Camous Update Vol. 20 No. 14

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Camous Update Vol. 20 No. 14
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Submitted by Elizabeth Young ( on 2009-03-17.
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Campus Update PUBLISHED BY THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS FOR THE SUNY OSWEGO COMMUNITY Volume 20 Number 14 March 18, 2009 1 Inside: Applications to Oswego up amid stormy economic climate While the economic downturn has caused chal lenges everywhere, it also continued an upturn for applications to SUNY Oswego. Applications here rose 7 percent for freshmen topping 10,000 and, as of last week, a steep 25 percent for transfers. Interest in transferring from private schools to state schools like Oswego appears increasingly popular in the economic climate, but Joe Grant, vice president for student affairs and en rollment, noted the interest in Oswego also involves things the college is doing right. If you didnt have the right programs, the right people and the right facilities, people wouldnt be interested in transferring here, he said. Students and families are seeing Oswego as a good value and wor thy investment, Grant added. We have a broad range of academic options that appeal to people, Grant said. Were big enough for those offerings, but not so large that youll get lost, as we can still offer personal attention. And weve made amazing strides the past few years in curb appeal, in terms of attractive places to live and study. those factors have helped drive freshman applications up more than 40 percent from just six years ago. The number of early decision applications committing to Oswego doubled this year, meaning some students made their minds up earlier. With more applications, Oswego can afford to be more selective, he said, while private schools are admitting larger percent ages with the economy driving down applications to pricier colleges. But while the college accepts around 5,000 fresh men, traditionally expecting about 1,400 to enroll, the May 1 deadline to make their deposits and related commitments. In other trends, the department of biological scienc Changing family circumstances cause more students to seek aid The special-consideration requests are piling up on Kathy Paganos desk like never before. An associate director of financial aid, Pagano changed, generally from a job loss or drop in income. With the current economic slump, shes hearing from a lot more people. But the requests can open up some doors. Addi tional help is especially available if a familys income has dropped to a level where they become eligible for ACG and SMART awards. From a campus-based perspective, if we have funding, we may be able to help with Perkins loans or work study, Pagano said. If the family contribution has dropped enough, we may be able to switch eligi East campus focus of study Earlier this month, the college launched a develop ment study of the east end of campus, with support from the State University Construction Fund and with Cannon Design as the consultant. Major projects taking place there beginning in spring 2010 include renovation and construction for the sciences and the School of Education complex as well as exterior rehab on Sheldon Hall. We want to think about how the eastern zone of our campus, from the Poucher end of the Campus Center complex over to Sheldon Avenue and the Mackin complex, . might function differently with the planned major site changes as part of the renova tion projects, said Tom Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities. We look forward to enhanc ing our campus culture and operations along with the physical changes. On March 3, the consultants and campus staff met with groups of stakeholders from the east campus to begin talking about how things work there now and how they might change, including academic use, traf and interaction with residential neighborhoods. Plans call for physically connecting Piez, Park and Wilber halls as well as enhancing the outdoor eastwest pedestrian pathway eastward to at least the Shel don quad, between Park and Rich halls. Green building The new Piez Hall will be built according to the U.S. Green Building Council gold standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Above is an early conceptual rendering. Aerial view Piez Hall will get an addition of more than 180,000 square feet spreading south on to Takamine Street and east to Wilber Hall, which will also expand and connect to Park Hall. Oswegos science and associated disciplines will go green with the transformation of Piez Hall as home to them all. The expanded and renovated building will be constructed to the U.S. Green Building Council gold standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, said Tom Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities. He said the that high standard. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation key areas of human and environmental health: sus ciency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Simmonds said. The Campus Center was built to the LEED silver standard, but the college did not seek because science buildings typically use four times the energy of regular buildings, Simmonds said. Renovation of the 47-year-old Piez Hall and con struction of an addition that will more than triple its present 80,000 square feet are now scheduled to be gin in spring 2010 in parallel with renovation of Park and Wilber halls as the School of Education complex. New architectural renderings envisioning the sci ence facility were on display in Piez Hall before spring break and have been displayed at various cam pus meetings (see photo, page 3). Among the buildings environmentally friendly as pects, the exterior will feature a terra cotta material . made from recycled and reclaimed materials, Sim monds said, and natural light will infuse the building. The new connector to the School of Educations Wilber Hall east