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

Fall 2009 Vol.4 | No.1

The FLIP side of the

Potsdam experience




Triple Threat. Inspiring teacher. Check. Accomplished pianist. Check. Gifted painter? Check! Dr. Wyse, associate professor of piano, has used his talents in both the musical and fine arts to tantalize the senses. He is the only Steinway artist to have painted a portrait of a fellow Steinway Artist, music legend Leon Fleisher, that belongs to the Steinway Art Collection. He recently completed a portrait of SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller.


John & Susan Omohundro Creating a living legacy for scholarship.

Jason Patchen ’90 Balancing independence, accountability in service.

Living the foundation of excellence in performance.

Allen Schoer ’71 Creativity as our most valuable asset.

Departments News & Notes 3 Class Notes 19 In Their Own Words 27 Alumni 28 Reunion Special 29


Frances Coan Roberts ’64 On the cover: Senior Afolabi “Ace” Azeez is one of the many SUNY Potsdam students who displays and embraces his many sides. As a

Criminal Justice major and Women's and Gender Studies minor, who interns with University Police and works with alumni through the Phonathon, his diverse interests and talents have the opportunity to shine. For more examples of


students who sport an unlikely combination of interests, see the story on page 12.

An Unlikely Combination Multi-faceted approaches are encouraged as Potsdam students explore differing interests.

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Letter From

the president


ne of the things that I love best about SUNY Potsdam is the broad range of interests of individual students, faculty and staff. Our College is a place where it is not unusual to find a Crane student interested in being a sign language interpreter or a student who is a double major in art and geology. It is a place where a member of the Department of Mathematics knows the Racquette River like a professional guide and where an alum is a successful musician and businessman and also a published food critic. For me, a history professor who also studies the Aztec language, who prides himself on his vegetable garden and cooking and who is allowed to sing from time to time on the Hosmer stage, Potsdam is a small slice of paradise. A fantastic example of the eclectic diversity of interests and talents of our faculty is manifest in Associate Professor Paul Wyse of The Crane School of Music. Paul is an internationally known pianist and Steinway artist. He has a full studio of students and is a highly respected teacher. In addition, he has been working tirelessly to raise funds for the Julia E. Crane International Piano Competition. An hour-long documentary of the competition is available to PBS stations around the country narrated by Paul, through WPBS, our local station. But beyond this, he is also a well-known portraitist. His oil painting of his mentor Leon Fleisher hangs in Steinway Hall in Manhattan. Recently, as a gift to the College, he offered to paint my portrait, currently on display in my office. At present he is working on a commission from Steinway to paint a portrait of another Steinway artist, Billy Joel. It is simply amazing that a person so talented in one area would also be so accomplished in yet another, but this diversity of talent and interest is by no means unusual here on our campus. This diversity of interests is not an accident. Our College is the type of academic community that encourages and nurtures the multiple facets of each individual. The success of this curriculum is manifested in the lives and achievements of our alumni. We have novelists who are amateur historians, musicians who are powerful lobbyists, scientists who are talented artists and artists who are passionate about protecting the environment. Alumni also come back home, back to Potsdam, to share their talents with our students, conducting master classes in Crane, giving lectures about business practices in our Business Administration program or offering industry insights to our Computer Science majors. They also accept student teachers into their classrooms, host student interns in their businesses and serve the College on committees ranging from reunion planning to marketing. Through contributions to scholarships, alumni help stimulate the intellectual diversity that is so prominent on campus. This small financial investment provides students with the ability to pursue their dreams and multiple interests. In reality, it allows us today to invest in the future. Giving to scholarships is helping to create the future, using Potsdam as the conduit. Similarly, providing funds to help faculty conduct research, pursue professional development or engage in creative activity, directly influences the intellectual climate on campus and helps to stimulate the intellectual diversity that makes SUNY Potsdam such a rich place in which to live. Quite simply, for me, there is no more exciting place to be than here in Potsdam. We stand on the verge of the future and are taking an active role in forming the multi-faceted professionals who will shape our world for decades to come.



FA l l 2009

Vol. 4 | No. 1

Pots dam P e opl e Sta f f a n d Co ntr i b uto rs E ditor Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing and Communications Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Director of Alumni Relations Wr iter / Ed itor Deidre Kelly, Media Relations Manager Ranah Matott, Web Production Associate We b M anag er Mindy Thompson, Director of Web Communications Contr i b utors Christa Carroll, Director of The Fund for Potsdam Nancy Griffin ’08 (hon.), Development Officer Boyd Jones ’95, Sports Information Director Jason Ladouceur ’94, Director of Planned Giving Donna Planty, Publications Associate Sherry Allen Paradis ’00, Director of Donor Relations Laura Stevenson ’07 (hon.), Alumni & Donor Relations Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Vice President for College Advancement Des i gn & Art D i recti on Jessica Rood, Director of Publications P H OTOG R A P HY Kathryn Deuel, Principal Photograper


news & notes New Initiatives

Help Write Helen Hosmer’s Biography In preparation for the 125th anniversary of The Crane School of Music in 2011, Dr. Nelly Maude Case, a musicologist on the Crane faculty, is putting together a comprehensive biography of Helen Hosmer and is looking for stories from those who knew her.

Outgoing SUNY Potsdam Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Walt Conley (center) poses with honorary degree recipients Joe Lamond (left), NAMM president and CEO, and Chuck Lorre (right), award-winning TV show creator, executive producer and writer. College News

Rock Star Wannabes Turned Industry Leaders Earn Honorary Degrees Rock star dreams led them both to Hollywood seeking fame and fortune, but fate had other plans for NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond and award-winning TV show creator, executive producer and writer Chuck Lorre. Now several years beyond their musician-for-hire days, Lamond and Lorre were the dynamic duo at SUNY Potsdam’s Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony in May. They served as the keynote speakers for the ceremony and were awarded honorary

doctorates from The State University of New York in front of approximately 600 bachelor’s graduates and hundreds of their friends and family. Lamond received an Honorary Doctor of Music in recognition of his music education advocacy efforts and success as a leader in music business. Lorre received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his contributions to the entertainment industry and his work to support healthcare opportunities for the less fortunate.

College News

Rare Recording of Crane Chorus Found

The latest fashions, electronic gadgets and collectible items are all popular picks on eBay, but no one suspected an extraordinary piece of history from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music would be offered there. In fact, many never even knew it existed at all until a Crane librarian stumbled upon it while looking for old recordings. Crane Music Librarian Edward Komara was searching for Leopold Stokowski records on eBay and discovered the United Nations performance of Ahmed Adnun Saygun’s “Yunus Emre” by the Crane Chorus, conducted by Stokowski, from 1958. The incredibly rare recording was being auctioned off by a dealer in Turkey.

After many discussions about the recording and consultation with SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller and College Archivist Jane Gatta Subramanian ’72, Crane Audio Engineer Gary Galo ’73 made an offer to the dealer based on donations from Dr. Schwaller; Galo and his wife, Ellen; Subramanian; and Dr. Gregory and Tracy Wanamaker ’08. “The Saygun record remains the most elusive of all of Leopold Stokowski’s recordings. Although at least three Stokowski discographers have listed the record, to the best of my knowledge none have actually seen it,” said Galo. “The extreme rarity of this record, combined with the importance of this performance in Crane’s history, makes it an invaluable addition to our College archives.”

A limited edition LP of the performance was issued by the Turkish Information Office in New York, but the extent of the distribution is unknown. “I had never seen a copy in my 45 years of record collecting,” noted Galo. “Crane received a copy of the original tape after the performance, which remains in good condition. When I found out about the recording, I asked Helen Hosmer and Brock McElheran what they knew about the record and, surprisingly, neither was aware that a record of the concert had been issued.” Galo has now cleaned the record on the Crane Library’s VPI Record Cleaning Machine, made a digital transfer and made high-resolution scans of the labels. It now resides in the College Archives for safekeeping.

Hosmer gave 44 years of professional service to SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music as a teacher and eventual director of the Department of Music, a post she held for 36 years. She also remained active in the Potsdam culture well into the 1980s. Dr. Case wants to illustrate Hosmer’s life through the stories of those who knew her. “I am looking for just about anything anyone wants to relate: what she was like as a teacher, conductor, administrator, friend, neighbor, travel companion – you name it,” said Dr. Case. “One can always find the facts and figures about her life, but it’s the stories of personal interaction on all levels that will play an important part in this work.” Dr. Case encourages anyone with material about Hosmer – anecdotes, reminiscences, tributes, etc. – that illustrate how she affected your life or the lives of others to contact her at, (315) 267-2759 or Dr. Nelly Maude Case, The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam, NY 13676. Previously, Dr. Case included a section of tributes and anecdotes about former Crane School of Music Professor Brock McElheran in his 2006 biography, Worry Early. That work is available from The College Store, with all proceeds going to The Crane School of Music.

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news & notes

chugh award



College News

Inaugural Chugh Research Award Given to Bio Student

SUNY Potsdam Welcomes New Crane Dean

Dr. Ram L. Chugh (right), retired professor of economics and former director of SUNY Potsdam’s Merwin Rural Services Institute, recently visited campus to present the first Ram L. Chugh North Country Research and Public Service Award. The Chugh Award is made possible by an endowment established by Dr. Chugh and his wife, Seema. Jason L. Gokey, a senior biology/chemistry major from Lisbon, NY, received the Chugh Award for his outstanding research on “Barotrauma in Angled Fish.” Gokey co-authored the research with Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jason F. Schreer and Professor of Psychology Dr.Victor J. DeGhett.

Dr. Michael Sitton, former dean of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University, has filled the post of dean of The Crane School of Music. He replaced Dr. Alan Solomon, who served as dean of Crane from July 2000 until his retirement in June 2009.


kilmer award

Three Kilmer Awards Given to Student Researchers Three Kilmer Undergraduate Research Poster Excellence Awards were presented to outstanding student researchers at the inaugural Research Awards Ceremony in April. The Kilmer Awards are made possible by a generous gift to the Potsdam College Foundation from an anonymous donor in memory of her great-grandfather, Dr. Frederick Kilmer, original science director for the Johnson and Johnson Corporation.


Dr. Bethany Usher, director of undergraduate research (center), presented the first place Kilmer Award to sophomore biochemistry major Banu Kandemir (right) for her research titled “The Binding of Human Transferrin to the Transferrin Receptor and the Delivery of Iron to Cells,” coauthored with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Fadi Bu-Abdallah. The second place Kilmer Award was presented to Jason Gokey, senior biology-chemistry major, for his research titled “Barotrauma in angled fish may be more common and more dangerous than you originally thought,” co-authored with Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jason F. Schreer and Professor of Psychology Dr.Victor J. DeGhett. Biology Professor Dr. William Romey’s Freshwater Ecology Class received the third place Kilmer Award for their work on “Abiotic Influences on the Density of Unionid Clams.” The project was a collaboration with high school students in the AP environmental science class at Canton High School, taught by Tom VanDeWater.

