Interim Harpur College Dean Wayne Jones has announced the appointment of Florenz Plassmann and Chris Reiber to serve as interim associate deans of Harpur College while Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Jensen is on an American Council on Education fellowship. Plassmann will serve as associate dean for academic affairs and Reiber as associate dean for research, effective Aug. 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Both Plassmann and Reiber will serve half time in their interim positions.
"I believe it's vital that faculty remain engaged with the dean's office," said Jones. "As the University is poised for growth, this restructuring will allow Harpur College to support our dual focus of providing a high-quality education to our students and of broadening and deepening our research and scholarly activities."
Plassmann, associate professor of economics, earned his master's and doctorate from Virginia Tech. He joined Binghamton's faculty in 1999, and has served as a program director for the National Science Foundation and as a visiting resident scholar for the International Monetary Fund. As a public economist, he studies voting systems and alternatives to takings under eminent domain, as well as U.S. and international tax policies.
Reiber, associate professor of anthropology, earned her doctorate and her postdoctoral master of public health in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. She joined the faculty at Binghamton in 2005. As a biological anthropologist, she studies evolutionary and epidemiological modeling of women's health issues, focusing on the intersections between behavior, biology and environment. She has been an independent analytical consultant to federally funded researchers in psychology and addiction medicine and is the former director of Analytical Services for the Clinical Trials Group of UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.
Faculty accomplishments and additions
From staff reports
During the spring of 2012, SOM promoted Kalpesh Desai (marketing) to full professor.
Also, the school welcomes three new faculty members who begin their service at Binghamton this fall:
* Marcus Burger, assistant professor of accounting, PhD, University of Utah
* Andrew Lynch, assistant professor of finance, PhD, University of Missouri
* Chang-Hee Park, assistant professor of marketing, PhD, Cornell University
On the lookout for retinal disease
By Ashley Smith
Ronald Miller was only a freshman, but his search for a summer research project paid off in spades when Associate Professor of Bioengineering Jacques Beaumont connected him with Dr. Daniel Tso, director of research at SUNY Upstate Medical University's neurosurgical laboratories. During summer 2011, Miller joined Tso's team of NIH-funded researchers working to develop an early-detection protocol for debilitating retinal diseases that affect the sensitive tissue inside the eye.
"Right now, the only way to identify macular degeneration — or many other retinal diseases — is to already have it," Miller explains. "By then, it's past certain points in treatment. This could be a way to detect it before the onset of the disease."
To develop a new method for assessing the health and function of the retina, Miller helped other lab staff present visual stimuli to normal mice and mice with specific genetic mutations. Miller collected retinal images from the stimulated mice with sensitive digital cameras.
The images captured expected retinal activity in the normal mice, and showed expected deficits in retinal function in mice with the mutations. These mice, as Miller learned, are called "knockout mice" because certain genes are selectively removed prior to research — in this case, photoreceptor genes that affect retinal function.
Miller's interest in biomedical engineering grew during his first year in the Watson School. The research experience was a way to go beyond the classroom, forcing him to apply theory, find information and solve problems on his own. And he was able to experience the fast pace and steep learning curve of biomedical research early on in his college career.
"You have to be more like an autodidact," he says. "Independent learning was a big part of successful research."
Miller rejoined Tso's team this summer to process the results in the mouse retinal research, readying the study for publication. He will also participate in the adaptation of the method for use in humans.
First DNP class graduates
From staff reports
- Kathleen T. Anderson (Capstone Project: Working Towards Policy Change)
- Andin J. Kovarik (Capstone Project: Implementing Sustainable Safer Sex Education on a College Campus)
- Nichole A. MacConnell-Rosa (Capstone Project: Home-centered Primary Care for the Aging).
Decker's DNP program is designed to prepare Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists to respond more efficiently to changes in health care delivery and emerging health care needs. The DNP focuses on providing leadership for evidence-based practice, and incorporates the advanced practice content currently included in the master's program. Read more about the DNP program.
