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Excellence Awards

Excellence Awards to be presented Oct. 27 Twenty-four people will be honored Thursday, Oct. 27, during the University’s annual Excellence Awards Dinner.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes superior teaching by full-time instructors at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level. This year’s recipients are:

Nancy P. Appelbaum, an associate professor in the History Department who received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since joining the Binghamton University faculty in 1998, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the department and the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program. The number of history majors and minors has continued to grow since she redesigned the department’s undergraduate requirements. In 2004 Appelbaum directed the department’s research seminar required of graduate students. Her contributions outside the classroom include service to both Harpur College and University curriculum committees and as undergraduate director in the History Department. She has an impressive record of publication, including an acclaimed monograph, Muddied Waters: Race, Region and Local History in Colombia, 1846-1948.

Charles R. Cobb, who was a senior archaeologist in the private sector before he joined the Department of Anthropology faculty at Binghamton in 1990. Cobb, who received his doctorate from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, is a specialist in Mississippian culture of the southeastern United States. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Author or co-author of three books and 25 articles or book chapters, he serves as editor of Northeastern Anthropology. Cobb has served as director of undergraduate studies, department chair and on every committee in the department, as well as on several University committees. He and a colleague designed “Time and Tradition: An Archaeological History of New York State,” an exhibit that has traveled to more than 30 communities.

Joseph R. Graney, an associate professor of geological sciences and environmental studies. His research in environmental geochemistry melds field and laboratory work. Known for innovative, hands-on, student-centered and inquiry-based instruction, he has developed three new courses and revamped two others since he joined the faculty in 1998. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan, and his experience as a mining geologist in the private sector has been instrumental to his students’ success. He is the director of the Center for Integrated Watershed Research, an interdisciplinary environmental science research program at the University. The National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense are among those who have funded his research. Graney has also served on the University’s graduate and undergraduate education committees and on the Broome County Environmental Management Council and its brownfields subcommittee.

Debi P. Mishra, a nationally recognized expert in customer relationship management who began his service to the University in 1995. He received his doctorate from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Mishra mentors students so they realize their potential. This includes designing, delivering and assessing undergraduate, graduate and doctoral courses, as well as leading executive education courses at Fortune 500 companies. An associate professor of marketing, he has been recognized by his peers and students with three School of Management teaching awards. He is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Market-Focused Management and a reviewer for the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research. He is an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and a doctoral consortium fellow of the American Marketing Association.

Solomon William Polachek, a distinguished professor of economics with a joint appointment in political science. His interests in labor economics, international relations, applied econometrics and health economics have established his global reputation. A member of the Binghamton faculty since 1983, he has served as chair of the Department of Economics and as dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. His contributions to the literature are legion and include a book, numerous volumes he edited or to which he contributed, and almost 80 articles in more than two dozen journals. He has presented at and participated in almost 200 conferences and serves as editor of Research in Labor Economics and associate editor of Conflict Management and Peace Science. A past president of the Peace Science Society, a professional association of scholars interested in international conflict, he received his doctorate from Columbia University.

Daryl Lee Santos, an associate professor in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering who received his doctorate from the University of Houston. Santos, who joined the University in 1994, has been a critical factor in the growth of the department. His dedication, knowledge and creativity inspire in the classroom and in the lab, as well as in meetings with faculty members and industry partners. His publications and conference presentations reflect his research in electronics manufacturing, where he has been successful in obtaining significant research awards from government and industry. A patient and energetic teacher, he has also served as a member of several committees, including the Watson School’s academic affairs committee. He also works as a mentor with the Johnson City School District, as a co-developer of the Electronic Kids Camp and with a Binghamton High School program for minority students seeking education opportunities.

The University Award for Excellence in International Education recognizes Binghamton faculty and staff for outstanding efforts in support of the University’s longstanding commitment to internationalization. This year’s winner is:
Dora E. Polachek, who has been a member of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures since 1997. She holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and, in addition to serving as the undergraduate director for the department, has directed the Capstone Project required by the International Studies Certificate Program. She is a sought-after adviser in the program because of her understanding of the importance of the study-abroad experience. She is adviser for the International Foreign Language Honor Society, and one of her most creative projects is La Table Franšaise, which she founded in 1997. Every Tuesday, a group convenes and speaks only French for two hours, enjoying good food and conversation. A past recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, she continues to attract students to the French major.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes faculty who consistently engage in and have established a solid record of scholarship and creative productivity in addition to their teaching responsibilities. This year’s recipients are:
John S. Bridge, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies who has been at Binghamton since 1979. He is an authority on the origin and significance of river deposits and rivers and the author of Rivers and Floodplains. Published in 2003, the book is the culmination of decades of effort with significant national and international impact, sets the gold standard in sedimentary research for many years to come and reflects cutting-edge studies into one of the most important environments on the planet. He received his doctorate from Scotland’s St. Andrews University and has published or co-published nearly 100 papers. He is editor of Sedimentology, the journal of the International Association of Sedimentologists, and is contributor of editorial services for other major journals.

