Campus Update

Mon Mar 24, 2014
Students invited to present at War of 1812 Symposium

The fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium set for April 4 to 6 is the first where SUNY Oswego students have been encouraged to propose research papers on the War of 1812 for presentation.

Planners dressed in costumesThe symposium at the Lake Ontario Conference and Event Center, 26 E. First St. in Oswego, will open the evening of April 4 with the students’ presentations and continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 5 and from 9 a.m. to noon April 6. The weekend symposium will feature lectures and exhibits about the war and its effects along the New York-Canadian Frontier.

A dozen speakers will be on hand to discuss a variety of War of 1812 topics, including battle analysis and military archeology, amphibious warfare and soldiers, British strategy and division, flag conservancy, the war’s effect on soldiers and society, and remembering and memorializing the war.

On April 5, Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear will present “An Objective of Lesser Proportions: The May 5 to 6, 1814, Battle of Oswego.” The discussion will commemorate the bicentennial of that pivotal battle that nearly changed the course of the war.

“British land and naval forces in Canada attacked Oswego in the spring of 1814, as it was a major American depot on the supply route from New York City to Niagara and Sackets Harbor,” Lear said. “Had it not been for the quick thinking of Major General Jacob Brown, who sent the 3rd U.S. Artillery to Oswego, and its stubborn defense led by Lt. Colonel George Mitchell, vital naval supplies would surely have been lost.”

On April 6, Dr. Gary Gibson, noted naval historian and author, will deliver a talk titled “Worthy of a Better Fate: The May 30, 1814, Battle of Sandy Creek.” His presentation will continue the discussion about the struggle for control of Lake Ontario and highlight the actions that followed the Battle of Oswego to ensure the success of the American cause.

College connected

“This is going to be a great event that brings together SUNY Oswego students, the local community and a slate of outside scholars to explore Oswego’s and New York’s place within the broader history of the War of 1812,” said Richard Weyhing, an assistant professor of history at SUNY Oswego. SUNY Oswego students who register with him by March 28 will have their registration fee covered.

“Students are the future of our history,” Lear noted. “It’s superb the history department at SUNY Oswego took a leadership role in making Oswego a heritage tourism destination by engaging in cooperative programming with other community organizations.” At the symposium, he said, “Students and other attendees will rub elbows with the legends of history and be at center court for their often intense differences of opinions on the activities and actions of the armies, navies and individuals who fought in our own backyard.”

For a complete schedule and registration form, go to Fort Ontario’s website or Oswego County’s tourism website. Advance registration is required and may be paid by check or credit card through the Friends of Fort Ontario. Contact Paul Lear at 343-4711 for credit card payments between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

PHOTO CAPTION: Historic struggle—Seated from left, George Broadwell Jr. and SUNY Oswego archeology professor Dr. Douglas Pippin represent the dynamic American and British rivalries that will be explored April 4 to 6 at the fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego. Standing from left are SUNY Oswego history intern Chad Cook; Mercedes Niess, H.  Lee White Marine Museum; Dr. Gary Gibson, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, and SUNY Oswego history intern Mary Katherine Clerkin.

Mon Mar 24, 2014

Since March 10, University Police have investigated several cases of vandalism and theft and made two arrests.

A 20-year-old Onondaga Hall resident was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and failure to stop at a stop sign and a seat belt violation, both infractions.

A 20-year-old Riggs Hall resident was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, a misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle without insurance and leaving the vehicle unattended, both infractions.

Mon Mar 24, 2014
Bruce Long Peng explores, teaches the science of language

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet Bruce Long Peng, professor in curriculum and instruction and now in his second three-year term as director of the college’s interdisciplinary linguistics program, who passes on to students his love for the study of languages, from English to Kikuyu.

Bruce Long PengQ. How do you like your name to appear in print?
Bruce Long Peng is fine. I am Long Peng in research. “Bruce” got started because when I was in China we had some visiting professors from the United States. One of them was a Chinese American who saw my first name is a character that corresponds to a dragon. He realized that was the same sort of given name Bruce Lee (the late martial arts star of “Enter the Dragon” and other movies) had—the character—so I became Bruce.

Q. Where were you raised?
I was born in Beijing. My maternal grandmother took care of me for the first year. My parents were teaching at Chongqing University, part of Sichuan Province, and I moved there. I graduated from that university when I was 20 with a bachelor of arts in teaching English as a foreign language.

