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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam

Fall 2010 Vol.5 | No.1



Campus Festival RecycleS

Students decorated recycling bins as part of the campus festival “Footprints in the North Country, Pathways on the Planet� held last April. The campus decreased solid waste and increased recyclable waste up from 24% to 30% through the Zero Sort program as well as instituted sorting centers for electronic waste on campus as part of more than twenty-five unique sustainability initiatives across campus.



On the cover:

Bill Crowder, Hon. ’95 A legacy of generosity and sharing a love of music.

Nate Lewis ’10

Creating a sense of community, service and camaraderie for Vets.

Victoria (O’Neill) Hayes ’90 Helping future teachers find their style.

Departments News & Notes Class Notes In Their Own Words Alumni Opportunities Reunion Special

3 19 26 28 29


12 The Toils of Oil Summer research tide turns with recent disaster.


115 Random Acts of Kindness Changing the world one person at a time.

A Tale of Two Villages Recent graduates learn lessons on a global scale.

w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


Letter From

the president


hen Benjamin Raymond helped to found St. Lawrence Academy in 1816, he did so out of a desire to help others in the North Country. The region badly needed professionals, especially teachers, to help the region grow. Nearly two centuries later, the College is still deeply involved in helping others, and in particular helping our region. This is manifested in the philanthropy of our faculty and staff, the thousands of hours of volunteer services provided by them and by our students, and through the countless acts of our alumni throughout the world. This issue of Potsdam People is full of inspiring stories of people doing good works. Recent graduates, Alex French (’08), Kayla Riley (’04) and Danny Smith (’10), have spearheaded efforts to build a school in Ethiopia. They hope to raise enough money not simply to build the school but also to provide it with books and school supplies. Professor Emeritus Bill Crowder has helped hundreds of music students become gifted teachers and performers in his 25-year tenure at Potsdam. Professor Crowder cared very deeply for his students, not only through his teaching but also through his quiet generosity: loaning his car to help students out and lending a compassionate ear to hear their problems. Tyler “Do Good” Kellogg is a current SUNY Potsdam student whose “115 Random Acts of Kindness” touched the lives of perfect strangers he met on his self-designed mission to save the world one person at a time. Tyler was inspired by his own experience at Potsdam, where he witnessed everyday acts of kindness that made him want to help others. He created a web site ( to document this unique and remarkable experience.

FA L L 2010

Vol. 5 | No. 1

Pots dam P e opl e Sta f f a n d Co ntr i b uto rs EditorS Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing and Communications Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Director of Alumni Relations Wr iter Alex Jacobs, Communications/Government Relations Associate We b M anag e r Mindy Thompson, Director of Web Communications Contr i butors Christa Carroll, Director of The Fund for Potsdam Nancy Griffin, Hon. ’08, Development Officer

Nathan Lewis, a current student and veteran of the Iraq War, is determined to tell his story so that others may understand the consequences of war. With his teaching degree from Potsdam he wants to make a difference: to help his students become better citizens by teaching them our nation’s history, the good and the bad.

Jason Ladouceur ’94, Director of Planned Giving

Vicki Hayes (’90), School of Education faculty member, helps future teachers find their passion. As a faculty member and site supervisor for student teaching,Vicki has helped to launch the careers of many outstanding teachers. Quite simply, she wants to find a way to reach every student.

Laura Stevenson, Hon. ’07, Alumni & Donor Relations

Our faculty, staff and students give tirelessly to the community, whether it is in a record breaking Relay for Life to support the American Cancer Society, or on boards and committees on campus, in the community or nationally. We are also blessed with generous alumni who return to campus to share their stories and inspire students to achieve greatness. Our alumni also give in record numbers to their alma mater, to help ensure a bright future for our students. If we’ve done our jobs right, these students will, in turn, give back to their alma mater, helping future generations of the Potsdam family experience all that this remarkable institution has to offer.

D es i gn & Art D i r ection



Donna Planty, Publications Associate Sherry Allen Paradis ’00, Director of Donor Relations

Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Vice President for College Advancement

Jessica Rood, Director of Publications P H OTOG R A P HY K  athryn Deuel, Principal Photographer


news & notes while she stayed in the mountaintop cabin with no electricity and no running water. Living in solitude is part of the experience, and Isaacson said she kept a journal and read many books. “I cannot wait to live on the summit and share history with hikers. I want visitors to walk away with an experience of a lifetime,” she said. Steve Nemecek from Islip, NY, will spend the months of July and August on Hadley Mountain in Hadley. He is the only student who will spend that much time atop a peak. “I cannot wait to get up there and spend my summer educating people on why the Adirondacks are so important and how to help in their preservation.” Nemecek said. “Especially at a time like this, when there are a lot of controversies surrounding the park, educating the public will help to preserve this area for future generations.”


Six SUNY Potsdam Students Spend Summer Atop Adirondack Peaks The great outdoors will served as a classroom with a view for six SUNY Potsdam environmental studies students this summer, as they spent the season as interpreters stationed as fire towers atop peaks across the Adirondacks. By serving as summit guides, the students will fulfilled the service-learning component of their capstone experience for the major. All of the students are seniors majoring in environmental studies. Their duties included trail and fire tower maintenance, as well as informing visitors about the history and ecology of the Adirondack Mountains. The students have been trained to offer emergency medical assistance, and also conducted their own research toward completing their final projects for the major. “I came to SUNY Potsdam because of this very program,” said Michelle Davis from Sherrill, NY, who spent the month of August on Mount Arab in Piercefield. “I can’t think of a better way to spend August than living on top of a mountain, sharing my love for the Adirondacks with others.” Katelin Isaacson from Bath, NY, who will spend the month of July atop Mount Arab, planned to ration food and water for five days at a time

Alexander Raynor from Warwick, NY, will spend the month of July on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain in Keeseville, before being relieved by Timothy Petrashune of Saranac Lake, NY, who will take over the duties there in August. “Living on top of Poke-O and talking to the visitors for such an extended period of time is an experience I had long been looking forward to,” said Raynor. Petrashune added, “Poke-O-Moonshine has been a great influence on me as a child and I would like to pass it on.” Spencer Noyes of Oneida, NY, will work throughout the month of August on Blue Mountain in Blue Mountain Lake. “I have been anticipating this experience ever since I learned about it freshman year,” Noyes said. “I can’t wait to be up there to welcome hikers and to share my love for this amazing park.” The students all worked through a unique partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the local fire tower committees in each area. SUNY Potsdam’s Environmental Studies Program is a multi-disciplinary major designed to prepare environmental leaders for the future. The curriculum’s distinctive feature is that it employs the nearby Adirondack Park as case study and field site, grounding theory in the experience of working to protect an area of international importance.


$573,370 in National Science Foundation Grant SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Computer Science has been awarded a $573,370 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a scholarship program to help community college students complete their bachelor’s degrees at the College. The Computer Science Leadership and Practice Scholarship Program will provide 30 students who have already completed their associate’s degrees in the field with full scholarships to finish their Bachelor of Science at SUNY Potsdam. Dr. Timothy V. Fossum, chair and professor of the Computer Science department, is the principal investigator for the four-year CS-LEAP project. Student Spotlight

Theater Students Take Kennedy Center Festival Stage The student-written and directed play “Transfigured Night” launched as a Showcase Performance at The Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival (ACTF) 2010 competition in Dover, NH. SUNY Potsdam graduate Erin Harrington’s ’09 original one-act play was one of few nationally selected performances to be featured at the conference. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Classical Award Won in Cannes On January 27 in Cannes, France, at the MIDEM Classical Awards, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music Associate Professor David Pittman-Jennings and colleagues took home an award in the choral works category for their CD recording of Bernard Alois Zimmermann’s monumental work Requiem for a Young Poet. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


news & notes



New Initiatives


Crane Gearing Up for 125th Celebration

John and Ann Schorge Trumpet Scholarship

Dorothy Albrecht Gregory ’61 of Trevett, ME has established a visiting conductorship fund at The Crane School of Music.The first Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor will take place on April 30, 2011 kicking off Crane’s 125th Anniversary, and making her class’s fiftiest reunion year. Helmuth Rilling will be the inaugural conductor and will lead Crane Chorus and Orchestra in the performance of the Bach B Minor Mass. Gregory, an organ major, has wonderful memories of performing in Spring Festival concerts conducted by Nadia Boulanger and Robert Shaw. The funding is a combination of Gregory’s outright annual gifts and a deferred gift that will provide an endowment upon her passing.

Crane faculty emeritus John Schorge and his wife, Ann, have established the John and Ann Schorge Trumpet Scholarship to support the education of Trumpet students studying at The Crane School of Music. John taught at Crane for 25 years beginning in 1960 and was a founding member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet. Ann taught band and strings at Potsdam Central Schools.The Schorges now reside in Hannawa Falls, NY.

