Excellence Awards: 1996


Stephen Messner,

Since coming to Albany in 1982, Steven Messner, professor of sociology, has become the leading authority in crossnational studies of violent crime. He was also a winner of the Excellence in Teaching award in 1992. Yet his service in the governance of the Department of Sociology and University as a whole has been just as active and profound. He sees service the natural extension of a scholar and teacher. His work on the ad hoc committee to review the undergraduate program in sociology resulted in several recommendation on how to deal with declining enrollments; the result was an enrollment turnaround. As chair of Senate's Undergraduate Academic Council in 1994, he oversaw the review and approval of new undergraduate programs in actuarial and mathematical sciences. He also worked effectively with the General Education Committee - of which he was also a member - to increase the availability and insure credit loads for Gen Ed courses. Messner developed the model for the department's computer-intensive courses in the late '80s. He is a Faculty Mentor, a faculty associate for Colonial Quad, and helps recruit Presidential Scholars.

Edward L. Hannan,
Health Policy & Management

Edward Hannan's career in health services research has had a significant impact on clinical quality assessment programs and led to improved health care outcomes for patients. An acknowledged international expert in the field of data collection/research design for health services assessment, his analysis of coronary artery bypass surgery outcomes contributed to a drop from 4.17 to 2.45 deaths per 100 in the risk-adjusted mortality rates for such surgery in New York State from 1989 to 1992. Hannan helped design a clinical data collection system for his seminal research on coronary bypass graft surgery and coronary angioplasty that alone has resulted in 14 scholarly publications over a five-year period in respected peer-review journals in the field. He is now extending this work on clinical outcomes to the trauma system in New York. Currently advisor to the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and consultant to the General Accounting Office (on the implications of managed care for cardiovascular diseases), the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration, and agencies in both Great Britain and Israel, Hannan has become an international resource in health services research.

Frank Hauser,

Frank Hauser is an internationally recognized leader in the discovery and development of synthesized natural products. Over a more than 25-year career, he and his students have been remarkably successful in synthesizing several potent, clinically promising anti-cancer and antibacterial agents. This body of research has provided a foundation for further work on synthetic methods by other pharmaceutical researchers. Hauser's ground-breaking work on the development of the first method for isomer-specific preparation of intermediates has facilitated the preparation of a new class of antibiotics called dynamycins, which are now entering clinical trials. His more recent research is aimed at reducing the cost of synthesizing Calphostin D. a substance involved in controlling the replication and differentiation of cells. Since joining the faculty 10 years ago, he has published 22 papers, including review articles in the most prestigious U.S. journals, and received more than $3 million in continuous external funding to support his research.

Arthur Applebee,
Educational Theory and Practice

Arthur Applebee, regarded as a leading scholar in the field of English education, uniquely combines expertise in advanced statistics with knowledge of English as a discipline. His research in several areas has been instrumental in shaping and changing conceptualization of issues and research practices in the field, and demonstrates an extraordinary breadth of subject. He has authored seven books and more than 80 reports, articles, review and columns. His first major work (1974), Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English, remains the only comprehensive history of the teaching of the language. Applebee's research on the teaching and learning of writing has supported by a stream of uninterrupted federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) since in 1979. Since arriving at Albany in 1987, he has conducted research on literature and its role in schooling as co-director of the National Research Center for Literature Teaching and Learning. This year, he undertakes direction of a new five-year DOE-funded national center to support cross-disciplinary work in English education and student achievement.

Daniel Levy,
Educational Administration & Policy Studies

Daniel Levy has established both a national and an international reputation in not one but four major fields - education, Latin American studies, political science, and the new field of Third Sector (non-profit organizational) studies. Among the School of Education's most accomplished scholars with the field of education itself, his core concern has been civil society, and especially the political relationships therein. He has demonstrated the vibrancy of civil society where conventional wisdom has ignored or denied it. Within political science, Levy has earned a reputation as one of the world's top Mexicanists. In all four of his major research areas, her has received major grants and also published extensively in top journals, edited books and encyclopedias. The substantive and methodological breakthroughs Levy has made on inter-related issues such as authoritarianism, autonomy, and accountability could only have occurred because of his unusual ability to blend fields in novel ways. His work shows the best side of what modern multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary undertaking can produce.


John W. Delano,
Geological Sciences

As a teacher, John W. Delano, associate professor of geological sciences, has a style that comprises enthusiasm, tireless effort, and dedication. A member of the faculty since 1982, his standards for his students are high and unwavering. They are also lively and attractive to students. Delano designs curricula that encourage questions during his lectures and offers frequent demonstrations to emphasize important points. In large classes he has found effective ways to use forums to promote discussion and debate, as well as careful analysis of scientific data. His students remark that Delano creates a contagious excitement for learning, allowing them to think for themselves and to feel respect reciprocated between teacher and student. A highly regarded scholar in the field of geochemistry, he has published seven papers in the last three years and had research funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. His frequent lectures to off-campus audiences on the commitment to science education has established Delano as an ambassador for the University.

