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


Fall 2007 Vol.2 | No.1


GOING GREEN a natural reaction





George Arnold You go green! While green may not be an official SUNY Potsdam school color, it’s the environmental avenue that Potsdam continues to take under the leadership of George C. Arnold, food services director for the campus and proud Potsdam alum, Class of ’92. “We’re not a green campus, but we’re working in that direction,” says Arnold. Used fat-free frying oil is donated to a farm for use as bio fuel, while vegetable scraps are donated to farmers to use as compost instead of being thrown away. Last year alone, PACES purchased more than $100,000 in the local growers economy, but Arnold hopes the biggest impact will be realized by students who are experiencing the richness of eating locally. “If the rest of their lives they buy local food, then that’s big.”

On the cover:


Jamie Szafran ’08 Music Education + Computer Science = Star Gazing for NASA


Philip Klein ’51 Educator, Entertainer, Storyteller, Pianist with Spontaneous Style

Nancy Rehse Keeping Connections as Emeriti

Amy Kellogg ’99 On the Fast Track to Remarkable

Tatoo artist Ethan Henry of


Ogdensburg, NY, generously donated his time and effort

News & Notes 3 Class Notes 21 In Their Own Words 27 Alumni 28 Calendar of Events 29

for the faux-tattoo artwork on Potsdam junior, Juan Valerio. He currently works at Hard Luck Tattoo in Syracuse and will be spending the next four weeks touring with his band, Freya in Germany, Scotland, Czech Republic, Italy and many other


European destinations.

A Natural Reaction

Putting muscle behind going green: Potsdam students prepare for environmental leadership through activism and unique curricula

13 WizKids

T4P2: Tomorrow’s Professionals Teaching Today’s Professionals about Technology

Potsdam People is in the


Environmental accountability is something SUNY Potsdam takes seriously and every choice matters. Potsdam People is printed on FSC certified paper and uses soy inks in its production. Soy inks are: more environmentally friendly, they improve the life span of the printers and makes it easier to recycle paper. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


A conversation with Debbie Hind ’75, President of the Alumni Board, and President John F. Schwaller. August 2007. Hind: As you have looked around the campus this last year, you have probably made lots of observations about what is good and what can be even better. So what sort of imprint do you hope to make on the College? Schwaller: Well, I hope it will be varied. I think one of the contributions that people will look back on is that we have improved the infrastructure and enhanced the beauty of the College. Part of that is going “greener” and being responsible in our growth both economically and ecologically. I would very much like to see the construction of our proposed performing arts building come to fruition. It will capture the artistic spirit that is so much a part of the Potsdam culture and history. I would like to see us continue to grow in enrollment. I think a 5,000-student goal is feasible. It will take us to a level where some of the financial challenges that we currently have will be lessened by economies of scale. Five thousand seems to be the logical break point in maintaining the personalized education and student/faculty relationships that are so much a part of the Potsdam tradition but also being financially sound. I would also like to see the College’s excellence broadcast on a larger stage so that when our alumni in California say “I went to SUNY Potsdam,” there will be a nod of recognition and appreciation. It will take time, but it can be done.

with the President

Hind: And what can our alumni do to help you make it all happen? Schwaller: Our alumni are loyal and faithful in their support and good advocates for the College. I anticipate that this will continue and be further enhanced. Alums also let us know what is important to them and stay in touch. Alumni are what make Potsdam the best of the SUNY comprehensives. Alumni, such as yourself, who volunteer and lead are critical. The volunteer efforts of our alumni are absolutely astounding. Debbie, what keeps you excited as a volunteer having served Potsdam so much? Hind: What keeps me excited? We have had so many projects in the pipeline through the years and to see our hard work realized makes a difference and re-energizes me. Implementing Alma Matters, the monthly electronic newsletter, for example is something that we have talked about for so long. To finally have it and see projects just blossom 10-fold because of improved communication is phenomenal. Schwaller: That is an excellent example. Part of what I have wanted to do in my first few years here is to help people realize that most of the things we aspire to at SUNY Potsdam are not pie-in-the-sky sorts of things. Most of the things are very concrete and real and if we work together with alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and students almost all of this is achievable. Campus beautification, enhancing the student experience, building an exciting legacy, yes, it takes money, but we can make it work. Having the plan and vision is the key. We are building on a “can do” spirit of nearly 200 years. We just have to get ourselves energized and go after it. I’m thrilled to be part of it. Check out Alma Matters at

FA l l 2007

Vol. 2 | No. 1

Pots dam Pe o ple Staf f an d Co ntr i buto rs Ed itor Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing and Communications Sherry (Allen) Paradis ’00, Director of Alumni Relations Wr iter / Ed itor Deidre Kelly, Media Relations Manager Ryan Deuel, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator Web M anag er Mindy Collins, Director of Web Communications Contr i b utors Christa Carroll, Director of The Fund for Potsdam Nancy Griffin, Development Officer Boyd Jones ’95, Sports Information Director Jason Ladouceur ’94, Associate Vice President for College Advancement Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Development Officer Donna Planty, Publications Associate Laurie (Balles) Simpson ’97, Director of Donor Relations Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Vice President for College Advancement Des i gn & Art D i recti on Jessica Rood, Director of Publications P H OTOGR A P HY Principle Photography: Kathryn Deuel


news & notes

New Initiatives

Theatre Students Travel to Hong Kong to Present Work

SUNY Potsdam students Tiffany Weller of Potsdam and Melissa Brewer of Voorheesville, NY, along with Erin Gandia of Natural Bridge, NY, (not pictured) traveled to Hong Kong this summer as the only American students presenting their theatrical work at the International Drama and Education Forum in China.

Move over Broadway. Three SUNY Potsdam drama majors have hit the international educational theatre scene.

Iraq through books, magazines, articles and interviews with women who lived the experience.

In July, a trio of seniors presented the performance they created in one of their applied theatre classes at the Hong Kong Drama/Theatre and Education Forum in China as part of a conference featuring theatre students from around the world.

Dr. Jay Pecora, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, submitted the students’ piece to the conference, and though it was one of more than 100 entries from all over the world, he had faith in their work.

Melissa Brewer of Vooheesville; Erin Gandia of Natural Bridge; and Tiffany Weller of Potsdam researched female soldiers’ experience in Afghanistan and

Dr. Pecora noted attending a conference of this caliber was not only great for the students, but for the Theatre Program and the entire College as well.


Reinert Named to International Double Reed Society Before his passing in July, Bob Reinert, Crane faculty emeritus and honorary 2005 alumnus, was selected to be an honorary member of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS). His name joined that of some very prestigious names in the bassoon and oboe world. On September 21, a Celebration of his life was held on the stage of Hosmer Hall. In attendance were former students, colleagues, family and friends.

College News

Giving & Awards

Anthropology Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration

Endowed Scholarship to Honor Former Mathematics Chair

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Anthropology recently kicked off a yearlong celebration recognizing 2007 as the 50th anniversary of the department’s academic development, excellence and success at the College.

The Vasily Cateforis Scholarship that was initiated in 2004 by the SUNY Potsdam Department of Mathematics faculty to honor their former chair and faculty colleague, Dr.Vasily Cateforis, was awarded for the first time in the fall 2007 semester to a student in the mathematics BA/MA program.

The anthropology faculty teaches an average of 1,200 students per semester, which means that more than a quarter of all students on campus take an anthropology class every semester. The department also was the first among all other New York universities to establish a chapter, the Alpha Chapter, of the national Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honorary Society. “As faculty members and scientists, we pride ourselves in the ways we reach out to our students, both by working with them on real research projects and by emphasizing an applied approach to the discipline,” said Dr. John Omohundro, SUNY Potsdam distinguished teaching professor. Giving & Awards

SUNY Potsdam Wins Admissions Advertising Award SUNY Potsdam’s “Get There from Here” television commercials recently took home the gold from the prestigious “Admissions Marketing Report” Admissions Advertising Awards in the Television Advertising/ Series category for schools with 2,000 to 4,999 students. The annual Admissions Advertising Awards program is the oldest and largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. More than 2,100 entries were received from more than 1,200 colleges, universities and secondary schools. Entries were received from institutions in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

Thanks to the leadership of former Mathematics Chair Dr. Laura Person; current Mathematics Chair Dr. Joel Foisy; Chair of the Vasily Cateforis Scholarship Committee Dr. Blair Madore; mathematics alumna and professor of mathematics at Manhattan College Dr. Kathryn Weld ’77 (who served as the alumni chairperson for the scholarship fund drive) and the generosity of many faculty colleagues and former students, the Vasily Cateforis Scholarship was fully funded and endowed in 2006. Giving & Awards

Leadership Through Service Award Bestowed Upon Dr. Neil R. Johnson SUNY Potsdam selected Dr. Neil R. Johnson, former chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education and co-founder of the Stimulating Opportunities After Retirement (SOAR) program, to be the recipient of the 2007 Leadership Through Service Award. SUNY Potsdam established the Leadership Through Service Awards to honor those outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a commitment of service to the Potsdam community. Each year, award recipients are acknowledged for demonstrating a special contribution to the betterment of the Potsdam region through dedicated service.

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news & notes Student Spotlight

Stephanie Blythe ’93

WAIH 90.3

WAIH 90.3 Radio Receives Upgrade SUNY Potsdam’s studentrun radio station WAIH 90.3 has updated its equipment, increased the quality of its broadcast and now includes a Web-cast option for listeners as part of the renovations to the existing station. Upgrades include adding pop filters for greater clarity to the radio announcer’s speaking voice and purchasing a $6,500 studio control board to replace the one currently being used. This is just the beginning of the station’s efforts to increase the quality of the broadcast and additional equipment will be purchased in the future. The radio station, which targets a college-aged audience, can also be heard through the computer and pod or netcast-enabled audio devices as well.The station is accessible for Web-streaming by visiting the Web site at www. Giving & Awards


Shattuck establishes scholarship in memory of Susan Holly Dierks ’75 John E. Shattuck of Brownville, NY, has established a full-tuition endowed scholarship at SUNY Potsdam in memory of his wife, Class of 1975 alumna Susan Holly Dierks, that will help finance the education of an early childhood education major. The Susan Holly Dierks ’75 Scholarship for Early Childhood Education will be awarded for the first time this academic year.To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must have completed a full year of study at SUNY Potsdam, have at least a 3.0 grade point average and be an early childhood education major. Dierks passed away in April 2007 at the age of 54 after a 10year battle with cancer. She was a project specialist for the Head Start program in Watertown, 4


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NY, where she had worked for 12 years. The couple was married on April 9, 1995, in Black River, NY. Shattuck is a computer programmer with Jefferson County. GIVING & AWARDS

SUNY Potsdam Earns Accolades For Fundraising Work On Mary E. English Commons SUNY Potsdam’s Advancement team, led by Development Officer, Nancy Griffin, earned top honors from the State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) in Development – Comprehensive Four-Year Colleges category for work on the “Campaign for The Mary E. English Commons: Celebrating the History and Traditions of SUNY Potsdam.” Griffin led the effort to raise $100,000 to create the project and an additional $47,000 to create an endowment to fund updates to the exhibit. Approximately 50 donors contributed to the exhibit, including alumni, emeriti, faculty, staff, reunion classes, two alumni associations and organizations. The Mary E. English Commons is a permanent exhibit area designed to showcase SUNY Potsdam’s rich history and traditions dating back to the founding of the St. Lawrence Academy in 1816. Project freelancers included Peter Shrope, exhibit designer; Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda Hon. ’06, graphic designer; and Betsy Baker, editor. Project volunteers included co-chairs Molly Hershman Amoriell ’71,Vicki O’Neill Hayes ’90 and Jane Gatta Subramanian ’72, along with 40 researchers that included current faculty and staff, alumni, emeriti and students.