of Piez is planned as a model of a totally green building, said Casey Raymond of the chemistry faculty, chair of the science planning com mittee. This atrium-like space, he said, is planned to in clude a cafe, a planetarium, and social space with open access computing capability. It will be adjacent to new lab space in the School joint use by that department and engineering or other science programs, said Dean of Education Linda Rae Markert. The concept of multiple use lab space began with the science planning committee, which has worked to reintegrate disciplines in the new facility to empha size their commonalities as well as the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration. that will likely co-mingle faculty from different de The committee is also contemplating the puzzle of renovating the aged Piez spaces while the academic programs in them continue to operate and how and where to relocate faculty and teaching laboratories when necessary. Julie Harrison Blissert See Applications up, page 3 See Need for aid increases, page 3


Vol. 20, No. 14 March 18, 2009 Campus Update Gudrid Thorbjorns Daughter and Sigrid Undset Crosses Russia, essays by Tom Bertonneau of the English department, have appeared in The Brussels Journal. and accompanied him to Vinland (Labrador) around known to have been born in the New World, later made a pilgrimage to Rome, and returned to her na tive Iceland to found churches and schools with her wealth. Sigrid Undset, Nobel Prize-winning author of Kristin Lavransdatter, German invasion of 1940. She spent a month in Rus sia before making her way via Japan to the United States and wrote about her journey in her book Back from the Future Gwen Kay, associate professor of history, spoke March 4 at Cornell Universitys Mann Library about the history surrounding the reorganization of Cornells then College of Home Economics into the present day College of Human Ecology. Her lecture was entitled A Growing College, redux: When Economics Be came Human Ecology. She received the 2008 Cornell College of Human Ecology Fellowship in the History of Home Economics. Ampalavanar Nanthakumar, professor of math ematics, and Shashi M. Kanbur, associate professor of physics, have a paper On the Equivalence of Testi mation and Schwarz Information Criterion for Detect ing Change Points in Simple Regression accepted for presentation and publication at the third International Conference on Mathematics and Statistics to be held in June in Athens. Also, the paper has been accepted for presentation at the second International Workshop in Sequential Methodologies during June in Troyes, France. The paper, titled On the Near Equivalence of the Testimation and Schwarz Information Criterion to Study the Cepheid Period-Luminosity Relation by Kanbur, Nanthakumar and Chow-Choong Ngeow of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice. Lawrence Spizman of the economics department presented a paper titled Assessing Economic Dam ages in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation: The State of New York at the Eastern Economic As sociation annual conference on Feb. 27 in New York City. The paper discussed the court system, relevant statutes, and case law regarding the assessment of eco nomic damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases for the state of New York. Since New York has some unique laws dealing with damages, Spizman explained how these laws impact on economic losses. He discussed the unique New York laws, both common and statutes, with respect to discounting, taxes and household service losses. Particular attention was paid to recent changes in calculating damages for medical malpractice. Spizman discussed some of the ethical issues a forensic economist is faced with when dealing with economic damages. In Memoriam Faiz Abu-Jaber, 81, emeritus professor of political science, died Feb. 26 in Amman, Jordan. Rewards Campus work ers are required to complete an online internal control survey, and the reward is a voucher for pizza or a drink, demonstrated here by Darlene Abrantes of the and Diana Forbes Vice President for Administration and Finance. Par ticipants may also win one of three $100 gas cards in a drawing. SUNY Oswego begins internal control online training asking all employees to update their knowledge of internal controls. Enhanced prizes this time include pizza and $100 gas cards. According to Byron Smith, campus internal con cies to have a formal internal control program that includes education and training. Rather than gather small groups into classrooms for formal instruction, Oswego has developed a short online PowerPoint presentation and quiz. E-mail invitations were sent to employees March 4 and 5 with links to the presentation. All full-time state employees are being asked to participate. Deadline for this training session is April 30. A reminder invi tation will be sent out on March 25. Those who complete the quiz that follows the presentation will receive a coupon for a free beverage or slice of pizza from Auxiliary Services, Smith ex plained. In addition, their names will be entered into a drawing for one of three $100 gas cards. Drawings will be held once we attain 75 percent participation, he said. This is the second time Oswego State has used the online training approach. Two years ago, a quiz was mailed to 1,246 employees, with a free cup of coffee as incentive. About half completed the quiz. SUNY System Administration praised Oswegos initiative as a best practice. This year the Division of Budget expanded its training criteria to address three employee tiers upper management, middle management and line staff and Oswego developed a quiz for each. A creative team coordinated by Diana Forbes be gan developing them last fall. Nicole Decker and Daniel Laird of Campus Technology Services helped program the quizzes and test the scoring mechanism. Appropriate quizzes were e-mailed to 1,034 full-time employees according to a table of