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NEW PALTZ The Alumni Magazine of the State University of New York at New Paltz



Spring 2017



SUNY New Paltz is proud to celebrate the opening of Science Hall, a modern, two-story building designed to support the College’s burgeoning enrollments in the STEM fields. The College’s first new academic building in nearly 20 years, Science Hall is a gateway to the campus and recognizable first impression for visitors. It provides innovative learning spaces, including state-of-the-art laboratories, lecture halls and other collaborative spaces, designed for the teaching, learning and research needs of students and faculty. Reflecting on the College’s values and goals for sustainability, Science Hall is built to a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Visit for more photos and information.



New Paltz Magazine Volume 35, No. 1, Spring 2017


"The increasing availability of digitized s

text presents enormous

opportunities for

social scientists."

—Dr. Gary King ’80 (Political Science), Harvard University professor, p.16

President Donald P. Christian Chief of Staff/Vice President for Communication and Executive Editor Shelly A. Wright Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and Executive Director SUNY New Paltz Foundation Erica Marks Director of Alumni Relations Shana Circe ’02 ’08g Editor Chrissie Williams


Designer Jeff Lesperance Contributing Writers Andrew Bruso ’08 ’12g Ryan Novitsky Contributing Photographers Nancy Donskoj Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard staff photographer John Oles Robin Weinstein ’14

4 MUSIC THERAPY: THE CHINA CONNECTION AT SUNY NEW PALTZ A unique partnership with the Central Conservatory of Music in China 10 BREAKING NEWS IN A NEW WORLD Alumna embraces the strength of social media 14 VIEWPOINT: DEBILITATING NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER Alumni share unique experiences


Video related to story


Additional feature

18 Athletics | 28 Seen & Heard | 30 Class Notes 30 Events Calendar | 38 In Memoriam 41 Planned Giving

On the cover, exchange student from The Central Conservatory of Music in China Elena Cao ’17 stands for a portrait with her guitar outside of the Children’s Center on campus at New Paltz. Corrections for the fall, 2016 issue of New Paltz Magazine: The quote featured on p. 38 was misattributed to Shakespeare’s "Macbeth." The quote came from "Hamlet." Constance L. Frazier ’65 ’71g and ’79cas. was listed under the wrong class year with no additional degrees in the Class Notes section.

New Paltz Magazine, the alumni magazine of the State University of New York at New Paltz, is published semi-annually by the Office of Communication & Marketing and the Office of Development & Alumni Relations for alumni, faculty, parents, staff and friends of the College. Its purpose is to keep this extended New Paltz community informed of and engaged with news and activities relating to the College. Diverse views appear in these pages and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the official policies of the College. In keeping with the College’s sustainability efforts, this publication was printed on Opus Dull, a 30% postconsumer waste paper. Content Ideas/Letters/Feedback: Office of Communication & Marketing State University of New York at New Paltz 1 Hawk Drive New Paltz, NY 12561-2443 845.257.3245 Address Changes & Class Notes: Office of Development & Alumni Relations State University of New York at New Paltz 1 Hawk Drive New Paltz, NY 12561-2443 1.877.HAWK.001 (option #1) 845.257.3230

Spring 2017


SEEN&HEARD RECONNECTING AT REUNION 2016 Alumni Reunion is the pinnacle event for reconnecting with classmates and the College. In 2016, the celebration welcomed back more than 400 SUNY New Paltz alumni and guests for weekend events Oct. 14-16.







New Paltz







1. Old Main Building on the SUNY New Paltz Campus. 2. Alumni enjoy a hike at Mohonk Preserve as part of the weekend festivities. 3. Alan Dunefsky ’69 (Biology) ’91g (Humanistic Multicultural Education) and Everton H. Henriques ’78 (Chemistry) ’83g (Physical Chemistry and Materials Science) stand for a portrait during the All-Class Luncheon. 4. From left to right; Geri Owens, Bethanne Weiss ’87 (Business) and retired faculty member Joe Owens (the legendary Coach "O") give a motivational talk based on Bethanne's new book, "Move Your Assets: From the Chair, Not the Bank!" 5. Recipients for 2016 Heritage Awards and Alumni Awards from left to right; Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts Joe Paparone, Col. Joseph D. Davidson ’90 (Political Science), Mary Kastner ’71 (Art Education) and Robert Thorn ’66, 70g (Art Education). 6. The First World alumni panelists; New York State assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman ’93 (Communication Media and Black Studies), Larry Scott Blackmon ’96 (Black Studies) and Crystal (Brown) Bonds ’91 (Business Administration) address students at a networking event. 7. Harry Bonsu ’90 (Political Science), senior vice president at Independent Care System, was honored with the EOP Alumni Recognition award at their afternoon reception. 8. Alumni gather for the Lantern Induction Ceremony. 9. Honorary medals and awards on display. 10. Alumni participate in a hayride and take advantage of a photo opportunity at Dressel Farms in New Paltz with the Shawangunk Ridge in the distance.

Spring 2017



MUSIC AS MEDICINE THE CHINA CONNECTION AT SUNY NEW PALTZ A Unique Partnership with the Central Conservatory of Music in China


s Elena Cao ’17 steadies her guitar, the children quiet with anticipation. They know what’s coming next. In a language that’s not her native tongue, she serenades them with a familiar American tune, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” The children smile, clap along, and seem wholly focused on her strumming hands and quiet voice as it echoes through the Children’s Center on campus. This is exactly the reaction she was hoping for. As an exchange student studying music therapy, Cao knows the power of music and its impact on mood, attention and overall happiness. For the children in her audience, she understands that music allows


New Paltz

The Graduate School

Spring 2017


the pleasure of play to occur naturally for those singing along with her. And as an international student from China seeking a career in music therapy, she knows how far the connections between SUNY New Paltz and the Central Conservatory of Music in China might take her. “The Central Conservatory is often considered the Julliard of China,” said Bruce Sillner, dean of the Center for International Programs. “But what’s really impressive is that there are currently three faculty in that program, and two are New Paltz alumni. It’s an innovative, novel program for China and it’s really being delivered by New Paltz alums.” Every year, the Conservatory, located in the center of Beijing, sends music therapy undergraduate students to SUNY New Paltz for a one-year exchange. At the College, the students

are enrolled in the Haggerty English Language Program and take courses while also pursuing internships. After the program’s completion, and their graduation from the Conservatory, many choose to return to New Paltz for a graduate degree in music therapy. Sisi Lin ’12g (Music Therapy) is one such alumna. Now, back in China, she is also one of the three full-time lecturers in music therapy at the Conservatory. She works alongside LoTing Chen ’00g (Music Therapy), another New Paltz exchange student. Lin and Chen use their international experience to teach the Conservatory’s students and supervise the music therapy interns there. Because of her combined experiences at New Paltz and the Conservatory, Lin had the opportunity to work professionally in a range of different settings. She has experience at a

"Music resonates with me. My experience at SUNY New Paltz has allowed me to learn how to interact and communicate with people on their own terms." - Elena Cao '17


About the China Program The Institute of Music Therapy was established in 1996 and focuses on teaching, academic research and clinical therapy. It is the only professional music therapy institute in China. The institute began enrolling graduate students in 1999, and undergraduate students in 2003. Currently, the institute enrolls 10 to 15 undergraduate students and two to three graduate students every year. The institute is dedicated to


New Paltz

creating a professional educational program of music therapy on an international level. The curriculum is strictly offered according to advanced courses in the United States and it uses English textbooks. The institute also invites experts from abroad to give lectures and seminar courses. Students are required to reach the standard of professional music therapists in the United States when they graduate.

Elena Cao ’17 sings a song with Anna Miyazawa and Aiden Pletch, both age 2, at the Children’s Center on the New Paltz campus.

neurological rehabilitation hospital, various communities in Beijing and at the China Association for Alzheimer’s disease where she worked as a music therapist before landing her current role. “My varied experience has allowed me to see many lives changed by music therapy,” she said. “In order to reach even more clients, I recently started a music therapy studio with two music therapists, friends who also studied at New Paltz. We practice private sessions in our studio and are trying to create a working community. In China people are somewhat resistant to this form of therapy, which is very unlike our experience overseas.”



he music therapy graduate program at New Paltz was designed and developed by the late Dr. Mary Boyle, who retired in 2010 after a vibrant 30-year career at the College as professor, and later director of the music therapy program. The program offers students the opportunity to study at an advanced level and acquire musical, clinical and research skills essential to professional practice. Students complete two fieldwork courses and two separate internship placements in addition to a thesis. The program is accredited by the American Music Therapy Association and by the National Association of Schools of Music, the national accrediting body for schools of music. Upon completion of the 48-credit curriculum and the required minimum 1,200 hours of supervised clinical training, students are eligible to sit for

The Graduate School at SUNY New Paltz welcomes students and scholars from all parts of the world and is committed to supporting, advising and helping both international applicants and enrolled students. Visit for more information on music therapy and discover the College's extensive list of available programs.

Spring 2017


"I enjoy every moment that my clients find even minor progress through music. They work very hard, but I get to witness those sparkling moments." - Sisi Lin '12g the Certification Board Examination in Music Therapy. Boyle was also directly responsible for fostering the relationship with The Conservatory, having visited China herself, she worked with others in music therapy to build the necessary ties for creating the exchange and oversaw its execution until her retirement. Through its dedication to this program and its distinctive partnership with The Conservatory, the College demonstrates a clear commitment to the use of music as medicine, a concept that has been well documented for millennia. Luckily for prospective professionals, like Cao, the field has seen an exponential increase in awareness and interest in the last three decades. “Music resonates with me,” said Cao. “I think everyone has his or her own relationship with music and my experience at SUNY New Paltz has allowed me to learn how to interact and communicate with people on their own terms.”


usic therapy has been found to develop cognitive and emotional responses to improve the health and moods of not only healthy children, like those in Cao’s


New Paltz

experience at the Children’s Center, but also people of all ages. From premature infants to adults who may suffer from depression, anxiety, dementia, and even cancer, music therapy has a prominent role in recovery for many individuals. There is scientific research to reinforce the certainty that music has healing properties. Because the brain’s reward center responds to music, it releases the chemical dopamine, which is associated with pleasure. Various studies have illustrated evidence of its anti-anxiety properties and even its association with higher levels of an antibody linked to immunity. During sessions, therapists are conscious of tempo and melody that help clients express themselves. In a hospital setting, these components of music can also distract a patient who is in physical pain. For Lin and Cao, music therapy is about a shared experience with their patients who are often suffering in ways that greatly impact their daily life. “I enjoy every moment that my clients find even minor progress through music,” said Lin. “They work very hard, but I get to witness those sparkling moments. I think that’s more valuable than performing on stage because I am helping them make a difference in their lives.” When asked what advice she might have for Cao as she considers a return to New Paltz for a master’s degree, Lin quotes her professor, the late Dr. Boyle. “Be humble. Be dynamic. Be thankful,” she said. “But don’t forget to be curious and authentic. You are making progress just by opening your mouth; that is what I learned in the international program at New Paltz.” And as Cao strums each chord and whispers lyrics to the tots in her audience at the Children’s Center, it is as if she has heard this advice from 7,000 miles away. The toddlers seem just as moved by the familiar songs as they are by Cao’s memorable personality and genuineness. “Thank you,” she says to the crew of toddlers in near-perfect English. “I can’t wait to come back and sing for you all again.”