Giving & Awards

Teaching and NonTeaching Faculty Member Share SUNYCUAD Kudos for Work on Opera Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, SUNY Potsdam development officer, and Carleen Graham, director of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music Opera Ensemble and faculty member, organized the November 2006 world premiere opera event “The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon” featuring Metropolitan Opera star and alumna Stephanie Blythe ’93 was selected by the State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) in Development Best of Category Award in the special events category. Planning for the very detailed event began in June 2005. Over the course of the project,Vroman and Graham led a team of College Advancement professionals in a number of planning activities. The opera’s four performances raised more than $200,000 for the renovation of the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. More than 1,700 people attended the four performances. The production was an example of campus and community collaboration with Dr. Paul Siskind ’86, composer; Carleen Graham, director; Dr. Christopher Lanz, conductor; Dr. Alan Steinberg, librettist; Dr. Robin Collen, choreographer; and Jefferson Reed, technical director and set designer. Blythe’s return to SUNY Potsdam for a three-week residency provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for college students of Crane’s Opera Ensemble to work and perform with her on the same stage.


news & notes


College News

Closing Cultural Gaps Through Music: Crane Students Perform in China

Faculty Member Selected as Fulbright Scholar

A group of 25 SUNY Potsdam students from The Crane School of Music’s Touring Concert Choir traversed the globe in July to participate in the 2007 Beijing International Choral Festival. The choir performed both traditional western songs and Chinese folk songs. The concerts were held in Beijing at the Tianjin Grand Theater and the Beijing Concert Hall at Xinhua Gate. Under the guidance of conductor Dr. Rebecca Reames, an associate professor of choral music education at Crane who accompanied the choir, the students practiced weekly, and to prepare themselves for their cultural immersion, they took turns presenting information about modern Chinese culture to the class. “The festival is designed to unite people from different cultures and demonstrate that as educators, we are embracing music from a global perspective,” Dr. Reames said. “This experience helped prepare the students for future endeavors as music educators and members of a global world.”

Dr. Gregory A. Gardner, assistant professor of business administration at SUNY Potsdam, was selected by the U.S. Department of State as Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Ukraine for the 2007-2008 academic year. He is teaching classes in Western business practices and approaches and conducting research in economic development at Kherson State University in Kherson, Ukraine. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar Awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. New Initiatives

Online HERC Consortium Helps Potsdam Recruit the Best Faculty and Staff SUNY Potsdam is now one of 23 Upstate New York colleges that is participating in the new Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (UNY-HERC) that works to effectively recruit and retain diverse and qualified faculty and staff and assist the spouses and

SUNY Potsdam freshman Eric Sammis of North Syracuse rolled up his sleeve to donate at the Adirondack Seaway and Park Blood Drive sponsored by SUNY Potsdam’s Sigma Pi Fraternity. Along with Sammis, 102 other students, faculty and staff members stopped in to donate.

partners of faculty and staff in securing area employment. UNY-HERC’s Web site www. features the collaboration of nearly two dozen Upstate New York colleges and universities that are working together to cohesively provide employment listings at each of their respective higher education institutions and address dual career needs in higher education. UNY-HERC also provides online information on local real estate, healthcare, arts and cultural resources and childcare, along with other helpful centralized links that can assist individuals and families new to a particular area.

Student Spotlight

Hands-On Opportunities Prepare Students for the Workforce in Record Numbers Applying their talents and the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom, SUNY Potsdam’s students have been afforded the distinct opportunity to devote time and resources back into the local community and beyond, and they are doing it in record numbers. The Office of Experiential Education capitalizes on this winning concept, which allows both students and employers the ability to profit from the experience. The office, formerly known as

the Internship Program, coordinates internships, service learning and volunteerism opportunities for students. Statistics show that in the fall 2006 semester alone, 144 students participated in an internship opportunity earning 472 college credit hours and completing 18,880 contact hours at a wide range of sites. This number is an increase of 12.5 percent over the fall 2005 semester, when 128 students participated.

Student Spotlight

Four Students Win Prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award Four SUNY Potsdam seniors were awarded the very prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in April for demonstrating outstanding achievement as a student in the SUNY System. Colette Hall, a music education major from Red Hook, NY; Danielle Hall, a psychology and dance major from Springfield Center, NY; Shari Jessie, a psychology and English major from the Bronx, NY; and Rebecca Polmateer, an anthropology and archaeology major from Schuylerville, NY, were honored by then SUNY Chancellor John Ryan and received a framed certificate and a medallion that may be worn at Commencement. The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and been recognized, for the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement.

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news & notes

Giving & Awards

DiGiovanna Named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor The SUNY Board of Trustees recently approved the appointment of Dr. Joseph DiGiovanna, SUNY Potsdam professor of philosophy, to the rank of distinguished teaching professor. The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements.

Three Faculty Win Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence Three SUNY Potsdam faculty members were recently honored by the State University of New York with the prestigious 2007 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Professor of Geology Dr. Robert Badger was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, Professor of Chemistry Dr. Maria Hepel was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and Associate Professor of Modern Languages Dr. Lora Lunt was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

Alumni Association Scholarship Applications are due March 1, 2008 Children and grandchildren of SUNY Potsdam alumni are eligible to apply for this one-time scholarship. The nature of this scholarship has become quite competitive, awarding $10,000 in the last four years alone. To learn more about how you can nominate a student or contribute to the scholarship, contact the office of Alumni Relations.

Russells Create Scholarship to Encourage Distance Education To encourage SUNY Potsdam students to broaden their educational experience by taking courses through distance education, Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell of Raleigh, NC, have established a distance education scholarship that coincided with Mr. Russell’s 50th Class Reunion at SUNY Potsdam. The first recipient of the $1,000 scholarship will be awarded in 2008. The Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Scholarship also honors the memory of Mr. Russell’s parents, Lee and Ella Russell, who made it possible for Mr. Russell to be a student at SUNY Potsdam.


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A 1957 alumnus of The Crane School, Mr. Russell is director emeritus of the Office of Instructional Telecommunications at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. His career, spanning more than 40 years, includes teaching instructional technology, research and distance education at elementary through university levels. Mrs. Russell taught at the elementary through university levels and then enjoyed her career as a university law librarian. From The University of Florida, she moved up to a position at The University of Missouri, Kansas City, and on to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

College News

Potsdam Brass Quintet’s 40th Anniversary Celebration The 2007-2008 academic year marks the 40th anniversary of the Potsdam Brass Quintet, which will be celebrated during a three-day festival from April 18 to April 20, 2008. All members of the Potsdam Brass Quintet from the past 40 years will return for a weekend of recitals, clinics and master classes. Canadian Brass will join the festivities with a recital in Hosmer Hall on April 19. A Saturday banquet to honor the quintet’s former members and a Sunday Crane alumni brunch will provide opportunities to socialize with former faculty and friends as


Along with students taking more distance education courses, the Russells’ scholarship encourages the College to develop more distance education programs, particularly in The Crane School of Music.

the Potsdam Brass Quintet enjoys its place as one of the nation’s longest-running brass ensembles. Established in 1968, the quintet has performed in concert throughout the United States and Canada and is active in its longstanding role as music educators through the presentation of clinics and workshops for teachers and young audiences alike throughout New York State and the nation. from the left Kelly Drifmeyer, horn, James Madeja, Trumpet, Additional information is available at http://www.potsd- John Ellis, Trumpet, Mark Hartman, Trombone, (center) Charles Guy, Tuba

Bear Women Among Nation’s Most Improved Teams The SUNY Potsdam women’s basketball team was recently noted as being the 12th-most improved NCAA Division III program. After finishing 2-23 in 2005-06, Tara Ruckh’s Bears went 11-15 in 2006-07 and earned its first SUNYAC playoff berth since the ’97-’98 season. “It’s all on the players,” Ruckh said. “Because of them, we have a higher level of expectations. It was an expectation we had coming into the season.” Now that the Bears have cracked into the conference’s top eight, team goals are being set higher.

Berkman, Hondorf Earn Top SUNYAC Honors Senior goalie Brian Hondorf of Webster, NY, was named to the 2007 SUNYAC Men’s Lacrosse All-Conference First Team while SUNY Potsdam head coach Rick Berkman earned Coach of the Year honors following a 4-2 campaign within the SUNYAC. Three other Bears, senior Matt Vaverchak of Binghamton and sophomores Corey Reinhart of Albany and A.J. Lalonde of Rochester, were selected to the All-SUNYAC Second Team. Hondorf and Vaverchak were selected to the SUNYAC AllTournament Team.

“Isn’t it ironic that a nationwide search for a women’s hockey coach led us right into our own back yard and uncovered Jay Green. He clearly distinguished himself from a very strong pool of candidates with his enthusiasm for returning to the coaching world, his knowledge of the sport, and his own playing background. I have been amazed at the community’s show of support for the addition of women’s hockey to our sports offering and am confident that the program’s development is in capable hands with Jay as our coach,” said Athletic Director James Zalacca. Green was the assistant men’s hockey coach with former coach Ed Seney for three seasons. Prior to coaching the Potsdam men, Green was head coach at Norwood-Norfolk for six years. After college, Green played professional hockey in Europe for three years before serving as a head coach in the Bay Harbor California Minor Hockey Association. Green was also head men’s hockey coach at North Adams State College of Massachusetts in 1988-89. In 1989, he returned to Europe to head Sweden’s Sudrets Hockey Club for two years.

Aaron Saul Named Men’s Hockey Coach Aaron Saul, a former Potsdam assistant coach, has been named the new head coach of the men’s hockey team. Saul will replace Glenn Thomaris, who retired in the spring. “We’re tremendously excited that Aaron has agreed to coach our men’s hockey team. While the competition for the position was great, his passion for coaching, his ability to recruit high quality student athletes, and his work

Coach Saul comes to Potsdam from Elmira College where he has been the assistant hockey coach since first leaving Potsdam in 2001. He is also the head men’s golf coach at Elmira. In addition to his work with the Soaring Eagles, Saul has also been active in hockey schools and clinics having coached in the Paul Vincent Hockey School since 1998.


Schaad was on the All-SUNYAC Second Team following her 2006 season, when she scored 34 goals and four assists. She was also the SUNYAC Rookie of the Year.

Jay Green, a member of the Bears’ staff, has been selected to lead the women’s hockey comeback at SUNY Potsdam. He transitions from serving as the director of athletic facilities to serving as head coach.