job titles. We realized right away that ramping up the prizes would be fun and encourage more participation, Smith stated. Assuming each tier or group reaches 75 per cent participation, well hold the gas card drawings on May 1. Pizza and beverage coupons will be mailed out to each person completing the quiz and may be re deemed at the Campus Center or at satellite kiosks in iliary Services. For more information, e-mail or call Diana Forbes dent for Administration and Finance at 312-3322. Free summer course offer expanded at Metro Center SUNY Oswego offers an opportunity for any Cen tral New York resident with a bachelors degree to at the Metro Center in Syracuse. Oswego has slated more than 30 summer graduate courses at the Metro Center in the Atrium, 2 Clinton Square. They include classes in business, chemistry, counseling, education, marketing, psychology and The Course to Connect initiative aims to take the intellectual capital available in Central New Yorks college-educated students, grow additional capital degree programs, and channel it into a long-term economic development strategy for the region, said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. Originally designed for just 2009 graduates, the the region by extending availability, providing a free masters-level class at the Metro Center to anyone in Central New York with a bachelors degree who has never taken a graduate course before. For this program, Central New York residents are er, Jefferson, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego or Tompkins counties. If applicants meet requirements, they may take one free graduate class during the 2009 summer session space-available basis. For more information, visit Four candidates for dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are interviewing on campus this week and next. All who meet them can complete an evaluation form for the search committee. The candidates in order of their interviews are: and human rights and associate professor of philoso phy at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. She earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University at Bloom ington. She previously served as associate dean of the universitys College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and currently serves as director of research ethics and education for stem cell research. Utah Universitys College of Computing, Integrated Engineering and Technology and a professor of math ematics there. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Moscow Institute of Electrical Engineering and a post-doctoral doctor of science degree from Moscow Pedagogical State University, where he served as a professor and dean. logical sciences and coordinator of environmental science programs at SUNY Cortland. He received his Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from Syracuse University. lege of Liberal Arts and Sciences and its predecessor, the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of psychology here. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology at SUNY Buffalo. She previously served as associate provost and dean of general education, assessment and special programs at Oswego. Open meetings There are three open sessions in the Campus Cen ter for each candidate. All the chairs and directors sessions are in Room 201, all the student forums in Room 134 and all the open forums in Room 120. Hiskes met with chairs and directors at 2 p.m. and students at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and with members of the campus community at 9 a.m. today. Bouniaev will meet with chairs and directors at 2 p.m. Thursday. An open forum with him is set for 9 a.m. Friday and a student meeting at 10:15 a.m. Cirmo will meet with chairs and directors at 2 p.m. and with students at 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 23. His open forum will be at 9 a.m. the next day. Mandel will meet with chairs and directors at 2 p.m. and with students at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, with an open forum at 9 a.m. the next day.


Vol. 20, No. 14 March 18, 2009 Campus Update Picture perfect John Gerry of Delmar, whose daughter Grace was accepted to Oswego, takes a pic ture of the Campus Center arena and convocation hall during a recent campus tour. Oswegos status as an economic value, its range of programs and attractive facilities have led to a 7 percent rise in freshman applications and a 25 percent jump in transfer applications, admissions representatives said. Applications up Continued from page 1 es saw the biggest rise in interested majors, with part The new School of Communication, Media and the Arts and the traditionally strong School of Education saw surging interest, as did such majors as cinema studies, creative writing, English, history, political science and psychology. Economic factors have not discouraged applica rise from more populous areas, up 9 percent from the Lower Hudson Valley and 7 percent each from Long Island and New York City, while out-of-state applica Grant said this geographic trend stems from a concerted effort to bring students from those areas to add diversity to the college, while students from further away tend to live in residence halls to add sought-after vibrancy to campus. That 4,100 of Os wegos around 6,700 undergraduates live on campus also helps draw because students and their families are looking for that kind of residential experience, he added. bility from unsubsidized loans, where interest accrues while they are in school, to subsidized loans, where interest does not accrue until after they graduate. That can save them hundreds of dollars over their college careers. Federal legislation increasing Pell Grants is good news for many students as well. A person eligible for the maximum grant will see the amount increase to $5,350 this year, from $4,731. Accelerated stu dents those trying to graduate early or catch up may have an opportunity to earn up to 