George J. Klir, a distinguished professor of systems science, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Klir, who came to the University in 1969, was born in Prague and received a doctorate from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Called “the father of systems science” by many, he is renowned for path-breaking research over almost four decades. His seminal research in general systems theory formed the foundation of systems science as an independent discipline and systems thinking as a process necessary across diverse domains — from biological to manufacturing. Since 1999, he has authored or co-authored a book a year. He continues to research new concepts, the latest being fuzzy ranking.

Timothy B. Perry, a professor of music who received his doctor of musical arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Perry, who came to the University in 1986, pursues ways to make concerts come alive for participants and audiences. He has led the University Orchestra and Wind Ensemble to unexpected heights and helped make the Anderson Center an arts jewel in the region; his innovative programming has included works from non-Western cultures and the world premieres of music by local composers. Perry is a world-class clarinet performer and a featured artist and conductor throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. A specialist in 19th-century American clarinets, he played his own period clarinet in a Public Broadcasting Service production of “A House Divided,” nationally broadcast in 2000.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service recognizes individuals whose long history of service to the campus, State University, local community or professional societies/organizations sets them apart as well as those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in local or system-wide faculty governance. This year’s recipients are:
Peter L. K. Knuepfer, who received his doctorate from the University of Arizona. He arrived at Binghamton University in 1986 and is an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies. Over the course of almost two decades, he has served the depart-ment, Harpur College, the University and the State University of New York system. Currently director of the department’s Environmental Studies Program, he has also served as director of graduate studies and as a member of both the graduate and undergraduate committees. A member of Harpur College Council, he has chaired its committee on assessment and served on many others. He has been both chair and vice chair of the University’s Faculty Senate, where he remains a member. He’s also a SUNY faculty senator.

Richard E. Pastore, professor of psychology and linguistics. He has served in nearly every possible leadership role in the Department of Psychology since he came to the University in 1969. His responsibilities have included department chair, director of graduate studies, director of the experimental psychology graduate program and, for the past nine years, chair of the resource committee. His leadership and wisdom made him a natural choice as the first chair of the department’s executive committee in 2000. He is the unofficial historian on department and University policies and decisions, having served as vice chair of the University Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate. A member of the Fulbright committee for 25 years, he was director of the school’s Cognitive and Psycholinguistic Sciences Center, which he co-founded. A doctoral graduate of Purdue University, he authored or co-authord more than 50 journal articles or chapters over the last five years alone.

Susan Strehle, who came to Binghamton University in 1975 after receiving her doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley. Three years later, she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. A professor since 1994 and chair of the department since 2003, her leadership of an undergraduate department committee revised the English major and developed a new concentration in globalization and culture. She has chaired or been a member of numerous other departmental and University committees, where her creative planning over the past 30 years has given the University the Certificate in College Teaching, the annual Teaching Events, the Center for Learning and Teaching, Teaching Assistant Orientation, Fresh Start for new students and other innovations. She created the graduate student awards for research and teaching; she has served as dean of the graduate school, interim and acting vice provost for graduate studies and research; and she is now chair of the University Faculty Senate.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service was created to recognize those with extraordinary professional achievement who have repeatedly sought improvement of themselves, their campuses and ultimately, the State University of New York, and in doing so, have transcended the normal definitions of excellence. This year’s winners are:
Allison Fay Alden, who received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Binghamton University. She joined the staff in 1989 and has served as director of the division of professional development and research, School of Education and Human Development, in addition to teaching credit and non-credit courses. She is also the director of the University’s Center for Applied Community Research and Development, a newly funded research center on campus. Over the years, she has led several initiatives that advance human development by improving the lives of children, youths, women and families. Of special note is her involvement with the Center City Coordination Project, or C3. She is an assistant professor in the Master of Public Administration Program.

Norman Quinn, who has been with the University for almost 40 years. During this time, he helped lead the University into the computing age, from his original responsibilities as computer operator in 1966 to those of his present position of associate director of computing services operations. His primary responsibilities are to manage and maintain the data center and data communications throughout campus. These services must be optimal 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and he is often called back to work in the middle of the night when the unexpected occurs. He also guides and supports the Help Desk. Few who work — and none who studies — at the University could fulfill their responsibilities were it not for his efforts.

Nina M. Versaggi received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Binghamton University and joined the staff of its Public Archaeology Facility in 1976. As its director, she coordinates all its research and administrative aspects in conjunction with the research and teaching mission of the Department of Anthropology. She attracts and administers major funding for 80 to 100 projects a year. These efforts have elevated the national profile of both PAF and the department, where she is adjunct associate professor. She brings a clear research and public-interest focus to her role as coordinator of the University’s Native American Graces Protection and Repatriation compliance activities, and to the Community Archaeology Program. She was awarded the Binghamton University President’s Innovation Award in 1996 for her design and construction of the “Time and Tradition” exhibit.

The University Award for Excellence in Classified Service recognizes superb performance in fulfilling the job description for the position held, supported by evidence of excellent work and high degrees of reliability, resourcefulness and initiative. This year’s recipients are:
Deborah J. Bundy, who has lent her knowledge, professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication to Binghamton University for more than 16 years, first with Physical Facilities and later with the School of Education and Human Development and Harpur College. Since 2001, she has organized many of the responsibilities and activities of the advising office of the School of Management, working closely with the assistant dean, undergraduate adviser, the MBA and Executive MBA programs, dean and associate dean, faculty, peer advisers and students. Among her many responsibilities is coordinating and ensuring that SOM events go off without a hitch.

