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University at Albany
Each year, the University honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting sustained and profound contributions to the life of the campus. This year, 19 such men and women will receive this tribute.
Stories by Bob Weiner
Coleman provides staff support to the Parking Appeals Board and serves as a sexual harassment officer for her department. As the primary person responsible for the automated hand-held ticketing systems, she mastered the task of interfacing from that system to the office’s data programs. She works closely with representatives of University Business Systems to identify and solve problems associated with the current system while the office awaits conversion to PeopleSoft.
“Coleman is one of the most exceptional and valuable employees to her office and to this campus,” noted the individual who nominated her for this award. “The enthusiasm, caring, and concern that she displays each day are attributes that each one of us should emulate.” Coleman has an excellent demeanor when dealing with the public and has been praised for her extensive knowledge of policies and procedures. Her colleagues see her as a role model, and she is adept at diffusing potentially difficult situations at the front desk.
Known for her diligence and work ethic, Dame often makes contributions to special events, such as Opening Weekend, Homecoming, Commencement, Alumni Weekend, and Spring Clean-up Day. During inclement weather, Dame both directs and participates in snow removal operations.
Residents of Dutch Quad have praised Dame for making their home “the most attractive on campus.” Her dedication and pride in her work and her willingness to put in countless extra hours to make sure the University grounds look their best have earned high praise from her colleagues, supervisors, and constituents.
This year, Dame headed up a new approach to instructing custodial staff on proper snow removal procedures, techniques for equipment operation, and using ice control agents. She has taken the initiative to improve her knowledge of facility management, horticulture, and landscape design. She is also a major contributor to the landscape improvement program on campus.
Eleanor J. Leggieri
The nominating committee believes that “Leggieri exemplifies the ideal University employee – one who excels at her job, shoulders her load with unflappable good humor, and strives to enhance the relationships among students and faculty. Her many services to the department and the University deserve our recognition.”
Leggieri has worked in the department since 1989. She has an intricate knowledge of the University and its administrative channels, and she manages the work of the department from processing forms to handling questions about graduate programs. She provides continuity to the office.
Leggieri is known as a team player and a conscientious participant who offers salient advice and analysis on issues of concern to the University. She is committed to getting things done, often working through her lunch hour, staying late, or coming in on weekends to accomplish her tasks. She has been particularly helpful to students, who praise her for providing support at stressful times in their lives. Leggieri has been known to help students register for classes while out of the country, and she answers a wide range of administrative questions from new teaching assistants and adjunct faculty. Considered an ambassador for the department, Leggieri is always available to work with students and to guide them through the maze of rules and regulations.
Excellence in Research
Baran received his graduate training in the Slavic Department of Harvard University, where he studied with Roman Jakobson, one of the leading scholars of language, literature and linguistics in the 20th century and an expert on Russian poetry. Baran’s dissertation was a study of Russian futurist poet Velmir Khelbnikov. Even before completing his dissertation, he published two papers on Khelbnikov, one in a festschrift for Taranovsky and the other in the literary journal Russian Literature. Baran’s research has been included in 70 articles and book chapters, as well as four edited books. A founding editor of Elementa: Journal of Slavic Studies and Comparative Cultural Semiotics, Baran was also associate editor of the Slavic and East European Journal.
His administrative experience at UAlbany includes seven years as department chair and service as graduate adviser and coordinator for the Slavic studies program. Baran has also been invited to speak at some of the most prestigious departments and programs both here and abroad, including those at Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Ohio State University, Oberlin College, Institute of Russian Language (Moscow), Institute of World Literature (Moscow), Helsinski University and Russian State University of the Humanities (Moscow).
Childs studies and creates group and ring theory tools needed to understand extensions of fields. His early research focused on the Brauer groups, and several of his singly authored or joint papers appeared in the Journal of Algebra, the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, the Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra, and several other publications. Next, his research shifted to the use of Hopf algebras to understand field extensions. Hopf algebras have an extraordinarily rich structure that gives them a great deal of rigidity. His work has given a new line of attack that often leads to more easily computable invariants of field extensions.
The culmination of Childs’s work was the major research monograph Taming Wild Extensions: Hopf Algebras and Local Galois Module Theory. His efforts have brought grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency. He has served as a referee for more than 20 scholarly journals and publications.