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“I was deeply honored by the invitation to join the SUNY Potsdam community and to provide leadership to The Crane School of Music,” said Dr. Sitton. “The Crane School’s deep roots in leadership and innovation in music education, underlying the strong engagement and excellence of its current faculty, staff and students, make this a singular opportunity for an administrator with a commitment to the critical cultural role of the arts, and to music in particular. I look forward to many opportunities to continue and enrich the strengths represented by the Crane tradition, to be part of a broad vision of educational and cultural leadership at SUNY Potsdam and to serve the campus, its faculty, staff and students.” Dr. Sitton was appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University in July 2005. A native of North Carolina, he previously served as associate provost at Hollins University. He also served Hollins as acting vice president for academic affairs and as music department chair, and previously taught at Coker College in South Carolina and at the Conservatory of Central Illinois. A pianist and composer, Dr. Sitton received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina’s Mars Hill College, pursuing graduate study at the University of Kentucky, the Schola Cantorum of Paris and the University of Illinois, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. During his performing career, he has been active both as a solo recitalist, exploring a special interest in French piano repertoire and as a collaborative musician. He has performed with ensembles including the Hollins Chamber Players and Hollins Piano Quartet, and was keyboard principal for the Roanoke Symphony prior to his move to New Mexico. Dr. Sitton’s work as a composer, principally of choral music, has earned a series of Composers’ Awards from ASCAP as well as publications and commissions. He also has published articles on historical and pedagogical topics.


news & notes


Potsdam Economic Stimulus from Hinds Gary ’77 and Debbie Diefendorf Hind ’75 have generously offered to match online gifts that donors make this fall. Personal giving can have an extra impact on any area of the College that is special to you. The Hinds will match your online gift if you are a first-time donor of $50 or more (matched up to $100 per household). They will also match your online gift if you are an existing donor and you increase your giving by $50 or more over your most recent gift (matched up to $100 per household). To make a gift, please visit giving. College News

New Librarian Selected after Nationwide Search SUNY Potsdam has selected Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek, former senior assistant librarian at the College, to fill the position of director of libraries. RogersUrbanek replaced Rebecca Thompson, who retired after 19 years of service to the College. As director of college libraries, Rogers-Urbanek will serve as the chief administrator of the Crumb and Crane Libraries, including planning, fiscal management, supervision and assignment of personnel, and representation of the library to outside constituencies. Rogers-Urbanek has worked at SUNY Potsdam since 2003, first as a cataloging and collection development librarian and then as a collection development coordinator and technical services team leader.

SUNY Potsdam students check out the Minerva statue that resides at Kherson State University in Ukraine and compare her to the Minerva statue at SUNY Potsdam. Pictured on the trip are Nikki Langhorne of Medford, NY; Andrew Brosious of Vestal, NY; Jennifer Trejos ’02 of Hannawa Falls, NY; guest Heidi Martin; Louis Landry of Puyallup, WA; Laura Duell of Sackets Harbor, NY; Carine Kowalik of Wantagh, NY; Johan Kaskela of Massena, NY; Connor Pelkey of Madrid, NY; and Zachary Lyndaker of Brownville, NY. Research

Students Explore Eastern Europe & Present Academic Papers Nine SUNY Potsdam students spent two weeks of the summer learning about global business practices as they explored Ukraine and Austria and had the opportunity to meet with academics and business people at the top of their game. Led by Associate Professor of Business Administration Dr. Greg Gardner, who teaches the Eastern European Business course, several students presented research papers at a business economics conference at Kherson State University. The students’ papers were peer reviewed and accepted for publication in the conference journal. They were guests of the university and mingled with students who also served as translators. The group visited Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, where they had briefings on Ukraine and eastern European business and political conditions by the economics and public affairs staffs at the U.S. embassy and officials at SigmaBleyser, the largest private equity investment firm in Ukraine.

“This experience gave us an opportunity to apply our knowledge from the classroom to the real world, which enabled us to research and intelligently discuss real-world issues and legitimate solutions to actual problems with government officials and business professionals,” said senior business administration and psychology major Johan V. Kaskela of Massena, NY. After Kyiv, students went to Odessa for a little culture and flew to Vienna, where in addition to sightseeing, they pondered how Vienna has been the economic gateway to Eastern Europe for hundreds of years. In an effort to further nurture the relationships SUNY Potsdam has with Ukraine, Dr. Gardner is looking into hosting an international conference here next year for students and faculty.

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news & notes Dr. Raymond is co-teaching some inclusion modules in the NMMV teacher preparation program and working with faculty to develop that curriculum further. In addition, she will spend time in local public schools, gaining insight into their implementation of inclusionary practices to serve diverse learners and possibly doing workshops of Universal Design for Learning.


Drs. Dewar & McCloy Honored with Leadership Through Service Award SUNY Potsdam honored Drs. John Dewar and Sandra McCloy, North Country physicians for 25 years, with the 2009 Leadership Through Service Award. The award was established to honor those outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a commitment of service to the Potsdam community. Each year, award recipients are acknowledged for demonstrating a special contribution to the betterment of the Potsdam region through dedicated service. College News

Advancement Staff Trading Places Long-time SUNY Potsdam employee and Class of 1985 alumna Mona Ouimet Vroman, former development officer, has stepped into the role of director of alumni relations in the Office of College Advancement. Sherry Allen Paradis ’00, former director of alumni relations, has taken over the position of donor relations and campaign director. In addition, Emily Hutchison has been brought on board as director of development, coming to Potsdam from the non-profit world of development. “We are very excited about these changes and feel it will best position us for a prosperous and successful future,” said Vicki Templeton-Cornell, vice president of college advancement. “I know I speak for everyone 6


“The North Country is a healthier place because of the dedication and compassion of these two outstanding physicians,” said Dr. John F. Schwaller, SUNY Potsdam president. “They know nothing of selfishness and are models of what it means to be a family doctor. Their focus has always been on caring for people, regardless of their ability to pay or the time of day. They are excellent examples of community leaders who are passionate about service.”

at the College when I say how grateful we are to Mona and Sherry for the exceptional work in their former positions. Together with Emily, we are looking forward to challenges and rewards that lie ahead for SUNY Potsdam.” DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Two Faculty to Serve as Fulbright Scholars SUNY Potsdam Associate Professor of English and Communication Dr. Derek C. Maus and former Associate Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies Dr. Eileen B. Raymond have been awarded Fulbright Scholar Grants to lecture at Karl-Franzens University in Graz, Austria and at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, a coastal city on the southern coast of South Africa, respectively, during the 2009-2010 academic year.

She will also assist the university in the development of their teacher education performance assessment system based on her experiences at SUNY Potsdam. Dr. Maus will be teaching American literature and culture courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and advising theses for the summer 2010 semester. College News

Business Administration Advisory Council Established

The newly established Business Administration Advisory Council, spearheaded by Department Chair Dr. Donna Mosier, held its first meeting on campus in May. The council is chaired by Mark Hassenplug ’83 of Malvern, PA. He is global pharmaceutical markets leader and key accounts partner for Ernst & Young, LLP. In conjunction with the council’s fall meeting in September, they developed a program for Business Administration students titled “The Dos and Don’ts of Job Searching in Today’s Market.” The other council members include Michael Beacham ’79, assistant vice president for sales and marketing support, Columbian Financial Group, Syracuse, NY; Joseph DeMart, executive director, St. Lawrence County Housing Council, formerly vice president at the Newton Falls Paper Company; Allyson Doctor, assistant vice president for TeleHealth Solutions and outreach development and coordination for the Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC; Jeff Doctor ’95, business entrepreneur based in Charlotte,

NC, and president of the lobbying firm CDK Consulting; and Meaghan (Meg) Flood ’06, analyst to program management and current year work plan management for National Grid, based in Syracuse, NY. Also, Dr. Nancy Frost, former dielectrics engineer and technical marketing manager for Americas for Von Roll USA, Inc., based in the Albany, NY, area; John Struthers ’97, president of Normont, Inc., based in Montreal, Canada; John Wicke, general manager, Penski, Inc. Staffing, based in Potsdam; Nicole M. Wright ’06, senior lending officer, Adirondack Economic Development Corporation in Saranac Lake, NY; and Rob Zolner, co-founder and sales associate of Northern Music and Video, Potsdam, and adjunct professor with SUNY Potsdam’s Crane Institute for Music Business. DEVELOPMENT & Awards

Dr. Ranlett Given ’09 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award

SUNY Potsdam named Dr. Judith Becker Ranlett, hon. ’07, the recipient of the 2009 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the College. The annual award is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated steadfast support for SUNY Potsdam through leadership, advocacy, service and stewardship. “Dr. Ranlett is truly fitting of this award,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller. “She regularly demonstrates her loyalty, affection and dedication to the College by openly sharing her ideas and insights to encourage the further development of the institution. Her continued support and guidance, both as a professor emerita and personally, have made Potsdam a stronger institution.”

Damon Brown of Brooklyn, NY a senior guard at SUNY Potsdam, was named to the 2009 SUNYAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference Second Team. He led the Bears in scoring with 454 points for a 17.5 per game average, which was fourth in the SUNYAC. He also led the team in steals with 34. His 65 three-point field goals and 44.5 percent of shots made led the team, which was also tops in the conference. His free throw percentage of 79 percent was third in the conference.

Cortney Poirier of Moira, NY, a junior guard, was named to the 2008-09 All-SUNYAC Women’s Basketball First Team and the 2008-09 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Upstate Women’s Basketball Second Team. She led the Bears in scoring last season with 487 points for a 17.8 game average. She was also the second-highest scorer in SUNYAC. With 106 steals, Poirier also topped the Potsdam steal stats and again placed second in the SUNYAC. Her current three-year career tally stands at 1,282 points.

Two SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey players have been named to the 2009 All-SUNYAC Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Connor Treacy of Markham, Ont., was chosen for the First Team while Fraser Smith of Fonthill, Ont., received Honorable Mention. Treacy, a junior forward, led the Bears in scoring with 20 goals and 20 assists for a total of 40 points on the season. Smith, a sophomore forward, had the Bears second-highest goal tally with 16. Smith also had nine assists for a point total of 25 during the 2008-2009 season.