Bonnie L. Jenkins, who arrived on campus as a temporary employee in 1987 and, since 1998, has been a permanent supervising janitor. She maintains 16 academic and administrative buildings to her very high standards — efficiently, effectively and graciously. What’s more, she and her staff accomplish this during the day, when the buildings are at their highest traffic level. She is also the point person for set-up of University special events both indoors and outdoors, including those in the University Union, Anderson Center and Peace Quad. She overcomes challenges with her trademark flexibility and exceptional customer service and helps ensure that visitors to Binghamton University leave it with an impression of the polished, professional institution that it is.

The Binghamton University Council/Foundation Awards were established to recognize extraordinary commitment to the campus community. Faculty/staff and student recipients are selected for their contributions to the strength and vitality of the University. This year’s winners are:
Albert A. Dekin Jr., an associate professor of anthropology. Since Dekin’s arrival on campus in 1976, he has kept his sharp focus on the University’s success. A full-time faculty member with a doctorate from Michigan State University, he has been director of graduate studies, chair of the Department of Anthropology, director of the Public Archaeology Facility, acting associate dean and associate dean of Harpur College and acting director of the libraries. In one of the University’s most challenging assignments, he was executive director of the five-year Pegasus Project — the most far-reaching information systems change ever undertaken on campus. In the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, he headed the archaeological damage assessment project for the United States Department of Agriculture, producing research with national implications.

Evangelos J. Dousmanis, who received his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton in 2003. In 1995 he became the University’s photographer, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in daily newspapers and a keen eye for graphics and interesting subjects. Now, 10 years later, he has given us a full and vibrant body of artistic work that is nothing less than a chronicle of the history of the University. His photos represent the University in Sports Illustrated, Chronicle of Higher Education, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin and Time, to name a few. He has also been a lecturer and instructor of photography. His constant good humor, professionalism, dedication and contributions make him a large part of the fabric of the University.

The Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service or Contributions to Public Affairs recognizes one alumnus or alumna each year whose life, work, career and contributions exemplify the highest standards of public service and deepest dedication to public affairs and sustenance of the common good at home and abroad. This year’s recipient is:
Joseph J. Eron ’80, who grew up in central New York and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1984. An associate professor of medicine in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s division of infectious diseases, he is also the co-principal investigator of the AIDS clinical research unit, director of the clinical core of the university’s Center for AIDS Research and associate director of its General Clinical Research Center. He has published more than 70 articles on HIV treatments and co-authored the original paper describing the combination therapy — or “cocktail” — that changed the outlook for AIDS patients. He continues to develop novel treatments for the disease.

The Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes and honors a graduate who has distinguished himself/herself since graduating from the University and serves as a memorial to Dr. Glenn G. Bartle, first president of Harpur College. The award honors alumni who have served Binghamton University through the Alumni Association and the Foundation while also serving their communities, their careers and their country. This year’s winner is:
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ’78, an acclaimed actor who received a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton and a master’s degree from Wayne State University. His performances have earned critical praise, including the 1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Performer in August Wilson’s acclaimed Seven Guitars. Other work includes Jelly’s Last Jam, in which he made his Broadway debut, and Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. Among his film credits are Domestic Disturbance, Devil’s Advocate, Shaft and, for HBO, Their Eyes Were Watching God. His television credits include Dear John, Law and Order, NYPD Blue and Murphy Brown. In 2001 he won an Obie Award for his writing debut, Lackawanna Blues, which aired on HBO earlier this year to critical acclaim. He was honored with the 2005 Humanitas Award for his screenplay of this production. Beyond performance and screenwriting, he devotes himself to his family and the causes of underprivileged children.

The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of a person whose life and significant achievements serve as examples of the University’s aspirations for its students. Raymond and Wanda Osterhout were born and raised in Windsor, met in high school and married shortly thereafter while Ray was pursuing his degree at Syracuse University and competing as an All-American miler on the track team. After graduating with a BA in economics, he began a career in the insurance industry, becoming chair, president and chief executive officer of American Independent Reinsurance Co. When it was sold, he took on the responsibility of group vice president of underwriting and marketing, U.S., for the Swiss Reinsurance Co. and the family moved to New York City. With their three children grown, the couple retired in 1996 and returned to their family’s homestead in West Windsor. In 2003 they provided an endowment to establish the Ray and Wanda Osterhout Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship in the School of Management, propelling the University into a leadership role in entrepreneurship training while encouraging economic growth in the community. A second gift the following year ensures that creative expression will continue to thrive at the Anderson Center for the Arts and that current and future generations will enjoy performances in the Osterhout Concert Theater. The Osterhouts are tireless supporters of the University and the community, serving on several boards of nonprofit organizations, including the Stillson Memorial Medical Center Association and the Broome County Council of Churches; Ray is also a member of the audit committee of the Binghamton University Foundation.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08