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Tucker, Ziegler to serve as faculty masters

Elizabeth “Libby” Tucker and William “Bill” Ziegler will serve as faculty masters beginning July 1. Faculty masters play key roles in the University’s living and learning environment, said H. Stephen Straight, vice provost for undergraduate education and international affairs.

“We were blessed with a very strong applicant pool,” he said, noting the final decision was difficult to make.

Tucker, an associate professor of English and director of that department’s graduate studies, has accepted the inaugural mastership in the Hillside and Susquehanna Communities. Ziegler, of the Department of Computer Science in the Watson School, has accepted the mastership of Newing College.

Both will serve threeyear, renewable terms.

Tucker, who received her doctorate from Indiana University in 1977, came to Binghamton that fall. She was faculty master of Dickinson Community for eight years beginning in 1991 and said she found the opportunity be a faculty master again “irresistible.”

“It gives you a chance to plan creatively and work with people across the University,” she said. “When I was master at Dickinson, I got to work with people in Physical Facilities and the Provost’s Office and fellows from different departments. I learned so much more about the University through that job and learned I could contribute in ways I hadn’t expected.”

Tucker is especially interested in the new opportunities and challenges that await her in Hil

lside and Susquehanna, where the residents are upperclassmen and many are transfer students.

She plans to organize a “life skills” course focusing on topics such as interviewing for jobs that students will face after graduation. “With the help of the other faculty masters, I want to bring together a group of fellows who can help students make the transition to graduate study and employment,” she said.

Tucker’s specialties include folklore and fantasy. Her most recent book, published last year, is titled Campus Legends. She received the Chancellor’s and University Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 1992-93.

“We are very happy to see an experienced master step forward and take on this new type of position in the Hillside and Susquehanna communities,” Straight said. “Libby is a proven, stellar master.”

Ziegler, who grew up in Vestal, graduated from Broome Community College, Binghamton University and Syracuse University. He was a computer engineer at IBM before he began teaching at Binghamton 28 years ago.

Ziegler’s computer science interests are in computer systems analysis and design, engineering management, digital system design and effective communication in engineering and science. He’s working on a book, Effective Communication in Engineering and Science.

Ziegler will succeed Gary Truce, professor of physical education, who has been faculty master since 1998.

“Gary Truce has done a remarkable job,” Ziegler said

. “He is listed on the Web site as being a treasure to the Newing Community. I’m going to do my best to fill those shoes.”

Ziegler said he has often been a confidante for his students and has helped young people after difficult breakups and even a suicide attempt. “I tend to be the kind of person who encourages students to come see me,” he said. “I think I’ve seen a lot. I’ll probably find out that I haven’t seen it all.”

Ziegler and his wife live in Endicott. One of their sons is in college, the other is a high school senior and their daughter is a high school sophomore.

“My whole life revolves around college-age people,” Ziegler said. “Every night of my life is doing something that has to do with the kids.”

He knows his own children would benefit from someone like a faculty master at college. Plus, he sees a time coming when his house won’t be filled with teenagers.

“Now that my own children are moving out,” he joked, “I thought maybe I need to adopt a thousand.”

Straight said he is pleased to see a faculty member from one of the professional schools step into this role. “We were impressed with Bill Ziegler’s longstanding commitment to students as individuals,” he added.

The masters report to Straight and meet weekly with him and Residential Life Director Terry Webb. They also maintain responsibilities in their departments as well as half of their usual teaching load.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08