INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
SUNY honors Bromley, Skormin
By : By Katie Ellis
The State University of New York Board of Trustees recently announced the appointment of Karen Bromley as distinguished teaching professor and Victor Skormin as distinguished service professor. The distinguished designation is the highest academic rank in the SUNY system and recognizes Bromley and Skormin for their accomplishments and ongoing commitment to excellence in teaching and public service, respectively.
Bromley, professor and director of the Division of Education, “is committed to developing the next generation of teachers in a nurturing, supportive and experiential environment,” President Lois B. DeFleur wrote in her nomination letter. “An outstanding and inspiring classroom teacher, she is known for bringing the classroom alive for her students.”
Bromley, who earned her master’s in education from SUNY Potsdam and her doctorate in early childhood/elementary education and reading from the University of Maryland, is known as an expert in the fields of reading and literacy. Her current research focuses on the relationship between reading and writing. She’s pleased to be honored with the distinguished ranking, and credits her colleagues and the staff in the School of Education and Human Development with helping her to achieve the ranking and become a better teacher.
Recognized with the New York State Reading Association’s Reading Educator Award (1992) and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1999), Bromley values connecting with students in the classroom. “I know I’ll continue to try to listen to my students and be aware of new research in the field so I can continue to improve my teaching,” she said.
As society and culture change, reading and literacy are exciting fields to be in, Bromley said. “Books and paper are beginning to share the stage with reading in cyberspace and it’s shifted how we become better readers,” she added. “It’s exciting. I’m becoming literate always.”
Skormin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is a true “ambassador of the University” who has created new partnerships locally, nationally and internationally that promote the campus, the SUNY system and his professional discipline, DeFleur wrote in his nomination letter.
Skormin said “a professor has to have a position from which to profess, and this is an additional enhancement of my position.” He believes he did the right thing when he left Russia 20 years ago to come to Binghamton. Russia is “a part of the world that is not progressing,” but from his position at Binghamton, he has worked to establish new and innovative partnerships across the world, highlighting the research and opportunities at Binghamton and within the SUNY system.
The key contact for Binghamton with the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., Skormin also founded the University’s Center for Advanced Information Technologies. He earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute in Alma-Ata, then part of the Soviet Union, and his doctorate in process control from the Institute of Steel in Moscow. Skormin was appointed an honorary professor of the Kazak National Technical University in Kazakhstan (1999) and elected a member of the Russian Academy of Navigation and Motion Control Sciences (2002), but he believes that, in spite of his strong Russian accent, he was born American and his spirit is American. “There is something special about being American, being responsible for your actions, exercising initiative, being confident in what you do and don’t know,” he said.
Skormin is “proud and touched” by the distinguished designation, but considers the enrollment of the son of a former student one of his highest professional achievements. He taught the father in the master’s program when he first arrived at Binghamton and the son will attend as an undergraduate this fall. “I think this is one of the nicest appreciations of what I have done,” Skormin said. “He is successful and at BAE Systems and now he wants his son to learn from me and be successful, too.”