SUNY Potsdam Diver Places Eighth in NCAA 3-Meter Event Nathan LaRowe of Latham, a freshman diver at SUNY Potsdam, finished eighth in the 3-meter diving competition at the NCAA Division III Championships at the University of Houston. By finishing among the nation’s top eight divers, LaRowe was automatically named an All-American.


As a sophomore, Alisha Schaad of Central Square, NY was named to the 2007 SUNYAC Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference Second Team. The Bears’ leading scorer in 2007, Schaad finished with 43 goals and 11 assists, setting school records for goals and points in one season.

ethic clearly separated him from the rest of the field. Our department is happy to be reunited with him and we look forward to many years of top flight hockey with Aaron Saul as our coach,” said Athletic Director James Zalacca.

LaRowe’s success in the 3-meter dive followed a 10th place finish in the 1-meter dive the previous day. Green

Alisha Schaad Repeats as All-SUNYAC

Jay Green to Head Women’s Hockey Program

Are you receiving Alma Matters? Alma Matters is SUNY Potsdam’s monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends. Visit www.




news & notes alum/newsletter to check it out!



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Members of Middle Ground student organization (see pg. 11)


a article




by Ryan Deuel




onsider a single paper cup. Seems harmless. It is only paper after all. Multiply that cup by a student population of 4,350 who may purchase up to three beverages per day using paper cups.Then consider the 210 days per year those 4,350 individuals are using those said cups three times daily… Yes, 2.7 million cups each year on this small campus being used and discarded. Enter in the “enviro-mug” program allowing students to reuse a single mug for coffee across campus. Does it make a difference? You do the math. SUNY Potsdam is considering this and a whole lot more. With all the national attention given the environment these days; as well as the College’s 200-year commitment to stewarding the health and well-being of the North Country and Adirondacks, it is more than just skin deep. It has become part of the muscle tissue that moves the campus in both living and learning, infiltrating the very nature of our liberal arts and sciences education. With a generation of students taking the lead supported by Potsdam opportunities like the only Wilderness Education minor in the SUNY system, an Environmental Sciences program where the Adirondacks are your classroom as well as leading research in endangered species of the region, the Potsdam experience now, more than ever, includes developing environmental leaders of the future.

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“Most environmental programs place an emphasis on the sciences,” said Dr. Michael Wilson, director of field studies for the ES program. “Our emphasis is on the social sciences and humanities. In addition, the capstone dedicates students to service learning through interpretation at the fire towers. There’s no other program like it in the state.”

Katie Chistman, a senior of Fort Plain, NY, describes the role the fire towers play in the Environmental Studies program as well as in the Adirondacks. Several alum made the hike up Mt. Arab during Reunion Weekend 2007.

MAKING THE BIG HIKE Wearing both a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a Friends of Mt. Arab patch on her sleeves, 21-year-old Katie Christman of Canton, NY, greeted a group of hikers in early July who had made their way to the 2,503-foot summit of Mt. Arab in the northern Adirondack Mountains. She was there for several weeks this summer serving as the de facto interpreter for the mountain, where 15,000 visitors climbed up a nearly 90-year-old steel-framed fire tower that stands on top to take in majestic views of the Adirondacks. “Mt. Arab has an interesting history,” she told the crowd who were catching their breath after a moderately difficult half-hour hike. “A plain, wooden structure was built in 1912 for viewing purposes only. But a series of devastating fires in the early 1900s took a heavy toll on the Adirondacks. Farmers scorched the land to encourage blueberries and raspberries to grow, and sparks from trains caused many fires. The state built this steel tower in 1918 as part of a program to detect fires across the Adirondacks.” On the one hand, this is an internship for Christman, and on the other, it’s a job. She was stationed at the top of Mt. Arab as part of the capstone requirement for her Environmental Studies major at SUNY Potsdam. But she got paid too. For students majoring in Environmental Studies, or ES for short, the capstone requirement is taken between the junior and senior years. But it’s hardly a chore for ES students since many will go on to pursue careers related to the outdoors 10


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and environmental conservation. Most of the students serve as interpreters at several fire towers scattered across the Adirondacks. The capstone requirement also dedicates the ES program and its students to service learning, giving back vital time and resources to the Adirondack region for very little cost to the state. Potsdam’s ES program is also unique in that it places SUNY Potsdam students in the center of a debate that dates back more than 35 years between the state, specifically the Adirondack Park Agency, and the residents who live within the Park’s “Blue Line.” The APA has the authority to regulate development even on private land, and it often has drawn scorn from local residents for infringing on their property rights. Since aerial reconnaissance rendered the use of fire towers obsolete for decades, the state has either dismantled or abandoned dozens of the structures — some of which date back nearly a century. Local residents and visitors, however, see the fire towers as both a great destination to view the Adirondacks as well as a strong symbol of the region’s history. “The fire towers are a symbol of this region’s history and the mark people left on the landscape,” Dr. Wilson said. “Residents often view the DEC as inept and the state as not caring about their land rights, and there has been little attempt to ease residents’ concerns. Our program and the students who participate are the glue that bring the state and the local communities together.” Recently the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation awarded SUNY Potsdam $186,000 in start-up funding for the new Adirondack Fire Tower Association, a nonprofit educational group organized by Dr. Wilson. Those funds will be used to support educational programs at 18 fire towers throughout the Adirondacks and benefit the ES capstone program at the towers. This model of student interns partnering with DEC rangers and local tower communities, Wilson said, will become the standard operating procedure written into the State Land Use Master Plan.

Mt. Arab

“It’s not a question of if SUNY Potsdam should teach something related to the environment. We have to teach this course.” our grass is greener The Environmental Studies program took years to develop, and Dr. John Omohundro, distinguished teaching professor of anthropology and director of learning communities, was one of the principle founders. In the late 1990s, about a dozen faculty members got together to discuss putting together an interdisciplinary program modeled after the one at Middlebury College in Vermont. The group decided the program would be comprised of one-third science, one-third humanities and one-third skill. Begun in 2003, the program quickly swelled to 34 majors by the end of the spring 2007 semester. Currently the program has only two professors: Drs. Omohundro and Wilson. But, there are plans to hire an additional professor this fall and expand the program to 40 majors. For Dr. Omohundro, the reasons for creating the ES program were obvious. MIDDLE GROUND’s VISION: “We live in one of the To p u rsue the idea of neatest places in the world,” c o m m unity by including he said. “It’s not a question of if SUNY Potsdam should t h e s u rrounding villa ge , teach something related to t ow n a nd county: the environment. We have Help the campus go green to teach this course.” Work with the Art Department to The ES program is not sculpt decorative recycling bins to be about creating scientists. The program is designed placed around campus to give students a liberal Hold an end-of-semester recycling arts grounding that they event rather than throwing out books can take out in the world as and papers environmental interpreters, Become resourceful in every way educators, communicaimaginable tors, writers, nonprofit and corporate leaders, and even This fall, Middle Ground members plan to mainpolicy analysts. tain their level of enthusiasm.They are already Think of the capstone planning camping trips, potluck dinners, movies, experience as an internship community service events and guest speakers. preparing ES majors for Their goal is to continue attracting students to their first job in the field. the group while drawing community attention to The students aren’t there just to give the facts and the broader issue of global warming. figures; they’re there to provide guests with a sense of Middle Ground members have their sights set history, where things stand on Jan. 31, 2008, for an event known as “Focus now and what must be done the Nation.” The nationwide day of awareness will feature teach-ins across the country engaging students and citizens about global warming solutions.

to preserve the environment both locally and globally. In addition, the students must work on their own interpretive project, the equivalent of a senior thesis. Last year, a student constructed a wrap-around sketch for the fire tower of what visitors were seeing, listing mountain names, elevations and factoids. Katie Christman, is planning on putting together a recreational guide for several of the mountains with fire towers, including Mt. Arab, Blue Mountain, Bald Mountain and Pokomoonshine Mountain. While she’s not completely sure how to put it together, she believes it will benefit visitors to the fire towers. That’s the difference with ES students. They’re not just interested in completing the work required to get their degree. These students want to give back something to the region and enhance the environment while educating those who visit the Adirondacks.

COMING TO A MIDDLE GROUND On April 14, under the watchful gaze of the distinctive of the Satterlee Hall clock tower, several dozen students began assembling just before 10 in the morning, donning sweatshirts, knit hats and gloves and disheveled hair from waking up much too early for a Saturday. Joining the group were several college professors, who had come in support of this young group that was about to take part in its defining moment as a new student organization at SUNY Potsdam. From Satterlee Hall, they began their short trek into the village of Potsdam, armed with a message that was being delivered at that exact moment in rallies similar to this one all across the nation: “Stop global warming and cut carbon emissions by more than half by the year 2050!” The group called itself Middle Ground, and they were taking part in a national day of climate awareness known as Step It Up. Middle Ground began as an idea back in 2005, when Dr. Michael Wilson, director of field studies for the Environmental Studies program, suggested to Kevin Chlad, senior at Potsdam and current president of Middle Ground, and recent graduate Sarah Cihak that they should organize a student group that was committed to environmental awareness. Chlad and Cihak decided to play Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth on campus last fall and use the screening as a way to tell the audience about their new organization.

Middle Ground will hold weekly meetings on campus during the fall and spring semesters. For more information, visit w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


100 people had filed in to take part in the Step It Up rally. In addition to the Middle Ground students were senior citizens, young professionals and even families and their children. The crowd carried with them an enthusiasm that this small rally in a rural town was actually making a difference and drawing attention to the issue of global warming.

Nearly 75 people attended the showing of the film, and close to 20 people showed up at the first Middle Ground meeting. “I had no idea how the campus would respond to the movie or our group,” Chlad said. “Then I saw all of the people at the movie, and I realized people really do care about this.” A TURTLE GREEN WITH ENVY SUNY Potsdam already has the luxury of being located Trudging through water and bog up to their knees, Dr. in a very rural portion of New York, a state with the third Glenn Johnson and a group of students are looking for clues. largest population in the country. The campus nearly touches A victim: Yes. the Blue Line that defines the Adirondack Park, which is the Its name: the Blanding’s turtle. largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States The misdeed: A loss of natural habitat, namely swampland — bigger than either Yellowstone or Yosemite national parks. across the northern tier of the United States and the MariYet despite its serene surroundings and relatively clean air, times of Canada. the students who comprise Middle Ground believe that they, The perpetrator: You, me and everyone who has entoo, must address the issues affecting global warming and croached upon lands that once belonged to nature. take immediate action to preserve such sacred lands as the Even as a child, Dr. Johnson, currently an associate profesAdirondacks. Instead of staying on campus, Middle Ground brought their sor and chair of the Department of Biology, always loved the creepy, crawly things that either intrigue or scare little kids silly. message to the surrounding community in an attempt to Fast forward several years, and Dr. Johnson became more broaden the scope of their reach and deliver their message to and more interested in conservation as well. He a larger audience. went on to The community attend SUNY not only listened, The perpetrator: You, me College of they embraced what and everyone who has enEnvironmental Middle Ground Science and Forhad to say. First, a croached upon lands that estry in Syracuse Clarkson University once belonged to nature. and earned his group also staging Ph.D. in biology a Step It Up rally joined Middle Ground. As the rally wound its way through the in 1995. As a professional bistreets of Potsdam, community members honked their horns, ologist, Dr. Johnson became raised their fists in support and even changed the direction interested in the Blanding’s they were walking in order to join the marchers that were turtle while conducting growing in numbers. “We started with about 20 students and some professors,” research during the 1990s, a reptile that is listed by the said Chlad, “but as we were marching through town, people New York State Department kept joining in, and the group just kept getting bigger and bigof Environmental Conservager. It was absolutely amazing.” tion as a threatened species. Chlad credits his grounding in the outdoors from being an The turtles seem to Eagle Scout and his fondness for hunting and fishing that motihave very specific wetland vated an interest in preserving the environment and majoring habitat requirements, which in Environmental Studies. Chlad, who began his college career at Clarkson University, means not all wetlands have transferred to Potsdam specifically because of the College’s ES the ability to support the species. Their habitats often program. In fact, most of Middle Ground’s founding members are cut in two by roads also are ES majors who literally have used the Adirondacks as traversing the low wetlands their classroom. of northern St. Lawrence Now that they have returned to campus this fall, Middle County. And like sea turtles Ground members plan to maintain their level of enthusiasm. They are already planning camping trips, potluck dinners, mov- and tortoises, Blanding’s turtles are late to mature, ies, community service events and guest speakers. Their goal limiting their reproductive is to continue attracting students to the group while drawing potential. The turtles’ gecommunity attention to the broader issue of global warming. netic diversity also remains largely unknown, and low By the time Middle Ground’s march had ended, close to Senior Colden McClurg of Skaneateles



