Emeritus Center Honors Two as Reese Fellows

side-by-side photos show retired Professor Gary Kleppel with his dog and retired Professor Eric Block in his lab
Gary Kleppel, left, and Eric Block

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 1, 2021) — The University at Albany Emeritus Center has elected Eric Block and Gary Kleppel as William L. Reese Fellows for their exemplary post‐retirement professional and scholarly work.

Since retiring from the Department of Biological Sciences in 2017, Professor Kleppel has continued his scholarship, teaching and service focusing on sustainable and environmentally regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture promotes the use techniques that produce healthy food while restoring soil health, mitigating the impacts of farming on natural resources, and reducing the contribution of agriculture to climate change. Kleppel’s multi‐year project, Eden 2.0, was funded in part by a 2018 Three Voices grant from the Emeritus Center. Kleppel has given guest lectures post-retirement, and is active in town and county agricultural programs.

Professor Block retired from the Department of Chemistry in 2018 and has actively continued his research on sulfur chemistry.

He has served as a visiting professor at UCLA and the University of California at Irvine, continues to publish articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has presented his work at international symposia. In 2020 he was awarded a Three Voices grant to support his travel as a co‐chair of a session at Pacifichem 2021 in Honolulu. He has been named “An Ambassador of Excellence” by the American Chemical Society for his work on the editorial board of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Edward Fitzgerald, president of the Emeritus Center, said that Block and Kleppel “exemplify the Center’s goal of encouraging emeriti to stay actively engaged with their profession and the University.”

Senior Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs William Hedberg, who serves as administrative liaison for the Center, called Klepper and Block “exemplars of how the scholarly life continues after retirement.

“I have always thought of the scholarly life as a lifestyle,” Hedberg said. “The opportunities the Emeritus Center offers for support and recognition of continued meaningful participation in the scholarly life are substantial and unusual in the SUNY system and perhaps beyond.”

The William L. Reese Fellows program, named after the Emeritus Center’s founding president and benefactor, is designed to honor UAlbany emeriti for sustained, consequential, and exemplary post‐retirement professionally‐related contributions and achievements in scholarship and creative productions, teaching or service, in or outside the University.