Excellence Awards

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Eighteen faculty and staff members received this tribute in 2010.


Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

George BergGeorge Berg, Computer Science

Dr. George Berg has been a member of the Computer Science faculty since 1988. He has chaired the Department since 2006. Over his 21-year career, Dr. Berg has taught 20 distinct courses. These include courses in his main research areas of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, course aimed at a broad range of undergraduate students from across the University, courses for students in the computer science majors, and more recently courses with colleagues in Biological Sciences. In all his teaching, Dr. Berg’s student evaluations have been consistently high. In addition, students frequently remark that he is highly accessible outside of class, shows great passion for his subject, and uses projects and assignments that allow students to apply the knowledge they gained in a way that interested them. But as strong as Dr. Berg’s record as a classroom teacher, arguably his most significant contribution to the University is his impact on teaching in the Computer Science Department as a whole, leading his colleagues on a transformation of the undergraduate curriculum. As Chair, he has adopted a mission to change the way he and the Computer Science Department engage with students by experimenting with new pedagogical techniques and innovative course material. He can thus be credited for not only influencing what his colleagues teach, but also how they teach. Dr. Berg has also been a strong supporter of the College of Computing and Information’s Women in Technology program, and he has been highly successful in working with external communities to develop curricula that advances societal goals. New multidisciplinary grants, courses and programs in cybersecurity and financial market regulation have all benefited from Dr. Berg’s interest and participation. A consummate educator, we are delighted to present the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. George Berg.

Eloise BriereEloise Briere, Language, Literature and Cultures

Dr. Eloise Briere is an associate professor of French, appointed to the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures. She is admired by students and colleagues both for her outstanding performances as a teacher and for the numerous activities she has initiated outside the classroom to enhance the student experience. From the start of her career, in Senegal in early 1970s, Dr. Briere has pursued teaching and research from a global perspective. She has been a central figure in the development of Francophone Studies, exploring topics in the literatures and cultures found in West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. Dr. Briere has also been a strong proponent for using text, film, and direct experience to hone critical thinking skills and strategies. By stepping into other cultures and languages, students gain insights, new points of views, and ultimately a deeper understanding of their own culture. Dr. Briere has put this philosophy into practice in teaching 20 different courses at UAlbany. She keeps students actively engaged in a variety of ways, including a heavy emphasis on oral presentation, writing, guest speakers, field trips, use of the internet, and visual media. She is especially admired for her creative initiatives to take students into the world to experience French-speaking communities, performances, and exhibitions. A field course on Haiti she organized in 2003, sparked interest in the Haitian people and culture that has been re-energized in recent months following the earthquake. Dr. Briere is currently utilizing web-casting to pair UAlbany French Studies students with students at France’s University of Upper Alsace for regular real-time conversations to gain fluency and to understand cultural differences and values. She was instrumental in creating the Francophone House in the residence halls. For her capacity to inspire students to become educated citizens, bring the world within reach, we are pleased to present the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Eloise Briere.

Cheryl DozierCheryl Dozier, Reading

Dr. Cheryl Dozier has made teaching, the preparation of teachers, and research on teaching her life work. She served for nearly 20 years as an elementary school teacher before pursuing her doctoral degree and embarking on an academic career. As an associate professor of reading, Dr. Dozier teaches an introductory literacy teaching and learning course for the department’s master’s program. She developed this course for online delivery, the department’s first such offering, and the foundation for the M.S. in Reading online program, established in 2001 as the first such program at the University. Dr. Dozier also teaches a required course on writing instruction, a research course she developed on preparing literacy teachers, and the six-credit capstone practicum for the master’s degree program for B-6 Literacy Specialist certification. She has been instrumental in creating new practicum sites in Albany’s Arbor Hill community and Cohoes, a paradigm shift that has brought faculty and graduate students into the real world of an urban elementary school. Not surprisingly, students respond to Dr. Dozier’s dedication and enthusiasm. Her course evaluations are among the highest in her department. Open-ended comments from students include the generous use of such words as challenging, engaging, meaningful, organized and invested in teaching, encouraging, helpful, and energetic. Dr. Dozier also extends her passion for teaching into her research interests in literacy teacher preparation, particularly research on critical self-reflection. Her commitment to preparing reflective practitioners has not only earned respect in her department but also nationally through her scholarship. We are pleased to recognize extraordinary devotion to effective learning and mentoring, with high impact on future teachers and generations of students in our region and beyond, by presenting the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Cheryl Dozier.