Q. How did you first come to the United States?
China had just started opening up, and they gave me some money and said I can get a master’s degree overseas, so I chose Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I earned a master’s degree in TESOL. After that, I decided I was really interested in linguistics, so I applied to the doctoral program at University of Arizona in Tucson. After I received my Ph.D., I got a post-doc offer from University of Rochester. It was a great opportunity to do some research.

Q. Where did your fascination with linguistics come from?
One thing leads to another. In my master’s in TESOL, I had to take courses in linguistics. If you are going to teach English as a second language, you have to understand linguistics. It is very logical, very math-like, and I have always loved math. I think of it as very scientific, and the claims that we make are supported by lots of evidence.

Q. What do you like about SUNY Oswego?
I like the fact that we have both a linguistics and a TESOL program. I am very, very happy here. TESOL majors need to know the structure of language, how language works. Quite a lot of TESOL programs emphasize either the study of language or the study of education. We try to balance the two in our TESOL program. I’ve always enjoyed teaching in the School of Education—it’s a very welcoming place.

Q. What do you think of SUNY Oswego students?
I think of them as very representative of students I’ve taught in other institutions. I don’t think the students here are that different from those in public and private institutions where I have taught, in Chongqing, Hong Kong, Rochester, Tucson, Flagstaff. Over the course of the last 14 years I’ve been here, I feel the students, in general, are very strong.

Q. What kinds of careers are available in linguistics?
It’s a very exciting field. Some percentage of linguistics majors are thinking of going to graduate school in linguistics, and others are serious about going into speech; a lot of children are born with speech impediments, a lot of adults suffer trauma and sometimes their speech is impaired. Another career is to teach English abroad. We have had students teach in Korea, and two students who taught in China for a year. It’s those experiences that really set them apart. Another graduate got a job in the Florida court system, and her job is to make sure court proceedings are recorded and transcribed correctly with a speech recognition system. There are many other jobs.

Q. What is your main research interest?
I mainly focus on phonology, the sound system of human languages and looking for the patterns you find in speech.  The languages I focus on most are African languages. One is Kikuyu, spoken in Kenya. It’s not the language Barack Obama’s father spoke—he spoke Luo. We have a colleague, Faith Maina, who speaks Kikuyu. One paper I wrote about Kikuyu vowels, she helped me as a subject.

Q.  Have you gone back abroad to teach in the years you’ve been with Oswego?
No I haven’t. I did have a sabbatical in 2009. I used that to start writing a book. It took me another three years. This textbook (“Analyzing Sound Patterns: An Introduction to Phonology”) appeared in September 2013. It’s published by Cambridge. I’ve been using it for two classes, and I’m very happy about that. A couple of professors are using it at other campuses already, and they’re really liking it.

Q. What do you like to do in your off hours?
My wife (Jean Ann, professor in the college’s TESOL program) and I like to walk as exercise. We like to watch TV—it’s a way for me to turn off the thinking I am constantly doing. We don’t have a lot of pastimes—we spend a lot of time grading. My students get a lot of ongoing assessment. So after every class there are some assignments I’m grading. It takes quite a lot of time, along with directing the linguistics program.

Q. Do you still have family in China?
My parents live there. Every year—quite often it’s the summer, but this year in the winter—we go back. They live an hour, 10 minutes by bullet train from Shanghai. The ride used to take the whole day. My sister lives there, too.

Fri Mar 21, 2014
'Oswego on Campus' introduces students to local businesses

iHeart Oswego interns from SUNY Oswego are representing Oswego businesses in the college’s Campus Center during March and April in an effort to bring additional exposure to local enterprises.

Lauren Lasky and Kaitlyn Rajner promoting Oswego on CampusLauren Lasky and Kaitlyn Rajner are the interns in charge of the project. With support from the college’s Offices of Campus Life and Business and Community Relations, they worked on the project to enhance student-community relations.

Each business will be represented as a 2-by-3-foot poster created by the interns that is displayed on an easel in the Campus Center.

“We chose businesses at random but that had relevancy to SUNY students and met campus regulations,” Rajner said. “By creating more awareness of what local businesses have to offer, we are hoping to increase the number of students that are involved in the community. The posters will draw attention from students and provide information on each business.”

Lasky added, “On each poster, there is a location map and a QR code for smartphone users, so students can visit a business’s website. Students may spend some more time visiting new businesses if students are informed of their existence.”