Sisi Lin '12g (Music Therapy) shares a moving experience from her time working at a Beijing hospital


had a client with expressive aphasia after a stroke. She was very depressed and frustrated with her speech and language exercises because the speech therapist asked her to practice saying the same simple words every day, such as cabbage, car, door and apple.

of her favorite things, which is music.

After communicating on piano, I chose songs that I found from her hometown and played the melody for her. What impressed me most was the fact that she couldn’t help but hum the melody with me. After I got her When I tried to sing referral, I learned the lyrics, and prompt she could play her to sing the last piano, very well, word of every phrase, before her stroke. she could do it! At our first session, I didn’t use verbal This is actually communication a technique of with her at all and Neurologic Music instead we shared Therapy, which a lot of music is Music Speech experiences. Stimulation (MUSTIM). She and We tried to her family members improvise on piano. were surprised by She was very what happened Sisi Lin ’12g (Music Therapy) excited, and smiled during that session a lot because finally and consequently there was someone in the hospital who wasn’t music therapy became one of her favorite “treating” her, but allowing her to explore one treatments during her hospitalization.


Musical Speech Stimulation (MUSTIM) is the use of musical materials such as songs, rhymes, chants, and musical phrases simulating prosodic speech gestures to stimulate non-propositional speech. This technique uses the completion or initiation of over learned familiar song lyrics, association of words with familiar tunes, or musical phrases to elicit functional speech responses (Basso et al. 1979). For example, spontaneous completion of familiar sentences is stimulated through familiar tunes or obvious melodic phrases (e.g., “You are my ............”, or “How are you .........?”) (Thaut 2005). ( Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language (typically in the left half of the brain). Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues. Aphasia may causes difficulties in speaking, listening, reading and writing, but does not affect intelligence. (

Spring 2017



“ This two-way,

journal conversationally driven form of

is what people

want and expect.”

Lynne D. Johnson ’90 (Journalism), digital strategist and storyteller.


New Paltz

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Breaking News in a New World

Alumna embraces the strength of social media

Twitter is celebrating 10 years of success in 2017 and the list of social media tools


available to journalists continues to grow. For decades, traditional journalists shared information with audiences to consume passively. But this outdated methodology has evolved, and now professional and citizen journalists are embracing the online world of social media in order to stay #current.

Spring 2017


Social, when used the right way, gives us all eyes and ears on the ground when we don’t have the resources to be on the ground ourselves.” —Lynne D. Johnson, ’90 (Journalism), digital stratetist and storyteller

The evolution of


When Lynne D. Johnson ’90 (Journalism) graduated from SUNY New Paltz, the internet was just becoming a part of many American homes and businesses. This revolution accelerated the decline of the traditional 20th century media’s hold on America and helped cause a shift in the way modern media would function and thrive. Luckily for Johnson, she was prepared. “At New Paltz I was always taught in my journalism courses to look for the story, to investigate and research,” said Johnson. “Social media and the internet just offered new tools to help find the story, the sources and inform readers.” Now, as an acclaimed digital strategist and storyteller, Johnson develops cuttingedge content and community platforms for top media brands like Vibe, Spin and Fast Company. Currently, Lynne is a consultant, adjunct professor and freelance tech evangelist who writes a weekly tech column for Ebony. com. She is also a frequent guest on the widely viewed web series This Week In Google. “My current work is very on trend,” said Johnson. “But I always reflect on my traditional journalism experience; I think both sides can learn a lot from each other.” As social media transforms the professional landscape for current students of journalism, Johnson feels that having an understanding of traditional newsgathering will help them adapt to a rapidly changing industry. By being able to make correlations between traditional and digital, young content

“ 12

strategists can more adequately tackle stories. Johnson often reflects on her undergraduate internship at the Legislative Gazette, where she had to rely on persistence, research and utilizing any means necessary to get the story out. “That experience encouraged me to dig deeper as a journalist, which naturally led me to embrace new technology available to dig as deeply as necessary,” said Johnson. “Now, hashtags are the new beats. We’re still tracking down the story, we’re just using new tools to do it.”

Audience engagement Today’s audiences expect to choose what they read and believe that they should be able to contribute content and opinions, too. This shift is not the demise of journalism as America once knew it, but instead the birth of a movement that emphasizes many of journalism’s key factors: transparency, honesty and giving a voice to the person who may not have one. “This two-way, conversationally driven form of journalism is what people want and expect,” said Johnson. “By embracing community engagement early on in my career, I have been able to help others see the importance and impact of truly engaging your audience, and therefore having a better understanding of what they’re looking for.” Through her blogging platform in the early 2000s, Johnson remembers the occasional scoff from professional journalists. Many

Now, hashtags are the new beats. We're still tracking down the story,

New Paltz

felt that blogging was lowbrow journalism and lacked substance. But blogging preceded a return to citizen journalism, where anyone with a voice was able to discuss the issues important to them. Now, through comments and online conversations, readers are able to become a part of the stories they read, sometimes offering new insights and information. During her 25-year career, Johnson has embraced the changes to her profession and has subsequently landed on top. But she isn’t done learning and continues to try each new application or online tool with enthusiasm and success. She sees the positive impact of social media on journalism; from enhancements to traditional media’s limited resources, to audience engagement and the unique ways of discovering stories. “What social offers is not just the audience engagement piece,” said Johnson. “But a distinctive way of unearthing stories that need to be told with the necessary information to back things up.”

(top to bottom): Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools march in protest chanting “Justice for Freddie Gray” on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland; Pro-Brexit demonstrators protest outside the House of Parliament on November 23, 2016 in London, England; people hang a sign near the burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline.

Making a difference Last year’s top news stories show the impact of social media on our society and our newsgathering and disseminating practices. The U.S. Presidential election, Black Lives Matter, and Brexit all made worldwide headlines in 2016 and each had their own hashtags, community conversations and multimedia components to accompany them. The news was not just shared with a captive audience, but it provoked them to get involved and further the public understanding of each event. Specifically, Johnson is reminded of the numerous stories involving incidents between police officers and young African American men that filled her newsfeed last year. “Social, when used the right way, gives us all eyes and ears on the ground when we don’t have the resources to be on the ground ourselves,” she said. “This is one of the foundations of journalism and one that can now expand with the appropriate use of social media and live video. Videos do not lie and so they offer us more authenticity – isn’t that what journalism is all about?”

we're just using new tools to do it.”

Spring 2017


What's it like to... live with a debilitating neurological disorder

by Tom Seaman '94 (Elementary Education K-6 Psychology)


New Paltz


Isolated and alone because of severe chronic pain, I experienced powerful anxiety and panic attacks.”


t was summer 2001 and life was great. I had

stomach virus. During that time, my dystonia

awesome friends, I was a successful business

symptoms decreased somewhat and I lost about

partner and I was busy pursuing my master's

15 pounds. While getting sick was not the type

degree, playing sports and traveling. I was

of motivation to change I would have chosen, it

living the good life and things were going

was exactly what I needed to start putting my life

as planned until I noticed alarming changes in my

back together.

body; stiffness and pain in my neck, involuntary

movements and trouble with my balance.

I lost nearly 150 pounds and learned new ways

I saw many doctors before finally being

to better manage my dystonia. I still have prob-

diagnosed with dystonia. Dystonia is a neurologi-

lems with my neck and back (there is currently

cal movement disorder that causes muscles to

no cure for dystonia), but it is night and day

involuntarily contract, producing painful, awkward

compared to the torture I once lived. No longer

movements and postures (imagine the sensation of

living in the darkness of despair, my life is again

a Charley horse that never goes away). It com-

filled with joy and passion.

pletely changed my life. I became disabled to the

point that I had to drop out of school, give up work

2012 and I later became a certified professional

and social activities, and move in with my parents

life coach with a mission to help others with their

because I could barely function without help.

challenges. In 2015, I published a book, “Diagno-

sis Dystonia: Navigating the Journey,” which was

After many treatments that had little benefit,

Within a year of healthy eating and exercise,

My experiences led me back to school in

I fell into a pit of depression. Isolated and alone

recognized by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I

because of severe chronic pain, I experienced

wrote it to give others hope and inspiration, and

powerful anxiety and panic attacks. I medicated

provide practical tools for managing life chal-

myself with alcohol to numb the intense physical

lenges, health and otherwise.

and emotional pain and my diet was awful. Within

five years, I weighed well over 300 pounds. I didn’t

health condition or other obstacle: you are not

recognize myself. I was a stark contrast to the

alone, hope never dies, and every single day is

happy-go-lucky, 180-pound athlete who was a two-

an opportunity to get better. Obstacles provide

year captain and MVP on the New Paltz baseball

us with opportunities to grow and become bet-

team. Life was so brutal I almost ended it.

ter people, and every day I am grateful for the

chance to help others and myself achieve their

In December 2006, I became ill with a

My message to anyone facing a difficult

personal best.


Tom Seaman ’94 (Elementary Education K-6 Psychology) has pursued private business ventures in health education and is currently a Certified Professional Life/Health Coach and author of the book, “Diagnosis Dystonia: Navigating the Journey.” To learn more about Tom visit Follow him on Twitter @dystoniabook1.

