News Pulse

ISSUE DATE: July 31, 2000


What's New

Building Blocks


Appointments, Honors and Recognition



Alumni in the News

Students in the News

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What's New?


A matter of trust
On June 8, the SUNY New Paltz Foundation appointed five new members to its Board of Trustees, bringing the total number to 34. The new members, who will serve for a three-year term, include Lisa Hahn, president of Playbill Travel Inc., New York City; Jeffrey Heller, president of Heller Pension Associates, Hyde Park; Jeffrey Levy, regional president of M&T Bank Capital Region, Albany; Jane Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Washington, D.C.; and Mark Wodin, SUNY New Paltz professor emeritus, New Paltz. The SUNY New Paltz Foundation, created in 1976, is responsible for attracting and administering private support for programs and projects which are not financed through the state budget. The funds are used to enrich the quality of educational, cultural and service programs and to improve the quality of student life at SUNY New Paltz.


Building Blocks
Information provided to the Office of Administration by the offices of Facilities Operations and Facilities & Planning



... This past spring, the Mid-Hudson Migrant Education Outreach Program at SUNY New Paltz celebrated 25 years of service to the Mid-Hudson Valley's migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.

... The Institute for International Business (IIB) is seeking local housing for several students of its international certificate program, which combines a two-month stay at New Paltz preceding a two-month internship in New York City. They are English speaking adults in their mid to late 20s. IIB is providing $1000 to those willing to host a student from August 22 until October 20. Hosts are asked to provide weekend meals for the student, and those who do not reside within walking distance to the campus must provide the student with transportation to Monday - Friday classes as well. If interested, please e-mail Gail Parisi Morehouse at, or call the Office of Continuing & Professional Education at x2903.

... The Philosophy Department announces that a class has been added to the fall schedule in the "Asia, Africa and Latin America" category of general education courses. "Indian Philosophy," focusing on philosophical ideas in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, will be taught by adjunct John Pettit, Buddhism specialist with a doctoral degree in religion and the author of Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection (Wisdom Publications, 1999).


Appointments, Honors, and Recognition

Nancy Kassop (Political Science) will be in Los Angeles August 6 - 18 serving as a faculty leader at the Democratic National Convention. Scholars like Kassop will join politicians, media personalities and policy makers to provide students from around the country an inside view of the 2000 presidential campaign through this academic seminar offered by the independent nonprofit organization The Washington Center. Faculty leaders, all of whom have been or are currently full-time faculty at major colleges and universities, serve as advisors, facilitators and supervisors for student groups of 15 or less, and recommend a grade for each student at the seminar's conclusion. More than 1000 students have participated in these academic programs at both major national political conventions since the Center began offering the program in 1984.

Brett Willmott, who recently completed his first year as head coach of the cross-country and track & field teams, has been selected to help prepare the U. S. Skeleton Team for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Skeleton is like the sport of luge, with the two most notable differences being sledding down the icy course face-first instead of feet-first while lying on the stomach as opposed to the back. It will be an Olympic sport for the first time in 2002. A certified strength and conditioning specialist, Willmott will be the team's strength, conditioning and push coach. He has already worked for several years with one of the sport's premier competitors, Juleigh Walker, and looks to implement many of the same training methods with the other team members. "I want to thank New Paltz for giving me the support to do this, and my assistant [Mike Schmidt] for helping the transition from here to there," he said. Assistant Coach Mike Schmidt will serve as interim head coach for the next 20 months while Willmott is away on a leave of absence from the university.

Jim Zalacca, New Paltz athletic director for seven years, has been named president of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) for the 2000 - 01 academic year. From 1997 - 99, he was the SUNYAC Men's Division representative, and this past year was president-elect and chair of the SUNYAC Finance Committee. His new duties include calling all meetings of the Executive Committee and governing body to order and presiding over those seasonal assemblies, attending all meetings that have a bearing on the function of the conference, serving as the official spokesperson for the conference, and making SUNYAC committee appointments (pending approval of the membership body). Additionally, Zalacca is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Basketball Rules Committee and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Executive Council, and is involved with numerous ECAC committees.



John Alphonso-Karkala (Professor Emeritus/English and World Literature) participated in a roundtable discussion and presented a paper on teaching epics in world literature at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, held at Yale University in February. Alphonso-Karkala's paper included strategies for developing a world epics course; comparative discussion of Hellenic, Semetic, Indic and Chinese epics; and a critical framework for analyzing and interpreting the nature of heroic action. The arguments were subsumed under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's principle of "globalizing the disciplines" with diversity in regional species. Alphonso-Karkala is continuing his research in comparative world literature at Columbia University, where he is also a member of seminars on Shakespeare and Indology/South Asia.

Peter Kaufman (Sociology) presented two papers at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, held in Baltimore, Maryland in March. They are "Climbing the Social Ladder: Identity-Work Activities of the Upwardly Mobile" and "The Role of College in Identity Formation."


Alumni in the news

Ann Ferrell (Women's Studies, 1994) was recognized as the "1999 Outstanding Student in Folk Studies" while completing graduate work in that field at Western Kentucky University last year. She is now the principal assistant for the Kentucky Commission of Women, where her position entails "assisting with a broad range of projects from women's history in schools to legislation affecting women," she said.


Students in the news

This section features a portion of a news story written this spring by a student of Shelly Wright (Communication & Media).

By Kristin Amarante

If you are part of the faculty or student body at SUNY New Paltz, you might have noticed the new recycling bins that have magically appeared around campus. It wasn't magic. It was a result of the combined efforts of GAIA, an environmental group on campus, and campus chief janitor James Powers. GAIA and Powers worked together to get a new distributor company, Hudson Baler of Middletown, to pick up the recyclables on campus. The reason for the new distributor is that distributors in the past went bankrupt because they were having trouble getting rid of the recyclables, according to Powers. Tara Rainstrom, president of GAIA, said the new distributor is a bigger company and can afford to be more tolerant and less picky about what it collects. She said, "Our last recycling vendor didn't accept anything that was contaminated with garbage from careless people, but this one is much more lenient." GAIA and Powers have also been working on a project to better educate students about recycling. It consists of mandatory meetings for residence hall advisors and directors about the importance of recycling, said Rainstrom, who would also like to see mandatory meetings for all students living in the residence halls. In addition, Powers made up pamphlets on the significance of recycling and had them put in every mailbox on campus. "We aren't doing this because it is the law," he said. "We want to do it because it is the responsible thing to do." In addition to the feeling of satisfaction that Rainstrom gets from seeing her efforts turned to material accomplishments, she is also impressed with the cooperation the project received from the school and Powers. She said, "The more I learn about how things get done, the more I realize that the school does care; it's just hard for them to carry it out."


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!