News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz
Monday, September 1, 2003

Happy Labor Day!

SUNY New Paltz 175 Years: 1828-2003.  Rich in History - Poised for the Future


FYI program is a hit with first-year students
Now in its seventh year, the First Year Initiative (FYI) program has grown from less than 30 students to more 130 today. Recently featured in The Daily Freeman for its success, the FYI program is designed to ease the transition from high school to college, by providing first-year students with an academic and social framework that can help with the transition to independent life. All one hundred and thirty participants of the FYI program live together in the same dorm (Esopus), and all of them must take two courses together, "Social Issues in College Life," and a composition course. The program has a staff of 10 resident assistants and student mentors (FYI graduates) who help out in a variety of different ways, ranging from organizing social gatherings to academic support. The program also has had a positive effect on the freshman retention rate. In 1995, the freshman retention rate was at 67 percent; today, approximately 84 percent of first-year students return for a second year. Bravo!

photo of the FYI program group

photo by Eric Gullickson
(Left to right) Alexis Dingfelder, Community Development Assistant; Dan Wild, FYI Resident Mentor; Elizabeth Golding and Heather Bergman, FYI students; Jenn Granato, FYI Resident Mentor and Raymond Gordon, Resident Director at Esopus.

New Paltz scores well in national polls
"New Paltz is the perfect place to be," bubbles a contented undergrad; indeed, the State University of New York at New Paltz pleases many of its pupils. One student tells us that professors "do not treat us like numbers like I expected from a state university," and a junior calls profs "for the most part, very accessible and helpful." Another student beams, "I have never had better professors who go out of their way to make the college experience as rewarding as possible." These are just a few excerpts describing SUNY New Paltz from the recently released, The Princeton Review's first edition of The Best Northeastern Colleges. The best 135 schools are featured in the Northeastern edition, showcasing the top schools in eight states. The student-driven narrative profile is comprised of three categories: Academics, Life and Student Body. New Paltz also recently made the top two tiers among northern universities with master's degrees in the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings. However, the rankings do not measure the environment on campus and the quality of the school overall - important aspects of a student's decision making process.

Welcome, and welcome Back!
The faculty and professional staff will convene for its first meeting of the fall semester at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, in Lecture Center 102. Come out to meet your new colleagues, who will also be welcomed at the meeting. Refreshments will be served beginning at 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Faculty Governance at x2891; or e-mail or

photo of the student ambassadors

photo by Eric Gullickson
The 2003-04 SUNY New Paltz Student Ambassadors outside the Hopfer Admissions and Alumni Center shortly after orientation last week. Student Ambassadors provide campus tours and information for interested students and their families when visiting campus. Thank you all for your valuable service!


. . . if you have not already purchased a 2003-04 parking tag, they are available at the Parking Office, HAB 35. More information may be found at University Police will begin ticketing vehicles without permits on Sept. 8.


Narcyz Roztocki (Assistant Professor, Business) and Atsuko Imai (MBA Student, Business) presented a research paper titled "An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Information Technology Announcements on Companies' Values in Japan," at the 9th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2003) in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 4-5. The paper was published in conference proceedings and nominated for best paper. They also presented the paper at the 2003 Academy of Management Conference in Seattle, Wash., Aug. 1-6.

Hamid Azari-Rad (Economics) published an article titled: "State Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs," in the July issue of Industrial Relations with Peter Philips ((University of Utah) and Mark J. Prus (SUNY Cortland). Industrial Relations is published by the Department of Economics and the Institute of Industrial Relations of the University of California, Berkeley.


Two case studies by Leslie-Jean Thornton (Communication and Media) will be published this fall in Dennis Herrick's "Media Management in the Age of Giants: Business Dynamics of Journalism" (Iowa State Press), a textbook. One study deals with the New York Times management crisis arising from the Jayson Blair plagiarism and falsification scandal. The other deals with dynamics of team management in newsrooms. Herrick is a journalism professor at the University of New Mexico.

Mark Dziuba (Music) recently had his textbook for jazz guitarists, entitled, "The Big Book of Jazz Guitar Improvisation, Tools and Inspiration for Creative Soloing" published by the Alfred Publishing Company. This publication is one of several by Dziuba for use by jazz students around the country and particularly at the National Guitar Workshop, where he has been honored as a faculty member for many years of teaching.


John Bartula (University Police) was recently a winner of the Mountainland Award for Short Fiction for both the Historical and Military Awards. His winning story is entitled "The Right Thing To Do." Bartula also was awarded first prize in the Cambridge Publishing "Christmas in the Country" Writing Contest for his story, "Angel in the Ashes." The Mountainland Writers Group is an online forum for fiction writers of all genres and experience to share ideas, review others' work, post questions and find valuable insights into writing and publishing.

Steven Deutsch, formerly of International House in NYC, has been hired to replace Bill Long as CEO of Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS). He started last Monday, just in time for the start of a busy semester. He can be reached at x3370 or by e-mail at


Graduate students Danielle Bienvenue (MA, English) and Matt Nickel (MA, English) presented papers at Mythcon 34 held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville this summer. Bienvenue presented "Irene, Lucy, and Meg: The Role of the Childhood Athena"; Nickel presented "The Woman's Place in Tolkien and Lewis" and also served as moderator for the "Teaching Tolkien" panel discussion. Both students are mentored by Assistant Professor Ernelle Fife (English), who also presented a paper, "The Wise Warrior in Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling."

News Pulse is published for the faculty and staff of SUNY New Paltz by the Office of Public Affairs. 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.