University Update
VOLUME 22, NUMBER 8 — JANUARY 27, 1999

Governor Pledges Support to New Biotech Center
University Names Robert R. Ashton Vice President for Advancement
Albany Weighs Core Curriculum Passed by Trustees
IBM Partnership Lands Supercomputer

University Council for Spring
President Counsels Business
Visitors from Korea
Recreation Times for Faculty/Staff
TransAfrica Director to Speak at Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon
Brazil Expert to Give 19th Annual History Lecture
Sexuality Week

Trustees Request Budget Increase for 1999-2000
Fundraising Hit Record in 1998

Trilogy Gets Further Support
Fulbright Award to Miesing
Mailroom Has Watchful Eyes
UPD Hires Three New Officers
Psychologist Jaccard Named SUNY Distinguished Professor
New Faces: Rachel Cohon, Susan Blood

The Dispute Over General Education: Some Talking Points, by James W. Wessman

Interconnect Research Center Will Focus on Ever-Faster Computers
Irish Semester Offers Wealth of Culture and Art
Business School Alum Volunteers Expertise and New Lecture Series to University

Allen E. Liska
Catharine Newbold
Paul Saimond

University Awarded Kresge Challenge Grant for Library

2nd Annual Big Purple Growl Basketball Game & Ferocious Feast Set for Saturday, February 6
Men Ascent conference Ladder
Women Win Key Classic
Diaz in Double Track Win


Governor Pledges Support to New Biotech Center

by Vinny Reda

President Hitchcock expressed pleasure on Jan. 6 over Governor George Pataki’s State-of-the-State Message endorsement of increased state support for the University’s Biotech Incubator site in Rensselaer County.

The incubator is home to the University’s Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, whose members have received $2.3 million in support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to study how gene products from different model organisms affect human health and disease. The Center fosters research in this rapidly developing field, which has been driven by recent extraordinary advances in DNA sequencing, computer technology and cellular and molecular biology research techniques.

The University has proposed a $5 million appropriation from New York State that would boost the Center’s research capabilities in the areas of transgenics and cell culture, imaging and microscopy, computing and bioinformatics, molecular biology and biochemical analysis. The concurrent aim will be to attract industry linkages in a host of further research initiatives.

On Jan. 6, in referring to a new biotechnology research center being developed by SUNY Buffalo, Pataki said the new center will complement Albany’s biotech incubator, "which we will increase our support to this year."

"We at the University are thrilled and excited that the governor has supported the concept of our new center," said the President, herself a biologist responsible for groundbreaking research in cell biology. "Comparative functional genomics is at the forefront of a tidal wave of change in biomedical research and is an approach that will forever alter the way human disease is diagnosed and treated."

Paulette McCormick and Albert Millis of the biology faculty are co-directors of the new center. Millis said that research conducted there will "sequence the entire genome of particular organisms, and develop better instrumentation for doing so. By nailing the DNA sequence, one can search for functional genes that may be used for advances in biomedical and other research.

"The Center’s work will lead to opportunities for study for our graduate students and research grants that will in turn lead to more post-doctoral fellowships and eventually new faculty."

Another component of the University’s funding proposal is for loans to help start-up companies to establish their labs. To date, the East Campus incubator has attracted eight biotechnical companies and currently is negotiating with several other firms.

University Names Robert R. Ashton Vice President for Advancement

By Christine Hanson McKnight

President Hitchcock announced on Monday the appointment of Robert R. Ashton of Westport, Conn., as Vice President for Advancement, the University’s senior fund-raising position.

Ashton, who has nearly 20 years of experience in college and university relations, served most recently as Vice President for College Relations at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., where he oversaw a successful $50 million fund-raising campaign. He officially assumed his duties at Albany on Jan. 13.

Ashton’s previous posts include vice president for the capital campaign at the New School for Social Research and associate dean at the Stern School of Business at New York University, both in New York City; and director of development at the University of Maryland Central Administration in Adelphi, Md. He also worked at SUNY’s Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he was director of alumni affairs. Before that he worked in public relations for General Electric Co. and held news posts at WHEN TV, WNYS TV and United Press International, all in Syracuse.

Ashton holds a B.S. in radio-television news and an M.S. in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.

"Bob Ashton’s extraordinary background will be an enormous asset to our institutional advancement effort," said Hitchcock. "His experience at both private and public universities, combined with his media background, make him an ideal leader for us at this stage."

Ashton’s responsibilities include the overall leadership of the Offices of Development, Alumni Affairs and University Relations. He replaces Paul T. Stec, who was named Interim Vice President while the University carried out a national search following the departure of Vice President Christian Kersten in June of 1997.

Albany Weighs Core Curriculum Passed by Trustees

by Vinny Reda

Faculty at Albany expressed a need for SUNY Board of Trustee flexibility in the campus’s efforts at satisfying the Board’s new General Education policy. Passed on Dec. 15, the policy requires undergraduate degree candidates starting with freshmen in Fall 2000 to "complete an academically rigorous and comprehensive core General Education curriculum."