Victoria Usherwood Gailinas, director of sales and marketing at iHeart Corp., said the project will give interns practical experience that will make them more employable when they enter the job market after earning their degrees and the iHeart Corp. strive to promote local businesses. “Our internship program at iHeart Oswego is much different than most as our interns must find ways to promote other local businesses,” Gailinas said.

For more information, call Rajner or Lasky at at 315-402-6623.

Fri Mar 21, 2014
PwC chairman Moritz to speak here about global trends

Bob Moritz, chairman and senior partner of the U.S. accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and a 1985 graduate of Oswego, will discuss “Global Trends and Your Role in a Sustainable Future” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Campus Center auditorium, Room 132. His lecture will be webcast live.

Bob MoritzMoritz, who earned an accounting degree at Oswego, is also a member of the PwC global network leadership team, which includes the senior partners from the network’s four largest territories. Prior to July 2009, he served as the assurance leader of the U.S. firm from 2006 to 2009; and from 2004 to 2006 was the managing partner of the New York office and Metro Region.

He joined the firm in 1985 and became a partner in 1995. From 1998 to 2001, he served as the metro region financial services leader. From 2001 to 2004, he led the financial services audit and business advisory practice, which includes the banking, capital markets, insurance, investment management and real estate sectors.

Moritz served a three-year tour in PwC Tokyo, providing audit and advisory services to numerous European and U.S.-based financial services organizations operating in Japan.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of CPAs and the New Jersey State Society of CPAs. He is the chair of the Center for Audit Quality Governing Board. Other board memberships include the Atlantic Council, the Conference Board and the Partnership for New York City.

A long-time supporter of his alma mater, Moritz is a 2012 recipient of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society honorary member award, a member of the college’s President’s Circle and a board member of the Oswego College Foundation.

Fri Mar 21, 2014

Pam Caraccioli in TV studioPam Caraccioli, deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development, appeared on WSYR-TV’s “Newsmakers with Dan Cummings” March 16 with Austin Wheelock of Operation Oswego County to talk about economic development in Oswego County and the business plan competition called “The Next Great Idea.”

Allain Daigle, an adjunct faculty member in the English department and owner of Tiny Owl Media, received the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Volunteer of Year Award at the agency’s annual meeting and salute to volunteers held March 12 in Oswego. A strong proponent of Oswego County, Daigle was recognized for donating his time and talent to produce videos for United Way’s annual campaign kickoff and annual meeting. “Allain has played an important role in helping tell the story of United Way and how the programs we fund positively effect those they serve. His generosity and willingness to share his considerable talents truly captures the essence of our theme: It is our community and it is personal,” said United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler. Daigle added,  “I appreciate the opportunity to help share these stories to help us grow and understand that we all are part of the same community.”

Chinghung Hsiao of the modern languages and literatures department has received her Ph.D., dated March 14, from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development. Rochester will hold its doctoral graduation ceremony May 17. Hsiao’s dissertation, “Anxieties and Achievement Goals: Their Relationships in Contexts of Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language,” investigated college students’ reaction to the cognitive demands of performing listening, speaking, reading and writing tasks as they learn Chinese as a foreign language. The study provides empirical evidence of how achievement goals are related to anxiety about learning the Chinese language. The study’s findings elaborate on and extend theories about why people behave the way they do, with the specific goal of gaining insight into effective teaching and learning of the Chinese language. Hsiao will present another research finding about different levels and patterns of anxiety among students who studied Chinese language in China or outside of China in June at the 12th International Conference on Chinese Pedagogy in Harbin, China.

Students, faculty discuss artworkRenee Stevens, a visiting assistant professor in the art department, encouraged her graphic design students to submit their work in Minted’s State of the Art Challenge. Out of 1,044 submissions, work by two of her students, both sophomores in graphic design, won Minted Editors’ Pick prizes. “The Mess” by Emily Hinckley and “Townie” by Melissa Gottlieb will be offered for sale on the Stevens, pictured center with Hinckley and Gottlieb, was the subject of a Meet the Artist promotion by Minted, and the three Oswego artists are interviewed with photos together and of the winning artwork in an article on the site.

Matthew Trudeau, a junior with majors in software engineering and business administration and a minor in mathematics, has been selected for an internship this summer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, the California Institute of Technology. Shashi Kanbur, professor of physics, notes that Trudeau is the fifth Oswego student since 2012 selected for this prestigious program that involves computer programming work on the Cassini satellite mission.