Childs served as the Department of Mathematics and Statistics chair from 1981 through 1984 and in 1991. He has been a mentor and thesis director for a host of students.
Daniel’s publications and citations lauding her work rank her as one of the top macroeconomists in the discipline. Her recent papers include The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in an Open Economy, published in the Journal of Monetary Economics, one of the major journals in the area of macroeconomics. Another of her papers, A Fiscal Theory of Currency Crises, was published in International Economic Review, a major theory journal in economics.
Her prominence in the field is evidenced by the visiting positions she has held. Daniel, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco during the spring of 2001, was also a Distinguished International Visiting Professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2000-2001. In addition, she has held visiting positions at numerous other institutions, including Dartmouth College, Osaka University, Australian National University, and the University of New South Wales. Her expertise in the field was also reflected in her membership on the board of the Journal of Macroeconomics.
A mentor to untenured faculty members, Daniel has supervised many doctoral dissertations. Three of her students have won Outstanding Dissertation Awards.
Justeson and Kaufman also began the ambitious project of documenting the Mixean and Zoquean languages of Mexico in the Project for the Documentation of Mesoamerican Languages, which has been running since the mid-1990s. Groups of graduate students were taken to Mexico to help describe and decipher the languages. The project has already resulted in two dictionaries, as well as a large number of dissertations and master’s theses.
Justeson, who has also made extremely valuable contributions to the understanding of Mayan hieroglyphics, is one of only a half dozen scholars at the forefront of our understanding of this writing system. His edited book and monograph are among the most widely cited sources in Mayan epigraphy. He has also written 14 book chapters and 28 journal articles.
Justeson is the founder and organizer of the Northeast Mesoamerican Epigraphy Group, which brings together epigraphers from Harvard, Yale, Colgate, and Albany for regular working groups and roundtables. He has also published on such varied topics as Hittite, Elmaite, Linear A, and computational linguistics.
The recipient of major funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society, Justeson has generated more than $1 million in external research funding.
Excellence in Teaching
Jagdish S. Gangolly
Gangolly first taught at UAlbany from 1979 to 1984. After working as an associate professor of accounting at Claremont McKenna College and the Drucker School of Management, he returned to Albany in 1987.
Gangolly has taught 18 different courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels over the last three years. Every second year, he teaches, without remuneration, a doctoral seminar on Information Organization. Consistently ranked by students from 4.4 to 4.8 on the 5.0 evaluation scale, Gangolly has been praised by his colleagues as a master teacher. “Professor Gangolly has been remarkably effective in discharging a wide range of teaching assignments,” said the chair of the Department of Accounting. “In recent years, however, his work in two areas has been especially praiseworthy. These are his contributions to the development of our department’s graduate offerings in accounting information systems and his tireless service as a dissertation committee chair for doctoral students in the field of information science.”
Gangolly has written eight articles in refereed journals, three book chapters, 11 papers in conference proceedings, and two book reviews. A member of the editorial boards of two journals, he has received two grants from Microsoft Corporation. Credited with single-handedly spearheading the development of this nationally acclaimed graduate program in accounting information systems and obtaining the funds necessary to establish a laboratory to support the program, Gangolly received the Teaching Innovation Award from the Artificial Intelligence/Engineering Tech-nologies Section of the American Accounting Association at its national conference in 1999.
Richard H. Hall
An internationally recognized scholar in the field of organizational theory, Hall has written seven books, co-edited one book, and written more than 45 articles and book chapters. His book Organizations, Structures, Processes and Outcomes (Prentice-Hall), now in its eighth edition, is considered a classic in the field. He has also served as editor for three journals: Sociological Forum (1995-2001), The American Sociologist (1991-95), and Sociology of Work and Occupations (1980-86). Hall, now associate editor of Social Science Quarterly and de Gruyter’s Studies in Organizations, has served as associate editor for six other journals.
Known for his writing-intensive courses at the undergraduate level, Hall believes that “students learn by active mental participation in the learning process.” Hall is known for making himself available to students, for being a top-notch adviser, and for carrying a typical advising load of 15 undergraduates and 15 graduate students a year.