Leading the men’s lacrosse team was senior James Mulligan of Hudson, NY, who was named to the All-Conference First Team. Juniors Ben McCullough of Brampton, Ont., and David Blackburn of Heuvelton, NY, were chosen for the All-Conference Second Team. Mulligan is a Potsdam defenseman now making his second appearance on the AllSUNYAC team. He grabbed 12 groundballs and caused five turnovers by Bears opponents during the past season. Midfielder Ben McCullough returns to the All-SUNYAC Team for the second consecutive season. McCullough led the Bears offense as he tallied 30 points

LaRowe Named AllAmerican at NCAAs Nathan LaRowe, a junior diver at SUNY Potsdam, finished 4th in the 3-Meter Dive of the 2009 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships with a score of 499.35. LaRowe was named an AllAmerican for his achievements in the national competition.

During the past season, LaRowe was named to the SUNYAC Men’s All-Conference First Team and was twice chosen as the SUNYAC Diver of the Week.

Women’s Hoops Advance to SUNYAC Championship For the first time in school history, the women’s basketball team, under the guidance of Tara Ruckh, advanced to the championship game of the SUNYAC Tournament. The Bears faced Brockport for that historic contest hosted by SUNY Cortland. In the hard-fought championship contest, the Bears fell 51-57 to the Golden Eagles, who were coached by former Potsdam standout Nicole Beauregard ’01. In the SUNYAC semi-finals, the seventh-seeded Bears defeated the top-ranked Cortland Red Dragons 64-59 while the Brockport Golden Eagles defeated Oneonta 56-54 in their semi-final game.


Dana Vollmuth of Great River, NY, a sophomore catcher, was named to the 2009 AllSUNYAC Women’s Softball Team. She became the first Potsdam softball player to receive all-conference recognition.Vollmuth led the Potsdam offense with a .408 hitting percentage, which also placed her fourth among SUNYAC hitters. Vollmuth finished the year with 17 runs, including six doubles and five homeruns as she tallied 19 RBIs.


Eight SUNY Potsdam athletes were recently named to 2009 All-SUNYAC Teams for winter and spring sports.

In February, LaRowe captured both the 1-meter and the 3-meter springboard events at the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships. His 3-meter dive score of 552.70 then broke both the SUNYAC Conference and Championship meet records.


Students Awarded All-SUNYAC Honors

while finishing the year with 15 goals, 15 assists and 47 groundballs. Blackburn, Potsdam’s faceoff specialist, is also making a repeat appearance on the All-SUNYAC Team. Blackburn grabbed 56 groundballs while tallying a 143-92 faceoff record.

Ruckh was named the 2009 Coach of the Year by Potsdam’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Ruckh’s women’s basketball team finished the season with a 17-12 overall record.

Diving in NCAAs for the third consecutive year, LaRowe of Latham, NY, also competed in the 2009 1-meter dive, where he placed 13th in preliminary competition with a score of 422.95.




news & notes



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Jo h n & Susan Omohund ro Potsdam



ongevity demands that a singular contribution be made in order for one’s name and deeds to live on. However, within the tomes of SUNY Potsdam’s history, Dr. John and Susan Omohundro will be remembered not just for one contribution but for many. The most recent endeavor they have undertaken is the creation of two separate scholarships, which will be awarded for the first time in the spring of 2010. One scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding anthropology major who has demonstrated academic excellence in the major and has an economic need. The second scholarship will go to an environmental studies student who exemplifies similar qualities and needs. A professor of anthropology for 35 years and a founding creator of the Environmental Studies program, Dr. Omohundro is no stranger to the College. He and his wife of 40 years have not only seen the College go 8 8


through many changes, they’ve we will do now is alter the will so that the been part of them as well. money given will go into our scholarships.” “We didn’t expect to stay “John’s parents were our inspirations because it’s so common to move for the scholarships,” Mrs. Omohundro to different institutions early in explained. “After John’s father, Thomas your career,” Dr. Omohundro Omohundro, passed away in August of explained. “But we fell in love 2008, his mother, Elizabeth, wanted to set with the village life here, and up a scholarship in Thomas’ name. Before the College welcomed Susan she could finish the process, she too passed and me.” away. We wanted to finish what they Besides serving as chair for started.” the Department of Anthropol“Also, we never had to bear the expense ogy from 1974 to 1982, Dr. of sending children to college, but we know Omohundro also pioneered the what kind of a financial burden it can be,” development of the interdisciMrs. Omohundro said. “So we feel we plinary Environmental Studies should help someone else’s child experience program, which was first offered what we were able to.” to students in 2003. As so many SUNY Potsdam alumni and From a generous donation students can attest, the availability of scholargiven by Mrs. Omohundro’s ships often leads to excellent opportunities parents in 2001, Dr. Omohunand not necessarily in just one field or major. dro has also overseen a re-vamp “I have always encouraged my students of the Collegiate Anthropologist, to pursue any interests outside of their mathe student academic journal for jor and seek out scholarship opportunities the departto help make them hapment. pen. Why limit yourself? “Over Be an anthropology ma“I have always encouraged jor, throw pots in the Art the past eight years, Department and travel those funds my students to pursue any abroad for a semester,” have helped Dr. Omohundro advised. interests outside of their anthropolo“Not only can you do gy students major and seek out those kinds of things at develop and SUNY Potsdam but you publish the scholarship opportunities should because you won’t journal. It’s be fully human until you come a long way from to help make them happen. embrace this kind of dualits simple beginnings. ity that defines a good This current issue will Why limit yourself? ” liberal arts education.” mark its 30th year, As retirement nears, and I’m very proud the Omohundros plan to of that and all that the continue living nearby, students have done with it.” enjoying the wild spread of the Adirondacks In 2001, Dr. Omohundro was promoted and continuing the relationships they’ve to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teachbeen building with campus and community ing Professor. Thus, the desire to give back members for the past 35 years. to the institution that has honored him over “Being at SUNY Potsdam has proven to his career was a strong motivation for creat- be the longest alliance of my career. I look ing the scholarships. forward to still being a part of it after retireThe Omohundros’ monetary-giving ment as Susan and I step into our new roles history began about 10 years ago when as donors as well as community members,” they decided to name SUNY Potsdam as a Dr. Omohundro stated. benefactor of their wills. “At the time, we didn’t know exactly how the money would be implemented except that it would go to the Anthropology Department,” Dr. Omohundro said. “What


Ja s o n Patchen




veryone strives for success, and reaching a goal is seen as the ultimate reward for hard work. However, any good entrepreneur knows that it’s the path towards achievement that matters most. Having successfully developed three companies from the ground up, Jason Patchen ’90, current CEO of American Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a top 50 Healthcare IT Company based out of Tampa, FL, is no stranger to success or the journey there. “Success requires not only hard work and dedication but also a willingness to look introspectively at you.You define your passions and match them up against your strengths,” Patchen recommends. “Ultimately though, it takes more than being good at something to succeed at it; you have to believe in yourself, your business, and what you’re trying to accomplish.” This philosophical trinity showcases the level of business acumen Patchen has fostered. According to him, it was his experiences as a student and Delta Kappa Theta (“DK”) fraternity member that gave him both opportunities and challenges, which helped shape him into the businessman he is today. “The Potsdam experience taught me

Patchen (left) with colleagues.

independence, responsibility and accountability. The educational foundation I received coupled with my major in economics was core to my professional growth and the core understanding necessary to succeed in continuing on with my MBA. “Additionally, membership in DK was extremely important, as it instilled in me the values of teamwork and great friendship. A fraternity is a business and we ran it that way,” explained Patchen. “We focused on personal accountability, fundraising and marketing strategies to increase membership. We increased our profits and membership to its highest levels ever, and the path we took to those achievements made us better leaders.” Patchen has a family history of working within the healthcare industry, and his work within this field was cemented, in part, by his SUNY Potsdam internship experience with the New York Legislature. The focus of the internship revolved around a research project about the economic impact of SUNY schools on their local economies. In addition, Patchen was given the opportunity to appraise and rate healthcare initiatives up for state legislation. “The internship with Assemblyman Bob Nortz was an incredible experience. It was invaluable to my growth in my major, as the

research I conducted allowed me to apply economics to a real-world query,” recalled Patchen. “It also helped me see the value in being diverse in my skills and experiences; being well balanced is vital to growth both personally and professionally.” This growth has continued for Patchen. His current company provides Electronic Health Records to patients and providers nationwide, and according to Patchen, “the use of these products represents a paradigm shift in American healthcare resulting in an improvement of health outcomes and a reduction in costs. President Obama supports it, and we truly believe in what we are doing in the industry.” This level of commitment to making a difference in people’s lives carries over to Patchen’s charitable work. Currently, Patchen works with several non-profit organizations. “I see my work with charities and my work within the business world as completely interconnected and I always have,” explains Patchen. “To succeed, you need to take your work personally and understand how it affects your co-workers, family and community. When you do this, giving back becomes a natural and essential aspect of business.” Without question, Patchen’s success is noteworthy and far-reaching. His willingness to take chances, learn from opportunities and stay focused on his values has seen him through many journeys that have also led to triumphs. “I have a plaque in my office that says you can’t steal second while keeping your foot on first. I think about that statement a lot,” said Patchen. “Taking chances has helped me be a better husband, father, son, leader and friend. Without taking some risks, trying new opportunities and having the support of educators, friends and family, I certainly would not be in the position I am today. Achieving both success and happiness depends on your willingness to journey down unfamiliar paths.” In the future, Patchen is looking forward to hosting SUNY Potsdam undergrads in internships at his company. He strongly feels that others should be given the kinds of opportunities he had while at Potsdam and wants to be a part of the value he sees in receiving a quality education.

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F ra n c e s C oa n R o b e rts


here are defining moments in our lives that are often crafted into life lessons. We may not recognize them as such until hindsight allows us to see that the values we carry were instilled in us during those very specific moments. Frances Coan Roberts ’64, founding conductor of the Long Island Philharmonic Chorus, the Long Island Masterworks and the Long Island Choral Festival & Institute, attributes many of her value-defining moments to the experiences she had as a piano major at The Crane School of Music. “I tell people all the time that I was born at The Crane School of Music, and I owe my life to the experiences I had there, as well as to the superb faculty who guided me. They made my time here a truly transformational one,” explained Roberts. “I had a wonderful four years!”



Roberts came to Crane as a piano major but will admit that she wasn’t enthusiastic about playing at the inception of her academic career. “I had auditioned with the piano but honestly hated it and couldn’t see myself pursuing it. I enjoyed performing, however, and I could do the mechanics of it but I lacked passion.” Thanks to former professor Jim Ball’s persistence, she found her spark. “One night, I was up in the third-floor practice rooms pounding away at the keys when I suddenly felt my wrist relax. The notes began to flow together faster and smoother than ever before! I ran downstairs to Mr. Ball’s studio to tell him and he gave me an hour lesson right then and there. He saw a spark in me and lit it; I haven’t stopped making music or loving it since.” In addition to this spark, another faculty member, Dr. Robert Washburn ’49, enlivened Roberts’ inner thirst for learning. “He taught us music by putting it into a larger context,” explained Roberts. “When we learned about Mozart, we learned about his music, his life and the social and political environment he composed in. This unique approach turned us into inquisitive knowledge seekers, and it instilled in me a solid core from which I became the teacher I am today.” Another life lesson learned, which shaped Roberts’ approach to her work, came from the wisdom of Helen Hosmer, who was the dean of Crane at the time. “For me, it was such an awesome experience to have this stunning woman lead a music school, especially at a time when women weren’t running anything!” said Roberts. “I completely admired her zest for life. She used to tell us, ‘don’t waste one minute! Fill your lives with music and meaning!’ Those words resonated with me, and it became my life’s work to share music with people. It’s something that must be done not for ego’s sake but because it makes a difference in the world.”