After graduating, Gregory became a librarian in the BOCES system, serving Black River, Carthage and Philadelphia, NY while she earned her master’s from Syracuse University. She also served as a Children’s Library Consultant for 28 years in Maine. DEVELOPMENT & Awards


SUNY Potsdam Student Awarded Prestigious Thayer Fellowship Benjamin Firer, ’10 a music education and performance double-major, was recently chosen as a recipient of the competitive Thayer Fellowship in the Arts. The Massapequa Park, NY, native was chosen from among many talented SUNY student applicants. Thayer Fellowships in the amount of $7,000 are awarded annually to students who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts. The award is intended as a bridge between SUNY study and entry into a professional career in the arts. DEVELOPMENT & Awards


Kathleen Strobeck Fales ’44 and Allen R. Fales Scholarship

4 4


Allen Fales, a 1944 Clarkson graduate, has established the Kathleen Strobeck Fales ’44 and Allen R. Fales Scholarship in loving memory of his wife, Kay, who passed away in November 2008. The Fales Scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who has declared a major in Early Childhood/Childhood Education at SUNY Potsdam. According to Mr. Fales, “Kathleen found great joy and accomplishment in teaching. She encouraged a hunger for observation and understanding in her students.” It is his hope that the recipients of the Kathleen Strobeck Fales ’44 and Allen R. Fales Scholarship, will spread her love of learning.


Potsdam Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll The Corporation for National and Community Service named SUNY Potsdam to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. The Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. College News

After 39 Years, SUNY Potsdam Alumna Finally Walks the Stage Charline Epley Kellerman ’71 always wanted to cross the stage to accept her college diploma, but life got in the way. “It is one of the biggest regrets of my life that I never got to walk up to receive my diploma,” Kellerman said. “This is something really important to me that I never got to do.” Now, 39 years after she missed her SUNY Potsdam graduation, Kellerman donned cap and gown to walk with the graduates of the Class of 2010 at the College’s 176th Commencement celebration May 23, 2010. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Wally Siebel ’68 Recipient of 2010 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award SUNY Potsdam has named Wally Siebel ’68 as the recipient of its 2010 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the College. The annual recognition is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated steadfast support for SUNY Potsdam through leadership, advocacy, stewardship and service. “Wally has become one of the most significant ambassadors for the College and the Crane School of Music as a successful musician, entrepreneur and gourmet chef. His creativity and dedication have helped to ensure that the arts continue to thrive on our campus and throughout the community,” said SUNY Potsdam President John F. Schwaller.


news & notes

New Initiatives


Faculty and Alumni Books, Plays and Recordings

SUNY System recognizes Potsdam’s Leadership Programming

Benjamin C. Pykles, assistant professor of Archaeology, recently published Excavating Nauvoo: The Mormons and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America with the University of Nebraska Press. Rob Badger, professor and chair of the geology department recently published a book of photography entitled Fading Memories from a Vermont Hillside capturing memories of the Badger family’s old homestead in Vermont. Phil Henry of the Phil Henry Band just released “Robots and Romance.” John Geggie and Guests released “Across the Sky” featuring the Geggie Trio. It is available from Plunge Records. Inside the Blue Line: Essays on Adirondack Environments, published by Potsdam College Press, concentrates on environmental issues in the Adirondack Park from the 19th century to the present. This is the latest book-length volume of essays to be produced by the editors of Blueline, SUNY Potsdam’s nationally distributed literary journal, which has honored the spirit of the Adirondacks in words and images since 1978. The book, which includes a series of 11 essays written by local experts in a variety of disciplines as well as prints of Adirondack art, was edited and produced by SUNY Potsdam faculty. St. Lawrence University professors also contributed work to the volume. Gordon Mathie, professor emeritus, just published The Trumpet Teacher’s Guide – 3rd Edition: A Bibliography of Selected and Graded Etudes and Duets from Manduca Music Publications. This reference methodically lists more than 180 étude and 40 method books for progressive study for teachers, professional performers and advanced students alike.

The Office of University Life and Enrollment Management at SUNY System Administration and the Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers awarded SUNY Potsdam’s Emerging Leaders Program with Fifth Annual Outstanding Student Affairs Program Awards. Emerging Leaders Program was recognized for having a positive impact on students in leadership development. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

SUNY Potsdam Wins Awards for its Publications, Web Site Once again SUNY Potsdam has been recognized for excellence in design in its admissions materials and Web site by a national publication. The College recently received four awards in the 25th annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Marketing Report, taking home two gold awards for admissions materials and a merit award for its overall admissions recruitment package and the SUNY Potsdam Web site design. Publications also took home three awards at the SUNY Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) awards for excellence in June. Potsdam won two best of category awards for the Orientation Guide and Graduate Viewbook and one judges’ citation for the Annual Report.

New Initiatives

Caution: Turtle Crossing Yellow caution signs reappeared this summer around the North Country in an attempt to warn drivers that turtles might be in the road as they head to nesting sites. “Their biggest enemy is the car,” according to Professor and Chair of Biology Glenn Johnson, who is working to keep turtles from becoming roadkill. A small group of SUNY Potsdam students monitored how many animals, of all species, are killed and vehicle speed near the diamond signs.They drove by the signs every day, walked along the roads twice a week and periodically used radar guns to monitor vehicle speed.The signs help spread awareness of all the area’s turtle species, but especially the Blanding’s turtle, which is a threatened species in New York.


Opera Ensemble Takes First Place Crane’s Opera Ensemble tied for first place at the 2009 National Opera Association’s annual Collegiate Opera Production Competition for a video of its performance of Franceso Cavalli’s “L’Egisto,”

directed by Professor of Music Dr. Carleen Graham and conducted by Associate Professor and Chair of Music Performance Dr. Kirk Severtson.

Show your pride with a SUNY Potsdam VISA Visit or call 1-800853-5576 ext. 8723 to learn more about the SUNY Potsdam Visa card.

START EARNING REWARDS TODAY! w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e



Perry Makes AllSUNYAC in Softball Catcher Amanda Perry was named to the All-SUNYAC First Team for the 2010 season. This is the second straight year that a Potsdam player has made All-SUNYAC. Perry finished her freshman campaign with a .286 batting average. She had 32 hits, 12 runs, 5 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 13 RBIs. On defense, she had a .991 fielding percentage and threw out 8 of 11 base stealers for a success rate of 57.9 percent.

Treacy Named to SUNYAC All-Conference Team in Hockey

SUNY Potsdam’s Poirier Selected to First Team

Potsdam forward Connor Treacy was named to the 2009-10 SUNYAC All-Conference First Team for men’s hockey. This is the second straight year he has made the First Team, and he was an Honorable Mention in 2008. Treacy scored 11 goals and had 27 assists for a total of 38 points on the season. He ranked third in the conference in assists and fifth in points.

Senior Cortney Poirier ’10 has earned SUNYAC All-Conference First Team honors for women’s basketball. This is the second straight year she has been named to the First Team, and she was an honorable mention in 2008. Poirier, a Brushton-Moira native, averaged 17.7 points per game this season to lead the Bears. She also recorded team highs in steals (69), rebounds (159), and blocks (12). She is the school’s all-time leading scorer and has topped 20 points on 13 occasions. She scored a careerhigh 37 points in a home win over New Paltz in January.


news & notes

Van Skoik



Three men’s lacrosse players were named to the ALLSUNYAC Team for the 2010 season: midfielder Ben McCullough First Team for a third straight appearance; defenseman Brogin Van Skoik Second Team; and Rashawn Durden was an Honorable Mention as a longstick midfielder. In addition,Van Skoik and Durden were named to the 2010 All-Tournament Team.


Three Men’s Laxers Named to All-SUNYAC Team

Potsdam diver Nathan LaRowe ’10 won the one-meter dive at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held at the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, MN. LaRowe had a final score of 548, which beat out Brian Sobel from Springfield,who had 527.9. LaRowe was named to the SUNYAC Men’s All-Conference Second Team and was second at the SUNYAC Championships with scores of 488.05 in the one-meter dive and 501.50 in the three meter dive. This is Potsdam’s first national championship in any sport since the men’s basketball championship win in 1986.




Nate LaRowe Diver Wins NCAA Championship

The Toils of Oil p ro f e ssor a n d c l ass s p e n d summ e r H e l p i n g th e Gu l f Coast by Alexandra Jacobs photography Tanner Reid, USM

For years, Dr. Walt Conley has studied the diverse marine life along the Gulf Coast. On May 31, 2010, the biology professor joined two SUNY Potsdam students and students from around the country at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss. The professor planned to document and research the teeming environment of the area and teach students basic oceanography, zoology and ecology, as he does every summer. But with the huge explosion that signaled the start of the seemingly never-ending BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the entire focus of Conley’s fieldwork with students suddenly changed—and took on new urgency. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


“The oil spill is going to change the direction of research at the lab more than anything that’s happened,” the marine biologist said. “So much is unpredictable and unprecedented. It makes you both sad and mad.”