Excellence in Teaching (Part Time)

Rocco FerraroRocco Ferraro, Geography and Planning

Mr. Rocco Ferraro has been Executive Director of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission for the last seven years, and a practicing planner for many years before that. For 28 consecutive semesters, he has taught Introductory Urban Planning, the core course requirement for the Urban Studies and Planning major offered by the Department of Geography and Planning. It has been calculated that Mr. Ferraro has offered this course to approximately 2750 students! Significantly, the nomination dossier includes letters from many former students describing how they were inspired by Mr. Ferraro and his teaching, how he changed their lives, how much they learned from him, how he influenced later educational and career choices, and how impressed they were with his dedication to planning as both an academic subject and as a profession. Further evidence of this admiration is reflected in Mr. Ferraro's student course evaluations, which regularly exceed the average for the department's other lower division courses, particularly for preparation, receptivity to student's ideas, and availability outside the classroom. In addition to his courses, Mr. Ferraro supervises undergraduate and graduate interns placed at the Planning Commission, an enormously stimulating and useful experience. His network of regional contacts has also been helpful in placing students seeking internship experiences in other agencies. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Rocco Ferraro for his many years of excellent teaching, and more generally for bringing experiences from his years of exemplary professional service into the classroom. In that vein, we are pleased today to present the 2010 President's Excellence Award for Teaching by a Part-time Faculty Member to Mr. Rocco Ferraro.


Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

Kelly SociaKelly Socia, Criminal Justice

Kelly Socia is pursuing a doctoral degree in criminal justice. Since the fall 2007 semester he has regularly taught discussion sections for the School's undergraduate gateway course on Criminology, and more recently he has served as the instructor for an upper division course on American Criminal Courts. Kelly's student course evaluations are often well above the average for Criminal Justice faculty, particularly for communication of course content, openness to student feedback, and overall performance. He is especially admired for his efforts to study how students learn and his success in developing strategies for connecting seemingly intangible concepts with studentsí everyday experiences. Kelly regularly assesses studentsí progress, not only to give them feedback about how theyíre doing, but also to learn what he can do to increase their understanding of course materials. Outside the classroom, he maintains an open door policy, meets often with students individually and in groups, and is active in doctoral student recruitment and orientation. In addition to his doctoral studies, Kelly is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and has also co-authored several journal articles. We are delighted to recognize his extraordinary contribution to the University's academic program with the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Teaching Assistant.


Excellence in Research

Guthrie BirkheadGuthrie Birkhead, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Dr. Birkhead is a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He was appointed to the School of Public Health in 1988. Dr. Birkhead has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, seven book chapters, and ten non-peer reviewed scientific reports. A majority of his papers have been published in high impact journals such as the American Journal of Epidemiology, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine. One of the principal themes of Dr. Birkhead's research has involved the development of approaches for translating basic scientific knowledge regarding various communicable diseases into effective public health strategies, particularly for childhood diseases and immunization policies and programs. His reputation in this area is reflected in his appointment as Chair of the National Immunization Policy Panel. His research has also influenced understanding and policy related to disease surveillance programs and approaches for identifying and dealing with new disease entities such as West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. Hospital acquired infections and HIV/AIDS prevention and control are further areas that have benefitted from Dr. Birkhead's work. He has been the principal investigator or project director for tens of millions of dollars of federal grant funding, primarily from the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Birkhead is unable to be with us today. While he has received numerous professional awards, he indicated that he feels especially honored to have been selected for the University's excellence award. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Guthrie Birkhead as a recipient of the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Research.