These connections between honing her passions, always seeking to learn and making a difference have motivated Roberts throughout her 25-year career teaching high school chorus. To this day, she feels that the greatest reward received during her professional career has been the relationships she’s maintained with some of her former students. “Some of my students have become my closest friends. They come and visit me during the summer and we laugh and reminisce,” Roberts said. In 1979, Roberts was asked to found and conduct the Long Island Philharmonic Chorus. A few years later, she conducted the Carnegie Hall debut of the chorus. Carrying on the message of filling people’s lives with ‘music and meaning’ as Helen Hosmer had urged Roberts to do, in 1990, she became the founding Artistic Director and conductor of the Long Island Masterworks, a group dedicated to performing highquality, original works. Under Roberts’ guidance, the organization has commissioned three works. The first was a benefit concert honoring breast cancer victims, survivors and their families. Crane alum Roger Ames ’66 wrote the second commissioned piece, and its focus was raising awareness about the holocaust. The third work will premiere in November, is based on a poem by alum Paul Rosen ’56 and is also being written by Ames. Roberts’ passion and her commitment to sharing music to make a difference have earned her recognition in her profession. She has been honored twice by the Long Island Philharmonic, and in 2003 she was selected as an “Everyday Hero” by Newsday. She was also chosen as an “Outstanding Secondary Educator of America” and has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in American Music. While it’s untraditional for a conductor to give up the baton, Roberts has no qualms about doing so when a valuable lesson can be learned. “I’m an educator at my core, and I see more value in giving other young educators the chance to conduct than keeping the control. It’s a legacy of teaching music that was instilled in me at Crane and one that has helped me go very far in this profession.”

See page 28 for information about the premiere of Roberts’ newest piece and alumni gathering prior to the performance.


Allen Scho er




hat if the creativity within individuals in all us is infinite? Each of us professions. Over expresses it differently. But time, he and his the real issue isn’t about quantity. It’s about colleagues developed access - our ability to lift the lid off of other successful proour self-imposed constraints in order to grams in the areas of tap into this limitless potential. I’m very culture change, team excited about what you haven’t yet created,” dynamics, executive according to Allen Schoer ’71, CEO and presence and comco-founder of TAI consulting. munications. “Each person sees the world in a unique While managing way. The individualized vision is one of the global operations, most valuable assets we bring to our relaSchoer responds to tionships and our work. I work with people speaking engagefrom all walks of life, helping them tap ment invitations into internal resource, encouraging them around the world. to discover how they can cultivate their He also offers own creativity. They become more fulfilled strategic counsel to in their work, and as a result, productivity CEOs, politicians increases.” and administrators TAI is an international consulting firm in higher educabased out of Manhattan. Their approach tion. He is currently utilizes the principles of the performing arts working on a book along with other disciplines to cultivate the about the benefits of infinite creative assets within individuals and developing creativity organizations. and its application The firm’s inception can be traced in our lives. It took back to the late ’70s, when Schoer and his a mere 48 hours co-founders were working as professional to secure an agent actors and directors in New York City. and only another “Based on our 48 hours for Random House to own needs as offer a deal for publication. well as those Schoer matriculated as of our colPotsdam’s first undergraduate “What if the creativity leagues, we felt theater major and went on to compelled to within us is infinite? Each earn an MFA in acting. He fully develop a workacknowledges that his performshop committed of us expresses it differently. ing arts background enables him to helping artists to take TAI to groundbreaking But the real issue isn’t experientially heights. “At Potsdam, people rediscover the were dedicated to helping me about quantity. It’s about meaning in understand and cultivate my their work and own creative processes,” Schoer the impact they access - our ability to said. “I learned firsthand about make,” described the value of relationships, while lift the lid off of our selfSchoer. practicing the skills of building Originally a community. TAI is a successful imposed constraints in intended for manifestation of those original those in the discoveries.” order to tap into this performing arts, Schoer has recently become this offering involved in several SUNY limitless potential. ” immediately Potsdam events, offering his magnetized time, talent and support to both individuals from students and the administration. all walks of life. It was glaringly evident His eagerness to reconnect with the Colthat this work spoke to a universal need. lege stems from the many parallels he sees Within one year, the initial program was between the work TAI is doing and SUNY being offered and delivered worldwide for Potsdam’s future impact on the world.

“It is an absolute pleasure to work with the students, faculty and the Administrative Cabinet. Hosting alumni events here in New York is just one part of our rich collaboration,” commented Schoer. “The College is at a creative juncture. I’m committed to helping bring the fullness of its extraordinary character and legacy to the world. That’s both a mandate and a privilege!” Schoer returned to campus in fall 2007 to serve as the keynote speaker at the Student Leader Conference. Christine Strong, vice president of student affairs, met Schoer for the first time during that event and described the impact he had on all those involved. “Allen’s way of being with our students was, at the same time, calming and provocative. He has a masterful way of acknowledging what is and then asking one to think more deeply or analyze more critically. He is an attentive observer with a keen ear for details. We are blessed to have him in the fold and grateful for his generosity of time, talent and spirit.”

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combination: by Deidre Kelly





flute player

who travels to the tropical West African country of Ghana to study

or an


education major who

stars in a play

is not the exception at Potsdam. It’s the norm.

When prospective students show interest in SUNY Potsdam, they are told up front about the thousands of opportunities they have to get involved, explore their interests and expand their horizons. Most colleges deliver a similar line in hopes of attracting the best and brightest to their institutions. One of the main differences with Potsdam, however, is that a multifaceted approach to education is not just presented – it’s strongly encouraged and even required. The following are just a small number of our students who are taking part in research and scholarship that allow them to step out of just one role and incorporate another role into their education or recreation. They ultimately know becoming a well-rounded individual puts them on a route to success that will carry them through an ever-changing world.

Class year:


Hometown: Lunenburg, Ontario

Allison Jaillet

Majors: Geology, Archaeology, Dance When Jaillet’s not digging up mammoth graveyards in South Dakota or conserving artifacts from a 16th-century Basque Whaling Ship, she’s busy choreographing dance performances or performing in them herself. “All of these relate, but you have to actually take a look to see it. Archaeology and understanding cultures feeds to dance and the different styles around the world. I refuse to ever perform a dance style unless I understand it and am not insulting



the culture by performing it in a way that is unacceptable. “In reverse, seeing how dance is represented through history is great, but having an understanding of how difficult it is gives me respect for past cultures and impresses me with their abilities. You can even tell by the bones of the feet if someone was a dancer and, along the bones of the rest of the body, by the specific elongation of the muscles.

“Dance relates to geology because of the balance I have on rocks. I know that sounds silly, but if I wasn’t in shape because of the dance and my balance wasn’t great, I’m sure I would have dropped the geology and fallen over a cliff. “Museum studies relates to all of the subjects because all of them can be seen in museums, and maybe someday I’ll work in one.”

Class year:


Rochester, NY Major: Environmental Studies Hometown:

R.J. Mattimore

Mattimore was one of the “go to” guys who staffed the SUNY Potsdam Helpdesk, assisting faculty, staff and students with their technology glitches. But when he was not troubleshooting a laptop or defragging a hard drive, you could find him enjoying the great outdoors and making strides to preserve it.

“It was not until I came to Potsdam that I really started looking at the environment, eventually changing my major to Environmental Studies. I am of the belief that people know the difference between right and wrong. But they need to be given the correct, factual information to make an educated decision.

“Despite what many people think, technology and the environment go hand-in-hand. Technology has allowed us to get in the environmental trouble we are in; however, it also has the ability to help us out of it. We are the ones that must decide how we use that technology.

“Last summer, I lived in the Adirondacks, on top of Poke-O Moonshine Mountain, for two months. This was an interesting experience, because I had none of the resources I would normally use on a daily basis: no running water, no plumbing, no electricity and no housing. I stayed in a

tent the two months. I was left with only the things that nature provided me. I quickly began to understand the power of this awareness. I had previously used horrific environmental photos to spark emotion in people, showing them a dead baby bird from DDT, or the remnants of deforestation. This was the wrong tactic. Using the beauty of the environment and informing them of how this beauty is being lost makes a stronger impact.”

Class year:


Hometown: North Babylon, NY-

Business Administration, Music Business minor Major:

Amanda-Camille Isaac knows how to get down to business – whether it’s in the boardroom or on the stage. While her major is business administration, her passion is singing. She spent the summer at the International Lyric Academy located in Viterbo, Italy, singing opera, participating in master classes, learning the Italian language and studying under professional singers and professors.

Amanda- Camille Isaac “My interests in music and business complement each other because music is a business in its own right. As an aspiring opera singer, I have to be educated on the inner workings of the music and music business industry. Professional singers usually have people working for them as their agents, managers, accountants, financial advisers and legal advisers. As a business major, I have studied and gained knowledge in all these professions and more. I believe that this has made me a well-rounded individual and musician, be-

cause I will not be depending solely on other individuals. “But music is my passion. Music is something that has been in my life forever. Music is what makes me, me. It is what makes Amanda-Camille unique and is what sets me apart from the other business people out there. I use music as a form of expression, to connect with other individuals. Music fulfills me.”

2011 Hometown: Corning, NY Majors: Biology, Adolescent Education, Theatre Class year:

With a goal of eventually teaching general science at a middle school or biology at a high school, theatre may not seem like an area of expertise one would need. Lott, however, has seized the opportunity to explore an area she loves and make the most of her time at SUNY Potsdam by being involved. “Biology and theater do not usually go hand-in-hand. I like keeping both sides of my brain active. I always joke that I can physically feel the different sides of my brain clicking on and off as I go from a science class to a theater class. I like feeling

Caylynn Lott like I’m doing more than the minimum with my time at Potsdam. “The most important of my three majors is always going to be education, because I have always wanted to teach. I know that Potsdam is one of the top teacher education schools in the country, and I trust that when I leave here in 2011 with a master’s and two bachelor’s degrees, I will be totally ready to take on a classroom. If it weren’t for the free-natured spirit of Potsdam, I wouldn’t be able to do all that I do.

