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.
Fri Aug 22, 2014
Effective Sept. 1, the following people are promoted to professor: Leigh Bacher in psychology; Kestutis Bendinskas in chemistry; R. Deborah Davis, Dennis Parsons and Tania Ramalho in the curriculum and instruction department; Tim Delaney in sociology; Kristen Eichhorn in communication studies; and Juan Perdiguero in art. Promoted to associate professor are: Diana Boyer in atmospheric and geological sciences; Bonita Hampton, Maria Murray and Eric Olson in the curriculum and instruction department; Jonel Langenfeld-Rial in theatre; Jing Lei in anthropology; John MacDonald in the accounting, finance and law department; Zohra Manseur in mathematics; and Alex Pantaleev in computer science; promoted to associate librarian is Kathryn Johns-Masten.
Fehmi Damkaci of the chemistry department and Nazli Boke Sarikahya of Ege University have received a grant totaling $35,000 from the Scientific and Research Council of Turkey to work on the total synthesis of Trigonoine B and its derivatives as an anti-cancer agent. The grant will support Sarikahya’s expenses as a postdoctoral researcher to work with Damkaci and his students at SUNY Oswego for a year. Sarikahya recently received her doctorate in organic chemistry from Ege University. She met with Damkaci during his research presentation at her department a year ago in Turkey. She will also work with Kestutis Bendinskas of Oswego’s chemistry department on developing testing for the synthesized derivatives.
Denise Fresina DiRienzo, visiting assistant professor of public relations, has been appointed director of the Center for Experiential Learning, formerly the Experience-Based Education Office. She holds a master’s degree in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She previously served as executive director of the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse. She and her staff will collaborate with other departments involved in experiential education including Graduate Studies, International Education, the Office of Research and Individualized Student Experiences (RISE) and Service Learning.
Leonardo Hernandez of the history faculty is a contributing author to the newly published book “La Epoca Colonial en Guatemala: Estudios de Historia Cultural y Social” (“The Colonial Era in Guatemala: Studies in Cultural and Social History”). Published by the San Carlos University Press in Guatemala City, the book was edited by Robinson A. Herrera of Florida State University and Stephen Webre of Louisiana Tech University. The collective volume features previously unpublished original studies by a team of internationally recognized scholars from France, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.
M. Neelika Jayawardane, associate professor of English, was interviewed on three widely disseminated radio shows this summer. On National Public Radio’s
“Tell Me More” with Jackie Lyden, she was interviewed for the story “Writer Nadine Gordimer Was an ‘Ambassador’ for African Literature.” On Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Q” with Jian Ghomeshi she spoke about African authors and the stereotypical images of acacia trees and sunsets on book covers chosen for them by publishers; Public Radio International’s “The World” tapped her for a similar story. In June in Johannesburg, South Africa, she gave several invited talks: “‘Forget Maps’: Countering Global Apartheid, Creating Novel Cartographies in Ishtiyaq Shukri’s ‘The Silent Minaret’” at University of Witwatersrand’s Centre for Indian Ocean Research; “Immobilised by Immigration: Public Perceptions of Asylum Narratives, HIV, and African Women in Nafissatou Diallo’s Rape Case against DSK” at University of Witwatersrand’s Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research; and “Conversation with David Goldblatt: on the Rise and Fall of Apartheid Exhibition” at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg. Jayawardane has served on several conference panels in 2014: “The Comic Mask: Theorizing Satire, Humor and Laughter in South African Culture” where she spoke on “Untranslatable Caricatures: South Africa’s Cartoonists’ Reliance on Racist Tropes” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference in March; two panels at the Modern Language Association annual meeting in Chicago in January: “Space and Belonging in Post-9/11 US American Literature” where she spoke on “‘Scandalous Memoir’: Uncovering Silences and Reclaiming the Disappeared in Mahvish Rukhsana Kahn’s My Guantánamo Diary,” and “Expatriation, Authorship, and Reception in African Literatures” where she spoke on “Relocating the Expatriated Self in the ‘New’ South Africa: Memoirs of Indian South Africans.” Jayawardane’s recent publications include “‘Forget Maps’: Countering Global Apartheid, Creating Novel Cartographies in Ishtiyaq Shukri’s ‘The Silent Minaret’” in the spring issue of Research in African Literatures. In addition, her short story “Returns” appeared in the artists’ catalogue “Peregrinate: Field Notes on Time Travel and Space” with South African photographers Thabiso Sekgala and Musa Nxumalo and Kenyan Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, a project funded by Goethe Institut Südafrika.