Spring 2017



big data what we know vs. all the rest


New Paltz

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Before the media took notice of the evolving field of data analytics, Dr. Gary King ’80 (Political Science) often had trouble explaining his profession to those who asked.

Photo of Dr. King by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard staff photographer


ith such an abundance of data types and various analysis in practice, it was often confusing beyond clarification,” said King. “But now, when you say ‘big data’ it resonates with the public and fortunately helps convey the importance of this advancing field.” Big data is a media-coined term that describes the large bulk of information – both structured and amorphous – that inundates our senses on a regular basis. Every digital process and social media conversation produces it. Systems and mobile devices transmit it. The actual data in big data can exist as unstructured text in the form of emails, speeches, social media updates, scholarly literature and product reviews. It is made up of information that can be found via credit cards, sales transactions, cell phones, satellite imagery and various online behaviors. But according to King, this infinite amount of data alone does nothing; the current revolution is that we now know what to do with it. “The goal for most scientific purposes isn’t the data set itself,” said King. “Data alone is not transformative. We must make it actionable.” King is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University – one of 24 with Harvard’s most distinguished faculty title – and Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. There, he develops and applies empirical methods in many areas of social science research, focusing on innovations that span the range from statistical theory to practical application. In 2016, the alumnus joined a panel of industry leaders and scholars at SUNY New Paltz to discuss big data with students interested in learning more about the explosion of educational and professional opportunities within the field of data science. “Students seeking a profession in data science need to understand the power of what they can do with access to new forms of data,” said King. “For example, the recent increase in human expression via social media is nearly useless without some type of analytic capacity.

Every day there are billions of publicly available social media posts, but without assistance from automated text analysis, no one person has the ability to understand what billions of others are saying.” Understanding social media’s potential reach is just one aspect of King’s highly regarded work. His research on legislative redistricting has been used in most American States as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. He has led an evaluation of the Mexican universal health insurance program, which included the largest randomized health policy experiment to date. He has reverse engineered Chinese censorship, and worked on a wide range of other projects that utilize the power of big data analytics. He is also a founder, and an inventor of the original technology for, Learning Catalytics (acquired by Pearson), Crimson Hexagon, Perusall, and others. “The increasing availability of digitized text and the diversity of data now available presents enormous opportunities for social scientists and students pursuing the field,” said King. “The amount of new data is enormously more informative, but the revolutionary power is in what to do with these unusual measurements, assets and content types.”

"The goal for most scientific purposes isn't the data set itself. Data alone is not transformative. We must make it actionable." —Dr. Gary King ’80 (Political Science), Harvard professor, speaking to SUNY New Paltz students in 2016

Spring 2017



Bruce Kreutzer ’73

named assistant coach for the Charlotte Hornets RYAN NOVITSKY, ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR


look at the staff directory of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) reveals a few legendary names: Patrick Ewing, associate head coach, who starred for the New York Knicks, and of course, Chairman and “His Airness” himself, six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan. But another name on this list is New Paltz alumnus Bruce Kreutzer ’73 (Elementary Education N-6 Social Studies). Kreutzer has spent more than 40 years in the coaching ranks and is now an assistant coach for the Charlotte Hornets, joining the organization in July 2015. Kreutzer, 66, can be found in the record books for New Paltz men’s basketball, taking the eighth-most free throws in singleseason history, attempting 159 in 1970-71. Although he only played for the Hawks for two seasons, Kreutzer still has fond memories of the campus and the town.


New Paltz

“The full experience of college was special,” said Kreutzer. “What I remember most is the camaraderie and the campus atmosphere. This was a lively era during the Vietnam War and the many peace rallies added to the college experience.” Unfortunately, Kreutzer’s playing career was derailed due to injury, but he took this as an opportunity to explore a different facet of the sport through coaching.

Kreutzer has previous ties to Charlotte having served as an assistant coach at Queens University in Charlotte – reaching the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2003 – and UNC Charlotte, as well as head coach at Garinger High School, where he won the 4A Boys North Carolina State High School Title in 1989. “I’m grateful to have the chance to come back home and work in Charlotte,” he said. “Plus, working for Michael Jordan is pretty cool.” As impressive as his professional resume is, Kreutzer credits his New Paltz roots and his experience as a player for his current success. “New Paltz provided me with everything; it’s part of me and it’s my school,” Kreutzer said. “Now, every day is new and I’m working with the greatest athletes in the world. I was given this opportunity and I am taking full advantage of it. My dream has come true at 66 years of age!"

Scholarship Recipient Profile

Camille Ashley Chavez ’17 Current student and recipient of the Edward A. Carroll & Gina O’Brien Carroll Experiential Scholarship, Camille Ashley Chavez ’17, is a great example of what is possible with the help of Foundation support. “With the generous support of my donors, I am a step closer to my dream,” said Chavez, who was able to study abroad in France because of scholarship funds. “There are not enough thank you cards that Hallmark can make or words in a thesaurus to express my gratitude towards my donors. Thank you for everything and most of all, thank you for believing in me.”

Report on Generosity The SUNY New Paltz Foundation – past, present and future

Spring 2017


In 2016 we were delighted to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. I am pleased to also share with you this Annual Report for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2015 and ended on June 30, 2016. On these pages, we invite you to learn about the funds we’ve raised, the innovative programs that money supports, and the innumerable ways our students and community have benefited from your unyielding generosity. This year’s accomplishments, and the preceding four decades of philanthropy, illustrate that the continued success of the Foundation is clearly dependent upon the commitment and generosity of all of our donors and many others like you. You breathe life into the SUNY New Paltz Foundation – its past, present and its future. Since its incorporation in June 1976, the mission of the Foundation has not changed. It remains a not-forprofit organization whose purpose is to solicit and receive philanthropic contributions to advance the educational purposes of the College. Forty years ago, the Foundation’s beginning assets of $60,000 were exclusively scholarship funds that had been held by the Faculty Student Association. From those humble beginnings, the Foundation now holds total assets of nearly $34 million, including an endowment of more than $19 million and 42 acres of property contiguous to the College. But, because we live in an era of diminishing state support and increasing tuition costs, many young people are being priced out of the college education that is the ticket to a brighter future. Thus, scholarships remain one of our very top priorities, an important part of fulfilling our commitment to educating future generations including people of limited financial means. Our nation’s future demands this focus. The following pages touch on the profound impact of philanthropy over time at SUNY New Paltz, as well as the immense support in the past year. There is no part of campus life that has not been furthered by the generosity offered by our donors and steadfast supporters. Thank you.

Erica Marks Executive Director SUNY New Paltz Foundation


New Paltz

The SUNY New Paltz Foundation celebrates 40 years—A look back at a few notable gifts


he SUNY New Paltz Foundation held a 40th Anniversary celebration in the newly renovated Wooster Hall on campus Oct. 17, 2016. Remarks from President Donald P. Christian, Founding Board Director Anthony Costa, and Board Chair Mike Keegan, were shared as College community members toasted nearly a half-century of philanthropy. “Philanthropy has literally changed the physical and academic landscape at New Paltz,” said Keegan. “The role of the Foundation has been, and continues to be, to support the educational experience of our students and the innovative work of our faculty by providing them with the resources to take advantage of things like research, travel abroad, internships and other opportunities that might not have been possible otherwise.” The Foundation was formed with the purpose of building a margin of excellence through the creation of programs, opportunities and support above and beyond what the College was able to do with State funding and tuition. Among the most notable contributions over the better part of a decade were from Louis and Mildred Resnick, for whom Resnick Engineering Hall was named in 1998. The $1 million Resnick Engineering Endowment was established (in addition to half a dozen scholarship programs), as well as the Resnick Distinguished Lecture Series in Jewish Studies, and the Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life. One of our campus jewels, The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, was established with generous gifts of both art and cash from Samuel Dorsky and family. David, Noah and Karen Dorsky continue to play an important role at New Paltz, serving on the Foundation Board and The Dorsky Museum advisory board. The Museum benefitted also from contributions from numerous others, such as Howard Greenberg, whose donation of photographs forms much of the museum’s collection in this area. Fifteen individuals have had the honor of serving as the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor in Journalism, most recently Rob Cox. It’s impossible to overstate the deep and enduring legacy of this program. There are many more examples of the transformational power of generosity, and dozens and dozens of endowed scholarship and program funds set up over these past 40 years.


The Impact of Philanthropy on Significant Programs July 1, 2015 and ended on June 30, 2016 Max & Nadia Shepard Memorial Endowed Piano Maintenance Fund The late Max and Nadia Shepard were critical patrons of the College’s performing arts programs and will always be remembered for their kindness, generosity and friendship to the College community. Shortly before their son Max’s death, the Shepards sought out ways to contribute to the music program at New Paltz. Max and Nadia decided to generously support the renovation of a 125-seat recital hall, named in their honor, in College Hall. This past year, the School of Fine and Performing Arts received gifts from the family and friends of Nadia and Max Shepard to support a piano maintenance fund in the music department for academic use and performance. Nadia Shepard

The Dorsky Museum The Dorsky offered 18 exhibitions in addition to multiple online exhibitions and expanded support of contemporary art as defined as post WWII art and Artists. A Contemporary Art Fund was created to support educational programs, lectures, curatorial expenses and artist residencies at the museum.

PianoSummer Festival PianoSummer is an international summer program dedicated solely to piano music. This season’s guest artists were Victor Rosenbaum and Daria Rabotkina, who performed at McKenna Theatre in July. The event also included the annual Jacob Flier Piano Competition, an open contest for musicians under the age of 35. Scholarships Scholarship funds continue to be central to the Foundation’s mission. Scholarships support student education, experiential learning opportunities and study abroad experiences while helping to decrease student loan debt. Last year, the Foundation awarded 215 scholarships to 170 students, totaling $474,000.

Spring 2017



New Funds

Endowments honor theatre faculty contributions


hanks to a generous $237,000 contribution from McKenna Productions, six endowed scholarship funds have been established in honor of six extraordinary and beloved theatre professors at SUNY New Paltz. u THE PROFESSOR VERA IRWIN ’33 ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND will provide two scholarships to incoming students including: an accepted incoming freshman seeking the concentration in Theatre Performance, whose audition showed potential and whose interview showed determination, and an accepted incoming freshman seeking the concentration in Theatre Design and Technology, whose portfolio showed potential and whose interview showed determination.

