Stamm earns distinguished rank from SUNY

Al StammThree decades at SUNY Oswego helping others along with teaching have earned Dr. Al Stamm the rank of distinguished service professor, one of the system’s highest honors, from the SUNY board of trustees.

The chair of the college’s earth sciences department joined Oswego’s faculty in 1977. “Dr. Stamm’s most impressive accomplishment has been his service to the college and the community,” earth sciences faculty colleague Dr. Robert Ballentine said. “He has served on over 40 committees during his tenure at Oswego.”

This work includes chairing the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee for 18 years, where Stamm was instrumental in many initiatives, such as Quest and Faculty Enhancement Grants, geared to make research and scholarly activity a key part of campus culture.

Among his many other committees, Stamm is a longtime chair of Faculty Assembly’s Priorities and Planning Council, which evolved under his leadership from its origins as the Faculty Assembly Budget Council.

Dr. Jack Narayan, a distinguished teaching professor of mathematics at SUNY Oswego and Stamm’s nominator, detailed how Stamm went above and beyond in serving the campus and community. But he also emphasized his ability as an educator.

“Dr. Stamm’s performance in the classroom is outstanding,” Narayan wrote. “His caring, patient and friendly manner makes him a well sought-after professor. . . . He inspires hope and confidence in his students that remain with them long after they graduate.”

Former SUNY Oswego student Karen Kowalewsky, who credits Stamm’s guidance with going on to pursue her doctorate, agreed. “He communicates and presents his lectures in such a way that makes complicated subject material understandable,” she said. “He takes the time to get to know the students and understand what will motivate them to be successful in their academic and, eventually, professional careers.”

Stamm chairing Oswego’s earth sciences department has keyed its higher profile, Ballentine said. Stamm “has been successful in addressing the needs of three separate disciplines—astronomy, geology and meteorology,” Ballentine explained. “His leadership skill is shown by his ability to set long- and short-term goals for the department.”

Stamm also helped the college attract many funded research opportunities, several that enabled students to receive hands-on experience, Ballentine added.

His activities in the community are also robust. A former treasurer and board member of Parents of Special Children, Stamm and his wife Ginny Stamm served as foster parents raising three children with severe disabilities.

He was a founding member and treasurer of the Central New York chapter of the American Meteorological Society, volunteers extensively for the Newman Center and remains active with a range of environmental organizations and causes.

Stamm earned a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in 2005 as well as three campus awards for his sponsored research activity.

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Distinguished service—Dr. Al Stamm, chair of SUNY Oswego’s earth sciences department, recently received the rank of distinguished service professor from the SUNY board of trustees. One of the top honors in the State University system, it recognizes his work in going above and beyond to serve the college and community in his three decades at Oswego. He is shown working in the field with Nicole Hannon and Jason Keeler, meteorology majors who graduated in May.

(Posted: Jun 13, 2007)