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levels may indicate the species has splintered into small, isolated populations that suffer the negative consequences of inbreeding. “There are several environmental challenges,” Dr. Johnson said. “The turtles can be found in wetlands of the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack watersheds, but they have very specific requirements. We’re trying to learn more about their environments and their genetic populations to find out how we can help increase their numbers.” Dr. Johnson has become an expert in his field. He recently co-authored The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State: Identification, Natural History and Conservation, a book that carries the themes of identification, natural history and conservation. The book is the first of its kind produced to identify the amphibians and reptiles of New York, a large and heavily populated state that hosts a surprisingly diverse and interesting community of amphibians and reptiles. Dr. Johnson authored the section concerning snakes and contributed to all the other sections as well. Armed with a team of seven Potsdam students, Dr. Johnson and his assistants spent the summer searching wetlands throughout St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties, trying to understand the species a little bit better. In the end they found that the largest concentration of Blanding’s turtles in the state lives in wetlands scattered around Potsdam.

Students look for turtle cages and tracks while then-senior Christina Domser of Barneveld, NY, leads the class.

Dr. Johnson wants to improve the conservation outlook by understanding the distribution of the turtles throughout the North Country, their aquatic versus nesting habitats, and where the turtles winter. Dr. Johnson is also working with a team from Clarkson University to understand the impact of roads and traffic on the turtle population. “Many roads in the North Country cut right through lowlying wetlands,” he said. “Barriers have been set up in some places to limit the amount of road kill of different animals. I’m currently working with the Department of Transportation to see how we can do something that would keep turtles away from the road and in their habitat.” Dr. Johnson has received a number of internal and external grants in support of his research and a faculty-student summer research program. Recently, he was awarded funds from the Robert J. Hill ’77 Endowment for Environmental Science, established by Potsdam alumnus Bob Hill for the investigation of and solutions to environmental challenges facing the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley regions. Dr. Johnson plans to use the funds awarded to further his research of the Blanding’s turtle. Dr. Glenn Johnson put to rest a local controversy that has been stirring in Potsdam for quite some time. For years, the proposed Super Wal-Mart on a site just west of the village has been controversial for many reasons. At one point, plans were halted because a Blanding’s turtle had been found dead on the side of the road near the proposed Wal-Mart site. Environmentalists claimed Wal-Mart was proposing building a store on a site inhabited by an endangered species and even threatened to sue the company. While a few Blanding’s turtles may live in the general vicinity, Dr. Johnson said the wetland near the proposed site does not display the preferred characteristics of Blanding’s turtle habitat. It is also quite unlikely, Dr. Johnson said, that the land near the site is used by the turtles for breeding. “The turtle really has very specific nesting requirements,” he said. “And while we don’t completely understand all of their needs, there’s not much evidence that shows this site is one preferred by the turtle.”

s, NY, holds a Blanding’s turtle during an excursion into the field.

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As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

Remembering Potsdam through a planned gift is the definitive expression of how much Potsdam means to you. A planned gift is a personal way for you to help ensure the mission of the College continues long after your lifetime. Planned gifts are essential to Potsdam’s future and represent your confidence in that future. For more information, visit us on the Web at or contact Jason Ladouceur, associate vice president for College Advancement, directly at (315) 2672123 or Join the more than 150 members of the Benjamin F. Raymond Society.

Planning your future? About to retire? Preparing to visit your attorney or financial advisor? Visit us on the Web at Find essentials for Financial & Estate Planning * Glossary of legal terms * Wills * Power of Attorney * Living Will * Health Care Proxy * Read donor stories * Explore ways to give * Use a gift calculator * Request e-brochures on a variety of topics



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Do you have your SUNY Potsdam VISA yet? Visit or call 1-800853-5576 ext. 8723 to learn more about the SUNY Potsdam Visa card. Show yours off today!

To learn more, visit

wiz “There was always a Mac in the house, and it encouraged me to explore the computer and push it to its limit. I actually find being on the computer relaxing.” -Andrew VanNess

Unlimited tech support and training, with office visits, available at your convenience - for free. Who are these wizards of computer knowledge willing to lend their immeasurable talents to helpless staff and faculty across campus?

The answer is SUNY Potsdam students. Their names are Chris Urban and Andrew VanNess, and together they make up T4P2: Tomorrow’s Professional Teaching Today’s Professional About Technology. Urban and VanNess possess extensive computer knowledge and lend their skills to Potsdam faculty and staff whenever necessary. Advised by both the departments of Computing and Technology Services (CTS) and the College Libraries, Urban and VanNess more or less administer the entire T4P2 program themselves, providing faculty with personally-tailored mentoring sessions on a variety of technology needs. Urban is from Chestertown, and he handles the PCs. VanNess is from Red Hook, NY, in the Hudson Valley, and he’s all about Macs. Neither have any formal training, yet both have more computer skills than most professionals who use computers every day in their jobs. Even more interesting is the fact that Urban and VanNess are both majoring in music education and hope to teach high school band. Urban is

kids also enrolled in the Honors Program, and VanNess is taking part in the BA/MA program and will graduate with both a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in mathematics. So, how did two music education majors wind up knowing so much about computers? “I grew up with computers,” Urban said. “I train myself on various programs, and then take what I’ve learned and help others.” VanNess, who began working for T4P2 in the spring semester of his freshman year, said he has been using a computer for literally as long as he can remember, and always pushed himself to learn more. “There was always a Mac in the house, and it encouraged me to explore the computer and push it to its limit,” he said. “I actually find being on the computer relaxing.” For staff members who want to take advantage of T4P2’s services, it’s easy. Urban or VanNess will schedule a session, depending on the request, and make a “house call” to the person’s office. Both say the response from Potsdam employees has been overwhelmingly positive. “We offer another resource for faculty to learn more about their software, and we usually have more time to spend with them than the CTS help desk,” Urban said. “Faculty really love the T4P2 program.” w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e





Jamie Szafran


o what would be the ultimate internship for a college student who always has marveled at the wonders of space, who is interested in computers and whose goal in life is to work for NASA? Well, what about an internship at NASA? For Jamie Szafran, a senior from Colton, NY, being awarded that opportunity this past summer was a dream come true. Szafran took part in a highly selective internship program at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, which focused on exploration systems and mission control directives. She was just one of 20 interns selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. Now, it’s fairly safe to say that Szafran is a bit of an overachiever. She is the recipient of a four-year Newell Scholarship, which has paid her tuition. She serves on the Campus Rescue Squad and will become a certified emergency management technician this fall. She has worked for Potsdam’s Tomorrow’s Professional Teaching Today’s Professional About Technology (T4P2). She is registered in the College Honors program, directs the Crane Hand Bell Choir and is also a teaching assistant in the Department of Computer Science. And, she did such an amazing job at 16

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the Kennedy Space Center, her supervisor arranged to have her return next summer for a co-op where she will attend graduate school for a semester and then work at the center in alternating semesters until she graduates. She is nearly guaranteed to be hired on as a full-time NASA employee. With the co-op, she will have the rights and salary of a full-time employee, and the center will pay for her tuition and relocation fees if she attends a school more than 100 miles away. When she graduates in spring 2008, she’ll have earned a Bachelor of Music Studies degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science — an unlikely combination until she explains how she got there. “I came into Potsdam as a clarinet education major, but I realized after a year of education courses I didn’t want to teach,” she said. “And I knew I was never going to make a career out of performing. But music will always be a passion in my life, and I wanted to finish what I started.” Computer science also had interested her. She used to design Web pages in high school and had led an information technology distance-learning program. In addition to all that, she loved learning about outer space and always dreamed of

being an astronaut. “I just think it’s one of those dreams kids have,” she said. “But I still have that dream.” Szafran garnered the help of several faculty members, including Dr. Susan Haller and Dr. Timothy Fossum in the Department of Computer Science, who wrote letters of recommendation and helped identify scholarship opportunities. They worked with Szafran to secure a scholarship funded by Potsdam alumnus Haden Land ’84, awarded to a computer science or mathematics major who is interning in the aerospace or defense industry. “Dr. Haller and Dr. Fossum have helped me get the teaching assistantship and have mentored me every step of the way,” she said. “The Department of Computer Science is a small department that can afford to be deeply involved with the students. They have gone above and beyond what I ever could have imagined.” Szafran hopes to one day become a systems analyst for NASA, writing code for computer programs that would propel the first mission to Mars or beyond. Interning for NASA this summer may have brought the likelihood of that career dream one step closer to reality.

’51 Potsdam


P hilip

Klei n

As written by longtime friend Ralph Hastings ’70


entral New York’s “Premiere Piano Man” possesses a legacy that extends beyond his reputation as a superb pianist, entertainer, engaging storyteller with spontaneous style, and influential educator. Phil Klein’s story is a narrative of a multi-faceted musician, bandleader, songwriter, lyricist, humorist, vocalist and friend. Klein ’51, began his professional musical career playing the piano in clubs in the Potsdam area and Lake George, NY, during summer breaks. Upon graduating from Potsdam, he began his career as a public school music teacher with a threeyear position in the Lake George Central School, followed by a year at Ithaca College (earning an M.S. degree) and an eight-year tenure at Skaneateles Central Schools. In 1963, at the newly established Onondaga Community College, he co-founded the music program and taught keyboard harmony, sight reading and theory. His tenure at Onondaga spanned 22 years, during which he composed the school’s alma mater, still sung today. Augmenting his musical experiences, Klein had long-standing gigs and regular performances throughout the Syracuse, NY, area. He played for countless weddings, social occasions, staged hundreds of oneperson shows and sat in as a regular guest on a popular radio program during which he provided background comments and anecdotes about the songs.

