Three recognized for outstanding teaching

SUNY Oswego faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Dunne Schmitt of the economics department and Dr. Barry Friedman of the marketing and management department are co-winners of the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence for 2007-08.

In addition, Donna Steiner of the English and creative writing department won the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence for Part-Time Faculty on Oswego’s campus.

Dunne Schmitt joined Oswego’s faculty in 1995 and has served as economics chair since 2004. She describes economics as her passion, with a goal of bringing the discipline alive as a way of problem-solving and decision-making for life.Elizabeth Dunne Schmitt

“She is respectful and encouraging of all her students and inspires further study and growth to those motivated students within her disciplines,” said student nominator Michael LaMastra. “She always makes herself available during her office hours (and at other times) for those students who may be struggling in her class.”

Dunne Schmitt has been active in all facets of learning, from developing new courses to publishing and presenting to focusing on first-year and student-retention issues. She has created interdisciplinary courses like “The Economics of Gender” and established online versions of classes like “Money and Banking” and “Principles of Macroeconomics.” Dunne Schmitt also produced a video guide to complement economics textbooks published by the Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

Friedman spent 26 years in the corporate world in Rochester before joining Oswego’s faculty as an assistant professor in 2003, with peers and students alike praising what he brings to academia.
Barry Friedman

“Dr. Friedman is a tremendous asset to our institution,” said nominator Nancy Bellow, director of the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations. “He fosters student learning in a variety of ways thereby expanding the collective learning environment exponentially. He takes extraordinary steps to insure that students get real-world, hands-on experience as part of their educational experience at SUNY Oswego.”

In addition to being widely published in refereed journals and presenting papers nationally and internationally, he is popular with students for his approachability and “Friedman Guarantee.” “This guarantee states that Dr. Friedman will return all assignments by the following class day,” said student co-nominator Stephanie Schneider. “He has never varied from this guarantee, providing students with an expectation of timely feedback.”

Steiner, an adjunct at Oswego since 2003, brings a national reputation for prose and poetry that informs her classroom work, said nominator Robert O’Connor of Oswego’s English and creative writing faculty.Donna Steiner

“She knows her craft down to her bones and her students recognize this—they know, when she speaks, that she speaks from a wealth of experience and practice as a writer, and they also know that she cares deeply, from the heart, about sharing that wealth with them,” O’Connor wrote.

Her work has appeared in top literary journals and many anthologies, essay collections and textbooks. Steiner translates this knowledge into the classroom, student co-nominator Tanya Pratt said.

“I have learned how to read a piece of work objectively, looking for ways to strengthen it and convey why I feel my suggestions will be useful to the author,” Pratt noted. “I have learned how to integrate this way of thinking into my own writing.”

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(Posted: Apr 30, 2008)