News Pulse

ISSUE DATE: December 3, 2001


What's New


Awards, Honors and Recognition




In Memoriam

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In memoriam
It has come to the attention of the Public Affairs Office that several members of the SUNY New Paltz community have passed away recently. We regretfully report the deaths of Dorritt Berg, Delia "Dee" Brocker, Frank Eckelt, and Pat Pole. In order to honor adequately these individuals in the newsletter's "In Memoriam" section, we have chosen to include only one per week. At this time, information and personal comments that colleagues would like to share for inclusion in the memorial section are welcome. Write to the editor at

Presidential search update
All positions on the search committee for the next president of SUNY New Paltz are now filled. Marie Dunne (Enrollment Management) will be the representative for Classified Staff. The full committee includes four College Council members: Harry Scherr, Marianne Collins, Thomas Conway and Carolyn Kuhlmann; six teaching faculty: Jamie Bennett, Karl Heiner, Nancy Kassop, Kequin Li, Christopher Raab and Spencer Salend; dean representation by Gerald Benjamin; professional staff representation by Stuart Robinson; student representation by Jonathon Amoia, Foundation representation by Taylor Thompson; and alumni representation by Vincent Cozzolino. The committee has contracted with Korn Ferry International to support the search effort.

Merry gatherings
Take time to enjoy the holiday season with your colleagues. The annual Holiday Open House for Professional Staff, sponsored by the President's Office, will be hosted by Interim President Steven Poskanzer at 29 Cedar Ridge Road, New Paltz, on Saturday, Dec. 8. Invitations specify 2 or 4 p.m. The annual Awards Luncheon for Classified Staff, sponsored by The Wood Company, will be hosted by President Poskanzer in the Student Union Building, Multipurpose Room, at noon on Friday, Dec. 14.

Howdy, partner
The Department of Elementary Education has begun to develop School-University Partnerships with area schools, an initiative that has been in progress since the spring. The department met with the Ellenville, Newburgh and Marlboro school districts in October to explore opportunities to work together in the future. The department and the districts have agreed that focus will be on school children's academic needs and meaningful field experiences for pre-service teachers.



... As part of the "On Campus" TV series, Devon Duhaney's (Secondary Education) half-hour interview with Peter D.G. Brown (Foreign Language) and Carol Rietsma (Biology) about their recent three-week study tour to China aired last week and will air again this week on local television. The show includes Brown's videography of rural villages and modern cities, Chinese people at work and play, and the celebrations that erupted in Beijing after the announcement of that city's choice for the 2008 Olympics. The show will be broadcast tomorrow on WNPC at noon, and at 9 p.m. on Time-Warner Cable Channel 6.

... Again, the university administration is requesting your participation in the voluntary holiday reduced schedule during the winter recess. Buildings will be closed from 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21 to 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Please plan for a vacation using annual, personal, compensatory, or leave without pay during this period. On the back of a recent memo from the College Cabinet, you will find a form to indicate the days on which you intend to be out. Return it to your dean or director by Friday. Employees who are unable to take leave during this period will be provided with alternative assignments in one of the facilities that remain open: Haggerty Administration Building; Heating Plant; Service Building; and Crispell, Capen, Deyo and Scudder halls. Thank you for your cooperation and willingness to participate in the voluntary holiday closing plan. Our unified effort will produce needed savings in utility costs.

... SUNY New Paltz is again coordinating the giving of holiday gifts to the migrant families in our area. Gift tags bearing a child's name and other personal information are available at the Office of Residence Life through December 11. Please direct any questions to Corinna Caracci, Residence Life director, at x4444.

... The Purchasing Department is participating in the 2001 Toys for Tots campaign run by the Marine Corps Reserve. The department was extremely successful in collecting toys last year from numerous members of the faculty, staff and the student body and hopes that this year will be even better. Anyone may bring new, unwrapped toys to the Purchasing Department, Haggerty Administration Building, Room 307, from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. The Dec. 14 deadline allows sufficient time for the volunteers to distribute the toys to needy children in the Hudson Valley. Anyone with questions may call the department at x3190.

... Computer virus alert! Sophos reports a significant number of users receiving an e-mail-aware worm called W32/Badtrans-B. Users with a current LAN login should already have protection against this worm. Non-LAN and home users should update their versions of Sophos at their earliest opportunity. Campus users should rely on Computer Services to assist with removing this worm, if infected.


