Issuu on Google+

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

Fall 2008 Vol.3 | No.1



Andrea Malik ’84 Qigong (pronounced Chee Gung) is the practice of gathering qi, or energy, from the environment. “Ideally Qigong should be done outside, if the weather permits, because we gather our qi from the environment, and it helps us connect with nature,” Andrea Malik ’84 explained. Where better to practice Qigong than the beautiful outdoors of Potsdam? Malik has practiced Tae Kwon Do for more than 25 years and Qigong for 18 years. When the Tae Kwon Do training became a burden on her body, she started practicing Qigong as a way to balance her internal and external energy. Through breathing exercises, maintaining proper posture and slow arm movements, Malik gathers energy from the environment. She teaches Qigong classes out of her home and as non-credit course on campus each semester.



Tony Brennan ’75

Replicating shark skin presents innovative new options.

Cassandra “Cassie” Davino Remembering a powerful student, a powerful spirit.

Mark Slater ’79 Creative collaboration forms a tribute to a friend.

Karen Johnson-Weiner SUNY Potsdam faculty member serves as a national expert on the Amish.

Departments News & Notes 3 Class Notes 20 In Their Own Words 27 Alumni 28 Calendar of Events 29 On the cover:


CARNIVAL! It takes all kinds to make our campus special. Artists, musicians, educators, actors all comprise the multiple personalities of SUNY Potsdam. Thanks to all of our students who helped with this festive shoot: Rebecca Adams, Jill Bruyere, Michael Castillo, Ashley Christensen, Alison Fasolino, Vaughn Thompson, Jonathan Wendt, David Zwierankin (clowns); Damon Brown (basketball player); Natasha Jaffe (cellist); Blair Collins (artist); Shahani Singh (camera); Taryn Morlock, Rena DeShane, Mallory Hamilton, and Victoria Colasacco (cheerleaders)

The Multiple Personalities of Potsdam The many facets of place


Miguel García de Cortazar is a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Theatre and Dance for the 2008 fall semester. He is directing “The Circus Show” with SUNY Potsdam students that will tour to regional schools this fall. He teaches the clowning arts at the University of the Basque Country and Mondragon University in Spain. As an actor and clown, he works throughout Spain and travels extensively throughout Europe and Mexico performing his internationally acclaimed solo show “El Circo Pobre.”

Test Your Knowledge

Look for our Potsdam Puzzlers throughout the magazine - answers are on pg. 26 w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


Letter From

the president

FA l l 2008


lace is an inextricable part of who we are. After having lived in a particular location, each of us carries a bit of that place within us. The sights, smells, temperature, quality of light and air and the vistas and scenes all become part of our lifetime of experiences and inform us as we continue through our life journey. Anyone who has lived here in Potsdam knows that our location can be both a reward and a challenge. The journey to Potsdam also offers challenges. For many students, alumni and families, it constitutes an entire day’s drive. Nevertheless, the rewards far outstrip the travail. The trails, waterways and mountaintops are our best classrooms. Juxtapose these with concert halls featuring world-renowned talent in our faculty and students, and the effect of the Potsdam educational experience is unrivaled.. Our physical location serves as both the stage and the backdrop for the transformation of our students during their time here. The facilities of the campus also serve as the chrysalis in which students are formed. And the warmth extended by this campus community offers our students all they need to develop their full potential. The presence of Steinway pianos in all practice rooms and performance venues has a transformational effect on our Crane students. New facilities like Becky’s Place at Pratt Commons, brought about through a generous gift, provide a space where students can nourish both their bodies and their spirits, sampling the best of locally grown food while interacting with their professors and peers. Over the next five years, we will spend $14 million annually to improve the facilities on campus, conducting much-needed maintenance on our buildings. Immediately, we will begin the design process of our new $55 million performing arts building. This facility will be unmatched in Northern New York and will enrich lives, not only in our campus community, but throughout the entire North Country region. Beyond all this, the generosity of our alumni continues to make the most significant difference in the lives of our students. Through upgrades in our classrooms and other campus spaces, enhancement of the technology on campus, provision of scholarships, support for the arts and funding undergraduate research opportunity, Potsdam alumni are providing tremendous benefits to our students that are simply not heard of at other colleges. In this issue of Potsdam People, we explore some of the facets of that place called Potsdam, along with the fascinating and unique people who are an integral part of this fabulous community, whether they live here or carry this place within them.

Vol. 3 | No. 1

Potsdam P e opl e Staf f an d Co ntr i b uto rs Ed ito r Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing and Communications Sherry (Allen) Paradis ’00, Director of Alumni Relations Wr ite r /Ed ito r Deidre Kelly, Media Relations Manager Elizabeth Tuttle, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator We b M anag e r Mindy Collins, Director of Web Communications Contr i buto r s Christa Carroll, Director of The Fund for Potsdam Nancy Griffin ’08 (hon.), 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 D e si g n & A rt D i r ectio n

Any given student might be hard pressed to measure the influence that Potsdam will exert on his or her life. Those of us with a greater temporal distance, whether faculty, staff, administrator or alumnus, know that the impact is both rewarding and challenging. It is rewarding in that its benefits carry through with us all of our lives; challenging because in some way we always aspire to return to our home, Potsdam.



F A LL 2 0 0 8

Jessica Rood, Director of Publications P H OTOGR A P HY Principal Photography: Kathryn Deuel


news & notes New Initiatives

BearTracker Features 2,100 Opportunities Since its implementation approximately a year ago, SUNY Potsdam’s BearTracker, a Web-based system that allows students and employers to post information about themselves in hopes of finding solid matches, has more than 2,100 opportunities available for students.

SUNY Potsdam was recently awarded $55 million in the 2008-2009 State University of New York Strategic Initiative Capital Project Budget to design and construct a visionary Performing Arts facility. New Initiatives

SUNY Potsdam to Create New $55M Performing Arts Building The 2008-2009 State University of New York Strategic Initiative Capital Project Budget included $55 million for SUNY Potsdam to design and construct a visionary Performing Arts building on campus that will create a state-of-the-art facility for the campus’s thriving arts programs and attract international talent to the region. This will be the first new academic building constructed at SUNY Potsdam in more than 30 years and will be truly transformational for the College’s programs and facilities. The funding and the resulting building will provide for the growth and enhancement of

educational opportunities in many areas. Preliminary plans for the building call for it to include a 500-seat theater, support facilities, teaching studios, offices, rehearsal spaces, performance education laboratories, and performance technology laboratories, as well as reception and gathering spaces. “In addition to our campus needs, this facility will help address the critical shortage of performance spaces in the North Country, as well as provide a world-class venue for visiting artists,” said Dr. John F. Schwaller, SUNY Potsdam president. “We appreciate the efforts of New York State Senator Joseph Griffo and former Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine in making this a reality for us.”

College News

Education Programs Renew Prestigious NCATE Accreditation SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education and Professional Studies has earned reaccreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is the nation’s most rigorous accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of

education, authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. NCATE distinguishes Potsdam’s programs by acknowledging operations at the highest level of quality and integrity in instruction, assessment and diversity, among

other criteria. In addition, 16 of SUNY Potsdam’s undergraduate and graduate education programs have received national recognition by their respective specialized professional organizations.

BearTracker combines the efforts of SUNY Potsdam’s Offices of Experiential Education, Career Planning and Alumni Relations to provide a platform for student and employer registration, résumé referrals, placement tracking, job posting and management, interview scheduling and alumni mentoring. A worthy volunteer opportunity, an exciting internship or the perfect job is just a click away for the more than 800 students, alumni and mentors who have already registered to use BearTracker. More than 1,300 employers with an impressive 2,100 opportunities are available to students to browse. Career Planning’s Résumé Referral Service offered on BearTracker places the résumé of SUNY Potsdam seniors, graduate students and alumni into the hands of employers who have full-time vacancies. It is available to the individual for nine months. To continue participating beyond that time, members simply submit an updated résumé to BearTracker again. Students and alumni may post their information through the Office of Experiential Education and Career Planning by contacting Donnita Firnstein at (315) 267-2474 or firnstdl@ to schedule a training appointment. Alumni may sign up to be mentors or conduct their own job search by visiting alumni.

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


news & notes





New Initiatives

College News

Potsdam Receives $97K for Math & Science Education Center

Study Abroad Numbers More Than Double

SUNY Potsdam was awarded $97,000 in the Omnibus Consolidation Appropriations Act to create a Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the College that will develop model programs to prepare more and better teachers in mathematics and the sciences at the primary and secondary levels. The center will provide workshops and courses to practicing teachers and disseminate pedagogical and curricular material through written and electronic publications and professional state and national conferences. “It is groundbreaking integration of liberal arts education and pedagogical instruction. In its institution-wide commitment to the highest-quality teaching in all disciplines, SUNY Potsdam is ideally situated to take the lead in rethinking and revitalizing the pre-college teaching of science and mathematics,” said Dr. William Amoriell, dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Potsdam. The Center for Mathematics and Science Education is expected to start serving local students and teachers in 2010. The support of Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and Congressman John McHugh were instrumental in Potsdam being awarded this funding.

SUNY Potsdam’s study abroad program increased more than 250 percent in the 2007-2008 academic year, as 136 students traveled around the globe to expand their educational experiences. An increase in the number of shorter-term faculty-led trips has made studying abroad more feasible and affordable for many students, according to Krista LaVack, associate director of international education. Faculty members have taken students to China, Italy, Mexico, Tunisia,Vietnam and Greece in the last year alone. Student teaching took place in Tunisia and Australia, and a servicelearning experience was completed in Africa. Semesterlong experiences took place in France, Germany, Mexico, Sweden and England. Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School teacher Robert Gould ’98, who holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a Master of Science in Teaching degree, studied abroad in Spain in 1997. “Without that trip to Spain, I would simply not be the man I am today,” Gould said. “I teach history and still travel throughout Europe as much as possible. I have taken kids abroad on tours, and tried to open their minds. Traveling abroad has impacted me so much that it has given me an inner strength, or maybe the ability to find inner strength, and conviction that I never knew I had.” DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Potsdam People Excellence Recognized “Potsdam People” recently took home a merit award from the prestigious “Admissions Marketing Report” Admissions Advertising Awards. SUNY Potsdam earned a merit ranking in the External Publication Category for schools with 2,000 to 4,999 students. 4 4

P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8 P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