I didn’t come as a freshman intending to be a triple major. When I took acting and history of theater to satisfy a few general education requirements, I loved them both and wanted to get more involved. What I love about Potsdam (and what I always tell the families I give tours to) is that you don’t HAVE to major in something you like. I decided to declare a major because it fit with my career goal, but I wouldn’t have HAD to. I could have taken more classes, been in plays, maybe even decided on a minor. I’m so glad I picked a school that lets its students get a little taste of everything.”

Class year:


Hometown: Niskayuna, NY

Leanne Merrill

Majors: Music, Mathematics (B.A./

M.A.), Environmental Studies

Merrill plans to take her love of math, nature and song and combine them into a career as a math professor, or as a number cruncher for an environmental activist group or maybe a music teacher… She has lots of options. In the meantime, she’s busy on the Ultimate Frisbee Team, in Hosmer Choir, as an officer in the Student Government Association, as president of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honors Society and as president of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women. 18


“Music and math are a natural combination – both rely on logic, proportion, attention to detail and PRACTICE. My interest in the environment reflects a growing trend among young people, realizing that we need to take action to change and reverse current environmental degradation to insure our futures. I hope to combine math and environmental studies in some way in my career, and use my music background both for my own continued enjoyment and to reach out to multiple groups of people.

“I plan my days and weeks in advance to make sure I have enough time to do everything, and I try as hard as I can to stick to my schedule. It’s actually a help to have so much to do, because I would get bored if I did the same thing all the time. Switching activities often makes me more efficient.”


June (Carton) Kennedy ’39 celebrated her 90th birthday in April 2009 with friends and family in Martinsburg, WV. Kennedy is pictured in the front row with her sister, Joyce (Carton) Longshore ’43 (left). Standing is her nephew Thomas Longshore ’83 and his wife, Barbara (Samelski) Baker ’69.

1940s Richard H. Zoller ’40 and Kathryn (Warner) Zoller ’40 have been married for 66 years. Kathryn taught mostly in elementary schools for 36 years. Richard taught public school music for one year and was a Bandmaster in the Army for 30 years. Richard, now 93, is still active in the arts and publishes a review column weekly. Kathryn is also active, having spent 11 years on the board of the Sierra Vista Symphony. The Zollers were founders (with two others) of the Sierra Vista Symphony, now in its 13th season.

1950s Joan Becker Smith ’52 was recently honored by the Greater Chamber of Commerce as “Citizen of the Year” in Greene, NY.

Some Potsdam alumni from the Myrtle Beach area met for a luncheon in North Carolina in February. Pictured (l to r) are Phyllis Corbin Raville, Crane librarian from 1947 to 1956; Wilbur “Red” Raville ’52; Margaret Curtis Aquino ’50; Antone Aquino ’50; George Cuppernull ’52; Sue Cuppernull; Mary Lou Crane Sedlak ’49; and Shirley Secor Bush ’49. Absent are Doc Dwight Murphy ’52 and Nancy Murphy. Rosemary Spencer ’57 went to Vienna to participate with the Citrus Community Concert Choir as part of the Haydn Festival. The group is singing two compositions by Ed Lojeski. Spencer is also a new great-grandmother as of April 25, to Corbin John Spencer.

In February 2009, members of the Class of 1958 held a mini-reunion. Pictured from left to right are Marilyn Gaggin, Maria (Dejulio) Di Maria, Rita (Itkin) Schwartz, Ellen Gold, Norma Luce and Judith (Dermody) Zangas. Rita (Itkin) Schwartz ’58 and Sylvia Amarel Infantine ’58 met in Portland, ME, to attend a concert featuring Renée Fleming ’81. The trio chatted about their days at Crane.

Susan Campbell Torrance ’61 is now a homemaker after she retired from her educational pursuits. After living in Ohio from 1961 to 1984 and in New Jersey from 1984 to 2000, she moved back to her hometown Gowanda, NY to be near her family. Torrance and her husband are active volunteers in the village. She is president of the chamber of commerce, a member of the Kiwanis, on the library board, and running a family business. She is looking forward to their 50th anniversary in 2011.

Clarinetist Joe Rosen ’62 and his wife, Christina, hosted “A Night of Music” at their apartment in Manhattan in April. The gathering was limited to 30 guests, most of whom have made performance a major part of their adult lives. The evening consisted of individual and joint performances from alumni representing each decade from the 1950s to today. Pictured are the Rosens (center) with SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller (r), and his wife, Anne (l). Bill Jones ’63 retired from Parsons Child & Family Center in 2005, as a full-time music therapist. Jones taught music education in college and public school for 20 years. He recently helped develop the Authorized Steinway Virtual Model D Concert Grand Piano. He is actively performing in solo and ensemble recitals, serving as organist and choir director at the United Methodist Church in Slingerlands, NY, and teaching piano in his Delmar, NY, home.

Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Marilyn Mazur Weiner ’63 and Hal Weiner’s “State of the Planet’s Oceans” was one of only five documentaries nominated for best television program of 2009. Narrated and hosted by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, the PBS documentary investigates some of the most critical challenges to the health and sustainability of the world’s oceans. Peter Crumb ’64, the son of Frederick Crumb, the eighth president of SUNY Potsdam, recently donated World War II letters, documents, photos and records to the SUNY Potsdam library named after his father.

The Community Performance Series Studio Orchestra, a 17-piece big band under the direction of Wally Siebel ’68, backed up CPS guest artist John Pizzarelli in a Crane concert titled “A Tribute to Frank Sinatra” in April. Pictured are (front, l to r) Michael Nystoriak ’93, Herm Matlock, Siebel, Pizzarelli, Glenn Drewes ’71, Tim Savage ’84, Jake Whitesell ’05, (back) Wayne Davison, Pat Carney ’82 and Christopher Creviston (Crane faculty).



Class of 1960 50th Reunion in 2010

Ed Bailey ’63 recently was honored for 40 years of service with ABC News during an awards banquet and ceremony at Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel.

Class of 1965 45th Reunion in 2010

Jerry M. Grodin ’69 was elected as president of the New York State Psychological Association. He will serve as president beginning January 2010, while serving as president-elect during 2009.

1970s Class of 1970 40th Reunion in 2010








T.C. Boyle ’68 and his wife, Karen Kvashay ’69, recently met with SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller and his wife, Anne, at his home in Monetcito, CA, to discuss his new book, The Women. Marilyn Hardie Klerx ’68 retired from the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland (Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra) and lives with her husband, Wilin Malmedy, near the original spa in Belgium.

Ralph Hastings ’70 had his organ compositions featured during the Madison, WI, First Baptist Church worship service by Theodore Reinke, who is a member of the Madison Chapter, American Guild of Organists. After 37 years of coaching high school basketball at Ogdensburg Free Academy, William B. Merna ’70 was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.

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As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

Kathleen Keegan Cummings ’71 and Kenneth Cummings ’71 retired from the Martin County Schools in 2005, after 34 years with the system. Ken retired as an elementary principal, and Kathy was a middle school history teacher and team leader. Since retirement, Ken has set up a property management company, and presently is managing an oceanfront high-rise condominium. Even though they had to rebuild their home after hurricane Frances and Jeanne, they love living in South Florida.

Livonia Central School District.

Peter Fusco ’71 has published Quelle, the first novel in a trilogy. His latest works, Frankie Tomatoes Goes To Confession, A Madman’s Short Stories, Running – How to Get Elected on a Shoestring, My Father’s Recipes – My Stories, Ellen, Black Girl, White World, and others are or will be available soon.

Bonita Betters-Reed ’73, foundation board trustee, received two distinguished awards from Simmons College, the 2008 Daniel Cheever, Jr. Faculty/Staff Community Service Award and the President’s Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.

Robert Leader ’72 received the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians’ Award for Outstanding Music Educators at the 21st annual Music Educators Night in March. Leader is director of Livonia High School Bands and music department chair in the 20


Walter Weitzmann is still enjoying winters in Spain. He gave a two-session course in “Wagner & Constantin Frantz” last fall. This fall, he will give a three-session course in “Wagner and his Germany.” Joan Brennan Molinaro ’74 is moving to the beach with her husband, Tom. New York State Assemblyman Marc W. Butler ’74 was re-elected to the 117th District. This district includes Fulton, Herkimer and northeastern Otsego counties.

Janet Konstantin Miller ’75 has become the publisher of the Clairemont Community News, a 16-page newspaper for the San Diego community of Clairemont, which circulates to 23,000. She was also sworn in as president of the Greater Clairemont Chamber of Commerce.

SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller (left) presents Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier ’75, commander and conductor of the acclaimed United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., with a plaque recognizing his participation in the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. Col. Palmatier spoke with students about how his education at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music led him to a career in which he plays for presidents and royalty around the world.

Michael Tebbano ’75 & ’79, superintendent of schools for the Bethlehem Central School District in Delmar, NY, was the keynote speaker at SUNY Potsdam’s 2009 Master’s Commencement Ceremony.

Class of 1975 35th Reunion in 2010 Glens falls

Rich Johns ’72 was one of 10 national finalists for the 2009 Starfish Award presented in recognition of the efforts of No-Cut coaches at the USTA Tennis Teacher’s Conference.

Larry Lisk ’72 is thinking that it has been a long time since graduation; however, he still has vivid memories of classmates, professors, and the unique period in history that they all played a role in at that time.

Roth ’03, Matthew Fuller ’97, Lisa Beale Buckley ’01, Lisa Colandrea ’01, Barbara Hutchison Campbell ’52, Sharon Sykes, Nick Maneely ’07, Sarah Henderson Maneely ’07 and Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85.

The School of Education Alumni Association recently awarded Elizabeth “Betty” Briggs ’75 of Afton, NY, its 2009 St. Lawrence Academy Medal during the College’s Annual Reunion Weekend. The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has made significant contributions to the field of professional education or related fields. Briggs, the superintendent of Afton Central School, was recognized for her commitment and on-going devotion to public education.


For more information, visit or contact Jason Ladouceur in the Office of College Advancement at (315) 267-2123 or


Join the Benjamin F. Raymond Society, which recognizes alumni and friends of SUNY Potsdam who, like Ray and Laura Seidel Toland ’70, have remembered Potsdam through a planned gift.


join us in the benjamin F. Raymond Society

SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends gathered at Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery in Glens Falls, NY, in June prior to attending the Adirondack Theater Festival production of Ordinary Days. Pictured (seated, l to r) are David Britt ’73, Ella Weldon Collins ’72, Nancy Rhymer Armstrong ’73, Nancy Fuller, Joan LaDue Heritage ’73, Carol Crupi Kemp ’72, (standing) Carol “Kickie” Holloway Britt ’69, Athena


In March 2009, Robert Sperber ’75 published his first novel, Lines of Control, a murder mystery set against the world of medical fraud. Mike Kane ’75, communications officer at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY, was elected eastern vice president of the Turf Publicists of America. Kane, who has worked at the museum since 2005, is a former president of the National Turf Writers Association.