VERA RUSHFORTH IRWIN ’33 Vera R. Irwin ’33 graduated from New Paltz Normal School and returned as Assistant Professor of English and Drama in 1947. She retired as Professor Emeritus in 1974. During that time, she guided and influenced many students who went on to work in the theatre. She directed and supervised over 80 productions between 1947 and 1969, was instrumental in obtaining the first modern theatre building in the SUNY system, received a Ford Foundation grant in 1956, and her book “Four Classical Asian Plays” was published by Penguin Books in 1972. She passed away in 1995 at the age of 82. “Vera was seen as a mother to many students at New Paltz. She was dedicated to the theatre program beyond measure and continues to be missed today.” – Joseph C. Paparone, emeritus professor (Theatre Arts)


New Paltz


z THE DR. BEVERLY M. BRUMM ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND will support an annual non-renewable scholarship to a SUNY New Paltz Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Theatre Performance entering his or her senior year.

v THE PROFESSOR RAYMOND T. KURDT ENDOWED STUDENT TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP FUND will support theatre student attendance at design and technology conferences such as the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) annual national conference, or other theatre conferences that focus on design and technology. This Fund will help to defray some of the student cost (registration, travel, room and board) of attendance and is named in honor of alumnus Raymond T. Kurdt ’56 (Art Education). w THE PROFESSOR FRANK KRAAT ENDOWED STUDENT TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP FUND will support annual non-renewable scholarships to theatre students attending the London Theatre Seminar, an annual three-credit course, established by Professor Emeritus Frank Kraat (Theatre Arts). This scholarship will help to defray some of the student cost (tuition, travel, room and board) of attendance. x THE JOSEPH C. PAPARONE ENDOWED STUDENT TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP FUND was established to support theatre student attendance at performance festivals such as The Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, the KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), or other theatre festivals that focus on performance. y THE PROFESSOR DAN E. SWARTZ ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND will support an annual non-renewable scholarship to two SUNY New Paltz Theatre Arts majors with a concentration in Theatre Design and Technology entering their senior year.

DR. BEVERLY M. BRUMM Beloved by her family, students, colleagues and friends, Beverly M. Brumm will always be remembered for her scholarly approach toward dramatic literature and the art of acting that helped bring the College’s theatre program to excellence. Beverly earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Webster College, master’s degree in directing from Yale University and finally her Ph.D in Drama from New York University. Beverly taught drama in the Theatre Arts Department at SUNY New Paltz for 27 years. She directed more than 90 plays in various cities before she retired. She passed away in 2013 following a courageous battle with cancer. “Gold? Diamonds? Rubies? Martian meteorites? The most precious resource in the world to my mind is a real life mentor. Beverly Brumm was one of my first acting teachers and my first improvisation teacher. I’m a better artist and a better man for having known her. She made people better. She made the world better. She was a force multiplier for truth and fierce honesty and that is why she was more precious than diamonds.” – Jeff Eyres ’87 (Theatre Arts)

If you would like to make a gift to support one of these six new endowed scholarship funds, visit Checks may also be sent to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation at 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561. Be sure to include the name of the endowment on your gift. Spring 2017



List of New Endowments • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Dr. Beverly M. Brumm Endowed Scholarship Fund Gail & Joe Gallerie Endowed Recruitment Scholarship Drew R. and Donna T. Goodbread Geology Scholarship Professor Vera Irwin ’33 Endowed Scholarship Fund Professor Frank Kraat Endowed Student Travel Scholarship Fund Professor Raymond T. Kurdt Endowed Student Travel Fund Susan Dutcher Najork ’67 Endowed Scholarship Fund Dr. Marcia Norton Endowed Scholarship Fund Gary H. Palmieri Endowed Music Scholarship Joseph C. Paparone Endowed Student Travel Scholarship Fund Dr. Chigurupati Seshu Memorial Scholarship in Economics Douglas Stephen Sheppard & Jeffrey Hamilton Sheppard Endowed Scholarship Max & Nadia Shepard Memorial Endowed Piano Maintenance Fund Professor Dan E. Swartz Endowed Scholarship Fund

Thomas Joseph Casey Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Integrity in Journalism


homas Casey and his wife, Joan, endowed a memorial scholarship celebrating the life of their second son Thomas J. (TJ) Casey ’11 (Journalism) to support journalism students studying at SUNY New Paltz. TJ, a thoughtful journalist, was killed in an automobile accident just two months before he was due to start graduate school. In the face of this horrific loss, his friends and family sought to raise $60,000 in his honor, support that will now be awarded to highly qualified journalism students who bring passion, energy and integrity to their profession. The Caseys hope that TJ’s memory can live on as future graduates achieve journalistic success that may not have been possible without this philanthropic contribution.

Young alumni giving back "I was able to travel to more than 10 states and study the geology of a diverse set of locations as a student at the College. I give to SUNY New Paltz because I want to contribute toward making that experience possible for every Geology student following in my footsteps." Chris Gahn ’10 (Geology), academic computing consultant for sciences at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

“SUNY New Paltz gave me the opportunity to travel abroad and see the world. I give back because I want to make this possible for future students. It changed my outlook on life and opened my eyes to things I never thought possible.” Victoria Weise ’07 (Psychology), account executive for Walsh Duffield Companies, Buffalo, NY


New Paltz


Alumni couple seeks to help struggling students

Dr. Steven Brody ’73 (Psychology) and Karen Krause Brody ’71 (Art Education) ’80g (Art Education) created an endowed fund for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at SUNY New Paltz to assist students facing unexpected financial challenges.


e wanted to give a gift to someone suffering some sort of economic hardship,” said Steven. “The students with a 3.9 or a 4.0 almost always find a way to finish and get their degree. There’s often someone there to rescue them. We wanted to help the people with a 3.0 who don’t have that guardian angel watching over them.” As young students at New Paltz, the Brodys sometimes struggled to pay for their education. Karen had financial help from her parents, but Steven did not. Both sought loans to cover living expenses and tuition and Steven found hours of work-study to supplement their simple lifestyle. “There were many nights when we were first married and I was in school that we had cereal for dinner,” said Steven. “We imagine there are still

students like us, who are focused on their studies but still struggling to stay afloat.” Karen, who previously served on the Foundation Board, said the education she and her husband received at SUNY New Paltz was the catalyst for everything else they later achieved. “We were prepared because of New Paltz,” she said. “It only makes sense to give back and try to make a difference.” For Karen, this success was measured by being an art teacher, full-time parent, real estate agent and the business manager of Steven's practice before her retirement. After four years in the U.S. Army, Steven completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Hospital of St. Raphael, an affiliate of the Yale School of Medicine. He is now

managing partner at Greenwich Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, where he has worked since 1984. Steven was also on the College’s Presidential Search Committee in 2010-11 and served on the Liberal Arts and Sciences advisory board. The couple, who has two children and two grandchildren, hope their gift will inspire other alumni to contribute to SUNY New Paltz. “I think private universities sometimes have more of a culture of philanthropy and in some ways New Paltz has a ways to go,” said Steven. “We would like to inspire other alumni to give back to the College because there are still students we can relate to all these years later, and they need our help.”

Spring 2017



THE SUNY NEW PALTZ FOUNDATION July 1, 2015—June 30, 2016


Supported Areas Category


Amount (in dollars)

Scholarships Annual Scholarships Endowed Scholarships The Dorsky Museum





$169,926 $1,463,123 $437,326

Unrestricted (Fund for New Paltz)


Academic Divisions










Benjamin Center





Sources of Support Category

3.3% Amount (in dollars)

Friends Corporations





Current and Former Faculty and Staff



Current Students Parents





20.2% 15% 4.3%






New Paltz


TOWER SOCIETY The Tower Society recognizes those who have chosen to leave a gift to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation in their estate or retirement plans. These gifts may be directed to support specific programs such as student scholarships or academic departments. Deferred gifts help New Paltz grow and pursue new opportunities, securing its place as a leader in higher education. Deferred gifts are those that mature after a donor’s lifetime, such as bequests through wills, life insurance policies, trusts, annuities, retirement plans, and life estates. These gifts are relatively simple to make and almost always trigger a favorable tax event, so donors are encouraged to consult legal, accounting or financial advisers. When combined with current gifts, deferred gifts may also be used to secure naming privileges for endowment funds, buildings, and other physical spaces at SUNY New Paltz.

For more information about the Tower Society: n n Call Nick Rama at 845-257-2602 n Bequests To make a bequest, simply add the following language to your will: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise, and bequeath to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, Inc., Tax ID# 22-2141645, [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for unrestricted use and purpose."

Tower Society Members

Deceased Members

Miss Agnes C. Adams ’47 Mr. Arthur A. Anderson Ms. Susan M. Baggerman ’57 & ’72 Ms. Mary Elizabeth C. Bannon ’81 Mr. Stephen D. Becker ’70 Dr. John T. Beetar ’74, ’76g Dr. Ruth C. Bergman ’44 Mr. Francis ’53 and Mrs. Bonnie Cahill Mr. Tom E. Cetrino ’73 Dr. Alice and Dr. Horace Chandler Dr. Arthur A. Delaney ’53 Ms. Michele T. Di Palo-Williams ’77 Ms. Barbara E. Dorner ’67 Mr. Noah P. Dorsky Dr. Lynne L. Doty ’75 Mr. Alan ’69, ’91g and Mrs. Françoise Dunefsky Dr. Phyllis R. Freeman and Dr. David Krikun Mrs. Gail K. and Mr. Joseph A. Gallerie Mrs. Donna T. ’75 and Mr. Drew R. ’76 Goodbread Mr. Matthew Healey Mr. Darren F. Hernandez ’91 Mr. Roark Herron ’71 Mr. Charles S. Houser ’75 Mr. Craig F. Jessup ’75 and Mr. Jim N. Parsons ’68 ’70g Mr. Mark I. Kalish ’73 Dr. Ronald and Mrs. May Knapp Dr. Helen E. Kochant Ms. Ann Kubik ’68 Ms. Lilla LoCurto and Mr. William Outcault Mr. Brian E. Logan, Esq. ’86 Ms. Erica Marks Ellen C. (Dexter) Matz ’70, Col. USAF (Ret.) Mr. Robert '68 '71g '80cas Mountz and Mrs. Henrietta Mountz ’68 ’71g Ms. Gayle Olson ’68 Mr. William Palladino Dr. David L. Peim ’80 Mr. David Ping Ms. Lynda Schwab-Edmundson ’78 ’82g Ms. Ruth A. Smith ’77 Dr. Giancarlo Traverso Mr. Armand ’54 and Mrs. Roberta Trivilino Mr. Michael J. Uvanni PhD ’72 Ms. Laura R. Walker ’76 Ms. Millicent A. Wall ’53 Dr. Laurie B. Wellman, PhD ’64 Mrs. Dolly Wodin Dr. Allen M. Young ’64 Ms. Donna L. Zucca ’63 and Ms. Diana Zucca Anonymous (14)