Awards were given to those entrants whose programs and materials display exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness. The annual Admissions Advertising Awards program is the oldest and largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. More than 2,000 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools. Entries were received from institutions in all 50 states and several foreign countries. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Munro Receives Honorary Degree at Commencement Retired Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, Inc. J. Richard Munro received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at SUNY Potsdam’s Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony in recognition of his remarkable career as a businessman and innovator and his work to support and encourage those less fortunate. During his 34 successful years as a businessman, Munro helped launch the television empire that would become the legendary Time Warner, Inc. Mr. Munro joined Time, Inc. in 1957, rising from magazine circulation clerk to publisher of “Sports Illustrated.” He later went on to head the video division at Time and helped build HBO into a cable TV powerhouse. Munro became the Time, Inc. and then Time Warner, Inc. chairman and CEO, serving from 1980 to 1991, and remained director until 1997. He was involved in all aspects of the company including Time, Sports Illustrated, TimeLife Books, Cable TV, HBO, Warner Bros. and CNN. Munro resides in the Thousand Islands region of New York during the summers and enjoys lending his support to the region.


news & notes


Washburn Fund Endowed for Student Travel Abroad Dr. Robert ’49 and Beverly (Darnell) ’63 Washburn, along with SUNY Potsdam alumni, faculty and friends have endowed The Robert Washburn Fund in honor of Dr. Washburn, dean and faculty emeritus of The Crane School of Music. The first award will be presented to a student during the 2008-2009 academic year. The fund will support Crane students who desire to travel abroad for an international experience in music. The Washburns have spent their lives traveling the world and understand firsthand the rewards of their experiences. New Initiatives

SUNY Potsdam to Be Biofuel Study Site SUNY Potsdam has partnered with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to take part in a biofuel study.Various types of willow shrubs will be planted on approximately an acre of land near the College on outer Main Street to determine which variety grows the best in the Potsdam area. “Willow is a crop that naturally grows well in the North Country,” said Dr. Robert G. Ewy, assistant professor of biology and head of the biofuel project site at SUNY Potsdam. “No one has studied the feasibility of growing willows for biofuels here in the North Country. It will be interesting to see if we can find a willow variety that will provide economic benefits to the region.” SUNY Potsdam students will help prepare the field, plant and care for the shrubs and help harvest them. While the crop is growing, students will have the opportunity to study the willows and gain practical field experience. They will study biofuels and crop management,

SUNY Potsdam Professor of Art Marc Leuthold works with students in ceramics. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Art Department Awarded $88K Grant 
 SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Art will purchase new equipment thanks to the recent grant of more than $88,000 from an anonymous foundation. Marc Leuthold, associate professor and head of the ceramics program at SUNY Potsdam, applied for the grant and is the project coordinator of this equipment enhancement initiative. A Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree was recently added and existing programs in Art Education and Studio Arts have been expanded. Enroll-

measure growth, inspect insect damage and examine genetic differences between shrub types.


Four SUNY Potsdam Faculty Win Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence Four SUNY Potsdam faculty members were recently honored by State University of New York Interim Chancellor Dr. John B. Clark with the prestigious 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Sergei Abramovich was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

ments in the department have doubled in recent years, making it one of the fastest-growing departments at the College. The most expensive item earmarked for replacement will be a gas kiln for the ceramics studio. This piece will enable students to fire their stoneware work with improved results in a state-of-the-art kiln. Other items budgeted for replacement were a table saw, 25 easels, sculpture equipment, electric kilns and wheels. In addition, digital printers and projectors will be purchased.

Professor of Art Dr. Caroline Downing was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Instructional Support Specialist of The Crane School of Music Gary Galo ’73 was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Professor of Art Mark Huff was given the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. These Potsdam faculty are recognized by SUNY for their commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction and serving the public good.


Two Appointed to College Council Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee June F. O’Neill and Massena Town Councilman and General Manager of Penski, Inc. John M. Wicke have been appointed by the governor to serve on SUNY Potsdam’s College Council. O’Neill, former chair of the College Council, replaced Curran Wade, who served on the council for eight years. Wicke replaced Cornelius Mahoney, who served on the council for nine years.

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



news & notes


Show Your Spirit at Bear Pride Night

Planning your future? About to retire? Preparing to visit your attorney or financial advisor? Our web site can help: giftplan

Calling all Maxcy Maniacs: this year’s Bear Pride Night on February 6 will feature a tripleheader, starring SUNY Potsdam’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams and the Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Students, faculty, alumni and community members are invited to cheer on the Bears and take part in a number of fun activities. Fans are encouraged to wear Potsdam attire from head to toe.


Kirchgasser Fossil Collection Donated to Potsdam The extensive collection of fossils from around the world that Dr. William Kirchgasser, SUNY Potsdam professor emeritus of geology, garnered throughout his 40-year teaching career have been donated to the College. The W.T. Kirchgasser Fossils Collection, consisting of several hundred invertebrate fossils, was officially added to the teaching collection of the Department of Geology during Reunion Weekend. Parts of the collection will be displayed, on a rotating basis, in the Geology Hallway Museum in Timerman Hall. Most of the fossils were collected on fieldtrips at conferences of the International Subcommission on Devonian 6

P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

Admission is free for all alumni and their families who visit the alumni “Will Call” booth located near the Maxcy Hall ticket window. Admission also is free for all area high school students who wear their school colors and SUNY Potsdam students with an ID.

As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

For more information about Bear Pride Night, contact Bill Mitchell at (315) 267-2307 or

Stratigraphy (SDS), international groups of conodont workers and the annual fieldtrips of the New York State Geological Association. The collection localities include areas in the United States, Canada, England, several countries in Europe, Morocco, Russia, China and Australia.

for students interested in earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio.

Dr. Kirchgasser joined the faculty at Potsdam in 1969, serving as chair of the Department of Geology from 1985-2000. He retired from teaching in 2004.

Students who complete their Associate of Arts degree in Humanities and Social Science can now seamlessly transfer into SUNY Potsdam’s acclaimed art studio major. A template has been developed to illustrate how students have the opportunity to graduate in four years of full-time enrollment, with the first two years at CCC followed by two at Potsdam.

New Initiatives

New Initiatives

Potsdam Signs Art Agreement with Clinton Community College

Several Computer Science Agreements Penned

SUNY Potsdam will now offer a “two plus two” program with Clinton Community College

SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller has signed articulation agreements with Adirondack, Hudson Valley, Mo-

hawk Valley and Schenectady Community Colleges to allow students at those two-year institutions to transfer seamlessly into SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Computer Science. SPORTS

33 Athletes Recognized for Academics State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) recognized 33 Potsdam athletes for their academic achievements. To qualify for the Commissioner’s List, a varsity athlete must have completed the entire season while maintaining a 3.3 GPA for three semesters. To qualify for the All-Academic Team, the varsity athlete must have completed the entire season while maintaining at least a 3.3 GPA for the fall semester.


news & notes


Student Research Begins at the Lost Settlement of Iosepa, Utah SUNY Potsdam anthropology and archaeology students spent their summer in Utah under the direction of Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Benjamin C. Pykles to unearth portions of the lost town of Iosepa, where a group of Mormon Polynesians settled after leaving Hawaii in 1889 only to abandon it 28 years later. Dr. Pykles said the project will help scientists understand more about how the settlers lived, how they were able to adapt and survive in a totally new environment and the social and cultural isolation of the valley. “We want to know how they constructed their social identity,” he said. Potsdam’s archaeological studies program is one of the only undergraduate programs in the country giving students rare hands-on archaeological experience and training. Dr. Pykles and 12 students staked out the entire town in July. Students excavated, assisted with archival duties, performed surveys and worked with ground-penetrating radar. Research

Nova Scotia Next Stop for Undergrad Research Dr. Michael Rygel, an assistant professor of geology at SUNY Potsdam, was awarded $50,000 by the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund for his proposal “Alluvial Architecture of the Springhill Mines and Ragged Reef Formations: Fluvial Reservoir Characteristics Linked to Paleogeomorphology.” The funding is being used to cover field expenses and summer stipends for undergraduate geology majors to serve as research assistants through summer 2010.

Dr. Rygel and the undergraduate researchers will spend about one month per summer measuring and describing a 1,000-meter thick package of sedimentary rocks exposed along the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada. These coastal exposures provide excellent analogs for subsurface oil reservoirs and represent one of the world’s best exposures of Carboniferous-aged rocks. The rocks were deposited in the Pennsylvanian Period about 315 million years ago and are considered to be the best exposures of coal-bearing, Pennsylvanianaged rocks anywhere in the world. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Russells Endow Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award To encourage excellence in SUNY Potsdam’s distance education program, Thomas L. ’57 and Jane D. Russell of Raleigh, NC, have endowed an award to recognize exemplary faculty with a financial incentive to improve their distance education courses and make their courses available to as many students as possible. The Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award was established in April. Faculty members who teach at least one distance education course in the award year are eligible to apply for the award, which will initially be $1,000. The first award will be made in 2009.

The College’s second $1 million gift will be used in areas that are considered “high impact” and lead to greater student engagement and learning, such as the anthropological research senior Anthony Welch of Potsdam is doing here on human skulls.


$1M Gift to Augment Student Life & Undergraduate Research Potsdam students will now have even more research opportunities and student life activities as a result of the College’s second $1 million gift. After months of careful planning and consultation, SUNY Potsdam has determined the gift will be used to augment both student life and undergraduate student research opportunities. The gift, made in memory of Rebecca R. “Becky” Pratt, a 1997 politics graduate of SUNY Potsdam who passed away in 2001, will be used in areas that are considered “high impact” and lead to greater student engagement and learning. The money will establish two funds, The Kilmer Fund and The Pratt Student Fund, which will increase opportunities for undergraduate student research and expand college-sponsored student activities. There will also be a $100,000 allocation to the College’s unrestricted fund, to allow SUNY Potsdam the flexibility to use part of the gift where the need is determined to be the greatest. The use of the gift was determined following several months of consultation among the anonymous donor, the Pratt family, College officials and student leaders. The funding is from the estate of Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer, who was the original science director for Johnson & Johnson from 1888 to 1933. The gift was made to SUNY Potsdam by a member of Dr. Kilmer’s family who wishes to remain anonymous.

Do you have your SUNY Potsdam VISA yet? Visit or call 1-800-853-5576 ext. 8723 to learn more about the SUNY Potsdam Visa card. Show yours off today!

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



news & notes


Student Spotlight

Student Takes Third in National Video Contest

Students Support the Troops with Bear Patrol

SUNY Potsdam biology major Matt Williams of New Hyde Park, NY, turned his interest in short films into a third place win in the national “I Heart Tap Water Student Video Contest” for his entry “Take Back the Tap.” His entry was one of more than 140 from around the country. Using a variety of media including claymation and animation, students creatively declared their love for tap water on film and pledged to rid their campuses of bottled water. The contest is a part of Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap college campaign that encourages students and entire campuses to cut existing contracts with bottled water corporations and promote the use of tap water. Williams’ video can be viewed online at about/whypotsdam/videos. College News

Career Planning Records to Be Purged The Office of Career Planning will be disposing of all files containing letters of recommendation from the following class years: 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. If you would like your file maintained at Career Planning for an additional five years, you must notify the office by calling (315) 267-2344, e-mailing or sending in a letter by Nov. 21, 2008. If the office is not notified of your wishes by the deadline, files will be shredded. Please note, your reference file is not connected to your transcript. The Registrar’s Office will continue to maintain transcripts. Any correspondence may be addressed to Career Planning, 106 Sisson Hall, SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY 13676.


