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UAlbany Alumni Association Presents its 2005 Awards for Excellence

(June 5, 2005)

The University at Albany Alumni Association kicked off this year's Alumni Weekend by honoring its 2005 Award Winners, selected for excellence in service to their profession and community.

Awards were presented in education, community, public service, arts and letters, entrepreneurship, and distinguished achievement in professional life. An award was also be presented to a Citizen of the University for outstanding contributions to the University by a non-alumnus or alumna. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognized early achievements in a chosen profession or field of service, or service to the community.

The award winners were feted at a Gala Awards Banquet on June 3, 6 p.m. at the Albany Marriott during the Association's annual Alumni Weekend, June 3-5, 2005.

The 2005 Honorees are:

Recognizes outstanding contributions to the University by a non-alumnus or alumna through leadership, service or a special gift.

Robert W. SchwartzRobert W. Schwartz
Robert Schwartz is chair of the University at Albany Foundation's Council for Economic Outreach, and a member of the School of Business Advisory Board and the Jewish Studies Honorary Committee. He founded and serves as managing director of Schwartz Heslin Group, Inc. (SHG), specializing in corporate planning, finance and development. Schwartz has served more than 375 clients in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, mainly rapidly growing entrepreneurial companies in such diverse industries as financial services, health care, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, printing, housing and real estate. His achievements include development and implementation of strategic plans, mergers and acquisitions and a full range of investment banking services. He has served on the boards of directors of a number of corporations and community organizations.

Additionally, Schwartz has served as a director of a number of public, private, and non-profit organizations; he has been on the board of directors of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of the Capital District since 1973. He is also a trustee of the Newman Foundation and was an RPI trustee from 1974 to 1978. An adjunct professor of management at Union College, he chairs the Center for Economic Growth's Nanotechnology Committee. Schwartz, who received his undergraduate degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, has done some graduate work UAlbany.

Honors alumni who have exhibited sustained outstanding achievement in a chosen profession or field of endeavor and outstanding service to society or their community.

Jack M. RichmanJack M. Richman, '72, '74
Richman is currently dean of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, overseeing a graduate school with more than 85 tenure track, clinical and research faculty members. Under his leadership, U.S. News and World Report ranked the master's in social work program as #4 in the country. He has worked in numerous non-profit agencies and authored more than 60 book chapters, papers and monographs.

Richman graduated cum laude from UAlbany in 1972 with an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology. He received a State University Foundation Research Grant while working toward the Master of Social Work degree, awarded by UAlbany in 1974. He completed his formal education at Florida State University in 1977 and has held a wide variety of academic posts. He has served on or chaired 20 school and university committees and others for major professional associations and societies.

Dean Richman's record of published research is extensive. With M. W. Fraser, he edited The Context of Youth Violence: Resilience, Risk, and Protection (Prager Press, 2001). His scholarly publications in the last 15 years alone number three monographs and more than 50 articles or book chapters of which he is either author or co-author. In the same period he has delivered more than 60 papers at workshops, conferences and professional meetings. His recent research focuses on at-risk youth: to promote school and home-based interventions that prevent school failure and drop-out, and to develop training and curricula for practitioners that interact with children who experience family trauma.

Recognizes the accomplishments of an individual who has contributed to our University, region, and economy by demonstrating the spirit and personal drive of the entrepreneur. The award also recognizes the recipient's contributions in the areas of business, leadership, academic excellence, volunteerism, and philanthropy.

Norman E. SnyderNorman E. Snyder
After Norman Snyder Jr. ("Norm") received his UAlbany degree in accounting in 1983, he was recruited by Price Waterhouse, spending two of his eight years with the company in their Caracas, Venezuela, office where he became proficient in Spanish. He then moved to the National Football League to become controller for NFL Properties, Inc., the marketing arm of the league. In 1996 he became an original partner of South Beach Beverage Company (SoBe), and served as chief financial officer and later chief operating officer. SoBe, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, produces herbally enhanced refreshment beverages marketed in the U.S.A., Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, U.K. and throughout the Caribbean. Norm oversaw many facets of the company as it experienced explosive growth in revenue from $2.4 million in 1996 to more than $200 million before PepsiCo purchased the company for $370 million in January 2001. Norm retired from SoBe in August 2001.

Throughout his career, Norm has amassed a broad range of expertise in both public and private sectors. He has had experience in diverse industries, from manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and the technology sector. He drew on this background and from 2001 to 2003 created his own consulting business, Redyns Consulting, which serviced small to mid-size businesses on various financial and operational issues.