Ms. Alice J. Bartner ’39 Dr. Mary E. Boyle Mr. Edwin Braem ’38 Mrs. Louise Braem Mr. Larry Braun Mr. Arvid C. Burke Mary Gallagher Burke Ms. Theresa Ceruti Ms. Karen A. Chaffee ’91, ’94g Ms. Anita S. Christoffel-Pell ’62 ’67g Ms. Ruth Cleveland Adah M. Copeland Ms. Ruth P. Cummings ’65 Ms. Wokie O. David ’75 Ms. Ruth DeRoberts ’20 Mr. Edwin B. Dezendorf ’57 Samuel Dorsky Professor Frank and Mrs Gertrude Eckelt Lulu J. Eisenhauer Mr. Alfred H. Enlund ’39 Mrs. Ida Gerald ’31 Ms. Evelyn Gluckman PhD ’58 William J. Hageny Mr. Oscar and Mrs. Freda ’30 Heinz Mrs. Dorothea Hopfer ’19 Mr. O. Lincoln Igou Mr. Edgar Jackson Mr. Norman Kellar, Esq. Miss Elaine Kniffen ’36 Mr. Ted Moy ’53 Ms. Anne E. Mungeer ’11 Dr. Hugo Munsterberg Dr. John J. Neumaier Mrs. Joan E. Palladino ’62 Mr. Louis Resnick Dr. Gerald Robbins ’78 Dr. Olga Santora Mrs. Nadia L. Shepard Prof. James G. Shine Mr. David H. Smith Mrs. Muriel Smolen Ms. Iris Stedener Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis Professor Herman and Professor Evelyn Acomb Walker Albert Wang Professor Lilian Whitford Professor Martin H. Wodin, PhD

Spring 2017


SEEN&HEARD Alumna’s new book further explores story of heartache and triumph "We were five kids with five different fathers— one jailed and then dead, two missing, and two unknown. Our mother, Cookie, was more gone than there, more drunk than sober, more mentally ill than mentally well." — excerpt from "Girl Unbroken" by Regina Calcaterra ’88 and Rosie Maloney

40 Under Forty event to celebrate young alumni success



New Paltz


n the sequel to her New York Times bestseller “Etched in Sand,” Regina Calcaterra ’88 (Political Science) pairs with her youngest sister Rosie Maloney to tell Rosie’s harrowing, yet ultimately triumphant, story of childhood abuse and survival. Filled with wisdom and grace, Rosie’s memoir titled “Girl Unbroken” continues the captivating story begun in “Etched in Sand”— a shocking yet deeply moving tribute to family and unconquerable courage. Calcaterra has participated in numerous College events, most recently as the 2016 Commencement Speaker. She previously returned to campus as the Distinguished Speaker and as a panelist for the College's first Women’s Leadership Summit, both in 2015. She joined the SUNY New Paltz Foundation Board in January 2016 and serves as second vice-chair.


he College received 153 nominations for the first 40 Under Forty event, scheduled for June 9, 2017 at Novella’s in New Paltz. A committee made up of representatives from the College’s senior administration, alumni leadership, faculty and staff determined the top 40 candidates who, with passion and dedication, are leaders in their professions, create positive change in their communities, or re-imagine their worlds in an inspiring way. For more information about the honorees and the upcoming event, visit alumni/40underforty.

The Institute for Disaster Mental Health names new director The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at SUNY New Paltz has announced the appointment of Amy Nitza as its new director, following the retirement of the Institute’s founding director, Dr. James Halpern. Nitza holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Indiana University, an M.S. in mental health counseling from Purdue University and a B.A. in psychology from Purdue University. She brings an extensive track record of work in preparing counselors and therapists for professional practice, having served as the director of the Counselor Education Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from 20112015. “I’m fortunate to come to an institute that is already an established resource in the region, and I hope to continue building on the strong work and partnerships forged by Dr. Halpern and the IDMH staff to expand it nationally and internationally,” Nitza said.

Future Summit welcomes visionaries to the College


ore than 150 regional entrepreneurs, educators, business leaders, alumni and artists joined SUNY New Paltz faculty and staff at the first-ever Hudson Valley Future Summit, a daylong celebration of new ideas and inventive projects on Nov. 16, 2016. The Future Summit provided campus visitors from around the Hudson Valley with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to look back at the region’s rapid emergence as a magnet for innovation and enterprise, and look ahead to the discovery of collaborative opportunities that the College, through events like this, aims to catalyze. “The Hudson Valley isn’t the middle of nowhere anymore. It’s the center of everything,” said keynote speaker Seth Godin, bestselling author, internationally renowned expert on marketing and leadership, and a Hudson Valley resident. Godin’s remarks and the Future Summit’s events explored the shift in the global economy from a basis in industry to a basis in connectivity. This concept allows communities, like the Hudson Valley, to build durable partnerships across education, industry, technology, agriculture and service organizations.

Spring 2017



Watching the Regatta from the Walkill River bridge

Alumni Events APR 21-23 Alumni Days of Service (worldwide)

APR 29 Alumni Night at the

Theatre–The Comedy of Errors: Reception

JUNE 2 Young Alumni mixer

w/the Career Resource Center

JUNE 9 40 Under Forty Alumni Award Ceremony

JUNE 12 19th Annual Doug Sheppard APR 28-29 Athletics Alumni Spring Classic Golf Tournament

Alumni Reunion 2017 is Oct. 13–15


These are selected events for alumni and friends. For a full listing visit


New Paltz


immediately felt honored and deeply moved to be shown such genuine emotion from a group of children whose existence (HIV-orphans) is so vulnerable."

—Bruce Colin ’65 (Art Education)


Doris (Wenchel) Nostrand (Elementary Education) traveled for much of 2016. Nostrand returned from a cruise on the Mississippi River in August and traveled from St. Louis to Red Wing, Minn., on the American Queen. She was sorry to miss the annual reunion celebration, but wrote fondly of her trips. “There were many interesting stops, history, entertainment, good food and interesting people,” she said. “I even stopped at the Mall of America, which is the most visited spot in the United States!”


John Whritner (Elementary Education) and his wife Katherine (Ferraro) Whritner ’58 (Elementary Education) celebrated 60 years of marriage with a trip to Cape Cod with their three children. Kay went on to earn a master’s degree from Connecticut College and her sixth year degree from University of Connecticut. She was a school psychologist in Waterford, Conn., McComb County, Mich., and Wilton, Conn. John completed his Doctorate of Education degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, while he was teaching and serving as a principal in White Plains, N.Y. He later served as Superintendent of Schools in East Lyme, Conn., Grosse Point, Mich., and Greenwich, Conn. The couple has since retired to East Lyme, Conn., and have five grandchildren.


Bruce Colin (Art Education) is a retired special education teacher. Since retirement, he has volunteered in India (Chandra Program Art as a Healing Process for Widows and their Children (three seasons)) and several times in Africa. Colin participated in the Teacher Training and Educational Project volunteer program with African Impact in June 2016, where he worked with many children who were orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic. The contributions made by the African Impact Team were quite extraordinary. “I truly admired the caliber of my fellow volunteers,” said Colin. “Composed of young ambitious, bright, caring and enthusiastic college

students, our little global community functioned well as a team with each person contributing their strengths and talents to the schools, medical clinics and old age homes in Livingstone.” From the very first day, working in the community schools went beyond Colin’s expectations. Kathy, Linda School principal, teachers Audrey, Sidney and the rest of the staff of dedicated teaching volunteers were a marvel. “I immediately felt honored and deeply moved to be shown such genuine emotion from a group of children whose existence (HIV - orphans) is so vulnerable. These first impressions were affirmed more and more each day. How fortunate after 29 years of teaching in NYC to have had the opportunity to teach in an environment where I was able to use my art education skills to introduce a few art lessons that enabled the students to experience forms of self expression that were beneficial and exciting.” This was Colin’s third volunteer placement with African Impact. “Professors like Benjamin Karp, Selma Pfieffenberger and Heinz Meng inspire me to this day. Thank you, New Paltz.” Norvelle (Scheu) Pulver (Elementary Education B-6 Mathematics) announced the passing of her husband, Bruce A. Pulver, who was a former staff member in the campus printshop. They were happily married for more than 50 years. Their two sons are Lt. Col. Bruce R. Pulver, now Commandant of the Army School of Music, and Christopher K. Pulver, a retired Marine and now a computer technical specialist.


Janet (Schwartzman) Weisenfreund (Communication - Public Communication) sent her best wishes to the class of 1966 celebrating their 50th class reunion.


Jack (John) Jordan (Secondary Education 7-12 Social Studies) ’89g (Educational Administration) retired after a successful career in public education where he was a high school teacher, basketball and golf coach, principal, B.O.C.E.S. director

and superintendent of schools. After graduating from New Paltz, he has been the editor of the New York Sportsman magazine, a professional golfer and currently works winters as a full-time ski instructor at Belleayre Mountain. He serves on the Board of Directors of PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). He would like to give much credit for his success to his New Paltz golf and basketball coach, the late Doug Sheppard, for his guidance and direction.


