News Pulse

ISSUE DATE: February 1, 1999


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Awards, Honors and Recognition




Alumni in the News

Students in the News

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What's New?


Robert Mumper: A contribution by Vice President Bill Vasse
Robert Mumper (Music) has been a member of the SUNY New Paltz music faculty since 1963. In 1981, Peter Vukasin, then vice president for academic affairs, appointed Mumper to the position of assistant vice president and director of graduate studies. In 1982 his title was changed to associate vice president for academic affairs, and in 1993 he was named dean of The Graduate School as well. He is, besides, a concert pianist, a sailor, a navigator, an airplane pilot, and a genius at mediating disputes, solving problems, and getting things done. Responsible for academic program development, Mumper presided over the dramatic expansion of academic programs at SUNY New Paltz during the last 15 years. He was a leader in developing new international programs and relationships with higher education institutions in other countries. He was the first at SUNY New Paltz to recognize the importance of an organized and aggressive effort to recruit international students and led the successful effort to do so. Under his guidance, our graduate program offerings increased in number and quality. At the end of the 1998 fall term, he left the Office of Academic Affairs for a well-earned sabbatical leave in preparation for returning to his faculty position next fall. Academic Affairs will never be the same without Mumper's deft touch with a problem in need of a solution. But we will strive in his absence to follow Mumper's Maxims:

Phyllis Freeman appointed
For the next calendar year, The Graduate School will be guided by Phyllis Freeman (Psychology), who has agreed to serve as the interim dean on a part-time basis. "We welcome her to the Office of Academic Affairs," said Vasse. "I'm very excited about assuming the position of interim dean," said Freeman. "I think my major role will be to highlight the unique position of New Paltz in graduate and professional education in the Hudson Valley. I want to bring our graduate programs, our faculty and our graduate students the attention they deserve both on and off campus."

Freeman has taught at New Paltz since 1975 and served as director of the graduate program in psychology for 11 years. She is an experimental psychologist who has published in the areas of psychopharmacology, postsecondary pedagogy and the history of medicine (psychiatry). She was the first recipient of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences "Teacher of the Year Award" for full-time faculty, given during the 1995-96 academic year, and she has been the presiding officer of graduate faculty at New Paltz for the past two years. In addition to her position as acting dean, she will continue teaching courses in the Psychology Department. Freeman also said she is excited about an anthology she is presently co-editing with Jan Schmidt (English), to be published by Routledge in spring 2000. Titled "Teaching in Time: Reflections of Women at Mid-Life," this anthology will contain self-reflective autobiographical pieces by women who teach at the college level all over the U.S., in a vast range of disciplines. Freeman is one.



... The deadline for International Study Awards applications is March 1, as announced last week. Please disregard the February 1 deadline which is noted on the application form.

...The Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD), the 12-hour class for women that is sure to empower, will be held Tuesday nights this month, beginning February 2. Certified RAD instructors will teach from 6-9 p.m. in the Student Union Purple Lounge. The cost is $10 for students, $15 for staff and $20 for all others. This course is sponsored by the University Police.


Awards, Honors, and Recognition

Antonio Bonilla (EOP) was selected "Co-Coach of the Year" in women's volleyball last fall at the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), held at SUNY Geneseo. For exemplifying outstanding coaching throughout the season, this honor was given to Bonilla and SUNY Cortland's women's volleyball coach, Joan Sitterly. "I am honored because I was selected co-coach next to a person who is considered a well-known figure in women's volleyball, leading her teams to numerous SUNYAC championships," said Bonilla, whose own women's volleyball teams' records during his seven seasons as coach reflect 174 wins and 96 losses. Bonilla also holds the title of men's volleyball coach for his eleventh season which began last week.

The Office of Financial Aid, under the leadership of Dan Sistarenik, obtained an additional $4,000 in matching work-study funds from SUNY Central for the 1998-99 academic year. New Paltz was the only campus to receive an increase of any kind this year.



Jerry Benjamin (Liberal Arts & Sciences) made a presentation to Japanese local government officials interning in the U.S. at a conference on "National-Local Relations," organized by and held at the Japan Local Government Center in New York City. Additionally, Benjamin gave a presentation on alternative service delivery models at the annual gathering of the New York State County Mental Health Directors, which took place in Rensselaerville.

Jo Margaret Mano (Geography) presented a paper titled "Managing the Beast: Development Pressure and Response in Southern New York Counties in the 1990s" at a meeting of the Middle States Division Association of American Geographers and the New Jersey Geographic Alliance, held at Rutgers University in October. Additionally, Mano presented a paper, "Playing the Edge: Geography's Perspectives and Insights," at the eighth annual conference of the Institute for Postsecondary Pedagogy titled "Creating Alternative Learning Cultures: Culture, Cognition and Learning," which took place in Ellenville in November.

Tamm Sissac (Library) presented a paper, "Replacing Legacy Library Systems," which addressed the process of procuring and implementing a next-generation library system, at the annual conference of the New England Library Association, held in Providence, Rhode Island.


Alumni in the news

Victoria Vakarchuk (BA/Mathematics, 1996) has joined the doctoral program in mathematics at Arizona State University.


Students in the news

Jessica Nadolny (Junior/Elementary Education) and Belgica Santana (Sophomore/Undecided) were named to the ALL-SUNYAC first teams in women's volleyball and women's soccer, respectively. Nadolny also plays women's lacrosse and women's soccer at New Paltz. Santana was deemed the women's soccer team's "Most Valuable Player" last fall, a title for which she was also recognized at various tournaments attended by the team throughout the season.

Claudine Gruver (Senior/Biology) will compete at the NCAA Division III national swim meet to be held at Miami University in Ohio in March, thanks to her 58.43-second demonstration of the 100 meter backstroke during a meet with Hartwick College in October. Her time sets a record for SUNY New Paltz, SUNYAC Conference and Hartwick's Binder Pool. Gruver transferred to New Paltz last summer from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.


Items may be submitted for publication in News Pulse by contacting writer/editor Nancy Pizio (x3187) at the Office of Public Affairs, Division of Advancement. E-mail is preferred, sent to: with hard copy faxed to 3345. We appreciate your patience as items are included as expeditiously as possible. Past issues are now available online!