I’m sure it’s gotten much worse by now,” Conley says. “One of the students told me she returned to a location with a different class where we had captured many fish and invertebrates a few weeks earlier but could find nothing alive.”

Conley wasn’t sure how much research they would be able to do, as each day the oil from the BP spill traveled closer and closer to the barrier islands that normally protect the shore.

The researchers and students sadly watched as the first tar deposits start to wash ashore from the emerald waters onto the white sand of Pensacola Beach, Florida during their June visit. “They were like little pancakes, these deposits of oil, all at the high-tide mark. They ran the length of the beaches,” he said. “They were small then. This was the first blush.”

“It was very unexpected to be down working in the gulf with all the oil, as I had planned to attend the summer course months before. So the oil naturally made me nervous that the class would be canceled and there would be nothing to study,” said Taylor A. Maningo, a senior biology major from Holtsville, N.Y. who came on the trip. Conley thought they might be able to assist in recovery efforts for wildlife, but found out they would have to have hazardous materials training to get near that much oil. “We tried to work around it and avoid the oil as much as we could, but it was impossible to avoid,” Conley said. “It’s one of those things that’s so big and hard to comprehend until you actually witness it. I know the students this semester are having a very different experience.” It was difficult initially to get science research vessels to the affected areas, but early findings already pointed to a dramatic impact on the Gulf’s marine life. Scientists at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory quickly found oil droplets in the larvae of crabs. Conley said the finding was devastating, as the oil will inevitably make its way up the food chain. Other species like whale sharks have already been spied congregating, feeding on plankton near an oil plume. Conley ticks off the species that are bound to be impacted— many of them already threatened: dolphins, whales, brown pelicans and the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. “The ecological impact is just unknown. Even after the oil is stopped, it’s still going to take a decade to clean up and break down. This kind of short-term damage has never been measured,” he said. ““It’s hard to call this a spill. It’s really a geyser of oil. It’s catastrophic.” Scientists and students aboard the USM research vessel Tommy Monroe were able to catch and analyze some large red snapper. The captain said the oil slick was supposed to reach that reef within two days. Now, Conley wonders if they will have been one of the last groups to be able to observe the reef before impact. He describes peering into a small bucket of water. “It’s hard to notice at first—it’s just a little sheen. You know how oil makes a rainbow in water? Like that.



Compared to the petroleum gunk that was quickly cleared off the beaches, it will take much longer to clean up the millions of gallons of oil from one of the worst spills in history. Beyond the environmental havoc, Conley is also concerned about the economic toll the oil spill will have on residents. The area’s two biggest industries—fishing and tourism—have been hit hard so far. It feels like adding insult to injury for his friends who are still rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “We used the oil spill to our advantage to learn about what oil does to the marine ecosystems and marine environments such as estuaries, as well as to marine mammals and animals. We also learned how much the oil spill has affected workers in the shrimping and fishing businesses and how much of an impact it will have on their jobs and families,” said junior SUNY Potsdam student Katie L. Nawrot. “This experience has opened my eyes to what marine biology is all about.” It seems that now, and for years to come, Conley’s work with students will assist researchers in pinpointing the ongoing effects of the spill on the area’s marine life. It is a heartbreaking and unwelcome challenge for this professor and his students, who have a passion for the now-endangered marine environment that makes the Gulf Coast so unique.


W illiam C ro w d e r


professor emeriti


rofessor William C. Crowder, Honorary ’95, was recently recognized at a reception on Long Island hosted by Dr. Jan HartingMcChesney ’74 and her husband, David. More than 70 of Professor Crowder’s students and friends gathered to say “thank you” to him for his tutelage and kindness. The best illustration of Bill Crowder’s legacy of generosity comes from those he helped along the way and their memories of Crowder’s unique kindness. Alumni shared with us their memories of working with Crowder. Ed Ornowski ’79: The office at the end of the hall. I remember being a frustrated liberal arts major with a passion for music but lacking skills needed to transfer into Crane. Enter a most amazing man. Waiting for the slowest elevator in the history of man to arrive on the second floor, I bumped into a teacher asking would you know how I could get to Mr. Crowder’s office. The man I requested this information from was indeed Mr. Crowder himself.

As we shuffled down the hallway to his corner office (last one on the left) I came to know one of the great human beings in my life. Mr. Crowder would take my raw passion and mold it with the most skillful, human approach to infuse me with the skills of music I would use the rest of my life. Singing the Schubert Mass in G each day to analyzing 18th century counterpoint, one was immersed in the extreme pleasure of understanding music in a most educational, transcendent and highly inspirational way. Music surrounded all of us with the focal point being Mr. Crowder. The jazz crowd to which I was part of performed each week downtown at the local clubs supported by Mr. Crowder, in fact most of us must have borrowed his car at least a dozen or so times transporting our equipment. He along with the late Mr. Ball, and Dr. Tarr would in fact come hear us perform. We would gather around the trio of intellect afterwards and the transfer of knowledge from these amazing teachers would flow to us.

He was there to support and nourish our musical souls with the only wish for our success. One day in our Basic Musicianship Class Mr. Crowder in his quiet and thoughtful way with tears streaming down expressed the joy he felt from hearing his students perform throughout Potsdam. Whether at folk cafes, jazz clubs, or recitals, we were all involved with music as a living experience. Independence of thought and action was paramount in Mr. Crowder’s view especially as we would one day make our way through our lives outside of Crane. We were living the life of music, and this independence of thought and creativity was one he cherished. Stephanie Blythe ’92: There are literally hundreds of teachers today who owe this knowledgeable, generous and loving man an enormous debt, and still thousands more who have benefitted from the skills of his students. Though I never had the good fortune to take part in one of Professor Crowder’s music education classes, I sang in his concert choir and counted him as one of my first and most important mentors. I pray that his work continues in his students and their students, and so on. Joy Tolbert ’90: Mr. Crowder made a point to introduce himself to me and extend a heartfelt welcome when I was at The Crane School of Music. He made sure I felt comfortable in a new environment. Mr. Crowder always spoke to me during lunch and came over to sit with me if I was eating alone. There are many, many kind moments in my memory that are too many to share. There is no one like him, he is truly one of a kind. Renée Fleming ’81: Bill, you inspired so many, and I was one of the lucky ones! Much love, Renée.Phil Preddice ’73 “His eyes see your soul and his heart embraces all that you have to share that is good - for in his eyes all w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e





Na t h a n L e w i s September 11 attacks occurred and ended up serving in Iraq for six months during the initial invasion in 2003. It was during Lewis’s deployment when he began to have doubts that the war was about freedom, democracy, and national security. As he learned more about the conflict, he felt the need to use his experience and voice to speak out against the war once he returned stateside. Lewis is now an active member of Veterans for Peace

by Rachel Graf


e all have stories that need to be told,” said SUNY Potsdam senior Nathan Lewis from Barker, NY. Lewis’s story involves the war in Iraq, a Hollywood movie, peace activism, and making a difference in the lives of children. Lewis enlisted in the army for a twoyear tour right after he graduated from Barker High School in June of 2001. He joined the army because he had a desire to serve his country, and he wanted the opportunity to get out of his hometown and travel. “There wasn’t much going on at the time, so it was easy for me to justify going into the military. It didn’t seem like there was going to be a war,” he said. Lewis was in basic training at Fort Sill, OK, when the “



in Morocco from January to May in 2008. “It was a great opportunity to travel, to see the world, and to go to countries I’ve never been to before. I like to experience new things, meet new people, and get outside my comfort zone,” Lewis said. Recently Lewis’s journey has landed him at SUNY Potsdam where he is pursuing his dream of becoming a teacher. “When I think of one way I can make a difference, I think about being a teacher,” said Lewis. “I want to teach kids both the good and the bad of our history. I want to teach kids how to be good citizens, how to take part in our government, and what the ideals of our country are.” Lewis graduated from Potsdam with a master’s degree in history and secondary social studies education. While Lewis’s focus at Potsdam was on teaching, he managed to bring his peace activism to campus, too. He was a leader in organizing Warrior Writer’s workshops for SUNY Potsdam veterans, a space that allows veterans to come together and create written and artistic work based on their experiences in the military. “I hope to help other vets the way vet writing groups have helped me,” said Lewis. Lewis also serves as the co-chair of the Board “We will take on vets of Directors for Veterans’ and Iraq Veterans Sanctuary, a non-profit that need help that the Against the War, organization working on Department of Veterans two organizations creating a residential space committed to raising for returning Iraq and Affairs cannot offer. We public awareness of Afghanistan war veterans. the consequences of Veterans’ Sanctuary facilihope to offer a sense of war. tates access to peer support It was through the community, a returned networks, holistic wellness Iraq Veterans Against programs, and artistic tools sense of service and the War that Lewis of self-expression. “We will was contacted to play camaraderie.” take on vets that need help a minor role in a film that the Department of called Green Zone, a Veterans Affairs cannot ofthriller starring Matt Damon about the Iraq fer. We hope to offer a sense of community, war and the army’s search for weapons of a returned sense of service and camarademass destruction. Director Paul Greengrass, rie.” And for Lewis it is another place where also the director of the Jason Bourne movmany stories can be shared. ies, wanted to use real veterans of the war in the roles of soldiers. The movie was filmed