Sanjay GoelSanjay Goel, Information Technology Management

Over the past eight years, Dr. Sanjay Goel has built an impressive record in all aspects of research, grants, publications, and involvement with the research community. An associate professor of information technology management, Dr. Goel is internationally known and respected for his expertise in information security, cyber warfare, nanosensor self-organization, and environmental sustainability. He has blended his background in engineering, computer science, and business to create a rich and productive portfolio of multidisciplinary research. He worked at General Electric Global Research prior to joining UAlbany, and he has blended his industry experience with academics to create productive partnerships for research and grants. Dr. Goel has published more than 50 journal articles and conference proceedings. In addition, he is a frequent invited keynote and plenary speaker at national and international conferences. He is a part of the ìGroup of Expertsî for the Office of Security Cooperation in Europe's Action Against Terrorism Unit, and one of the key members of the international volunteer group GreyGoose, which investigates incidents of cyber warfare around the world. Dr. Goel has worked to bridge the academic and practitioner communities through joint conferences and research projects. He was one of the architects of the Information Assurance concentration of the Information Science doctoral program. His work has been supported by grants from private industrial, federal, and state sources. For his many attainments we are pleased to present the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Research to Dr. Sanjay Goel.

R. Hamilton LankfordR. Hamilton Lankford, Educational Administration and Policy Studies

Dr. Hamp Lankford is a trained economist and a Professor of Educational Administration and Policy Studies. His scholarship on the economics of education is highly influential on education policy. He has published more than 30 journal articles and book chapters. He also maintains a high profile at national conferences of the field's leading associations. His research focuses on topics related to the teacher labor force, school finance, incentives, and policy implementation and effectiveness. He is credited with incorporating theoretical insights, sharply framed research questions, and powerful empirical analyses into research that is based on large, state-wide administrative databases. Another important feature is the work's linkage to policy in New York State and across the U.S. Dr. Lankford's research played a pivotal role in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York court case, and he has maintained ongoing relationships with policy makers in the New York State Education Department, the Board of Regents, the Education Finance Consortium, and more recently the New York City Department of Education. He has received nearly $7.5 million in external funds from highly competitive sources including NSF, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Lankford received the Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Research Award in 2007, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the SUNY Research Foundation in 2008. We are pleased to add to these impressive awards with our own 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Research.

Scott Tenenbaum Scott Tenenbaum, Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Dr. Scott Tenenbaum is an associate professor of nanobioscinces and associate head of the nanobioscience constellation at CNSE. He is a highly accomplished scientist and researcher in a broad set of fields ranging from human genomics to nano-device engineering to anti-viral therapeutics. Recognized as a pioneering leader in the development of RNA-based technology, in only six years he has created a very large research program at UAlbany, which has attracted more than $3 million in funding, generated eight patent disclosures and six provisional patent applications, and spun-out UAlbany's first life-science start-up company, HocusLocus. Together with his research team, he has helped to advance many of the cutting edge technical and computer-based approaches for studying RNA-binding proteins, the molecules that regulate the information in RNA. Dr. Tenenbaum has published more than 30 journal articles and conference proceedings, including papers in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cell, Molecular Cell, RNA Biology, and Methods Molecular Biology. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the SUNY Research Foundation's Rising Star Award, and the Robert & Barbara Bell Science of Cancer Award. He is an editor of Virology and serves as a manuscript and proposal reviewer for many journals and funding agencies. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Scott Tenenbaum as we present him with the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Research.


Excellence in Academic Service

Gwen Moore
Gwen Moore
, Sociology and Women Studies

Since 1988, Dr. Gwen Moore has developed an extraordinary record of engagement and service at the University and in her profession. Her contribution bridges two departments, Sociology and Women's Studies, and over the years has included substantial participation, frequently in a leadership role, in virtually every major aspect of the academic program, including undergraduate studies, honors studies, graduate studies, internships, recruitment, and development. As Chair of Women's Studies, she was instrumental in creating several new programs including an MA in Women's Studies, and a LGBTQ minor. Outside her departments, Dr. Moore has held central service roles with the Institute for Research on Women (IROW). She has also served on a myriad of College of Arts and Sciences committees, on many University-level Task Forces, and since 2002, as a member of the University Senate, including as chair of several significant councils. Beyond the institution, Dr. Moore has served in key roles in her profession, organizing conference sessions and chairing selection committees, programs and review panels. She has served on the editorial boards of four journals, and manuscript reviewer for more than twenty journals. As a change agent in the University and in her profession, Dr. Moore's thoughtful and respectful approach to difficult situations and conversations engenders thoughtful and respectful responses from her colleagues, even on subjects that might provoke dissension. She is admired by colleagues and students as a valued mentor and advocate. In recognition of these qualities and her extraordinary record of service, we are pleased to present the 2010 Excellence Award for Academic Service to Dr. Gwen Moore.