Klein onstage has inevitably meant audience involvement – through singing, repartee, questions and much laughter – generated by a rich store of anecdotes relating to the songs, composers and lyricists. The best part is that he is still at it! Highlighting Klein’s career has been his collaboration with Syracuse native Maria DeAngelis – vocalist, lyricist, entertainer and producer. She and Klein have written more than 100 songs, some of them having found their way to becoming background music in films and network soap operas including “The Young and the Restless.” DeAngelis has professionally produced four albums that feature her singing songs that she and Klein have written. Together with her husband Pierre Frison, she also wrote French lyrics for several of Klein’s compositions. Klein has independently produced six CDs (available online,) composed music for casinos, state fairs and political campaigns. Two of his songs, “Storytown, USA” and “Happiness is Children” were written especially for the original Storytown, USA, now known as The Great Escape in Lake George, NY.

Klein has received many awards throughout the course of his career. In 2001, he was inducted into the Syracuse Area Musicians’ Hall of Fame (SAMMYS Award.) And just this summer during Potsdam’s Reunion Weekend, Klein was presented the prestigious Helen M. Hosmer Excellence in Music Teaching Award in recognition of outstanding professional achievement in the teaching of music. When asked what advice he might offer to Crane students and alumni, he said, “If you’re going to be a musician, make multiple plans. By all means, be a performer if possible but don’t neglect the wonderful world of music teaching, through which you may experience the wonder of positively influencing younger people and, yes, make a comfortable living for you and your family!”

Before attending Potsdam, Ralph Hastings ’70 was a student at Onondaga Community College, where he was privileged to know and receive instruction from Professor Philip Klein. Hastings shared that not only is Klein a gifted teacher, musician, composer and performer, but as an advisor he was and remains a confidante and friend.w w w . p o t s d a m . e d u / p e o p l e 1 7




Rehse faculty emerita


Bob Hills the ’77SUNY Potsdam registrar, Nancy Rehse felt as though she had her finger on all aspects of the College’s operations. “The registrar is the person who greases the wheels on the campus to get things done and keep them running smoothly,” she said. “Potsdam has a unique relationship among all the different departments. I’ve been to several colleges and seen other campus operations. I can tell you no place runs as well as Potsdam.” Rehse first arrived at SUNY Potsdam in the mid-1980s as the director of research and sponsored programs before moving to the position of assistant to the provost. That’s where she came to know not only how the campus operated but also how well it operated. Then in the early 1990s, Rehse became the registrar, and she became intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of the College, structuring general education requirements and making sure students graduated on time. Rehse retired in 2002 for a number of reasons, but mainly because her mentally disabled son was living in a group home. She incorporated a board of directors,

secured state assistance and founded LEAP Inc., a home for the mentally disabled. The organization opened its first house for four men back in 1996. Today, the organization has three residences and a day habilitation house, housing more than 50 people and employing 55. Rehse curRehse doesn’t want others to lose that connection to Potsdam just because they retire. She points out many younger people are retiring who are not ready to be cut off from the community that is SUNY Potsdam. She wants to create “pathways” that will help retirees stay connected to the College even after they’ve turned in their retirement notice. She also is looking to work with the College Alumni Association to help former students connect to faculty and staff members who have since retired. “People want to feel needed,” she said. “And people are constantly looking for ways to stay involved. I want to make it easier for faculty emeriti to stay connected to the College community that has meant so much to them throughout their lives.”

I agreed to take this on because I love the people at Potsdam and what they all do. I don’t want to lose that connection.



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rently serves as the organization’s president and CEO. Though Rehse already serves on a number of boards throughout the region, she recently accepted to chair the SUNY Potsdam Emeriti Board. She replaced Dr. Judith Ranlett, professor emerita of history. “I agreed to take this on because I love the people at Potsdam and what they all do,” she said. “I don’t want to lose that connection.”




Am y

Ke l l o g g


hen a person becomes a lawyer for a prestigious law firm, sits on several boards — including that of her alma mater — and successfully lobbies for a statewide smoking ban, we would most likely call that person successful. When she’s only 30 years old, we would call that person remarkable. Amy Kellogg ’99 exudes energy. She talks quickly — as in “I’ve got so much to say in such a short period of time” — and she is also a person whom many are watching. In addition to working for one of the top ten lobbying firms in New York state, Kellogg also serves as the president of the Tech Valley Business and Professional Women, the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women and Law and the Albany County Democratic Committee. Kellogg grew up in Walton, NY, a small town on the edge of the Catskill Mountains in Delaware County. She came to Potsdam when she realized she couldn’t afford St. Lawrence University and after her high school guidance counselor (a Potsdam graduate) recommended the College to her. Kellogg claims she knew she wanted to become a lawyer since the time she was 6 years old, even though she didn’t even know what exactly a lawyer did. She signed up for the pre-law program at Potsdam and was mentored by Dr. Richard Del Guidice, former chair of the Department of Politics. He helped her secure an internship in the

If I can help a student get an internship, or their first job, or even give them a place to rent while they’re here, I will. I got where I am today because of the people at Potsdam who helped me every step of the way. I hope that now I can begin returning the favor.

New York State Assembly in her junior year and helped her prepare for law school. “The politics program at Potsdam is very demanding. There was so much writing involved,” she said. “I talk to my colleagues who went to Colgate, NYU and other prestigious schools, and I know they didn’t get nearly the education that I received at Potsdam.” She attended Albany Law School and in her second year there had begun working at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP. After graduating in 2002 and passing the bar exam, she began working fulltime for the firm. Kellogg almost immediately began taking on what would become a landmark piece of legislation, one that would come to serve as a nationwide model. In 2004, the Restaurant Association wanted the state Legislature to pass a statewide law banning smoking in restaurants. Several local ordinances already had been passed across the state, and the restrictions often varied county to county. The thought was that a single state law would eliminate complications caused by varying local laws and increase business from non-smoking patrons.

The Restaurant Association hired Harter Secrest & Emery to lobby for the changes, and Kellogg became the lead attorney in the case. Eventually the law was tied into the Clean Indoor Air Act, which banned smoking in any public place where employees could be exposed to secondhand smoke. “That was the biggest piece of legislation I’ve gotten passed so far,” she said. “I’ve got to say I’m really proud of that.” Amy also was named recently to the Potsdam Alumni Association Board of Trustees, the youngest member currently serving. She hopes the assignment will allow her to give back what she has learned and experienced to current students and recent alumni. “If I can help a student get an internship, or their first job, or even give them a place to rent while they’re here, I will. I got where I am today because of the people at Potsdam who helped me every step of the way,” she said. “I hope that now I can begin returning the favor.”

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Jackson-Renner Celebrates 50th Reunion with Charitable Gift Annuity

As her 50th Reunion approached, Elizabeth “Liz” Jackson-Renner, Class of 1957, became involved serving as class co-chair. Her enthusiasm was contagious; this was an occasion worthy of celebration, and for Jackson-Renner, a time to give back. “Potsdam gave me the tools to be successful throughout my life,” said Jackson-Renner, who

earned her degree in early childhood education at Potsdam followed three years later by a master’s degree in education from Tufts University. “For example, at Potsdam I learned how to listen well and to be at ease in front of a group.”

gift for the scholarship fund at SUNY Potsdam. “Perhaps someone can better their life through me,” she said. “This is my way of making a contribution to society – you could call it my social legacy.”

Jackson-Renner believes that the lessons she learned at Potsdam helped prepare her for her various careers, as a teacher, editor and consultant for an educational publishing company, social services counselor and retail sales associate.

Jackson-Renner chose to establish a gift annuity because it will provide her with a stream of income for life while also providing financial support to Potsdam. She also appreciates the tax benefits, which include significant savings on capital gains taxes.

In meeting with her trusted financial advisors, Jackson-Renner shared her appreciation for Potsdam and with that, her desire to support current students. A thoughtful review of her assets and long-term financial plan led JacksonRenner to explore the possibility of establishing a charitable gift annuity (CGA) with the Potsdam College Foundation. In return for her outright gift, the foundation agrees to provide her with guaranteed income for life.

The best benefit for Jackson-Renner, however, is the satisfaction of knowing that she has made a lasting gift that will make a difference in the lives of our students. “After all,” she says, quoting author Jackie Mutheson, “It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.”

Because she believes that “education is the best way to improve the world and leave it a better place,” Jackson-Renner is designating her

For more information on charitable gift annuities or for a free projection, please visit us on the Web at or contact Jason Ladouceur, associate vice president for College Advancement, directly at (315) 267-2123 or

Your Alumni Association wants to know where you are and what you are doing. Please use this form to update us about yourself or add your information to the upcoming issue of Potsdam People.

q I would like to receive Potsdam People electronically. Please send me an e-mail reminder when the latest issue is available on the Alumni Web site. I realize that I will no longer have a printed copy mailed to me. q I am pleased to provide the enclosed gift to support SUNY Potsdam $____ (Please make checks payable to Potsdam College Foundation.) q I would like to receive a free lifetime e-mail account.




1950s Roger McKinney ’53 celebrated 50 years of teaching music at the College of New Jersey and was honored by the college with a daylong musical gala. McKinney teaches clarinet performance and music history. Mable Storie Schlieman ’54 has retired after 30 years as director of Christian Education at Niskayuna Reformed Church. She is currently volunteering for various church activities near her home in Schenectady, NY, and enjoys reading and spending time with her 13 grandchildren.

Goldstein Honored by Navy Alan P. Goldstein ’68 was recently awarded the U.S. Navy Superior Civilian Service Award at a ceremony in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This is the highest honorary award given to the Navy’s civilian employees for exceptional service to the department. He was presented the award for his pioneering work in the design, creation and maintenance of the original Department of the Navy’s Web site. He is also the founder of SUNY Potsdam’s radio station, WAIH (called WRPS when Goldstein founded it). He and his wife, Mary M. Post, and their son, Mark, reside in Springfield, VA.

Robert “Bob” Boyd ’57 retired in 2005 after working as a music educator for 44 years. He recently served as pianist for Aretha Franklin, Bernadette Peters, Martin Short and Shirley Jones. Currently, he is the resident music director of the Salerno Theatre Company and the American Concert Company. Ron Farra ’57 was so impressed with the great time he experienced at his wife’s 50th class reunion that he immediately volunteered to serve on his class committee for their reunion in 2007. He learned much about his alma mater through his voluntary efforts this year, which he most likely would not have learned otherwise. Both he and his wife, Johanna DiCroce Farra ’56 are retired educators. They love to travel and spend much time visiting their five grown children and 10 grandkids. Vincent E. Jay ’57 and his wife, Betty Jean, were recently inducted into the Tupper Lake High School’s (NY) Athletic Hall of Fame.


Nancy Cauvet ’60 recently reunited in Sarasota, FL, with her three best friends from Potsdam, all from the Class of 1960, Barb (Yost) McCann, Phyllis (Young) Stearns, Freda (Aseel) Bradt. All of them were in Agonian. Pictured are (l to r) McCann, Stearns, Bradt and Cauvet. Constance Murray Lytle ’61 performed with the Mantovani Orchestra in a recent tour of China. She also has performed with the Solisti Chamber Orchestra and several others. Carol Guarnieri Johnson’63 currently volunteers for her local emergency room and works for the municipal court as a police volunteer in St. Simone, GA. She plays in her church’s hand bell choir and is taking belly-dancing lessons. She also keeps in close contact with her two former SUNY Potsdam roommates, Martha Trembley Hammill ’63 and Rosemary Ellis Marino ’63.

