News Pulse

ISSUE DATE: January 7, 2002


What's New


Awards, Honors and Recognition



Alumni in the News

In Memoriam

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Interim President Steven Poskanzer thanks Susan Boyer (Facilities Operations) for 20 years of dedicated service to SUNY New Paltz at the 16th Annual Awards Luncheon for Classified Staff on Dec. 14.
Interim President Steven Poskanzer thanks Susan Boyer (Facilities Operations) for 20 years of dedicated service to SUNY New Paltz at the 16th Annual Awards Luncheon for Classified Staff on Dec. 14.
Photo by Rachel Reuben (Public Affairs).

Happy anniversary!
"You are the people that bring heart to this institution," Rose Rudnitski, presiding officer of the faculty, told New Paltz classified employees at the 16th Annual Awards Luncheon for Classified Staff, where numerous individuals were recognized for lengthy commitment to the university. Celebrating 30-year anniversaries were Pamela Boden (University Police) and Lorraine Fazio (Educational Studies). Commemorating 25 years of service were Heidi Ackermann (Facilities Operations), Gedney Mackey Jr. (Heating Plant), Stefanie Morrison (Student Health Center), Barbara Novick (Psychology), Carolyn Lee Schiavone (Fine and Performing Arts) and Donald Seablom (University Police). Rounding the 20-year mark were Martin Benjamin (Facilities Operations), Susan Boyer (Facilities Operations), Robert Bramley (University Police), Anna DeCapua (Accounting), Connie DePuy (Admissions), Marie Gabriel (English), Elizabeth Gigante (Foreign Languages), Mary Griffin (Education), Gae Gundersen-Barry (Student Affairs), Joan Roberts (Records and Registration), June Sendall (Accounts Payable), Dorothy Struck (Facilities and Planning) and Nancy Valenti (Student Accounts). On behalf of the students and alumni, faculty and staff these individuals have served for so long, thank you! In his address to the crowd, Interim President Steven Poskanzer said, "This is a remarkable place...The people here are kind, friendly and welcoming. That is part of the culture of New Paltz. I'm struck by the deep commitment of my new colleagues here."

Language as power
The University Writing Board's annual fall retreat drew 30 faculty and professional staff to the Linwood Spiritual Center in Rhinebeck on Nov. 30. The retreat theme this year was "Language as Power: Limitations and Possibilities." Workshop topics included academic freedom, rhetoric and ethics, and theories of language and power. Watch the Writing Board's Web page,, for spring 2002 events, including the Celebration of Writing Day. Faculty members are asked to encourage students to submit their work for this event, particularly those not conventionally associated with the discipline of writing. In addition to creative fiction, drama and verse, the board welcomes critical reviews of arts and cultural activity, social and political analyses, news stories, book reviews and science reports. A reception to be held early in the spring semester will provide more information about the Writing Board and designing writing intensive course proposals.

Courses in Kingston
SUNY New Paltz is now registering students for two courses to be taught in Kingston beginning this month. The classes from the School of Business and Nursing Program are the first of what the university expects to be a growing selection of courses available in Kingston. "Courses in business and nursing are exactly what the community is telling us is needed," said Provost David Lavallee. "The popularity of our business school is growing at a tremendous pace, and healthcare providers are anxious to expand programs that will help provide nurses to the region." The deadline for registration for courses to be taught at the Business Resource Center is Jan. 15.

Under development
Applications and guidelines for the Individual Development Award Program covering the period of Sept. 1, 2001 to Aug. 31, 2002 are now available at the office of Glenn McNitt, United University Professions chapter president, and online at A total of $27,609 is available to full- and part-time faculty and professional staff, with a maximum award of $1,000. Additionally, awards for release time for an individual project, up to $4,000 can be awarded by the Campus Professional Development Committee. Committee members are: Rebecca Adae (ESL), Larry Fialkow (Computer Science), Larry Hauptman (History), Gwen Havranek (Liberal Arts and Sciences), Clifton Meador (Art) and Marda Reid (Provost's Office). The deadline is March 1, and the committee will make awards by early April. Send applications to Reid (Haggerty Administration Building, Room 803), who said, "We look forward to reading your proposals and wish you much success!"



