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horizons Editor Elizabeth Gallagher Art Director Sarah Statham SGS ’08 Contributing Writers Deanna Cohen Elizabeth Gallagher Kelly Grant Amy Halloran Ann King Lori Maki Joely Johnson Mork SGS ’08 Cover Design Emily Jahn Contributing Photographers Tamara Hansen Joann Hoose Matt Milless Vice President for Institutional Advancement Melissa Komora SGS ’15 Director of Communications and Marketing Shannon Ballard Gorman SGS ’13 Horizons is published by The Sage Colleges Office of Communications and Public Relations for alumni and friends of The Sage Colleges. Horizons provides a review of the institution, featuring news and articles about the faculty, students, alumni, programs and activities of Russell Sage College, Sage College of Albany and the Sage Graduate Schools. Stories do not necessarily reflect policies or positions of The Sage Colleges. The editor welcomes comments and story ideas from all members of The Sage Colleges community.

FROM PRESIDENT SUSAN SCRIMSHAW As I write, The Sage Colleges’ 18-month Centennial celebration is nearing its conclusion – and what a celebration it has been! The Centennial Campaign for Sage exceeded its $50 million goal in fall 2016, and we are poised to exceed our new $60 million goal by the end of the Centennial celebration in June. We’ve hosted crowds at Centennial-branded events on both campuses and across the country, and the 100-year milestone attracted attention via the media and Sage-sponsored promotional campaigns. This issue of Horizons commemorates Sage’s illustrious past, vibrant present and promising future. It features spotlights on faculty and student achievements and 50 years of Sage athletics; a look at some of the most notable items from our archives; news about how Sage will endure for another century and beyond; and of course, plenty of photos and coverage from Centennial events. I have felt personally energized by the enthusiasm around the Centennial and foresee continued success in Sage’s second century – that is why I have mixed emotions as I prepare to step down as president of The Sage Colleges at the conclusion of the academic year this June. I will continue my professional involvement with the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin and the National Academy of Medicine and I will begin the second edition of my co-edited book, The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine. My husband, Allan, and I anticipate travel, time with grandchildren and extended visits with friends. Wherever we go, Allan and I will remain devoted to Sage, buoyed by memories of a community that will always be family to us. Thank you for believing in me and for all you have given, to help Sage Be. Know. Do. MORE over 100 years. Warmly,

Correspondence should be addressed to: Horizons Office of Communications and PR The Sage Colleges 65 1st Street Troy, New York 12180 518-244-2246

Susan C. Scrimshaw

Contents 4

Meet students and professors doing MORE … on campus, in the community and around the world


From Sabers to Gators: Tremendous growth of Sage’s athletics programs


Notable items from Sage’s archives

© 2017 The Sage Colleges

18 Forever Green: Sage moves into a sustainable second century 21 The Story of the Century: Sage’s Centennial inspires literary works 26 Advancing Sage: Report of appreciation THE CENTENNIAL REPORT 1

President Susan Scrimshaw to Step Down in 2017 Susan Scrimshaw announced in 2016 that she will step down as president of The Sage Colleges at the conclusion of her contract in June 2017. She has served as president since 2008.

institution that is on its way to university status.” In October, he announced that Ricketts Hall, home of the Occupational and Physical Therapy programs, will be renamed Scrimshaw Health Sciences Hall.

“I have enjoyed working to position Sage to thrive in its second century, so while this decision is bittersweet, the timing makes sense,” Scrimshaw said. “I am proud of the milestones that I have been able to accomplish with the faculty, staff, board, alumni and community partners.”

The board of trustees is conducting a national search for a new president. Updates are available at presidential-search.

“President Scrimshaw is a bold visionary and her innovative and forward thinking helped to transform The Sage Colleges.”

“President Scrimshaw is a bold visionary and her innovative and forward thinking helped to transform The Sage Colleges,” said Tip Simons, chair of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees. “Because of her efforts, Sage is stronger than ever – a vibrant, diverse and academically outstanding

—Tip Simons, chair of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees

MORE than Before: SUCCESSES UNDER PRESIDENT SCRIMSHAW’S LEADERSHIP INNOVATIVE ACADEMICS In 2009, Sage restructured graduate programs to create the Esteves School of Education, School of Health Sciences and School of Management. Sage has since added an online division; the School of Management earned accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Educators and expanded its MBA program to Saratoga County; and the Esteves School of Education offers its Educational Leadership doctorate in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Additionally, Sage students may now take classes at either campus. More than 150 students have taken advantage of cross-college enrollment.


IMPROVED DIVERSITY Diversity on Sage campuses has increased by 12 percent. Sage enrolls students from Afghanistan, China, Dubai, Greece, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Thailand and also created a Director of Diversity and Inclusion position. David B. Green, Ph.D., was appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion in 2016. FINANCIAL STABILITY Sage emerged from a budget deficit and now operates with a balanced budget. The endowment is up by almost 50 percent, close to $34 million.


BETTER FACILITIES Improvements at Russell Sage College include the School of Health Sciences’ simulation labs, the Hannaford Nutrition & Physical Assessment Lab and Manor Nutrition Science Lab, and the renovation of the library into the Shea Learning Center. Improvements at Sage College of Albany include the acquisition and renovation of the Armory at Sage, the M&T Bank Stock Trading Simulation Room and the Art + Design Technology Center. Several beautification projects including sculptures and gardens have enhanced both campuses.

INCREASED ADMISSIONS Applications have grown by almost 157 percent since 2008. Undergraduate enrollment has increased by over 4 percent and new graduate student credit hours have increased by more than 52 percent. RECORD FUNDRAISING In honor of its Centennial year, Sage launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. By October 2016, the Centennial Campaign had exceeded its $50 million goal, and raised $58.9 million. In the spirit of MORE, Sage set a new goal to raise $60 million by June 30, 2017.

Four Join Board of Trustees John D. Bennett, M.D. John D. Bennett was named president and CEO of not-for-profit health plan CDPHP in 2008. Bennett was previously founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. He is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNYDownstate Medical Center and a bachelor’s degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is married to Deborah Bennett RSC ’76. He was the speaker at The Sage Colleges 2014 commencement ceremony, where he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Jeanne Cioppa-Mosca, MBA, RSC ’82 Jeanne Cioppa-Mosca is a faculty member in the Physical Therapy doctorate program at The City University of New York. She previously served as a vice president for the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Network in New York City. Cioppa-Mosca also held physical therapy positions with Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York, and the White Plains Medical Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College and an MBA from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.

Kevin O’Bryan, MBA [MBA, School of Management, 1988] Prior to retiring in 2013, Kevin O’Bryan was chief credit officer for First Niagara Financial Group. He previously served as senior vice president and secretary of Troy Financial Corp. until the holding company merged with First Niagara Financial Group. O’Bryan joined Troy Savings Bank in 1976 and served as senior vice president and secretary of Troy Commercial, secretary and director of 10 of Troy Savings’ subsidiaries, and in positions in Troy Savings’ commercial mortgage department. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and an MBA from The Sage Colleges.

Tammy Parsons RSC ’97 [M.S., Esteves School of Education, 2001] Tammy Parsons is a senior academic advisor at Excelsior College and a mentor for the School of Nursing at Empire State College. Parsons previously directed the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Sage and has also worked for the Commission on Economic Opportunity. A graduate of both Russell Sage College and the Esteves School of Education, she is a member of the Russell Sage College Alumnae Association Board of Directors.

THE SAGE COLLEGES BOARD OF TRUSTEES, 2016-2017 Mary Altpeter, Ph.D., RSC ’71

Belinda Hilton RSC ’97

Research Scientist, University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Senior Manager of Accounting Operations, Albany Molecular Research, Inc. Albany, New York

John Bellardini, MBA, SGS ’96

Paul Jaeckle SGS ’09

Managing Director, Schneider Downs Meridian Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Senior Director, East Coast, Asset Protection, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Bentonville, Arkansas

John Bennett, M.D.

James C. Jones, J.D.

President & CEO, CDPHP Loudonville, New York

Attorney, Law Office of James C. Jones Winchester, Massachusetts

Therese Bentley RSC ’82

Frederick A. Miller

Co-Founder, Wyndsor Farm Elverson, Pennsylvania

Chief Executive Officer, Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group Troy, New York

Judith Campisi RSC ’80 Executive Director, American Heart Association (Connecticut) Wilton, Connecticut

Kevin O’Bryan, MBA, SGS ’88

Jeanne Cioppa-Mosca, MBA, RSC ’82

Deborah Onslow

Faculty Member, Physical Therapy, City University of New York Chappaqua, New York

Retired Loudonville, New York

Retired Troy, New York

Chester J. Opalka, Jr. Kathryn M. Diamond RSC ’60 Retired San Francisco, California

Retired Averill Park, New York

Tammy Parsons RSC ’97, SGS ’01 Ann Duffield Founding Principal, Ann Duffield & Colleagues Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Senior Academic Advisor, Excelsior College Albany, New York

Kimberly Peregrim, D.O., RSC ’93 Donna Esteves RSC ’70 Chief Financial Officer, SESCO, Inc. Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey

Physician, St. Peter’s Health Partners Latham, New York

Susan C. Scrimshaw, Ph.D. Jennifer Flather RSC ’86 Program Manager, Basis Technology Herndon, Virginia

President, The Sage Colleges Troy, New York

Ronnye Berg Shamam RSC ’64 Marilyn Miller Fowler RSC ’69 Retired Concord, California

President/Owner, Shamron Mills, LLC New York, New York

Nelson “Tip” Simons Eileen Witzman Goldblatt RSC ’67 Independent Associate, Viridian Energy New York, New York

Relationship Manager, Middle Market Banking, TD Bank West Hartford, Connecticut

Julia L. Greenstein, Ph.D., RSC ’78

Patricia Timpano Sparrell RSC ’78

Vice President, Discovery Research, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation West Newton, Massachusetts

Retired Oakton, Virginia

Nancy Valley RSC ’81 Catherine Hill, J.D. Founder and Acting Partner, CooperHill Loudonville, New York

Partner, KPMG LLP Wynantskill, New York

Robert Zemsky Carrie Hillenbrandt, CMP Director of Sales and Marketing, BBL Hospitality Albany, New York

Chair, The Learning Alliance for Higher Education Philadelphia, Pennsylvania




Students with a work-in-progress during Steamroller Print Day in the fall.




Professor Matthew McElligott shared what is new in Art + Design since he was named department chair in 2016.

NEW DEGREE: Last year we took a long,

hard look at our Fine Art and Photography programs with an eye toward bringing them into the 21st century. The result is the Art + Extended Media degree, which has just been officially approved by the State Education Department. At the heart of this new program is a focus on diverse and new media, interdisciplinary research, critical thinking, community engagement and professional practice. This is a program unique in our region that allows students to convincingly answer the question, “What can I do with a fine art degree?”