P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

To recognize and support the sacrifice of the thousands of men and women who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, SUNY Potsdam students joined together to create a club called Bear Patrol: Students in Support of the Military. Bear Patrol strives to support the troops overseas by writing letters, sending packages and generating awareness of the sacrifice service-men and -women are making for the country. Former anthropology major Adam Williams ’06 of Norwood, NY, now a second lieutenant in the Army, along with current students, created the organization to encourage our troops in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The club is open to anyone – students and nonstudents.

POTSDAM PUZZLERS Q: Who was President of the United States when St. Lawrence Academy was founded in 1816? Q: When did the residence halls first become co-ed?

College News

International Student Population Breaks Record at SUNY Potsdam SUNY Potsdam’s international student population has reached more than 400 for the first time in the College’s history – nearly 9 percent of the campus – and the newly reorganized Office of International Education is anticipating further growth in the coming years. While the majority of these students are Canadian, Potsdam became a home-away-fromhome to students from an additional 23 countries such as Cameroon, Columbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya and Yemen during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Krista LaVack, associate director of international education, said most international students take part in hands-on research and present at prestigious conferences, which are opportunities they may not have at colleges in their home countries. “I am very interested in video and animation design, so I want to be a professional video designer,” said Han Wu of Jingzhou, China. “This kind of design in China is not as welldeveloped as that in the U.S., so I started to look for universities in the U.S. that could teach me about video design. After graduation, I will go back to China. With my video design skills and international study background, I think I will find a great job in China.”

New Service for SUNY Potsdam Alumni The Alumni Association is proud to announce the launch of an alumni program with Liberty Mutual. To learn more about alumni discounts on your auto, home or renters insurance, visit or call 1-800-524-9400

Dike, also a junior guard, was the Bears’ top rebounder with 190 boards for an average of 7.3 rebounds per game, which ranked him eighth among conference rebounders. Dike also tallied 325 points and was Potsdam’s second-highest scorer with an average of 12.5 points per game.

Saul Named 2008 SUNYAC Hockey Coach of the Year SUNY Potsdam’s Aaron Saul was named the 2008 SUNYAC Hockey Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 9-12-4 (6-7-3 SUNYAC) record, returning the team to the SUNYAC Championship Tournament. Saul’s hard work to improve the hockey program at Potsdam was evident as the Bears finished fourth in the league, up four spots from last season’s eighthplace finish. A former assistant coach at both Elmira College and SUNY Potsdam, Saul began his career as a head coach last spring when he was chosen for the Potsdam position. During Saul’s six seasons coaching at Elmira, the men made five trips to the ECAC West Playoffs and picked up two conference championships.

During the past season, Schaad was the leading scorer for both Potsdam and SUNYAC. She finished the year with 62 goals and nine assists for a total of 71 points. Additionally, Schaad collected 17 ground balls and 45 draw controls. Her 2008 efforts have again set new school records for both goals and points tallied in a single season. Schaad is now the Bears’ highest-scoring women’s lacrosse player ever with 139 career goals and 24 assists.

Bears Men’s LAX Earns SUNYAC Honors Five players from the SUNY Potsdam men’s lacrosse team were named to the 2008 AllSUNYAC teams. Leading the Bears was sophomore Dan MacRae of Oakville, Ont., who was named to the All-Conference First Team. MacRae, who made first team at the long stick middie spot, led the Bears with 47 groundballs during the past season. He was also a pre-season SUNYAC all-star selection and was Potsdam’s Co-Rookie of the Year in 2007. Junior Corey Reinhart of Albany and sophomores David Blackburn of Heuvelton, Ben McCullough of Brampton, Ont., and Brogin VanSkoik of North Syracuse were all selected to the All-Conference Second Team. The men’s lacrosse team ended the 2008 regular season 7-6 overall and 4-3 in the SUNYAC. The Bears finished tied for third in SUNYAC.

Cortney Poirier of Moira, a sophomore guard at SUNY Potsdam, was selected for the 2008 All-SUNYAC Women’s Basketball Second Team. Poirier led the Bears in scoring with 435 points for a season average of 16.7 points per game, which placed her fourth among SUNYAC scorers. Poirier, who also finished second in conference steals, led her team with 3.7 steals per game. She also topped the assist stats at SUNY Potsdam with 2.8 assists per game.


Brown, a junior guard, led the Bears in scoring with 381 points and a season average of 15.2 points per game, which placed him eighth among conference shooters. Brown also led Potsdam in assists with 2.6 assists per game and steals with 1.4 steals per game.

SUNY Potsdam junior Alisha Schaad of Central Square has made her third consecutive appearance on the All-SUNYAC Women’s Lacrosse Team. She was recently named to the 2008 All-Conference Second Team.

Poirier named to 2008 All-SUNYAC Women’s Basketball Second Team

LaRowe Competes at NCAAs SUNY Potsdam sophomore diver Nathan LaRowe of Latham, NY, finished 13th in the NCAA Division III 2008 Championship 3-Meter Diving Event. LaRowe received an All-American Honorable Mention for his achievements in the national competition. LaRowe, making his second NCAA appearance, tallied a total of 414.85 points as he competed at Miami University, where Wooster College hosted the national event. Previously named to the SUNYAC Men’s All-Conference Second Team, LaRowe also competed in the ’08 national 1-meter diving competition.

Treacy All-SUNYAC Honorable Mention SUNY Potsdam forward Connor Treacy of Markham, Ont., Canada, received SUNYAC 2008 All-Conference Hockey Team Honorable Mention. Treacy finished regular-season play, with 22 points to lead the Bears offensive stats. He was previously named the Rookie of the Week in November 2006.


Two SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball players were named to the 2008 All-SUNYAC Men’s Basketball Team. Damon Brown of Brooklyn and Alvin Dike of Bronx both received Honorable Mention.

Schaad Makes AllSUNYAC Three-Peat


Two Named to All-SUNYAC Men’s Hoops




news & notes



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


’75 Potsdam

To n y B re n n a n


“Nothing is easy,

and you cannot take the path of least

resistance when it comes to learning science.”


ow does someone go from weighing sand in an Analytical Chemistry class to one day possibly saving the ocean? It’s by combining the fundamentals of science with the value of life experience and adding in an inquiring mind. That would be the formula for Tony Brennan ’75. Brennan is a professor of material science and engineering at the University of Florida. His research on polymetric surfaces will one day protect us from bacteria without requiring the use of antibacterial chemicals or drugs. This is big news in a time when fear of “superbugs” and MRSA is spreading. “Whenever something manmade is introduced into a natural environment, bacteria attaches to it. Our goal is to stop that from occurring,” Brennan explained. He and his team at the University of Florida have developed a polymetric surface that inhibits bio-adhesion. In layperson’s terms: Bacteria cannot attach to it. After completing a chemistry degree from Potsdam and receiving his master’s degree in chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology, Brennan moved to Colorado 10


F A LL 2 0 0 8

with his wife, Kathy. He started working in the biomedical field and particularly the bio-dental business. He noticed that some doctors’ orthodontic work attracted less plaque than others. Because the chemical makeup of the veneers and cavities was the same, he hypothesized “it was the surface and how polished it was that affected the plaque buildup. That was really the beginning of my interest in surface patterns and bio-adhesion.” After studying surfaces in nature that effectively inhibit bacterial growth, like sharkskin, Brennan decided to chemically replicate them. The result is a sharkskin-like surface called Sharklet. While the nontoxic surface does not kill bacteria, it does stop colonies from attaching to the surface and growing. The Sharklet’s first anticipated use will be on a medical device that comes with a high risk of infection. So how does saving the ocean come into play? The Office of Naval Research was the first to invest in his research in 1999. Many marine organisms, such as algae and barnacles, feed off the bacteria that attach to ships. These organisms can be detrimental to the ocean environment when they are taken from their place of origin into new

waters. The hope is that Brennan’s Sharklet will inhibit the growth of both the bacteria and the resulting harmful marine organisms. His research has been highlighted on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. “This surface has to be much more sophisticated because it has to inhibit all of the different types of marine organisms at once, which vary in size, whereas cells in the body are all very close in size,” Brennan explained. This process hasn’t been an easy one. “It is called ‘research’ because you have to keep looking at it over and over again,” noted Brennan. He saw failures in the beginning and the success doesn’t come as fast as one might want. Some of the best lessons he learned in doing scientific research came from his Analytical Chemistry class at Potsdam, where he was assigned to weigh sand over and over again. His professors taught him that “nothing is easy, and you cannot take the path of least resistance when it comes to learning science.” It is these fundamentals that are the building blocks of his research today. And it all started with a few fundamental chemistry classes here at SUNY Potsdam. Kathy Brennan, photo.



Cassand ra “C a s s ie ” D av i n o


e all know that warm sunshine in Potsdam during the academic year can be rare. In the fall of 2006, we got a ray of sunshine in the form of Cassandra “Cassie” Davino, a smiling, bubbly Music Education major from Delhi, NY, with a powerful voice. Tragically, in January 2008, Davino was killed in a car accident on her way back to campus for the spring 2008 semester. If you asked anyone about Davino, you would probably hear one of two things: she had an amazingly powerful and moving voice, or she was one of the most open and caring individuals they had ever met. Neither are exaggerations. Davino’s voice earned her spots in many of the Crane choruses and a role in the 2007 Potsdam production of “Urinetown.” She had completed her Level A at the end of her freshman year and was planning to achieve her Performance Certificate even though she was a Music Education major. Many of her friends and teachers learned an important lesson from her death. Not

just that “life is too short” but that “life is too short to be self-centered.” Davino was a strong advocate for social justice, joining the fights that not only affected her or her friends but also the rest of the world. She was an active member of Potsdam’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association and was a strong supporter of the “Save Darfur” campaign. And when she wasn’t out fighting for others, she was striving to make sure that everyone she came in contact with knew that they were important. “Cassie always had a smile on her face and was so in love with life,” remembered friend Andrew Frey. “She had this ability to see beauty in all of the people and things around her.” The effect of her death on the campus was, and still is, immeasurable. Crane faculty member Dr. Deborah Massell, Davino’s advisor, described the impact on the student body as “Total devastation that such a good soul could be shut down so young.” Davino was described as a natural teacher, not only in the classroom or with

music, but also in how to lead a good life. “Every day she came into class, no matter how early it was, with a smile on her face and a ‘Hey Hun’ for everyone she saw, whether they were friends or not. If someone was having a problem, personal or academic or musical, she took the time to talk, help them out and give them a hug,” friend Josh McGrath remembered. In the spirit of her giving character, Davino’s parents, Alan and Kathryn, set up the Cassie Davino Memorial Scholarship. Their reasons for the scholarship were twofold. The first was to honor her love of The Crane School of Music. The second was to help others accomplish the goals that she was never able to accomplish. “She loved Crane. She should be associated with Crane forever,” Davino’s father explained. Gino Pinzone, Davino’s friend and recipient of one of the first scholarships in her honor sums it up best, “I would say rest in peace, but if you knew Cassie, you would understand that she never rests. She is ever on an exciting and beautiful journey.” w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e