... Nominations for Chancellor's Awards are due by Jan. 31 to the Committee on Research, Awards and Leaves. For more details about the awards and the process, please visit



In December, Diogenes Ballester (Art) received an honorable award for his drawing titled "Fertility" at the "10th International Biennial Print and Drawing Exhibit: Republic of China 2001," held in the Taipei Fine Art Museum. Additionally, Ballester presented a paper, "Aesthetic Development of Puerto Rican Visual Arts in New York as Part of the Diaspora: The Epitaph of the Barrio," at an international symposium on migration and the Caribbean Diaspora organized by the southern Caribbean chapter of the International Art Critics Association, held in Orlando in August. Ballester is also among seven artists who joined seven poets in an exhibition titled "Homenaje Alma Boricua 30th Anniversario," part of the 13th San Juan Biennial Exhibition of Latin American and Caribbean Printmaking. The exhibition, held at the Museum of The Americas, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, featured a digital print by Ballester titled "Globalization, Post Industrialist and Syncretism." This print and an excerpt of the paper presented in Florida are published in the catalog that accompanied the exhibition.

Lee Cahn (Communication and Media) chaired a program on "Intercultural Communication: Values, Face, and Attachment Styles" at the National Communication Association's annual convention held in Atlanta on Nov. 1.

Leslie Couse (Elementary Education) made a presentation to early childhood educators at the Annual Early Literacy Conference of the Success by Six Programs, held in Syracuse on Oct. 27. The presentation was titled "Linking Liking and Learning: Social-Emotional Skills and Academic Success."

Loyd Lee (History) delivered a featured lecture on "British Society at War: 1941" at the New York Military Affairs Symposium on 1941, held at the City University of New York Graduate Center on Nov. 3.

On Nov. 7, John Sharp (Geography) was a panelist in a seminar titled "What's Behind the Label? Collegiate Licensing, the Apparel Industry and 'Sweat Shop' Issues." The seminar was organized by the Licensing Advisory Committee of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and took place on that campus. Sharp was joined by panelists from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and the University of California.


Awards, Honors, and Recognition

On Nov. 15, Robert Piluso (Foreign Languages) was elected president of the Alliance Franšaise de Westchester. This chapter is a subdivision of the larger parent organization that is based in Paris. The Alliance Franšaise is a venue for the dissemination and diffusion of the French language and culture throughout the world. Anyone wishing to be placed on the mailing list should contact Piluso at x3485 or


Alumni in the news

Edward J. Renehan Jr. (Political Science, '80) has been elected to the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Oyster Bay, N.Y., joining Elizabeth Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt Jr., Tweed Roosevelt, Admiral C.S. Abbot USN (Ret) and others. Renehan is a book author whose topics include the Roosevelts, John Burroughs, and the Kennedys.


In Memoriam

Professor Emeritus Frank Eckelt died in November in Westchester County. Eckelt joined the SUNY New Paltz Educational Administration Department in the fall of 1973, having previously served as a visiting professor at SUNY Albany and an adjunct at New York University. He earned a bachelor's degree in social science from NYU in 1948, and later his master's and doctoral degrees in history from that university. Eckelt received his school district administration certificate from Columbia University. He served as a teacher, history department chairman, and ultimately superintendent of schools for Lakeland Central Schools. Among the honors and awards given to Eckelt throughout his 45-year career in education are Harvard University's John Hay Fellowship and NYU's Founders Day Award. At New Paltz, he was also involved with the Mid-Hudson School Study Council, serving eight years as its executive director and more than 20 years as co-director or director of the MHSSC's Annual Seminar on New York State School Law. Eckelt officially retired from SUNY New Paltz in 1985, but returned part time in 1992. The New Paltz community is especially grateful to Eckelt for stepping in when his former department was in need. While a search to hire new faculty was underway, Eckelt served as acting chair of educational administration and as an intern supervisor from fall 1998 to spring 2000. "He came when the department was in dire need," said Grace Morina, educational administration staff assistant. "His commitment to the university was very generous...Frank Eckelt was highly respected and he was very admired by his students." Susan Doyle, executive director of the MHSSC stated, "A true gentleman and scholar, Dr. Eckelt devoted much of his life to public education. He will be remembered fondly for his positive outlook on life, his incredible wit, and his exceptional dedication to the schools in the Hudson Valley." Frank and Gertrude Eckelt have made a provision for SUNY New Paltz in their estate plan through the Tower Society.


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.