ENHANCED ID: Our Interior Design program is now Interior + Spatial Design. The name helps clarify the mission and substance of our program, which is often unfairly confused with interior decorating. Interior + Spatial Design at Sage is an intense program which incorporates elements of architecture and space planning and focuses on designing ways to improve the relationship between people and their environments. For the past several years, our Interior students have had a nearly 100 percent employment rate after graduation!

VISIBILITY: We believe we have a real treasure here in our department, and we want the rest of the world to know about it. To that end, we’ve embarked on some exciting projects and events to engage current and prospective students in new ways.

In October, 3-D Professor William Fillmore hosted a Fire Night, in which students created sculptures designed specifically to be burned down. As fire consumed the artwork, it morphed and transformed before our eyes. In November, we hosted an event in conjunction with the American Institute for Graphic Arts called Emerge. It’s a series of presentations from industry professionals geared toward designers with zero to five years of professional experience. To cap off the fall semester, students in our printmaking course created giant printing plates, nearly eight feet long and too large to fit in our printing presses. To run the prints, we rented a steamroller for a day to drive across the plates and press the images into long rolls of paper. Meanwhile, students in our Digital Animation course designed animated projections used as part of the Theatre Institute at Sage’s production of Alice in Wonderland in December.

TO BE: If everything works out, the department will get its own cargo shipping container to install outside the Art + Design building in 2017. These containers are being repurposed for all sorts of uses, including refugee housing, homeless housing and even dormitory space. Having our own shipping container will give our Interior + Spatial Design students a unique workshop to create and test ideas.

Matthew McElligott was named chair of the Art + Design department in 2016. A member of the Sage faculty since 1998, he teaches illustration, graphic design and digital multimedia courses. He is a graduate of Alfred University and the University of Buffalo, and is a former president of the Graphic Artists Guild of Albany. McElligott is the award-winning author and illustrator of 15 books for children including the Mad Scientist Academy, Benjamin Franklinstein and Backbeard series. His books have been published in six languages on five continents, and have sold over a quarter million copies. In 2016, he collaborated with Associate Professor of Creative & Performing Arts Michael Musial to create Backbeard: A New Musical, which premiered at the Theatre Institute at Sage in June.



Sage College of Albany Dean Jean Dahlgren, left, with students

Longtime Professors Promoted to Leadership Roles Jean Dahlgren, MFA, was appointed dean at Sage College of Albany in 2016. She was previously associate professor of Graphic + Media Design. Dahlgren provides academic leadership and vision for the future of Sage College of Albany; works with faculty to develop strategic goals; and collaborates with the Office of Student Life to ensure a culturally and intellectually enriching student-centered environment. Dahlgren began teaching at Sage in 1988, becoming program coordinator for Graphic Design in 1996, and leading the development of the four-year program in Graphic Design in 2002. She has served on several administrative committees; is a member of the leadership team for the College Board/ Educational Testing Service Advanced Placement in Studio Art; and serves on the board of the Upstate New York AIGA, the professional association for design. Dahlgren received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Fine Arts at SUNY Oswego and an MFA in Graphic Design from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Associate Professor of Health Education John Pelizza, Ph.D., was named interim dean of the Esteves School of Education. He is working with faculty to ensure continuity in critical activities surrounding accreditation, reporting, enrollment management, faculty development and student success during the search for a permanent dean. Pelizza joined Sage in 1974 as a faculty member in the Department of Health Education. A nationally known speaker on change, productivity, team building and personal growth, he has spoken to thousands of organizations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.



Esteves School of Education Interim Dean John Pelizza


New Public Health Degree Sage began offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health in fall 2016. The major builds on the existing public health minor and the breadth of offerings at The Sage Colleges. Students are able to select an emphasis within the major, based on their interests and career goals. “As a global and public health advocate for most of my life, I recognize the importance of making public health education available to our students who are looking to make a difference locally and globally,” said Sage President Susan Scrimshaw, Ph.D. “The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health estimates that by 2020 “With its strong prothere will be a need for 250,000 grams in nursing and additional public biology, as well as a health workers and The Sage solid foundation in the Colleges is proud liberal arts, Sage is wellto educate and train students to positioned to implement help fill this gap. an undergraduate public Also, the trend is for all health health program.” professionals to —Assistant Professor become more Dayna Maniccia interdisciplinary and this program will prepare students who expect to enter health professions in addition to public health, such as medicine, nursing and nutrition.” Public Health is an interdisciplinary field that aligns with Sage’s vision of collaboration across majors and professions, said Assistant Professor Dayna Maniccia, DrPH, coordinator of Public Health at Sage. “With its strong programs in nursing and biology, as well as a solid foundation in the liberal arts, Sage is well-positioned to implement an undergraduate public health program. This program will help to meet the growing need for public health professionals as our students will be trained and ready to work upon graduation or well prepared to pursue a Master of Public Health degree.”


Tameka Gillum

Instructor, Applied Behavior Analysis M.S.ED., Queens College B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Missouri

Associate Professor, Psychology Ph.D., Ecological-Community Psychology, Michigan State University M.A., Ecological-Community Psychology, Michigan State University B.A., West Chester University

Sarah E. Brockway, OTR/L Lecturer, Occupational Therapy M.S., Occupational Therapy, The Sage Colleges B.A., Biology, State University of New York at Geneseo

Myra Marshall Lecturer, Nursing MSN, University of Phoenix BSN, Prairie View A&M University

Haidy H. Brown

Brian McKernan

Visiting Assistant Professor, Management Ph.D., Public Administration & Policy, University at Albany M.A., Public Administration, University at Albany B.A., Psychology & Sociology, University at Albany

Assistant Professor, Sociology Ph.D., Sociology, University at Albany M.A., Sociology, Fordham University B.A., Criminal Justice, Saint Anselm College

Michael Chrisner Lecturer, Graphic + Media Design BFA, Communication Design, Parsons School of Design

Denise L. Pickering, LPC Lecturer, Psychology Ph.D., Counselor Education, Ohio University, Athens M.S., Education-Community Counseling, University of Dayton B.A., Health Services Management, Capital University

Karen Conway Lecturer, Interior Design + Spatial Design BFA, Interior Design, Sage College of Albany B.S., Journalism and Biology, Cornell University

Doreen DeCorah Assistant Professor, Nursing Ph.D., Education, Capella University M.S., Nursing Education, State University of New York Polytechnic Institute B.S., Nursing, Russell Sage College AAS, Nursing, Maria College

William L. Fillmore Assistant Professor, 3-D Design and Extended Media MFA, Sculpture, Indiana University, Bloomington B.A., Business Administration, California State University, Fullerton

Andrew J. Gaetano Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy DPT, Ithaca College M.S., Physical Therapy, Ithaca College B.S., Clinical Science, Ithaca College

Robert J. Reidy, Jr. Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership Ph.D., Educational Leadership, University of Connecticut M.A., Educational Leadership/ Community Education, Central Michigan University B.S., Elementary Education, Worcester State College

Sarah Michele Russell, BCBA Lecturer, Applied Behavior Analysis M.S., Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism, The Sage Colleges B.A., Psychology, Ashford University B.A., Sociology, Ashford University

Baani Singh Lecturer, Interior Design B.Arch., Nagpur University (India)

Melonie M. Walcott Assistant Professor, Nursing DrPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham Diploma, Public Health, University of Technology (Jamaica)

Wendy Gaughan Lecturer, Occupational Therapy M.S., Occupational Therapy, The Sage Colleges B.A., Psychology, Siena College



Students Saba Abuzaid, left, and Debbie Yang, right

Zebrafish Research Yields Clues to Human Facial Development When Assistant Biology Professor Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D., arrived at Russell Sage College from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2014, her cargo included several hundred zebrafish. Zebrafish – with a genetic makeup remarkably similar to that of humans – are the backbone (or more accurately in this case, the jawbone) – of LaMonica’s research into genes that influence face development. Now established at Russell Sage College, her fish lab in Mueller Science Hall also provides resume-building opportunities for students to gain sophisticated research skills and contribute to scientific publications. LaMonica and her students are looking for fish that have a facial deformity, then attempting to identify the genes that caused the deformity. It is not hypothesis-driven science-as-usual, LaMonica explained. “We don’t know what we’ll find when we work backward from observing a mutation to discovering what genes are expressed and how they’ve been altered.” Identifying the genes that affect facial development in fish will lead to a better understanding of facial development and conditions like cleft palate in humans, she said. The research involves aspects of molecular biology, genetics and developmental biology. A New York State Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program grant provided stipends to Saba Abuzaid RSC ’19 and Debbie Yang RSC ’17 for their research assistance in summer 2016. They spent eight weeks carrying out specialized techniques, from dissecting half-millimeter zebrafish embryos under a microscope, to performing mRNA in situ hybridizations, which help locate areas of gene expression in the fish. 8


Abuzaid is a Biology major who plans to attend medical school. When she talks about identifying her first mutation with assistance from LaMonica, and then finding the next one on her own, her excitement is infectious. She’s now a teaching assistant for LaMonica’s General Biology lab, which keeps her connected to the research. “I joke with Professor LaMonica that I have priority for future research roles with the fish,” she said. Mary Witkowski RSC ’17, who is pursuing an accelerated Biology bachelor’s degree/Physical Therapy doctorate at Sage, and who worked with a team of students and LaMonica as part of an independent study, said the experience increased her understanding of how genes affect bones, muscles and body systems. In 2016, Witkowski presented their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and the TriBeta (National Biology Honor Society) conference at Eastern Connecticut State University. She hopes to contribute to a publication when their research is further along. Fish labs are not necessarily a standard offering in college-level science programs said LaMonica. Of 24 colleges in New York’s Capital Region-Adirondack area, only two others have fish labs and to LaMonica’s knowledge, Sage’s is the only one working with novel mutations. “For a small school, we can conduct amazing research and offer students amazing opportunities,” she said.


“When I mentor students I try to give as full an experience as I can, from discussing the literature through data collection. They produce a stronger product. They learn what is necessary, but also what is possible.” — Assistant Professor Ken Howard

Studying Environment’s Effect on Ant Colonies to Understand Insects’ Larger Impact “Ants are ubiquitous,” said Sage College of Albany Assistant Professor and Evolutionary Biologist Ken Howard, Ph.D. “You could argue that they have had a bigger influence on the environment than any vertebrate after humans. We are trying to better understand how their social structures affect their impact on everything from individual households to big agriculture.” To this end, Howard is collaborating with a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania to study how a bacteria called Wolbachia influences the proportion of queens and workers and females to males – as well as the size of males – in acorn ant colonies (Acorn ants get their name from the empty husks in which they make their home.) The research is providing opportunities for students like Fei Chen RSC ’18 to design experiments, organize and analyze data, and conduct statistical analyses on findings. A CSTEP grant provided a stipend to Chen for research assistance in summer 2016.

Thanks to a Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program grant from the New York State Department of Education, Sage will receive $2 million over five years to support underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who are pursuing STEM majors or licensed professions. The grant was announced in June 2015 and by the end of 2016, more than 200 students have benefited. Among the academic enrichment and professional preparation that CSTEP offers is the opportunity to participate in summer research with a professor. The following faculty members, mentors and students collaborated on CSTEPsupported summer research in 2016:

She and Howard collected 230 “nest units” – each containing 20 to 200 individual ants – from four sites in upstate New York. Chen next isolated queens, workers and males, measuring and photographing the males under a microscope. Their partner at Penn is investigating whether Wolbachia DNA is present in each nest unit; the team will later correlate the data to see if there is a connection between the presence of Wolbachia and the makeup of the colonies. “After verifying whether or not Wolbachia is influencing the presence and size of males, we’ll see if it is affecting social behavior in other ways, maybe shifting the development of female larvae from worker ants, which don’t reproduce, to queens, that do reproduce,” said Howard. “Wolbachia gets into all types of insects and does strange things to favor its spread.” He is excited to include students in his investigations. “I became interested in social insects as a student at Davidson College

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dawit Demissie, Ph.D., Evans Frimpong SCA ’19, Derlis Zayas SCA ’18 and Markenzi Sainvilus SCA ’19: Research on mobile banking in developing nations, including a quantitative study with Dutch Bangla Bank in Bangladesh. Administrative Law Judge Teneka Frost-Amusa, J.D., and Candace Rose RSC ’17: Research on trauma and undocumented manicurists in New York salons. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Tom Gray, Ph.D., and Sharmise Pratt RSC ’17: Research on derivation and detection of PFOA. Assistant Professor of Biology Ken Howard, Ph.D., and Fei Chen RSC ’18: Research on how

Student Fei Chen and Assistant Professor Ken Howard

in North Carolina, after reading The Naturalist, by E.O. Wilson, about his work with ants, and then participating in summer research with a professor,” said Howard. “When I mentor students I try to give as full an experience as I can, from discussing the literature through data collection. They produce a stronger product. They learn what is necessary, but also what is possible.”

Wolbachia bacteria influences acorn ant colonies. Associate Professor of Psychology and Biology Sue Jenks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D., and Rosemary Matala SCA ’17: Research on dopamine receptor D4 gene variation and risk-taking behavior in spotted hyenas. Assistant Professor of Biology Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D., Saba Abuzaid RSC ’19 and Debbie Yang RSC ’17: Research on craniofacial mutations using zebrafish as a model system. Assistant Professor of Public Health Dayna Maniccia, DrPH, and Johanna Muller RSC ’17: Research on how physical activity affects

domestic violence survivors; Maniccia and Amena-Devine Ruffin RSC ’19: Research on how transphobic attitudes affect health outcomes within the transgender community of color. Associate Professor of Nutrition Ryan Mitchell, Ph.D., and Rachelle Valenzuela RSC ’17: Research on the effect of caffeine combined with carbohydrates on the time trial performance of recreational cyclists. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Emilly Obuya, Ph.D., and Sarina Schwing: Research on the synthesis and characterization of titanium dioxide; Obuya and Sharda Persaud RSC ’19: Research on photodegradation of contaminants in water.


Doing MORE Across the Country and Around the World Building Community While Building a Home Katie Gnirrep RSC ’18 spent the summer in Oregon, volunteering at a summer camp run by a social service agency in Portland and at a Habitat for Humanity site in Corvallis. Her trip was supported by the Doris Adams Ferguson ’53 Memorial Endowed Student Fellowship for Sociology and will inform her research into the feminization of poverty. “This is the idea that there is a growing number of women in poverty due to the wage gap, separation from a spouse who was the bread winner, being given most of the custody of children after a divorce and many other factors,” she said. “This opportunity allowed me to see concepts I learned in the classroom in real life and try to make a difference,” Gnirrep continued, specifically mentioning getting to know a single mother of four as they worked together to build a safe, affordable home for the woman and her family. Gnirrep, who aspires to volunteer with the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps after graduation, said the highlight of her experience was collaborating with people from so many different backgrounds – the single mom working her way out of poverty, a grandfather and teenage grandson from North Carolina, a recently retired couple on a cross-country road trip from Philadelphia, a 32-year-old in the midst of a move to Utah, and a mother and daughter who have celebrities in their Los Angeles neighborhood – to complete a big project. “We were all so different but we had one goal: build a house for a family who really needs it. We grew to be fast friends.”



London Calling Sage College of Albany Graphic Design major Jordan White ’17 studied at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in summer 2016, where he learned from leading London-based designers like Domenic Lippa of the international firm Pentagram, and Phil Baines, author of notable books on typography. White also enjoyed learning traditional techniques such as letterpress printing and film processing, and access to London’s cultural attractions. “Since I love art, I spent time visiting contemporary art museums and galleries. A highlight was the Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.” White has an associate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for Ralph Lauren, Converse and New York & Company before he decided to pursue a degree in Graphic Design at Sage, and eventually an international career in branding, advertising and marketing. Thanks in part to the Katherine Disbrow Johnson RSC ’29 Memorial Travel Fund, which provided support for his trip, he is on his way. “I now have connections all over the world,” he said.

Friends Everywhere When Sage College of Albany student Christian Taveras arrived at a village in Cape Coast, Ghana, in July 2016, he was surprised to be singled out from the eight other college students from across the United States with whom he arrived. “Miss Mary said, ‘You’re Christian, aren’t you? Come to my classroom! Let’s talk,” he said.

“This opportunity allowed me to see concepts I learned in the classroom in real life and try to make a difference.”

“I now know I can make friends anywhere.” — Student Christian Taveras

— Student Katie Gnirrep



“I now have connections all over the world.”

— Student Jordan White


Taveras was in Kakumodo Village to volunteer at its school with a delegation from Operation Crossroads Africa, the organization that former President John F. Kennedy identified as the “progenitor of the Peace Corps.” Several Sage students have worked with Operation Crossroads Africa over the last few years, including Dayle Carhart SCA ’17, who was assigned to the same school in Ghana last year, and who encouraged her former colleague to befriend Taveras. “I immediately felt welcome,” he said.

and provided one-on-one instruction for every grade level, under the direction of full-time teachers.

At the Foundation for Economic Development and Educational Promotion’s International School, which offers the American equivalents of pre-k through junior high, Taveras led lessons

Taveras – a Law & Society major concentrating in Psychology – graduated in December 2016 and is applying to graduate programs in Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

He said it was an extraordinary experience that reinforced his intention to pursue a career that will help make the world a better, safer place for children. It was also his first trip abroad – and he expressed appreciation for the donors who support travel funds for Sage students. “I now know I can make friends anywhere,” he said.


Doing MORE Locally

Student Emily Everard, center

Uncommon Fellowship Provides Professional Development, Personal Sense of Accomplishment Esteves School of Education student Emily Everard ’17 received an Uncommon Schools 2016 Summer Teaching Fellowship. The fellowship provided a stipend and professional preparation for Everard, who assisted in classrooms at Troy Prep – a public charter school not far from the Russell Sage College campus – at the end of its academic year, then led reading instruction for second and third graders during Troy Prep’s Summer Academy. From her first visit with her Inclusive Learning Design class, Everard was drawn to Troy Prep’s mission to prepare low-income students for college. She later observed classes at the school as part of required fieldwork. “The more I found out about its success, the more I wanted to be part of it.” After an intense week of professional development with teaching fellows from through12


out the Uncommon Schools network, Everard reported for work at Troy Prep, where she was observed by professional educators every day, and regularly received feedback and suggestions for fine tuning her methods. “I always felt like a respected team member,” she said. “The stakes were high. These kids needed to pass.” At the end of the Summer Academy, all her students passed the test to progress to the next grade level. “My students cheered, they were so happy and I was so happy for them!” she said. Everard said the summer fellowship helped her find her voice as a teacher, and prepare her for student teaching in a public school third-grade classroom in fall 2016. “I didn’t have that first time teaching hesitancy.”

Students Kayla Tyrel, left, and Amanda Millington, right

Nutrition Students Fight Food Waste, Feed Troy Hungry “The stakes were high. These kids needed to pass.”

—Student Emily Everard

“Being Nutrition majors, how could we not provide those in need with good food?” asked Amanda Millington RSC ’16. Inspired by similar programs at campuses around the country, Millington and fellow Nutrition Club members established a program to recover surplus food from McKinstry Dining Hall on Russell Sage’s campus and deliver the food to community agencies that feed people in need. “It was a lot of work, but, thankfully, we had a lot of support,” said Millington. “We were able to help the national Food Recovery Network [which provided guidance to the students] reach its goal of one million pounds of food recovered!” In its first year – the 2015-2016 academic year – Sage’s chapter provided 866.4 pounds of food to Joseph’s House & Shelter, Unity House human services agency and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region. Cynthia Crocco Spector ’74 and Sherman David Spector Fellowship recipient Kayla Tyrel RSC ’15 used her award to supplement the costs for herself, Millington, and three other Nutrition Club officers to attend the National Food Recovery Dialogue in College Park, Maryland, in April. Millington and Tyrel (both now pursuing graduate degrees at Sage) said this conference was an important opportunity to learn from other Food Recovery Network chapters and ensure the continuity of Sage’s program – which they would love to see grow to include a recovery plan between Sage College of Albany and nearby agencies (The 22 volunteers recovering food in Troy in 2015-2016 did include a Sage College of Albany student.) At the end of its first year, the Nutrition Club received a Servathon Award from Sodexo, recognizing its contribution to Sodexo’s Stop Hunger initiative. “One of our professors told me we have the community talking!” said Millington.

Emily Everard pictured with students and summer teaching fellows.


Questions for Athletics Director Dani Drews When Danielle “Dani” Drews was named director of Athletics and Recreation in 2005, Sage’s Athletics program was a single-gender, NCAA Division III independent competitor with five teams. Today, it offers 15 varsity programs for Russell Sage College women and Sage College of Albany men and women in the Skyline Conference (and, beginning in fall 2017, the Empire 8 Conference). Sage has improved athletics facilities; teams have won ECAC championships and competed in the NCAA tournament; and Sage’s 190 student-athletes are regularly honored in conference roundups. Drews spoke to Horizons about getting from “there” to “here” – and MORE to come.


Prior to joining Sage, Dani Drews was the head women’s volleyball coach and assistant athletics director at SUNY Oswego and president of the SUNY Athletic Conference. As an undergraduate at Hamilton College, she was a three-time captain and four-year competitor in volleyball and softball. She is active in several professional organizations for athletics administrators.

Former President Neff started the conversation in 2007. She and Vice President for Student Life Trish Cellemme were discussing ways to positively impact enrollment and student life, and bringing teams back to the Albany campus came up. Trish asked if I could get a proposal ready for the board of trustees. It was pretty exciting – we got approval from the board, and then from the NCAA to create one athletics program for Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany, and we haven’t slowed down since.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHAT SPORTS TO ADD? Our first consideration was meeting the NCAA Division III requirement that we field a minimum of six men’s and six women’s sports. We had five in place for women, and planned to bring back lacrosse, so we were set there. For men’s teams, we looked at recruiting opportunities, our facilities and expenses. Men’s volleyball and basketball fit all of our criteria. Others, like tennis and golf, are fairly inexpensive to operate, which was important. We added men’s soccer when we identified



playing fields and enough student-athletes for a full team. Since then, we weigh the interest of current and prospective students with our ability to support each new team.

WHAT DID JOINING A CONFERENCE MEAN FOR SAGE ATHLETICS? Being part of the Skyline Conference was so important to our growth. It gave us a chance to build rivalries and compete for a berth to the NCAA championships in each sport. It was vital to our ability to attract student-athletes: Everyone wants a shot to compete for a national championship. It also gave teams and athletes a chance to be recognized through award programs and conference honors. Those are media and public relations opportunities for our Gators and all of Sage. Beginning in fall 2017, we’ll compete in the NCAA Division III Empire 8, an outstanding conference with a history of post-season success and academic achievement. Other schools in the conference like St. John Fisher and Nazareth have great name recognition throughout the Northeast. Sage will become known to an entirely new group of prospective student-athletes by our association with Empire 8.

IS THERE ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT HAS PARTICULAR MEANING FOR YOU? We’ve had a chance to see so many “firsts” in the last few years. The women’s basketball Skyline championship game in 2013 was a really special event, with a capacity crowd in Kahl gym on its feet. It was beautiful. Watching our men’s soccer team in tears after winning their championship last year was pretty special, too. To see how far they had come in a short time was amazing. Maybe it’s the acceptance into the Empire 8 that wraps that all into one special milestone. It gave credibility to our program and was an acknowledgment of the work the department

1950s has done and the support we have had from Sage. It was not an invitation because we had a couple of good teams or a few winning seasons. It was an indication that as an institution, we did this the right way.

Sage’s men’s basketball program – which began with the Sabers Junior College of Albany team that competed from the 1950s through 2002 – is the oldest program in the colleges’ athletics history.


Women’s tennis and volleyball (1971), basketball and softball (1972) and lacrosse (1976) programs were established at Russell Sage College in the 1970s.



We are best friends with Admission! Our departments have a collaborative relationship, with coaches working as extensions of the Admission office. They travel all over, identifying prospects, talking with coaches and guidance counselors. Our departments work together on everything from communication with recruits to hosting prospective student-athletes on campus.

Women’s soccer has been part of Sage’s athletics offerings since 1988.


Also in 2008, the Athletics Department moved into the Jeanne H. Neff Athletics Center in Troy. The center added Robison Softball Field, two gymnasiums and a strength and conditioning facility to the existing Kahl Campus Center gymnasium at SCA and Robison Athletics Center at RSC.



IS THERE ANYTHING ON THE HORIZON FOR THE ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT? We are working to add two new programs in the next few years. It is part of Sage’s strategic plan, but with our move to the Empire 8, we hope to expand again a little sooner than planned. That should keep us busy!

By 2014, Sage had added men’s golf, soccer and volleyball teams, and men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field teams. The 2013-2014 women’s basketball team earned the program’s first Skyline Conference tournament championship and first NCAA Division III tournament appearance; the 2015 team won the program’s first regular-season championship. The 2014 women’s softball team captured the program’s first Skyline Conference regular-season championship, allowing the team to host the conference tournament.

When folks on or off campus need help, they know they can rely on Sage student-athletes. Whether it’s assisting first-year students on Move In Day (Gators have unloaded a car in less than a minute!), volunteering at events like the Centennial 5K, or completing service projects for local non-profits, Gators are invested in Sage and the community. That makes them easy to support, and the stands are full for most home games. Our Gators are incredible people. I don’t think they realize the impact they can have as role models to kids or by representing their generation in the community. Community service helps build bridges while also developing leadership skills in our student-athletes.

In 2007, the Gators joined the Skyline Conference. Later that year, the women’s volleyball team won Sage’s first Skyline Conference championship and became the first Sage team to compete in the NCAA Division III tournament. In 2008, the NCAA approved a plan to allow students from both campuses to compete on Sage teams, reinvigorating the athletics tradition on the Albany campus. Men’s basketball returned and men’s tennis was added in 2009.

HOW DOES ATHLETICS COLLABORATE WITH ALUMNI PROGRAMS? We’ve joined forces to create a spring weekend for alumni games as well as a former student-athlete career panel. Last year, about 75 alumni participated in four alumni games. We hope to host more events at Sage and even some receptions when our teams are on the road.

In 1983, the Ellis H. and Doris B. Robison Athletics Center opened, providing competition-size basketball and volleyball facilities as well as multipurpose space for recreational activities.

The 2014-2015 men’s basketball team – undefeated in the Kahl Gym that season – achieved that program’s first conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance. The 2015 women’s soccer team shared the conference regular-season championship title, the first in the program’s history, and the 2015 men’s soccer team won the program’s first Skyline championship and played in the NCAA tournament. Since 2012, the Armory at Sage College of Albany has been the Gators “spring training” home in cold weather.


Seventeen banners now hang in Kahl Campus Center, celebrating four NCAA tournament appearances and 13 championship teams! Men’s and women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and outdoor track and field have a new “home” field at Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, next door to Sage’s Albany campus. In fall 2017, the Gators will begin competing as members of the NCAA Division III Empire 8. The Empire 8 conference is dedicated to academic excellence as well as to spirited and sportsmanlike competition. “Sage is a natural fit, and we look forward to the continued success of our student-athletes,” said Athletics Director Dani Drews.


Selected Objects from the Archives

Every item in The Sage Colleges Archives tells part of the colleges’ 100-year story. Archivist Kelly Grant shared some notable pieces from the ever-evolving collection.


Engraving Plates

This set of 13 metal engraving plates includes depictions of Emma Willard and her family members; scenes from schools where Emma Willard taught before she established her own school; and images of Troy Female Seminary, Emma Willard’s school on what is today Russell Sage College’s campus. The plates featuring the Troy Female Seminary contain our earliest images of what Sage Park once looked like.

First Issues of The Green Owl and The Quill

Before there was The Quill student newspaper, there was The Green Owl, a humorous publication with jokes, songs, poems and witticisms, mostly about Russell Sage College and its faculty and students. While the four known issues don’t include dates, we have determined it was published between 1917 at the earliest and 1924 at the latest. The Quill debuted on February 12, 1923 and continues today. The first issue featured an editorial about the new publication, a calendar of campus events, news about student organizations including the Silver Bay Club, Dramatics Association and Student Government, and ads for local businesses. Early issues were one page.

Class of 1920 Scrapbook

This album compiled by the Class of 1920 and dedicated to Eliza Kellas, the first dean of Russell Sage College, contains photos of RSC’s first four-year class and a class history – and is an important source of information about the early years of the college.

Student Government Constitution from the Class of 1925

On December 7, 1921, the Class of 1925 drafted a constitution for their Student Government. Their class notebook includes rolls and meeting minutes, nominations and election results, and the first known draft of an RSC Student Government constitution.



Diplomas from the 1920s and 1930s

In the early 1920s, diplomas were issued by “Emma Willard School and Russell Sage College”; by 1926, RSC had acquired a separate charter – and only “Russell Sage College” appeared on its diplomas.


Bulletin Announcing the Men’s Division and The Pinfeather newsletter

The 1946 college bulletin announced a men’s division for servicemen returning from World War II. The men’s division had its own weekly newsletter, The Pinfeather, which included administrative news, campus and local events, sports, editorials, jokes and some creative writing.



JCA’s First College Bulletin

Poets on Campus Posters

This publication from 1957 – when Junior College of Albany was located at 258 State Street in downtown Albany – includes information about admission, tuition, graduation requirements and course offerings. At the time, JCA offered two-year programs in Liberal Arts, General Business and Secretarial Science. While the visual arts are a flagship program of Sage’s Albany campus today, the only arts coursework listed in the first bulletin was one semester of Art History and Appreciation.

Sage hosts revered poets every year, often during National Poetry Month in April. Guests have included Robert Frost and Edna St. Vincent Millay in the 1920s; Maya Angelou and Denise Levertov in the 70s and 80s; and Marilyn Chin and Sandra Lim more recently. Sandra Beasley will deliver the 2017 Carol Ann Donahue Poetry Reading on April 12. The posters pictured promote Margaret Atwood’s reading in 1982 and Nikki Giovanni’s reading in 1993.

Russell the Gator [1960S AND 70S]

The Oracle: JCA’s News Publication

The Oracle was the campus newspaper, and especially visually interesting in the 1970s, some issues hand-drawn. Today at Sage College of Albany, The Phoenix student-run online newspaper covers current events on campus, and Vernacular literary and art magazine continues to be produced by students each spring – it’s been published for over 40 years, and is one of the oldest traditions on the Albany campus.

The Saber JCA Yearbooks The Archives include a full set of The Saber, the JCA yearbook published between 1959 and 1970.

Former Physical Education faculty member, softball and tennis coach and archivist Aggie Stillman was devoted to Sage’s student-athletes. She rarely missed a game – and always attended with Russell, her stuffed alligator.

Artwork from Occupational Therapy’s Expressive Art Workshop in Response to 9/11

Professor of Occupational Therapy Barbara Thompson, OTD, LCSW, OTR/L facilitated an expressive arts workshop for students after September 11, 2001, and some of the works, including painting and poetry, are preserved in the archives.

Hand-painted Scroll

The Sage Colleges Archives includes gifts from distinguished visitors. Recent guests from Xi’an, China, gave Sage an exquisite hand-painted scroll.


Forever Green: Sage Moves Into a Sustainable Second Century by Joely Johnson Mork [M.S., School of Health Sciences, 2008]

There is no denying that college campuses are huge energy consumers. Just consider what is required to power rooms full of computers; industrial cafeteria equipment; and the heating, lighting, and cooling needs for hundreds of people; not to mention the electronics that students bring (one report says the average college student owns seven tech devices). Upon reaching its Centennial year, Sage is turning greener than ever and is doing so with direction and intention. The Sage Road to the Future Strategic Plan 20122017 includes a commitment to “review sustainability efforts and seek additional opportunities to create a more ‘green’ campus environment.” The Facilities Master Plan includes directives to “look for energy efficiencies and seek sustainable solutions” and advises “implementing ‘green’ solutions whenever possible.”

LISTENING TO STUDENTS Every generation is more environmentally aware than the previous one, and colleges are paying attention to this fact. The current trend of campuses “going green” is more than a fad, according to Nick Plato, research editor of Best College Reviews. “This movement is happening for good reason,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to take the opportunity to save money, generate less pollution, and, at the same time, educate and engage young people about protecting their natural surroundings and their communities?”

Professor Steven Leibo


Reducing energy use delivers at least three major benefits: cutting costs, conserving precious natural resources, and supporting students’ instincts about doing the right thing for their community and the planet.


In 2007, Steven Leibo, Ph.D., Sherman David Spector Professor of Modern International History & Politics, was among those trained by Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project to spread the word about climate change. He has delivered more than 160 talks on global warming. “Sage is largely a health professions school,” Leibo said, “and one of the most obvious manifestations of climate change is in human health.” It makes sense, then, that Sage sees sustainability as a priority at every level. Interestingly, prospective students are not necessarily choosing schools based on how many green initiatives a college touts. It is more likely that students will notice gaps that may exist in a school’s stewardship behavior. “We know it is important to our students that we are sensitive to the environment and that we are doing everything we can to reduce excesses,” said Deirdre Zarillo, vice president for Administration & Planning. “At the same time [as responding to students’ attitudes],” Zarillo said, “steps toward sustainability do provide opportunities to save resources.” According to energy experts, conservation measures on college campuses represent smart investments. Most changes save money and also enhance the learning environment as well as the comfort of campus buildings.

ENERGY USE Sage is establishing a remote net metering program with Monolith Solar, which will allow the school to meet 80 percent of its power needs with solar-sourced energy. Using the “community solar” approach, Monolith will connect the school with a solar farm that will be labeled with signage indicating the “Sage Solar Field.” Utilizing a remote location means there is no need for solar panels to actually be installed on campus, and power is effectively delivered where it is needed. Plans are in the works for an awarenessbuilding component as well. “We are picturing screens on campus showing how much solar we are using at any given time,” said John Zajaceskowski, director of Facilities, Maintenance & Planning.

Sage has already implemented Carrier brand building controls, which run heating and lighting systems based on when rooms are occupied. Resulting savings allow further improvements to infrastructure, leading to even more efficiency. “When we need to replace older hot water boilers that were providing 60 or 70 percent efficiency, we are now installing new 95 percent efficient equipment,” said Zajaceskowski. Combined with a water treatment system that will prolong the lives of the new condensing boilers, such steps are conserving energy now and establishing continued efficiency into the future. “Changes like this do take a little longer in Troy,” said Zajaceskowski. “We have to present to the preservation board and explain our plans.” And some changes have to be finessed. “Despite the fact that we have retained the old iron radiators,” he said, “high efficiency boilers have allowed us to successfully combine the old and the new.” Other forms of energy conservation at Sage include gradually replacing lighting with LEDs, which saves in two ways, according to Zajaceskowski. “These bulbs require less energy, and lead to reduced maintenance. We don’t need to change burned-out light bulbs every two years.” The army of computers on campus is also having its electricity guzzling reined in. Desktop computers are set to enter the more efficient sleep mode when not in use. Behind the scenes, Sage is turning to “virtual machines” to reduce the number of physical computer servers needed to provide IT services. “What that means,” explains Zarillo, “is that you can have one box server that will run multiple applications, versus requiring a single server for each application, therefore using less electricity.”

LANDSCAPING + GREEN SPACES While Russell Sage College’s courtyards and Sage College of Albany’s green lawn have always been attractive, new landscaping on both campuses feature plants native to the region, supported by sustainable landscape design. In 2012, Sage implemented an organic perennial planting strategy to keep campuses colorful throughout the year. Attention was

brought to the more concealed “outdoor rooms,” like a water garden area restored in Albany, as well as the most visible spots, including Avery’s Garden at Russell Sage. The garden was commissioned by Virginia Kurtz Stowe RSC ’65 and designed by award-winning New York City-based landscape artist Todd Haiman. Named for Stowe’s granddaughter, Avery’s Garden is on the Ferry Street tunnel flyover – a very public and also problematic spot.

Avery’s Garden

“It’s essentially a roof garden, and we had a number of challenges dealing with the surface,” said Haiman. “We installed permeable pavers one half-inch above the existing grade to redirect water flow. Using native plantings also helps because they require less irrigation. In these ways, we were able to avoid any potential runoff problems.” Plant choices have more to offer than just reduced water needs. According to Haiman’s website, the garden is an opportunity to educate, by “providing an example of biodiversity through the creation of an ecosystem-sustaining matrix of plant material and the associated insects and birds.” Haiman elaborated, saying, “So much of the plantings are to bring in different types of birds and other pollinators, bees and butterflies. Plants that provide visual interest through the seasons can also provide food sources for birds and insects.” Stowe is supporting another garden at Russell Sage College designed by Haiman and installed by Sage’s facilities and landscape team. The project is reclaiming an underused greenspace alongside Admission House at the corner of Congress and 1st Streets. The garden, named Brinton and Avery’s Place to honor both of Stowe’s grandchildren, will be dedicated in spring 2017. Haiman envisions Brinton and Avery’s Place as people’s first impression of the RSC campus and a spot that will encourage socializing as well as easy interaction with nature. “In nice weather, people will be able to entertain there and certainly hold alumni gatherings and parties.” “We build gardens to bring nature closer to us, to experience the entertainment value of nature and bring out the child in each of us,” Haiman said, then added, “There is no better place than a garden to create an interactive learning environment.” THE CENTENNIAL REPORT 19

WATER USE In 2013, SCA student government made a major gift to the Centennial Campaign for Sage. The funds established a network of water-bottle filling stations on campus. “As a Biology Club officer and student, I think the new water fountains are very appreciated,” said Tess Krowicki SCA ’17, an Applied Biology and pre-med student from Little Falls, New York. “Not only is it a greener way, but also the stations make it easier for everyone. Plus, it’s pretty interesting to see the count of how many [single-use] water bottles we are saving by offering the stations.” Additional improvements to water use at Sage include rain gauges that monitor irrigation needs on the grounds. The gauges activate sprinkler systems only when water is actually needed, preventing the puzzling sight of sprinklers watering lawns in the rain!

RECYCLING In a time when climate changes are accelerating and our efforts to stem greenhouse gases seem futile, don’t lose sight of the simple steps we all can take. “Recycling remains terribly important,” said Professor Leibo. “If one person makes a change and that inspires others, then it has an enormous effect.” Working with trash and recycling company Waste Management, Sage has instituted “single-stream” recycling, allowing all recyclable materials to be collected without separating by type. “You don’t have to put a lot of thought into single-stream, and it’s being used heavily,” said Zajaceskowski. “Our recycling bins are set out for collection a couple of times a week and they are close to full. We’ve also seen a difference in our garbage truck runs – there is definitely less stuff going to the landfill.” There are still some limitations – Styrofoam and plastic bags are not accepted by single-stream recycling. And more collecting can always be done in a college environment, where paper use remains ubiquitous. “We have a good start,” said SCA student Krowicki, “and I would



personally like to see even more initiative for recycling, especially in terms of paper products and recycling bins in the classrooms.”

OTHER IMPACTS Composting & Food Recovery. Sage conducts pre- and post-consumer composting, according to Paula Presley, director of Sage Dining Services. Through Sodexo Campus Dining Services, Sage partners with Empire Zero, which collects and transports compostable material to local facilities including Almstead Nursery & Mulch in Ghent and the Schenectady County Compost Facility in Glenville. Sage composting diverts approximately 13.5 tons of material from the traditional campus waste stream each year. RSC is also home to a chapter of the Food Recovery Network, the largest student movement addressing food waste and hunger in America. The national group has recovered and donated more than 1.4 million pounds of food that otherwise would have gone to waste. (See Nutrition Students Fight Food Waste and Feed Troy Hungry, page 13.) Printing and Paper. Sarah Statham [M.A.T., Esteves School of Education, 2008], assistant director of marketing & art director, makes environmentally responsible decisions on the paper and printing she sources for Sage promotional materials. For example, Sage uses Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper for alumni publications. “When space allows, we display the FSC logo on print pieces,” said Statham. “The logo is a way to communicate that Sage is making conscious decisions about the environment.” Statham is interested in ways to implement even more environmentally friendly practices. “I am developing sustainability guidelines that the office of Communications & PR will follow when producing marketing materials for the college,” she said. Regarding the quality of environmentally friendly materials, Statham said, “Some people argue that soy-based [as opposed to more common petroleum-based] inks make for more vibrant colors, and there

are choices in paper that do not use virgin fiber and do use amounts of post-consumer waste in their manufacturing.” Repurposed Projects. New construction projects in the Armory at Sage College of Albany have utilized reclaimed wood from Sage’s old gym bleachers. The repurposed wood has been reused to frame skylights in SCA’s Renaissance Room and for locker room benches.

What You Can Do UNPLUG it

When your phone, tablet, music player or laptop reaches that sought-after 100 percent charge, unplug it to prevent drawing a constant trickle of unnecessary power. Every wasted watt adds up – and keeping these common “energy vampires” plugged in can constitute as much as 10 percent of your energy bill.

Send them to SLEEP

Set your computer to enter sleep mode when inactive; likewise, save your video game progress and power down your platforms when you aren’t playing. Pausing your game instead of stopping it and leaving your monitor on full power can cost you more than $100 a year in many cases.


Surge protectors or power strips make it extremely easy to toggle the electricity flow to clusters of devices on and off. You can also use a lightswitch-controlled outlet to the same effect, if your living space has one.

MORE RESOURCES Learn more about the ways in which Sage is going green: The Climate Reality Project The Food Recovery Network Forest Stewardship Council Todd Haiman Landscape Design

The cast of Yours, including President Scrimshaw, who played herself in selected performances.


Sage Celebrated in Literary Projects During Centennial Year

by Amy Halloran

A hundred years is a solid mile marker for any person, place or thing, worthy of observing with a speech or two, or maybe a million written words. In its Centennial year, The Sage Colleges’ history comes to life in Artist in Residence Leigh Strimbeck’s play, Yours; Emerita Professor of Chemistry Kathleen Donnelly’s collection of essays, Woman of Influence: Honorary Alumnae of Russell Sage College; and Paul Grondahl’s narrative account, The Sage Colleges: Russell Sage College Succeeds and Transforms Over 100 Years. All three writers found compelling stories to tell, and rich portraits of The Sage Colleges emerge.

“These women always cared about their community and sought to use The Quill as a means of voicing their thoughts on how their world at Sage could be improved.” — Student KD McTeigue

Playwright Pens a Centennial Her-Story Yours is a one-act play that covers the origins of and student life at Russell Sage College, largely through the words of students as published in The Quill campus newspaper. It opened the 2016-2017 season at the Theatre Institute at Sage. “Former students steered me,” said playwright Leigh Strimbeck. “They wrote so much about wanting to wear pants!” she added, referring to the dress codes of decades ago. “These women always cared about their community and sought to use The Quill as a means of voicing their thoughts on how their world at Sage could be improved,” said dramaturgical assistant KD McTeigue RSC ’18.

For Strimbeck, researching, writing and revising the play expanded her sense of the campus and its history. Now, certain locations immediately remind her of President James Meader, President Helen McKinstry, or Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage’s secretary Lillian Todd. “I enjoy the research. That’s my favorite part,” said Strimbeck. “The hard part is throwing things out, taking a scalpel and removing what doesn’t serve the play.” The original script, nearly 140 pages long, was pared down to a final 66. Losing vivid tales is critical to making drama work, but Strimbeck regretted not being able to fully present some of the personalities who influenced the college. President Meader’s sarcastic editorial, “20 Reasons Not to Go to College,” even staged well, but ultimately, didn’t make the final cut.


Strimbeck and Director David Baecker, MFA, associate professor of theatre, had to pull the audience through 100 years. Given the constraints of time and attention, the two decided to focus on the voice of the students, and highlight a few people who were instrumental to the college’s beginnings. One of these was Eliza Kellas, founding dean. Kellas assembled the first class in less than six months, and was also the head of Emma Willard School while she was president of Russell Sage for the college’s first 12 years.

Student Voices, 2016 At Sage College of Albany, Vernacular is the student publication that creates community across disciplines, according to Leah Rico, MFA, assistant professor, Graphic + Media Design. “The students really see the value of how literary works and visual works complement and strengthen meaning when they are together on a page, in a spread, and across a publication,” said Rico, noting that this kind of experience is hard to create in the classroom.

The Quill continues as a forum for Russell Sage College students, today. David Salomon, Ph.D., professor of English and The Quill advisor, said the paper has embraced the Centennial by including a “Then and Now” photo series in each issue during 2016. For one image, staff recreated a group photo outside of Sage Hall, and had to arrange themselves by height and hair color to mirror the original.

“She was a force of nature,” said Strimbeck, noting that her sister, Katherine Kellas, was also instrumental to the institution’s functioning and the two of them were known by one name, The Kellae. Eliza Kellas is a presence for much of the play, setting the tone for the students and helping illustrate the strict expectations she and society had for women of the era. Lillian Todd, aviatrix and secretary to Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, offered a potent metaphor to carry the defining arc of the play. Staging lively scenes of Todd working on her plane allows Sage, as observer, to voice to curious reporters her interest in helping women fly.

More than the fun of these activities, and the curiosity of looking back and comparing thens to nows, though, The Sage Colleges’ anniversary is prompting good writing and reporting.

Professor Emerita Kathleen Donnelly



Professor Promotes Women’s Achievements by Highlighting Honorary Alumnae The Sage Colleges’ Centennial didn’t initiate Woman of Influence: Honorary Alumnae of Russell Sage College (Troy Bookmakers, 2016) but the approach of the year certainly gave author Kathleen Donnelly, Ph.D., a finish line. The idea for the book came from an acquaintance of Donnelly’s, who wanted to become better informed of women’s achievements. “After spending 30 years reading commencement programs I thought, ‘There’s a place to start,’” said Donnelly. Throughout her career at Sage, she’d seen women receive honorary degrees. The stories behind those awards deserved telling. This project was very different from her work as a biochemist. “A book is a real collaboration,” she said, and hers reflects the work of friends who helped her decide who to include and find the right non-scientific tone for her topic. Archivists on campus, at Emma Willard School, and elsewhere were of great assistance, helping her flesh out the names of recipients into the portraits that became the book.

Given the challenges of space, she knew she couldn’t write biographies or attempt an encyclopedia. Donnelly developed a few standards to shape her list. “I wanted people from across the spectrum of careers,” she said, so that readers could find people to identify with in their own lives and work. “When I needed to choose between two people, I tried to select the one who was less well known.” She wanted to make people aware of women who had been forgotten by history, so in the instance of whether to include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker or Dorothy Brown, M.D. – who grew up in an orphanage in Troy and went on to become the first black female to be a surgeon in the southeast, and to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly – the latter made the cut. However, Donnelly couldn’t leave out Eleanor Roosevelt just because she was famous; her involvement is too significant. “Eleanor Roosevelt remained active with the college for 27 years after she got her [honorary] degree,” said Donnelly. This demonstrates the goals President James Meader had in establishing the honorary degree program. Meader is the only man featured in the book. While many colleges awarded honorary degrees with ideas of attracting funding or prestige, Meader sought people who would invest their energies into the college. Initially, Meader selected recipients. Later the faculty got involved, and eventually a board guided the process. “Eleanor Roosevelt’s fingerprints are on a number of honorary degree recipients into the 40s,” said Donnelly. “Recipients stayed involved. Some of them were on the board of trustees, some of them mentored students, or were otherwise available to students. Faculty could contact them. The connections were informal but definitely in place.” These allegiances helped create an atmosphere to foster more success for women, and the book is continuing that legacy. Incoming students were assigned to read Women of Influence and write a response at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester. “It has been very interesting to me to read the papers and see which of the stories have the most impact on students,” said Donnelly. Students tend to choose people from careers in their field, and write that reading about the women validates their choice of major or school.

Another positive impact of the book is that the Shea Learning Center library has increased its holdings of titles by and about the honorary degree recipients. Special bookmarks in the books and identification in the catalog draw attention to these women of influence. One of the best stories Donnelly found was the Pan-American celebration that dovetailed with Russell Sage College’s 25th anniversary. Initially, the theme was going to be the role of women in higher ed in the 20th century, but when President Meader went to a meeting in Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt and the State Department convinced him that the occasion could become a celebration of the Pan American Union. Several of the 10 honorary degree recipients in 1941 were chosen from Central and South American countries, and the City of Troy was enlisted to help salute the union, too. Businesses had signs like “Do you speak Portuguese?” in their window, and students at Troy High made dolls that represented the honorees’ countries. “By all accounts it was wildly successful and they were going to replicate something like this around the country to try to increase positive interaction between North and South American countries in the union,” said Donnelly. Unfortunately, Pearl Harbor changed the international conversation completely, and scrapped plans to replicate the celebration elsewhere in the United States. “Think about how different things might have been,” said Donnelly, reflecting on the current state of cultural affairs in our country.

Award-Winning Journalist Chronicles a Century of Equity and Opportunity For author Paul Grondahl, researching The Sage Colleges: Russell Sage College Succeeds and Transforms Over 100 Years (Mount Ida Press, 2017) made him aware of a piece of fiction about Russell Sage College’s origins. Like many, he believed the institution was born as a vindication of the namesake industrialist’s misogynism and his presumed disdain for education. However, in his research Grondahl said, “I didn’t see any evidence of Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage starting the school out of spite.”


Rather, the author learned that the college was an obvious place to create opportunities for women to extend their studies. Given the presence of Emma Willard School, the secondary school known as the Troy Female Seminary for much of the 19th century, the City of Troy was perfectly suited to site a next educational step for women. Grondahl found that local support for the new enterprise was strong. “Throughout the early history, Troy residents took a sense of ownership and connection to Sage I thought was unusual,” he said. “The city raised funds, and rather than the town/gown split, there was much closer collaborative feeling between the city and college.”

Sage identifies itself as a community of scholars committed to empowering students, with a mission of To Be, To Know, To Do. While interviewing graduates from both campuses, Grondahl heard stories of that mission in action. Given the era, some of that was couched as a duty to care for the weaker sex, but that attitude did not linger. The sense of the campus being a part of the community did. Grondahl enjoyed discovering what the college meant beyond Troy. The research gave him a broader awareness of Russell Sage College as a pioneering voice in feminism, and leader of opportunity and access for women in higher education. “Sage always has taken its mission seriously,” he said. Sage identifies itself as a community of scholars committed to empowering students, with a mission of To Be, To Know, To Do. While interviewing graduates from both campuses, he heard stories of that mission in action. The Sage Colleges opens doors for people who don’t have automatic access to building knowledge and skills. 24


At Russell Sage, that door meant creating a single-sex learning environment. Though this quality was essential for the college’s first students, Grondahl found it remains a significant benefit. Graduates such as Donna Esteves RSC ’70, a former teacher turned energy entrepreneur; Nancy Mueller RSC ’65 of Nancy’s Specialty Foods; and Ronnye Shamam RSC ’64 of Shamron Mills credited Russell Sage with helping them cultivate their voices and decision-making capacities independently of men. Working in classrooms free from the power dynamics associated with gender let them really find their footing. Yet the advantages alumnae spoke of with Grondahl were not just about the lack of men, but the presence of each other. “I heard a lot of funny stories, and got a sense that women built a foundation at Sage that’s been important throughout their lives, more than any college I can think of,” he said. People told him about the lifelong friendships forged as firstyear students paired with juniors, and over Rally days. Like Russell Sage College, the evolution of the Albany campus was a pioneering enterprise in response to the need, following World War II, for evening classes for people who worked full time. “The evening division filled a niche and kept growing and growing. There was a debate among faculty about this expansion, because traditionalists didn’t like the idea of an evening division,” said Grondahl. However, the college’s mission won, and another place to empower students took root across the Hudson. Grondahl interviewed a lot of students and alumni from low-income or minority families that didn’t have a history of higher ed. Thanks to the access Sage College of Albany provides, they thrived. For a century, The Sage Colleges has been offering equity, voice and opportunity to its students. The writing generated at this time of reflection is making a good portrait of the accumulated efforts and achievements of the institution and its graduates.

Author Coleen Paratore

Sage Contributes Sense of Place to Troy Resident’s Fiction and Memoir Author Coleen Murtagh Paratore grew up in Troy. She has vivid memories of her Nana ironing work dresses for her job on the custodial staff at Russell Sage. “I never actually saw the college until many years later but it loomed large in my childhood imaginings,” said Paratore, who later worked in the Public Relations Office at Sage. Sage stayed with her when she went to work elsewhere, in relationships with former colleagues and in her books for middle grade readers. The college first took life in her fiction in the novel Dreamsleeves (Scholastic Press, 2012) and appears again in the memoir she co-authored with her mother, Peg Spain Murtagh, Writing it Right (Troy Bookmakers, 2014). Russell Sage has a starring role in her new novel, Roar Like a Girl (Little Pickle Press, 2016). The main character’s father accepts a position as a visiting professor of English, covering the position of Professor Craig. The name is a shoutout to former English Department Chair Gladys Craig, Ph.D. The novel is set in the present and President Scrimshaw, Associate Provost Donna Heald, Ph.D., and others make appearances, placing pieces of reality firmly into the fiction.


Highlights from the Centennial season at the Theatre Institute at Sage and the Opalka Gallery

from left to right, top to bottom The Theatre Institute at Sage opened 2016 with Number the Stars, based on Lois Lowry’s awardwinning story of a girl who risks her life to save her friend in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Pictured: The full cast at curtain call. In April 2016, the Theatre Institute joined the worldwide celebration of Shakespeare’s 400-year legacy with Romeo & Juliet – set in 1950s Italy. Professor of Graphic Design Matthew McElligott and Associate Professor of Creative & Performing Arts Michael Musial collaborated on the Theatre Institute’s June 2016 production of Backbeard: A New Musical, based on McElligott’s children’s book series.

Yours, a play celebrating Russell Sage College’s 100th year and based on the words of students as published in The Quill campus newspaper, was the fall 2016 production at the Theatre Institute. Alice in Wonderland was the December production at the Theatre Institute. The Housed, an exhibit of atmospheric paintings and large-scale drawings of waves and bedsheets by Kate Teale, was at the Opalka Gallery in early 2016. Pictured: The artist led a walk-through of her exhibit in February 2016. The best work by Art + Design majors in the Class of 2016 was featured in the 12th Annual Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibit at the Opalka. Pictured: The BFA 2016 opening reception in May. The multimedia work by Siona Benjamin at the Opalka Gallery in fall 2016 was inspired by traditions as diverse as Indian miniature painting, Byzantine icons, illuminated manuscripts and American pop art. Gravity and Light: Caroline Ramersdorfer, 1985-2016, opened at the Opalka Gallery in December 2016. Starting with huge blocks of marble, granite and other stone, Ramersdorfer carves intricate interiors as if from the inside out, harnessing light and the material’s innate properties. Trustee Chet Opalka and his wife Karen gave a sculpture by Ramersdorfer to Sage in honor of the Centennial. See photos on page 29 and inside back cover.





TOG ETHER This report of appreciation acknowledges all who contributed to The Sage Colleges between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. During this period, 3,575 donors collectively gave more than $6.8 million to The Sage Colleges, affirming the colleges’ mission:

To Be

To provide the individual student with the opportunity and means to develop and advance personally and professionally, and thus to be successful in achieving life goals;

To Know

To contribute to the larger society a group of diverse, thoughtful and competent citizen-leaders who continue to be engaged in the pursuit of lifelong learning; and

To Do

To translate learning into action and application, recognizing the obligation of educated persons to lead and to serve their communities.

Thanks to generous donors like you, Sage has carried out this mission for more than 100 years and, as we look ahead, is prepared to Be. Know. Do. MORE Thank you for your part in Sage’s 100-year educational legacy, and thank you for your part in Sage’s promising future.

This report acknowledges gifts to Sage, made between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The accuracy of this report is important to us. In the event of any errors please contact Advancement Resources at 518-244-2478 or



JULY 1, 2015 - JUNE 30, 2016

THE SAGE FUND FOR EXCELLENCE Loyal and new donors collectively gave $1,154,648 to the Sage Fund for Excellence. This marks the seventh year in a row that the annual fund raised more than $1 million.

MORE than




raised on Giving Tuesday, donors with

raised for Corporate Connections scholarships


first-time donors

We are grateful for annual fund donors who gave especially generously in celebration of The Sage Colleges Centennial. Thank you!


More than commemorative Centennial bricks and tiles installed


matching gifts

Light Up the Logo The Office of Annual Giving surpassed its 20152016 Light Up the Logo Challenge of $3 million for the Sage Fund for Excellence. Thank you to everyone who participated in this challenge toward the Centennial Campaign for Sage.




New Endowments Susan Warren Beatty Faculty Award for Excellence in Research Fund Provost Sue Beatty created this fund with a gift to the Centennial Campaign for Sage to provide support for faculty of The Sage Colleges to perform or present research. The first floor of Kellas Hall at Russell Sage College has been named in honor of Christine Collard Devereaux RSC ’56, in gratitude for her unrestricted gift to the Centennial Campaign for Sage and for establishing a fellowship for alumnae pursuing a graduate degree at Sage. Pictured: Christine Collard Devereaux, Irmgard Kauppert Engelson RSC ’56, Director of Planned Giving Susan Warshany and friend Chris Koski.

The Buchman Foundation Fund in Memory of Louis and Natalie Buchman RSC ’64 The Buchman Foundation created this fund for facilities on the Troy campus.

Marie Corrado RSC 1950 Endowed Scholarship Fund This fund was fully endowed in 2016 by Marie Corrado. It will provide merit-based financial support to female students at Russell Sage College.

Hollis Dorman RSC ’74 Scholarship Fund Former Russell Sage College Alumnae Association President Hollis Dorman established this fund to provide tuition support for female Russell Sage College students.

A classroom in Mueller Science Hall at Russell Sage College was named in honor of James and Helen Miller Wick RSC ’51 for their support of the Esteves School of Education’s Help Yourself Academy STEM enrichment program.

Toros and Selma Gochigian Endowed Memorial Fund for the Study of International Law and Justice, Public Administration and Public Policy, and Reparation and Peace This fund was established by Lucille Gochigian Sarkissian SCA ’79, ’83 to enhance the educational and cultural experiences of students at The Sage Colleges and members of surrounding communities.

Julia Greenstein RSC ’78 and Paul Bleicher Scholarship Fund Member of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees Julia Greenstein established this fund for Russell Sage College students majoring in Biology, Chemistry or Health Sciences.

Renaissance Corporation Sage College of Albany Student Support Services Fund

The pediatrics room in the School of Health Sciences Simulation Labs was supported by an unrestricted gift from Barton and Kristina Hanson Smith RSC ’61 and named in honor of Dorothy McMullan, director of the School of Nursing between 1955 and 1962.

This Centennial gift will provide assistance for tuition, advising and counseling services, educational supplies, books and general student support services for students from a minority or underrepresented group or for first-generation students.

Marcia Luloff Sabesin RSC 1956 Endowed Scholarship Fund This fund was established by Marcia Sabesin to provide scholarship funds for Russell Sage College students.



JULY 1, 2015 - JUNE 30, 2016

Trustee Chet Opalka and his wife Karen gave Inner View_ Nexus_Open I, a sculpture by Caroline Ramersdorfer, to Sage in honor of the Centennial. The sculpture was dedicated during the Sage Sips reception in April 2016 and is at the entrance to the Opalka Gallery.

Multiple gifts enhanced Tribute Gardens on both campuses. Gifts to the gardens help maintain areas of natural beauty and support The Sage Colleges. Pictured: Nancy Cumo (left), who retired from Russell Sage in 2016 after 22 years, pictured with her daughter Tammy Cumo RSC ’00. Nancy made a gift to the garden in honor of Tammy and their shared experience at Russell Sage College. A bench was also installed in the Tribute Garden with appreciation to Helen Hamilton Clark RSC ’41.

Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties Endowed Scholarship Fund George and Lucienne McCormick Walker RSC ’71 created this fund to provide tuition assistance to students from Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.

Patricia Timpano Sparrell RSC ’78 Service Learning Program Endowed Fund Trustee Patricia Sparrell established this endowed fund for the benefit of the Russell Sage College Service Learning Program.

Evelyn Donaldson Steinkirchner Scholarship Fund This fund for first-generation Russell Sage College students was established by Kay Steinkirchner Rock RSC ’67 as part of the Centennial Campaign for Sage.

President Scrimshaw, Danish Sharp RSC ’15 and Katie Gnirrep RSC ’18 at the Centennial brick dedication on the Russell Sage College campus during Reunion weekend in June 2016.

Helen Bryant Sweet Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund This fund was established by former member of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees Carol Sweet Morse RSC ’66 in memory of her mother and will provide scholarships for two female students a year in a business major at Russell Sage College.

Nancy Valley RSC ’81 and Terry Menzel Endowed Building Maintenance Fund This fund, established through estate planning, will provide income for maintenance, renovations, landscaping and equipment purchases at The Sage Colleges.

New Restricted Funds Gural Family Fund for Study at the Arava Institute This grant established by Barbara Gural RSC ’72 will allow Sage students to travel to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel, a leading academic and research program in the Middle East.

A new installment of commemorative bricks was dedicated during the Sage Sips reception at Sage College of Albany in April 2016.



Additional Significant Gifts to Endowments and Scholarships Aggie Stillman Memorial Scholarship Fund

Marion Lamont RSC ’36 Scholarship Fund

Jane Wardwell Roberts RSC ’50*

Marion Norton Lamont

BRAE Endowed Scholarship Fund

Marion Rockwell C. Mason Scholarship Fund

Joseph and Jennifer Cross Pilaro RSC ’56

Marion Rockwell C. Mason FD UA

CDPHP Endowed Fund for the Health Sciences

David and Carol Sweet Morse RSC 1966 Unrestricted Endowed Fund


David and Carol Sweet Morse

Lisa V. Carl Library Archive Fund Lisa V. Carl RSC ’78

Edilberto B. Olimpo, Jr. JCA ’88 Fund Julia Olimpo

Chemistry Majors Class of 1965 Award Fund, Given in Memory of Grace I. VanDervoort RSC ’25

Sheila Sutland Pakula RSC ’56 Scholarship Fund

Nancy Sothern Mueller RSC ’65 Peggy Bannister Scurry RSC ’65 Mary Buchakjian Sobo RSC ’65 Karen Wurstlin Williams RSC ’65

Lawrence and Sheila Sutland Pakula

Class of 1960 Golden Opportunity Scholarship Fund

Scrimshaw Distinguished Visiting Artist Fund

Wanda Ratsek RSC ’58 Scholarship Fund Fred and Wanda Ratsek Plagens*

Susan C. Scrimshaw and Allan Stern

Kathryn Merrick Diamond RSC ’60

Francine Ebersman Class of 1979 Scholarship Fund

Ronnye Berg Shamam Scholarship Fund Ronnye Berg Shamam RSC ’64

Francine Ebersman

General Endowed Scholarship Fund Rodney and Julianne Wiebel Agar RSC ’59 William and Mary Kahl

Gicca-Coomes Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund Francis and Joan Coomes Gicca RSC ’54

Charlotte Shaw Tracy RSC 1966 Unrestricted Endowed Fund J. Charles and Charlotte Shaw Tracy

Unrestricted Endowed Fund Alexander and Elizabeth Campbell Young RSC ’58 David McConaughy* Jacqueline Trask Ulrich RSC ’50*

Alexandra Jupin Endowed Scholarship Fund Alexandra Jupin SCA ’65, RSC ’67 and John Bean

Dr. Glenda Bartholomew Kelman RSC 1972, SGS 1974 Nursing Scholarship Donald Kelman Glenda Bartholomew Kelman NHKelman, Inc.




BEQUESTS AND PLANNED GIFTS The Sage Ring Legacy Society recognizes alumni and friends who have remembered Sage through bequests and other planned gifts. Each one of these gifts, no matter the dollar amount, provides meaningful support to Sage. We are grateful to those who have made the college a beneficiary in their wills, and take this opportunity to recognize them and share the news of their gifts which have been realized this year: • Donald Brown, widower of Deborah Patten Brown RSC ’53 • Helen Hamilton Clark RSC ’41 • Sven Englund, widower of Alice Moeller Englund RSC ’43 • June Price RSC ’43 • Lillian Christenson Riche SEC ’61 • Ferne Kohlman Tedeschi RSC ’56 • Jacqueline Trask Ulrich RSC ’50 All of these bequest gifts were unrestricted and have provided significant additions to the operating, unrestricted endowment or capital needs of The Sage Colleges.

The following alumnae generously made Sage a beneficiary in their wills by designating their gifts to a specific purpose: • Doris Monks Newton RSC ’35 directed her gift to support academic programs. • Jane Wardwell Roberts RSC ’50 designated her gift to significantly support the endowment through the Aggie C. Stillman Scholarship Fund. • Marion Norton Lamont RSC ’36 and Grace Jennings Sickler RSC ’47 named Sage as a beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Trust. Ms. Lamont’s gift provided scholarship support and Ms. Sickler’s gift provided unrestricted support. • Former member of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees David McConaughy, son of Miriam Bailey McConaughy RSC ’25, made Sage a beneficiary of his life insurance policy and his gift has provided much needed general operating support.



MORE FUNDRAISING MILESTONES Support for First-Generation Students The 50th Reunion of Russell Sage College’s Class of 1967 is approaching and class member Kay Steinkirchner Rock wanted to do something meaningful for her alma mater – with which she shares a September 19 birthday. With tax advantages made possible by Federal Charitable IRA Rollover legislation, Kay contributed IRA assets to establish the Evelyn Donaldson Steinkirchner Scholarship Fund in memory of her mother, who did not attend college but was determined to give Kay the opportunity. The scholarship will be awarded to first-generation students at Russell Sage College. Kay herself was the first in her family to attend college; she studied Spanish and Economics at Russell Sage, then earned an MBA and worked for an international consulting firm. She is also the author of two books, including the recently published Over the Hill and Gaining Speed. The grandmother of five in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, appreciated the opportunities Sage offers for donors to match their interests with a giving plan that works for them.

Honoring a Legacy Dorothy Collins Knepper RSC ’47 – known as “Collie” to her classmates – studied Business at Russell Sage College and was considered the fifth floor’s alarm clock in her residence hall. She was also a legacy student. Dorothy’s mother, Gertrude Slocum Collins RSC ’20, was a member of the first four-year class at Russell Sage and earned a degree in Household Economics, from which the Nutrition program evolved. Her aunt, Dorothy Slocum RSC ’21, earned a degree in Social Sciences.

Sage is continuing to celebrate the success of the $60 million Centennial Campaign for Sage through the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Sage celebrated its 100th birthday on Founder’s Day, September 19, 2016, with a challenge to raise $100,000 in 24 hours. Thanks to 830 donors who sent gifts and good wishes from across the country, Sage raised $213,142.

Sage dedicated The Renaissance Room student lounge in the Armory at Sage College of Albany on November 18, 2016. The room was made possible by a donation from the Renaissance Corporation of Albany. Pictured, left to right, Sage College of Albany Dean Jean Dahlgren, Director of Facilities Maintenance and Planning John Zajaceskowski, Sage College of Albany Student Government President Nasra Gariballa SCA ’18, Sage President Susan Scrimshaw, Renaissance Corporation President Carla Chiaro and Senior Manager Eileen French cut the ribbon and officially open the room.

Dorothy Knepper, who passed away in April 2016, honored her mother and aunt with a memorial gift in her will. Her gift provides endowed awards to students who show exemplary achievement, one in Nutrition and one in Sociology. Sage can help you find the right charitable gift for you, in confidence and without obligation. Please contact Director of Planned Giving Susan Warshany or Senior Leadership Gift Officer Shelly Calabrese at or 518-244-4581.



Celebration, a sculpture by Kathryn Field, was dedicated in the Shea Learning Center at Russell Sage College on October 20, 2016. It includes steel and paint images of Russell Sage students, based on photographs from Sage’s archives and is a Centennial gift from Donna Robinson Esteves RSC ’70.

JULY 1, 2015 - JUNE 30, 2016

OFFICE OF CORPORATE, GOVERNMENT AND FOUNDATION RELATIONS Government Relations The Office of Corporate, Government and Foundation Relations continued to build and maintain relationships with elected officials throughout the year, and actively participated in advocacy efforts through membership in the Council for Independent Colleges and Universities.

Foundation Relations Throughout 2016, the OCGFR worked with a number of foundations to bring in additional support for Sage students, programs and capital projects. A grant from the Renaissance Corporation of Albany established a fund to help minority students at Sage College of Albany achieve success. The Julia O. Wells Memorial Education Foundation continued its support by providing scholarship funds which help to recruit and retain talented Nursing students. The A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation increased scholarship funds for students at Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany. A grant from the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation supported the restoration of five stained glass windows in Bush Memorial Center. A grant from the Howard and Bush Foundation provided funds to help construct a large computer lab at Russell Sage College, focused on serving Health Sciences students. The Cleveland Foundation, Cohoes Savings Foundation, Irene B. Miller Foundation, the MVMA Foundation, Hudson River Bank Trust Co. Foundation, Inc., McGregor Links Foundation and other foundation partners continued to support to Sage.

Nicholas Monroe SCA ’16, Clarisa Stephens SCA ’16, Audrey Feirstein RSC ’16, Monica Skanes and Nicholas Faso of Corporate Connections scholarship sponsor Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Gina Caputo RSC ’16 and Morgan Robinson RSC ’16.

Corporate Relations The Sage Colleges continued to build relationships with corporate partners. Corporate sponsorships provided funding for student scholarships, scholar-athletes via the Gator Golf Classic, and educational and community events such as the CDPHP Nutrition Lecture and the Best Practices in the Treatment of Autism Conference.

Wendy Prout RSC ’85, David Rubin, senior advisor at Sano-Rubin Construction Services, LLC, and Carol Ju, at Sage’s Centennial Gala. Sano-Rubin Construction Services was the gala’s Diamond Sponsor.

The Corporate Connections Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to students entering their final year of study, presented 115 scholarships (up from 104 the previous year) to outstanding students from the Capital Region. It was the program’s fourth consecutive record-breaking year. Corporate Connections partners include longtime supporters Sodexo Education, M&T Bank, Stewart’s Shops, BBL Companies, CDPHP and Enterprise Holdings. New sponsors include the Grand Healthcare System, CSArch, CapitalCare Medical Group and a number of other generous contributors. We are excited to continue to grow the number of Corporate Connections partners. Finally, the OCGFR secured corporate sponsors for Sage’s Centennial Gala on October 21, 2016 with net proceeds to benefit the Sage Centennial Scholarship Fund. Sponsors included Sano-Rubin Construction, Crisafulli Bros, Magic Wig and Franklin Plaza Ballroom. For a complete list of sponsors, visit

F. Joseph Straub of Corporate Connections scholarship sponsor M/E Engineering and Amanda Millington RSC ’16.

>> Visit for the latest Centennial Campaign news and to make your gift. Thank you!


Centennial Gala

At the Track

Astronaut Inspires at Centennial Founder’s Convocation

On August 17, 2016, alumni representing all of The Sage Colleges watched the eighth race at the historic Saratoga Race Course from the winner’s circle. The race was named in honor of The Sage Colleges’ Centennial.

Students Get into Centennial Spirit Students participated in the events pictured, and held their own celebrations including a Spirit of Sage Centennial Cruise.

Bestselling Author at SCA

NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson spoke on Russell Sage’s campus in September 2016 for Centennial Founder’s Day. Wilson drew parallels between Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage and Eliza Kellas’ pioneering work to establish Russell Sage College for women 100 years ago, the work of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate to push the boundaries of space travel, and opportunities that await today’s Sage students.

Tom Maggs JCA ’67, Amy Maggs, John Bennett, M.D., member of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees, and Deborah Bennett RSC ’76. Former Russell Sage College Alumnae Association President Hollis Dorman RSC ’74, RSCAA Board Member Jamie Salm RSC ’01, RSCAA Board Member Kate Saulsbery RSC ’11 and Trustee Ronnye Shamam RSC ’64.

Centennial-Perfect Photo Op

MORE photos at

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, spoke and signed books for more than 300 attendees at a Centennial lecture at Sage College of Albany in September 2016.

To Be Continued … The Centennial Celebration continues through the official end of the academic year on June 30, 2017. Watch for MORE, including Sage’s 100th commencement on May 13, another all class celebration at Russell Sage College’s Reunion weekend, and a special campaign announcement.

Centennial Sculpture at Sage College of Albany Party on Hudson’s Shore

Nearly 600 Russell Sage College alumnae attended Reunion weekend in June 2016. The weekend began with a barbecue and fireworks for the Centennial. Pictured: The sold-out crowd holds candles as they sing with alumnae Sagettes at the barbecue (2016 was also the 65th anniversary of the a capella group.)

Centennial Sculpture at Russell Sage College Trustee Chet Opalka and his wife Karen gave Inner View_Nexus_Open I, a sculpture by Caroline Ramersdorfer, to Sage in honor of the Centennial. The sculpture was dedicated during the Sage Sips reception in April 2016 and is at the entrance to the Opalka Gallery. Pictured: Opalka Gallery Director Elizabeth Greenberg, Karen and Chet Opalka, Susan Scrimshaw and John Van Alstyne, husband of sculptor Caroline Ramersdorfer.

Celebration, a sculpture by Kathryn Field, was dedicated in the Shea Learning Center at Russell Sage College on October 20, 2016. It includes steel and paint images of Russell Sage students, and is a Centennial gift from Donna Robinson Esteves RSC ’70. Pictured: Jillian Schwab RSC ’14, Director of Libraries Lisa Brainard, Meagan Eckhoff RSC ’19, Kathryn Field, Susan Scrimshaw and Chair of The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees Tip Simons.

Students gathered on each Sage campus for photos in the shape of “100” in September 2016.


The Russell Sage College Alumnae Association hosted a celebratory brunch on campus on October 22, 2016.


Centennial Brunch

Sage Night at Tri-City ValleyCats Celebrating at Sage Sips Albany campus and graduate school alumni mingled over specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the Centennial Sage Sips reception in the Armory at Sage College of Albany in April 2016.

The Tri-City ValleyCats hosted Sage on August 28, 2016. President Scrimshaw (pictured, with a young friend) threw the ceremonial first pitch in the game against the Lowell Spinners.

One hundred and thirty-nine runners and walkers participated in the Centennial 5K on the Russell Sage campus on September 24, 2016.

Donald Edwards SCA ’18, Anthony Crawford, Jr., SCA ’14 [M.S., School of Health Sciences, 2017] and Krystyn Knockwood SCA ’16 at the Centennial 5K.

Standing: RSCAA Board Member Carrie Cokely RSC ’97, Karen Zimmers RSC ’75 and Trustee Belinda Hilton RSC ’97. Sitting: Bonita Maxon RSC ’65, Victoria Schrader Dichian SEC ’76 [M.S., School of Management, 1979] and RSCAA Board Member Sara Simon RSC ’04.

Donna Sawyer RSC ’70, RSCAA Board Member Jennifer Johnson RSC ’70, Janet Tully Kuzman ’70 and Candida Santos Rataul RSC ’70.

Profile for The Sage Colleges

Horizons 2016  

The Sage Colleges Magazine and Annual Report

Horizons 2016  

The Sage Colleges Magazine and Annual Report