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By Gerianne Wright
Nine SUNY Plattsburgh faculty and staff members have been named recipients of the 2015-2016 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.
Selected individuals are role models within the State University of New York community. A certificate and a Chancellor’s Excellence Medallion are bestowed upon each honoree to commemorate selection.
The SUNY Plattsburgh recipients will be honored in the fall during the President’s Welcome prior to the start of the semester, Aug. 26.
“The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the many faculty across our university system who have gone above and beyond as they educate, mentor, and conduct research alongside our students, as well as the staff whose service to SUNY is of the highest caliber,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “It is an honor to recognize excellent work across the SUNY system. Congratulations to this year’s recipients.”
“The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence recognize on a SUNY-wide level those faculty and staff who have demonstrated their dedication to the college through academics and teaching, service and scholarship,” said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. “We are proud of their accomplishments, thank them for their commitment to SUNY Plattsburgh, and congratulate them on earning this SUNY distinction.”
Timothy Clukey, associate professor in communications, joined the faculty in communications in 1999 as an assistant professor where he specializes in audio, radio and digital media production. He was promoted to associate professor in 2005. Prior to that, he worked as a corporate trainer and digital media specialist with Tandy Corporation for more than 20 years. He holds a master’s degree in corporate communications with an emphasis on multimedia production from the Park School of Communication at Ithaca College. He is a SUNY Plattsburgh graduate, holding a bachelor’s degree in communication.
Dr. Kenneth Podolak, assistant professor of physics, began his career at SUNY Plattsburgh as an assistant professor of physics in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. He teaches introductory and advanced levels of physics courses and their corresponding labs. Prior to joining the faculty, he taught at Pennsylvania State University from 2002 to 2008. He holds his Ph.D. and master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Dr. Richard Schaefer, assistant professor in history, joined the faculty in 2006 as a lecturer and was promoted to assistant professor a year later. In 2013, he achieved the rank of associate professor. He specializes in European Catholic revival, religion and modernity and the history of philosophy. Prior to SUNY Plattsburgh, he was an adjunct instructor at Cortland State University. He received both his Ph.D. and master’s from Cornell University and his bachelor’s degree from St. Jerome’s College, Waterloo, Ontario.
Dr. James Rice, professor of history, came to SUNY Plattsburgh in 1999 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 2002 and full professor in 2008. His area of specialization is early American, Native American, and environmental history. He holds his Ph.D. and master’s from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his bachelor’s from Colorado College.
Dr. Amy Mountcastle, associate professor of anthropology and Asian studies, with the college first as a visiting assistant professor in fall 1998 and then as an assistant professor in the spring 1999 semester, was promoted to associate professor in 2005. She has developed several courses in the area of her expertise and interest, including Tibet and the Himalayas, political anthropology, the anthropology of human rights, and culture and society of Croatia and its environs. She holds her master’s and doctorate from Rutgers University and her bachelor’s from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Michelle Toth, associate librarian, joined the SUNY Plattsburgh faculty in 1999 as a senior assistant librarian and was promoted to associate in 2006. She holds her master’s in library science from Indiana University and a bachelor’s from the University of Toledo.
Eileen Allen, coordinator of the Global Imaging Systems Laboratories in the Center for Earth and Environmental Science, earned her bachelor’s degree at SUNY Plattsburgh and began her career at the college as a research technician in 1984, subsequently earning her master’s degree here. In 1991 she became a lecturer in environmental science and an instructional support technician in 1999. She is the recent recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth Thorndike Adirondack Achievement Award from the Adirondack Research Consortium.
Susan Millett, senior programmer analyst in Computer Information Systems, completed her coursework in computer science at Dawson College in Montreal and SUNY Plattsburgh. She keeps current in the industry of programming and analysis through numerous training and continuing educational activities. She has held the position of senior programmer/analyst for nearly 29 years, joining the professional staff in 1983 as a technical assistant. Her skills include competencies in broad-ranging computer software, languages, databases, operating systems and hardware systems.
April Gonyea, secretary 1 in the registrar’s office, joined the staff at SUNY Plattsburgh in 1986 as a stenographer/keyboard specialist. She was promoted to keyboard specialist II in 2000 and secretary 1 in 2006. Some of her myriad duties include cross-registration grade posting from up to 63 SUNY campuses, processing for degree requirements, converting academic hardcopy records to Banner electronic records, monitoring students’ academic standing codes and grade posting, among others.
During the spring 2016 semester it was announced that Laura Holzer, adjunct lecturer in the counselor education program, and Richard Aberle, adjunct lecturer in English, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.
The awards provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. Through them, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and staff across all 64 campuses and system administration.
Awards are presented annual to faculty and staff in six categories: Faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities, teaching, adjunct in teaching (biannually), and classified service.
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