Helmut V. B. Hirsch,
Biological Sciences

Helmut V.B. Hirsch, professor of biological sciences, has been at the University for 24 years, and during his tenure has demonstrated the highest degree of commitment to teaching at all levels. He elicits excitement and understanding from his students, even as they deal with complex and challenging material. The key to his enthusiastic approach to teaching is the intellectual excitement he himself associates with scientific inquiry and discovery. Hirsch's teaching style encompasses high standards, student participation and the use of "untested" laboratory exercises that enable students to develop new insights and formulate new questions for subsequent classroom discussion. He has also contributed to a number of important University teaching initiatives, among them an interdisciplinary team-taught course designed to satisfy the campus's Human Diversity requirement, and, as primary architect and still co-director, the Human Biology Program, an undergraduate major sponsored jointly by the departments of biology and anthropology. He also continues his own original research, for which has received many external grants.

Linda Pershing,
Women's Studies

Linda Pershing, a folklorist, anthropologist, American social historian and feminist theorist, brings expertise in all these areas to her classroom which lends to her teaching in the areas of human biological and cultural diversity in American society. An assistant professor in the Department of Women's Studies, Pershing elicits student-directed discussions, mandates use of the Internet and participation in electronic mail, and requires sharing and mutual commentary on written work, as part of a teaching style that is informal and loyal, but also demanding and creative. An active member of the General Education Committee, in May 1995 she was honored with the Outstanding Contribution Award in the College of Arts and Sciences for her work on behalf of undergraduate students. Her scholarly and pedagogical concerns focus sharply on the power of American popular culture as a documentary source for contemporary U.S. society. The author of two books, she won the prestigious Elli Kongas-Maranda Prize for the Best Publication in Women's Studies in 1994.

Louisa Slowiaczek,

Since joining the faculty of the Department of Psychology in 1989, Louisa M. Slowiaczek has taught 18 courses, supervised 25 undergraduate students in independent study, and been advisor for five doctoral candidates. She has consistently taught at all degree levels and participated in the development of two new undergraduate courses. Students perceive Slowiaczek to be an outstanding teacher in all respects, possibly because of and not despite the demanding quality of her courses. She is committed to a student's education, personal excellence and future success. She varies the pace of the classroom, moderating when students are slow to grasp, pushing them harder when she senses them on the verge of discovery. Enormously generous with her time, Slowiaczek's regular meetings with independent study students to discuss conceptual aspects of their research resulted in members of Psy Chi, the national honor society in psychology, presenting her with an award for fostering excellence in student research. An expert in psycholinguistics, her own projects and publications grow yearly, including an important research paper published in the American Journal of Psychology.


Alan Wilson,
Custodial Services

As Personnel Manager for Building & Institutional Services, Alan Wilson maintains all personnel records, interviews perspective employees and assists in personnel training. The 19-year member of the University workforce often goes beyond his proscribed duties and work hours, however, to assist others in shop operations. And he is known for doing so consistently with a professional and courteous attitude. As the University's recycling coordinator, Wilson in a few short years has established an innovative program that has avoided the many mistakes and waste encountered at other universities and colleges. With creativity, perseverance and determination, Wilson first did research on recycling programs tried throughout the country, established a program that significantly increased participation through education efforts and also reduced disposal costs. He also designed fliers and literatures for students that would further increase campus involvement in a most worthy effort.

Michele Fox,
Arts and Sciences

Michele Fox, Keyboard Specialist for the College of Arts and Sciences the last three of her 16 years of service with the University, serves as the secretary for budget and fiscal management of the College, tracking expenditures, balances and billing for University, SUNY state, and federal accounts. She has been called "scrupulous" in the management of these accounts. She has set up internal monitoring systems and spreadsheets that effectively manage the software license chargeback accounts of the System Programmer Analyst. Her filing systems for budget transactions and for Campus Impact Statements have drawn praise from faculty and administrators. She has abetted her tremendous organizational skills with further training in computers - allowing her to give software lessons to others - and in a completed School of Business class in accounting. Far beyond her job description, she has made her presence an integral and important part of the College's success.

Diane M. Cardone,
Affirmative Action

Diane M. Cardone, Secretary II in the Office of Affirmative Action, has been praised by numerous administrators, faculty and staff for unsurpassed capabilities and dedication. The nervous student, the angry respondent to an Affirmative Action case, the faculty committee ready to conduct business are all greeted with a warm, professional demeanor by Cardone, and her answers to students or faculty making inquiries about policies are always on the mark. In five years with the Office, as with her entire 22-year career at the University, Cardone has shown willingness to accept new responsibilities and increased workload. She has helped with major sections of affirmative action plans for the University and the Research Foundation, and continues to work with the Coordinator of Sexual Harassment Advisors to maintain the program's efficiency. She has also arranged workshops and prepared monthly reports for the President's Task Force on Women's Safety.


Mary Beth Winn,
French Studies

Throughout her 22 years at Albany, Mary Beth Winn, associate professor and chair of the Department of French Studies, has worked diligently to promote opportunities for University students in addition to her outstanding contributions as scholar and teacher. As director of the interdisciplinary Doctor of Arts in Humanistic Studies from 1990 to 1994, she oversaw the expansion of fields of study and a doubling of student enrollment, despite the program's almost total reliance on volunteer support from other departments' faculty. Since becoming department chair in 1994, the French Studies has obtained three prestigious grants from the Cultural Service of the French Embassy, and it was through her efforts that a strong link was established for the University in the High School Program with area French teachers. The recent recipient of her second National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, she has been active on executive and search committees and advisory boards. In addition, she has been credited with being the primary agent in the transition of Phi Beta Kappa from the founding generation to the present at Albany.

Bonnie Spanier,
Women's Studies

In her 12 years at the University, Bonnie Spanier led the Women's Studies Program into Departmental status, holding the position of chair for 10 years. When she left the post in 1994, she was chair of a strong and dynamic department with a growing number of interdepartmental and full-time faculty, a graduate Certificate Program in Women and Public Policy, and a proposed MA degree. The first faculty member with a full-time appointment in Women's Studies, her enthusiasm and unflagging devotion to discipline, and ability to get busy faculty to dedicate time and energy outside their home departments to Women's Studies were pivotal to the disciplines progress at Albany. Spanier received both the University's Presidential Award and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992. she currently chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Planning Committee, has served as chair of the Senate Undergraduate Academic Council, and since 1988 been a mentor of students at risk. She was co-founder and co-president of the Albany chapter of the Association for Women in Science, and currently serves on the editorial boards of two scholarly journals.


Judith Place,
University Libraries

The bibliographer for the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies and the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and adjunct professor in the latter, Judith K. Place joined the University in 1971. She has been praised by colleagues for tremendous intellectual curiosity and an extraordinary grasp of bibliographic and reference skills. Few librarians possess Place's interest and expertise in reference sources as well as a talent for integrating them so effectively in the classroom. Always welcoming change and innovation, she strives to increase and improve clientele services, creating a highly efficient, contemporary research environment. Place plays a key role in planning for the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Studies because of her intense understanding of the culture of Latin American and Spain. She collaborated with Distinguished Professor Manuel Alvar on his book Silva de varia leccion, and has completed numerous translations, indices and reviews of Spanish/Portuguese literature. As a bibliographic consultant to Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, a translator for the State Education Department, and consultant for the Center for Legislative Development/US Aid Panama, she has earned international recognition.


Carl G. Martin,
Student Services

Carl G. Martin, Assistant Vice President for Student Services, has devoted himself for 28 years to developing opportunities and services for underrespresented students, and along the way accepted some of the most important challenges the University has faced. His accomplishments and his active presence have touched the lives and sensibilities of a broad segment of the campus community. Beginning his career here as Coordinator of Counseling Services for EOP, Martin has since held titles of instructor, advisor, director, associate dean and assistant vice president - and yet he remains every bit the outstanding counselor for students that he was more than two decades ago. As administrator he has managed the Student Services department with excellence, brought outstanding speakers to campus since 1986 for the Martin Luther King/Black History Month Luncheon, and was instrumental in creating the Spellman Achievement Awards, in getting funding for the Science and Technology Entry Program, and in establishing a National Coalition Building Institute chapter on campus.

Dr. Michael S. Green,
School of Education

Widely regarded as a bright, creative and innovative problem-solver by his peers, Michael S. Green has admirably filled the dual roles of Assistant Dean for the School of Education and lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology and Statistics. Over the years he has occupied a number of positions and roles - researcher, lecturer, advisor, methodologist-at-large, computer expert, and administrator. To all of these he has brought a sincere willingness to listen, a keen desire to learn, a strong commitment to teach, and a heartfelt determination to be of assistance whenever he can. In the School of Education is responsible for the oversight of all fiscal and personnel matters. His administrative guidance, breadth of knowledge and professional interest in educational research has been a clear asset to the School, which awarded him its Ralph Tibbetts Award in 1992.

M. Dolores Cimini,
University Counseling Center

Dolores Cimini's creativity and dedication have won her praise from faculty, staff and students. Among her many student services, she serves as a mentor and has been instrumental in rebuilding and strengthening the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program. Through her efforts the Program has evolved into a primary campus training site for undergraduate students in pursuit of human services professions. She has been recognized as a human resource in the area of psychology and disability by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Past honors include the President's Undergraduate Leadership Award, the YWCA Women of Excellence Award and the Outstanding Advisor Award from the Black and Latino Student Psychological Association.