral Analysis of French Horn and Trumpet Mouthpieces” by Josh Bivens; “Temperature Dependence of the Saturation Magnetization in Ferromagnetic Metallic Glasses” by Andrew Bordash and Jacob Mills; “Thin Film Solar Cells: Enhancing Efficiency Using Various Nanoparticles” by Martin Dann with professor Carolina C. Ilie; “Physics in Video Games: Using Numerical Methods to Simulate Newtonian Physics” by Timothy Dougherty; “Capillary Condensation Transitions and Meniscus: Parallel Planes, Nanotubes, and Wedges” by Dylan J. McIntyre, Nicholas C. Jira, M.T. Romano, J.R. D’Rozario, T. Dougherty, M. Guedes-Duarte and Ilie; and “The Brain as a Universe: Misconceptions and Limitation in Brain Theories” by Marie Romano.

In Memoriam

John Glinski, 85, emeritus professor of health and physical education and former athletic director and coach of basketball, baseball and tennis, died April 13 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mon Apr 20, 2015
IRS praises Oswego's VITA program

The Internal Revenue Service visited Oswego’s student-run Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program site at Hamilton Homes in Oswego last month and gave it a perfect site review.

Mon Apr 20, 2015
Oswego hosts SUNY film festival

Film and television producer Andrew Miano, a SUNY Oswego graduate, will deliver the keynote address for the sixth annual SUNY Wide Film Festival and will show one of his movies at 7 p.m. April 24 in the Marano Campus Center auditorium.

Fri Apr 17, 2015
New study abroad scholarship honors memory of Michael Zalkin

Sometimes Ilana and Andy Zalkin ‘76 wonder what their son, Michael, would have become.

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