V icki (O’Ne i l l ) H a y e s sion of teachers. Hayes attended Potsdam as a graduate student in Education. Hayes has been with the College for 16 years including as a teacher at the campus school, adjunct in the undergrad elementary and

by Andrew Alvez


hen asked how she makes placements for student teachers with the right teaching site Vicki Hayes said, “I develop personal relationships with teaching professionals and close relationships with students and match them up with people they would mesh well with.” Hayes is a clinical faculty member in SUNY Potsdam’s Master of Science in Teaching graduate program, both teaching and acting as a liaison to Public Schools helping secure placements and supervi-

“Our teacher candidates combine the methods they acquire in their course work from their professors with the mentor teacher’s style, and by graduation they have a strong sense of self. The connection between theory and practice is a living reality in our teacher education programs. Helping guide students through activities leading them to their own individual style to help reach students is what it is all about for me.” “The pay off is when they get hired,” said Hayes. “I am “The pay off is when they always excited and happy (students) get hired,” said for students who get hired. It helps make my job easier Hayes. “It helps make my because having past students in teaching positions sets up job easier because having future students with more site opportunities. It’s all fullpast students in teaching circle.” positions sets up future Hayes, along with her colleague Becky Duprey, are students with more site funding two annual scholarships in memory of their opportunities. It’s all fullfriend and former colleague, Michele Evans Christy, an circle.” adjunct faculty member in the School of Education who passed away in 2007. Hayes and Duprey chose to fund graduate level education programs and now the scholarships – one to an undergraduas a full-time clinical faculty member. ate and one to a graduate MST Childhood As site supervisor Hayes helps launch the student “in loving memory of a person careers of the next generation of teachers, who managed many roles very well. She setting the tone with a deliberate sense of was a wonderful teacher who was not diversity in teaching. Her goal is simple, “to satisfied with just getting the lesson taught help to prepare future teachers.” but wanted to be sure every student would “I encourage teacher candidates to understand all parts of the lesson.” find methods that teach students not just “All parts” makes sense to Hayes, who curriculum. Going out into the schools ensures that student teachers have experifor observations and student teaching, and enced “all parts” of the lesson as well. then reflecting on those observations and experiences, is one of the best ways I feel we prepare our future teachers at SUNY Potsdam.”


Hayes and colleague Becky Duprey are funding two annual scholarships in memory of their friend and former colleague, Michele Evans Christy, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education who passed away in 2007. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e



Random Acts of Kindness by Deborah Dudley

10,000 miles 50 days 1 exceptional student “The idea of changing the world is extremely overwhelming,” according to Tyler Kellogg, a 21-year-old SUNY Potsdam communications major known these days as Tyler “DoGood” Kellogg. What started as a possible communications independent study, turned into an incredible humanitarian journey for a young philanthropist on a budget. “You think ‘Oh, can I save people from starvation or can I stop poverty,’ things that are completely overwhelming.” Kellogg began to wonder if saving the world was a little more scalable. It was spring of 2009 when Kellogg hatched a plan. “I started realizing that every day people help me out or I help other people out … whether it is holding a door for them or talking to someone or just saying ‘thank you.’



“Those are the real things that make me smile or make me happy and I realized that the happier I am, the more productive I am, the more willing I am to go after my own dreams and goals. So I figured the best way to change the world was to start one person at a time.” Armed with only his 2000 Nissan Altima, a video camera, a BlackBerry, a laptop, a GPS unit, a small tent, a diary and about $2,000, Kellogg’s mission to save the world one person at a time took him from Watertown, NY down to Key West and back again.

At first Kellogg was taken aback thinking, “That’s not really helping. I could mulch for you or mow your lawn.” But the man said, “Just listen.” Kellogg sat down to a cup of coffee on the porch, “and he opened up to me pouring out his heart and soul.” The man was sixty years old and had just retired the previous year along with his wife of the same age. The couple had no children and had been working their whole lives for a retirement trip together which would afford them all they dreamed of doing at this stage in their lives.

Kellogg traveled approximately 10,000 miles in 50 days, performing 115 different random acts of kindness while living out of his own car. His assistance included changing flat tires, splitting logs for folks who heated their homes with wood, and blacktopping driveways.

Two months after their retirement the wife was killed in a tragic car accident. “I get emotional talking about it even now,” said Kellogg, “to be with a man who was simply grieving.” The funeral was two months prior and the man confessed to Kellogg that he had not spoken to anyone since. “No one wanted to listen,” he explained.

However, what surprised Kellogg the most was the fact that just sitting down to listen to someone proved the most profound assistance of all. One such encounter came while driving through Georgia. Kellogg, a true northern New Yorker, felt a little out of his element. He spotted a man on his front porch reading the newspaper and did what he always did: he pulls over saying, “Hi, my name is Tyler. Can I help you with something?”

Kellogg spent three hours with this widower and within the hour he laughed. In another hour the man was telling jokes, and by the end Kellogg felt they had become good friends. “All it took was a few hours to start his recovery,” said Kellogg, “but no one had done it. No one had given him the time to listen.”

>> Recovery

The man just looked back at Kellogg like someone at a funeral. “It made me uncomfortable. It made me confused and I didn’t know what had happened,” said Kellogg uncertain. So he repeated his offer, “Can I help you with something?” The man’s reply was, “You can listen.”



After Kellogg completed his Samaritan tasks he asked each individual the same question. What is one life lesson that you learned that you wish you had known from the beginning? “There are six or seven billion people on earth. Every one of them has a story and every one of them has a lesson they’ve learned. I’m 21 years old. I have a lot of living left, hopefully, and if I can take a lesson away from each person, I’ll be that much further along,” explains Kellogg. “I don’t think I can just learn it by hearing it, but I do believe that when I come to a situation where the lesson is relevant then maybe I can recognize it.” Out of 115 people, over 30 said “don’t be afraid to take risks.” The consensus was that it is not doing something that you will regret later.


However, many of the strangers agreed on another life lesson. Listen. Just listen. “I had mothers say they should have listened to their sons. I had husbands say they should have listened to their ex-wives or wives. I had grandparents say that they learned more from their grandchildren than they learned from their entire life,” Kellogg reveals. “I had people confess to being an alcoholic, confess that they had been raped, within 15 minutes of talking to them.” “I thought that helping was something physical. I thought that helping was shoveling, raking, cutting wood or something manly. It really caught me off-guard that people just wanted to be heard. That sometimes the best way you can help someone is just to listen to them.” For Kellogg the journey is just beginning. His summer project turned into an internship writing speeches and working with English and Communications professor Dr. David Fregoe to refine Kellogg’s skills from just being a talker to becoming a public speaker. Kellogg’s speaking engagements have been numerous, including a recent trip to the DC Summit where he shared his vision of changing the world with a very select group of his peers and even invited former President Clinton to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. His trip to Key West has been the catalyst for Kellogg’s own brand of “Do Good,” spreading the word and inspiring others to take risks, follow their dreams or to change the world one person at a time. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e





Tale of


Villages by Alexandra Jacobs

In many ways, the villages of Potsdam, NY, and Gembeltu, Ethiopia, couldn’t be farther apart. Potsdam is home to 17,000 people, two colleges, and, oftentimes, lots of snow. Gembeltu is a small settlement of grass-thatched huts and close-knit people in Africa’s Rift Valley—a village so tiny that you won’t find it on a map.

Despite those distances and differences, Potsdam and Gembeltu have two very important things in common: The people of both villages have a thirst for education. They also happen to have in common three passionate SUNY Potsdam alumni who are determined to bridge the gap between the two communities that they love.

