Faculty Gear Up for New Academic Year
By Felicia Krieg
More than 1,000 incoming freshmen enter classes at SUNY Plattsburgh for the fall semester, with faculty prepared and eager to teach, mentor and challenge the new crop and returning students.
Faculty members and college President John Ettling expressed this anticipation at a reception and awards ceremony on Friday, Aug. 26.
“What a special, life-changing place this is,” Ettling said.
With the new academic year, faculty will continue to guide their students toward success through classroom instruction, advising and assistance with research and other applied learning experiences, the president said.
Ettling emphasized that it is through the efforts of faculty and staff that students will leave Plattsburgh with what they came here for originally—the skills and knowledge they will need for graduate school or the workforce.
They will also leave with many fond memories.
“The Plattsburgh experience is something they cherish for the rest of their lives,” he said.
‘Excited to See New Students’
Faculty said they are looking forward to working with students both new to SUNY Plattsburgh or simply new to their particular classes.
“I’m always excited to see a new group of students come in,” said Dr. Ray Carmen, assistant professor of political science, who has been busy reviewing and updating his course material in preparation for the new semester.
“I find they’re always so energetic and eager the first semester.”
“I just can’t wait to get started,” said Damien Quinlan ‘07, visiting professor of communications.
Quinlan brings first-hand experience in the field of broadcast journalism to his students. He’ll be teaching TV and video production, working closely with students who work for the campus television station, PSTV.
“Our industry changes at the drop of a hat,” Quinlan said. But students get everything they need at Plattsburgh to keep up with the challenging environment in the field, he said.
As the chair of the physics department, Dr. Tom Wolosz said he is keenly focused on student well-being, especially that of new freshmen since the material they’ll be learning will be more difficult than anything they’ve studied before.
“It’s being able to help them if they have any problems,” Wolosz said.
For upperclassmen, Wolosz dedicates time to help them write cover letters and resumes for graduate school or jobs.
Dr. Richard Mikkelson, distinguished teaching professor of art, has been teaching introduction to drawing to new students for almost 50 years.
He will teach the first session of that class to new freshmen Monday morning.
“I’ll be their first class at Plattsburgh,” he said.
In that class, he will get his students situated for not only a positive experience in his class, but an exceptional experience at SUNY Plattsburgh overall.
Student Association President Michael Kimmer addressed the faculty, expressing the students’ readiness and excitement to begin or continue with their college education.
“Our minds are ready for molding and we are ready for you,” Student Association President Michael Kimmer told the faculty.
Kimmer thanked the faculty for their efforts in ensuring students develop not only academically, but personally as well.
Before issuing awards to outstanding faculty and staff, Ettling acknowledged the more than 160 people who were appointed to new positions in the college in the past year.
Faculty Honors and Awards
Ettling and Provost James Liszka bestowed awards upon numerous faculty and staff for excellence in their service to students and to the college.
Among those recognized at the ceremony were:
- Sarah Charles, assistant professor of nursing, Faculty or Staff Impact Award.
- Sarah Hackett, graduate MST teacher education lecturer and program leader of the MST Learning Program, Teaching Excellence Award for Lecturers.
- Dr. Nancy Church, distinguished service professor of marketing and entrepreneurship, Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.
- Dr. Nancy Elwess, professor of biological sciences, promoted to SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
- Dr. Lise Heroux, professor of marketing, promoted to SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.
- Dr. Timothy J. Clukey, associate professor of communication, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- Dr. Kenneth Podolak, associate professor of physics, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- Dr. Richard Schaefer, associate professor of history, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- Dr. Amy Mountcastle, associate professor of anthropology, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
- Eileen Allen, coordinator of the GIS Laboratories in the Center for Earth and Environmental Science, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
- Susan Millett, senior programmer analyst in Computer Information Services, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
- Michelle Toth, associate librarian in Feinberg Library, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship.
- Richard Aberle, adjunct lecturer in the English department, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.
- April Gonyea, secretary 1 in the Office of the Registrar, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.
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