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Three professors named to distinguished ranks

By : Rachel Coker

Three Binghamton faculty members were appointed to distinguished ranks late last month, along with 25 other SUNY educators.

Psychology professor Richard Pastore was named a distinguished service professor, while history professor Gerald E. Kadish and nursing professor Gale Spencer were named distinguished teaching professors. They join 51 Binghamton colleagues who have been honored as distinguished faculty by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.
Gerald E. Kadish
Kadish Gerald E. Kadish, who joined the faculty 44 years ago, believes history courses can offer students essential skills for everyday life.

Students in his undergraduate and graduate courses are encouraged to explore original documents and learn to use analysis to understand the facts. “That’s important,” Kadish said. “That’s what people need to have as they go through life and try to understand what they see and hear.”

Whether in a small seminar or a large lecture, Kadish’s goal is to bring this “calculus of knowledge” to his students. “I want to open up a world that most students would never otherwise experience,” he said.

Kadish brings eagerness, patience, respect and empathy to the classroom, President Lois B. DeFleur noted in her letter nominating him for the honor. “He is known for his meticulous preparation for class, for remaining current in his field, and for stretching both his and his students’ intellectual boundaries,” she wrote.

Kadish, an Egyptologist who teaches Western Civilization almost every year, recently branched out into teaching early Japanese history. “It’s good to stretch one’s brains,” he said. “It has been mentally very refreshing.”

Kadish, 75, grew up in the Bronx and attended the Bronx High School of Science before earning a bachelor’s in history from Hunter College. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Chicago.

A Vestal resident, Kadish received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1976.
Gale Spencer
Spencer Gale Spencer has been a mentor to students and junior faculty as well as a national leader in community health nursing education. She was appointed to an endowed professorship, the Decker Chair in Community Health Nursing, in 2006.
“I believe, because of my subject area, that the learner must participate in real-life activities to make learning meaningful,” she said. “This is a particularly useful methodology for adult learners, and because I teach predominately in the graduate program it is very appropriate for my students. For my Epidemiology class, I use case studies of real epidemics from the Centers for Disease Control, and require the students to find and create a case study of an epidemic.”

Students and colleagues alike are inspired by Spencer’s enthusiastic and creative approach to her work, DeFleur noted in her letter nominating Spencer for the honor. “Her ability to not only balance, but integrate, teaching, research and service serves as an exemplar of the clinical scientist as faculty member,” DeFleur wrote.

Spencer holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hartwick College. She earned a master’s degree in community health nursing and a doctorate in higher/postsecondary education administration, both from Syracuse University. Spencer received the University’s and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 1995. In 2004, she was honored with the Graduate School’s Graduate Mentoring Award.

“I think that the most rewarding part of the classroom is seeing the student’s aha moment, when what they are learning becomes meaningful to them,” said Spencer, who joined Binghamton’s faculty in 1975. “It is also rewarding to see your students grow and mature and become successful in their chosen field, whether it be in teaching or in practice.”

Spencer and her husband, David P. Spencer, live in Endwell. They have two daughters, Kristen Gilbert and Heather Spencer; a son-in-law, Jason Gilbert; and two grandchildren, David and Madison Gilbert.
Richard Pastore
Pastore Richard Pastore has served on virtually every committee in the Psychology Department in addition to serving the campus community through the Faculty Senate and other committee work.

He is proud to call himself a “peacemaker” who helps to resolve differences of opinion by suggesting possible compromises.
Pastore has often been called upon to lead campus committees that faced an especially challenging task, DeFleur noted in her letter nominating him for the honor. “No matter what service has been requested, on or off campus, Professor Pastore has provided his expertise in a compassionate, collaborative manner and with exceptional professional integrity,” she wrote.

Pastore, who joined the Binghamton faculty in 1969, specializes in cognitive psychology and is interested in auditory perception, cognition and attention as well as human factors. He holds a doctorate from Purdue University.

Pastore recently presented an invited paper on the emerging field of the perception of natural sounds at the Acoustical Society of America’s conference. He also has had a paper on the topic accepted for publication in Perception & Psychophysics.

He has been a member of the Town of Vestal’s Conservation Advisory Commission for more than 30 years and has been chair of the commission since 1999.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08