Habilitat: School of Survival
From staff reports
Each year, a group of human development students travels to Hawaii to volunteer at Habilitat, a substance-abuse treatment center in Kaneohe, on the island of Oahu. Gary Smith, adjunct professor in the Department of Human Development, has directed our Habilitat Study Program for more than 10 years. He and his wife, Lyn, accompany the students and volunteer their time at the facility.
Habilitat, a self-supporting, nonprofit organization, doesn't subscribe to the disease model, but teaches people that addiction and alcoholism are choices and that diseases can emanate from an addictive lifestyle.
A residential, long-term program, iIt is built on the "therapeutic community" model. The program has developed techniques for creating the qualities lacking in many people's character: self-esteem, self-worth and self-discipline. Its other important foundations are structure and family-based.
Because Habilitat believes rehabilitation from drugs alone isn't enough to ensure long-term success, residents learn marketable skills and work ethics to be competitive in the workforce. Vocational training programs are offered in several areas including vinyl fencing, masonry, home improvement, house cleaning, plumbing services, landscaping, graphics and entrepreneurial marketing. Most residents are employed before or just after they complete their treatment program. (A young woman from the Binghamton area recently graduated from Habilitat and is seeking a job in Hawaii.)
Smith says the program provides a setting where human development students can be part of the service and experiential learning process, learning to:
• integrate study and practice;
• serve a community while building social, civic and academic skills;
• become more actively involved in the learning process than in traditional, didactic education;
• engage with professionals and organizations in direct experience and focused reflection to increase knowledge, develop skills and clarify values;
• create positive bonds with providers of human and health services and the consumers these agencies serve;
• explore personal and interdisciplinary interests that may coincide with their career aspirations;
• develop personal independence, strengthen interpersonal relationship competencies and develop their public utility; and
• become aware of the issue of addiction and its many related problems, as well as develop good citizenship in learning how to help solve this problem.
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Easing the transition for new high school students
By Kathleen Rubino '13
While many of us enjoyed the summer sun, several GSE students made waves in the local community. The school, in conjunction with Liberty Partnership and the Windsor School District, launched a program known as Transition Academy to help Windsor students transition into ninth grade.
"It's a big change going into high school," said Erin Washburn, assistant professor of literacy education. "Our program is giving the students a leg up, providing literacy skills, as well as helping them make contacts in the high school before school starts."
The Academy aimed to help the Windsor students become high school-, college- and career-ready, while enabling the GSE students to assess their group of students and create instructional methods based on their students' needs.
"All ranges of students were involved, from those who struggled in school to those who needed to be challenged," said Washburn. "It's typical of what you would see in a high school classroom."
In addition, the kids involved are now a part of Liberty Partnership and will be provided tutoring and mentoring from the organization. Liberty Partnership is a collaboration between GSE, schools and community agencies that provides support services for more than 200 students each year in cooperation with the Binghamton, Windsor and Susquehanna Valley school districts.
Erin Washburn and Candace Mulcahy worked tirelessly to get the Academy off the ground, teaming up with Liberty's Chris Bernard and Amy Humphrey.
"This program has developed from a lot of blood, sweat and tears on the part of Dr. Washburn," said Mulcahy, assistant professor of special education. "I'm very proud to say that Dr. Washburn, Chris Bernard and the teachers and graduate students involved in the Transition Academy made the dream that was put on a paper a year ago, a reality.""I'm a new teacher at Windsor Middle School, starting in the fall," said Drew Hosinger, one of four GSE students working with five Windsor teachers on the project. "This program was a great way to become involved in the district and reacquaint myself with the School of Education's Literacy 5-12 program."
The Academy was a literacy assessment course for the GSE students, giving them hands-on experience instead of just learning in a classroom.
"I see this program continuing in the Windsor School District and becoming even stronger as we make improvements and adjustments based on what we saw in the first year of the program," said Bernard. "This is something that took a lot of hard work and that everyone who is involved should be very proud of."