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Alex J. French ’08 first traveled to Ethiopia to work for a nongovernmental organization (NGO), Engage Now Africa, after earning his degree in anthropology. He spent six months working to build schools, health centers and sanitation latrines, as well as to support women’s literacy initiatives. “For a long time, I was the only foreigner for miles around, so all my friends were the locals,” he said. One day, French’s buddy Mieso, a recent college graduate himself, suggested they take a trip to his hometown. Off they went on a dirt bike, with French steering on the donkey paths and Mieso hanging on from behind. When they reached Gembeltu, Mieso’s native village, a group of elders was waiting. For French, they had a gift—a special drink of thick, warm, curdled milk, which he politely downed—and a request. They asked French to help build a schoolhouse for the children of their village. Without an official school to attend, Ethiopian children—especially those coming from isolated agricultural communities like Gembeltu—are unlikely to even complete eleventh grade, let alone eventually attend college, French said. His friend Mieso was the first person from Gembeltu to attend a university, and that was because he was able to attend a boarding school elsewhere. A few weeks later, Alex returned to the village with his fiancée, Kayla Riley ’04. The couple heard chanting and singing, and found the 300 children of Gembeltu waiting for them underneath the shady eucalyptus trees—the only classroom they had ever known.



The village’s four unpaid teachers joined as well, as girls presented the couple with tiny bunches of sunshine-yellow flowers. Riley, who teaches English at Gouverneur Middle School, was touched by the exchange. “The head teacher said, ‘You understand what education does for people.’ Look at Mieso,” she said. “As a teacher, what was beautiful to me was their curiosity. Their desire to learn is just so strong.” French and Riley began to work on a plan. They would raise enough money to build a fourclassroom schoolhouse with a sanitary latrine and head office, as well as chalkboards and some textbooks and supplies. The NGO already had experience completing similar projects, and if they could finish a real school, the Ethiopian government would establish and fund a district. “One thing I learned both from my classes at Potsdam and in my work in Ethiopia is that you don’t develop an area from the outside. The elders told me in unison that they would help build the school themselves. They are incredibly invested in helping their children,” French said. When they returned to Potsdam, they contacted their friend, Danny Smith ’10, a political science and history double-major, for help in meeting their goal of $20,000. “We said, ‘OK. We need to raise $100, two hundred times.’ We can do that,” French said.

So the trio began to reach out—to students, to faculty, to staff, to alumni, to the Potsdam community. They asked groups to find creative solutions to reach those hundred dollar mini-goals—whether it was a “jar wars” challenge sponsored by Greek Life, a cover charge at a downtown gig, or an effort to get 10 professors to individually pledge $100 each. Their passionate efforts struck a chord with the Potsdam community. Penny by penny, they reached their goal within six months. But their work wasn’t yet complete. The trio continued to raise funds to purchase books and other school supplies so that the school of Gembeltu will represent more than just a roof—it will be a true educational resource. “It’s what it takes to set a freight train in motion. Initially, there’s a lot of individual exertion, and you exhaust yourself for a quarter turn of the wheel. But eventually, it gains momentum, and soon, you almost couldn’t stop it if you tried,” Smith said of the effort. “Now it’s getting to that point, and we’re just trying to direct it and set it on the right path.”

French, Riley and Smith have now raised enough money to establish a school district. Gembeltu elders will soon meet with government officials to sign a contract, and once the schoolhouse is built, they will turn the keys over to the state. Their teachers will finally be paid, and the village will have a small annual budget to maintain the schoolhouse and purchase supplies. “At this point, it’s a question of how thoroughly are we going to build the school—but we are going to build it,” French said. He will return to Ethiopia with Smith this fall, once the rainy season has passed, to deliver the final needed funds and oversee construction. Ultimately, French, Riley and Smith all say that they want the children of Gembeltu to have the opportunity to seek and to learn as they have. And they all say that the strength of conviction they feel about their project comes from their alma mater. “Here in Potsdam, there’s such a commitment to the process of educating,” Smith said. “It’s incredible how much that can open up your world.” Riley added, “As a student, I never had a sense that there was anything in the world I couldn’t do. So the idea that we can make this happen, that spirit comes from here.”

It’s what it takes to set a freight train in motion. Initially, there’s a lot of individual exertion, and you exhaust yourself for a quarter turn of the wheel. But eventually, it gains momentum, and soon, you almost couldn’t stop it if you tried w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e



Jane (Paul) Lehrbach ’53, Rose (Grunert) Sullivan ’53, and Mary (Carma) Hennessy ’53, enjoyed a lively reunion lunch in Ft. Myers, FL in Mar. After graduating from Potsdam, the three women lived together in Rochester, NY and taught in the local school system. Edith Campell ’43 celebrated her ninetieth birthday in Aug. 2010. She resides in Scotia, NY with her husband Frank.



Mary Hannahs ’43 celebrated her ninetieth birthday with a family gathering in Feb. 2010. Mary currently resides in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Michael Bennett Kerr ’63 published a book titled “A Father’s Story: Cristie Kerr, A Great American Golfer,” describing the years Michael spent with his daughter preparing for the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. Cristie has been one of the most successful American golfers on the tour for the last few years. Michael currently is a teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Fred Raymon ’64, a retired Ticonderoga Central School teacher, attended his eleventh Olympic games at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Raymon’s Olympic experiences include the 2008 Beijing Games where he met Yang Tai Yang, China’s most famous artist and was invited to Yang’s home. He also traveled to New


“As I planned my will, it seemed natural to include Potsdam, I was so happy there.” Seberg’s gift will be used to support the College’s greatest needs. “I am so pleased to know my gift will help to provide an education, and hopefully, wonderful memories for future Potsdam students. I am glad I am at a point in my life where I can give something back for all I received while a student.” As a result of her planned gift intention, Seberg has become the newest member of the Benjamin F. Raymond Society, which acknowledges those who have named the Potsdam College Foundation a beneficiary of a deferred gift. Through her gift, Seberg will have an immeasurable impact upon Potsdam and its future students. For more information on estate planning or the Benjamin F. Raymond Soceity, visit the College’s estate and planned giving web site at or contact Jason Ladouceur, director of planned giving, directly at (315) 267-2123 or

Zealand just before the 2000 Sydney Games and met Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest, a highlight of his life; and roomed in Sydney with George Ramos, threetime Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with the Los Angeles Times. Raymon has autographs from hundreds of athletes and thousands of photos. William C. Gordon ’66 retired from a Conservatory in Germany and now lives in Italy on the sea.

Don Mandigo ’68 directed the play “The ‘Lunge Campaign,” written by Mason Smith ’66, for SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Theatre & Dance’s spring 2010 production.

1970s William Merna ’70 retired from coaching basketball at Ogdensburg Free Academy. Coaching hoops at OFA has been a dream job. Ed Mikenas ’70 was the first guest on the radio show “Healing through Creativity,” with Dr. Desire Cox, which is on the Voice America Health and Wellness Channel.

Rich Johns ’72, a Maple Avenue Middle School teacher, whose middle name is peculiarly yet perfectly “Ace” after his uncle, was recently named 2009 Coach of the Year by Racquet Sports Industry, a national magazine published in Vista, CA, focusing on racquet sports, primarily tennis.



Thomas Wallace ’58 has written a new non-fiction book titled “Wealth, Energy, and Human Values: The Dynamics of Decaying Civilizations from Ancient Greece to America.”

After attending her 40th Reunion in 2005, Elaine Froehlich Seberg ’65 attended an estate planning seminar presented by attorney, Roger Linden ’74. As a result of her planning, she has decided to include the College in her will.


Curtis Finney ’57, Crane professor emeritus, lectured on “Pink Elephants and Black Holes: Contributions of Black People to Classical Music” in New York City in April 2010.


Catherine Dillon ’39 celebrated her ninetieth birthday in Sept. 2009 with a family party at the Batcheller’s Mansion Inn in Saratoga Springs. Catherine is a resident of the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs, NY. Catherine is among the first graduating class for which the New York State Board of Regents authorized the degree of Bachelor of Science in education.

Elaine Froehlich Seberg ’65 Becomes Member of Benjamin F. Raymond Society






The Niskayuna Friends of Music presented pianist Mary Moran ’72 in a salonstyle benefit concert on Apr. 18, on the Niskayuna High School auditorium stage. Moran is a private piano teacher in the Capital Region, formerly an adjunct faculty member of both Russell Sage College and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Moran is now senior director and faculty member of the Golandsky Institute, whose Summer Symposium on the Taubman Approach is held at Princeton University each July.


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Darlene (Dixon) Kerr ’73 was featured in the spring 2010 issue of Central New York Business Exchange, which called her a “powerhouse” and “a force to be reckoned with.” Darlene recently retired as president of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a board member of the newly established organization created from the merger of the Chamber and the Metropolitan


a nd


e n! e r g g goin and click on “Information Update Form”

Development Association. Previously, Kerr had retired as president and chief operating officer of Niagara Mohawk after a 30-year career with the corporation. Kerr endowed a scholarship at SUNY Potsdam to benefit women pursuing

a career in math, the sciences or computer science. Among her many honors during her career was being named on the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s Wall of Fame.