Mark Slater

hink about your best friend from your time at Potsdam. What is the first memory you associate with them? It could be your freshman dorm room or a club you both belonged to or your favorite table in the Union. Now translate that into music. For Mark Slater ’79, when he thinks about his best friend Randy Smith ’79, that memory is the drum lessons that inspired “The Best Man,” a composition for orchestra that was performed as part of the Crane Concert Band’s Evening Concert Series last April. Slater and Smith first met freshman year in Bowman Hall. While they weren’t roommates, as Slater says, “Crane guys find each other.” Slater was a Trumpet Music Education major while Smith was a Percussion Music Education major. Smith’s commitment to teaching, especially percussion, led him to teach Slater how to play the drums. “Randy urged me to learn the drums. The ability to have some level of proficiency with all instruments is essential for a music teacher; with Randy’s lessons, I developed my percussion skills,” Slater remembered. In April 2002, Smith died unexpectedly of a heart attack in Texas. As Slater flew home from the funeral, he was inspired to compose a piece in Smith’s honor consisting of four components. The first is the Potsdam alma mater integrated in segments throughout the piece. “This was done to pay tribute to Potsdam as the place where our friendship began,” Slater explained. The second component is the focus on percussion. “All of the pieces I have composed have an educational purpose. Because of the many drum lessons Randy gave me, many of the basic skills that percussionists are taught in lessons appear in the piece, such as a paradiddle.” The rationale behind their inclusion is to show percussionists that they need to learn the basics. The third way in which Smith is embodied is through scales consisting of both Smith’s and Slater’s birthdates that are found throughout the piece. Slater took Smith’s birthdate, January 2, 1957, and his own,

12 12

P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8 P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8


June 3, 1957, and created a scale for each and interwove them. “At the end, a flute and clarinet each play a scale and they are intertwined,” Slater described. The final way in which Smith is represented in the piece is through the use of wind chimes at the end of the piece. “On the day Randy died, I was outside doing yard work and listening to the wind chimes. I had a feeling that Randy was with me. Shortly after, I received the news that he had passed away.” The performance at Crane in April 2008 is the third performance of the piece, but the most meaningful to Slater. “Having this composition played at Crane, where Randy

and I met and performed so much music together, means the world to me,” Slater said. After graduating from Potsdam, both Slater and Smith received graduate degrees from the University of Texas. Smith remained in Texas while Slater and his family moved to Old Saybrook, CT, where he is now the band director at Old Saybrook Middle School and plays the trumpet for Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT.



K a re n Jo hnson-We iner Potsdam


any people do not know the North Country’s Amish history. Visitors and residents have all seen the horses and buggies along the road or we may have bought a basket or a jar of honey from a roadside stand, but our knowledge ends there. It seems baffling to some why a culture that rejects modern conveniences would locate in an area known to have such harsh weather. In fact, the local Amish populations have only been located in the North Country for the past 30 years. Originally from the Midwest and Pennsylvania, “They were drawn here primarily by the availability of

relatively cheap farmland. the third generation.” Farming is considered the There is no governing body that unites ideal occupation for the all the Amish church districts; each is Amish because it allows fami- independent and makes their own “Ordlies to be part of the natural nung” or the discipline of a community. world, where life is governed “There are about 1,600 different Amish by the seasons,” explained church districts, and each has faced different Dr. Karen Johnson-Weiner, circumstances, challenges, legislation, social chair of the Department of conditions and weather. Because no two Anthropology. communities have faced the same set of Dr. Johnson-Weiner has circumstances, no two Amish communities become a national expert have exactly the same Ordnung. As a result on Amish communities, there are about 1,600 different ways of betheir way of life and why ing Amish,” Johnson-Weiner explained. they choose to live the way Two groups settled here in the late they do. “Ultimately, I hope 1970s, but their roots are from different to help people understand areas. Though they arrived at the same time, that the Amish are not relics, each way of life is different. The Swartzenpioneer re-enactors or people truber Amish are slightly more conservative caught in a time warp. They or traditional with their Ordnung. “The are, in fact, 21st-century two groups have different dress standards – people, daily for example confronting different caps modernity, for women, evaluating its “I hope to help people understand different impact on haircuts for that the Amish are not relics, their lives men. Norand making pioneer re-enactors or people folk Amish choices about caught in a time warp. They are, might wear how they contact lensin fact, 21st-century people, daily will live in es, while the the world,” confronting modernity, evaluating Swartzentrushe said. ber Ordnung its impact on their lives and makWith a requires background ing choices about how they will wire frames in linguistic for glasses,” live in the world.” anthropology and experiJohnsonence as an English as a Weiner second language teacher, described. Johnson-Weiner became interested when In a time when real estate dictates she discovered that the area Amish spoke quality of life, the Potsdam area is where Pennsylvania German in the community and more families can afford farms, includhome but were taught in English at school. ing newlyweds, which ensures that their Her research on the teaching of English in community will remain intact. In other the schools led to her book Train Up a Child: areas, where not enough land is available Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools. for farming, members of the community “This book grew out of my early interwill go to work in factories or retail. The est in English as a second language in Amish goal of our local groups is to sustain their schools and in how and why the Amish way of life without having to go outside the preserved Pennsylvania German, especially community for work, making the North given that the general pattern among imCountry one of their choices for how to migrant groups was to shift to English by live in today’s world. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e




F A LL 2 0 0 8

The Multiple Personalities by Elizabeth Tuttle

of Potsdam The old adage “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” applies to so many things. Oftentimes, people don’t think about how a place makes them feel until they are removed from it. It is uncommon to analyze the complex influences of a geographic location on a life except in hindsight. For Potsdam alumni, looking back on their time on campus and in the North Country brings back both fond and not-so-fond memories. Each experience is recalled differently: the dorm you lived in, the friends you made, professors who inspired your learning, the places on and off campus that shaped who you were then and how Potsdam made you who you are today. Potsdam begins to take on multiple personalities.

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


The Ice Stor

m of 1998

With 1,200 people taking refuge at SU NY Potsdam’s Max Hall, the North Co cy untry was an unus ually inhosptiable in January 1998. place The unpredictable weather dropped freezing rain for fiv days, causing spot e ty power losses fo r more than 100,00 Niagara Mohawk cu 0 stomers. Many co unties were effecte including Jefferso d n, St. Lawrence, no rthern Lewis, Fran Clinton and Essex klin, all sustaining cons iderable damage. States of emergenc y and travel bans were declared thro out the area. ughNeedless to say, No rth Country resid ents and SUNY Po faculty, staff and stu tsdam dents once again took unpredictab weather and band le ed together to mak e the situation mor bearable. Today, e many residents, fac ulty and staff still tales of the Ice Stor tell m of ’98!

source: North Cou

ntry Public Radio

In the Adirondacks, springtime often hails a snowy ground. Here students hike in snow near Cranberry Lake in April and learn about“winter camping.”

In spring 2008, Dr. John Omohundro’s Environmental Anthropology class undertook a “Values Mapping” study, surveying current Potsdam students about the values they associate with various places on campus. These values included spiritual, social, recreational, cultural, historical, residential and natural. Many of the results were obvious. Dorms, especially Lehman and Bowman Halls, were seen as residential. The Barrington Student Union was recognized as social. Maxcy Hall was associated with recreation. Others were a little more interesting. The Minerva statue was perceived as spiritual. And of course, Ye Olde Satterlee clock tower, our beloved old Main, was seen as historical. The mapping started current students thinking about the places that will be nostalgic in the future, making it clear not a lot of differences exist between the values our current students attach to the campus compared to those of our alumni. For many, the iconic clock tower that is prominently featured in the College’s logo and in most campus information will invoke memories of Potsdam, whether they call it Potsdam State, Potsdam College, SUNY Potsdam or even Potsdam Normal School. What do you think of when you reminisce? Did the “Values Mapping” study get it right? Did the mention of the clock tower or Minerva bring you back to your time on campus? If it did, you are not alone. What is it about Potsdam, the place, that cracks the wry grin on your face or brings back the faces of people who were important to you here? Here are a few suggestions that may ring a bell and some that you can add to your points of pride. 16


F A LL 2 0 0 8

Potsdam, the Weather 1816. The year that Potsdam was founded by Benjamin Raymond as St. Lawrence Academy. Is it any surprise that it is also the year known to historians as the “Year without a Summer”? 1816 saw a summer with two large snowstorms in June and ice in the lakes and rivers in July and August. As a result, crops were ruined and a large western movement occurred. At a time when people were leaving, Raymond founded a school that has continued to grow in spite of the harsh weather. One has to wonder, why do students choose to spend the coldest months of the year here?

Others view it as a partnership in their education, like Mark Simon’s Wilderness Education group that participates in a yearly winter camping trip. Still others see winter as a time to play. The school’s proximity to Lake Placid, Titus Mountain, cross-country trails and ice rinks also gives our students plenty of winter sports opportunities. “I’ve been through wind, hail, sleet and snow storms in Potsdam. But I’ve also woken up to some of the bluest skies I’ve ever seen,” Geoff Pierce ’08 pointed out. But winter isn’t the only season that students experience. Fall and spring are stunning times in the North Country. As a campus, we consider the Adirondacks to be our backyard and a laboratory for our students. During the warmer seasons, students have the opportunity to use the park and surrounding rivers and lakes for both recreational and educational opportunities.

Cold temperatures are nothing new to Potsdam students and alumni. It takes a certain personality and camaraderie to make it through the winters. For anyone who has mapped out the route to class that requires the least amount of time outside, lost power due to massive ice storms or had it snow on “I want to change the their graduation day, cold weather is world through music. a way of life in the People tell me that it is a North Country.

Weather is what most people think of first when they realize Potsdam’s geographic location. Only those who have lived here know what the weather fosters – a close friendship strange combination, but it one makes from being stuck Potsdam winters makes sense to me!” in the dorms because it’s too are something that cold to head outdoors, the -Sarah Hope ’09, can be either tolerdiscovery of a kindred spirit Music Business/Sociology Double Major ated or embraced, in the snow camping group but not avoided. or a new appreciation of the natural surroundings Some view the winter as their nemesis with whom from a kayak ride on the Racquette River. The they do battle. It binds the campus together against weather brings people together in ways they may a common enemy – sub-zero temperatures. not have imagined before coming to Potsdam.