Lawrence Bleier (Secondary Education 7-12 Social Studies) shares that his son, Richard Bleier, was a left-handed relief pitcher for the New York Yankees this past season. Blier writes, “He performed very well, and I hope he’s back with them in 2017!” Linda (Uliss) Burke (History) recently retired as Deputy City Attorney for Milwaukee, Wis., after 14 years in that position and 36 years in the Office of the Milwaukee City Attorney. Lawrence Garf (Elementary Education) released his new book, “Hey, Quit Pushing: How We Put Children At Risk By Starting Academics Too Early.” A guide for parents as well as teachers, it exposes how pushing students can be highly counterproductive, resulting in increased levels of anxiety, inaccurate diagnoses of learning disabilities, but not higher academic achievement. Kathleen McGrath Kraus (Elementary Education Pre K-6 Sociology) never really left New Paltz, having spent 25 years working on campus. She retired from SUNY New Paltz as Dean of Continuing and Professional Education, then purchased Cruise Planners, an American Express travel representative franchise. Despite the name, she is a full-service travel agency with their home-based office in New Paltz. Being in business for three years, she is thrilled with the growth of her business.


Tomas Morales (Secondary Education 7-12 Social Studies)

Spring 2017


is currently president of California State University in San Bernardino, Calif. He was presented the Ohtli Award, Mexico’s highest honor presented to a civilian outside the country. Susan Stessin-Cohn (Elementary Education Pre K-6 Anthropology), ’92g (Elementary Education) along with Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini, will present their new book, “In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley 1735-1831” at the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, N.Y. This collection of fugitive slave advertisements tells much about the lives of self-emancipated blacks in the rural North, especially the Hudson River Valley.


Scott Kornhauser (Secondary Education 7-12 English) returned to campus to participate in a data analytics panel. Currently he is CEO of Park Street Solutions, in Naperville, Ill. He has more than 30 years of experience building and deploying healthcare

Patrice Tomaso (Art Education), ’86g (Painting) was named one of WNYT in Albany, New York’s 13 Top Educators. She was nominated by one of her students and selected from over 250 nominations. She has taught in the Chatham Central School District in New York since 1980, having taught art at their middle school from 1980 through 1989 and then moving to the high school where she also teaches art. In September 2016 she entered her 37th year as an art teacher, teaching sculpture, woodcarving, drawing and painting, ceramics, studio in art, Adobe Photoshop and Exploring Art, a dry media course.


Susan (Rubenstein) DeMasi (Theatre Arts) a friend of The Living New Deal and Professor of Library Services at Suffolk County Community College, has just completed the first biography on Henry Alsberg. “Henry Alsberg: The Driving Force of the New Deal Federal Writers’ Project” will be released in late summer/early fall.


had a few teachers who took me under their wing and had a major influence on my life."

—John Turturro ’79 (Theatre Arts)

information technologies, including benefits management and clinical decision support systems.


Award-winning actor, director and writer John Turturro (Theatre Arts) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his work on the HBO miniseries “The Night Of.” He was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for the same role. Turturro shared his feelings of appreciation and gratitude toward the SUNY New Paltz Theatre Program and its beloved faculty in a recent interview for Alec Baldwin’s podcast, “Here’s The Thing.” During the nearly hour-long segment produced by WNYC Studios he said, “I had a few teachers who took me under their wing and had a major influence on my life.”


New Paltz

Edward Renehan (Political Science) has written “Desperate Voyage: Donald Crowhurst, The London Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, and the Tragedy of Teignmouth Electron,” which has been published electronically, print, and in audio editions by New Street Communications. The book recounts the tale that serves as the inspiration for the 2017 film “The Mercy,” starring Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth.


Claudia (Thibodeau) Gibson (Music) recently released her first solo album, “Step By Step,” produced by Gordy Quist of the Band of Heathens. Claudia lives in the Austin, Texas, area and writes and performs original Americana music. Find more on her website, Marlene Wiedenbaum ’83g (Humanistic Education) was featured on the cover of the June 2016 “ArtTimes.” She recently held an exhibit “Capturing Color: Contemporary Pastels” at the

Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, N.Y., another group exhibit, “The Hudson Valley Luminists” in Newburgh, N.Y., and “Blue” at the Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz, N.Y.


Charles Dalmas (Music) just completed his 20th season as the principal clarinetist in the International Symphony Orchestra. He also recently celebrated anniversaries with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 132 Repulse, where he has been the music director for six years, and the Phoenix Concert Band, where he has been the musical director for seven years. He also recently achieved the rank of Bronze Life Master at the bridge table as a member of the American Contract Bridge League. Daniel Gonzalez (International Relations) was recently named Vice President, Strategic Research & Communications at AT&T in Washington, D.C. Bethanne (Rosenthal) Weiss (Business Administration) was inspired by SUNY New Paltz coach Joseph Owens and has become a successful fitness professional and founder of FUNIQ Fitness. Weiss just published her first book, “Move Your Assets: From the Chair, Not the Bank!” Sue Sheehan (Psychology) ’89g (Humanistic-Multicultural Education) is a new member of SUNY Orange Foundation’s Board of Directors. She is also a retired professor and administrator at SUNY Orange. In addition she is a member of the boards of directors of the Middletown Kiwanis Club and the Salvation Army, and is chair of the local CTEA Committee at SUNY Orange.


Richard Bagala (Communication Studies) is a four-time Emmy Award-winning producer. He spoke at the annual Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation at New Paltz Scholarship Breakfast held at Mohonk Mountain House. He currently works for WNYW-TV Fox 5 as a senior producer and sports special projects producer. He has won 14 Associated Press Awards and four Emmy Awards for his work on “After Superstorm Sandy,” “Broadway & Beyond,” “Giants Kickoff,” “U.S. Open Golf Extra Show” and the series “Home Grown, A Sporting Life.” The Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation at New Paltz awards Educational Scholarships each year recognizing unique individuals who have made a difference in the community, school or workplace. The recipients of this year’s awards were honored at the breakfast.

Culinary Creations

at 2016 Democratic Convention Janet Davis ’96 (Communication Media), a noted chef, restaurateur and the CEO of JADE Jamaican Grill, was chosen from hundreds of applicants as a culinary vendor for two events held during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., in July 2016. Thousands of guests sampled JADE’s signature rum cupcakes with Caribbean Sea salt frosting at the Media Party at Citizens Bank Park on July 23, 2016. Attendees also enjoyed jerk pork and rice and peas at the Welcome Delegate Reception, held at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts on July 24 2016. “It was easy going for the most part, but it was a lot of work,” said Davis. “Every person who visited our booth made mention of our fabulous décor and they delighted in every bite of food. Many came back for more and folks are still buzzing.” A few days prior to the event, Davis made a live television appearance on the local FOX news program, “Good Day Philadelphia,” where she featured the three dishes that would be served at both convention events. “This entire experience is a great example of how my degree in communications complements my work as a chef and business owner,” said Davis. “I’m comfortable in the kitchen and also promoting JADE through various media outlets.” Born and raised in Jamaica, the alumna’s fascination with food began at an early age when she joined her mother in the kitchen at home and at the family restaurant. She spent her early career working in human resources and earned her master’s degree in communications from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. “Pursing my dream is a decision I will never regret,” said Davis. “This national recognition and historic event have been an experience I’ll always remember and I thank God for everything He is doing.” In addition to her work, Davis also gives back to her local community and supports numerous causes, donating her services and sharing her knowledge and expertise via speaking engagements. She was the keynote speaker at the 2016 bi-annual EOP Conference at SUNY New Paltz and volunteered her time as a panelist at the College’s first Women’s Leadership Summit in April 2015.

“Everything else I’ve done until this point was preparing me for this national occasion. With all the eyes on us, we really had to deliver.” —Janet Davis ’96 (Communication Media)

Spring 2017


Dean Jones (Communication Studies) has released a new album “In my Dreams.” A Grammy winner who has been nominated four times, he has carved out a career in music for children. The manner in which the music Jones makes manifests itself has a lot to do with the beauty and inspiration that can be found in the Hudson Valley, where he currently resides with his family. Theodor Kaufman (Biology) is working as a general surgeon and serves as the program director for the surgical residency in Cooperstown, N.Y. His daughter graduated from New York University and is working at Yahoo News. His son attends Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He welcomes old friends to get in touch with him by email.


Luba Havraniak (Business Administration) is still teaching. Currently she is teaching art at a North Carolina Charter School and she loves it. She is also working on developing a winery. Land has been purchased, and she has much work to do.


Robert Donaldson (Nursing) presented a copy of his twovolume history, “Chronicles of Ulster,” to be included in the town archives. He spent 13 years researching the history of the town of Kingston and its bluestone industry. He currently is an adjunct professor in law and legal research at Dutchess Community College. Jennifer Lofaro (Communication Studies, English) was honored by 914INC. Westchester Magazine at the sixth annual 2016 Women in Business awards luncheon, which took place in November 2016. She was among a group of 18 women recognized for their business accomplishments. Currently she is a partner at Bleakley Platt & Schmidt. Lori Umberto (Visual Arts Education) has been named the new museum director of the Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden in Woodbury, Conn. Set in the picturesque Litchfield Hills in historic Woodbury’s village center, the Glebe House is one of the earliest historic house museums in the nation. Its architecture, outstanding regional furniture collection and Gertrude Jekyll Garden combine to create one of the most authentic house museums in the region. Through tours, educational programs and special events, The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden continues to give visitors a sense of what life was like in the 18th century.


New Paltz


Lynne Elson (Theatre Arts) creates videos for kids to learn yoga. She writes, “I am so happy to be sharing all my faves wrapped up into one: theatre, yoga and film!” Her videos can be found online at or SwamiCat’s channel on YouTube. Mark Rumnit (History) has been hired as the director of the Scholars Mentorship Program at SUNY New Paltz. He has been an employee at the College since 2008, when he took a position as an academic advisor with the Educational Opportunity Program. He transitioned to Academic Advising in 2012, and over the years has served hundreds of students, assisting with academic challenges like course selection and fulfillment of major requirements and also helping them acclimate to college life through counseling at various stages of their undergraduate careers.


Adam Breier (Secondary Education 7-12 English) has debuted his poetry collection, now available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For information, please visit his website at Tonya Leslie (Secondary Education 7-12 English) graduated in May 2016 with her doctorate in Teaching and Learning from New York University. Dr. Leslie is currently a vice president at Scholastic in New York City.


Joseph La Penna (Theatre Arts) writes, “Just when I thought I made it out of New Paltz and far away, I moved back some 20 years later! It was supposed to be a short stay but then a funny thing happened along the way. I popped the question, got a puppy, and as of July 2016 my wife and I had a baby girl. We also opened the first floatation therapy spa in the Hudson Valley. It’s an amazing mind/body experience that I highly suggest everyone tries. Hope to see you. Float On!”