George RichardsonGeorge Richardson, Public Administration and Policy

Over the years since joining UAlbany in1987, Dr. George Richardson has served in every leadership position in the Department of Public Administration & Policy and on countless committees within the Rockefeller College. He was department chair, Ph.D. director, Public Affairs and Policy master's program director, and director of the Certificate Program for Advanced Study in Planning and Policy Analysis, holding at least one key post for every year of his appointment. Dr. Richardson is known for taking up tasks because they are important to the improvement of the university, the college and his department. He encourages junior colleagues, and builds a collegial atmosphere where excellence and making a difference count, while remaining modest and humble about his own contributions. Beyond the University, Dr. Richardson played a central role in the development of the field of systems dynamics and has held such key leadership roles as President of the Society, founding Vice President for publications, Editor of the System Dynamics Review, and Program Chair of its international conference. He takes the time to work behind the scenesówithout regard for recognition or rewardóto work directly on real problems in the world that he can help solve. For his consistency in bringing about change using his intellectual work for the good of others, we are delighted to present the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Academic Service to Dr. George Richardson.


Excellence in Librarianship

Mary Van Ullen Mary Van Ullen , University Libraries

Ms. Mary Van Ullen is an engaged, energetic, curious, and thoroughly professional librarian. For the past thirteen years she has served as our bibliographer for Business, Economics, and Geography and Planning. She generously shares her knowledge, time, and expertise with UAlbany's students, faculty, and library colleagues. Mary is very knowledgeable about all of the resources, print and electronic, in her subject areas and is an expert on using some of the very specialized and esoteric business databases. Her extensive collection of online guides to business resources, which she developed in response to questions she received as a reference librarian and teacher, are used not only by our own faculty and students, but also by patrons who access these tools via links from other research institutions, including the New York State Library. Mary has gone well beyond what is expected of her as an Associate Librarian, teaching our students in the classroom as well as in our libraries. She teaches classes and workshops on information sources to students in a wide range of disciplines, and since 2002 has co-taught a course on China in the Post-Utopian Age. Mary has made significant contributions to scholarship in the library profession through her many publications and presentations, and she has a strong record of service to our Libraries, the University and the profession. For her dedication to, and enthusiasm for, her work and vocation, we are pleased to present the 2010 President's Award for Excellence in Librarianship to Mary Van Ullen.


Excellence in Professional Service

Steve Galime, Arts and Sciences

A product of SUNY, Steve Galime joined UAlbany in 1985, initially as a Residence Hall Director. Through a series of positions he acquired broad administrative experience in the areas of facilities, operations, budget and finance, all of which prepared him for appointment as Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1999. In his current role, Steve serves as the College’s chief administrative officer, responsible for managing the College’s budget, financial and personnel matters. Steve also supervises staff in the Dean’s Office and regularly meets with clerical and professional staff across the College to provide a forum for questions and concerns as well as a platform for collaborative problem-solving. Steve is widely regarded as a role model for other fiscal managers and assistant deans on campus. He is committed, organized, dependable, great to work with, someone who “doesn’t just show up but often has a leadership role.”

In addition, Steve is a reliable volunteer, willing to serve in tasks that have no direct bearing on his assigned duties but benefit the University. His expertise and personality make him an attractive candidate for service on campus-wide search committees and professional development workshops and activities related to academic leadership, campus diversity and cultural issues. His experience and perspective as an end-user is highly valued by everyone involved in the development and improvement of core management systems.

The overall evidence for this nomination is marked by statements of admiration and respect for Steve Galime’s extraordinary dedication, high degree of professionalism, and personal integrity and fairness. He is a perfect recipient of the 2010 Excellence Award for Professional Service.