*Source: SUNY Student Opinion Survey 2006

SUNY Potsdam education majors complete field experiences at the “Akwesasne and New York State Teaching and Learning Standards Orientaion Conference.”

Potsdam, the Arts Haven Guessing the number of arts events on SUNY Potsdam’s campus is like guessing the number of jellybeans in a giant honey jar. 350? 400? 432? That isn’t even counting the spontaneous moments in the Crane Commons, the annual art installations in the academic quad or the theatre exercises that spill out of the classroom. It is no accident that Potsdam ranks number one in all of SUNY for student exposure to the arts* – even more than SUNY Purchase or New Paltz, despite their proximity to New York City. Furthermore, “All-Steinway” status is reserved for the most elite of music schools and Potsdam proudly carries that distinction as well.

S DA M P R O U D of P OT

Let’s look at our Arts list: World-Premiere operas. Check. $5.5 million art collection. Check. Student work featured in the Best in SUNY Student Art Show for three years straight. Check. $55 million for a new performing arts and technology complex for theatre and dance. Check. Music absolutely everywhere. Check. This is crazy! We’re in the middle of nowhere! And yet, it’s all here. You trip over it wherever you go. You can’t avoid the arts and, whether you like it or not, it starts to get into your system. And yes, it is good for you. “I am sometimes asked by faculty at other institutions what it is like to work at an arts campus,” said Dr. Walt Conley, professor of biology. “They assume it is terrible for the sciences. But the advantages are many. It fosters a creativity to everything no matter the discipline and enriches the student experience in a way that a single focus cannot.” Designated as one of only three “Arts Campuses” in the SUNY System, Potsdam prides itself on the opportunities this focus on the arts brings. At least one arts class is required for all students regardless of their major. This gives a biology student a reason to try and understand a Brahms concerto, or a wilderness education student the challenge of painting a still life. This cross-pollination of ideas and disciplines creates well-rounded students who break the mold. Because the arts are a part of our landscape on campus, creativity can flavor all aspects of academic life on campus. The availability of talented singers, dancers and artists can provide new opportunities in teaching, learning and outside social interests.

udio art SUNY Potsdam st urphy major Laura A. M rned of Canton, NY, ea ” a “Best in Show st award from the Be Art of SUNY Student work he r Exhibition fo r p Cu dy ol M “Life in a y’s ph ur M e.” of Coffe piece was selected 0 from more than 20 d earned her a ound the state an ar m submissions fro $1,000 prize. h Potsdam; Paul Ulric Tanya Gadbaw of ts d en ha ud o st als m m da da ts ts SUNY Po one of Po ; and Carmen Drag NY y, lle Va rk wa of Ne pieces on display. ained art works NY exhibition cont SU of st Be al nu The sixth an puses. from 24 SUNY cam

It is how senior Sarah Hope from South Glens Falls, NY, decided on her music business and sociology double major. “I want to change the world through music,” said Hope. “People tell me that it is a strange combination, but it makes sense to me!” Considering Potsdam’s focus on teaching and the arts, it should be no surprise that approximately half of all music teachers in New York state were educated at The Crane School of Music. With a new performing arts building in our future that will house the Department of Theatre and Dance, the arts influence on our campus and in the community will only continue to flourish.

Potsdam, the Teachers From its inception, SUNY Potsdam has been a College focused on teaching, not only providing the highest-quality teachers for communities throughout the state, but also in providing the students with top-notch, teaching-focused professors. It is not just what you learn that makes a student successful, but also how you learn. Potsdam offers many opportunities for its student body to learn in a hands-on environment. Through many teacher education opportunities in our community, students have a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations. Located 45 minutes down the road is a unique and invaluable resource for our future teachers. The St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Akwesasne, NY, is home to the St. Regis Mohawk School, a tribal school that serves Native American students exclusively. It is part of the Salmon River Central School District, where the general student population is predominantly Native American and where an amazing partnership has developed. “We are committed to this partnership, and the relationship continues to evolve,” explained Julie Reagan, professional development coordinator for Potsdam’s Childhood Education program. “It is an extremely important relationship for the College and the Reservation in terms of diversity issues, personal growth for our students and understanding students in minority education settings.” Education majors may be placed to perform their pre-service work and student teaching on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, providing them experience with students from another culture. Reagan is the designated coordinator for the Salmon River District. She explains that some Potsdam students plan to move to urban areas after they graduate, and the North Country setting does not always provide them with an opportunity to work with minority students. Without requiring these education majors to leave the area, Salmon River provides them with an opportunity to experience the challenges many inner-city schoolteachers face. Currently, the Mohawk schools are expanding in population, whereas other area school populations are decreasing. In times of economic hardship, many non-native families will leave home to find work. The Mohawks, however, have a long history of turning to each other and coming home when times are tough. As a result, the Mohawk schools will continue to need teachers and place many Potsdam graduates.

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



Q:Who is Minerva and why is she important to SUNY Potsdam? Q: When did Potsdam get the first Minerva statue? Hosmer

Q: What was Operation Book Lift in 1967? Q: Who was Thomas M. Barrington?






(1) Hosmer (2) Maxcy (3) Crane (4) Satterlee (5) Timerman (6) Merritt 18 18

P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8 P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

Q: H  ow many schools does SUNY Potsdam and what are their names?



Across 3. Original name of Satterlee Hall (2 words) 5.  1981 graduate of The Crane School of Music who is a member of the Metropolitan Opera (first and last name) 8.  Name of the orchestra piece that Mark Slater composed in honor of Randy Smith (page 12) (3 words) 9.  Name of SUNY Potsdam when first founded (3 words) 10. Potsdam president who is the namesake of the student union 11.  Potsdam is described as the “Cultural and _________ Center of Northern New York” 14.  Name of SUNY Potsdam’s monthly electronic newsletter for alumni (2 words) 18. Current president of SUNY Potsdam (first and last name) 21. Name of SUNY Potsdam’s campus newspaper (2 words) 22.  Official College colors, as referenced in the Alma Mater (3 words) 23.  Sport in which SUNY Potsdam won the Division III National Championship in both 1981 and 1986 24.  1968 graduate who is an internationally acclaimed novelist and short story writer, whose works include World’s End and East is East (first and last name) 25. Founder of St. Lawrence Academy (last name) 26. College mascot

Down 1. First building on current campus (2 words) 2.  Statue of Roman Goddess of Wisdom located across from the student union 4. Film by Wes Craven which, according to local legend, was inspired by a street in the village of Potsdam (4 words) 6. New York State Park located “in our backyard,” 10 miles away 7.  Location of 1980 Winter Olympics where The Crane School of Music served as the official musicians (2 words) 12.  Sport that was recently reinstated after more than 20 years (2 words) 13.  Name of new dining facility made possible in part from the College’s first ever $1 million gift (2 words) 15.  Building that was most associated with recreation from Dr. Omohundro’s class “Values Mapping” study (page 16) (2 words) 16.  Famous family who performed with Crane Choir at Carnegie Hall in 1941 17.  Head of the Normal School music department, appointed in 1884, who founded the first normal training course for public school music teachers in the U.S. (first and last name) 19. The name of Tony Brennan’s polymetric surface (page 10) 20. Name of the other college located in Potsdam

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






Frackenpohls Endow Scholarship for Honors Brass Quintet



Dr. Arthur Frackenpohl Hon. ’04 and Mary Ellen Walkley Frackenpohl ’54 of Potsdam have endowed a fund to establish The Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet that will provide financial and experiential support to five undergraduate brass majors.

Dorothy Douglas ’24 (seated) and Eileen Peggy Whitmore ’50 shared a lunch to celebrate Douglas’ 103rd birthday.

Virginia Rose Cayey ’60 was named the recipient of SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, one of the College’s highest honors. She resides in Colton, NY, with her husband.

Experiential support includes enabling the Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet to travel and perform while also providing opportunities for guest artists, teachers and performers to interact with the Quintet through clinics and master classes. Dr. Frackenpohl, professor emeritus of The Crane School of Music, taught composition, theory, piano and class piano from 1949-1985. Dr. Frackenpohl has published more than 400 instrumental and choral compositions. Mrs. Frackenpohl earned her degree in Music Education. She taught flute privately and played extensively for more than 20 years, also serving as an adjunct faculty member at The Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University.

Vernice Ives Church ’61 was honored with SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 St. Lawrence Academy Medal at Reunion Weekend. Judy Comstock Liscum ’62 published her second book, Stepping Back in Time: Tales from Country Schools. Judith Ruth Allen ’65 recently moved to Baldwinsville, NY, after teaching in Egypt for six years and traveling extensively in Asia, Africa and Europe.

2 0 P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8 2 0 P O T S D A M P EO P LE S P R I N G 2 0 0 7

Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt ’65 donated her services recently to present a workshop at SUNY Potsdam for students and faculty titled “Creating Connections: Preparing Educators to Successfully Reach Out and Connect with Families and Communities.” She was also a guest speaker in four literacy classes with Dr. Lynn Hall and instructors Carolyn Stone ’98 and Marta Albert. Recently, Dr. Schmidt was the recipient of the International Reading Association’s Elva Knight Research Award. She and her husband are the benefactors of the Thomas J. and Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt Endowment Fund in support of the Literacy Center.

William J. Amoriell ’68, dean of SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education and Professional Studies, recently visited with Gregory Geer ’76, superintendent of the Byron-Bergen Central School District in Western New York, along with Ayn Clark Gardner ’92. Gardner is a pre-school teacher at Byron-Bergen. Dr. Geer received SUNY Potsdam’s St. Lawrence Academy Medal in 2007. Jim Barry ’68 is the cochair of the Curriculum Committee for SOAR, Stimulating Opportunities after Retirement, which is hosted at SUNY Potsdam.


Ronald Farra ’57 celebrated his 50th Reunion last year by reenacting his original pinning of his sweetheart, Johanna DiCroce Farra ’56, who is now his wife. As a surprise, a dozen of Farra’s classmates sang the Sweetheart Song as he once again pinned his love. The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Roberta Reed Hamilton ’60, Evelyn Aldrich Miller ’65, Phyllis Young Stearns ’60, Sue Fenton West ’58, Nancy Young Rinehart ’58, Freda Aseel Bradt ’60 and Barbara Abele Mack ’58 gathered in April at the Bradts’ winter home in Sarasota, FL. For a few of the women, this was their first meeting in 48 years.


Alexander “Lex” Dashnaw ’56 retired after 43 years as director of choral activities and professor of music at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. To celebrate his work with thousands of students, C.W. Post’s School of Visual and Performing Arts established the Alexander “Lex” Dashnaw Endowed Scholarship Fund to assist music students.


... hamilton

Gloria Baz Misnick ’55 and her husband, Bill, were featured in the international publication The Lion for their work in helping the Lviv (Ukraine) Lions Club to restore two of the city’s 751-yearold lion statues. They are the benefactors of the Gloria Baz Misnick Scholarship, designated for an education student from Corning East High School.

Part of the endowment will go toward scholarships for the student members of The Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet. To be eligible, students must be a declared brass major and be in good academic standing with at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Carol “Kickie” Holloway Britt ’69 (below, far right), executive director of The Crane Institute of Music Business, is shown with a group of Crane piano majors and music business students at Steinway Hall in Manhattan. The trip was sponsored by Clark Music to introduce students to the Steinway Piano production process. The group toured the Long Island facility and the Manhattan showroom. The students are John Naveh, Ting Ting Goh, Simone Zhang, Sergio Bonsignore, Carine Kowalik, Marshall Hughes, Meg Kling, Andrea Long, Christine Benincasa, Kyle Pogemiller, Sarah Hope, Veronica Escamilla and Jonah Piali.


David A. Paciencia ’72, retired superintendent of Taconic Hills Central School District, served as the keynote speaker at SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Master’s Commencement Ceremony. Brian Pelkey ’72 is living on an Adirondack Lake while enjoying his third year of retirement. He is a member of the Saranac Lake High School Hall of Fame, the Potsdam Central High School Sports Hall of Fame and the SUNY Potsdam Sports Hall of Fame. He is president of the Lake Ozonia Campers Association. Jane Gatta Subramanian ’72 was honored with SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Distinguished Service Award at Reunion Weekend.

Anne Cavolo Tedesco ’73 performed a program of 18th- and 19th-century music composed for the piano by Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy and Chopin at the Montauk Library in Montauk, NY, on June 14, 2008. She is an adjunct professor of music at St. John’s University and offers private instruction at her studio.

Cheryl M. Guyett ’74 was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as the Alaska Principal of the Year and advanced to be one of three finalists for National Principal of the Year for 2008.

Ron Bandes ’76 has been teaching Computer Network Security at The Chubb Institute for the last six years and enrolled in the fall 2008 term at Carnegie Mellon University to obtain a Master of Science degree in Information Security Policy and Management. Patrick Corcoran ’77 is an employee at IBM, where he serves as IBM’s Global

Client Solutions Executive. He is married to Patricia Perry Corcoran, who attended Potsdam from 1973 to 1976. Michael Tebbano ’75 has been appointed superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District, in Bethlehem, N.Y. He has been the district’s assistant superintendent for educational programs since 2005, and has worked at Bethlehem since 1997.


Alan Mullikin ’72 performed a “Concert of Original and Traditional Christian Music” at Grace United Methodist Church in Corning, NY, on Oct. 14, 2007. He returned to Corning at the request of his former high school music teacher, James Hudson ’53.

Glen Anderson ’74 released his first book, Classic Performances, featuring articles that describe Potsdam shows that were originally published in Vintage Guitar Magazine. He lives in Chino Hills, CA, with his wife and three children and works in Customer Service/Logistics Management while continuing to play music. wagner


Darlene Dixon Kerr ’73 hosted a reception at her Syracuse home in May for Central New York alumni. Also attending the reception were two scholarship recipients: Amanda Fleury ’09, recipient of the Darlene Kerr – Niagara Mohawk Scholarship, and Chris Fleury ’08, recipient of the Mount Emmons Scholarship. Ms. Fleury is majoring in mathematics and secondary education, and Mr. Fleury graduated in May with a degree in politics and pre-law. Among the special guests at the reception was New York State Senator David Valesky ’88, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at SUNY Potsdam.

Robert E. Wagner ’75 congratulates the recipients of the Bob Cerwonka Scholarship: Jason Gokey, Joshua Cameron and Alaina White. Sheila Cerwonka, wife of deceased emeritus Bob Cerwonka, and Glenn Johnson, chair of the Department of Biology, also had lunch with the recipients. Wagner established and is endowing the scholarship. He returned to Potsdam in April and spent the day visiting the campus.

Randy Mitchell ’77 visited campus in April to speak to classes in biology and chemistry and to present an informal career discussion for students in anthropology and criminal justice on the topic of forensic dentistry. Dr. Mitchell is a dentist in private practice in Lyons, NY.



Jerry Grodin ’69 received the Distinguished Psychologist Award at the annual banquet of the Psychological Association of Northeast New York. He has been nominated to serve on a task force of the American Psychological Association on the future of psychology.





Elaine Feigel Zelmon ’73 and Barbara Sirvetz Alushin ’73, Potsdam roommates, had a reunion in Columbia, MD, after not seeing each other for more than 30 years. Zelmon is a systems analyst for Intelligence in Cincinnati, OH, and Alushin is a French teacher and department chair at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, MD.

leen Dolan-Heitlinger ’74 attended a performance by The United States Army Field Band at Key West High School on March 9. Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier ’75 conducted the performance, while Master Sergeant Daniel Hopkins sang as a member of the Field Band’s Soldiers’ Chorus.

Gary Hind ’77 and Debbie Diefendorf Hind ’75 hosted an intimate gathering of alumni and friends for dinner at Bellini’s Restaurant in Clifton Park, N.Y. in February. In spite of a horrible snowstorm, the fearless Potsdam alumni ventured out into the weather to gather for a wonderful evening. Pictured are (l to r, front) Mary Anne Gormley Mangano ’72, Elizabeth O’Connor Utzig ’77, Debbie Diefendorf Hind ’75, Gary Hind ’77, Nancy Fuller, (back) President John Schwaller, Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Robert Wagner ’75, Bill Utzig, Tom Sansone, Cathy O’Connor ’76, Matthew Fuller ’97, Anne Schwaller, Gerald Cross ’71 and Mary Breton. Absent from the photo are Denise Aiello Bukovan ’76 and Robert Bullock ’78.

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


Cynthia Carlin Pacini ’78 was honored with SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Helen M. Hosmer Excellence in Teaching Award at Reunion Weekend. Donnalyn Eaton Shuster ’78 recently presented two workshops at the 2008 National Art Education Association Convention in New Orleans, LA. She was recently elected as Section 3 Representative to the New York State Art Teachers’ Association Board of Trustees for the 2008-2009 term. She is also the facilitator for “Art Circles,” a professional development workshop meeting monthly in Herkimer County for K-12 art teachers sponsored by the Mohawk Regional Teachers’ Center.


Robert E. Bullock ’78 of Saratoga Springs was named to a two-person leadership team selected to head New York State’s Hudson-Fulton-Champlain (HFC) Quadricentennial. The HFC Quadricentennial is a year-long celebration designed to highlight New York’s 400-year history and the role that New York has played in the development of our nation.

Keith Patterson ’79 met with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, Katherine JeffertsSchori, during her visit in spring 2007 to his field education site, the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, MA. Richard Hayes Phillips ’79 has been the leading investigator of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. His book, Witness to a Crime: A Citizens’ Audit of an American Election, was published by Canterbury Press this past spring.

Former and current members of the SUNY Potsdam Swim Team had a reunion on campus in April. Many of those returning were members of the 1977 team that won the SUNYAC Championships, including then-coach, Jim Kelly. Pictured are (l to r) Mike Spencer ’79, Al Rickard ’79 and Dan Wall ’77.

Manuel Martinez ’83 was honored with SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Minerva Award at Reunion Weekend.

1980s Carole Haber ’80 was honored with an Outstanding Alumni Award this past May by the New England Conservatory, where she earned a master’s degree in music and currently teaches. Matt Halpin ’80 is an A3 Maritime Aerospace Readiness Officer at the Canadian Air Division Headquarters and is an Air Navigator holding the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He received a Master of Arts degree in defense studies from Kings College in London and currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Renée Fleming ’81 hosted PBS’s New Year’s Eve celebration Live from the Lincoln Center. She was recently named a winner of the 2008 Polar Music Prize, Sweden’s biggest music award. Larry Ham ’82 and Tom Melito ’78 returned to Potsdam with the Larry Ham Trio that performed at Crane as part of their New York State Tour. They also worked with students in a jazz master class and did some reminiscing about their days at Crane.

Rhea Lennox Leggiero ’86 and her husband, Joe ’85, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in June 2007 with a 10-day trip to Paris. They have two children: 16-year-old Ben and 13-year-old AlexKate. Jill Smith Brock ’87 and her 10-year-old daughter, Sadie, were cast in a production of “The Sound of Music” by the Jay County Civic Theatre in Portland, IN. Frieda Toth Carlesen ’87 presented The Hero, The Princess, and the Really Wicked Witch at Crandall Public Library. Derek Stannard ’08 is the accompanist and Glen Carlsen ’84 designed the set.

Mary Helander ’83 and Christine Moore won the National Tennis Rating Program Women’s 3.0 Doubles Tennis Tournament in the Premier National Tennis Rating Program Championships.

Lisa Vroman ’79 performed as Marian Paroo in the Bushnell-produced The Music Man – A 50th Anniversary Tribute at Connecticut’s Premier Performing Arts Center. The musical ran for eight performances in April.

Donald Waltzer ’78 has been promoted to president of H&C Tool Supply and Hewes Fastener Division. Prior to joining H&C in 2001, Waltzer was senior vice president of operations for Horizons Solutions Corporation.


Alumni Board Trustees Jeff Washburn ’79, Peter Brouwer ’79, Mike Lahendro ’77 and George Arnold ’92 (right) enjoyed a hike up Azure Mountain following the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Board of Trustees Meeting in May. washburn...

Stephen Squires ’77, conductor, and Lisa Vroman ’79, soprano, will present three performances of “Broadway Favorites” with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the Chicago area in October.





P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

Katie Klossner ’89 (second from left) won an Emmy Award for her work as executive producer of the public service announcement Discover Your Library.




Barbara Greenwood ’88 and her family recently moved back to Ethiopia for a two- to three-year stint with Save the Children. This is their second post in Ethiopia, during which they will head an education project focusing on community school partnerships. Darren Mott ’88 was promoted to acting unit chief in the Computer Intrusion Unit at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. Michael Struzik ’88, a music teacher at Brighton High School, was recently flattered and impressed by his students who wrote and performed a musical inspired by him, titled Stroozical the Musical, with an original score, script and choreography.