Dr. Gail Witz Paludi ’73 has accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools for School of Administration Unit #88, Lebanon, NH. She was unanimously elected by the Lebanon School Board and began her position on July 1, 2010. One of her first responsibilities was overseeing the construction of a $24.9 million new middle school.


Brian Normile ’74 recently retired from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH after 34 years of federal service. He was chief of labor and employee management relations in the civilian personnel office. Normile resides in Beavercreek, OH with his wife, Mary.

Jim Moragne ’73 showed Potsdam’s colors in full view in front of the Nation’s Capitol at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC on Oct. 25, 2009. “This was my first marathon, and I received lots of ‘way to go, Potsdam’ calls from the spectators (and one ‘way to go, North Country’) along the way.”

Russ Kassoff ’74 was the pianist/conductor in the Twlya Tharpe Broadway production of “Come Fly With Me,” a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra from 1980-1991 including The Ultimate Event Tour 1988-1989 featuring Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr.,

Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli. Kassoff is currently the music director to Rita Moreno, was Minnelli’s pianist from 1982-2001 and conductor/pianist for Charles Aznavour on Broadway in 1998. He is pictured with President John F. Schwaller and Broadway actress Lisa Vroman ’79. Helen Sanzone DeMong’s ’75 son, Bill DeMong, won a gold medal Apr. 15, 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics in the Nordic combined large hill event. DeMong is currently choral director at Saranac Lake High School. Col. Thomas H. Palmatier ’75 has been invited to join the American Bandmasters Association. Founded in 1929, the ABA recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of concert band conductors and composers in the US and Canada.

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Boston-Area Alumni and Dean of Crane Gather at Fleming Performance



Pete Malinverni ’79 appeared in January on episodes of “Piano Jazz” on NPR. In celebration of Marian McPartland’s thirtieth anniversary on the show, Elvis Costello “turned the tables” and interviewed Marian. Pete accompanied Elvis at the piano.

Potsdam Boston-area alumni and Dean of Crane, Michael Sitton, gathered in Boston in Feb. for dinner, and the wonderful opportunity to attend a concert featuring Rénee Fleming ’81. Fleming performed Richard Strauss’s “Four Last Songs” with the Boston Symphony, a performance that ended with a standing ovation to a packed Boston Symphony Hall. Fleming was awarded her fourth Grammy in the best classical vocal performance category for her “Verismo Arias” on the Decca label.


eighth annual Jazz Night. A native of Utica, Carbone is coordinator of music, director of concert band and jazz ensemble one at the high school. He joined the Binghamton University music faculty in 1997 and serves as director of the Jazz Studies Program. Carole Haber ’80 has been named the first occupant of the Wendy Shattuck Chair in Voice, New England Conservatory’s first endowed chair in the Voice Department. She has taught at the Conservatory for 21 years in addition to pursuing an active performing career.

Mike Carbone ’80 was a featured saxophone guest performer Apr. 13 at the Cazenovia High School Jazz Ensemble

Standing left to right are: Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Stephan Savoia ’75, Steve Immerman ’75, Renee Fleming ’81, Jim Cottrell ’78, Velda Goldberg ’70, Bonnie Betters-Reed ’70, Harriet Otis, Dean Michael Sitton, and MaryAnne Vervaet ’78. Also attending the event were Jane Wolff ’75, Suzy Nelson ’80, Carole Haber ’80 and Bernadette Horgan ’80.


resource manager for GE energy’s global projects operation organization.


Kathryn Harvey Perry ’75 retired from SUNY Potsdam as the assistant vice president of human resources in May 2010, with 35 years of service to the College.

Kathleen (Farrell) Kane ’76 was recently promoted to human resource manager for General Electric’s global employee services organization in Schenectady, NY. She was promoted to this position in December after three years as the human


Dale E. Skivington ’76 is an assistant general counsel at Kodak and former chief privacy officer. She is currently the director of the company’s international and employment law legal staffs. Skivington is the recipient of Kodak’s Leadership Excellence Award, the Potsdam College Outstanding Alumni Award and the Albany Law School’s Kate Stoneham Award. Patrick Corcoran ’77 is “still working and traveling, a proud father of three great young adults, happily married for 32 years, biking whenever he can, playing drums in two bands…enjoying life!” Lorraine Remza ’78 retired from IBM on Mar. 31, 2010 after more than 31 years.


Russell Clark ’78 of Scotia, NY, has won the XTERRA off-road triathlon’s northeast regional championship in his age group for the last seven years. Clark is an off-road tri-athlete. He rides and strides through rugged terrain, swimming up to one mile in open water, biking twelve to twenty miles, and running between five and 10 kilometers on trails. Clark’s point accumulation allows him to compete in nationals at Lake Tahoe, NV, and Ogden, UT. This year for the first time, Clark went all the way to the world championship in HI. Clark is a systems analyst with GE Global Research. Keynote for Master’s Commencement Ceremony SUNY Potsdam alumnus Lt. Col. David Johnson ’77 shared his experiences as an educator and a soldier with graduating master’s students on May 22. As the featured speaker for the College’s one hundred seventy-sixth Master’s Commencement Ceremony, Johnson delivered the keynote address to 200 graduates, along with their family members and friends in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.



Planning Your Future Planning your future? About to retire? Preparing to visit your attorney or financial advisor? Visit the College’s estate and planned giving web site. giftplan

Jane Morale ’80 was chosen to receive one of four Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians’ Awards for Outstanding Music Educators in April. Honored for their contributions to their students, schools, and communities, the winners were recognized at the RPO’s “Misha Dichter Plays Rachmaninoff” concert, designated as “Music Educators Night at the RPO.” Jane is the orchestra director and string instrument instructor at Webster Spry Middle School. Thomas W. Perrin ’81 recently moved to Springfield Township, NJ just outside of Burlington, NJ, but he and his wife, Janice Treggett, prefer to spend time at their camp on Chateaugay Lake in the Adirondacks. David Dik ’82 was named the new Executive Director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning, New York, NY. Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation’s leading arts in education organization for children and youth.

Andrew Doetsch ’82 continues to travel around the country during summer breaks visiting family in Salt Lake and ride into Nevada and Wyoming. Doetsch rode to Upstate NY for a big high school class birthday bash (hint… ends in “zero”). “It has been great re-connecting with many of my Crane friends through Facebook!” Mary (Rowe) Mundy ’82, her husband, Tom, and children have lived in Pennsylvania for the last 21 years. Mundy is an Industrial Design major at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia as well as an active singer/songwriter in the Philadelphia area. In 2007, Mundy obtained her National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music.

Class. Chipkin is an associate and chief trial attorney for the Nassau County, NY Personal Injury Law Firm of Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP. Paul J. Buell ’84 received Clarkson University’s 2010 Inspirational High School Educators Award for inspiring his students both in and out of the classroom. He has been teaching music for 27 years.

In recent years she has been an instructor at the Meadowlark Music Camp in Maine, an experience that inspired her to launch the Gathering. John M. Leonard ’86 was named first vice president in the Atlanta office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. Leonard also serves as East Coast director of the company’s Special Asset Services division. The managing directors awarded him with the firm’s Regional Manager of the Year designation in 2007 and in 2008 he was the recipient of the firm’s Agent Tenure award.

Melanie Tarbell Ford ’87, an engineering faculty member at Penn State Behrend, has won the 2010 Penn State Women in the Sciences and Engineering Institute Faculty Recognition Award for her work in helping women and girls excel in engineering and the sciences. Ford leads the college’s Women in Engineering Day program and has taught at Behrend for more than 10 years. Mark R. Lavarnway ’88, has been recently promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer of Watertown Savings Bank in Watertown, NY. Prior to this promotion, he served as the bank’s Executive Vice President. Lavarnway resides in Watertown with his wife, Joanne ’89 and their two children, where he keeps busy coaching his son’s baseball and lacrosse teams.



As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

Kary Johnson ’85 directed a camp featuring a lineup of nationally known musicians in the inaugural session of the Mountain Arts Gathering, a weeklong music camp for adults held last summer at Paul Smith’s College. Johnson, an Adirondack native, taught in public schools for several years.

