News Pulse

ISSUE DATE: April 29, 2002


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Awards, Honors and Recognition



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Retirement reception
The campus community is cordially invited to attend a president's reception for retiring Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Geider on Wednesday, May 8 from 2-4 p.m. in the Hopfer Admissions and Alumni Center. Geider has been serving the students of SUNY New Paltz for 25 years.

The search is on
Harry Scherr III, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, announced that the committee met on April 19 to continue its work in attracting and landing the best candidate to serve as New Paltz' next president. The committee has reviewed letters of interest from many individuals, and is now developing an evaluation process to identify the candidates who meet the standards of the committee. Since attracting the best candidates cannot happen without properly showcasing the campus and its community of faculty, staff and students, the committee decided to continue working through the summer and begin preliminary interviews in the fall, when classes are in session. Consistent with the terms of his initial appointment, Interim President Steven Poskanzer will continue to serve as SUNY New Paltz president until the search process is complete. "Patience and support from faculty and staff are much appreciated," said Scherr.

Great honor
At the May 2001 SUNY New Paltz commencement ceremony, the Association of Native Americans, Mid-Hudson Region presented to the university the "honoring pipe" on the occasion of the conferring of a Doctorate of Humane Letters on Adam "Fortunate Eagle" Nordwall. The Sojourner Truth Library is now exhibiting this pipe in its main gallery, where it will remain through commencement day on May 19. This "honoring pipe" was commissioned by the Cloud Breaker Society of the Association of Native Americans, but it "has not been awoken." Thus, it may be placed on public display. The honoring pipe consists of two parts: the "pipe bowl," which is joined to the "calumet." The pipe bowl, signed by Fortunate Eagle, is made of red stone obtained from the Red Pipe Stone Quarry in Minnesota. The calumet, made from the heartwood of the American ash tree, has four swirls attached to a silver and gold feather symbolically from the wings of the great American golden eagle. Each feather is uniquely crafted and signed by American silversmith and SUNY New Paltz professor emeritus Kurt Matzdorf. The joined pipe rests in a display stand made from the wood of the lighting tree (locust tree) on a mahogany base. Fortunate Eagle was selected for the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his efforts in focusing Native American awareness by unifying many Native Peoples in a common struggle, which ultimately resulted in a significant change in United States Federal policies toward Native Peoples. Larry Hauptman (History) and Gerald Kitzmann (Physics) were instrumental in the selection of Fortunate Eagle for the Doctorate of Humane Letters, the commissioning of the pipe by the Cloud Breaker Society, and its presentation to SUNY New Paltz.

Ottaway gift
Select exhibitions featured at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz will now live well beyond their venues at the SDMA thanks to a donation from Jim and Mary Ottaway. The $7,500 annual gift will fund the publication of scholarly catalogs for one-person exhibitions that feature the works of prominent artists who currently live and work in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions. "My wife, Mary, is an artist working in the Hudson Valley on the natural beauty of our landscapes, large and small. We are both lovers of the best Hudson River School painters, from the 19th and 20th centuries," said Jim Ottaway. "We both support the program led by museum director Neil Trager to exhibit the work of some of the most talented and creative artists living in the Hudson Valley." The first catalog published through the Ottaways' gift documents the Robert Morris exhibition that was one of two inaugural exhibitions featured at the museum's grand opening in October 2001. "Lesley Dill: A Ten Year Survey" is the second exhibition to be documented in the series. This exhibit is traveling nationally and will be exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States. The catalog will be available at all of the venues. "The museum has a mission-based commitment to address the cultural heritage of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Regions. We do this a number of ways, but primarily through exhibitions and publications," said Trager. "I am very pleased about this partnership, as it will ensure we are able to produce high-quality catalogs that, when compiled as a set, will provide an important record of both the artists' work and the museum's regional programs and services." Both catalogs are available for sale at the museum during its regular hours of operation.