Norma Regan Murray ’63 enjoys teaching piano, directing a Sweet Adeline Choir and spending time with her grandchildren. She also makes time to play golf with her husband, George, near their home in Westford, MA. Karen Rudikoff Athey ’66 recently retired from a 36-year career in education, having spent the last 28 years teaching kindergarten. In 2004, she successfully underwent heart transplant surgery and maintains an ongoing relationship with her donor family. Wally Siebel’s ’68 famous Potsdam store, Northern Music & Video, was featured in the March/ April issue of Music, Inc. magazine. Along with co-owner Alex Vangellow,

Wally opened the store more than 30 years ago. The article highlighted their keen sense for hiring enthusiastic and passionate employees, as well as always going above and beyond with customer service.

Ghislaine Kubica Stewart ’69 and Wendi Thompson Stetson ’91 recently took their choir, the Parlor City Boys’ Chorus of Binghamton, to perform “Carmina Burana” at the Binghamton University Choir and Orchestra.

Marilyn Bean Barrett ’69 and her husband, Joe, traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico, this past summer. She continues to prepare mainstream classroom teachers for teaching to English language learners.


Linda Munde Farrell ’69 received the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Players Choice Award. Based on a vote by the members of the orchestra, this award is given to one of the players for outstanding service to the orchestra and community. She just completed her 13th year as a member of the orchestra and continues to serve as second clarinet and music librarian. In addition, she is a member of the Major Orchestra Librarians Association (MOLA) where she often consults with her colleagues from around the world.

Retired Superintendent of Schools of the Ogdensburg City School District William H. Flynn ’70 & ’72 was the featured keynote speaker during SUNY Potsdam’s Master’s Commencement Ceremony on May 19, 2007.

Carol Rose Reed ’69 has retired from Canton Central School but remains active in the Potsdam and Canton Central Schools’ French student exchange.

Rich Johns Nominated for National Tennis Award Rich Johns ’72, the long time girls’ tennis coach at Saratoga Springs High School, has been nominated for the United States Tennis Association’s Annual Starfish Award Nominated through the Eastern Section of the USTA, this national award is given to one coach in the country. The Starfish Award recognizes high school coaches who implement a no-cut policy for their tennis teams. These coaches serve as positive role models and make a difference by spending the extra time and effort to ensure that thousands of young players experience the fun of representing their high school tennis teams. Johns has been the Varsity Girls’ Tennis coach at Saratoga since 1981. He is also the Varsity Boys’ coach. A South Glens Falls, NY, native, he has received numerous coaching awards throughout the years including recognition from the USTA Eastern Section honoring him as “Coach of the Year.”

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Kerr First Female Chamber President Darlene Kerr ’73 recently came out of retirement to take on the role of president of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. She is the chamber’s first female president. She wants to see the area thrive and as a Syracuse native, her decision to leave retirement came from an affinity to her hometown. “I love this community,” said Kerr. As the former president and chief officer of the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., leadership is a role Kerr carries with confidence, and she has set many goals for her community in the upcoming term. She currently resides in Onondaga, NY.

Friends and colleagues of Crane Professor Emeritus Scott LaVine ’71, former director of Crane Youth Music, have established the Scott LaVine CYM Scholarship to assist Crane Youth Music campers who have financial need. Selection of CYM scholarship recipients is based on financial need as well as musical ability. LaVine conducted the Symphonic Band at SUNY Potsdam and served as co-director of Computer/Music Technology. He also taught music technology, theory and ear training courses, and was the Web master for the Crane School. June Barnett Simons ’71 is an independent contractor for New York State Medicaid. She serves as a pediatric homecare nurse for severely disabled children. David Paciencia ’72 retired as superintendent of Taconic Hills Central School District in June 2007. He retired after 35 years in the field of education, 21 of those years as a superintendent. SUNY Potsdam Archives and Special Collections Librarian Jane Gatta Subramanian ’72 recently received the 17th Annual Award for Excellence in Library Service from the 22


Northern New York Library Network during its Annual Meeting in Lake Placid, NY. Each year, the network asks library directors/supervisors, co-workers or board members for confidential letters of nomination of a fellow colleague or supervisor they feel should be recognized for his/her outstanding service to libraries. Peter Mahigian ’73 retired from teaching after 32 years at the Brunswick Central School District. He was retired for two weeks when the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany asked him to be the interim organist. In November 2006, he took over the two choirs and was director of music at the cathedral until April 1, 2007. The new music director asked him to continue on as the assistant organist. Michael M. Messitt ’73 and his wife, Sheila Dai ’73, recently moved to Latham, NY. Carol Fleming O’Horo ’73 recently retired after 33 years of teaching at Hermon-Dekalb Central School. She is looking forward to spending time with her children and two grandchildren. Sandra Linsky Simpson ’73 is the current district

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superintendent of Herkimer BOCES. She is also teaching graduate courses at Utica College for their Educational Administration program. In her free time, she and her husband, Kirk, enjoy their memberships in the Rochester Yacht Club and make sailing a family endeavor. Eileen Dolan-Heitlinger ’74 and her husband, John Dolan-Heitlinger ’74, are currently residing in Key West, FL. Eileen plays the organ for several churches, teaches Catholic confirmation classes and home schools their daughter. Margie Steve Buchanan ’75 was promoted in July 2006 to director of Air Force libraries, overseeing 110 academic, research, technical and general libraries at more than 80 Air Force installations worldwide. Schuyler “Skip” Rhodes ’75 is in his seventh year as senior pastor at the Temple United Methodist Church in San Francisco, CA. He lives there with his wife, Lisa Quoresimo, and their twins, Emma and Aaron. This past April, his fourth book, Words for Healing a Community was published. In addition he and his friend, Jack Kane, have released their debut CD, Live in the Light. Mary Beth Allen Jones ’78 continues to publish a weekly newspaper, the Tioga County Courier. She is also active in several community organizations including the Friends of the

Apalachin Library, Special Olympics and the local Cornell Cooperative Extension board of directors. Claire Rieker-Dellerson ’78 has been teaching gifted students in South Florida for most of her career. Now two years from retirement, she is contemplating what the next chapter may bring and where it will take her. Jerome “Jerry” Manor ’78 is the current marketing director at SeaComm Federal Credit Union in Massena, NY. Catherine Vanderbles Censullo ’79 and her husband, Louis, recently returned from a vacation in Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville, VA. The couple toured the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the home of Thomas Jefferson in Monticello, VA. Mark Curtis ’79 is currently a senior supervisor at the Florida Department of Corrections. He and his partner, John Maring, are building a new home near Breckenridge, CO. Mike Donnelly ’79 has completed his second year of teaching wellness at Houston, Texas’ elite Episcopal High School. He also directs the school’s outreach program and coaches lacrosse.


SUNY Potsdam Crane faculty member and Crane Institute for Music Business Director Kickie Holloway Britt ’69 speaks with John Milton “Jack” Knight ’80, vice president of operations at Samson Technology, about his recent appearance at the College. Knight was named the spring 2007 executive in residence for the Crane Institute of Music Business and given a special citation as part of his visit. He spoke to students about Samson products and challenges in the new global economy. Phyllis Shafer ’80 is a fulltime artist and college art professor at a California Community College in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Her work has been presented by the Stremmel Gallery in Reno, NV, and it recently held her solo exhibition titled, A Painter’s Journey: The Sonoran Desert to the Sierra Nevada. Shafer’s work can be viewed on her Web site Paul Spengler ’80 is a licensed psychologist in a private practice and a professor at Ball State University, where he teaches in both the master’s and

Kassoff Performs with Famous Artists Performing as a touring pianist for over 20 years, Russ Kassoff ’74, is a multi-talented musician who has worked with several high profile artists. He has served as an accompanist on solo tours for Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli as well as the lead pianist in the 1988 Ultimate Event Tour, which featured Sinatra, Minelli, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. He has also recorded with Rod Stewart and Carly Simon. Recently, Kassoff has formed his own group, The Russ Kassoff Big Band, which includes fellow New York studio and Broadway musicians.



NOTES doctoral programs. He recently completed his term as associate editor of the psychology journal The Counseling Psychologist. He resides in Muncie, IN, with his wife, Polly, and their three boys.

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and Institute for Music Business recently invited distinguished music alumni back to the classroom. Chris Apostle ’81 runs a production management company as part of Hoffman Entertainment and has a long history with SONY/BMG. Anthony Verderosa ’86, is an executive producer and a leading expert in the field of electronic percussion. Both alumni shared their experiences with students and faculty and spoke of career possibilities in the music industry. Pictured (l - r) are Distinguished Teaching Professor James Petercsak Hon. ’03, Apostle, Crane faculty member Kickie Holloway Britt ’69, Northern Music and Video co-founder Alex Vangellow and Verderosa. Andrew Doetsch ’82 is currently teaching high school special education in Alpharetta, GA. He is active in the local Harley Davidson Owner’s Group and enjoys riding. He recently took a trek from Atlanta, GA, to Lake George, NY, and back for the Americade Rally. F. Richard Ferraro ’82, a faculty member at the University of North Dakota, was recently named a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, the university’s highest honor. Ferraro has spent 15 years in the university’s Department of Psychology.

SUNY Potsdam presented Linda I. Gibbs ’82, New York City deputy mayor for health and human services, with a SUNY Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at its 173rd Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony on May 20, 2007, for dedicating her career in government to helping those who cannot help themselves. Robert P. Kinslow ’83 was recently promoted to vice president of strategic communications at Seidler Bernstein. He also serves as president for the International Brotherhood of Magicians in Boston, MA. Steve (Cheech) Hillebrand ’84 is the executive producer of a show on Fox’s Speed Channel called Unique Whips. It’s a celebrity car customizing show that has featured celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Jeff Gordon and 50 Cent. Anton Schwarzmueller ’85 currently works for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Buffalo, NY, and was recently promoted to supervisor. Michele Serrao ’85 manages the Multi-Manager Investment Program at the Atlantic Trust Company, overseeing $3.5 billion in invested assets. In October 2006, she was promoted to the executive committee, which manages the Boston office of Atlantic Trust. Terri Cromer Schwab ’86 currently teaches eighth grade social studies at Canajoharie Middle School. She lives in Palatine Bridge, NY, with her husband, Tim, and their four children.