“Professor Hall is the kind of professor that every college student deserves,” noted one student. “He is smart, caring, interesting, and a wonderful teacher. He makes his students enjoy the subject matter of his courses, while at the same time making his students work hard and do well.”
Paul A. Leonard
Leonard has received numerous teaching awards. He was twice recognized within the School of Business as the recipient of the Harold Cannon Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and the Dean W. Warren Hynes Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. He was also voted the best workshop instructor and course instructor in the University’s M.B.A. Dual Degree Program, taught in cooperation with the Graduate School of Business Administration, Zurich, Switzerland.
Leonard earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1980. He served as an assistant professor at UAlbany from 1979 to 1984. After teaching briefly at Union College, he returned to UAlbany as an associate professor in 1987 and was promoted to professor in 1996. Known as an innovator, Leonard was not afraid to experiment with his teaching techniques. He began to provide comprehensive lecture notes to students in the executive development programs, allowing students to substitute thinking time for writing or note-taking time, and he used the WebCT to allow evening and weekend students more access to the classroom environment.
Leonard wrote or co-wrote four books, monographs, and book chapters, along with 18 articles. He has written 12 consulting reports for government agencies and private companies and has published approximately one article per year in refereed finance journals. He has been an editorial board member of Municipal Finance Journal for the last six years.
Leonard has served in several administrative positions, including chair of the Department of Finance (1989-92); associate dean of the School of Business (1989-90, 2000-present); and acting dean of the School of Business (1990). He is also accessible to students. “Professor Leonard makes himself available outside the classroom and reminds us of his willingness to provide extra help almost every class,” one student observed. “I have gone to him to discuss assignments on a number of occasions, and have always left in better academic shape than when I arrived.”
Marilyn A. Masson
“I found Dr. Masson to be a highly effective teacher who is very clear about course expectations,” said a Department of Anthropology professor who observed one of her classes. “She has developed a variety of skills and techniques for motivating her students. Course activities include student presentations, student discussion groups, and student panels, all of which put the focus on the student as the active agent in the learning process.”
Over the past three years, Masson has received three grants, including a prestigious National Science Foundation grant to study the Economic Foundations of Mayapan ($260,525), and two grants from the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, one to support the work on the Mayapan ($14,100) and a second to support her work in Belize. She was also awarded development funds within the University to prepare for the submission of the Mayapan grant, as well as smaller Faculty Research Awards Program grants.
Masson has written one book and co-edited two others, and has another book in preparation. She has co-edited five published reports and written 15 peer-reviewed articles, 18 book chapters and three book reviews. “Dr. Masson is known by the students, both undergraduate and graduate, to be an approachable, helpful and engaging professor,” offered one student. “She is well-respected and has the reputation for being dynamic in the classroom, both in terms of the way she presents the material and how she encourages students to get to know the material on a more intellectual level.”
Excellence in Professional
After returning to UAlbany, Brown became a quad coordinator in the University’s Office of Residential Life. In that position, she was responsible for the overall management of a quad, which houses approximately 900 students; the direct supervision of five professional staff; and the supervision of 35 student staff members. In her new position as area coordinator, she not only oversees the building, program, and judicial processes for two quads, but she also supervises 13 professional staff and 70 student staff.
“Her excellent organizational skills, exceptional ability to work with students, and her dedication to the University have led to increased job responsibility,” said one of her supervisors. “Ms. Brown is a very genuine, direct, and challenging person. She takes a very developmental approach and constantly challenges her staff to go above and beyond the everyday function of their positions. She is a wonderful role model in this respect. She continually challenges herself and others to look beyond the obvious to create ways to make our University community a just and conducive environment for students’ academic success.”
Among the unique programs she developed for the residents of Dutch Quad are the sign language class; panel discussions on prominent University women; program incentives supporting attendance at UAlbany athletic events; and study skills, time management, and talent showcases.
Brown, who also volunteers her time as a board member of the Arbor Hill Development Corp., the American Heart Association, and the American Red Cross, has been involved with two Council of Women subcommittees, Initiatives For Women and Take Our Daughters to Work, for four years. She is the co-chair of the UAlbany Black Faculty and Professional Staff Association, as well as a member of the National Association of Professionals in Student Affairs. “In the workplace, one must be able to effectively carry out his or her job duties, but the mark of professionals is determined by their ability to work with others,” said one of her constituents. “Shai Brown knows about teamwork. She has fostered a wonderful working environment on Dutch Quadrangle.”
Brown volunteers in the First Glance Inner City High School Bridge Program and the Phillip Livingston Middle School Mentoring Program. She also coaches in the midnight basketball league.
A graduate of Albany Business College and Vincentian Institute, Casabella served the Research Foundation for 33 years. She was the associate director for research administration in the Office for Sponsored Programs at the time of her death last month. Casabella was previously chief clerk, then assistant director, to the grants coordinator until her promotion to the associate director position in 1981.
Casabella’s diverse accomplishments in contract and grants administration included establishing research administration practices and procedures, assigning staff responsibilities, and serving as team leader for the research administration. She represented the University and the Research Foundation in the negotiation of sponsored project agreements, and provided professional advice to staff, researchers, and sponsors regarding administrative processes and procedures to facilitate research management. She maintained a defined portfolio of grants and contracts, and she was a team member for OASIS implementation.
Known for her willingness to “go the extra mile,” Casabella essentially headed the Office for Research after Frank DiSanto departed and before Garrett Sanders was hired. “Joanne rallied staff together, kept business processes moving forward, and ensured that the ‘right things’ were done on behalf of the campus research mission,” wrote Sanders. “This campus is in Joanne’s debt for this extraordinary service.”
According to her nomination letter, “Ms. Casabella, throughout her career at the University at Albany, has been an outstanding example of everything that is honored by the Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Her dedication, her willingness consistently to do more than is expected of her, the broad knowledge base, and her ability to be truly innovative in her approach to problem solving, and her commitment to providing the very highest levels of service to everyone she assists, all serve as arguments for recognizing her contributions to this University.”
“When Albina came to the School of Business from Rockefeller College, she faced an extraordinary challenge. There was a new dean; there was no computer-based information system to keep track of the school’s numerous accounts; and it was a time of budget cutbacks, when we were being asked to find new ways to fund our operations,” said Paul A. Leonard, associate dean and professor of finance. “Albina was a strong leader.”
Grignon’s professional career has spanned 25 years. She started in the University’s Office of Graduate Studies and was promoted to assistant dean for the Graduate School of Public Affairs in 1980. In 1983, Grignon was promoted to assistant provost for student services in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. She was instrumental in organizing the college’s Telepledge Campaign, through which the college doubled its annual fund giving.
Grignon’s career in the School of Business began in 1987, when she was hired as assistant dean for financial and administrative services. She created a school-wide accounting system, overseeing the school’s expenditures and projecting them via a five-year plan. She also published an alumni newsletter and assisted in the establishment of the school’s mission statement.
Beyond her service to the University,
Grignon is a Cohoes city council member, a member of the Albany-Colonie
Chamber of Commerce, and the core leader of her church’s Youth
Ministry Program. The former president of the Cohoes school board
hosts holiday gatherings at her home, and invites international
students and native students. Her Excellence in Professional Service
nomination dossier included letters signed by nearly 100 current
School of Business students.
Added Department of History Chair Iris Berger: “She not only performs the tasks associated with her job description with superb efficiency, but she is innovative in everything she does and often takes the initiative to implement new and valuable programs and projects.”
Temps is the first and only employee to have occupied her current position with the title of assistant to the chair and program adviser to students in the B.A. and M.A. programs in social studies. She has consistently endeavored to bring about positive changes to the campus, and her efforts have been recognized with the 1999-2000 Outstanding Achievement Award from Disabled Student Services and the 2000-2001 Bread and Roses Award.
Temps, a graduate student at the University in 1984, played a pivotal role in establishing the Career Advisory Network, as well as the Graduate Programs and Policies manual. She also helped design the current system of advising history majors for advanced registration.
“There are some people on campus that you know and work with, and when you think about them, you start smiling,” said the director of Disabled Student Services. “The reason for this is that every experience you have with them is so positive and affirming that it makes you want to smile. That is what I think of when I think of Harriet. No matter why we call Harriet, she never makes us feel she is too busy or our problems too insignificant to warrant her immediate attention.”
Excellence in Academic
Anne E. Fortune
Considered an excellent mentor for new and part-time faculty, as well as for Ph.D. students, Fortune is known as a dedicated teacher of teachers. A tireless advocate for the importance of excellence in teaching, she has helped support many faculty members in their efforts to become better teachers.
Fortune has also put the University at Albany on the map in the study of gerontology. She directs the Hartford Foundation’s Internships in Aging Project, which is one of only five in the nation. Under Fortune’s leadership, the project has led to many innovations in services delivered to the elderly. She has also served on numerous School of Social Welfare committees, such as the Curriculum and Educational Policy and Ph.D. committees. Her other curricular leadership roles include serving on the Dean’s Advisory Committee and the Management Team, chairing the Task Force for the Macro/Management concentration, and serving as a member of the research sequence faculty.
Fortune has been editor of two major social work journals, Social Work Research and the Journal of Education of Social Work, and she has played a visible leadership role in the Council on Social Work Education by serving as a faculty representative to both the House of Delegates and the Board of Directors. In addition, she has served as a member of the Personnel and Budget and Finance committees of the council, and is currently the accreditation site visitor.
Wulfert, who served two years on the Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Sciences, has been a member of the University Senate since 1997. She chaired the Council for Academic Freedom and Ethics, and was a member of the Council for Promotion and Continued Appointment. In 2001-02, she was Chair of the University Senate.
Within her department, Wulfert has served as director of clinical training, and she has been the research pool coordinator since 1996. She is also committed to serving her students. For three years, she was the faculty mentor in the University’s student mentoring program for EOP students. She has chaired or co-chaired eight master’s and seven dissertation committees, and she has been a member of six master’s and 13 dissertation committees.
Nationally, Wulfert has been appointed to a second term on the editorial board of the Behavior Analyst, one of the largest circulation behavioral journals in the world. She has been elected to the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, and has served a four-year term as program chair of the Annual Convention Program Committee for the Association for Behavioral Analysis.
Excellence in Librarianship
In terms of librarianship, Brustman is known for providing consultation services and instruction, as well as for her management of the social welfare and criminal justice library collections. She was selected Librarian of the Year by the Eastern New York Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2001.
As a scholar, Brustman’s record is also impressive. Her research has appeared not only in library science journals, but also in prestigious scholarly outlets, such as Social Work Research and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. She is also a longtime regular reviewer for Library Journal.
Brustman’s service record goes well beyond her job description. She has worked in support of students with disabilities, and she has been a member of the Women’s Concerns Committee. An active member of dozens of University and University Libraries committees, Brustman has also provided leadership in the American Library Association/Association of College and Research Libraries Criminal Justice/Criminology Discussion Group.
Excellence in Scholarship
and Creative Services
David M. Janower
Janower teaches a total of nine different music courses, including a writing-intensive course. His numerous grants include the PD/QWL Individual Development Award (1998); the Faculty Research Award (1996); the American Choral Directors Association Choral Research Grant (1994); the Continuing Faculty Development Grant (in both 1994 and 1998); and the Special Opportunity Stipend, New York State Council on the Arts and the Rensselaer County Council on the Arts (in 1991 and 1994).
Janower has served as music director for the Berkshire Bach Society (1992-1994); music director and founder of Albany Pro Musica (1981-present) and the Albany Pocket Opera (1981-1986); and conductor and faculty member, Aspen Choral Institute, Aspen, Colo. (1980 and 1983). He has also been both conducting instructor and guest conductor for a plethora of events throughout the Capital Region.
In addition, Janower has served both the University and his department in numerous capacities. He advises the Serendipity and Earth Tones a cappella singing groups and has been a member of 14 University committees. Within the department, Janower has chaired the Peer Evaluation Teaching Committee and the Faculty Showcase Concert Series Committee. He has also been a member of the Recruitment Committee, the Curriculum Committee, the Library Committee, the Faculty Search Committee for Theory, the Self-Study Committee and Scheduling Committee, as well as a regular adviser on the Student Music Council.
According to those who nominated him for this award, Janower “embodies an ideal in the broader sense of education; he educates the mind, the emotions, and the feeling for our common humanity.”
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