Communication studies faculty member Katherine ThweattDr. Katherine Thweatt (right), associate professor and graduate director of the strategic communication M.A. program, recently spearheaded the planning and execution of the annual Eastern Communication Association conference, which ran April 10 to 14 in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to planning the theme, logo, ancillary events, community impact opportunities and the entirety of all the events of the conference, Thweatt also assumed the role of president of the ECA, which was established in 1910 and continues as the oldest professional communication association in the United States. Conference planning began in 2016, when Thweatt was vice president elect select, and resulted in over 555 submissions to more than 25 interest groups and divisions, with a theme of Creating Our Future. This year's conference included 721 unique participants listed in the index with conference registration totaling 654 for a full slate of more than 255 events. Dr. Mary Toale, SUNY Oswego’s executive assistant to the president and a communication studies faculty member, played a supporting role in organizing the conference, as second vice president of ECA, and served as one of several distinguished presenters at the introductory Basic Course Conference. Other members of the SUNY Oswego faculty served as planners for three interest groups including Interpersonal Communication, planned by Dr. Jenny Rosenberg; Communication Law and Ethics, planned by Jason Zenor; and Voices of Diversity planned by Dr. Christine Hirsch. Other members of the communication studies department participating in the conference included Dr. Lindsay McCluskey and Jake Nickell, as well as Dr. Taejin Jung serving as an invited speaker on one of several Community Impact sessions established by Thweatt as part of the VP's special sessions. Students from SUNY Oswego also participated in the conference with faculty-student research, including master’s in strategic communication students (above, from left) Rachelle Hills and Amanda Ebrahim, who also helped with social media for the conference.

Student who created Smart Garden giving poster presentation

A water- and labor-conserving Smart Garden that took shape in a lab in SUNY Oswego's Shineman Center earned three senior electrical and computer engineering majors third place in the student poster competition at the 17th annual New York State Green Building Conference in Syracuse. From left, Zachary Gathmann, David Ng Lee and Samantha Carey presented their  Smart Garden project at the college's April 3 Quest celebration of research and scholarly activity before impressing judges at the April 17 conference. The New York State Green Building Conference is considered the premier conference of its type in the Northeast, attracting industries including architecture, engineering, construction, consulting, deconstruction, landscape architecture, government, higher education, K-12 education, state agencies, real estate and management firms.

Students earned grants to study in Germany

The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, or DAAD) awarded grants to Oswego students Michelle DiBlasio (rigth) and Momoko Ogiso (left) for summer study in Germany. DiBlasio, a sophomore from Smithtown, majors in German and adolescence education. Ogiso is a junior from Takayama, Japan, majoring in global and international studies and minoring in German. The students will study the language, literature, culture, politics and economy of Germany during their monthlong courses. As DAAD courses draw students from around the globe, they will learn with and from international colleagues. Extracurricular activities offer students the opportunity to discover local and regional cultural attractions. The DAAD grants cover the cost of the students’ tuition, health insurance, and extracurricular activities. It also includes a travel stipend and a contribution to the cost of housing. The DAAD is the largest German funding organization for student and researcher exchanges. Oswego's department of modern languages and literatures also awarded GETGO grants to both students to support them in their study of the German language and culture. “This is a great honor for Michelle, Momoko and SUNY Oswego,” said Patrick Schultz (center) of the modern languages and literatures faculty, who helped the students with their applications.

Kathleen Evans, assistant vice president for student development, was selected to take part in the competitive inaugural New York State Student Success Center Coaching Academy. The program for top student success professionals included a Coaching Academy Retreat April 8 and 9 at Rockland Community College. “Our selection team was very impressed with the quality of the nominees and was able to choose a diverse group of professionals from both two- and four-year colleges of varying sizes in locations throughout the state,” Jennifer Miller, executive director of the state’s JFF Student Success Center and SUNY director of community college support, wrote while informing Evans of the honor.

Christy Huynh, career coach for exploratory and undeclared students in the Office of Career Services, was elected president of the statewide SUNY Career Development Organization professional association. Tina Cooper, site coordinator in the Office of Experiential Courses and Engaged Learning, was elected treasurer. The professional organization designs and implements career programs and services tailored to the educational and workforce demands of the students of the SUNY system.

Michael Flanagan, director of Tyler Art Gallery, joined Cynthia Falk, professor at The Cooperstown Graduate Program of SUNY Oneonta, for a presentation titled “Creating Accessible and Inclusive Settings and Content” on April 7 at the Museum Association of New York (MANY) annual meeting in Lake Placid. Art faculty member Rebecca Mushtare co-prepared the presentation, but could not attend the conference. The talk was about the need for museums and cultural institutions to promote accessibility and inclusion for all visitors, to fulfill their missions as educational and community organizations. The session explored solutions, shared successes and reflected on ongoing challenges in ensuring access to museums. It featured a case study concerning the ongoing efforts led by SUNY Oswego’s art department to collaborate with local senior citizens to bridge intergenerational gaps. "This conference session was well-attended and it seemed many working in museums in New York state are starting to consider seniors as a segment of their potential audience they want to make a special effort to include,” Flanagan said. “Several museum professionals approached me to discuss their particular situations and plans in that regard." Mushtare teaches web design and is a nationally recognized leader in web accessibility. 

Master's in human-computer interaction students Khushboo Panchal, Joseph Gray and Bharati Mahajan ready to present their Nero app concept

The team of students behind the Nero water tracking/conservation app concept competed Friday in the New York Business Plan Competition in Albany. Master's in human-computer interaction students (from left) Khushboo PanchalJoseph Gray and Bharati Mahajan qualified by winning the college's Grand Challenges Makeathon and then placing in Compete CNY's Energy and Environment category.

Irene Scruton, director of MBA programs and assistant dean of Oswego’s School of Business, participated on a panel addressing “Innovations in Alumni Engagement” at the 2019 AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting April 14 to 16 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her co-panelists were Tanuja Singh, dean of the School of Business at St. Mary's College, and Steve Sears, dean of the School of Business at Texas A&M. Scruton also ran a work group at the conference for the AACSB Online Sector, led by Tawnya Means, assistant dean and director of the Learning and Teaching Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.