Charles “Chuck” Schmidt ’88 and his wife, Deborah Snyder Schmidt ’87, currently teach instrumental music and are active in fundraising for Autism Speaks and Autism Society of America. Chuck was recently awarded the Banks Family Endowed Faculty Chair at the Langley School in McLean, VA. This award honors excellence in teaching and is given every three years. Basil A. Piazza ’87 is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and has served overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait and Qatar for the past two years. His duties during this time have been to aid in the engineer planning and construction efforts of infrastructure improvements in Iraq. Tom Caprio ’87 was recently promoted to CEO of Meyer Associates, Inc. in St. Cloud, MN. Meyer Associates is an employee-owned direct marketing agency that helps other companies market their products nationally by means of Internet, phone and direct mail. Caprio oversees 347 employees in three locations across Minnesota. Maryann M. Bingham ’88 was appointed to the California State Instructional Materials Adoption Panel for Mathematics. Dave Alderson ’89 continues to teach instrumental music at J. William Leary Jr. High School in Massena, NY. He also performs with the Wally Siebel All-Star Big Band on their short North Country tours every summer. When not busy with music, he spends time with his wife, Evelyn, and their two children, Tiffany, 10, and Nathaniel, 7. Keisuke Hoashi ’89 is the co-founder and co-director of the New York Summer Music Festival, an advanced level music camp

hosted at SUNY Oneonta. He is also currently pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles, CA. Gregory M. Kelly ’89 is the founder and director of the American Veterans Aid Fund, a nonprofit organization that assists veterans and their families in obtaining and maintaining the respect, dignity and honor earned through their service and sacrifice. He currently resides in Central Valley, NY. Molly Sprague Kurent ’89 is entering her fifth year as director of marketing and development for the University of Vermont’s Department of Theatre. She spends her free time hiking, biking and kayaking with her husband, Jim, and their black lab, Sophie. Amy Jean Strunk McKeown ’89 is an EPA on-scene coordinator currently responsible for responding to environmental emergencies and supervising the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Joel Smales ’89 is currently the band director at Binghamton High School’s Rod Serling School of Fine Arts where he conducts the symphonic band, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and stage band. He has published four original compositions, most recently a piece titled “The General” that was dedicated to and inspired by Crane Professor James Petercsak.

1990s Martin Curry ’90; his wife, Susan; and their three children are now living in China. They are both teaching there on two-year contracts.

Debbie Byrne Kasson ’90 & ’92 and Hans Loland ’90 met at Potsdam when they were both Summer Orientation Leaders in the summer of 1989. They have remained friends since. Kasson’s family (husband Cliff, Alicia 9, Sarah 7 and Julia 4) recently went to visit the Loland family (wife Cynthia and Christian 1) in Seattle. Paul Geer ’91 has been working with at-risk teens teaching vocal music and theory, which has earned him recognition in Who’s Who Among Distinguished Americans. Under his leadership, five choral ensembles have won top honors at different festivals. Jacqueline Levy Berge ’92 was recently appointed associate at Turner Investment Partners. In her new position, she is responsible for mutual funds administration and compliance. She currently resides in Media, PA. Kimberly Brown Cabrera ’92 was awarded her Master of Divinity degree and continues to serve as youth minister for Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. She currently resides in Louisville, KY, with her husband and two children. Tonya Warner Frickey ’92 has been a high school English teacher for the past 13 years. For the past three years she has been recognized in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She and her husband, Reverend Mark Frickey, reside in Ancram, NY, with their three adopted children.

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Christian Miller ’92 returned to campus in March to speak to students in the Mathematics Undergraduate Colloquium Series. Miller, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at SUNY Potsdam, is senior director of corporate pharmacy services for Health Now New York, Inc., parent company of Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York. His topic was “Time to graduate … now what?” Also attending the lecture were Dr. Vasily Cateforis, emeritus chair of the Department of Mathematics; Dr. Joel Foisy, current chair; and Dr. Blair Madore, member of the mathematics faculty and coordinator of the colloquium series. Shawn “Fusion” Benjamin ’93 is the senior housing coordinator at Virginia State University. He and his wife, Katrina, currently reside in Richmond, VA. Ilissa Mandelik Miller ’93 has joined tel (x), a U.S. based core interconnection facility provider for the global telecommunications industry. She has worked in the telecom sector for more than 10 years for a variety of companies in both the Unites States and U.K. Jan Fredrickson Thome ’93 continues to teach high school Spanish and French and has been featured in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers four times. For the past 11 years, she has worked as the daycamp director for the Girl Scouts of Niagara County. She is also an instructor at a Bally’s Total Fitness in Clarence, NY, where she currently resides. Beth McGann Winter ’93 just received her M.A. in Public School Administration from Castleton State College. She currently teaches general and instrumental music at the Poult24


ney Elementary School in Poultney, VT. Mark Hayman ’94 recently became an associate in the Patent Counseling and Prosecution practice group for the Cooley, Godward and Kronish, LLP firm. He has earned both his Ph.D. and J.D. and resides in Washington, D.C. Cassie Dionne Meyers ’94 teaches 4th grade inclusion classes and was recently awarded the National Board of Professional Teaching Certification. She has also founded a local chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, a non-profit organization that promotes and helps gifted and disabled children succeed in school. She currently resides in Palm Coast, FL. In its top ten listing for 2006, Time Magazine’s fifth-ranked Web site is the creation of Mykel Ruvola ’94. His Web site, www., is an online music-sharing service that allows people to compile playlists from a library of over two million songs and its free. The site has 40,000 registered users and continues to grow. Ruvola worked for Napster briefly before moving to NextRadio, a company out of Boston that supplies digital music products and services to BellSouth and others. Ruvola and his wife, Ann Brown ’93 currently live in the Boston, MA, area. Kristin Bourdage Reninger ’93 received her Ph.D. in education and linguistics on June 10, 2007 at Ohio State University. She is currently teaching at Otterbein College in Westerville, OH. She previously worked at Lewiston-Porter High School in Niagara County, where she taught and mentored students in GED and English as a Second Language programs. She resides in Columbus with her husband, Donald.

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Wegner makes Carnegie Hall Debut Melissa Wegner ’03 made her Carnegie Hall debut on April 15, 2007, in the Weill Recital Hall as part of the Composer & the Voice series. She was one of eight students in the inaugural class of the Vocal Arts Program at Bard College. After graduating from Potsdam, she received a Master of Music degree in vocal performance at The Manhattan School of Music where she co-founded American Music Productions, an ensemble dedicated to promoting, preserving and creating American music. She studies voice with Patricia Misslin and was selected to participate in Songfest, an internationally recognized summer vocal program in Santa Barbara, CA.

Eric S. Burke ’95 has recently been named middle and high school principal for the Lisbon Central School District. He is also a former director of the St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club. Tierney Jayne McKee ’95 is an English and Language Arts teacher for the Sodus Central School District in Sodus, NY. She lives in Newark, NY with her husband, Andrew, and their newborn, Colin Joseph. Aaron Fuller ’97 is the president of Fuller Insurance Agency and oversees offices in Carthage, Canton and Malone, NY. He recently finished his service as the Exalted Ruler of Carthage B.P.O. #1762 and is currently a member of the Carthage Area Hospital Board of Directors. David J. Benstock ’98 is the sales manager at Lighthouse Ford in Copiague, NY, and his wife, Monica F. (Erb) Benstock ’99, is the 9th grade band director in Half Hollow Hills, NY. Matthew Fossa ’98 gave the world premiere of his original oboe concerto in September at the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the Gulf Coast Chorale and the University of West Florida Chamber Orchestra have performed his other works.

Mindy Carlin Cervoni ’99 is currently the vice president of the Administration for Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled in Buffalo, NY. She and her husband, Jonathan, and their son, Noah, reside in Hamburg, NY.

2000s Amanda Haney ’00 spent two years working as a VISTA with the Washington Reading Corps and recently graduated in December 2006 with a Master of Public Administration degree from Seattle University. She is now a public management intern/budget examiner for New York State. Kelly E. Mailler ’02 graduated in May 2007 from Springfield College with her Master of Social Work Advance Generalist degree. Emily Manor Robideau ’02 is the current vocal music director at Salmon River Central School in Fort Covington, NY. Jennifer Walker Chudacik ’03 is the director of the choral department for the Johnson City School District in Johnson City, NY. George Father ’03 joined the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty in August 2005 and is currently stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA. In April 2007, he was the featured bass

trombone soloist with the group on a New York tour. Elsa Schmidt ’03 was recently admitted to the New York State Bar Association and is working for the Stephens & Stephens, LLP firm in Buffalo, NY. While earning her J.D. at the University at Buffalo Law School, she was awarded Best Oralist in the preliminary rounds of the National Environmental Moot Court Competition at Pace University. Jill DiPaola ’05 currently works as an elementary general music teacher for Massapequa Union Free School District. John Czarnecki ’06 is the sports information director and publicist for SUNY Athletic Conference and works out of SUNY Fredonia. Meaghan Lynn Manor ’07, graduated in May from SUNY Potsdam with a B.A. in communications and thus joins her sister, Emily Manor Robideau ’02, and their father, Jerome “Jerry” Manor ’78, in the SUNY Potsdam Alumni family. She performed for Community Performance Series over the summer and began pursuing a career in communications in the fall.

Class Notes for Spring ’08 issue are due January 2, 2008



Potsdam People

Memoriam Anna Ryan ’30, June 16, 2006.

Elizabeth Myers Lewis ’78, 2006. Wendy Schmidt-Chapp ’87, Jan. 2, 2007.

Evelyn Holt Seeber ’30, Dec. 13, 2006. Ahleen Dexter Darling ’34, Nov. 3, 2006. Frances Goodison Collins ’39, 2006.

J. Daniel “Danny” O’Dea ’91, April 8, 2007.

Ernest A. Tebo ’40, May 2, 2007. Betty Farmer Weaver ’40, April 21, 2007.

Potsdam People

George Harris ’49, Feb. 11, 2007.

Mark Gugino ’84 married Leah Glogowski on September 23, 2006. Also in attendance were Mark Davey ’84 (best man), Tracy Kelly Davey ’88, Edward Gorton ’83 (usher) and Maryanne Teranna.

George Vosburgh ’49, September 2006. Joseph T. Smith ’51, Jan. 16, 2007. Evelyn Scheitl Rieker ’52, November 2006. Lawrence D. Hiter ’53, March 26, 2007. Genevieve Baxter ’57, April 7, 2007. Palma Iasiello Stanton ’58, Nov. 18, 2006. Linda Olsen Van Heuvelen ’58, January 2007. Joan Sandberg ’59, Feb. 11, 2007.


Wendy D’Ambrosi ’88 married Douglas Hadley on July 15, 2006, in Rome, NY. The couple honeymooned in Maui, HI. Amy Jean Strunk ’89 was married to John McKeown on June 11, 2006. Shawn “Fusion” Benjamin ’93 married Katrina Brown on May 20, 2006. They spent their honeymoon in Aruba and now reside in Richmond, VA. Kristi Vivlamore ’94 married Mike Doyle in 2007.

Abram Linderberry ’99 married Karyn Perry on Sept. 30, 2007. They honeymooned in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The couple currently resides in Ithaca, NY.

Sarah Bodner ’04 married James Leahy on Aug. 12, 2006, in Saranac Lake, NY. The couple honeymooned at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. They now reside in Florida.

Christopher M. Marino ’00 married Megan St. Clair on April 8, 2006 in Plattsburgh, NY.

Katherine Paradis ’05 and Ryan Hayes ’05 were married on Sept. 30, 2006 and now reside in Waddington, NY.