Countdown to commencement
Nearly 1,500 candidates will graduate in May and August, and all are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony on May 19. This year's commencement will include a presentation of awards and special recognition by SUNY Chancellor Robert King and an address from class of 2002 valedictorian Robert Storch (Business). King will recognize newly-confirmed Distinguished Professor Gerald Benjamin (Liberal Arts and Sciences), and Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence honorees Barbara Ehlers, Eric Garcia, Mark Otto and Danny Zima. Additional items of interest:

Breaking into the news
For all those seeking to "break into news," the SUNY New Paltz Society for Collegiate Journalists is holding its annual Media Day on Saturday, May 4 to promote interest in the field of journalism and offer advice on what the future holds for today's journalism student. Media Day is a journalism conference featuring professional discussions led by several distinguished guests The keynote speaker will be Sydney Schanberg, Pulitzer Prize winner for his reporting on the fall of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Other speakers include Will Hermes, senior contributing writer and former editor of Spin Magazine; Bernard Stein, 1998 Pulitzer Prize Winning Editor/Co-Publisher of the Riverdale Press and the 2002 James H. Ottaway Sr. Distinguished Visiting Professor in Journalism; and Ken Ross, Public Affairs director at SUNY New Paltz and former director of media information for the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon. The closing session will consist of a panel of journalism professors from SUNY New Paltz who will hold an open forum on "The Evils of Journalism," addressing ethical dilemmas facing the media today. Panelists will be Howard Good, Bernard Stein and Shelly Wright. Media day will be held in the Coykendall Science Building from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It includes both breakfast and a luncheon. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please call Shelly Wright at x3499. The Communications and Media Department, along with the Student Activities Association and the Society of Collegiate Journalists, are sponsoring Media Day.



... On Thursday, May 2 "On Campus at SUNY New Paltz" will feature Devon Duhaney (Secondary Education) hosting Yoav Kaddar (Theatre Arts) and four students: Talia Barzilay, Lindsay Ericson, Mercedes Harrison and Jennifer Raskopf. Catch the show on Time-Warner Cable TV Channel 6 at 9 p.m. The following Thursday, noted geneticist Luca Cavalli-Sforza will appear on the show hosted by Anthony Cinquemani (English) and interviewed by Giselle Handel-Sebestyen (Anthropology) and Allyn Bregman (Biology). Same time, same place.

... In the upcoming weeks, many events will be taking place at the Ashokan Field Campus. There will be programs in kayaking, canoeing, environmental education, and mountain biking, among others. Several of these are being offered as parent/teen programs. If you would like more information about Ashokan Field Campus activities, and are not on the mailing list, call 657-8333.

... Please pay attention to a recent e-mail from Joe Acquisto (Computer Services) regarding the opening of any e-mail attachment that advertises a virus removal tool. Such attachments will likely contain a virus. No anti-virus vendor will e-mail unsolicited virus removal tools! This is a ploy known as "social engineering tactics." Look for an upcoming tool from Acquisto that will make checking for proper Sophos operation much easier.


Awards, Honors, Appointments, and Recognition

On April 23, the SUNY New Paltz Board of Trustees appointed Gerald Benjamin, dean of New Paltz' College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of political science, to the position of distinguished professor, the university's highest faculty designation. This designation is conferred on individuals who have achieved national or international prominence in a chosen field. Benjamin, who joined the faculty at New Paltz as assistant professor of political science in 1968, is a widely recognized expert - and the pre-eminent scholar - on New York state and local government. "Jerry Benjamin has devoted his life to improving New York's state and local government," said Interim President Steve Poskanzer. "He uses the full breadth of his considerable scholarly talent and research to serve the community, whether it is in the classroom, city hall, the state capitol, or in the form of books and periodicals." Benjamin has written, co-written or edited 14 books on topics such as regionalism, term limits, state legislatures, city government and municipal reform, New York City and New York state governments, race relations and the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and a biography of Governor Rockefeller.



President Emerita Alice Chandler is serving as a Middle States Commission on Higher Education Fellow and recently presented a report on "First Steps toward International Accreditation." She has continued to serve in an advisory capacity to Ramapo College of New Jersey where she was interim president last year. In May, she will be going to Northern Ireland to deliver a talk on strategic planning at a conference sponsored by the University of Ulster.

Cynthia Dill, preparator at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, has a solo show that opened at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on April 16. The show will run through June 30 in the American Bounty Restaurant in the CIA. There are 18 oil paintings, including regional landscapes and industrial sites.


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.