Awards, Honors, and Recognition

Through his work with the Red Cross James Halpern (Psychology) assisted with coordinating efforts after the tragic crash of flight 587. He escorted 30 nurses, mental health and spiritual care workers from the Bronx to the Queens crash site, and to the memorial service attended by nearly 400 family members of victims.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce that the Mid-Hudson Migrant Education Program at SUNY New Paltz, directed by Margaret Gutierrez, has received from the BOCES Geneseo Migrant Education Center a $24,757 award for the "Even Start Transition Program," which assists members of migrant families in developing literacy skills through home-based instruction.

According to the federal government, SUNY New Paltz students are paying back their student loans at an above-average rate compared with students of other universities and colleges in the nation and state. For the past three fiscal years, the number of New Paltz students in repayment has increased steadily, resulting in the continual lowering of the default rate from 5.7 to 3.5. New Paltz' default rate is lower than both the national and state averages, which are 5.6 and 5.5, respectively. "This is testimony to our students taking their loan repayment responsibility seriously and our institution's collective loan counseling and financial advising efforts," said Daniel Sistarenik, financial aid director. Whether or not the current economic downturn in the country will influence the student loan default rate, "Time will tell," said Sistarenik, but there are plenty of hardship deferment options of which alumni can avail themselves.



Professors emeritus John Alphonso Karkala and Leena A. Karkala (both English) jointly published a biographical study of Elin Maria Enkvist (1872-1950). The book, Teisko Ancestry, was published by Viesti Paino Oy, Tampere, Finland, in August. The Karkalas retired in 1998.

Amy Kesselman (Women's Studies) published an article titled "Women's Liberation and the New Left in New Haven, Connecticut 1968-72" in the fall issue of the journal Radical History Review. The article presents an argument against the idea that identity politics destroyed the New Left, and instead asserts that the failure to sustain an inclusive progressive movement in New Haven was at least partially a result of the male-dominated Left's refusal to fully incorporate feminist ideas into its politics and vision.

Gail Vorbach, adjunct in the English Department, was on WAMC public radio's call-in show "VOX POP" on Oct. 30 to address adjunct issues in higher education. This was one of many events in the Hudson Valley during a nation-wide equity week for adjunct instructors.



The SUNY New Paltz Center for International Programs played a prominent role in the New York-New Jersey Regional Conference of NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, which was held in Poughkeepsie Nov. 4-6. Study abroad assistant Mario Varuzza, a representative to the NAFSA Regional Team, was a panel member in a presentation titled "Charting the Course: Study Abroad and Technology" and also served as conference hospitality chair. International student advisor Beth Vargas was the conference registration chair. Provost David Lavallee was a panelist in a plenary luncheon panel discussion titled "Current Issues in International Education: The Views of Senior Academic Administrators," which was moderated by Bruce Sillner, dean of International Programs.

Ronald Knapp, professor emeritus of geography, made a teleconference presentation, "East Asia's Lands and Peoples -- Geography: Patterns, Places, Regions, & Issues," on Oct. 6 for the North Carolina Teaching Asia Network. Facilitated by the Center for Instructional Resources, this two-hour interactive lecture was a first for the new Exploris Museum in Raleigh.


In Memoriam

Delia "Dee" Brocker, retired SUNY New Paltz secretary, died Nov. 19 at her home in New Paltz. Daughter of the late James and Agnes Doolin Fay, she was raised in Rosedale, Long Island, and had also been employed by the British Army on the Rhine. Brocker worked at the university for many years as a secretary in the English Department, and continued after her retirement to serve SUNY New Paltz when called upon. In this manner, she was temporarily employed in the President's Office, Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, Black Studies and Physics departments. She was described by her former colleague and friend, Marie Gabriel, English Department secretary, as "a joyous, upbeat person with a great personality and a zest for life." Brocker was a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, where she was a Eucharistic minister. She was also a member of Dusseldorf International Women's Club, president of the PTA at the International School of Dusseldorf, and a volunteer for the Ulster County Literacy Association. Five sons, two daughters, two brothers, a sister and seven grandchildren survive her. Brocker is buried in Wallkill Valley Cemetery.


News Pulse is published for the faculty and staff of SUNY New Paltz by the Office of Public Affairs, Division of Advancement. It is printed in house on recycled paper and is also available online. To submit information to the newsletter, please complete the online submission form. If you are requesting inclusion in a particular issue, your submission must be received by noon on Tuesday of the prior week. Contact editor Nancy Zellner Fenichel at x3187 with any additional questions.