200 percent though colleges are waiting for more information and guidelines. increase in our federal work-study budget for the up coming academic year, Pagano said. Ideally, were hoping to fund 75 more students, which would really help them with their day-to-day needs. are dealing with budget challenges, but we were pre pared for it, Grant said. Hopefully, the state budget will get back on track and we can continue to be an asset for the people of the state. Tim Nekritz Need for aid increases Continued from page 1 Students raise green to endow eco-fund The Class of 2009 has an ambitious and timely goal for its senior class gift. Class members will strive to raise $10,000 to endow an Eco-Fund. Proceeds from the endowed fund will be used to support students innovative green initiatives and environmental projects on campus. Projects may include initiating cam pus use of renewable resources such as solar and wind power, improving campus recycling efforts, funding conferences on sustainability for students to attend, and supporting student and faculty research, according to Michelle Tackett-Spinner, associate di rector of alumni relations and senior class adviser. More than 250 students voted on the options for the senior gift. The fact that there is a lot of interest in preserving the environment was a big reason behind the success of the Eco-Fund idea, said Latasha Jack son, senior gift coordinator. Over the past year, a lot of things have been more green, said Jackson. You can see how by altering one part of your life you are saving the planet, saving energy and saving money, too. Before putting the ideas up for a vote, Jackson and Jamie Burgess, senior class coordinator, sought feed back from classmates, as well as faculty and staff. We got great feedback and brought it to the atten tion of Senior Class Planning Committee, a group of 20 students who meet monthly to plan for the gift as well as Senior Week events in May, she said. Ambitious goal The goal is a nearly 50 percent increase over the $7,000 raised by the Class of 2008. This will be a stretch goal for them, Tackett-Spinner said of the class. succeed. Their innovative methods include having the Telefund callers reach out to students and parents, and using Facebook to get students excited about the fund. The sale of senior T-shirts and a booth in the Campus Center will raise awareness and funds, Jack son added. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund can do so at Science future Senior geology major Tom Walker and junior business administration major Allison Rent pause in the Piez Hall lobby to look at early conceptual renderings and illustrations envisioning the new sciences facility. Renovations and new construction at Piez will create a 262,000-square-foot building that will house the current departments of biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, physics and mathematics plus the new program in software engineering and planned program in electri cal and computer engineering. See story, page 1. Residents and elected representatives are invited to a town hall meeting titled Global Climate Change and the Energy Future of Our Community at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in Sheldon Hall ballroom. The second installment of the col lege-supported Science Caf series will feature guest speaker Bob Bechtold, president of Harbec Plastics, discussing how he has developed a sustainable green business. Bob Bechtold is a leader in the business commu nity implementing low-carbon emission practices, said organizer Kestas Bendinskas of Oswegos chem istry department. His experience shows that it is fea sible. It is inspirational to see that someone can run a plastics business on solar, wind and biofuels. The event also aims to decide what we can do in this county practically to address our energy issues and our carbon footprint, Bendinskas said. Elected in related roundtable discussions, he added. The list of suggestions generated at the last meet cussed, and our community leaders will report, in the town hall meeting format, what they have decided to do or have done, Bendinskas said. The American Chemical Society, SUNY Oswego and the colleges Auxiliary Services sponsor the meeting. It is also part of SUNY Oswegos Focus the Nation programs focusing on sustainable living. For more information, call 312-3677.


Vol. 20, No. 14 March 18, 2009 Campus Update date forums, today, March 20, 23, 24, 26, 27 March 20 to 22 March 21 and 28 March 21 March 23 March 25 March 26 March 27 March 27 For a more complete calendar including Artswego, College Hour and athletic events see SUNY Os wego Events online at This weeks Campus Update Spotlight shines on Paul Tomascak, associate professor of geology and geochemistry. He has taught at Oswego since January 2004. A. I teach mineralogy, igneous petrology, two geo chemistry courses, physical geology (GEO 100) and an intellectual issues course called Science, Pseudo science and Fraud. A. I have my bachelors from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, an MSc from the University of Manitoba in tropical Winnipeg and my Ph.D. is from the University of Maryland. A. Just about anything in geochemistry. Im cur rently working on a National Science Foundationfunded project on granites in Maine, but I have ongoing research on the geochemistry of salt lakes in the western United States, particularly Mono Lake. Salt lakes are great to study because they record record of global conditions. A. I enjoy teaching on all levels. I really enjoy teaching the 100-level course because its your chance considered geology before. I also enjoy teaching the General Education course because its so far out from what I normally do: I get to study the paranormal, and you really have people express their opinions. I like the intellectual focus of the major courses and how you can re-evaluate what youre doing as you go think Ive taught it the same way twice. A. My impression of our students