In May 2009, members of the Class of 1970 met for a reunion in Wilmington, DE. The group of classmates all lived on the first floor of Knowles North during their freshman year in 1966. They hadn’t connected in nearly 40 years. Pictured are (l to r) Arlene Wood Baker, Sandy Weston, Fran Traux Georgianna, Carol Rieger McLachlan, Kathy Cerny Evans, Anne Barletta, Melinda Bower Welter and Cathy Fiske Kuczynski.



Kathryn Weigl Potter ’71 is retired from teaching and playing French horn professionally. She is enjoying an administrative assistant job with no “homework.” Steven Bach ’76 is the music director of one of the biggest shows in the world, Cirque du Soleil’s Zaia, which is currently located in Macau, China. Janet Cohen Frank ’76 recently retired from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland after 29 years as a music educator and music therapist. She plans to begin consulting as a best practices mentor for student teachers and new hires in elementary and middle school music programs. Greg Geer ’76 is “retiring” in July after eight years as the superintendent of the Byron-Bergen School District and 30 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. Geer has accepted a position as assistant professor of educational leadership at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. Tom Litty ’76 developed a real appreciation for music at Potsdam, although he was a computer science and math double major. Three years ago he became a member of the Archdiocesan Festival Chorale for the Archdiocese of New York, which had the honor and unforgettable experience of singing for the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium in April 2008. Kevin Yatarola ’76 had a gallery show featuring his photographs at The Public Theater in New York City. The show was part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Joe’s Pub, one of the premiere music venues in New York, where he has been the house photographer. Frank Lamas ’77 has been serving as vice president of student affairs at the 21


University of Texas at Arlington since 2005. Randolph Mitchell, DMD, ’77 is working with the Office of the Medical Examiner in Rochester, NY, as a Forensic Odontologist. He also operates a private practice in Lyons, NY. Rich Holly ’78 was named dean of Northern Illinois University College of Visual and Performing Arts. Prior to being named dean, he was a faculty member and administrator for 26 years. Glenn McRae ’78 was recently appointed as the executive director of the Intervale Center in Burlington, VT, an innovative enterprise celebrating 20 years of developing local food systems. Elizabeth Myers Lewis ’78 retired from her job as director of program assurance at Verizon in December 2007, after more than 29 years of service. She spent 2008 traveling, redecorating around the house and investigating opportunities for her next career. She opened her Candy Bouquet franchise in February. Donnalyn Eaton Shuster ’78, an art teacher at FrankfortSchuyler Middle and High School, was named the Region three New York State Art Teacher’s Association’s art educator of the year. Region 3 covers the counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Madison and Herkimer. She also accepted a position on the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Robin Gates Weisburger ’79 is an anatomic pathology practice manager at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She has also started an art and framing business. Her first show/ reception in June featured six local artists, including herself and her daughter.

S P RIN G 2 0 0 7

Donato Vaccaro ’79 recently was promoted to the associate director position at the Consumer Reports National Research Center, where each year more than one million surveyed consumers provide brand ratings of products and services. Keith Patterson ’79 graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. He recently accepted a position as state advocate for Housing Works in their Albany office. He hopes to begin the discernment process for ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. Beverly Hasch Payne ’79 recently celebrated her 25th anniversary with BAE Systems and its predecessors. She is the manager of

compliance infrastructure and coordination, in charge of the ISO and process compliance programs at the San Diego facility.

1980s Class of 1980 30th Reunion in 2010

Steven Constantino ’80 is now the associate superintendent for leadership and learning in the Cobb County School District. Cobb County is the secondlargest school district in Georgia with 106,000 students. He published his second book, “101 Ways to Create Real Family Engagement,” in July 2008. Larry Detwiler ’80 is the director of student activities at Jakarta International School after more than 20 years as a high school vocal music teacher. He continues to sing

with the faculty a cappella group VOXessential. Robert Natowitz ’81 is a recruiter for Ideal Search Services LLC in Georgia. Linda Moerschell ’82, an instructor in SUNY Potsdam’s Departments of English and Communications and Information and Communication Technology, successfully defended her dissertation, The Intersection of Punctuated Equilibrium and Leadership Emergence within the Framework of Naturalistic Decision Making, in 2008 and received a Ph.D. in applied management and decision sciences with a specialization in leadership and organizational change from Walden University, Minneapolis, MN.

Scholarships awarded in support of internships SUNY Potsdam awarded a number of scholarships to students in support of their internships over the summer. Pictured (front, l to r) are scholarship recipients senior Kendra Matott of Potsdam, who interned with Time of the Faeries photographer Joseph Corsentino in Los Angeles, CA; sophomore Joseph Bernier of Chateaugay, NY at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.; and junior Alexa Ricks of Watertown, NY at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George; as well as (back, second from right) senior Allison Bourquin of Manorville, NY at the New York City Opera; and senior Michael Randazzo of Rock Tavern,

NY (back right) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA. Also pictured are Toby White ’89 (back), who provided scholarship assistance for Matott’s internship along with his wife, Kathryn Johnson-White ’02 (not pictured); Kathryn Harvey Perry ’75, donor of the endowed William N. Sloan Scholarship for Bourquin’s internship; William Sloan, namesake of Perry’s scholarship; and Donnita Firnstein (front), who provided scholarship assistance for Bernier’s internship along with her husband, E. Peter Firnstein.

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Lisa L. Dale ’83, a senior financial advisor with Waddell & Reed since 1986, has been named a recipient of the firm’s Crest Award, a top honor for its financial advisors. Presented annually, the Crest Awards are bestowed to the firm’s most productive financial advisors based on an analysis of investment, insurance and financial planning sales generated by the advisor. This is the ninth time she has earned the honor.

Class of 1985 25th Reunion in 2010

Philip Gow ’83 works full-time at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as the automotive dealer account manager. In addition, he is currently serving as chairman for the town of Royalton Planning Board.

Bryan H. Jenner ’85 is entering his 24th year of teaching music and is currently the general music teacher, chorus and band director at South Amboy Elementary School in South Amboy, NJ. South Amboy is a 2008 NAMM recognized Best Communities in America for Music Education. Jenner also has been recognized three times in Who’s Who among American Teachers. He lives in Manchester, NJ, with his wife, Michelle ’90, and two sons.

Kent Fetter ’84 qualified and ran the 2008 Boston Marathon, finishing in 3:29:38. He is currently the boys and girls cross country/girls track coach at Norwood-Norfolk Central School and is training to run this year’s 2009 Boston Marathon. Lisa Golas Warmbrodt ’84 has been promoted to Information Technology Officer at Tompkins Trust Company. She has been with the bank for nine years. Elizabeth Moore ’84 was recently named chairperson of the Virginia State Review Board. This board reviews all nominations for recommendation to the National Register of Historic Places from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Deirdre Roberts ’85, her husband and their 15-yearold daughter embarked on working in and attending international schools nearly 11 years ago, first at Lahore American School in Lahore, Pakistan, later at the InterAmerican Academy in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and for the past four years at the International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Tom Hull ’85 has been named chief information officer at Siena College in Londonville, NY. He was previously CIO at Visions Credit Union and Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University. William J. Martin ’86 was promoted to professor of mathematical sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Martin holds an affiliated appointment in the Computer Science De-

partment. Internationally recognized for his research in algebraic combinatorics and its applications, he has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and the National Science and Research Council of Canada. He is a fellow of the Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications. Brett Clare ’86 won the 2008 USA Cycling 40+ Master’s National Points Race Championship in San Jose, CA, September 2008. Edward Tyler ’86 was in a choral music concert featuring an alumni choir from the past 70 years from the Manchester High School Roundtable Singers. LTC Thomas Bluntzer ’87 is serving as a U.S. Army Military Transition Team member to the Iraqi Army close to Baghdad. He works with the Iraq Army for counterinsurgency instruction. He is married to Jamie Lyn Domion-Bluntzer ’89. Frieda Toth ’87 was named the director of the new Crandall Public Library Teen Center in Glens Falls, NY. With more than 12 years of experience serving children and teens, she is looking forward to making the Teen Center a vibrant and welcoming part of the library. Jeffrey Chamberlain ’88 was named to the firm partnership of Duane Morris LLP. He concentrates his

practice in patent prosecution, due diligence and patent litigation. John Combs ’88 is in his second year as the head coach of the Chicago Machine, a major league lacrosse team.

students at Potsdam in honor of Champney, affectionately remembered as “Mr. C.” by his students. If interested in contributing to the “Mr. C.” Theatre Scholarship, please contact the Potsdam College Foundation at (315) 267-3053.

Tom French ’88 was featured in the February issue of Mac|Life Magazine with his students from Massena Central’s Junior High School. The story highlighted the work done by French’s classes in writing and producing public service announcements that have aired on WWNYTV 7 (CBS) and Fox 28.

Laurence Tallman ’89 received the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians’ Award for Outstanding Music Educators at the 21st annual Music Educators Night in March. Tallman currently teaches music theory, composition, piano and world music in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District.

Nancy L. Griswold ’88 earned certification in Solar Hot Water and Photovoltaic Site Assessing to help homeowners decipher the Wisconsin and federal programs and understand which technologies are best for their situation. Greg Kelly ’89 is doing some great work in the music industry for veterans. Katie Damp Klossner ’89 met with Megan Champney Meagher (daughter of William Champney, drama professor, 1968-1991), Dean of the School of Arts and Science Dr. Galen Pletcher Hon. ’09 and his wife, Helen, while they visited Colorado. Both Klossner and Meagher have been instrumental in the efforts to establish an endowed scholarship for theatre


Class of 1990 20th Reunion in 2010



Debbie Byrne Kasson ’90 & ’92 and Susan Beattie O’Hea ’90 catch up in Boston, MA. They met as freshmen while working together in the Knowles Residence Hall mailroom and have been friends ever since. Kasson resides in Vestal, NY, with her husband and three daughters. She is a Literacy Coordinator for the Union-Endicott School District. O’Hea resides in Avon, MA, with her husband and daughter.