Star Cloud Press will publish a book of poems titled “The Familiar Stranger” by Lewis Turco, professor emeritus of English and creative writing, on his 80th birthday May 2. The “About the Author” page in the book will be a reprint of the Oswego magazine’s “Faculty Hall of Fame” profile by Linda Loomis, also of the English and creative writing department. Although the book covers poems from about 1959 to 2013, none of the poems have ever been collected in a book before.

Fri Mar 21, 2014
Convocation speaker's advice to honorees: 'Live your passion'

Living her passion every day fuels Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, a 1986 Oswego graduate who will be the featured speaker at Honors Convocation.

Tracy Chamberlain HigginbothamWhen Higginbotham addresses the 115 honors recipients and their supporters in the Campus Center arena at 3 p.m. April 11, she will speak about her own experiences, and she will encourage audience members, no matter what their goals, majors or ages, to find the nexus of their personal and corporate passions.

“I believe that we are most fulfilled, and our contributions to society are most effective, when we work in a profession that fits that overriding passion,” Higginbotham says. 

Founder and president of Women TIES (Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success), Higginbotham helps female small business owners expand their economic opportunities by connecting with and supporting one another. The group serves 300 members with 60 volunteers in six regional districts of New York state.

“My corporate mission is the same as my personal mission,” she says. “I have been constant in my beliefs and in my advocacy for women entrepreneurs.” 

As a small business owner herself for 15 years—she founded an events management company, Five Star Events, in 1995—Higginbotham knows firsthand the needs of her colleagues. By 2005, she says, she embraced her passion for helping other women entrepreneurs and created her second company, Women TIES, to foster larger and stronger economic networks among women across the state.

Higginbotham, eldest of eight siblings, says her advocacy for women stems from her early observations of successful women who were close to her. Her mother and an aunt were both small business owners, and a 1931 SUNY Oswego alumna, the late Olive Brannan Spargo, served as an important mentor to Higginbotham in her late teens.

“I had such strong women to guide me that I developed love and respect for women who are engaged in interesting ventures,” Higginbotham says. “My mother and aunt were each in business in the 1960s, a time when women were just emerging in such roles.”

Spargo, who had been a public school teacher and active Oswego volunteer, lived in Rome, N.Y., where Higginbotham grew up. 

“She tapped me on the shoulder when I was 16 to take a leadership role greeting potential SUNY Oswego students in our hometown, and she was a great influence on me from that time on,” Higginbotham says.

Spargo was instrumental in bringing Higginbotham back to the SUNY Oswego after she graduated to work for the Alumni Relations Office and in encouraging her to serve as one of the youngest members of the Oswego Alumni Association board of directors.

“Women have helped me,” Higginbotham says. “They have been inspirational and practical in their assistance. It is my intention to carry this help forward.”

Her professional success in small business and leadership has been recognized extensively, including two awards, in 2005 and 2011, from the New York State Small Business Administration. 

Amid her busy professional, she still makes her affiliation with SUNY Oswego a priority. 

“I wanted to be involved in everything at SUNY Oswego from the moment I got there,” says Higginbotham, who lives with her husband and two sons in Central New York. “It’s natural for people to love their alma maters, but I am impressed that Oswego had so much to offer. I’ll always be grateful for my education there and for the people I’ve met along the way.” 

Higginbotham graduated from SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  She continued with graduate studies in business management and now serves on the advisory board of Oswego’s School of Business in addition to several other board memberships in Central New York.

Thu Mar 20, 2014
Chancellor's Award honors five Oswego students

Five Oswego seniors active in research, volunteerism, leadership, study-travel and other pursuits will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence—the highest student recognition through the statewide university system.

This year’s Oswego honorees for outstanding achievements inside and outside the classroom are Larissa Assam, a biology major; Kyle Brayton, a five-year accounting-MBA major; Lindsay King, a dual major in global and international studies and in communication and social interaction; Nicole Leader, a childhood education major with a concentration in earth science; and Rhiannon Peshniak, a dual major in history and anthropology.

Larissa Assam

Larissa AssamPresident and founder of the Minority Association of Pre-health Students’ Oswego chapter, Assam completed an internship at Oswego Hospital, did research in Calcutta as part of the college’s Global Laboratory, job-shadowed physicians as a peer leader with CSTEP Health Connections and was named Peer Educator of the Year in 2012 by the Oswego chapter of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. The native of Cameroon, West Africa, also served as a tutor in the Office of Learning Services, Laker Leader, teaching assistant and as director of programming for the African Student Organization. “I will be starting medical school this August at SUNY Upstate,” Assam said.