Leonard B. Chipkin ’83, Esq., returned to campus as the featured speaker at the Pre-Law Forum in March, sponsored by the SUNY Potsdam Politics Department and the Political Student Association. During his visit, he also spoke to a Criminology Class and a Government

Kathleen Friery ’84 reminded graduates of the class of 2010 to remember the bumblebee in her keynote address during the May 23 commencement. The former executive producer of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” said, “The bumblebee should not be able to fly. With its fat body and tiny wings, it’s aerodynamically unsound. By any scientific standard, it simply cannot fly. And yet, bees do fly, because they don’t know they’re not supposed to… So, when I say remember the bumblebee, what I really mean is: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t fly…. Every one of you can soar.” w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e




Six SUNY Potsdam alumni from left to right, Alyson Rode ’08, Kalen Casey ’09, Jessica Crandall Echard ’09, Rocco deGregory ’08, and Kari Leigh Allen ’05, made a big splash at the American Association of Physical Anthropology national meeting in Albuquerque, NM, in April presenting posters on their current research. All the students learned to conduct undergraduate research at SUNY Potsdam through collaborations with SUNY Potsdam Anthropology professors Dr. Bethany Usher and Dr. Jaimin Weets. See individual class notes.

Duane M. Pelkey ’89, with 20 years of banking experience, has been promoted to team leader for Community Bank in Potsdam and will oversee commercial and business bankers in St. Lawrence, Franklin and Essex counties. Pelkey is past president of the Potsdam Rotary Club and an active board member. He serves on the boards of CantonPotsdam Hospital and the Potsdam Community Development Corp.

1990s Vanessa Breault Mulvey ’90 joined renowned British flutist Trevor Wye at his 2010 US Master’s Class at Boston University in May. She taught an Introduction to Body Mapping session during the week-long event.


Jacqueline (Levy) Berge’92, associate, mutual-fund administration and compliance, was one of eleven new principals who was awarded equity ownership in Turner Investment Partners, an investment firm. Seventy-four percent of Turner’s employees are now principals. The principalships reward employees who have helped the firm to serve clients well in terms of investment performance and service.


Catherine Black McMurray ’89, a potter from Brentwood, TN, and owner of Turning Grace Studio, has been working in clay since college and started her studio in 2000. She exhibited at the March and Apr. Brentwood Library’s Glass Showcase.

Stephanie Blythe ’92, made her Boston-area opera debut this season singing the title role in the Opera Boston production of “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein,” Jacques Offenbach’s operetta, with libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy. Robert Brown ’94 directed The SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir in contemporary and traditional gospel selections and spirituals during its twenty-fifth annual


Spring Concert. Comprised of college, high school and community members, the Gospel Choir has been recognized for its outstanding performances at the National Collegiate Gospel Competition. Lisa Murdock Norman ’95, Senior Employment Specialist for St. Lawrence NYSARC, has been recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in occupation placement services.

Nathan Garden ’99 and Sarah Garden have been recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the granting body for teaching’s gold standard credentials, as National Board Certified Teachers. The Gardens studied Intensive Special Needs Education in Boston, MA, each earning a M.S. in education from Simmons College. The couple resides in Santa Monica, CA, where they serve as special educators for the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.


Ricky Snyder ’02 created MadCoop Productions in 2009. Snyder’s collaborators include fellow Lowville native Bryan S. Higby and his wife, Amy Higby, as well as Jesseca L. Trainham ’00. MadCoop Productions sees a bright future for its dark movies in NNY. “Transmissions — Volume One,” a DVD of seven short films, was shot at North Country locations such as Denmark, Watson, Copenhagen and Watertown. Ivonne Hoeger ’02, recently received a Ph.D. in Economics and Consumer Psychology from Exeter University.

Amanda Von Hoffmann ’00 published her first novel, “Behind Green Glass” on May 1, 2010 and it is available on

www .potsdam

.ed u/al umni

She has 15 years of professional experience, Norman serves as a senior employment specialist for St. Lawrence NYSARC. Jennifer Filer Turpen ’96, an adjunct faculty member since 2002 in the Department of Music at the University of Wyoming, was chosen for the Golden Apple Award, recognizing teaching excellence in freshman-level courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. Joseph Kiernan ’97, internationally acclaimed guitarist and music educator recently released his CD, “Inventory.” Kiernan resides in CT.

Visit the Alumni Association Web site There are many ways you can get involved with the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association. Attend an alumni chapter event or mentor a current student - you can visit our web site and learn more today. We hope you like the new look!



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Stephanie Tooke ’03, a school teacher at the New York State School for the Deaf, received her masters in education from Utica College in 2008. Tooke is currently attending graduate school for a master’s in Social Sciences with a concentration in history from Syracuse University with a goal of earning a Ph.D. in history to eventually teach college in Central New York.

Amanda Agnew ’04, currently a Ph.D. student in biological anthropology at Ohio State University, presented the poster “A comparison of traumatic injury patterns between a rural and an urban population from medieval Poland” (with co-authors Betsinger and Justus).


Ashlie Jones ’05 made her national television debut at the NASCAR Nationwide Sam’s Town 300 on Feb. 27. Ashlie was the winner of a contest sponsored by Sam’s Town & FOX 5 TV to sing the national anthem before the race. She was selected among more than 170 contestants.

Guaranteed lifetime income while supporting Potsdam! For a free projection or for more information on charitable gift annuities visit us on the Web at or contact Jason Ladouceur, director of planned giving, directly at (315) 267-2123 or

As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

Many may remember that Ashlie won “Potsdam Idol” when she was a student at Crane. She is currently living in Rochester, NY. Ben Bright ’05 received a coveted “golden ticket to Hollywood” when he auditioned for “Idol” last summer in Boston. His performance of the Beatles’ “All My Lovin” was aired on the season nine premiere of the show. Bright teaches general music to grades kindergarten through fifth at Cumberland Head Elementary School in Plattsburgh. Right now Bright is preparing to audition for the next season of American Idol along with his twin brother Brian, who will play guitar. He also plans to continue with his teaching career. Kari Leigh Allen ’05, currently a Ph.D. student in evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, presented the poster Are primates particularly dexterous?: An examination of unimanual object manipulation in prosimian feeding. Andrew R. Burgess ’08 joined the Learning & Success Center as a learning skills specialist in mathematics at Jefferson Community College for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Corrine Spencer ’09 has published a chapter with fellow SIUC graduate student of Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Daniel Phistry, in fall 2010 in “Linguistics and the Study of Comics” (ed. Frank Bramlett), on the Gricean Conversational Maxims application to sarcasm in comics. Rocco deGregory ’08, currently an M.A. student in anthropology at Mississippi State University, presented the poster Extensions for the NamUs Databases: Geocoding and Spatial Search Tools for Forensic Anthropologists (with co-authors Ralston, Yin, and Herrmann). Alyson Rode ’08, currently an M.A. student in biological anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented her poster “Lack of regional continuity in the Alabama-Coushatta tribe: mitochondrial DNA analysis in the Southeastern United States” (with co-authors Schanfield and Malhi). Kalen Casey ’09 and Jessica Crandall Echard ’09, both recent graduates, presented their poster “Standard cemetery population from fluctuating residential patterns: A decade-by-decade comparison of census records and cemetery demography from the St. Lawrence County Almshouse.”

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Potsdam People


Ruth Sullivan Lavigne ’37, Nov. 30, 2009. Jean Washburn Grasse ’42, Apr. 19, 2009. Roberta “Bobbie” Huntress Erdman ’50, Feb. 20, 2010. Arthur S. May ’50, Feb. 7, 2010. Alice Young Call ’52. Ruth Fadden LaPointe ’53, Mar. 27, 2010. Rosemary (Leombruno) Davidson ’58, May 14, 2010. Cheryl Ann Gurga DeMagistris ’74, Mar. 13, 2010. Judith Gay (Wright) Greene ’74, Apr. 28, 2010.

Amy Lynn Richards ’02 married Ty Robert Batten on Sept. 26, 2009, at St. Mary’s Church, Canton. The couple spent their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. The couple resides in Massena, NY. Marlaina M. Burkhalter ’05 and Corey C. Fram were married on Aug. 21, 2010. Burkhalter graduated in May with a master’s degree from SUNY Potsdam. Kara A. Miller ’05 and C. R. Chamberlain were married on July 16.

Courtney A. Newcomb ’07 married Dean Maxon (Clarkson ’08) on Nov. 28, 2009 at Wysocki’s Lake Park Manor, Cicero, NY.

Judy Compeau Whalen ’81, Apr. 6, 2010. Jane Elizabeth GardnerDuffany ’88, March 4, 2010. Tyrell Spencer expected ’10, Nov. 24, 2009. Stephen M. Davis expected ‘10, Mar. 3, 2010. Anthony Proteau expected ’12, Apr. 3, 2010.