is good. They compare very favorably with other campuses where Ive been. With our majors, Im very impressed with A. The series was put together before I got here and its something Im very happy to take part in. I enjoy how it puts me in touch with a lot of people with whom I wouldnt otherwise communicate. I can look at regional colleges Web sites and see who is up-and-coming and doing interesting things, and ask them to come and give our students and community a chance to see some really good science. Its also nice to see how impressed visitors are with our institution and some of the things we do. A. I have a wife, Anita, and a 5-year-old daughter, Mary. We live with two dogs and a cat in Baldwins ville. A. I like to play hockey. I like to hike and to move rocks around in my yard, which I guess would be gar dening. When I get the opportunity, I like to support our Laker student-athletes. Police report Since Feb. 27, University Police investigated sev eral cases of theft, disorderly conduct and vandalism and made four arrests. A teenager from Oneida was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. A 26-year-old man from Oswego was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and speeding. Two campus residents were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in unrelated incidents. Women Aloud next Wednesday The 20th annual Women Aloud performance fundraiser will take place Wednesday, March 25, in the Campus Center auditorium. The event will begin with light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by poetry, songs and dance presentations. The theme is Still Loud and Proud. Faculty, staff and student performers will include Lizette Alva rado, Karol Cooper, Jamie Hayden, Lili Jiang, Jonel Langenfeld-Rial, Peggy Lynn, Cleane Medeiros, Be atriz Salcedo-Strumpf, Gurdeep Skolnik and Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell. Participating from the community will be Denise Knight and Janet Becker. Tickets cost $5 for the general public and $3 for students, with a $10 special donation level. Proceeds support the womens studies scholarship program. For more information, call 312-3234. Oswego students and faculty will perform solo and in ensembles to raise scholarship funds in the annual Collage concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 27, in Ty ler Halls Waterman Theatre. Student soloists will include on Tim Lanigan on piano, Wojciech Milewski on piano, Zachary Par chomenko on tuba and vocalist Jon Powers. Perform ing groups will include the Student Wind Quintet, Student Jazz Quartet, College Choir, State Singers, Wind Ensemble, College-Community Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble and Oswego Jazz Project. Tickets cost $10 for the public, $5 for students and seniors. Proceeds will support the SUNY Oswego Music Department Excellence Fund. For more information or tickets, contact Tyler box Top work from Oswego undergraduate stu dents will be on display when the 46th annual Juried Stu dent Art Exhibition opens on March 23. A free public opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 27 will allow visitors to meet the artists. Awards will be pre sented at 6 p.m. Oswegos Student Association sponsors the exhibi tion which will run through April 19 Any SUNY Os wego undergraduate could submit up to three works. Jurors were Sherry Hardiman, a freelance artist from the Rochester area and an Oswego graduate, and Barbara Stout, an internationally exhibited paint er recently relocated from the Puget Sound area. The opening reception will feature music from a string trio including violinist Anita Gustafson of SUNY Oswego and the Syracuse Symphony Orches tra, violist Eric Gustafson of Hamilton College and the SSO, and cellist Elizabeth La Manna of Oswegos music department. Tyler Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekends. Robert Lorings Master of Arts Thesis Exhibition, opening March 23 in Tyler Art Gallery, will incorpo rate living things into thought-provoking displays. The gallery reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 27 celebrates both this exhibition and the Juried Art Stu dent Exhibition (see above). Oswegos Student Asso ciation also sponsors Lorings exhibition, which will run through April 19. Of his work, Loring said, I am trying to, in a hu morous manner, explore the outer shells that we all bear: how they are chosen, what they represent, how aesthetics come into play, and their moral or ethical implications. Through art sales and donations, he said he hopes to raise funds for Vera House in Syracuse and CurePC, which supports pancreatic cancer research. All-star musical trio to present jazz clarinetist Don Byron and violinist Daniel Ber the Hudson River Quadricentennial Concert March 21. During the multimedia show, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tyler Halls Waterman Theatre, the mu sicians will explore the past, present and future of the Hudson River 400 years after Henry Hudsons jour ney of discovery. WRVOs Mark Lavonier will serve as narrator. The Los Angeles Times called OConnor one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music any music today. The Hudson River Quadricentennial Concert was commissioned by the Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center and comes to SUNY Oswego through the colleges Artswego Performing Arts program. For more information or tickets, contact Tyler box Donations welcome for book sale are accepting donations for the annual book sale, to be held in the library on April 13, 14 and 15. The sale is the librarys major fundraising effort. Donations of books, videos, CDs and childrens books are especially needed, said Jim Nichols, chair of the book sale committee. Donated materials should be clean and in good condition, he added. The library does not accept donations of magazines, old encyclopedias, Readers Digest condensed books or paperback romance novels. More information on donating is available at www.