ISSUE DATE: January 21, 2002
On the bus, Gus
Senior faculty member Heinz Meng (Biology) retired at the end of December after 50 years of service to SUNY New Paltz students. In 1951, Meng showed a tame goshawk to SUNY New Paltz students who were asked to vote on whether their mascot should be a chimpanzee or a hawk. "Gus" became the first athletics mascot and Meng painted him on the side of a university bus at the request of President Emeritus William Haggerty in 1954. Meng has said that he feels the goshawk is an appropriate mascot for New Paltz because, "What does a goshawk eat out in the wild? Anything it puts its mind to. The goshawk says to our athletes, ' You can do it!' " Meng should know -- As a naturalist, Meng has accomplished extraordinary feats with the peregrine falcon, which disappeared from the Shawangunks in 1958 and east of the Mississippi River by the 1960s. In 1974, Meng sent Adam and Eve, two captive-bred peregrines, back to the wild from the top of the Jacobson Faculty Tower. In the summer of 1998, these incredible birds of prey were seen soaring above the Shawangunks Ridge for the first time in 40 years, and that fall the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the peregrine from its endangered species list. Meng is among "100 Champions of Conservation" which were honored by Audubon magazine in celebration of its 100th anniversary in 1998. Amidst the accomplishments of an abundance of nominated scientists and activists, Meng's work with peregrine falcons was deemed extraordinary. As a biology teacher, Meng will be remembered by his students as the professor who took the title of his "Introduction to Animal Life" course quite literally, inviting friends and fellow naturalists to exhibit various live animals to his classes, not only birds of prey but snapping turtles, alligators, leopards, bear cubs, a 200-foot Burmese python, etc. Meng may have retired from SUNY New Paltz, but his work as a naturalist continues.
Interim President Steven Poskanzer, Provost David Lavallee and the Teaching and Learning Center Advisory Board are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Teaching and Learning Center in College Hall, Room 113. Please join in the celebration of this event by attending the Thursday, Jan. 24 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or the Friday, Jan. 25 Open House from 1-3 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at both events. The Honors Center and Teaching and Learning Center also announce the completion of the College Hall Mural Project. The mural was designed and executed by the members of Amy Cheng's intermediate painting class. The campus community is invited to stop by College Hall and enjoy the new mural in the entranceway to the Honors Center and Teaching and Learning Center.
... In an effort to enhance the safety of students, faculty, staff and all others who use campus facilities, vehicles are now banned from all campus walkways. Please refer to facilities operations director John Shupe's Jan. 15 e-mail describing the plan to implement the new policy. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping the members of our campus community safe.
Awards, Honors, and Recognition
Faculty Members (L to R) Ben Endres (Educational Studies), Glenn Geher (Psychology), Jeff Miller (Political Science) and Erik Ekman (Foreign Languages) made a good showing for SUNY New Paltz in the 10-mile Pfalz Point Challenge trail race at Mohonk Preserve in the fall.
Photo by Kathleen Geher.
Steve Vinson (History) has published a chapter on "Transportation and Communication" in the book World Eras: Ancient Egypt (2615-332 B.C.), edited by Edward Bleiberg of the Brooklyn Museum, and published by the Gale Group. The chapter outlines the development of nautical technology, describes land transportation and the development of wheeled vehicles, and discusses the Egyptian language and means of communication in the Nile Valley. He also presented a paper titled "From Lord Elgin to James Henry Breasted: The Politicization of the Past in the First Era of Globalization" at the 100th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association on Dec. 1 in Washington D.C. The paper looked at the influence of contemporary thinking about race and nationalism on the conceptualization of the ancient past from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries. The paper was presented as part of a panel titled "Marketing Heritage: Global Goods and the Endangered Past."
Joseph Diamond (Anthropology) attended the Huguenot Historical Society African-American Research Committee Symposium on Nov. 3and presented a paper titled "Documenting African-American History Through Archeological Research." He also attended the 68th Annual Meeting of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation in Watertown on Nov. 11 and presented a paper, "Kingston's African-American Burial Ground." In addition, he recently gave a lecture at Montclair State University titled "Palisades, Dutch Culture, and Native Interaction in the Hudson Valley.
Lourdes Giordani (Anthropology) chaired the session "Consuming Choices: Deciding What to Eat and How to Prepare It" at the 100th Meeting of the American Anthropological Association held Nov. 28-Dec. 2 in Washington, D.C. She also presented the paper "Eating and Being: Manioc and the Construction of the Indian, the Rural, and the Non-Indian in Venezuela."
Students in the news
On Nov. 30, the Times Herald-Record announced that a certificate of special recognition was awarded to the Catskill Region Medical Center by the American Diabetes Association for their outstanding diabetes education program. Donna Gibbins, RN, a 2001 graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a current graduate student, was instrumental in creating the diabetes education program and a wound care program. She is also president of the New York Northeast Association of Diabetes Educators.
Jewelry works by undergraduate Erin Hopper Labate and graduate student Yevgeniya Kaganovich were selected for exhibition in the national student competition, "Future Prospects," at the Center for Visual Arts in Denver. The exhibition, sponsored by the Society of North American Goldsmiths, will be held June 6-29.
College Council member Selma Kreisberg Field of Monticello died Dec. 19 in Harris, N.Y. She was 76. Field was chairwoman of the SUNY New Paltz College Council from 1985-1996, and continued as a member until 1997. She was also a Friend of the Library. She was co-founder and president of Field Associates, a public relations, marketing and management consulting organization, and was director of public relations, marketing, fund raising and development for the Community General Hospital of Harris and CGH Foundation. Extremely active in community service, Field served, among other appointments, on the Monticello Central School Board for 10 years and was a founding board member and president of the Sullivan County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children, founding member and vice president of the Sullivan County Literacy Volunteers, and a board member of Nana's House Day Care Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the CGH Auxiliary. For this dedication, Field received numerous honors and tributes. The first SUNY New Paltz President's Medal was designed for Field, and was conferred by President Emerita Alice Chandler during the May 1996 commencement. That year she also received from SUNY New Paltz the Friend of the College Award, and upon the expiration of her term as a member of the College Council, the council adopted a resolution of appreciation that spoke of her, "... remarkable courage, unwavering advocacy for public higher education, ... her wisdom in her commitment to the growth and development of the State University of New York at New Paltz as an educational institution of the highest quality, and service as a model and inspiration for other members of the council..." Field was a prolific writer, co-authoring with her husband of 55 years, Edwin, seven books on fundraising, public relations and crafts. Over the years, she was also the author of weekly columns for local newspapers: Dear Betsy Lambe, advice to the lovelorn, Speaking of..., a column on human interest, and Splendidly Vegetarian. In addition to her husband, Field is survived by their daughters, Jessica, Shelly and Deborah; and grandson, Geoff. She is buried in the Workman Circle Cemetery in Monticello. The family requests that contributions in the name of Selma Field be made to the Sullivan County CASA, 100 North St., Monticello; the Sullivan County Literacy Volunteers, 33 Lakewood Ave., or the CGH Foundation, P.O. Box 280, Harris, N.Y.
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