In 1998, a descendant of the Liebmann family, which had founded the Rheingold Brewing Company, and a group of investors secured the Rheingold trademark and began brewing Rheingold beer, some 20 years after the brewery had closed. In the spring of 2003, after the brand was repositioned and the packaging updated, the brand was relaunched in New York City. At that point Norm joined the team and now serves as chief operating officer.

Norm has visited the campus of his alma mater as a member of the steering committee of the School of Business, discussing plans for a new building for the school. He has been a guest lecturer in accounting classes and in 2003 spoke at the "Orientation to the Accounting Profession" for the School of Business. He credits the University's accounting program for giving him the broadest possible perspective on business problems and opportunities. "Albany did a great job of preparing me for the real world," he said. "I learned that hard work does pay off."

To recognize early outstanding achievements in a chosen profession or field of service and / or service to the community.

Rebecca RogersRebecca Rogers '95, '96, '98, '00
Rebecca Rogers has received four degrees from UAlbany -- her undergraduate degree in 1995, master's degrees in 1996 and 1998, and her doctoral degree 2000. Now in her fifth year as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, she has already been hailed as "a budding star in the field of literacy education." In December she received an Early Career Award at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Jerome C. Harste, Distinguished Professor and occupant of the Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair in Teacher Education at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, says that "Dr. Rogers' research has helped us look at what we do in school as a particular form of social practice that perpetuates a particular form of literacy which systematically benefits some while denying others."

Rogers' research and teaching are directly related to her desire to build a more just and equitable society. Her first book, A Critical Discourse Analysis of Family Literacy Practices: Power in and out of Print, won the Edward Fry Book Award from the National Reading Conference for an outstanding contribution to literacy research in 2003. It was also nominated for the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Award. The book reports on a three-year study where she investigated the literacy practices in an economically disadvantaged African American family while spending time tutoring the mother and daughter; the family receives payments from the royalties earned by the published book.

In addition to her several other honors and grants, in 2002 Washington University presented her its award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students, in 2003 she was nominated for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2005 was awarded the Who's Who in Teaching Award. Rogers serves on the editorial advisory board for several major journals and provides service to The National Reading Conference, the International Reading Association, and American Educational Research Association.

Honors alumni for extraordinary distinction in arts and letters.

Paul GrondahlPaul Grondahl '83
Award-winning reporter Paul Grondahl received his master's in English in 1984, and since that year has been a staff writer for the Albany Times Union on assignments from the Arctic to Antarctica, from Northern Ireland to Africa, from Ground Zero on 9/11 to the Adirondack wilderness. His articles have won numerous state and national writing awards for himself and his newspaper-- more than a dozen New York State Associated Press awards, first place in a national feature writing competition from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Writers, and the Hearst Eagle Award, the highest recognition for a reporter in the Hearst Corporation. A web site comprising a collage of stories, journal entries, photos and interactive features based on Grondahl and photographer Steve Jacobs' 16 days among villagers in Malawi -- some of the most impoverished people in the world -- won the Scripps-Howard Foundation's National Journalism Award in Web Reporting, presented at the National Press Club in 2004.

Mayor Erastus Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma, Grondahl's first book, won him entry into the ranks of America's most eminent biographers. The New York Times Book Review called it "a minor classic" and then-Governor Cuomo seconded its assessment of Corning and praised it as "detailed, accurate and eminently readable."

In I Rose Like a Rocket: The Political Education of Theodore Roosevelt (2004), Grondahl describes how "God made Teddy Roosevelt bright and bold, but it took the real and very rough politics of Albany to make him a great politician." In Guilderland, the Public Library hailed him as Notable Author of the Year 2004.

The Teddy Roosevelt biography was Grondahl's third book. The second, That Place Called Home, is the story of a Catholic nun in Albany who adopted and raised a child with AIDS. The Reader's Digest published excerpts and CBS optioned it for a movie.