Tom Kilcullen, Police Department

Tom Kilcullen first joined SUNY as a Public Safety Officer for the System Administration Office in 1980. He transferred to the UAlbany campus in 1982, and advanced steadily through the ranks to his current post as Deputy Chief of Police in 2009. He oversees the administrative elements of UPD in addition to directing the patrol operations for the 75 member force. Tom has a long history as an innovator in law enforcement. Long before “community policing” came into fashion, he understood the value of police-community collaboration, and through his efforts the UAlbany Police Department’s crime prevention specialist worked tirelessly to educate the University community to protect itself from crime. Eventually he wrote the curriculum used for training crime prevention specialists throughout the nine county region served by the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Academy. Another example of Tom’s innovation is his work to create the UAlbany bicycle patrol unit. He overcame initial reluctance, secured funding for equipment, and convinced fellow officers and management of the value of this approach for improving mobility, responsiveness, and accessibility. Each summer UPD now sponsors New York State certified training in this area for police agencies across the State. The Department’s web-site, patrol car paint schemes, leadership in providing training for Capital Region college public safety and security personnel, and the “Knock and Lock” community outreach program, were all influenced by Tom’s vision, dedication, and service orientation. We are pleased to recognize this outstanding record of impact and achievement by presenting the 2010 Excellence Award for Professional Service to Mr. Tom Kilcullen.

Mary McCarthyMary McCarthy, Social Welfare

Dr. Mary McCarthy began her association with UAlbany in 1987, initially as Assistant Director of Field Education and Undergraduate Field Coordinator in the School of Social Welfare. She currently serves as the School’s Assistant Dean for Development, and as Director of the Social Work Education Consortium, a statewide partnership between the New York State Association of Deans of Social Work Schools and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. As Assistant Dean, she has initiated a new focus on development within the School, enhancing both resources and collaborations with the wider community. As Consortium Director, she interacts with and guides a diverse group of stake-holders including deans of schools of social work, state agency administrators, administrators and supervisors of local social service districts, and workers themselves. She is Principal Investigator for two federal Children’s Bureau grants and contracts totaling more than $17 million dollars. Beyond the University, Mary has assumed several leadership roles in the social work profession’s largest national association, the National Association of Social Workers. She was President of the Association’s New York State Chapter in 2006-2008. More recently she was elected to the national board as representative of the New York State region, and appointed by the national NASW president to serve as trustee of the national Political Action for Candidate Election Committee. Mary was named Social Worker of the Year by the NASW Northeast New York Division in 1992, and she received a UAlbany Disabled Student Services Faculty Achievement Award in 1993. We are pleased to add to these honors by presenting the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service to Dr. Mary McCarthy.


Excellence in Support Service

Lisa Taylor, Communications and Marketing

Lisa Taylor first joined the University at Albany in 2000. She served as a secretary in President Hitchcock’s office and worked for the Vice President for Outreach before taking her present position with Media Relations in 2007. Wherever she’s been assigned, the unit has benefited from Lisa’s superb organizational skills, calm “get it done” attitude, and generous spirit. The range of her contribution and impact is broad, involving on-going duties and one-time project assignments. In her letter of recommendation, President Hitchcock observed that “Lisa never settled for simply fulfilling a task; she was a contributing member of a team, always committed to delivering a work product which was creative and of the highest quality.” Lisa was recently designated the University’s Freedom of Information Law Officer, a responsibility that requires her to respond, often against statutory deadlines, to a steady flow of public requests for information. This work is essential in the current environment and often involves contact with highly sensitive information and complex judgments. A recent project involved transforming a former Recording and Broadcasting space into a thriving television production facility. With Lisa’s critical help the University now offers an important expanded opportunity for production experience to students involved with Albany TV or enrolled in broadcast journalism and documentary study classes. In addition to her job-related activities, Lisa is one of the key organizers for UAlbany’s fall Community Day. She also volunteers for Campus Clean-Up Day, Fountain Day and Advocacy Day. She has a big heart and takes the lead in responding to the needs of disadvantaged families in the Capital Region and behind, particularly during holidays. As a member of the National Guard, she staffed disaster relief efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11, and served a deployment lasting almost two years in Kuwait and Iraq. In her own quiet way, Lisa has been an inspiring and profound example for all of us at the University. We deeply admire her and are pleased to have this opportunity to present the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Support Service to Ms. Lisa Taylor.


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