Eric Heath ’07 married Bethany Stevenson on Oct. 10, 2009 at Town Line Lutheran Church. The couple spent eight days in Belize for their wedding trip. Natalie A. (Gilbert) ’10 and Matthew Wendig were married on June 19. Gilbert is pursuing a master of education degree in educational technology at SUNY Potsdam. Carley Young ’08, Jeremy Vance ’08 were married on July 10, 2010.


Jennifer Ashley ’08 andRichard J. Polniak III ’02 were married on Sept. 4.

James L. Williamson ’06 married Stephanie R. McFetridge on Sept. 19, 2009 at Constable Hall in Constableville, NY.

Jean Canning Gallic ’75. Joan M. Clark ’78, Mar. 19, 2010.

Amber Gooshaw ’08 & ’09 and Travis E.J. Scanlon were married on July 17, 2010 in Potsdam, NY. GooshawScanlon received a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and a master’s degree in 2009 from SUNY Potsdam.

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Potsdam People


Andrea (Rizzo) Umbenhower ’99 and husband Matt, welcomed their first son Matthew Jonah, on Sept. 27, 2008. He is now almost 2 years old and keeping them very busy. Kyle Robert Rice ’99 and wife Angela Dawn Rice, celebrated 10 years of marriage in October and welcomed their daughter, Kendall, on May 19, 2009. Mary Jane (Freligh) Arquette ’03 and Peter Arquette ’03 of Charlottesville, VA welcomed a son, Tyler Gilman Arquette, on Dec. 15, 2009 weighing 9 pounds.


Viola (Smith) Burkett ’37, April 23, 2010.

Jeff Keeler ’84 and Theresa Kelly were married on Dec. 3, 2009, in Las Vegas, NV.

Geoffrey Pierce ’08 and wife Jessica Rood celebrated the birth of their son, Benjamin Welcome Pierce on July 21, 2010. Pierce graduated in 2008 a M.S.T. in secondary education.


Ethel Baker Miller ’36.



Mildred Carr Haggett ’36, Apr. 16, 2010.

Potsdam People


Hannah Saidel ’70, Feb. 16, 2010.

Clark Alan Hewitt born on Aug. 16, 2010 to Jonathan & Tanya Hewitt ’09. Tanya Hewitt graduated with a M.S.Ed in Aug. 2009.

2010 Reunion Classes Celebrated and Supported the College Each year, many alumni honor their Reunion Weekend by going above and beyond their historical annual giving. This year was no exception, with six classes meeting or exceeding their goals and three new giving records set! Thank you to class committees, who worked hard to contact classmates about Reunion plans.

Class Chair(s) 2005 5th reunion

$ Matthew Warren

Total Committed $3,402

2000 10th reunion


(Allen) Paradis $$ Sherry Jessica Moquin Louise Tyo

1995 15th reunion


1990 20th reunion


1985 25th reunion


1980 30th reunion


1975 35th reunion


1970 40th reunion


Michael Paestella Jennifer Mathews Joseph Scaffido


Kelly Ellis-Foster Mary Sue Harris Foster Paul Haggett Mona Ouimet Vroman Eric Cron



Carol Dumka Guy Henry Deborah (Diefendorf) Hind Stephen Immerman Michael Kane Barbara (Francis) O’Neal Jane (Murray) Wolff Ann Marie Barletta Daniel Cottrell Katherine (Fiske) Kuczynski Margaret (Brown) Preo Judith Ranlett, Hon. ’07 1965 45th reunion Louise (Centofanti) Lamby


Virginia (Rose) Cayey Anne (Stephen) Cook Linda (Larchar) Davis Robert Farmer Roberta (Reed) Hamilton Sally (Stubbs) Larchar Wenda (Carter) Paton Mary (Steinburg) Rutley Phyllis (Young) Stearns Anne (LaBaron) Voss



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24,558 alumni web site visits Stay connected with your alma mater and your fellow alums... check us out online at



1960 50th reunion






Insurance Program for SUNY Potsdam Alumni Looking to save money on insurance expenses? The Alumni Association is proud to continue the alumni program with Liberty Mutual. To learn about all of the insurance discounts that you can receive by being a SUNY Potsdam alum, visit


$ Exceeds Goal

Alma Matters is SUNY Potsdam’s monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends. Visit www. to check it out! newsletter or call 1-800-524-9400

$$ Set Reunion Giving Record

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IN their

own words

ANderson cooper

On April 22, 2010, Anderson Cooper joined SUNY Potsdam via satellite from the CNN’s Studios in New York City to discuss the aftermath of the Haitian Earthquake with a student panel. Sal Sarmiento, Potsdam, NY “How do you think communities like Potsdam and other universities and colleges can have an impact on those issues and problems that are affecting Haiti and even other nations around the world?” Anderson Cooper, New York, NY “...For me, the real lesson of Katrina and the lesson of Haiti is that individuals make a difference; that is, individuals standing up and deciding that they are not going to wait for someone else to tell them what to do or what the need is. They are actually going to go see for themselves or just get mobilized and do something, and we’ve seen that time and time again.... New Orleans is rebuilt because of students like you - because of the tens of thousands of students and church volunteers and lay-people who have just gone down of their own accord. And that is what makes the difference between darkness and light and between life and death… It’s critical for people to realize that, in these situations, individuals make a complete difference especially early on, especially in the first weeks… Individuals make a huge difference and everybody can have an impact.”



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opportunities Calendar of Events For a complete listing of events and registration information, visit BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING Alu mn i Jazz Trio

10.1.10-10.2.11 Potsdam, NY

A Major Affair 10.27.10 Barrington Student Union, MPR • Potsdam, NY

PotsdaM College Foundation Board & Alumni Association board meeting 11.5.10-11.6.10 Potsdam, NY

Sarasota Eve nt

NYSSMA WInter Conference & Crane Alumni Reception 12.3.10 Rochester, NY

Bear Pride night (hockey)


Alumni gather in NYC

In Mar. 2010, Allen Schoer ’71 once again hosted alumni and friends at his business, TAI. Presenters this year included David Dik ’82 and Tom Anthony ’57, who shared their “Potsdam Story” with those in attendance. The evening was very inspiring and stirred up many memories for all who attended. Pictured are: left to right, Schoer, President John Schwaller, Dik, Anthony.

get together in Sarasota, FL.

Mar. 2010 was the annual alumni, emeriti and friends gathering in Florida which took place in Sarasota. Great food and stories were shared by all, and new friendships were formed.

12.3.10 Potsdam, NY

Bear Pride night (Basketball) 2.11.11 Potsdam, NY



Villages, FL

Alums met in The Villages, FL for the first time in Mar. 2010. We hope to make this an annual event!

Alumni Jazz Trio

Alumni and friends gathered to hear the Larry Ham Jazz Trio (Ham ’82 along with Pat O’Leary ’81 and Tom Melito ’78) at Grasso’s Restaurant in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, on May 14, 2010. Pictured are: front, Dale Zurbrick ’68, Ham ’82, back, O’Leary ’81, President John Schwaller, Mrs. Anne Schwaller, Melito ’78, Jay Friedman ’78, Gene Tranchino ’79 and Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85.

Annual Crane School of Music Spring Festival

The annual Spring Festival at The Crane School of Music will culminate on Saturday, Apr. 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm in Helen M. Hosmer Hall on the SUNY Potsdam campus. Internationally renowned German conductor Helmuth Rilling will conduct the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra in Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Festival events will commence on Monday, Apr. 25 and will include a lecture series, master classes, and open rehearsals. Rooms are available at the Clarkson Inn in Potsdam. For more information about the Festival, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Francom at



PotsdaM College Foundation Board & Alumni Association board meeting 4.29.11-4.30.11 Potsdam, NY


COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND 5.21.11-5.22.11 Potsdam, NY

REUNION WEEKEND * note this is the third weekend in July 7.14.11-7.17.11 Potsdam, NY



Visiting campus? Check out the complete campus calendar to see what’s happening. Visit events to see a full listing of athletic events, concerts and more!

In July, hun dreds of alu mni, friend College. In s and emer addition to iti returned years of serv class reunio to campus ns, the Pots ice to the C to celebrate dam Alum o llege, as wel our special Music Trom l as th e twenty-fifth ni Association celebra bone Ensem ted 100 anniversary ble, the fou of the Cran rtieth reun anniversary e School of ion of EOP, of the Sport s Hall of Fam and the thirtieth With 2011 e. ju st ar o u n Typically, R d the corner eunion is th , plan now to join us in e second w eek in July: Potsdam th please note is July 14-1 that this ye ar it is the th 7. ird week.

Do uble Axel at

Maxfie ld ’s

and fun !

Fr ie n ds ..


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44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

Save the date

Reunion Weekend 2011 July 14-17

for information:

Fall 2010 Potsdam People  

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam

Fall 2010 Potsdam People  

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam