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Excellence in Support Services
The Excellence in Support Services Award recognizes staff members’ extraordinary achievements and contributions in support of the University’s academic and research aims, and its overall sense of community. There are three recipients in this category.

Kathy Plunkett
Kathy Plunkett wears many hats as secretary in the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. Despite several changes in the program’s leadership, as well as the department’s move from the main Library building to new facilities in the Science Library, Plunkett has continued to be a steadying influence and a master of multi-tasking.

Kathy Plunkett
Kathy Plunkett

Recruited as a traditional secretary, Plunkett’s job description has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years. She not only acts as a receptionist whose duties include answering phones; welcoming visitors; managing the director’s schedule; working on reports, budgeting, and paper work; she also serves as the facilities manager. She is responsible for a variety of services, including the scheduling and associated equipment management tasks for electronic classrooms and seminar rooms.

Plunkett’s job description includes serving as the office manager, facilities manager, budget manager, supervisor of work-study students, and support secretary for the staff of five professionals.

Even-tempered and quietly efficient, Plunkett enters into new challenges without hesitation. She plays a key role in producing CETL material for publication, and she has become a diligent proofreader for the office newsletter, Focus on Teaching.

Plunkett is also heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She edited Women’s Connection, a campus newsletter for the women’s community, and she played a critical role in the background support for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Plunkett became the fiscal manager for Initiatives For Women, an all-volunteer organization that supports the educational and professional goals of campus women. By all accounts, she is an exemplary University employee who helps her department run smoothly.

Pamela Laverty
Eleven years of service to the University have honed the considerable skills of Institute of Gerontology Senior Administrative Assistant Pamela Laverty.

Pamela Laverty
Pamela Laverty

Providing staff support to 19 members of the department, Laverty’s responsibilities include supervising and coordinating work activities for graduate assistants and work-study students, keeping the lines of communication open with health and social service providers who work with the department on research and service projects, and responding to inquiries from the general public and prospective students interested in the Institute’s educational and research programs.

According to Ronald W. Toseland, director of the Institute of Gerontology, grant writing and research funding opportunities are priorities for Laverty, who assists in preparing grant applications for federal, state, and foundation funding. The Institute has more than one million dollars in grant funding to conduct research in the area of aging.

Laverty has made major contributions to these grants at all stages of development. Her many strengths include considerable knowledge of submission guidelines, budget projections, and the monitoring and processing of grant expenditures for both the Institute and a number of assigned faculty and staff members. Laverty has worked for the University since the early 1990s, when she was a secretary for Rockefeller College’s Professional Develop-ment Program. She then became senior administrative assistant for the Temporary Assistance Training Unit. Laverty is skilled at using numerous computer programs and is well known as a tireless and versatile worker.

“Ms. Laverty has made enormous contributions, not only to the Institute of Gerontology, but also to the University as a whole during the 11 years of her service,” noted Toseland.

Walter Wunsch
An effective coordinator who doesn’t mind going well beyond what is expected of him. Custodial Services supervisor Walter Wunsch from the Department of Physical Plant has been invaluable to both the Undergraduate Admissions Office as well as to the University as a whole. According to assistant directors of Admissions Jane McDonough and Jean McNulty, Wunsch is a key component in the planning and organizing of on-campus recruitment programs for prospective students. Coordinating with the numerous student service offices, academic departments and the physical plant is a necessary part of Wunsch’s job, and he does it flawlessly.

Walter Wunsch
Walter Wunsch

McDonough and McNulty feel Wunsch’s contributions are appreciated the most during the spring open houses, where 1,500 guests are invited to each program. Wunsch and his staff set up about 60 tables, and they are flexible enough to accommodate any last-minute changes.

“He’s calm, he’s available when we need him, he’s flexible, he’s willing to do whatever we ask of him, and he goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we are satisfied,” wrote McDonough and McNulty in their recommendation for Wunsch’s award. “He lets us know where he will be at all times, is reachable by cell phone and seems to always appear right when we need him. Walt takes his work very seriously, supervises his staff in an effective and supportive manner, and takes much pride in his responsibility.”

Excellence in Librarianship
The Award for Excellence in Librarianship recognizes extraordinary achievement and dedication in library science. This year, the University honors one colleague for her excellence in this category.

Carol Lee Anderson
A master reference librarian and scholar who is also known for her service to the University and her profession, Carol Lee Anderson has worked at the University for the last 23 years, including the last 13 as an associate librarian. Anderson previously served the University as a senior assistant librarian in Access Services from 1980-1990. Before that, at the University of Oklahoma, she was an analyst instructor for the Acquisitions and Interim Systems office from 1976-1978, as well as an assistant professor of Access Services from 1978-1980. Anderson began her career as a graduate assistant in the Acquisitions Department of the Ellis Library at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974.

Carol Lee Anderson
Carol Lee Anderson

An expert at both print and electronic library resources, Anderson took a leadership role in the reorganization of the University Libraries’ physical reference area and the Strategic Planning Initiative. She supervised the shift of a 50,000-book collection from one wing to another, and chaired a committee that developed plans to fill the empty wing. She has also helped develop and run an internship program where she designed the training.

Anderson has served on numerous committees, and has participated in several University governing bodies, including the University Senate. One of her pet projects was serving on a task force to study the quality of campus food. Anderson has been an active member and officer of the American Library Association since 1975, and has been involved with both the New York Library Association and the State University of New York Library Association.

In addition to keeping current in her profession by attending seminars and conferences, Anderson is pursuing a master’s degree in educational psychology. She is an instructor of many of the University Libraries’ user education sessions and has written many articles and book chapters on training library staff.

Excellence in Academic Service
The University Award for Excellence in Academic Service is presented to members of the teaching faculty who have demonstrated leadership and service to the University over a sustained period. There are three honorees this year.

Iris Berger
History Department Chair Iris Berger not only continues to be an outstanding teacher, scholar, and administrator in her own department, but she has also served the University in numerous capacities since 1981 in two other departments: Africana Studies and Women’s Studies. In the early 1980s, Berger worked to develop the M.A. Certificate Program in Women and Public Policy and also collaborated in creating an internship program. In her current role, Berger helped raise $5,000 in a fund-raising campaign toward an undergraduate scholarship.

Iris Berger
Iris Berger

She also established new programs for graduate students in the department and initiated a department newsletter.

Berger served as president of the African Studies Association in 1995-96. The New York African Studies Association honored her with the Distinguished Africanist Award in 1997. Asdirector of the Institute for Research on Women for four years, Berger worked tirelessly to bring the best in new gender scholarship to the campus community through public presentations, conferences and scholarly collaboration. In recognition of her contribution to the development of gender equity at the University, Berger was selected for the 2000 Bread and Roses Award, given by the Council of Women’s Groups.

The first of her four books won an annual book award from the Academie Royale des Sciences d’Outre Mer in 1982, and she has won numerous travel and research fellowships over the years from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In demand as a speaker and workshop leader, Berger has presented her work at more than a dozen colleges and universities, and presents regularly at her disciplinary professional meetings. She has presented keynote addresses and endowed lectures nationally and internationally.

Berger has served both the University and the community by becoming active in many organizations. Her professional service includes serving on the board of editors of the American Historical Association’s American Historical Review, the International Journal of African Historical Studies, the Journal of Women’s History, and the board of editors for an electronic series with the University of California Press. She has served on review boards for such funding agencies as the Social Science Research Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as on the advisory committee for the Fulbright Scholar Awards.

David Strogatz
Department of Epidemiology Chair David Strogatz has been a guiding light in the School of Public Health since 1989. Chairman of his department since 1997, Strogatz has been one of its few full-time faculty members above the rank of assistant professor for most of his tenure. He has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department and has played a major role in developing its faculty, courses, and research program. During his tenure, the Department of Epidemiology not only became one of only 29 Prevention Research Centers in the country, but it also produced its first doctoral graduate.

David Strogatz
David Strogatz

Under his leadership, the School of Public Health’s academic program has developed a successful integration of basic biostatistics, data handling, and the use of SAS and epidemiology. Students in the department have benefited from Strogatz’s directives, and have found employment quickly and easily. At the same time he has been managing the daily operations of the department, Strogatz was recruiting faculty who have advanced its academic and research programs. With only two full-time faculty assistants to help him, he has handled 60 to 80 graduate students. Strogatz also personally teaches the core epidemiology course in which virtually all students must enroll.

Beyond his contributions as a leader in public health, Strogatz has also donated a large portion of his time to University service. He has been a University Senator for six years and chaired the Graduate Academic Council for two years.

He has been responsible for many of the service activities of the department, and in the past two years, the two junior faculty members in the department have been promoted. Strogatz advises all departmental committees and serves on all search committees, as well as on the personnel committee and the academic committee.

A recipient of numerous fellowships and honors over the last 30 years, Strogatz’s professional and community service are also noteworthy. He has served on the prestigious Institute of Medicine External Review Panel, Report on Veterans and Agent Orange: The Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Viet Nam, and has also served on multiple committees, including study sections of the National Institutes of Health. A coach for youth teams in the community, Strogatz is also a volunteer at the Bethlehem Library.

Janet Perloff
Janet Perloff
has made a huge impact in a dual role at the University. Not only is she the associate dean for research in the School of Social Welfare, but she is also a professor in the School of Public Health. During her 12 years at the University, Perloff has enhanced both schools through her service, research, and teaching.

Janet Perloff
Janet Perloff

At the School of Social Welfare, Perloff served as director of the undergraduate program from 1991-1993. During that time she helped lead the accreditation process. She became the interim dean in July of 1999 before assuming her current role of associate dean. Among her contributions to the School of Social Welfare are leading the research and grant development, with funds growing from $1.5 million to $7 million a year, and fostering new research skills in faculty and doctoral students. She has been critical to all facets of the school’s growth and success in its center and institute development. Two of her students have received external funding and both won the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award from the University.

An outstanding teacher, Perloff has taught in the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs with equal levels of commitment and impact. Her many contributions to the University include her roles as a member of the Search Committee for the executive dean for Rockefeller College. She has served on the Subcommittee on Faculty for the University Committee on Middle States Accreditation, the Search Committee for the Dean of the School of Public Health, the Research Council of the University Senate, and the chair of the Subcommittee on External Linkages.

Co-author of two books, Perloff received the New York State United University Professions Faculty Development Award for conference travel, both in 1994-95 and in 1998-99. She has written and edited numerous articles and book chapters in her fields of expertise. Perloff also devotes her time to community service as a “To Life!” volunteer. She is also a longtime member and officer of Maternal and Infant Network of the Capital Region.

Excellence in Research
The Award for Excellence in Research recognizes outstanding research and scholarship by members of the faculty over a sustained number of years. There are three recipients in this category.

Dale Morse
Dale Morse is a national and international expert in infectious disease epidemiology, and his research has had a profound effect on public health. The main focus of his research has been on major causes of communicable diseases and methods of preventing the spread of food-borne diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases, tuberculosis, and HIV.

Dale Morse
Dale Morse

Morse is often called upon to advise public health officials on major multi-state outbreaks. He is usually consulted for advice when the interpretation of results is particularly difficult and the result of action or non-action is significant. Among his most noteworthy contributions was his work in helping New York to become the first state to require a two-dose vaccine schedule to prevent measles after his research found that many students who developed measles during an epidemic had received only a single vaccination.

Recently, Morse’s research has stretched to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Funded by the Fogarty International grants, Morse has supported young physicians’ attendance at the University at Albany to earn master’s degrees in epidemiology. His training of such students has included developing research programs to be used in their home countries.

Mary Beth Winn
French Studies expert Mary Beth Winn has focused her multi-faceted, interdisciplinary research on the publishing and book trade during the final few decades of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century. Widely viewed as one of the turning points of Western history, this era closes out the Middle Ages and gives birth to the Renaissance in France.

Mary Beth Winn
Mary Beth Winn

Winn’s research focuses on the transition in the history of books, most notably the change from medieval manuscript to the printed volume. She offers a better understanding of European culture at a critical time in history through her study of the book’s history, structure, and functions.

Winn’s most important achievement to date is her book Anthoine Vérard, Parisian Publisher, 1485-1512. Vérard, the leading Parisian book publisher of his era, was regarded as the “father” of the French illustrated book. Vérard was both a prolific book maker and an illuminator. Winn’s research investigates his exploitation of printing for patronage, as well as his assertion of the publisher’s role.

Winn’s book has received excellent reviews in this country and in Europe. “This impressive book represents a work the scope of which few researchers these days are willing or able to undertake,” wrote the Sixteenth Century Journal. Winn has just been awarded her third Fellowship for Independent Study and Research from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (see “Faculty and Staff,” p. 3.)

Steven Seidman
A cultural sociologist with expertise in sexuality and social theory, Steven Seidman is a noted researcher and author. He has written or edited 15 books, published 23 book chapters, and had his work translated into seven different languages. In his role as a book editor for the Cambridge University Press series on Cultural Social Studies, Seidman has been responsible for publishing more than 40 volumes.

Steven Seidman
Steven Seidman

Seidman has also edited two separate book series, including Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory. In the series, he outlines the Enlightenment and Romantic origins of sociology in France and Germany. He reinterprets the classical sociological tradition by showing how their ideas combine both a quest for scientific knowledge and a moral-political struggle for a just society.

Seidman has also studied sexual patterns and conflicts, the social history of romantic love and sexuality in America, the social construction of the AIDS crisis and the changing social meanings of gay identities. His most recent book, Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life, acknowledges that the struggle for gay equality is still incomplete. He makes a convincing case that the transformation of gay and lesbian life is an important part of a movement to craft a multicultural national identity.

Excellence in Professional Service
The Excellence in Professional Service Award recognizes individuals who have repeatedly sought improvement of themselves and their campus, and have transcended the normal definition of excellence. There are three winners in this category.

Shirley Downey
Director of the Career Development Center since 1998, Shirley Downey is a talented career administrator who is responsible for all center activities. Her duties include supervision of the employer recruiting program, fostering employer and alumni relations, internship coordination, and educational programming and career counseling of students. One of the most important contributions to her department was to oversee a major reorganization of the Career Development Center. She also introduced state-of-the-art technology into day-to-day operations of her office.

Shirley Downey
Shirley Downey

Downey began her administrative career as the associate director of the Arts and Sciences Placement Office at Indiana University in 1991. She also worked in the Contract Assignment department at both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond. Downey was also the assistant director for Counseling, Training, and Education at Richmond until joining UAlbany.

In her current position, Downey has identified new sources of revenue to increase the funding base for career activities, including a $75,000 grant from the State Farm Foundation to create a professional development program series. She is responsible for all hiring, training, evaluation, and supervision of four professional career counselors and three administrative staff members. Downey led the development of a post-graduation and placement report, and she oversees all accounting and purchasing procedures associated with maintaining three different office budgets.

A member and current treasurer for the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, Downey co-chaired the Hudson Mohawk Association Career Development Committee from 1999-2001. She has been a member of both the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the State University of New York Career Development Organization since 1998. The well-rounded administrator is also a member of the Student Affairs Cabinet.

Dawn Kakumba
Currently the assistant director for the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies office, University at Albany graduate Dawn Kakumba has served her alma mater well in several capacities since 1987. She was a pre-law adviser, an academic adviser and a senior academic adviser before taking over her current role three years ago. Kakumba is responsible for overseeing and running the daily functions of the department, and she supervises two full-time advisers.

Dawn Kakumba
Dawn Kakumba

An award-winning adviser who received a Certificate of Merit from the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisers in 2000, Kakumba also earned the Disabled Student Services Outstanding Achievement Award in 1996. She earned Affirmative Action Grants in 1989 and 1990.

Kakumba’s versatile background has helped to make her an outstanding administrator and adviser. She began her career as an instructor in remedial English and writing skills in the University’s Educational Opportunity Program in 1972. She went on to teach at the Albany Head Start program for two years before substitute teaching in the Albany School District in 1976. Kakumba was the joint owner and operator of her family’s real estate business for 14 years before getting back into academics as an instructor in intermediate English as a Second Language at the Junior College of Albany.

Kakumba was the coordinator for the Public and Community Service Project at Hudson Valley Community College before she rejoined the University. Kakumba is or has been a member of many organizations and committees, including the Women’s Concerns Committee, the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisers, the Black Women’s Association of Albany, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the National Academic Advisers Association. She was also the facilitator for the New York State Association of Women in Higher Education Conference and was a University representative for the New York State Association of Women in Higher Education.

Cheryl Savini
Office for Sponsored Programs Research Compliance Administrator Cheryl Savini has worked diligently for the University since she was a part-time clerk in the Compliance Office from 1991-1994. Savini became administrative secretary of the Compliance Office in 1994, and in 1996, her responsibilities expanded when two positions were consolidated. She took over several development duties, including working on the Accent on Research newsletter, becoming a liaison for sponsors for funding information, and providing computer graphic and handout support.

Cheryl Savini
Cheryl Savini

After becoming the Interim Research Compliance Officer in 1999-2000, Savini assumed her current administrator duties, which include overseeing the Institutional Review Board and Bio-Medical Review Board, voting on both boards, providing advisement to investigators, conducting class lectures on human research protections, and nominating and training of Institutional Review Board members. Savini also supervises the training and education of researchers and the University community at large. She supervises the compliance secretary and is a liaison between the boards and investigators.

Savini has been heavily involved with the University’s introductory training course for social and behavioral science research, called The Protection of Human Participants in Research. She coordinates the Compliance Procedures Manual and the IRB Member Manual and has assisted in developing both The Investigator’s Guide to Human Participants Research and the Compliance Database.

In her spare time, Savini also lends her expertise to several service organizations. She has coordinated the Compliance Office’s “Adopt-A-Family” program for the last 10 years, and, as a United Way division representative, helped to attain 102 percent of the funding goal.

Excellence in Teaching
The Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes faculty members for their skill, innovation, and dedication to teaching and academic advising. This year, the University honors three faculty for their excellence in this category.

James Acker
James Acker brings his hands-on law background to the School of Criminal Justice. An attorney with the Durham, N.C., practice of Loflin, Loflin & Acker from 1976 to 1980, Acker has spent the last 20 years lecturing, teaching, and administering in the University’s Department of Criminal Justice.

James Acker
James Acker

Known for his innovative teaching approach, Acker served as interim dean of the School of Criminal Justice for two years and led the school during a difficult transition period. He served as coordinator of the school’s undergraduate program for many years and was considered its conscience and best spokesperson. But although he has worn many hats over the years, his strength has been as a superior teacher. He is consistently rated as outstanding in student evaluations and earned the school’s first Best Teacher Award by acclamation. Praised for his work with a continuing extracurricular study group called the Capital Punishment Research Initiative, Acker also created a new undergraduate offering this semester called Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice.

A scholar of repute with a very impressive publication record, Acker has written or co-written five books, as well as more than 50 book chapters or articles. He is currently or has been a member of the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Law and Society Association. Acker has received 15 research and conference grants, and he has garnered numerous awards from faculty and peers over the years, including the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Development and the Library Advocate Award.

Acker continues to be a member of the Board of Editors of the Albany Law Review: State Constitutional Commentary. He served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Criminal Law Bulletin for nine years and was co-editor-in-chief of that same publication from 1996 to 2002. In recommending Acker for the Excellence in Teaching Award, Professor Hans Toch called him an inspiring teacher. “Jim brings to the classroom the discipline of his law background, tempered with an encyclopedic understanding of social science-related issues,” Toch wrote. “Our students, therefore, receive a unique blend of legal thinking and the social scientific approach to addressing problems of the criminal justice system… Jim’s inspiration and contributions as a teacher and a scholar are bound to be fondly recalled, and will be emulated by many of our graduates.”

George Richardson
An internationally renowned scholar of system dynamics theory, practice, and education with a strong record of service to both the University and his profession, George Richardson considers teaching to be his No. 1 priority. Richardson, a professor of public administration, public policy, and information science, has served the University for 14 years in various roles. He was the director of the master’s program in public affairs and policy for two years, the director of the Ph.D. program in public administration for four years, and the director of the Certificate Program for Advanced Study in Planning and Policy Analysis for nine years. Richardson chaired the Department of Public Administration and Policy from 1998 to 2001.

George Richardson
George Richardson

The adviser for two national award-winning dissertations, Richardson received the 1985 and 1993 Jay Wright Forrester awards, given by the System Dynamics Society for the most important written contributions in the field selected over the previous five years. He was also honored with the National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship in Science Applied to Societal Problems in 1974, and was a finalist for several awards in his field in 1999 and 1991. Richardson has written or edited 10 book-length volumes and 36 book chapters or articles. Much of his writing targets the development of theory and education, or what has been called the scholarship of teaching.

Numerous letters were sent in support of Richardson, and most center on his extraordinary teaching abilities. Professor David Andersen was extremely impressed by Richardson’s teaching style and identified its key qualities. “His courses have absolutely the best content in them,” he said. “He sets high standards for students. His course materials are extremely well organized. Even though he presents state-of-the-art material, sets high standards, is well organized, and has a diverse and interesting set of classroom behaviors and approaches, perhaps his best teaching attribute is his open and giving nature. George’s door is always open to his students.”

Richardson is known as a masterful classroom performer who is always organized and well prepared. A former student wrote that his lesson plans are carefully crafted to build knowledge incrementally, although he recycles key concepts frequently to ensure that they sink in. In addition, he invites participation, asks questions to check comprehension, and incorporates in-class group exercises that allow students to apply new concepts.

Howard Stratton
Although the field of biostatistics includes difficult subject matter, Howard Stratton makes it exciting for students at all levels, including majors and non-majors. He is one of the most respected members of the Department of Biometry and Statistics in the School of Public Health and is one of that department’s primary doctoral student mentors.

Howard Stratton
Howard Stratton

Stratton has been a full professor at the University for 13 years. He was also an associate professor at UAlbany from 1972 to 1990, and an assistant professor here from 1967 to 1970. In addition, he taught at the University of California, Irvine, from 1966-67; at the University of Arizona from 1971-72; and at Albany Medical College. Stratton is the author or co-author of 39 books and articles in his field.

Stratton is also one of the most honored researchers and teachers at the University. He was the recipient of the National Institute of Health, General Medical Sciences, Career Research Development Award in 1975-80 and has earned numerous grants, including $20,000 for the New York component of the Federal OASAS Survey to evaluate the comparison of Fee for Service vs. Medicare for effectiveness of drug treatment, and $137,354 as an investigator on evaluations of current means to detect Medicaid fraud. He was a co-investigator on a $200,000 grant to assess barriers to retention of WIC participants and was the co-principal investigator on several grants to the Albany Medical Center Head Injury Research Center from the National Institutes of Health.

Extremely service oriented, Stratton chairs the new Distance Learning Committee and also serves on the Student Affairs Committee. But he is most proud of his work as an educator. According to School of Public Health Dean Peter Levin’s nominating letter, Stratton often keeps late hours to accommodate students who cannot attend his office hours because of personal or work commitments. He is known for “shutting off the lights” in the school. “Both majors and non-majors who have taken a course with him generally consider him to be the best professor they have ever had here,” wrote Levin. “For the School of Public Health, Howard Stratton is the go-to professor in Biometry and Statistics. He teaches students in other departments, lectures in courses in other departments, and provides many students consultation on their master’s and doctoral projects. Simply put, he is always teaching.”