Stephen Brien ’91 took a new job with a growing private physical therapy group as a staff therapist and relocated with his family to New Bern, NC, this year. Alex Herzog ’91 lives in Las Vegas, NV, with his wife, Shawn, and their two children. He has worked at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as the director of Campus Card Services for the past five years. Michael Chapman ’92 was recently appointed the first principal of the new Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy and received the Assistant Principal of the Year award for Richmond County Schools in North Carolina. Shawneladee Cole ’92 is a doctoral candidate at Smith College School for social work. Kimberly Brown Cabrera ’92 graduated with her Master of Divinity degree on May 20, 2007, and continues to work full time as a coordinator of Children’s Ministry at a Presbyterian church in Louisville, KY. Kristi Posch Lindsey ’92 and her husband, Steve, have two children, ages 13 and 11. She has been the director of a library district for nine years. Lucienne Diver Wheeler ’92 sold her young adult vampire novel VAMPED to Flux. It will be coming out in trade paperback form in May 2009.

Dimitri Pittas ’99 was honored with SUNY Potsdam’s 2008 Rising Star Award.

2000s Craig Garaas-Johnson ’00 recently relocated to Grand Forks, ND, with his wife, Kristin, for new careers in writing. He is an editor at a leading biofuels industry magazine.


Jonathan Babcock ’91 accepted the position of associate director of choirs at Texas State University-San Marcos. The music school has more than 600 music majors and six choirs.

Jeremy Grant ’93 (right) was recently promoted to a senior hydrogeologist I level at the Columbia, SC, office of Fuss and O’Neill. Outside work, he developed and implemented a recycling program for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Columbia that prevented approximately 1.5 tons of recyclable materials from ending up in the county landfill. Aaron Gore ’93 is a cultural education specialist with the New York State Museum in Albany and is the project manager for the New York State Museum Archaeological Search for Fort La Presentation in Ogdensburg, NY. Kristin Bourdage Reninger ’93 won “Teacher of the Year” at Otterbein College, where she teaches in the Education Department. She obtained her B.A. and then her M.A. in Education in 1995 at SUNY Potsdam. She earned a Ph.D. last summer at Ohio State. Christopher Still ’93 joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007. Erin Johnson Hogan ’96 and her husband, Scott ’96, celebrated their fiveyear wedding anniversary in July 2007. Living just outside Saratoga Springs, NY, Ms. Hogan is a school counselor, and Mr. Hogan owns an organic lawn, garden and landscape company. Michael Stead ’96 recently published his first book, titled Fishing with a Fork: Secrets the Fishing Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know. He is a fourth-grade teacher in Chatham, NY.

Makaylia Roberts Binkley ’97 received her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in May 2003 and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has worked with Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP in Philadelphia since 2006. Brian Goldman ’97 began a two-year position as president of the Nassau Music Educators Association in July 2008. He also conducted the Long Island Choral Festival Youth Choir for the third summer.


Stacey C. Friends ’88 is a shareholder in the firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C. and is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property, Corporate and Retail, Food & Hospitality Groups. Her practice focuses on intellectual property rights. She also instructs a course on copyright law as a member of the adjunct faculty at Suffolk University Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor summa cum laude.


Katherine McKenna ’00 is the communications and public relations manager at Tops Markets and is a member of Tops’ leadership team. She joined Tops Markets as a communication specialist in 2004, after obtaining a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Jason Tramm ’97 is the new music director of the New Jersey State Opera. Brian Shay ’98 was recently awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to travel to India over the summer. He worked with a group of 15 math and science teachers from across America to learn more about the education systems of India. Amy Knussman ’99 recently became partner at her law firm, now known as Donnellan & Knussman PLLC, in Ballston Spa, NY, where she practices matrimonial and family law.



M. Nicholas Coppola ’87 was recently elected “Regent for the Army” by his professional peers in the American College of Healthcare Executives. ACHE is a 30,000-member professional organization, and only one Army Regent is elected every three years.

Rebecca Elliston Goren ’01 and Rebecca Robins ’01 were ordained as cantors May 4, 2008 in New York City. After five years of seminary, both women are overjoyed and honored to now hold the title of cantor. Elliston-Goren will begin her work at North Country Reform Temple in Glen Cove, NY, and Robins at Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee, WI.

Stay in Touch! Your alumni association wants to know where you are and what you’re doing. Go online at

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



notes Are you receiving Alma Matters?

POTSDAM PUZZLERS Q: Who was the first performer in Maxcy Gymnasium? Q: What were the uniform rules for freshmen in the 1930s? Q: How many students are currently enrolled as undergraduates?

Melissa Wegner ’03 was the narrator in the world premiere of A Bird in Your Ear by English composer David Bruce, with libretto by Alasdair Middleton at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Wegner is a second-year student in Bard’s Vocal Arts program, where she studies with Potsdam faculty emerita Patricia Misslin and internationally acclaimed soprano Dawn Upshaw. Maureen Colson ’04 is a middle school music teacher in New York and working on her master’s degree at Columbia University Teach-


ers College in New York City. She is the 2007 recipient of the Music Education Scholarship for Graduate Students sponsored by Oak Park Alumnae Chapter in memory of Mabel Biever. Captain Ryan P. Hunt ’04 is currently finishing his second combat tour in Iraq as part of a military transition team advising the Iraqi Army. Steven King ’06 was accepted into New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development to begin work on his Master of Arts degree in Higher Education/Student Personnel Administration. Since December 2006, he has been employed at New York University’s Wasserman Center for Career Development. Megan Preston ’07 graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism.

P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

Lucas Manning ’08 received the U.S. Small Business Administration 2008 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He was nominated by the New York State Small Business Development Corporation in Canton, NY. He and his wife, Sarah Rounds Manning ’06, own the Partridge Cafe in Canton, NY. Andrew Minnery ’08 was recently awarded the Ceramics Fellowship from the Handweaving Museum and Art Center of Clayton, NY. Each year, HMAC will review applications from SUNY Potsdam for this newly established fellowship, providing a stipend, free art materials, the use of kilns and the opportunity to teach classes and display artwork in the HMAC gallery.

Felicia Neahr ’08 was recently hired as the administrative assistant for SUNY Potsdam’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program. Nancy Griffin Hon. ’08 of SUNY Potsdam’s Office of Advancement was selected by the Alumni Association to receive Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Alumni Association. Millard Harmon Hon. ’08 was selected by the Alumni Association to receive Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Alumni Association.


Matthew Smith ’03 completed his M.A. in anthropology at SUNY Buffalo, and after teaching for a year at SUNY Potsdam, he was selected for the Jeffrey Campbell Graduate Fellowship for predoctoral work at St. Lawrence University. There he is preparing his dissertation, titled Wired Life in the Wired Community: Globalization and Civil Society, and teaches courses in the Performance and Communication Arts Department.

Alma Matters is SUNY Potsdam’s monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends. Visit newsletter to check it out!

Class Notes include those submissions received as of June 2008. Those received after that date will be included in the spring 2009 issue due January 2, 2009.



Betty W. Blair, assistant professor emeritus, Jan. 2, 2008.

Potsdam People


Nelson Chasney ’87 and his wife, Julie ’90, welcomed their second child in April 2008.

Hilda R. Heath Dietter ’31, February 2008.

Nancy Shatraw ’47, Feb. 25, 2008 Oliver W. Northrup ’49. Chester Willard Canary ’51, March 3, 2008. John William Fordham ’51, March 22, 2007. Bernice Banker ’52, Nov. 16, 2007. Joan Halladay Jones ’56, March 4, 2008. G. William Jewell ’60, Oct. 22, 2007. David Ameele ’69, October 1, 2007. Linda Gregory Wagner ’69, May 7, 2008. Larry Paul Catlin ’74, Jan. 13, 2008. Kathleen A. Kowalczyk Matott ’74. J.T. Smith ’79, June 12, 2008. Judi Lang Connors ’83, Sept. 8, 2007. Barbara Gokey Perkins ’84, May 6, 2008 Cassandra Running ’07, March 4, 2008. Michelle Christy, adjunct professor for the School of Education and Professional Studies in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, Oct. 19, 2007.

Lane Smith ’85 married Joan McCabe on July 11, 2007. They honeymooned at the Grand Canyon and currently live in Ronkonkoma, NY. Nelson Chasney ’87 married Julie Harmer ’90 on March 10, 2007. They honeymooned in Lover’s Key, FL. Catherine Martin ’96 married Kevin McLoughlin on Long Island. Members of the wedding party included Rachel Giannavola Britt ’96, Rebecca Keech Laquidara ’96 and Gretchen Simonetti ’97. The happy couple lives in Lindenhurst, NY. Makaylia Roberts ’97 married Neil Binkley on September 29, 2007, in New Britain, Pennsylvania. They currently live in Ambler, PA. Joseph Owens ’02 married Elizabeth Cromwell ’03 in August 2007. They live in South Huntington, NY.

Christine Carter Greco ’95; her husband, Pat Greco; and 3 year-old son, Carter Christian (below) welcomed Kinan Patrick into their family on June 6, 2007.

Brianne Mandryck ’05 married Rodney Willson on June 30, 2007, after almost nine years of dating. They reside in Lee Center, NY. Marc Cianciola ’06 married Nicole Williams, a former Potsdam student, on July 19, 2008.


Marion Roberts Wells ’43, July 7, 2007.



Sarah Ethel Mack ’36, June 13, 2008.

Potsdam People

Erin Johnson Hogan ’96 and her husband, Scott ’96, celebrated the birth of their first child, Liam, in May 2006. maneely

Hazel Hofman Smith ’32.

Nicholas Maneely ’07 married his longtime “SUNY Potsdam sweetheart,” Sarah Henderson ’07, on Nov. 23, 2007 in Malone, NY. They honeymooned in Lake Placid, NY, and now reside in Schenectady, NY.


Potsdam People

Chris Alvaro ’99, and his wife Diana Gleason Alvaro ’99 announce the birth of their son, Nathan Christopher, born August 17, 2007 (middle). Neil Bryson ’99 and his wife Karen Kotelnicki Bryson ’01 announce the birth of their son, Douglas Cooper, born May 15, 2007 (right). Scott Mulcahy ’98 and his wife Heather Grillo Mulcahy ’99 announce the birth of their son, Bryce Austin, born July 8, 2007 (left). Amy Jandreau Knussman ’99 and her husband, Michael Knussman ’98, welcomed the birth of their son, Miles Grady, on July 17, 2007.



Michael D’Amour ’98 and his wife, Kathleen Lucey D’Amour ’99, welcomed their first child, Derrick Michael, on Feb. 17, 2008.

Megan O’Sullivan ’02 and Andy Janack ’02 married on Aug. 18, 2007 in Buffalo, NY. Both are music teachers in the Saratoga Springs City School District and reside in Ballston Spa, NY. Allison Comtois ’03 married Kyle Wormuth ’03 on Aug. 11, 2007 at the W!ld Center in Tupper Lake, NY. They now reside in Charlottesville, VA. Matthew D. Smith ’03 and Julie B. Trevett ’04 married in May 2008.