John LaubJohn Laub '76, '80
The writings of John Laub, who received his doctorate in 1980 from the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, have made him one of the best known and most highly respected criminologists in the world. A professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland, he is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Sociology, a faculty associate of Maryland Population Research Center, and since 2000 an affiliated scholar at the Henry A. Murray Center of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University. In 1996, he was made a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and served as vice president (1995-1996) and president (2002-2003) of the 4,000-member organization. In 1997 UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice presented him its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

John Laub has published five books and more than 70 articles or book chapters. At the heart of his work is a collaboration with fellow Albany alumnus Robert Sampson. Together they returned to the wealth of data collected by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck who, in the 1940's, studied 500 delinquents sent to reform school and 500 non-delinquents. In their second book, Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives: Delinquent Boys to Age 70 (Harvard Univ. Press, 2003), Laub and Sampson followed the lives of delinquents from the Gluecks' study as they approached age 70, making this the longest longitudinal study of crime in the world. This book has won the American Society of Criminology's 2004 Michael J. Hindelang Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Criminology and was the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Pays tribute to alumni for extraordinary volunteer community service.

Libby PostLibby Post '82, '84
After enrolling at UAlbany, Libby Post became the first media director for the Student Association and held that position until she won a Revson Fellowship to focus on women and public policy at the Center for Women in Government in 1984. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science and journalism (1982) and a master's in political communications (1984). With degrees in hand, she launched Communication Services, her own full-service marketing, public relations and development firm, addressing chiefly not-for-profit organizations and political candidates.

Post has devoted the greatest part of her volunteer work to the gay and lesbian community, helping to secure the equal protections which are the right of every citizen. In 1991 she became the founding Chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda, now one of the state's powerful and influential lobbying and political action organizations. From 1994 to 1996 she served on the board of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council and served as its elected president from 1999 to 2004. In October 2004 she received its Council Leadership/Lifetime Achievement Award, now named in her honor. A decade earlier, New York Governor Mario Cuomo honored her work on behalf of gays and lesbians with a public citation.

Abraham ShererAbraham Sherer '49
Sherer received his bachelor's degree from the then-New York State College for Teachers in 1947, having served in the United States Navy during World War II. The Albany native married his Albany High School sweetheart, Eunice Blank, in 1950 and, with a degree from the School of Dentistry at New York University (1952) began a forty year practice in general dentistry in Albany. Having served a dental residency at Albany Medical Center Hospital, he was appointed clinical professor in the Department of Dental Surgery at the hospital.

In the late 1970s, Sherer and his wife began annual trips to Kibbutz K'far Blum in the Upper Galilee in Israel, where for a month each year, until 1985, he donated his services to patients seeking oral surgery and advanced dental care. He and his wife were made honorary members of the kibbutz in 1984. In 1995, the Sherers received the Educators of the Year Award from the Anti-Defamation League. Has served on the Board of Trustees for Temple Israel for 20 years and received numerous awards for his work on the National Kidney Foundation, United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York and many other honors.

Honors alumni for extraordinary distinction in the field of education, including pre-K through post-secondary classroom teaching, school services and administration/supervision.

L. Oliver RobinsonL. Oliver Robinson, Ph. D. '94, '96
Born in Jamaica, Robinson moved with his family to Bell Glade, Florida, when he was eight. When he graduated from high school, he challenged the guidance counselor who told him, "Black people can't go to Ivy League schools." He became the first from his school to do so, graduating from Brown University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Economics. After a year of teaching algebra in a Florida school, he enrolled in the School of Education at UAlbany, completing his master's in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies in 1994 with a concentration on school finance and business management. He received his doctorate in the same department in 1996.

Robinson is the superintendent of Mohonassen Central School District in Schenectady County, an authority on public school finance, and involved with the University at Albany's outreach program of the School of Social Work. On July 1, Robinson will become Superintendent of Schools for the Shenendehowa Central School District, one of the largest suburban school districts in New York State. The district, which this year has a budget $113.6 million, includes two high schools, three middle schools, and seven elementary schools with an eighth under construction. At 36 he is one of the youngest superintendents of schools in upstate New York.

Alan FieroAlan Fiero '74, '77, '93
In a recent letter supporting Alan Fiero for the award, the principal of the Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland, New York, where Alan has taught since 1985, wrote, "Alan Fiero is a role model for classroom teachers" and, "Alan has been an inspiration to me."

Fiero began his career with a bachelor's degree focused on teaching science and later earned two master's degrees in the School of Education (in advanced classroom teaching, 1977 and reading, 1981). He earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 1993.

An important measure of Fiero's work is the enthusiasm not just of his students but of parents and community leaders in their expressions of gratitude. Fiero has affected the physical as well as intellectual environment of his community by drawing national attention to the plight of the endangered inland pine barren called The Pine Bush. As a member of the Environmental Inquiry team of Cornell University he has focused much of his school's science on protection of the Pine Bush; in turn there has been enthusiastic collaboration with teachers of other subjects, especially language arts and math.

