Student focused

Our students and graduates thrive through knowledge, experience, perspectives and discovery gained at SUNY Oswego that animates and informs their work, their communities and personal lives. Throughout the 2015-16 year, a year in which the college welcomed the most culturally diverse freshman class in its history, SUNY Oswego broadened its access to education, expanded its applied and international learning opportunities, and continued to celebrate excellence and leadership amongst the student body.

Paths to prosperity

The university system’s Investment and Performance Fund, established in the 2015-16 state budget, infused resources for SUNY and CUNY campuses to support initiatives aimed at supporting student access and completion, and boosting the number of degrees awarded annually by bringing evidence-based programs to scale.



Mathematics professor Chris Baltus works with incoming freshmen Marc DiRaimo (left), an electrical and computer engineering major, and Aubrey Nooks, a software engineering major, during a precalculus class.

We created the SUNY Undergraduate Mathematics Success (SUMS) initiative to intensify support to an increasingly broad range of incoming students who encounter mathematics as a barrier to academic success. The implementation of SUMS is also connected to SUNY Oswego’s efforts to increase retention and graduation rates of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), education and eventually all students who might find math to be a stumbling block. SUMS combines and expands several strategies already proving successful at Oswego including the creation of an on-campus and virtually accessible math tutoring center; a weeklong summer bridge camp for all incoming STEM and childhood education students; and the establishment of hybrid instruction models and learning cohorts for select introductory math courses.

SUNY Labs to Jobs Consortium

The SUNY Labs to Jobs Consortium, led by Onondaga Community College and including SUNY Oswego, Upstate Medical University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Morrisville State College, will provide students with lab spaces that simulate various workplaces and house workforce development training in fields such as medicine, engineering and business. Together these campuses will share seven advanced labs located across the region, and work together and collaborate with business partners to lift the health and vitality of our region.

SUNY Oswego’s campuses in Oswego and Syracuse will have two of the consortium’s new labs, costing just over $2 million. A $1.42 million research lab is planned at SUNY Oswego in Syracuse to support the college’s forthcoming master’s degree in biomedical and health informatics, an interdisciplinary field that studies and uses biomedical data, information and knowledge to improve human health. The lab will be used to train students and professionals to apply the most advanced information technology to develop solutions in health care, health services and health research.

The $230,000 teaching lab, in the college’s electrical and computer engineering department in the Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation on the college’s main campus, will feature 12 workstations, at which students can work in groups of two, learning basic electrical engineering fundamentals and applying those skills to the operation, design and construction of biomedical instruments.

Cancer research, education and care

SUNY Oswego is a partner in a third project, announced in 2016, that will establish a cancer study and care center at Upstate Medical University. The SUNY Institute for Precision Cancer Research, Education and Care will fuse a patient’s personal data to cancer treatments they receive in the clinic. SUNY Upstate Medical University originated the proposal with partnering campuses SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Oswego’s software engineering faculty and students are among those who will participate in the institute’s work.

Student leadership

Oswego encourages critical thinking, leadership, synthesis of knowledge and motivation so that our students go on to live active, engaged lives. In 2015-16, many well-deserving students were recognized for their success and leadership.

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Three SUNY Oswego students active in academics, leadership and community service received the 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence—the highest student recognition through the statewide university system. Oswego honorees for outstanding achievements inside and outside the classroom in 2015-16 were Juanita Diaz, a zoology major with minors in geology and biocultural anthropology; Tyler Pelle, an honors program dual major in meteorology and applied mathematics; and Iain Thompson, a biochemistry major with a pre-health emphasis.

Oz Leads Leadership Institute

Oz Leads, a new SUNY Oswego leadership institute funded by William Spinelli '84, develops students’ skills for top positions on campus and in life beyond. The 25 students selected for the first Oz Leads attended a series of 20 weekly workshops to build skills in identity, teamwork, consciousness of self and more. Along the way, participants worked as a cohort, created leadership projects, attended a leadership conference and visited a leadership organization. More than 50 students applied for the leadership institute, which is geared to any student who has an interest in being a leader or a desire to better understand leadership. One student revealed an interest to “learn how to get myself out there, build confidence and take more chances with the opportunities on campus.”

Applied learning with a global perspective

SUNY Oswego provides myriad opportunities for students to form meaningful relationships with each other, with faculty and staff and with communities near and far through service-learning coursework, volunteer experiences, research and study abroad. The college continues to be a recognized leader in experiential education, inquiry and engagement. Oswego leads nationally in service learning and community service, earning the United States President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction since 2011 as well as holding the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification since 2011.

Experiential learning

A campus-based video production business launched in 2015-16, giving students experience with running a business. Lakeside Media @ SUNY Oswego operates as a student-staffed, faculty-mentored video production business, with professional responsibilities that include everything from on-time delivery of high-quality video to keeping the books. According to the dean of the college’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts, “It’s actual professional experience that these students are getting, with faculty oversight; the work is contracted and the students are paid.”

In November 2015, WCNY-TV public television in Syracuse aired three episodes of a 1960s-style sci-fi horror series titled “Spectral Transmission,” produced start to finish by SUNY Oswego students from Jacob Dodd’s cinema and screen studies class. Inspired by such cult classics as “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits, ” the anthology series demonstrates Oswego students’ creativity in tandem with retro technology: 16mm black-and-white film, audio from metal cassette tapes, eerie piano music and classic special effects.

International perspective

A record number of SUNY Oswego short-term courses followed by travel sent students and mentors to the Bahamas, Benin, Cuba, Ecuador and India over the 2015-16 winter break, helping students put into immediate context and practice what they learned in class.

Students traveling to the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas saw what a devastating hurricane does to beaches and to objects as large as boulders. Other eight-week courses wound up with study abroad for 7 to 17 days. Students traveled to Calcutta to perform on stage with actors from India, to Benin in West Africa to share knowledge about permaculture, to Cuba to experience culture through photography and music, and to Ecuador for a mountain-climbing expedition.

The trips enhanced active research projects, ongoing activities in learning, and followed a well-designed course structure that produced authentic, rich encounters with people and cultures abroad.

Oswego student with Peruvians

Inclusive study-abroad initiative earns national honor

A SUNY Oswego campaign to extend international study opportunities to a wider diversity of students won national recognition in 2016. The Institute for International Education chose Oswego’s “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign for honorable mention in its Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. The honor was one of only three awarded in the study-abroad category.

An initiative of the college’s Office of International Education and Programs and students serving as study-abroad mentors, “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” sought to raise awareness among students who have been underrepresented in study abroad of the benefits of international education and the availability of scholarships to help pay for it.

Dr. Joshua McKeown, Oswego’s director of international education and programs, said that for too long, the paradigm nationally for study abroad has been overwhelmingly female, low in minority participation, focused on the social sciences and humanities, and directed toward Western Europe.

SUNY Oswego’s aggressive expansion and diversification of its study-abroad portfolio, coupled with increases in targeted institutional grants, have moved the campus toward ensuring that education abroad is attainable by all students. In 2010-11, underrepresented groups comprised 13 percent of students going abroad from Oswego; by 2014-15, more than 25 percent of study-abroad participants were from underrepresented groups, mirroring the college’s diversity.

In this section ...