Lisa Beale ’01 and Jason Buckley were married on July 30, 2005. The couple resides in Glens Falls, NY. Thaddeus Hotto ’01 married Amy Sladowski ’02 on July 29, 2006. The couple honeymooned in Jamaica and now resides in New Milford, NJ. Sarah E. Kelleher ’02 and Kyle W. Middlemiss ’02 were married on June 25, 2005. The couple lives in Frederick, MD. Andrew R. Ewing ’03 and his wife, Nicole, were married in July 2006.

Potsdam People

Matthew VanDervoort ’03 and his wife, Emily, were married in April 2006. Attending the ceremony were numerous SUNY Potsdam alumni including several members of the Delta Kappa Theta fraternity.

Mark Curtis ’79 and his partner, John Maring, celebrated their 25th anniversary in October 2006. Debra Widman Daly ’92 and her husband, Lawrence, celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary on Aug. 27, 2007. Potsdam People


Anton Schwarzmueller ’85 and his wife, Arlene, celebrated the birth of their 13th child in 2006.

Helen Rogers Davis ’63, April 27, 2006. Ronnie Frech Trinkle ’63, Aug. 26, 2006.

Patrick McGuire ’75, March 19, 2007.

Stephanie Meilak ’05 married Corey Mansfield on Oct. 22, 2006. The couple currently resides in Hauppauqe, NY.


Sandy Feldstein ’62, Aug. 30, 2007.

Susan M. Fitzgerald Geddes ’73, March 27, 2007.

Michele Kingdeski ’88 celebrated the birth of her first child, Ryan Michael, on April 10, 2007.

Jill DiPaola ’06 and John Czarnecki ’06 were married on Aug. 12, 2007 on Long Island, NY.

Jennifer Spinner ’03 and George Father ’03 were married on Oct. 22, 2005 in Colonie, NY. Several Crane alumni were in attendance.

Heather Reisdorf ’98 married Philip Hans on Dec. 2, 2006. The couple honeymooned on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.

Jennifer Walker ’03 married Martin Chudacik on July 8, 2006. The couple enjoyed their honeymoon in Las Vegas, NV and Maui Hawaii. They currently live in Johnson City, NY.

Michelle Ruffos Hall ’88 and her husband, Alan, welcomed the birth of their daughter, Anne Catherine, on Dec. 31, 2005.

Traci Bisaillon Flaherty ’88 and her husband, Steve, celebrated the birth of a son, Aidan James, on March 31, 2006.

Becky J. Keenan Egnew ’91 gave birth to Kelcie Anne on Sept. 27, 2006. She was welcomed home by her big brother, Sean Patrick. Susan Caruso Sciorilli ’91 and her husband welcomed the arrival of Lucas Joseph on May 27, 2003 and Noah Thomas on Nov. 30, 2006. Michelle Miller Shoen ’91 and her husband, Duane, celebrated the birth of their fourth daughter, Sydney Ann, on March 24, 2007. Lisa Zaniewski Fendsack ’92 and her husband, William, celebrated the birth twins, Michael and Trinity, on May 3, 2006. Heather MacDonald Schwartz ’92 and her husband, Phillip, welcomed their son, Nolan, on April 23, 2007. Steven Shattuck ’92 and his wife, Vickie, celebrated the birth of a daughter, Amelia Margaret, on Feb. 2, 2007. Amelia was welcomed home by her big brother, Brayden Lee. Michelle Farkas Smith ’92 and her husband, James, celebrated the birth of their second child, Meredith, on Nov. 3, 2006. She was welcomed home by her big brother, Ethan.

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Kevin J. Reed ’93 and his wife, Tina, celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Katelyn Alexis, on Nov. 9, 2006. She was welcomed home by an older sister, Megan Elizabeth.


Debra Trickey ’93 adopted Takoda James and John Dante on Sept. 26, 2006.

of your

Jonathan ’99, celebrated the birth of their first son, Noah Matthew, on Aug. 15, 2006. Erin Peters Lockwood ’99 and her husband, Jason, celebrated the birth of a son, Brandon Dominick, on Nov. 24, 2006. Nena Vedder Thompson ’99 and her husband, Lenn, welcomed the arrival of their first child, Jackson William, on Jan. 31, 2007.


Elizabeth Shulman ’48 & daughter Vanessa Shulman Schaefer Photo taken on her recent summer trip to Prague The Potsdam College Foundation recently received a gift from Elizabeth Shulman directly from her IRA. As a result, the Elizabeth Panzner Shulman ’48 Award was established.

“I have such happy memories of my days at Potsdam. It opened many doors of opportunity for me and is ever-present in my life. I loved the idea that, not only did I not have to pay taxes on my gift, neither did Potsdam. I’m so pleased to have established a named award to celebrate deserving Crane students.” Benefits of using your IRA

Heather Holliday Romanski ’94 and her husband, Paul, celebrated the birth of a daughter, Brooke Tetlow, on Sept. 3, 2006. Elizabeth Adinolfi West ’95 and her husband, Mark, celebrated the birth of their first son, John Vittorio, on March 28, 2006. Kirstin Shave Vivacqua ’96 and her husband, Michael, celebrated the birth of their second child, Vincent Joseph, on June 12, 2006.

•The transfer counts toward your minimum required distribution as long as you have not received your 2007 distribution.

Maria Paestella Cyr ’01 and her husband, Ryan, welcomed the birth of their first child, Brayden Michael, on March 9, 2006.

•The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you will receive the benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions. •You can witness the difference your philanthropic dollars make to Potsdam. • Must be 70 1/2 years or older • Transfer must be made by 12/31/07 • For more information call 315-267-2123 or visit us at advance/giftplan

Colleen Hayes Carter ’97 and her husband, Ron, celebrated the birth of their second son, Brandon Alan, on July 21, 2006. He was welcomed home by his big brother, Alexander.

Visit the Alumni Association Website There are many ways you can get involved with the SUNY Potdam Alumni Association, from attending an alumni chapter to mentoring a current student. Visit our Web site and learn more today.



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Nancy Kelso O’Hearn ’00 and her husband, Wade ’00,welcomed their first child, John Jack, on May 16, 2006.

David J. Benstock ’98 and Monica F. (Erb) Benstock ’99 welcomed their first baby in July 2007. Mindy Carlin Cervoni ’99 and her husband,

Michelle Frank Szmarz ’01 and her husband, Rob Szmarz ’00, celebrated the birth of their first child, McKenna Lyn, on Feb. 1, 2007.

Stephanie Meilak Mansfield ’05 and her husband, Corey, celebrated the birth of a daughter, Emma Grace, on May 28, 2006.

IN their

own words

Remembering the Ice Carnival Queens of Yore As told by photographer Laird Chaffee, Class of 1967 The woman in the photo is Andrea (Rubach) Copley ’67. She and I were Crane freshmen together way back in the last century in ’63. She was the first independent Ice Carnival Queen candidate. The theme was Grecian Grandeur and out of a hat she pulled Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. The car belonged to Bob Holiday, then a local lawyer, and the bow and arrow we borrowed from John Maxcy himself. She won much to the chagrin of the sorority candidates. I had a fire in 1980 when the original Isle of You burned thanks to the Potsdam arsonist, and I didn’t salvage a lot but I did salvage the negatives from that job. It is both of personal and historical, or at least of collegiately historical significance. So that’s the story and I’m sticking to it. Chaffee is busy these days welcoming twin granddaughters to the family.

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More than 630 alumni and friends returned to Potsdam in July to celebrate Reunion Weekend, breaking attendance records. Guests enjoyed a host of seminars, receptions, outdoor activities, barbecues, dedications and more.

2007 Reunion Class Giving Report Thank you to all Reunion donors for supporting your alma mater. Every gift has a direct impact on students and makes a difference at SUNY Potsdam.

Giving Total $1,382,244 $90,212

Ronald Farra Elizabeth “Liz” Jackson-Renner Evelyn “Evie” (Batchelor) Mercer

1962 1967

$11,319 $62,602















Gary Jaquay

Tim Lindemuth “Gay” Musumeci Russ Sweezey Mike Lahendro Bill Sohl

Tim Christensen Brian McDowell

Victoria “Vicki” (Vissar) Day Marty Venton Molly Clough Justin Sipher

Matt Fuller Kristin (Maginn) Jordan Lori Middendorf Adam Myatt Morgan (Goot) Myatt

2007 Reunion Giving

Reunion Weekend


Class Chair(s) 50-year club 1957

“It really was a blast hearing $1,688,999

from those I remember and who remember me! As a committee member, I was able to assist the College by encouraging classmates to consider a gift.” -Ron Farra ’57



FA L L 2 0 0 7

calendar of


Visit our online calendar anytime for a current list of events in your area.

October 26

Rochester, NY Alumni Reception at AMTNYS Annual Fall Conference Math teachers attending this conference can enjoy this special gathering for Potsdam alumni, faculty and students.

October 27

Boston, NY Boston Chapter Alumni Event Catch up with fellow Potsdam alumni and friends in the greater Boston area at the Bell in Hand Tavern!

November 17

Potsdam, NY Alumni Association Board of Trustees Fall Meeting Potsdam College Foundation Board Fall Meeting

November 30

Rochester, NY Alumni Reception at NYSSMA Winter Conference Music alumni attending this conference will want to add this annual reception to their itinerary.

December 2

Potsdam, NY Annual Candlelight Concert, Crane School of Music For many, this special concert serves as the unofficial start of the holiday season in Potsdam! Watch your local programming for broadcasts of past Crane Candlelight Concerts.

January 25

Potsdam, NY Bear Pride Day, Maxcy Hall Alumni, students, faculty and community members come together to show their Potsdam spirit in this all-day campus event.

Watch for other alumni gatherings this spring including alumni chapter events in Florida, Washington, D.C., Albany and New York City!

Mark Your Calendar for Reunion Weekend 2008: July 10-13 Plans for next summer’s Reunion are well underway and it promises to be another weekend you won’t want to miss. Committees are already working to plan events, contact classmates and ensure a Reunion filled with memories. Watch for your spring 2008 issue of Potsdam People with complete schedule and registration materials. And as always, visit the Reunion Web site for housing information, class gift updates, special event listings and more! w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e 2 9 w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e 2 9

w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u / f u n d f o r p o t s d a m

In the Words of Potsdam Students: Why We Call You

“Giving to SUNY Potsdam is important because it affects everyone, not just one student or one department, but everyone.” - Katie McClusky ’08

“I work for the Phonathon because I have a lot of fun talking to former students to see what possibilities are out there after Potsdam.” - Josh Balles ’07

“I work for Phonathon because it gives me a chance to give back to the College while making the money I need to support myself.” -Delia Wohlleben ’09

Here’s why the College asks for and needs your support: The College continues to attract quality students who have financial need. Last year, approximately 450 students were unable to meet their full financial need. Maybe you remember being a student with financial need, or maybe you were friends with or sat next to a fellow student who wasn’t sure if she would be able to come back to college next year because of funding. You can change that for today’s students with a gift to The Fund for Potsdam. Through you, SUNY Potsdam can enable worthy students to chart promising courses for themselves. We hope you’ll support the College this year and make your mark for someone who aspires to become a Potsdam alum.

44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

Fall 2007 Potsdam People  

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

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