Fiero has published numerous articles on science, and served as supervisor of mathematics and science at Farnsworth 2002-2004.

Honors alumni for outstanding achievement in public service.

Alice GreenAlice Green '67, '73, '79, '83
Alice Green holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in social sciences, English, and social welfare, and both a master's and doctorate in criminal justice -- all from the University at Albany. She has worked as a school teacher and a social worker, and for years served as executive director of the Trinity Institution, a youth and family service center in Albany's South End. In 1985 she founded the Center for Law and Justice, a non-profit community organization monitoring and advising on criminal justice policy, where she still serves as executive director. The Center publishes The Advocate (a quarterly criminal justice journal with a circulation of 3,000), develops educational materials, and conducts workshops, seminars, and conferences.

In 1985 Governor Cuomo recognized Green's prominence by appointing her to the Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council of the State Commission on Corrections, and in 1986 named her deputy commissioner of the State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. She serves on the advisory board of the Fund for Modern Courts.

Green, who helped establish the Paden Retreat for Writers of Color, has published in scholarly journals and in 1999 co-authored Law Never Here: A Social History of African American Responses to Crime and Justice.

Green also has been given the Community Service Award from the Albany chapter of the NAACP; Woman of the Year from the YWCA, Shaker and Mover Award from the National Association of Women, and many more.

Daniel FitzpatrickDaniel Fitzpatrick '71, '77
After receiving a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Marist College in 1969, Daniel Fitzpatrick earned his master's in business administration from UAlbany in 1971, and, in 1977 his doctorate in public administration. In his 21 years of experience as a city manager he has served the cities of Poughkeepsie and Ogdensburg, New York; Augusta, Maine; and Oak Park, Michigan. He currently is back in the Hudson valley, serving Peekskill.

Fitzpatrick's professional accreditations include certification by the Academy of Administrative Management and the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, the American Society for Quality, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the Association of Government Accountants and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). An instructor in the ICMA Training Institute from 1979 to 1996, he mentored the first graduate of the Certificate in Management Program. He has served on ICMA's Task Force on Continuing Education and Professional Development and last year was appointed to a three-year term on ICMA's Credential Advisory Board.

In March 2004 the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration presented Daniel Fitzpatrick with their highest award, the National Public Service Award.

James O'SullivanJames O'Sullivan '87
Currently the foundation program officer for the prestigious John A. Hartford Foundation, James O'Sullivan campaigns to improve health care and services for older adults across the nation. O'Sullivan received his bachelor's degree cum laude in history and journalism from UAlbany in 1987, and has achieved distinction in the administration of philanthropic organizations. He began in 1989 as an intern at the Charles A. Dana Foundation, and by 1994 had become program officer in the health division and director of grants management.

In 1996 O'Sullivan was awarded a master's in public health from Columbia University and became program officer for the Soros Foundations. Over the next two years he developed a $13 million national grants program of rehabilitative services for prisoners, ex-prisoners, their families, and for victims of crime.

O'Sullivan's social and professional interests were refocused when he was hired as grants manager and now program officer to promote the John A. Hartford Foundation's mission of increasing our nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to the rapidly increasing older population. He has worked to develop a national agenda for gerontological social work, first assessing the needs of the field and then tailoring grant making to address those needs. The Capital District has benefited from his partnering with the Center for Aging Services in UAlbany's School of Social Welfare. In all, the Hartford Foundation has awarded $40.9 million to programs to create new leaders, curriculum and programs in geriatric social work education.

Celebrates alumni for excellence in teaching K - 12 and dedication to their profession.

Phillip ShepardPhillip Shepard '60, '61
A social studies teacher at Roy C. Ketcham Senior High School in Wappingers from 1961 until his retirement in 1997, Shepard has received numerous teacher of the year awards and a commendation for excellence in teaching by the Dutchess County Legislature. The Wappingers Central School District grew in those same years to be the seventh largest in New York State, and for a semester Shepherd was the district's acting social studies department head, but, ultimately, preferred to return to full time teaching. He continued his professional education, participating in a national Summer Institute on Teaching Economics in 1969 and receiving a master's in teaching (economics) from the University of Missouri in 1971.

Parents, colleagues and former students have written in enthusiastic support of Shepherd. Says one, "Phil asked analytic questions that encouraged students to articulate how and why they were answering as they did. He demanded critical thinking, expected research, and required evaluation."

The Ketcham High School chapter of the National Honor Society named him Teacher of the Year in 1991 and presented him with its Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996.