Shashi Kanbur of the physics department and student Gabriel Lauffer Ramos were visiting collaborators at the Caltech department of astronomy. A Scholarly and Creative Activity Grant funded the trip. They worked on topics to do with the Large Scale Survey Telescope—Kanbur is on the Transient Working Group for this project. They studied conditional entropy methods to determine periods of sparsely observed variable stars and also the use of Sleppian wavelets to analyze variable stars. Kanbur gave a talk, “Non-linearities in Cepheid and RR Lyrae Period-color and Period-luminosity Relations,” in which he described the interaction of the stellar photosphere and hydrogen ionization front in Cepheids and RR Lyraes and how this interaction has implications for period-color/amplitude color and period-luminosity relations in these stars. Kanbur attended a workshop on observing cadences in August in Phoenix, Arizona.
At the Botanical Society of America meetings held July 26 to 30 in Boise, Idaho, biology student Ben Keel spoke on “Structural Traits of the Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum.” His co-author, biological sciences professor emeritus James Seago, called it “a damned good talk—very well received.” Seago was also co-author of “Anatomy of Ginkgo biloba with Emphasis on Primary Roots” with Nikole Bonacorsi, a Hamilton College student who conducted her research with him. Julien Bachelier, assistant professor of biological sciences, delivered presentations on “Floral Organogenesis in Dysosma versipellis and Its Implications for the Systematics and the Evolution of Petals in Berberidaceae,” co-authored with Liang Zhao, Ming-rong Luo and Zhao-yang Chang of China’s Northwest A & F University and Xiao-hui Zhang and Yi Ren of China’s Shaanxi Normal University, and “Flower Structure and Morphology in Dipentodon sinensis and Their Implication for the Systematics of Dipentodontaceae (Huerteales),” where his Swiss co-author was Merran L. Matthews.
Alok Kumar of the physics department is the author of an article in “The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam,” edited by Ibrahim Kalin and published in May by the Oxford University Press. The article is titled “Indian Science and Philosophy, Transmission of.” The article deals with the transmission of knowledge from India to the Islamic world in the Middle East. It focuses on the disciplines of mathematics, astronomy, medicine and philosophy.
Michael Schummer of the biological sciences department is co-author of a paper titled “21st Century projections of Snowfall and Winter Severity Across Central-eastern North America” that recently appeared in the Journal of Climate. The other authors are Michael Notaro and David Lorenz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Christopher Hoving of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Emily Thompson, learning technologies librarian (pictured), is the author of the feature “Makerbot Replicator 2: 3D Printing Tips From an Early Adopter” in the July/August issue of Computers in Libraries. The article was featured in the Library Link of the Day listserv on Aug. 2.
Yangping Wen, associate professor in the School of Finance and Business at Shanghai Normal University, is a new visiting scholar in the SUNY Oswego School of Business from July 2014 to July 2015. Wen has a doctorate from Wuhan University. Her research is in information management in business. She will be pursuing research with operations management professor June Dong on e-commerce platform based enterprise. The School of Business has a 2+2 degree agreement and co-sponsors an annual student research conference with Shanghai Normal University.
Thu Aug 21, 2014
Excitement of teaching keeps inspiring psychology's Jacki Reihman
In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Jacqueline “Jacki” Reihman of the psychology faculty, whose research includes partnership in the globally respected Oswego Children’s Study. A distinguished teaching professor, she values the classroom experience most of all.
Q. When did you start at SUNY Oswego?
A. In 1981. My husband, (psychology colleague) Ed Lonky, and I were in the same graduate program at the University of Wisconsin. He was a year ahead of me in the job market. We agreed he wouldn’t take a job at a place I refused to go, and I refused to go a lot of places. (Laughs.) I was brought here by a man, I’m humbled to say.
Q. And what has kept you at the college?
A. The stock answer: It’s a good community to raise children. That’s certainly part of it. I had opportunities to leave early in my career, but decided that this was the place that allowed me to enjoy the teacher-scholar model without a great deal of external pressure. I knew I’d publish and get grants, and I didn’t need someone telling me to do that.
Q. You teach statistics and use of data; how do you engage fearful students?
A. Most kids, Day One of class, don’t want to be in my class. The first thing I try do is reduce anxiety in any way I can. I encourage lots of give and take. The message is actually pretty simple: Statistics are tools to answer questions. I ask them to fast-forward. I say, “You have a child who’s 7 and who is exhibiting hyperactive behaviors. How do you decide which kind of treatment modality you need?” I use gazillions of real-life examples, and hopefully can show them that statistics is really no more than logic. I also torture them. I do so by hammering things over and over again, so that it becomes natural for them to ask questions. We have fun in class. At end of the semester, they can’t believe they did it, but they did! It’s exciting. Being in the classroom is just the very best part of my job, which is why I’m still doing it.
Q. Why did you choose psychology as your field of study?
A. I was originally in a pre-med program as an undergraduate at Wisconsin. I really didn’t think I’d be able to go through night after night of not sleeping, as an intern. I had taken a lot of psychology courses, liked them and had the good fortune of being a research assistant for Loren Chapman, who did a great deal of work in schizophrenia, and Harry Harlow, who was the pre-eminent primatologist in the country. So I got to work with monkeys at the zoo. I was captivated by the ability to ask questions through research.
Q. Where did you focus your early research?
A. Because I was a product of the ‘70s, I always thought research needed to have a functional focus. I wanted to do work that I thought might have some social impact. Early on, I was involved in a lot of what we called client outcome studies, trying to find out whether there was any efficacy in various treatment modalities. I worked with Oswego Mental Health Center and Hutchings Psychiatric Center—at the time, computers were a new thing—developing information systems that would enable us to collect data, track data, analyze it.
Q. What have been your research and evaluation interests here?
A. When I came to the college, I got involved very early with the Honors College program, a focus of Virginia Radley, who was president at the time. Sara Varhus and I wrote a monograph that is still being used in terms of developing a protocol, a prescription, for evaluating honors programs. I also got involved with evaluation at what I call third-sector kinds of agencies, like Farnham in its early years, and later with Oswego County Opportunities. Then I got involved with the local school systems evaluating after-school programs. I was almost always able to involve some of my students in those efforts. I did internships with them and hopefully sparked their interest in research.
Q. How did you get involved in the Oswego Children’s Study?
A. (The late) Helen Daly, Ed Lonky and I began a study in behavioral teratology, which was looking at the long-term consequences—behavioral, educational, psychological and so on—of prenatal exposure to environmental toxins. What began as a three-year grant morphed into grants that went on for more than 20 years. After Helen’s untimely death, we hired Paul Stewart. We are just now finishing that work. We had three separate cohorts (of children) spread across three birth years that began prenatally with their mothers and extended to these kids who are now 19, 20 and 21 years old. We have a wealth—I mean 50,000 data points—for each one of these kids. It is amazing. That’s one of the reasons we kept getting funding, because we have more data on more children than anyone in the country.
Q. What are you most proud of in your career here?
A. I think certainly that participating in the efforts to bring all that (grant) funding here was big. There were all kinds of consequences, even for the psychology department. Early on, there were indirect monies that were funneled back to the department and we were able to fully outfit the computer lab, we bought out time for other young faculty to begin some research and so on. In that regard, I think it ended up being win-win for everybody. But as I said, I still really enjoy being in the classroom.
Q. Do you have a plan when you do retire?
A. I’ll play a lot of golf. (Laughs.) I’ll enjoy my grandson, and likely still stay involved with some of these third-sector agencies—I’ve served on lots of boards, so I’ll keep my hand in the mix of community involvement and engagement. I do lots of reading. I like gardening. Anything outside—walking, biking.
Q. What more can you tell us about your family?
A. My daughter Meg, her husband Jerry and their 16-month-old son Jack have recently relocated to Oswego. I could not be more pleased. They were in New York City for 12 years, and it is a gift to have them in the area. Meg is a guidance counselor at the middle school in Hannibal and Jerry works in (the college’s) Development Office.
Mon Jul 14, 2014
Since June 16, University Police have investigated several cases of theft and made five arrests.
Officers charged a 54-year-old Oswego man with two felonies—third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree attempted grand larceny—following an investigation into an incident in Funnelle Hall. He is accused of dismantling a generator on the ninth floor of the residence hall June 20 and moving parts containing copper to a lot behind Laker Hall. The generator was valued at $10,000, police said.
A 35-year-old Oswego woman was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent or more, and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors, and making an unsafe turn/failure to use signal, an infraction.
A 25-year-old Central Square woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent or more, both misdemeanors, and speeding and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on the highway, both infractions.
A 70-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated, both misdemeanors, and driving with no headlights, an infraction.
A 35-year-old Oswego man was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, an infraction.
Mon Jul 14, 2014
Bruce Altschuler, emeritus professor of political science, wrote a review of “Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America” that was published in the May issue of Choice.
David Andrews, professor of economics, presented a paper, “Adam Smith’s Natural Price, the Gravitation Metaphor and the Purposes of Nature,” at the 18th annual conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought. The conference was held in May at the Centre Pareto-Walras at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The paper examines the philosophical roots of Adam Smith’s concept of natural price and offers an alternative to the prevailing interpretation of Alfred Marshall. Also, Andrews was elected by the society’s general assembly to a third two-year term on the council of the society.
Marketing and management faculty member June Dong recently received a grant of $8,294 as the SUNY Oswego portion of a U.S. Department of Transportation-funded study based at the University at Buffalo titled “The Ties that Bind: Developing a Bi-national Transportation-Combined Economic Simulation Model to Assess Security and Policy Implications of U.S.-Canada Border Bridges.” Dong is teaming with Buffalo’s JiYoung Park of the department of urban and regional planning, Changhyun Kwon of the industrial and engineering systems department and Kathryn Friedman, director of cross-border and international research in the School of Architecture and Planning. The group will collaborate with researchers at the University of Windsor in Ontario. Under the grant, Dong and her colleagues will develop a model to simulate economic implications of bridge policy and security scenarios along the New York-Ontario border, including spillover effects of such scenarios for Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Dong has expertise in supply-chain networks and in spatial economics around such infrastructure-dependent economic systems as transportation.
C. Eric Hellquist and collaborators C. Barre Hellquist of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Jennifer Whipple of Yellowstone National Park published a paper, “New Records for Rare and Under-collected Aquatic Vascular Plants of Yellowstone National Park, in the peer-reviewed botanical journal Madroño. Their research documents more than 150 new collections of 26 rare species of water plants found in Yellowstone. Locating populations of these plants provided new distribution records for Yellowstone National Park as well as the states of Montana and Wyoming. Dried plant specimens from this research have been archived in the Yellowstone National Park Herbarium.
At the biannual conference of the Council on Undergraduate Research, Shashi Kanbur of the physics faculty, Cleane Medeiros of the biological sciences faculty and Provost Lorrie Clemo presented an interactive session on SUNY Oswego’s Global Laboratory that illustrated how other colleges could use it as a model of undergraduate STEM-based research abroad. They said that the program began in 2011 with 21 students and grew to 55 students in 2013 and that it doubled the number of students involved in scholarly and creative activity at Oswego. The conference, themed “Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All,” was held June 28 to July 1 in Washington, D.C.
Alok Kumar, pictured, professor of physics, is the author of the recently published book “Sciences of the Ancient Hindus.” Kumar covers various topics in the natural sciences showing the discoveries and advances centuries ago of the inhabitants of the nation now known as India. He cites accounts of contemporaneous Greek, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Roman and other sources crediting the immense scientific contributions of the Hindus. The book was published earlier this year by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Oswego’s Research Foundation/SUNY STEM Undergraduate Research Award this year supports the work of Martha Miller, pictured, a senior geochemistry major, with geology and geochemistry faculty member Paul Tomascak. The title of their summer project is “The Sedimentary Record of Lake Level Change: Geochemical Climate Proxy Development.” Saline lakes in topographically closed basins are sensitive to climate fluctuations and leave behind time capsules of their responses to these changes in the form of carbonate sediments. Tomascak and Miller are seeking to expand on previous work in the Mono Basin of eastern California to include trace element and isotopic proxy evaluation of radiometrically dated ancient carbonate (tufa) deposits. The grant award, directed by Provost Lorrie Clemo, is part of a systemwide initiative, coordinated by SUNY Stony Brook, to increase undergraduate research across the State University. Last year at Oswego, Jake Mulholland, a senior meteorology major, received the award.
The New York Sea Grant Extension Office at Cornell University announced that Sea Grant coastal community development specialist Mary Penney, based at SUNY Oswego, received the 2014 Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Mid-Career Award. The network of Sea Grant programs in the eight Great Lakes states presented the award at its 2014 Great Lakes Sea Grant Network conference June 17 in Erie, Pennsylvania. “In just eight years of service with New York Sea Grant, Mary Penney has applied a community-driven needs assessment approach to identify and respond to the priority issues of decision-makers in the Eastern Lake Ontario region and its inland water areas including the Salmon River,” said New York Sea Grant Associate Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth. Penney assists local leaders interested in land use planning, watershed protection, managing climate impact, coastal business retention and development, and developing stewardship volunteerism. New York Sea Grant is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of NOAA.
Casey Raymond has been appointed associate director of the Honors Program, beginning in August 2015 following his sabbatical in 2014-15. He will continue to serve as assistant professor of chemistry. Raymond has taught HON 300 “Natural Sciences in the Human Context” and developed a section in 2012 that involved an international study experience in Rome. He has served as an honors thesis adviser to several students in recent years. Raymond has been on Oswego’s chemistry faculty since 2003. His research interests are in inorganic chemistry, geochemistry, and food and fermentation science.
Damian Schofield, director of the human-computer interaction program, won the best paper award, pictured, at the
InSite (Informing Science and Information Technology Education) Conference at the University of Wollongong in Sydney, Australia. His paper was titled “A Virtual Education: Guidelines for Using Games Technology.” HCI student Carly Karas also traveled to Australia and delivered a paper, “Augmenting a Child’s Reality: Using Educational Tablet Technology,” at the conference, which was held from June 30 to July 4.
Pathfinder Bank recently awarded a $75,000 grant over three years to the Oswego Renaissance Association, a group directed by psychology faculty member Paul Stewart and dedicated to restoration and revitalization of Oswego neighborhoods. The SUNY Research Foundation administers the grant. Stewart’s letter of thanks to Thomas Schneider, the bank’s president, notes that $20,000 a year will be used as matching funds for the association’s Block Challenge Grants to encourage homeowners to undertake renovation or spruce-up projects, and $5,000 a year will go toward Neighborhood Pride Grants to undertake streetscape, park, playground and other public improvements in blocks identified by a study as ripe for revitalization or preservation to boost property values and neighborhood appeal to potential homeowners. Oswego Renaissance Association last year received a $150,000 grant from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation.
Paul Tomascak, associate professor of geology and geochemistry, spent 10 days in May in the Czech Republic as part of a joint research project with Tomáš Magna, a scientist at the Czech Geologic Survey in Prague. As a visiting scientist on the project “Continental Lithosphere as a Source of Differentiated Alkaline Lavas and Genetic Role of Basic Magmas,” funded by the Czech Science Foundation, Tomascak participated in laboratory work in the isotope clean lab and the mass spectrometric analysis of samples. The goal of the project is to use lithium isotopes to better understand the origins of a variety of igneous rocks that had previously received little study. These include rocks from a large group of geologically young volcanoes in the Czech Republic and broadly related suite of circa 50-million-year-old lavas from Montana, the latter contributed by Tomascak. Tomascak and Magna are currently collaborating on a book on lithium isotopes, to be published in 2015. The visit was supported primarily by the Czech Geologic Survey, with additional travel funds from the SUNY Oswego Office of International Education and Programs.
Jason Zenor of the communication studies faculty has recently published four scholarly articles and made four conference presentations. “But Where Are Those Good Old Fashioned Values? Reception Analysis of Offensive Humor in ‘Family Guy’” was published in the June issue of Operant Subjectivity. “Video Privacy Protection Act” and “Search and Seizure of Social Media” appeared this year in the three-volume “Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics.” “Countdown to the Apocalypse: Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘Daisy’ Ad” appeared this year in the three-volume “We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life … And Always Has.” Zenor’s conference presentations included three at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Montreal: “Decoding the ‘Code’: Reception Theory and Moral Judgment of Dexter,” “Return of the King: Audience Reception of The Boondocks in the Post-Racial World” with communication studies colleague David Moody, and “Sins of the Flesh: Obscenity Law in the Era of Virtual Pornography.” In April, Zenor presented “Misrepresentative Government: Garcetti Dilemma” at the annual Conference of the Eastern Communication Association in Providence.
Robert W. Rock, 88, former vice president of student affairs and dean of students and emeritus professor of health and physical education, died June 22 at Oswego Hospital.
Mon Jul 14, 2014
Waterman Theatre, 'classrooms of the future' receive $1.5 million
The renovation of Waterman Theatre and new high-tech classrooms planned for the School of Education benefited recently from $1.5 million in special state funding, according to an announcement from state Sen. Patty Ritchie.
“At SUNY Oswego, $1 million in funding will be used to construct three high-tech classrooms in the School of Education that will help give future teachers real-world experience and help to familiarize them with new types of technology to enhance learning,” Ritchie said. “Additionally, $500,000 in funding will be used to upgrade the college’s theatre, which is used by both the school and the community.”
Wilber Hall’s three-story tower, undergoing top-to-bottom interior renovation, will house the new “classrooms of the future.” The additional funds for Waterman Theatre will enhance the $22.2 million first phase of Tyler Hall’s renovation.
Mitch Fields, associate vice president for facilities services, said working groups for each project will be meeting to discuss in detail how the additional state funds will be used for the classrooms and the theatre.
The $1.5 million for SUNY Oswego—Ritchie announced the same amount for SUNY Canton—was part of $49 million in budgeted but previously unallocated capital funding for SUNY campuses, according to Nicholas Lyons, the college’s vice president for administration and finance.
Fri Jul 11, 2014
Always willing to adapt to student needs, Roberts pursues top-quality orientation
In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Dan Roberts, coordinator of new student orientation, who helps lead a variety of transitional programs to give first-year and transfer students the launch they need for SUNY Oswego success.
Q. What’s your hometown?
A. I was born and raised in Whitesboro, just outside of Utica—I’m “Central New York” all the way. I did my educational track for college and my graduate degree at James Madison University in Virginia. I had always had my eye on Virginia, because I was a Civil War buff and that was sort of the epicenter of it all.
Q. What did you study at James Madison?
A. I had known since the eighth grade that I wanted to teach history, so I concentrated in U.S. history. The way it works in Virginia is you minor in education until you’re a graduate. They advised me if I wanted to teach and have a more marketable license, I should really also consider getting into interdisciplinary social science in addition to history. So I ended up double majoring.
Q. Did you teach?
A. I did some substitute teaching, and I teach as an adjunct now. After I received my graduate degree, I had come back to CNY and reconnected with some family and friends and realized there was still a very personal pull, a connectedness I had thought I had lost to the area. I turned down what was sort of a dream job teaching U.S. history in Colonial Beach, Va. My license in Virginia was reciprocal in this state, but nobody had told me that social studies jobs in New York state were really hard to come by.
Q. So where did you work?
A. I had been an R.A. in college, so I started expanding my job search. I ended up applying for a live-on residence hall director job at Colgate. I got it, and that was my introduction to student affairs.
Q. When did it click that student affairs was a career path for you?
A. It came near the end of my years at Colgate. I still had this pull toward teaching, but at that point I had to make a pragmatic decision toward a career. I was moving on to a job with Pratt Institute’s upstate campus in Utica. I was going to be in student activities, student leadership development, orientation, the whole nine (yards). As I was leaving Colgate, I got a really unexpected and remarkable sendoff from our student staff. At our final staff training banquet before I left, many of the students had prepared speeches, and I started realizing that the impact I was having in the work that I was doing was a lot more powerful that I thought it was. Students were saying that their interaction with me and the residence hall staff was the reason they got through college.
Q. What brought you to SUNY Oswego?
A. After four years at Pratt, I moved on to Onondaga Community College as assistant director of housing operations. My girlfriend, Leigh, and I had been in a long-distance relationship for about five years, so we were shooting for (jobs in) the Syracuse area in general—her family is in Sandy Creek and mine in Utica. (Eventually) a position at Oswego as residence hall director for Oneida developed for her. The orientation position came up here just after she was hired. I took a look at the job description and said, “Wow, this really is the best of everything I’ve had a chance to do.” I started in March. Leigh and I are married now and couldn’t be happier with where we are.
Q. What are your duties here?
A. First, coordinating the summer orientation program. I supervise the Laker Leaders staff. I also coordinate the winter orientation for mid-year transfer students. I help to coordinate opening week events during August, as well. I supervise the first-year peer advisers—it’s my responsibility to make sure they are supplementing the academic advising that their faculty advisers are doing, but that they also are providing sort of holistic support to students in their transition to their first year of college, helping them get connected with interest opportunities, with other first-year students, with developing support networks among their peers.
Q. What do you think of SUNY Oswego students?
A. In my interactions with R.A.s, Laker Leaders and other student leaders, I’m blown away by their passion for Oswego, their desire to help their fellow students get the most out of their experience here and their candor. They’re very willing to share their feedback about things they don’t feel are going well to support the new students, but they present that feedback in a way where they’re open to conversation, so that at a certain point we come to agreement, and that shows maturity beyond their years.
Q. What do you think about interactions with your colleagues?
A. For lack of a more refined term, it’s been absolutely amazing. The investment and the buy-in that other departments and staff and faculty have in the summer orientation program is truly remarkable. People think that in the summer, colleges just shut down. If they could sit in my chair for five minutes and see all the various departments and people ... it really is a marvel the commitment people have to making sure first-year students have the kind of start they need.
Q. What characterizes your approach to this job?
A. I never like to be set in my ways. Students are changing, developing and growing faster than the research can keep up with them. Orientation is the foundation for student retention. If you don’t have an orientation program that meets the students’ needs, it’s not going to set them off to connect with the college and their fellow students. So I’m always willing to change and adapt to their needs.
Q. What are some of your interests, besides the Civil War?
A. I read a lot of nonfiction. Right now, I’m reading Nate Silver’s book “The Signal and the Noise”—it’s about predictive analytics, why some predictions fail and some are successful. I play basketball when I can. I love to play golf, as well. My wife and I love movies, though we have differing tastes. We both love really good food, so we’re kind of eating our way through town. (Laughs.) We like to take time to get away; we both love Washington, D.C.
Fri Jul 11, 2014
New minor to build theatrical skills for producing live events
The theatre department will offer a new minor in live event design starting this fall, which can lead to potential careers in lighting, effects, stage management, makeup, sound design and multimedia to enhance special events of all kinds.
“A lot of us in the department know people and are friends with people who started in theatre and then made their careers outside the theatre using technical theatrical skills,” said Jessica Hester, department chair. “(For example,) friends of mine work in a corporate events setting.”
Live events—rock concerts, political rallies, broadcasts, museum exhibitions, educational demonstrations, trade shows and other promotional events—often demand skills traditionally honed in theatre, she said. Jobs can include production and stagecraft of all kinds, from carpentry to computer applications.
“It’s easy to think of fine performing arts as these discrete fields that make culture worthwhile,” Hester said. “The idea that these theatre skills can be transferred on a practical basis ... it’s exciting to us to be able to train students in other fields who don’t necessarily want to major in theatre.”
The live event design minor consists of a variety of classes the department already offers, from core courses such as “Introduction to Technical Theatre” and “Advanced Theatre Production” to such skills-driven electives as “Stage Electronics and Mechanics,” “Computer Applications for Theatre,” “Stage Lighting Design,” and traditional crafts such as scene design, costuming and makeup.
“Our students in theatre and design technical fields consistently graduate and find jobs,” Hester said.
Among Oswego alumni working in theatre technical arts are 1984 graduate Brian Ronan, who has won Tony Awards for sound design for Broadway musical hits “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and “The Book of Mormon”; Jef Billings ‘70, an Emmy-winning costume designer who has worked with a variety of productions including “Stars on Ice,” designing figure skating costumes for Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Sarah Hughes and Scott Hamilton, among others; Greg Brewster ‘05, who returned to SUNY Oswego as electronics specialist for the theatre department and has taught “Advanced Theatre Production” and “Sound Design”; and Suzayn MacKenzie-Roy ‘08, the college’s theatre facilities manager, who teaches “Stage Management.”
Hester said the department expects to attract students to the new minor from programs as diverse as broadcasting and mass communication, technology education, business, music and visual arts.
PHOTO CAPTION: Theatrical skills—The theatre department will offer a new minor in live event design starting this fall, presenting students in other majors the opportunity to develop skills—lighting design, stage management, computer applications, makeup, costuming and more—for live presentations in such careers as business, broadcasting, museums and educational demonstrations. Student Jesse Lesnar (center) and theatre department Facilities Manager Suzayn McKenzie-Roy (right) scale ladders to help with the setup of the Acting Company’s performances in Waterman Theatre this spring.
Mon Jun 16, 2014
Since May 7, University Police have investigated several cases of theft and made nine arrests.
Following a six-month investigation into thefts of mail from student mailboxes in Oneida Hall at SUNY Oswego, University Police arrested a 20-year-old Oneida Hall resident. Officers charged him with three counts of grand larceny, a felony, and five counts of petit larceny, a misdemeanor.
University Police charged a 26-year-old Florida man May 11 with a felony count of marijuana possession as well as a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and several infractions. Officers observed the man driving erratically on Route 104 near the college entrance. They stopped him at Hillside Avenue. Police said he had 17.9 ounces of marijuana. They also charged him with refusing to take a breath test, failing to obey a traffic device, drinking alcohol in a vehicle on the roadway and having insufficient taillights.
A 21-year-old Honeoye man was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent or more, both misdemeanors, and driving the wrong way down a one-way designated road, an infraction.
A 21-year-old Riggs Hall resident was charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and failure to return license plates and an equipment violation, an infraction. A 42-year-old Bloomfield man was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.
A 22-year-old commuter student was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration and operating a motor vehicle without insurance, an infraction. A 43-year-old Oswego woman also was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.
Three teenage students were charged with possession of marijuana: one each from Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca halls. The Seneca Hall resident was also charged with unauthorized use of a license. The Oneida Hall resident was also charged with disorderly conduct.