John Schrader (Communication Media) released his latest CD, “21 Summers.” It was officially submitted to The Recording Academy and nominated for a Grammy in the categories “Best New Rock Album” and “Best New Alternative Music Album” for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2016. John wrote all the songs on “21 Summers” and performed all vocals and all instruments as well. John recorded and mixed the CD at his studio, JLS Sound in New York. John Produced “21 Summers” along with

Executive Producer and co-Producer David Mobley in Dallas, Texas. John has also been busy scoring music for television shows for Bill Diamond Productions in Cornwall, N.Y. and performing in and doing music for commercials for Big Chief Entertainment in New York City.


Adrienne Gliha-Bell (Psychology) recently celebrated the 3rd anniversary of her non-profit consulting and grant writing business NY Grant Assist. She works with both small local organizations and larger ones and specializes in grants for educational and social service groups. She is also a dedicated volunteer for the NYS PTA and currently serves as their Rural Schools Specialist. She was recently appointed to the NYS education commissioner’s Principals Project Advisory Team. In her free time she enjoys hiking and kayaking in the Adirondack Mountains that she calls home.


Jeremy Feig (Communication Media) recently published his first book, “How My Cat Made Me a Better Man” with MSI Press. It’s a humorous self-help book for guys, based on the lessons of an edgy cat named Shelly. It includes useful advice on topics like relationships, dealing with stress, and even grooming habits. The Midwest Book Review recently listed it as “highly recommended.” He held a book signing at the Santa Monica, Calif., Barnes & Noble in October 2016. For more information, visit his website at


Gregory Bray (Communication Media) co-wrote a narrative film “Liner Notes” with his brother John Patrick Bray ’00, which debuted at the Woodstock Film Festival. The film was also an Audience Award Finalist at the HiFF and a Best Screenplay Finalist at the Chandler Film Festival in 2016.


Jessica Diaz (Visual Arts) along with her husband, has developed a new skin care line, “CLEAN by DirtyBeautyShop.” Their products are made in small batches using all natural and organic ingredients with no chemical fillers. Skin care kits as well as a new men’s line can be found on Etsy. Alan Petersen (Biology) is a crime scene analyst with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, received an associate’s degree in Commercial Photography and a certificate in Fire Investigation from the College of Southern Nevada. He became certified as a forensic photographer with the International Association for Identification.


William Shaughnasey (History) announced his third solo show, “Natural Abstraction,” which was held in July and August 2016 in the Blue Hill Gallery at Columbia-Greene Community College. The photography in the show was separated into two galleries based on nature photography and abstract digital art. The natural gallery was based on his adventures, and the various fauna and landscapes, where some of the images might have an abstract bent. As an avid hiker, Bill explored most of Columbia County and its surrounding areas. This show will include works from past adventures in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore. He currently is a Columbia County, N.Y., resident and is a past exalted ruler from Hudson Elks Lodge #787, and a member of Columbia County Council on the Arts and Columbia County Photo Club. This show was dedicated to his parents, Dan and Rose Shaughnasey, who taught him to be safe and allow him to dream his dreams.


Andrew Hackmack (Journalism) has been hired as an account executive at Syntax Communications, a public relations firm on Long Island primarily servicing school districts. Alexander Marrero (Music) is the founder, coach and accompanist for the “Bach In The Church” an Intensive Summer Music Program in Congers, N.Y. David Robinowitz (Sculpture) will appear on the eighth season of “Ink Master,” the reality series on Spike TV.


Lauren (Forney) Grogan ’04g (Visual Arts) works as a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga teacher. She recently published her first eBook on “Baby’s First Foods,” which she wrote, illustrated, photographed and designed. Lauren hopes to make life a little easier for other parents who are at that stage of introducing solids to their baby and who are looking to feed their baby healthy options. She resides near the shore in Red Bank, N.J., with her husband and 15-month old son.


Michael Circe (Childhood Education) ’09g (Childhood Education 1-6 History), US Air Force Airman 1st Class, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. He earned distinction as an honor graduate and is the husband of Shana

Jesse Lasky ’05 (Communication Media) and Danielle Stern ’05 (Elementary Education) welcomed a baby boy named Harrison Scott Lasky on August 19, 2016. He was born in Los Angeles, where they currently reside.

Circe ’02 (Art Education) ’08g (Visual Arts Education). He is currently serving part time as a Nondestructive Inspection Specialist at the 105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard. He teaches full time as an Instructional Literacy Coach with the Kingston City School District. Esperanza (Hernandez) Ahad (Marketing) celebrates her new ownership of Too Sweet Consignment Boutique in Warwick, N.Y.


Erica Ellis (Journalism) has been named Columbia University’s new associate athletics director and chief financial officer. She arrives at Columbia after having worked as both a senior financial analyst and financial manager at The Washington Post. In addition she has experience in the college athletics sector after having served as an assistant business manager in The George Washington University Athletics Department, the athletics business and finance director at Wagner College and as the assistant business manager/ athletics ticket manager at Wagner. In all

three positions, she worked with budget management, processing, purchasing and financial analysis.


Jeffrey Fonda (International Relations) was named to Literacy International’s “30-under-30” list for his work developing a network of libraries in Uganda through the organization he founded in 2011, The Literate Earth Project. Sarah Weikel (English) ’12g (English) recently received the “Rising Star Fundraiser” award from the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a professional organization that provides resources to fundraising professionals who serve approximately 4,500 public charities registered in the six counties in the MidHudson Valley. Michael Zupa (Childhood Education) has won the 2016 Teachers Excellence award from Success Academy Charter Schools.

Spring 2017


“We met at a lecture in Old Main as first-year students.”—Pearl (Rosen) Kopita ’66

From first-year to fifty years


he summer of 1966 was momentous for Ron Kopita ’66 (Secondary Education, Social Studies) and Pearl (Rosen) Kopita ’66 (Elementary Education). The two graduated from SUNY New Paltz that June, and were married in August.

“We met at a lecture in Old Main as first-year students,” said Pearl. “We spent the next four years dating and took a leap of faith after graduation to say our vows. We moved to Michigan to follow Ron’s career path and start a family.” A half century has passed since that late summer day, and the Kopitas have no regrets. “Pearl is my constant support system and biggest fan,” said Ron of his wife’s sacrifice and the family’s frequent moves because of his career in higher education. “She embraced the momentum of my career while pursuing her own success as a fellow educator and principal.” 36

New Paltz

After graduating from New Paltz, Ron earned his master’s degree from Michigan State University and his Ph.D from the University of Michigan. Pearl earned her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and an Ed.D. degree from Tri-College University in Moorhead, Minn. Certified to teach in seven different states, Pearl worked in education for 39 years. She was steadfast in her support of her husband and consequently the couple and their two children were able to experience life all across the United States. “The fact that Ron and I grew up together had a huge impact on our ability to stay connected, to stay in love and stay married,” said Pearl. “We took a chance on each other and plunged ahead. Those formative years played in a major role in solidifying the foundation of our marriage.” Ron’s extensive career path included his time as vice president for Campus Life and University Relations at Wichita State University (WSU) from 1999 until his retirement in 2009. Under Ron’s influence, WSU created the annual fall convocation, a tradition that didn’t exist before his arrival. Ron helped upgrade and revitalize financial-aid operations, increase scholarships and improve campus technology. Leaving his position at WSU marked the end of his 43-year career in higher education during which he received a number of awards, including Alumnus of the Year from SUNY New Paltz in 1994. Now retired and living in Texas, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends in August and they returned to the College in October to commemorate their 50th reunion with former classmates. "Fifty years is a milestone that not everyone can achieve," said Ron.


Emma Corey (Visual Arts) was hired as director of marketing and communications for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, N.Y. Many who work there are alumni and current students on the seasonal staff. Marie DiLeonardo (Sociology) graduated from the New York University Silver School of Social Work with a Master’s of Social Work degree. She is currently and admissions counselor at Caldwell University in Caldwell, N.J. Douglas Eberhardt (MFA) ’12g exhibited work in the group exhibition “Carry on,” hosted by Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, N.Y. The exhibition was curated by New Paltz professors Andrea Frank and Jill Parisi-Phillips. Holly Relyea (Painting, Visual Arts Education) has won the 2016 Teacher Excellence Award from Success Academy Charter Shcools where she teaches Science. Eric Wharton (Political Science) graduated from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law in July 2016, earning a Juris Doctor.


Rosella Calauti (Humanistic Multicultural Education) has been awarded the Purple Dragonfly Book Award for her book “Friends,” an exquisitely woven tale of friendship that inspires young readers to nurture their social selves and build healthy, well-rounded relationships in the real world. This award recognizes excellence in children’s literature given by Five Star Publications.


Jeremy Acevedo (Sociology) has been awarded the Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship. The Fulbright support enables Acevedo to return to the Czech Republic to work and study at a medical school in the city of Pilsen. Meg Brewer (Psychology) has been hired as the new assistant softball coach for Cottey College, Nevada, Mo. She will assist with recruiting and instruction. She is a native of Bayport, N.Y., and has spent the past two seasons playing and coaching in Denmark with the Gladsaxe Softball and Baseball Club in greater Copenhagen. Previously a member of the Danish Softball Federation, she served as a clinic instructor.

NEW PALTZ The Alumni Magazine of the State University of New York at New Paltz

Fall 2016


Mail: Class Notes Office of Development and Alumni Relations 1 Hawk Drive New Paltz, NY 12561-2443 E-Mail:

Kevin Cieplensky (Ceramics) won Best in Show (Ceramics) at this year’s Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition. His work was on view at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y., through Oct. 23, 2016. He also received a $1,000 scholarship for his work “Untitled.” Elizabeth Melnyczuk (Printmaking), Lilia Perez (Photography), and Terry Phan (Photography) exhibited work in the group exhibition “Carry on,” hosted by Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, N.Y. The exhibition was curated by New Paltz professors Andrea Frank and Jill Parisi-Phillips. Clare Profous (Spanish, International Relations) has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship. She will teach English at a high school in Madrid. She also plans to volunteer to provide language instruction at the nearby U.S. Embassy. The passion for international relations she demonstrated and developed through her internships goes hand in hand with her desire to teach English to residents of foreign nations.

