News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz
Monday, December 23, 2002


photo of graduates

Photo by Eric Gullickson
Born in Egypt, the three Elsakka sisters ( l to r) Saffa, Zainab and Naglaa all graduated with degrees in biology this past Saturday.

Graduate highlights
Eight hundred graduate candidates were awarded their degrees at the December Commencement Ceremonies this past Saturday, Dec. 21, at the mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. The ceremony's featured speaker was this fall's valedictorian, Klodian Vangjeli, an international student from Albania. Vangjeli has a 3.98 grade point average and graduated with a bachelor of the arts degree in computer science. Vangjeli transferred to New Paltz in the spring of 2001 from the New York College in Athens, Greece to study computer science. He said that after graduating he would begin work on his master's degree at New Paltz while working as a graduate teaching assistant in the Computer Science Department. The graduating class' salutatorian, Kevin Rickard, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish/Latin American Studies. Rickard, a Poughkeepsie resident, spent one year studying Spanish at Dutchess County Community College before transferring to New Paltz. Also, he spent one year in Guayaquil, Equador, in a study abroad program. Each of the 800 scholars celebrating their achievements on Saturday have their own unique story to tell, however, none may be quite as unique as the Ali Elsakka sisters. The three Ali Elsakka sisters, Naglaa, Safaa and Zainab, all earned their bachelor degrees in biology. Taking the same classes and attending summer school, the three sisters, two who are twins, Naglaa and Safaa, finished their biology degrees in three years. Born in Egypt, the Ali Elsakka sisters moved to the United States while they were in grade school. All three studied at Newburgh Free Academy before returning to Egypt to begin medical school. However, after two years in Egypt they decided that they would receive a better education at SUNY New Paltz. After graduation, they plan to take a year off before enrolling in graduate studies at SUNY New Paltz.

photo of Klodian Vangjeli

Photo by Eric Gullickson
Klodian Vangjeli, an international student from Albania, was the fall semester valedictorian. Vangjeli graduated with a degree in computer science. He will begin work on his master's degree in computer science at SUNY New Paltz while working as a graduate teaching assistant.

photo of Tomas Potmesil with Barbara Adams

Photo by Eric Gullickson
Barbara Adams, former president of Ulster County Community College and current provost of the New York College in Prague, traveled from Czech Republic to see two of her students, Tomas Potmesil (shown here) and Peter Zak, graduate at Saturday's commencement ceremonies. Potmesil graduated with a degree in international relations and a 3.87 grade point average. Zak earned a degree in business with honors.

Missing something?
Beginning with this issue, News Pulse will be printed every other week during the holiday break. It will go back to weekly circulation on January 20, 2003. Happy New Year from everyone in the Public Affairs Office.

Cash for CAS students
The Campus Auxiliary Services Board of Directors has awarded ten scholarships of $575 each to the following students: Stacey Boyce, Sharod Duncan, Carrie Galbraith, Pricilla Ann Halpin, Theresa Hartnell, Nia Curran McGovern, Kirsten Sauthoff, Karen Walcott, Mike Yamashita and Nicole Yodice. Scholarship applicants are asked to write a short essay explaining why working in CAS has been a positive experience. Each applicant's supervisor is also asked to provide comments on the employee's work attitude and reliability. A sub-committee of the CAS Board reviews the applications then decides who the recipients will be. All current full-time students receiving paychecks from CAS or Food Service are eligible.



A correction: In the last edition of News Pulse it was incorrectly reported that Charles Henry had worked in Mathematics for 18 years before retiring, when, in fact, he worked in Facilities Operations. Sorry for the error.

On Tuesday, January 7th the Professional Staff Council will be holding the annual holiday party. It will take place in the Purple Lounge between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Contact Phyllis Sturm at x3136 or to verify that your contribution is not redundant. While it is a "bring your own get together," those of you that are unable to bring something are urged to attend.

The Open House Advisement and Registration Sessions events set for January 7,9 and 14, 2003 are geared for prospective adult students, students who need some advisement, non-matriculated students, and others to find out more information about degree requirements and course registration. The events will be held at the following locations: Rockland Community College at the Cultural Arts Atrium from 5-7 p.m (January 7), Southwinds Community Center, 50-58 Fulton Street, Middletown 5-7 p.m. (January 9), SUNY New Paltz, Purple Lounge, 5-7 p.m. (January 14). Call Continuing and Professional Education at x2904 for more information.

The Office of Recreational Sports has announced that the weight room, cardio room, racquetball courts, and swimming pool will be open to students, faculty, and staff from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, Jan. 2 through 17. Call x3914 for more information.

All offices on campus will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Dec. 25, and most buildings will be closed through the New Year. To contact a specific office or if you need more information, contact the campus main number at x 2121.


Howard Good (Communication & Media) published a commentary, "Off to See the Wizard," in the Dec. 11, issue of Education Week.

Hamid Azari-Rad (Economics) published an article titled, "Origin of the factoid--prevailing wage laws are remnant Jim Crow laws" (with Peter Philips of the University of Utah) in the last issue of the Review of Radical Political Economics.

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 Eric Gullickson at x3187 with any questions.