Kyle Brayton

Kyle BraytonFollowing internships with Biogen Idec in Boston and accounting firms in New York City and Syracuse, Brayton serves as assistant to the director of SUNY’s Professional Science Masters Consortium. He was chapter president of the Accounting Society and the Financial Management Association, as well as finance vice president of WTOP-TV and Beta Alpha Psi honor society, and helped organize “Meet the Accountants Night” and helped community members with tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. “In July, I will move to New York City, where I will start with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an audit associate,” Brayton said.

Lindsay King

Lindsay KingRecipient of CAPA’s Jose Ramon Perez International Beijing Scholarship, King served as an international marketing intern for the Great Wall Club in that Chinese city. She also had study-abroad experiences in Istanbul and Havana. She interned for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Dan Maffei. King has volunteered as a peer mentor for first-year students, teaching assistant, study-abroad mentor and intern for Admissions open houses. She is a member of the Vega and Phi Beta Delta honor societies. “I’m currently in the process of applying to law school. Ultimately, my goal is to work in legislation or government affairs,” King said.

Nicole Leader

Nicole LeaderFour-year member and two-year captain of the women’s tennis team, Leader is a four-year member of the SUNY Athletic Conference All-Academic team. Focused on leadership, she completed “The Program” captains’ training with the Marines and StrengthsQuest Captain’s Training.  Leader won the Dean’s Writing Prize for curriculum and instruction and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She served as a math tutor and is now student teaching in Baldwinsville and Parish. “After graduation, I plan to begin my career as an elementary school educator while obtaining my master’s degree at Oswego State,” Leader said.

Rhiannon Peshniak

Rhiannon PeshniakWith a historical research presentation in Kielce, Poland, and an anthropological one in Chicago, Peshniak has had her latest research project accepted by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists for presentation next month in Calgary. This semester, she is helping analyze artifacts at Fort Drum, and serves as a history, writing and anthropology tutor and as an anthropology research lab assistant. The two-time president of the Anthropology Club is a member of the Lambda Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta national honor societies. “I am pursuing internships and jobs at national and state museums and plan on attending graduate school within the next two years,” Peshniak said.

The awards will be bestowed at a ceremony April 2 in Albany.

Thu Mar 20, 2014
Raft of sustainability initiatives launch for spring

Bike Share and other recycling and sustainability initiatives have moved to the forefront on campus in the run-up to Earth Day on April 22. SUNY Oswego Bike Share started officially Monday, loaning refurbished bikes to students up to a semester at a time.

Alex Elkins with bicyclesAmong other projects are a fundraising agreement with a printer cartridge recycling company and, coming this summer, installation of a 2kw wind turbine to enhance the power grid of the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation.

Cycling and recycling come naturally to senior technology education major Alex Elkins, founder of SUNY Oswego Bike Share. He races mountain bikes on a national level, rides about 10,000 miles year-round and works in a Rochester bicycle shop, where he applies skills he needed to learn to afford racing.

“We’re going to teach basic maintenance to borrowers. To those so inclined, we’ll teach advanced maintenance,” Elkins said. “That’s a big part of sustainability, along with fitness and saving gas—you can save a lot of money fixing your own bike.”

Bike Share’s headquarters is in the basement of Hewitt Union, where students who seek new “motivation” can apply for one of 15 bicycles the club currently has ready to go. With other two-wheelers scavenged for parts, Bike Share has received about 25 donations of used bicycles from University Police and other campus staff, the Oswego community, Elkins and his contacts in Rochester and from roadside discards. Contact to make a donation.

Elkins said Bike Share has built accountability into its program: statements of need, waivers, locks to go with each bicycle, encouragement to share the two-wheeler with others and, as experience and growth dictate, perhaps a deposit that includes a fee to help the program safeguard its investment and pay its way.

“I want to see people take responsibility for the bikes,” he said.

Elkins, who will student-teach in technology this fall, said he minors in sustainability, and comes by his interest in cycling through his parents, who both ride and minimize driving. “Bike Share is right on point with what I’m interested in,” he said. “My passion is cycling and the outdoors. Why not share that in this way?”