Money-Saving Service for SUNY Potsdam Alumni HOME & AUTO INSURANCE = SUPPORT FOR ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP! Did you know you can save money on your auto and home insurance through Liberty Mutual just by being a Potsdam graduate? And what’s even better – this program directly supports the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association Scholarship! The Alumni Scholarship supports children or grandchildren of Potsdam alumni. Sign up today and help a current student! Visit or call 1-800-524-9400



She is a math teacher for the East Bridgewater School District. Vanessa Breault Mulvey ’90 became a certified Andover educator in February. She joins approximately 50 other musicians in the world who teach Body Mapping and the course, What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body. Jonathan Babcock ’91 is the associate director of choral activities at Texas State University-San Marcos. He conducts the School of Music’s University Singers and Men’s Chorus. In 2010, he will travel to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to conduct and give workshops in choral music at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and in 2011, will lead performances of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in Athens, Greece. Babcock lives in Kyle, TX, with his husband, Danton Bankay. Jeffrey Cateon ’91 is now an elementary assistant principal at Halifax Elementary School in Halifax, MA, after serving as a teacher for the past 12 years in Taunton, MA. Jude Kiah ’91, director of Western Illinois University’s Go West Transit System, has been named director of the University Union Bookstore at Western.


doctorate in instrumental conducting.

A team from A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam attended the National Forum Schools to Watch National Conference in Washington, DC, in June. While there, Principal James Cruikshank ’92 & ’97 accepted the “School to Watch” recognition on behalf of AAK. AAK is one of 13 schools statewide and 183 nationally recognized middle schools. The National Forum Schools to Watch recognizes schools that adhere to the “Essential Elements” of excellence in middle level education. Also accepting the award are (l to r) David Vroman ’83, Corey Flynn ’02, Helen St. Louis ’87 and Doug Saber ’00. Directors of the Indian River High School Drama Department Kristie Fuller ’92 and Phillip Dyke have been selected to perform in the world’s largest and most prestigious arts festival in the world, located in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of the American High School Theatre Festival. Darlene Dietrich Lombardo ’92 was awarded the National Council for Geographic Education’s Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award for 2008 at the national conference in Dearborn, MI. She currently teaches fifth grade in a co-teaching classroom at Pal-Mac Intermediate School with Audrey Paul Loughlin ’96. She also sings with the country band Lower than Johnny. Charles Reader ’92 was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at Ball State University. He is working towards a



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Nathan Bell ’92 was appointed director of research and policy analysis for the Council of Graduate Schools, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve and advance graduate education. Justin Sipher ’92, chief technology officer at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, co-authored an article in the November 2007 issue of EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY titled “A Learning Opportunity for Staff: Simulating an IT Department Review.” He also co-authored an article in the EDUCAUSE April 2009 Research Bulletin titled “Crowdsourcing the IT Help Desk: A Cloud Approach to Mass Intelligence.” Sipher is currently on the faculty, the director of the EDUCAUSE Management Institute and a member of the Microsoft Higher Education Advisory Group. Christina A. Traver Hamrick ’93, a labor relations specialist for New York State United Teachers, has been recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for showing Dedication, Leadership and Excellence in all aspects of employee relationship management. John Saint Amour ’94 accepted a new position as a copyright specialist in the Public Information Office of the U.S. Copyright Office. He served in the Performing Arts Division as a copyright examiner for more than five years. Jennifer Benson ’94 is currently the literacy specialist at The American International School in Kuwait. She has been teaching in Kuwait for seven years where she met her husband, David.

in the fall of 2008. He began his career with Chateaugay Central as a vocal teacher and has served as both the elementary and high school principal. Scott Flath ’94, technology resource teacher at H.H. Poole Middle School, was named Teacher of the Year this year and has tried the entrepreneur field with an original Web site for teachers, called Amy Leonard Sipher ’94 was appointed an admissions adviser at Empire State College in November 2008. Class of 1995 15th Reunion in 2010

Melissa Minnick Grattan ’95 is the owner of Make It Personal Fitness Training. She recently launched the national Boot Camp Challenge Program in upstate New York and currently runs the program in five locations in the Albany area. She resides in Clifton Park with her husband, Matt, and two sons. David Valois ’80 recently was appointed assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and special education in the Ogdensburg City School District. Taylor Ferranti ’96 recently received a promotion to associate professor of vocal music and tenure at Cedarville University, located in Cedarville, OH. Colleen Conerty Christiansen ’97 is currently re-enrolled at Western Governors University for her elementary education licensure. She had an article published about Cecile Chaminade in Sigma Alpha Iota’s journal, Pan Pipes, in the winter 2008 edition.



Beth Burlingame, cousin of the late Rebecca R. (Becky) Pratt ’97, made a generous contribution to the Pratt Scholarship Fund at SUNY Potsdam in honor of her wedding on March 23, 2009. Burlingame and her husband, Brian, are pictured on their wedding day with Becky’s mother, Nancy Pratt (left), father Gene (second from right) and brother Greg. Kay St. Onge Sutka ’95 has worked at Barcones Music in Kingston, NY, since 2001, where she does instrument repair, shipping and receiving and teaches clarinet lessons. Award-winning author and historian Jason Emerson ’99 signed his books The Madness of Mary Lincoln and Lincoln the Inventor: The Story and Influence of His Mechanical Mind (Southern Illinois University Press) when he returned to his alma mater to speak to students, faculty, staff and community members about his work in the field of Lincoln research and writing.



Ann Lamb Chestnut ’99 was the recipient of prestigious state honors at the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York Convention in Rochester, NY. She has been a kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s School in Canton, NY, for eight years.

Dale L. Breault Jr. ’94 became superintendent at Chateaugay Central School w w w. p o t s d a m . e d u /p e o p l e




The Best gift to Potsdam Several Crane alumni recently got together for a ski weekend in Windham, NY. Pictured (l to r) are Andrew Janack ’02, Alison Henry ’03, Megan O’Sullivan Janack ’02, Lucas Adams, Kristin Henne ’02, Anthony Ravinsky ’03, Maureen Colson Stickney ’04, Thomas Stickney ’02 and Mia Chong ’03.

Gifts to the College’s greatest needs are a wonderful way to help. They allow Potsdam flexibility to seize compelling opportunities for our students. They can be made in memory or honor of someone special.

Moira McKernan ’99 graduated in December 2008 with a Ph.D. in marine, estuarine, and environmental sciences, specializing in wildlife toxicology. She recently started working at the non-profit American Bird Conservancy as the pesticides and birds program director.




Class of 2000 10th Reunion in 2010

SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller presented Dimitri Pittas ’99 the Rising Star Award he won in 2008. The two caught up in New York City in April.

Jessica Moquin ’00 has been named assistant director of Cazenovia College’s Annual Fund. She is responsible for managing the student Phonathon Program, fostering donor stewardship and cultivating student philanthropy through a new Student Legacy Council.

Tell us your story! Do you have a funny or significant story to share about your time at Potsdam? What is it about your Potsdam experience that made it memorable or special? E-mail us at



William Matthew Ambler ’01 is a special education teacher at Hillside Family of Agencies. He and his wife, Leslie Stockton Ambler ’01, who is a teacher for Webster Central School District, have two children. Justine Herman ’02 is a project manager at Questar Assessment. Speros Pascalides ’02 is a statistical analyst in research and development at Educational Testing Services. Gretchen E. Eggiman ’03 is about to begin graduate studies at the University of Georgia in the Archaeological Resource Management master’s program, the only one of its kind in the country. Peter Giorno III ’03 works as a portfolio manager at RBS Citizens Bank. His job, through underwriting and risk assessment, is to actively manage a $250 million loan portfolio of dealer clients in the New England region.

Rochelle MontagneSchneckenburger ’03 and Brian Schneckenburger ’98 moved to Arizona after Rochelle’s graduation so she could complete her Master of Music degree. They were married in May 2005 and moved to Baltimore in August 2006. They are teaching in the Baltimore City Public School District. Stephanie Tooke ’03 received her Master of Education degree from Utica College in May 2008. She has started her second master’s degree from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in social science. She currently teaches social studies and coaches track. Class of 2005 5th Reunion in 2010

Michael T. Balonek ’05 has completed a Master of Arts degree in ethnomusicology from Bethel University in Minnesota, having conducted field research in South Asia.

Heather Merkley-Tamburello ’06 is enrolled in the master’s program at Russell Sage in health services administration. She was married in September 2004. David Cotter ’08 is in the University of Central Florida’s Master of Fine Arts Theatre for young audiences program, which is a unique collaboration between University of Central Florida and The Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando’s only professional children’s theatre. Matthew Royal ’08 had to step into the lead role in Elijah at SUNY Potsdam with only a 10-hour notice and performed magnificently. He is the son of Peter Royal ’76 and Elaine Soellner Royal ’76.


Jane Condlin Burke ’34, Jan. 31, 2009.

Lloyd Deshawn Osborne ’00, May 20, 2009.

Bettie Raynor Smith ’39, May 7, 2009.

Katya Czerepak Greer ’02, Feb. 22, 2009.

Marjorie Moore Hanson ’43, December 2008.

Professor Emeritus Joseph T. Hennessey, March 7, 2009.

Mary E. Weer ’43, Dec. 28, 2008.

Kyle Zolner ’91 and his wife, Anna, welcomed their first baby, Harry, into the world in December 2008.

Mary Sherry Wagner ’51, August 7, 2009. Catherine J. Jones Roberts ’52, Jan. 14, 2009.


Ruth Nolta Coons ’44, March 15, 2009. Carol Nelson Steinborn ’50, May 31, 2009.

Professor Emeritus Donald E. Armagost, founder of the Department of Anthropology, March 8, 2009.

Sally Donaldson Whitman ’59, June 19, 2004. Bill Sweeney ’62, Dec. 20, 2008.


Alfred W. Thatcher, who was appointed dean at SUNY Potsdam in 1947 and then acting president in 1967, passed away at home in Brick, NJ, on May 15, 2009. Born on Aug 23, 1908, he was 100 years old.


Potsdam People

Frank Mickens ’68, July 9, 2009. David Ameele ’69, 2008. Suzanne Storey Secor ’70, Jan. 15, 2009. Suzanne Todorov Godshalk ’76, Oct. 30, 2008. Rose Marie Koch ’77, March 25, 2009.

Lisa Zaniewski Fendsack ’92 and husband, William, welcomed their third child, Ryan Patrick, on Oct. 1, 2008. He joins his twin brother and sister, Michael and Trinity.

Elizabeth Adinolfi West ’95 and her husband, Mark, welcomed Colleen Margaret Emigh West to the family on May 12, 2009. Richard DiNicola ’96 delivered his daughter on Oct. 27, 2008, at his home due to sudden onset of his wife’s labor and delivery. There was no time to get to the hospital and 911 walked them through the process. Mila was born completely healthy. He and his wife, Carise, have a copy of the 911 tape to share with their daughter when she is older.


Ana Rodgers Hubbard ’86 and her husband, Michael, and oldest daughter, Annie, came home from China in June 2008 after a three-week stay, with a 6-year-old girl, Rose Xiufen, from Beijing. Rose has adjusted wonderfully and loves school. Jenssie Flores-McClintock ’89 and her husband, Thomas, announce the birth of Everett Matthew on Dec. 20, 2007. He joins big sister Jordan and big brother Aaron.

John Saint Amour ’94 and wife, Melissa, welcomed a son, Andrew David, on Aug. 14, 2008. Dale L. Breault Jr. ’94 and wife, Tillie Richards ’95, have welcomed two wonderful children, Samuel, born May 2, 2006, and Charlie, born June 11, 2007. Katie Wahl Lester ’95 and husband, Matthew, celebrated the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Noah James, on July 14, 2008.

David Benstock ’98 and Monica Erb ’99 welcomed their first child, Ethan, on July 10, 2007. Colleen Carter ’98 and her husband, Ron, welcomed their child, Ava Rose, into the family on Sept. 24, 2008. She was greeted by her brothers, Alexander and Brandon.

Jennifer Robey Martin ’96 and her husband, Andrew, welcomed a daughter, Emily Olivia, into the world on Jan. 14, 2009.

Chris Pane ’92 and wife, Laurie, welcomed their third child, Thomas Jeffery Pane, on Aug. 18, 2008.

William H. Alexander ’53, Jan. 18, 2009. Ruth Thomas Becker ’54, Jan. 1, 2009.

Steve Bates ’91 and wife, Leigh, welcomed Maisie Midori Bates on Aug. 15, 2008.


Valerie Spanneut Steele ’96, Oct. 29, 2008.



Christian Vischi ’98 and Jessica Moquin ’00 were blessed with the birth of their son, Clark Harris Vischi, on Oct. 5, 2007.


Potsdam People



Michelle Bevier Combs ’97 and her husband, Michael, celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Kristen Ashley, on March 19, 2009. She joins sister Katie.

Joseph Zech ’99 and wife, Melinda Loiacono ’99, celebrated the birth of their baby boy, Liam Joseph, on July 17, 2008.

Craig Schwab ’97 and his wife, Dawn, welcomed Jaden Michelle, born Dec. 11, 2006, and Caitlyn Rae, born March 25, 2008.

Show your pride with a SUNY Potsdam VISA Visit or call 1-800-853-5576 ext. 8723 to learn more about the SUNY Potsdam Visa card. Show yours off today.

Help Potsdam while you shop!

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Potsdam People

Dawn Marie Cross ’00 and Peter James Mattice welcomed their baby boy, Raymond Dwight Georgia Mattice, into the world on Feb. 15, 2009. He was 7 lbs 13oz and 21.75 inches long. He is also the grandson of Gerald W. Cross Jr. ’71.

Jewel Eisenstein Hirsch ’57 and her husband, Norman, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 29, 2008. Gilles Legault ’02 and Laura Blais ’96 recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in October. Kathryn Weigl Potter ’71 and her husband, John, celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. Potsdam People



William Ambler ’01 and Leslie Stockton Ambler ’01 welcomed Nicholas William Ambler into the world on Aug. 28, 2008. He joins his big sister, Jillian. Melissa Jones DeVoe ’01 and husband, Denny, welcomed their first child, Dylan John, on Oct. 18, 2007. Gilles Legault ’02 and wife, Laura Blais ’96, welcomed their fourth son, Alexander James, on Dec. 8, 2008.

Carrie Gallagher ’91 married Gerald C. Morley on Oct. 11, 2008. Katie Wahl ’95 married Matthew Lester on April 14, 2007. Mark Teig ’98 married Tina Snyder on May 30, 2009, at the Mountainville Manor in Mountainville, NY. He works as a Union Business Agent at AFSCME Council 66. They currently reside in Pine Bush, NY.

Jennifer Smith Greene ’04 and husband, Bryan, welcomed their second son, Ryan, on Feb. 24, 2008.




Dawn Marie Cross ’00 married Peter James Mattice on Oct. 13, 2007. Mary Steele ’02 and James B. Jepson ’03 were married on Aug. 9, 2008. Fellow Potsdam alumni Mark Gerolami ’04, Melissa Kunkin ’04, Joshua Dahlin and Edward Grasmeyer ’10 were there. Speros Pascalides ’02 and Justine Herman ’02 married June 15, 2008, in Hopewell Junction, NY, at Le Chambord, and honeymooned in Ireland. Beka Shane ’04 and Christian Denter were married on June 21, 2008, in Stanley Park, Vancouver. They traveled along the coast of California to celebrate their honeymoon. David Boesch ’05 and Yeonhwa Woo ’04 were married Aug. 10, 2008, in Seoul, South Korea. Katherine Schlindwein ’05 and Scott Vorwald ’07 were married on Dec. 20, 2008.

Rachel Stringer-Grimsley ’03 married Justin Grimsley on June 28, 2008, in Wardsboro, VT. Twenty-three Potsdam alumni attended the wedding, and the couple honeymooned in Nova Scotia.

Julie Taylor ’07 and John Burmeister ’06 were married Aug. 16, 2008 in Youngstown, NY. They enjoyed a fantastic honeymoon in Jamaica and are living in the Albany area.

Emily Brown ’08 and William Hanley ’08 were married in Hall, NY, on May 30, 2009, at the United Church of Christ.

Jessica D’Arrigo Sheppard ’04 gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Beverly Abigail Sheppard, on Nov. 21, 2008.

Alumni Directory Project Underway!

Stephanie Meilak Mansfield ’05 and her husband, Corey, welcomed their second child, a son, Jacob Matthew, on April 3, 2009. Jacob joins his three-yearold sister, Emma Grace.

Thank you in advance for your participation!



SUNY Potsdam has once again partnered with Harris Connect to publish an Alumni Directory due out next fall. A series of mailings, e-mails and phone calls will be taking place during the coming months as part of the project.

IN their

own words

Award-winning television show creator, writer and executive producer Chuck Lorre received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York at SUNY Potsdam’s Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony on May 17 in recognition of his contributions to the entertainment industry and his work to support healthcare opportunities for the less fortunate. He is the comedic genius behind such hits as Roseanne, Dharma and Greg, Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. Below is an excerpt from the speech he delivered to approximately 600 bachelor’s graduates and hundreds of their friends and family.

“Thirty-seven years ago I dropped out of SUNY Potsdam and packed my ’66 Mustang with all my worldly belongings. Those belongings included one cardboard box filled with clothing, one Panasonic FM-AM stereo and turntable, one record collection, one Fender Stratocaster, one Fender twin reverb amp and one Boomerang wah-wah pedal. Once packed I took a deep breath and drove to Los Angeles with $400 in my pocket and the dream of being a rock star in my head. I sincerely hope that none of you here today are that stupid. Well, regardless – now I’m back. And I have to tell you, it’s a very strange feeling – kinda like revisiting the scene of a crime. When I was a student here, I had a creative writing professor who told me, rather bluntly, that I did not have what it takes to be a writer. Mainly because of my grammar and spelling. I don’t know whatever happened to him, I don’t even remember his name. But I vividly remember that conversation in 1972. And I thank God for it and I thank God for him. Because I spent the next 30 years trying to prove that old (colorful language used here, see full speech at wrong! R-O-N-G! Wrong! So, you follow that? It’s all very wonderful to have people in your life who tell you that you’re brilliant and talented. Could be your parents, we don’t know. But so what? Do you really think you’re gonna spend the next 30 years proving them right? No way! The thing you need to understand is that this universe seems designed to put people in our path who are exactly what we need to move us forward.”

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Calendar of Events For a complete listing of events and registration information, visit

a major affair 10.28.09 Barrington Student Union, MPR • Potsdam, NY

TAI Gath ering in NYC


W YORK CI In March 2009, Allen Sch oer ’71 once again hosted TY alumni, faculty, students and friends at TA I. with alumni their extraordi Current students and faculty shared nary educational experienc dam. Special thanks to eve es at Potsnt contributor Rita Itkin Schwartz ’58. Job Eg xfopr oa job?

to fill a Looking , , 2010 Lookin March 24 e again host n O ? n positio ill onc d alumni. tsdam w SUNY Po o for students an on last p a Job Ex ’s event will build ded more r a e y is ich inclu Th ccess wh year’s su ecruiters. r than 50

Long island masterworks concert Directed & conducted by Frances Coan Roberts ’64 & pre-concert brunch 11.8.09 Garden City, NY

NYSSMA WINTER COnference & crane alumni reception 12.3.09 & 12.4.09 Rochester, NY

Travel opportunity: Mexico, Yucatan 12.28.09 through 1.11.10

bear pride night 2.5.10 • Potsdam, NY

MEN’S ALUMNI HOCKEY REUNION 2.12.10 & 2.13.10 • Potsdam, NY




in the singing of “Annie Laurie” with Art Frackenpohl accompanying.


HOSTED BY LEX DASHNAW ’56 Lex Dashnaw leads alumni and friends

3.10.10 TAI, New York, NY

3.24.10 Barrington Student Union, MPR • Potsdam, NY


Lex & Frien ds



In May, the Alumni Association honored and thanked Frank Johns ’69, Alex Vangellow and Rob Zolner for their participation in bringing Potsdam alumni together for nearly four decades.



REUNION WEEKEND 7.8.10 THROUGH 7.11.10 Potsdam, NY

Do uble Axel



2009 Reunion Classes Celebrated and Supported the College Each year, many alumni honor their Reunion Weekend by going above and beyond their historical annual giving. This year was no exception, with three classes meeting or exceeding their goals and one new giving record set! Thank you to class committees, who worked hard to contact classmates about Reunion plans.

Fr ie n ds ..


Class Chair(s) Total Committed $2,471 *2004 5th reunion *1999 10th reunion $3,372 Amy Jo Kellogg Owen Herne Lisa Manchester

1994 15th reunion


1989 20th reunion


1984 25th reunion


1979 30th reunion


**1974 35th reunion


1969 40th reunion


*1959 50th reunion

$8,199 $17,306



Haden Land

Peter Brouwer Philip Shatraw Bill Thornton Scott Verity

Anne (Lackens) Guba Anita Mance Bob Duda 1964 45th reunion William Mercer Thomas Aceto Mary Melkonian Patricia Dvorak

In July, hundreds of alumni, friends and emeriti returned to campus to celebrate reunions, Potsdam celebrated 175 years of publicly funded teacher preparation, as well as the 50th anniversary of the State University of New York Athletic Conference.

With 2010 just around the corner, plan now to join us in Potsdam this July 8-11!

* Exceeds Goal **Set 35th reunion giving record

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

and fam ily.

our special College. In addition to class


Rebecca (Cormier) Jeffreys William Edwards

KE ND 2009


Jason Ladouceur Krista Fordham


Fac ult y Em eri ti Pic nic



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In an attempt to be fiscally and environmentally responsible, the Office of Alumni Relations is moving toward electronic communications. This means you will receive less in your mailbox and more in your inbox. To ensure you continue to hear from us, we need your e-mail address! Visit us at and click on “Information Update Form�

44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

Fall 2009 - Potsdam People  

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