Alex Herzog ’91 and his wife, Shawn, announced the birth of their second child, daughter Aubree Seneca, on May 7, 2007.

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





Join the BFR



The Benjamin F. Raymond Society recognizes alumni and

Jeremy Hopping ’99 and his wife, Leslie, welcomed their daughter, Grace Annabelle, to the family on March 13, 2008.

friends of SUNY Potsdam who,

Stephen Brien ’91, his wife Tricia, and their two daughters welcomed Sophia Grace Brien to the family on Sept. 15, 2007.

Visit us at www.potsdam.

Stephen Babiarz ’92 and his wife, Joanne Fanelli, welcomed son, Christian Gerard, on July 19, 2007.

like Benjamin Raymond, have remembered Potsdam through a planned gift. edu/advance/giftplan or contact Jason Ladouceur, at (315) 267-2123 or As you plan your future,


invest in Potsdam’s

Brad Paradis ’02 and Sherry Allen Paradis ’00 welcomed their second daughter, Gabrielle Hope, on June 2, 2008. She joins her big sister, Emily.


Domni Q. BlenmanCharlemond was born to Doreen Blenman ’02 and Alcena Charlemond on Jan. 14, 2004.

Thomas Partigianoni ’02 and his girlfriend, Jessica Schifilliti, were blessed with the birth of their first daughter, Brayden Lynn Partigianoni, on Feb. 3, 2008.


P O T S D A M P EO P LE F A LL 2 0 0 8

trivia key: Q: Who was President of the United States when St. Lawrence Academy was founded in 1816? A: J ames Madison, 4th President of the United States from 1809–1817. The position of Vice President was vacant due to Vice President Elbridge Gerry’s death in November 1814. Q: When did the residence halls first become co-ed? A: 1972 Q: Who is Minerva and why is she important to SUNY Potsdam? A: M  inerva was the Roman name of Greek Goddess Athena. She is the patron goddess of wisdom and is used at education establishments around the world. In Etruscan mythology, she is also the goddess of art and schools. Q: When did Potsdam get the first Minerva statue? A: 1  892. The Class of 1892 donated the statue. Q: What was Operation Book Lift in 1967? A: S tudents assisted in the move of over 110,000 volumes from the library in Satterlee Hall to the new Crumb Memorial Library.

Q: Who was Thomas M. Barrington? A: D  r. Thomas M. Barrington served as president of SUNY Potsdam from July 1970 until August 1978. As president of SUNY Potsdam, Dr. Barrington guided the College’s transformation from a teacher’s college to a comprehensive institution of the arts and sciences, developing three individual schools - known today as the School of Arts and Sciences, The Crane School of Music and the School of Education and Professional Studies. Q: H  ow many schools does SUNY Potsdam have? A: T hree: the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education & Professional Studies, The Crane School of Music Q: W  ho was the first performer in Maxcy Gymnasium? A: Duke Ellington, world-famous jazz musician Q: W  hat were the uniform rules for freshmen in the 1930s? A: F reshman women were required to wear three-inch green armbands on the left arm at all times except social functions and Sundays. Freshman men were required to wear red caps, or “beanies.” Q: H  ow many students are currently enrolled as undergraduates? A: 3,670

IN their

own words

Rita (ITKIN) Schwartz, Class of 1958


ifty years ago, I showed up as a freshman at PSTC. A girl from New York City, with pierced ears, loud music and as a minority – a Democrat and Jewish besides. It was a combination not often seen in St. Lawrence County in those days. I came because it was 400 miles away from home, in a part of the state that was unreachable by parents, because there was an all-male college in town and oh yes, the best music program I could ever have fallen into. And more snow, for more time, than I ever could have imagined!

So what has kept me hanging around the North Country for so long? The names that are on so many of our buildings may only be names to many, but to me, they were real people who nurtured me, were amused by my style, pushed me hard to learn, and offered me the best of themselves. Although I was a piano major, Crane Chorus became the core of my education. I made life-long friends with people from all parts of the state. That happens when you make music together for four years. I absorbed music literature that stays with me today and has informed my adult life.

Being a fledgling Democrat in Potsdam was a hoot! Traipsing around the campus with a donkey and banging on a drum to get out the vote (with a very few friends to help) and Ms. Hosmer shouting out the window, “Rita, that is not your instrument,” also allowed me to explore myself in a safe environment and helped to shape my professional life. So, I come back often to help out, see old friends, look at the buildings with names on them and say thanks.

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




2008 Reunion Class Giving Report

July 9-12

Thank you to class committees, who reached out to fellow classmates to build enthusiasm for Reunion. The results of everyone’s efforts and giving are as follows:

Class Chair(s) 50-year club *1958

**Arlene (Rutherford) Bliven David A. Conner Toby (Cerasoli) Conner Nancy (Fordon) Johnston Rita (Itkin) Schwartz Barbara (Seaman) Taranto Tom Wallace

Giving Total $650,861 $77, 078













*1993 1998 2003

$11,655 $2,785 $1,348

Lucille (Livolsi) Waterson Donald Tompkins Dale A. Zurbrick

Michael M. Messitt Sheila Dai Mark A. Dreschler

Maureen (Buffardi) Winney Donnalyn (Eaton) Shuster Glenn E. Albin Lori A. Blaha Shari Greenleaf Mark B. Hassenplug Mary E. Helander David W. Vroman

Rebecca Liddell Huppi Pam M. Ouimet Kathy Goodman

Kristen L. Martin Joseph P. Pate

2008 Reunion Giving

REUNION 2009 is just around the corner! 2008 brought more than 600 people to campus and raised more than $925,000. With workshops, concerts, barbecues, receptions and more, this is a weekend you won’t want to miss! Watch for your spring issue of Potsdam People with complete schedule and registration materials. As always, visit the Reunion Web site for housing information, class updates, special event listings and more!




* Exceeds Goal **The Class of 1958 began fundraising awareness in 1998. Their 10-year effort has brought in an overall total of $102,191! In addition to the original committee, as the 50th reunion neared, more volunteers joined the effort. We wish to thank Dawn (Morey) Bartow, Belle (Goodfellow) Cullings, Janice (Selleck) Egry, Susan (Lester) Ford, Ellen M. Gold, Sylvia (Amarel) Infantine, Shirley (LeVan) Muzii, Jane (Kohn) Pressman, Joan (Cleveland) Scott and Mariel (Whitman) Bossert.




KE ND 2008





calendar of


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

October 18

Potsdam Dedication Ceremony for Becky’s Place at Pratt Commons Celebrate SUNY Potsdam’s new bistro made possible through the investment of PACES, the SUNY Potsdam five-year capital plan and the generosity of an anonymous friend in memory of Rebecca R. Pratt, Class of 1997.

October 26

Potsdam 9th Annual L. Felix and Helen Miller Ranlett Organ Recital Featuring guest artist Andrew Unsworth, Morman Tabernacle Organist.

October 29

Potsdam A Major Affair Students will have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and alumni as they choose their major at Potsdam.

November 7

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

November 18

Rye, NY SUNY Potsdam Crane Symphony Orchestra Performance In support of the Potsdam VFW Post 1192.

November 21&22

Potsdam Celebrate Bears Hockey With the First Official NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Game on Friday and a Men’s Ice Hockey Reunion complete with an alumni game on Saturday.

December 5

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

February 6

Potsdam Bear Pride Night Show their Potsdam spirit in this all-day campus event. Go Bears!

February 23 March 9 March 14


Albany Politics Alumni Reception Catch up with other alumni, current faculty, emeriti & students for this gathering celebrating the Politics Department at Potsdam. Potsdam U.S. Army Concert Band and Chorus Performance With Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier ’75, commander and conductor. Florida Annual Florida Alumni Luncheon Be a part of this special gathering in the Sunshine State with Potsdam alumni, faculty and emeriti.

April 8

Potsdam SUNY Potsdam Job Fair Conduct your job or internship searches. Have an opening? Please consider bringing your full-time, part-time, internship, summer vacancies or volunteer opportunities to this event.

May 1&2

Potsdam Spring meetings for the Potsdam College Foundation Board and Alumni Association Board of Trustees

May 15-17

Potsdam SUNY Potsdam Commencement Celebrations Graduation cebrations will begin with the Party in the Plaza on Friday, followed by the Master’s Commencement on Saturday and the Bachelor’s Commencement on Sunday. w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e


The people make the place!

Our Faculty & Staff alumni make Potsdam work everyday.

Pictured, from left to right: from left to right: Paul Siskind ’86, Sherry Paradis ’00, Heather West ’98, Ada Santaferra ’00, Laurie Simpson ’97, Jane Subramanian ’72, Lori Blaha ’83, Erin Kerwin ’05, Robyn Hosley ’77, Laura Stevenson ’07,Victoria Hayes ’90, Tammy Mason ’88, Terry Tiernan ’74, Tina Bush ’89, Louise Tyo ’00, Mary Dolan ’97, Taylor Harper ’02, Kathy Perry ’75, Jason Ladouceur ’94, Mona Vroman ’85, Jennifer Kessler ’92, Sheila Scott ’92, Felicia Neahr ’08, Linda Moerschell ’82, Kathy Johnson-White ’02, Toby White ’89, Kris Sherburne ’01, Stephanie Coyne-DeGhett ’76, George Arnold ’92, Carol Rourke ’81, Darren Blake ’07, Don Mandigo ’68 Not Pictured: Susan Aldrich ’87, Bill Amoriell ’68, Bridget Bradish ’01, Carol “Kickie” Britt ’69, David Britt ’73, Josh Brown ’02, Kathleen Chapman ’98, Sue Ellen Colgan-Borror ’75, Julie Dold ’03, Becky Duprey ’93, Sarah Elliott ’99, Christine Fink ’05, Gary Galo ’73, Karen Gibson ’93, Roberta Greene ’08, Hannah Gruber ’03, Amy Guiney ’01, Amanda Hargrave ’94, Joshua Holmes ’02, Kathryn Hughes ’02, Nathaniel Infante ’04, Kathryn Jeror ’91, Kristin Jordan ’97, Suzanne LaRose ’91, Susan Manfred ’76, Christina Martin ’99, Lynn McGrath ’97, Donna Mosier ’74, Lorelei Murdie ’81, Phil Neisser ’79, Casey Nelson ’96, Nicole Nephew ’08, Michael Phillips ’96, Steven Pike ’96, Romeyn Prescott ’92, Susan Randall ’82, Daryle Redmond ’93, Janet Robbins ’81, Kristina Rugg ’05, Donna Smith–Raymond ’95, Michael Sovay ’89, Mary Stickney ’91, Carolyn Stone ’98, Donald Straight ’88, Patricia Whelehan ’69

44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

Fall 2008 Potsdam People