SUNY Oswego Bike Share, since last fall a recognized Student Association organization, has received assistance from the college’s Facilities Design and Construction office. Graduate assistant Jason MacLeod recruited Elkins and has helped him launch the program, and campus sustainability coordinators Mike Lotito and Jamie Adams encouraged the program with new tools, repurposed space in Hewitt Union and other startup necessities. Adams and Lotito pointed out that vehicular traffic accounts for about a third of Oswego’s contribution to greenhouse gases. Lots of people drive around campus, as well as to and from it.

“The bike-sharing program is right up there on our roadmap for strategically reducing the college’s carbon footprint, and at the same time proving health and wellness on campus,” Adams said. SUNY Oswego, through its Climate Action Plan and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, is pursuing strategies to reduce emissions up to 40 percent by 2020.

Earth Day

To focus attention on sustainability efforts on campus this spring, Lotito and Adams said the sustainability office, students, staff and faculty also plan the following:

Solo Cup Brigade: Students and supporters enlisting in the effort collect and send #6 cups to TerraCycle for eventual upcycling to dog bowls, garbage cans and even picnic tables. Participants earn points toward charitable donations.

Printer cartridge recycling: will pay cash toward charitable contributions for each cartridge sent to it, from $.03 to $9 each, depending on demand.

Sustainability Speakers Series: Dr. Sherri (Sam) Mason, coordinator of SUNY Fredonia’s environmental sciences program and leader of the first-ever survey of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, will present “Addicted to Plastic” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31, in Room 114 of the Campus Center.

Bash the Trash: This effort to build, perform and educate with musical instruments made from repurposed materials will kick off at 2 p.m. April 12 in Hewitt Union ballroom.

Film screening: Judith Belt of the technology department will host a showing of “Tapped,” examining the role of the bottled water industry’s impacts on climate change, pollution and reliance on oil at a time to be set April 17 in Room 315 of Park Hall.

Groundwater presentation: Graham Bradley of the earth sciences faculty will speak at 2:30 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, on “The Role of Groundwater in Adapting to Changing Water Demand and Climates in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Oswego County GENIUS: High school students will display environmental-science entries in the competition on April 22. Winner will go to the college’s GENIUS Olympiad in June.

New wind turbine: After salvage and demolition of Snygg Hall concludes, a small wind turbine will rise in front of the Shineman Center to complement the 38kw roof-mounted solar array that already assists the 230,000-square-foot building’s power grid.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bike share rolling—Senior technology education major Alex Elkins shows off some of the bicycles that are part of the new earth-friendly Bike Share program on campus.

Thu Mar 20, 2014
Student's paintings at Quest to display city calendar-style

David Owens, a junior fine arts student concentrating in illustration, will present his work-in-progress, “Twelve in Oswego: An Artistic Interpretation of Time and Place,” on April 9 at Quest.

Artist David OwensFor every month of the year, Owens finds an ideal location to photograph a place in Oswego and creates paintings based on the photos. His goal is to get people to see his process and understand his work, as well as to think about the environment of the city and how it transforms month after month.

Owens hopes to turn these paintings into a 12-month calendar once he is finished.

“I wanted to make the project relatable to people who see it and get them to understand my process,” he said.

With his camera in hand, Owens spends approximately two hours capturing the perfect moment for a potential piece in his artwork. He has fully completed paintings for the months of January and February, and is currently finishing one for March.

Owens received a Scholarly and Creative Activity Committee grant to assist his project. The grant helped him pay for art supplies, boards and paint that would have been much too expensive for him otherwise. He also received the SUNY Oswego Presidential Purchase Award in 2013 and 2014 at the Juried Student Exhibition.

Opening doors

Owens will be one of two students to represent the college in the “Innovative Exploration Forum: Undergraduate Research in New York State’s Public Higher Education System” on April 1 at the University Faculty Senate in Albany, where he will present his project. His painting for the month of January was displayed in Schweinfurth Memorial Arts Center in Auburn.

“This project has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Owens, who continuously sends his artwork to publications and regional shows.

Art faculty member Richard Metzgar mentors Owens in the development and completion of his project, and the student has appreciated the teacher’s efforts.

“He’s invaluable,” Owens said. “His professional work relates to mine as an artist, and he pushed me conceptually to go with this idea.” Metzgar also helps Owens with grant applications and posters that are going to be on display.

Owens said he has always been passionate about painting and expressing himself creatively through his artwork. Along with pursuing his project, he also contributes to the Oswegonian through cartoons, editorial illustrations and covers. His artwork is displayed on his website,

Visit for more information, including, as Quest day nears, the times and places for the more than 300 presentations, exhibitions and other events.

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