Submit your Class Notes today! Enjoy reading about what your classmates have been up to? They want to hear about you, too! Let fellow alumni know about your latest life changes, professional accomplishments, interests, or anecdotes.

Fax: 845.257.3951 Submit online at: Notes submitted online will be included in the next edition of New Paltz Magazine, so submit yours today.

professors Andrea Frank and Jill ParisiPhillips. Vincent Spano (Printmaking) exhibited work in the group exhibition “Carry on,” hosted by Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, N.Y. The exhibition was curated by New Paltz professors Andrea Frank and Jill ParisiPhillips. Andrew Ugolino ’15g (Second Language Education) has been awarded the Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship. The scholarship will support him as he teaches English in a new environment, at the University of Sucre, in Sincelejo, Colombia. He sees the experience as preparation for future work with the largely Spanishspeaking population of Hudson Valley migrant youth.

Selby Smith (Photography) exhibited work in the group exhibition “Carry on,” hosted by Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, N.Y. The exhibition was curated by New Paltz

Spring 2017


inMemoriam Alumni 1920 - 1929 Kathleen Curry ’22 Rosemary Curry ’25 1930 - 1939 Elaine Kniffen ’36 Selma (Weiss) Mindes ’39 1940 - 1949 Ruth (Niesen) Samuel ’42 Marjorie (Bentley) Bandla ’43 Suzanne (Riley) Hall ’43 Mary Ellen (McCormack) Danks ’46 Katherine (Benjamin) Elliot ’46 Mildred (Neus) Browngardt ’47 Jean (Piercy) Morse ’48 Doris (Ritter) Klenkel ’49 Frederick Rothfuss ’49 1950 - 1959 Doris (Ferris) Delfosse ’50 Marion Schulze ’50 Elizabeth (DePuy) Heckman ’51g Suzanne (Simons) Metzger ’51 Patricia (Mimnaugh) Ginter ’52 Frank Manzi ’52 H. Alan Metzger ’52 Norman Ellman ’54 Marcia (Wasserman) Essig ’54 Ethel Frye ’55g William Kupec ’55 Gloria Breuninger ’56 Agatha (Miller) Kerr ’56 Cass Baker ’58 R. Harry Smith ’58g Margery (Case) Brem ’59


New Paltz

1960 - 1969 Lois Burns ’60 Carla (Smith) Decker ’61 Mathew Zachariah ’63g Joann Brown ’64, ’88g Denis Cahalan ’65 Agnes (Krimezis) Vona ’65 Robert Zapf ’65 Janine (Vitigliano) Fau ’66 Jane Gatsch ’66g S. Warren Hurley ’66 Diana (Simehock) Mendez ’66 Celeste Zaferiou ’66 Raymond Butler ’67 Solomon Iyasere ’67, ’68g Thomas Agne ’68 Charles Cassidy ’68g Margie (Carman) Fischer ’68 Paul Grootkerk ’68 Margaret (Schmitt) Hinz ’69 Bonni (Brown) Smiles ’69

1990 - 1999 Rebecca Debrosky ’90 Laurie Churchill ’91g Michael Cline ’91 Michelene Husar ’91g Joyce Carey ’92 Matthew Pelish ’93 Gregory Evangelista ’95g David Friedland ’97 Daniel Kelleher ’97 Jodi (Craigie) Parker ’97, ’03g

1970 - 1979 Robert Hinz ’70g Kenneth Black ’71 William Gagnon ’72 Paula Kitchen ’72 Barbara Mrozik-Wolff ’72 Carol Ackerson ’74 Alan Schaechter ’74 Stephen Finkle ’75 Ellen Bernstein ’77

Faculty & Staff

1980 - 1989 Maria Dabenigno ’80 Tracey Brooks ’81g Leslie (Butler-Brown) Dwyer ’81 Linda Wagner ’82 Dinamarca Scecchitano ’83 Kenneth Moran ’84 Brian Mohin ’86 Carol (Staats) Lefemine ’87 Victoria (Kube) O'Donnell ’87 Barbara Kay ’88g Mark Rosenthal ’88

2000 - 2010 Judy Iacovino ’00 Mark Dooley ’01 Michele Garland ’01 Tammy Gioia ’02 Jane Hunt ’05 Vernell McClinton ’08 Demet Turker ’10

Gloria Bonali Arthur Cash Irma Goldknopf John Alphonso Karkala Donald Schiff Haig Shekerjian Benjamin Wigfall

inMemoriam Professor Wigfall remembered as pioneer for African-American arts


enjamin Wigfall, professor emeritus of art and nationally regarded printmaker, died on Feb. 9, at age 86. Wigfall was born in Richmond, Va., in 1930, the son of two working class parents in a tightly segregated community. Even as a child his love of art was undeniable and he secured private lessons at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the help of his art teacher and support of his family. This early exposure inspired him to study art in college. He enrolled in Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, and later earned a master’s degree in art from Yale University. He taught at Hampton until 1963, when he was hired at SUNY New Paltz where he taught until his retirement in — continued on following page

Photo by Nancy Donskoj

College mourns the passing of Arthur H. Cash


istinguished Professor Emeritus professor Arthur H. Cash, who taught for more than 40 years in the English Department at SUNY New Paltz, passed away in December in Watch Hill, R.I. He was 94. The author of a two-volume biography of the English novelist Laurence Sterne, Cash became a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007 for his biography of the 18thcentury English radical John Wilkes. He taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University before joining SUNY New Paltz in 1967 where he taught courses in the Bible and Ancient Greek and Roman Literature. He was named a SUNY Distinguished Professor in 1989 and retired in 1997. Cash attended the University of Chicago on the G.I. Bill, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1948. He was awarded a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1950 and a doctorate from Columbia in 1961.

The passing of Irma Goldknopf


he College shares the news of the passing of Emerita English Professor Irma Goldknopf, 95, an active faculty member in the establishment of the Women’s Studies program (now the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program) at SUNY New Paltz. Born in New York City in 1920, Goldknopf initially studied journalism at Hunter College, and in her early career worked as a sculptor, a high school teacher and as a propeller blade inspector during World War II. She married her husband, David Goldknopf in 1941 and David later taught courses in English at the College from 1961–1983. The two remained together until his passing in 2015. Goldknopf joined the College in 1967, following her Ph.D. study at Syracuse University, and taught in the English Department until her retirement in 1997. The Goldknopfs established the Irma and David Goldknopf Scholarship at SUNY New Paltz, which is designed to support students enrolled through the Educational Opportunity Program, especially those who are single parents.

Spring 2017


inMemoriam Professor Wigfall — continued

1991. He was one of the first AfricanAmerican professors to teach at the College and was beloved and revered by generations of students. Wigfall is mourned by many in the broader community who speak of the tremendous impact his teaching, curatorial talents and community work — specifically, the print shop, called Communications Village, which he started and ran in Kingston's Ponckhockie area — had on many lives. His influence continues to resonate in Kingston’s burgeoning Midtown Arts District. During the 1970s and 1980s, Communications Village became a destination for local youths where, Wigfall invited local and nationally renowned artists to teach and collaborate with members of the local community through printmaking, photography and poetry readings. Many important contemporary African-American art luminaries, including Benny Andrews, Romare Beardon, Jayne Corgez, and others participated at the studio, along with Wigfall’s New Paltz colleagues and students. Recognized for its important role in the community, Communications Village received support from the New York State Council on the Arts, IBM and the America the Beautiful Fund. In 1988, Wigfall opened the Watermark Cargo Gallery in Kingston, N.Y., which specialized in African and contemporary art and showcased works by some of the nation’s most respected artists. Wigfall is survived by his wife, Mary, son, Gino Wigfall, and daughter, Gia, and son-in-law Dr. T. Peter OkeBello, along with four grandsons. A memorial service for Professor Wigfall is scheduled on campus in June.



We can’t improve on your memories of Scudder or Deyo or Bliss, but we can offer some comforts of our own for your next visit to New Paltz. Just minutes away from campus in a spectacular 1,200-acre setting, Mohonk Mountain House is one of America’s leading resorts. Our rates include meals and most activities. Be sure to mention you’re a New Paltz alum when you stay with us so we can contribute in your name.

New Paltz, NY 12561 866.505.6326

Carl Walters and Woodstock Ceramic Arts February 4—May 21, 2017 Morgan Anderson Gallery





New Paltz

PLANNED GIVING Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ellen (Dexter) Matz ’70 (French) traces her life’s trajectory back to an experience at SUNY New Paltz. As an active member of the Outing Club, Matz attended a Wilderness Education and Survival course that was a seminal moment in her life. It not only taught her about her strengths, weaknesses and limitations, but it provided her with survival skills that would serve her well later in life. Those skills were of particular relevance when Matz entered the U.S. Air Force after graduation. Although she had no intention of making it a career, she found the work so rewarding that she ultimately stayed for 30 years before

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her retirement. During her time with the Air Force, Matz started a course for first-time airmen on survival tactics and launched the first military women’s committee that focused on gender issues. She was promoted to Colonel during her tenure and later awarded the Distinguished Service Medal upon her retirement. Matz now utilizes her outdoor skills on her small ranch in Montana where she continues to serve her local community. As a member of the Tower Society, Matz also makes an annual donation to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation to assist students in maximizing their educational experiences. “There is a soft spot in my heart for New Paltz,” said Matz. “It was such a formative part of my life that I’ll always feel connected to the College and its current students.”

Federal Employees Give today to SUNY New Paltz through the Combined Federal Campaign

Use CFC# 26917 to direct your gift to New Paltz students. Please allow us to thank you for your support by requesting a receipt from the local CFC- Taconic Valley CFC, #0644.


OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT & ALUMNI RELATIONS State University of New York at New Paltz 1 Hawk Drive New Paltz, N.Y. 12561-2443

WALK OF HONOR For a $150 donation to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, a brick paver will be added to the Walk of Honor engraved with your name or that of a loved one. Located near Hopfer House and behind the Student Union Building, tribute bricks will surround the sculpture, Large Hybrid, created by renowned artist Richard Hunt. (Artist rendering by Cami Fisher) For more information visit

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SUNY New Paltz Alumni Magazine, Spring 2017  
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