Trustees’ Chairman Thomas F. Egan said, "This action will make tremendous strides in improving the quality of the State University. It will elevate the value of a State University degree, declaring to students, taxpayers and employers that our graduates possess the skills and knowledge necessary for a lifetime of achievement and productive endeavor."

The new policy, advanced by Chancellor John Ryan, requires that graduates complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in each of several academic subject areas. This would include, but not be limited to, at least three credit hours in each of the following: mathematics, natural science, social science, American history, Western civilization, other world civilizations, humanities and the arts, foreign languages, basic communication and reasoning, and information management.

"The University at Albany has been actively involved — through enormous faculty input over the last six years — in improving our own General Education program," said Albany Provost Judy Genshaft. "That process continues vigorously. Our concern with the SUNY policy will be that individual campuses be given the leeway to develop and adapt our own General Education policy to the distinctive character of our students and our programs."

An impromptu meeting of Albany faculty was held on Dec. 14 to discuss the issue. "The meeting was one of the best attended events of faculty I have ever been at," said John Pipkin, dean of Undergraduate Studies and faculty member in geography and planning.

"I infer from this that the faculty care deeply about the University’s General Education program, and about their own input into its prerogatives and its curriculum. They feel this input goes right to the heart of faculty life on this campus. They also believe the Trustees’ proposal has implications in terms of specific course requirements, campus resources, and Albany’s interdisciplinary approach to education that must be addressed."

Specific difficulties could arise with the SUNY rubric, Pipkin suggested, in staffing needs to meet requirement of three credits of foreign language and mathematics, or in a programmatic sense of adhering to a strictly defined American history course or "world civilization" and "other civilization" courses.

Roger Stump of geography and planning faculty and chair of the University Senate, added, "My sense of the faculty and my own opinion is that while we strongly support the idea of Gen. Ed., we resist the idea of specifying what goes into the curriculum of every campus."

The plan would allow students who have taken a single three-credit course to distribute those credits among one or more subject area requirements. For example, one credit from three-credits earned in a writing intensive history course could be used towards meeting the credit hours needed to fulfill a particular campus’s writing requirement.

Both Pipkin and Stump saw some flexibility in that aspect of the proposal for creating and maintaining courses that are not stamped by title as meeting one of the 10 required subject areas.

"I don’t know of anyone on this campus who thinks we do not need Gen.Ed. and that it doesn’t need to be strengthened from what it is," said Stump. "We do not want to water down the Trustees’ requirements, but we want to fit them into our own educational curriculum and programs within broad guidelines."

Ryan admitted that "while this is a major step forward, it is by no means the last and final step of what promises to be a long and detailed examination of general education throughout the University. I’m looking forward to working cooperatively with the campus presidents."

"We are committed to raising academic standards throughout the State University," said Randy Daniels, who also co-chairs the Subcommittee on General Education and Core Curriculum. "Making sure that our students are competent in basic academic subjects such as writing and mathematics is a key part of our overall effort. Employers, parents, and students deserve no less."

To underscore the importance of general education, the resolution would link campus implementation of the new general education standards to the provost’s mission review process and to allocation of revenue to campuses. The provost would also be directed to "explore ways to recognize and reward faculty who make major commitments to strengthening general education at their campus."

IBM Partnership Lands Supercomputer

International Business Machines (IBM) and the University announced Monday the establishment of a supercomputing research facility to support the University’s semiconductor research/development programs and workforce training initiatives.

The first phase of the facility, to be completed February 1999, will house a $875,000 high-performance IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer system. It will provide critically needed computing power for University researchers as they confront the challenges associated with the development of new generations of computer chips.

Funding was provided equally by an IBM Shared University Resources grant and University matching funds. "Our partnership with IBM continues to reap significant technical and economic benefits," said President Hitchcock.

"The microelectronics research at the University at Albany is gaining national and international recognition," said John E. Kelly, III, Ph.D., IBM’s Vice President for Server Development. "We look forward to expanding our joint initiatives."

The supercomputer will be located at the University’s Center for Advanced Thin Film Technology, which is headquartered at CESTM.


University Council for Spring

This semester, the University Council will meet on Jan. 28, March 11 and April 29 at 4 p.m. in Administration 253.

President Counsels Business

President Hitchcock was recently appointed to the board of directors of the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). She will be a new member of its Board and Loan Review Committee.

NYBDC, founded in 1955, is a privately owned and managed corporation that helps diverse small business enterprises expand in New York State. The Board of Directors has responsibilities for the duties of stockholder relations, financial plans, management, controls, employee relations, policies, objectives, and plans.

Visitors from Korea

On Saturday, Jan. 16, the School of Social Welfare welcomed 10 graduate social work students and a faculty member from Hallym University, South Korea. The students are here for 2 weeks, studying the social service delivery system in the U.S. Visits have been arranged with 16 community agencies so students will get to learn about service delivery first-hand.

Recreation Times for Faculty/Staff

Some of the prayers of University faculty and staff who would like to swim or work out early in the day have been answered. The Department of Athletics and Recreation has announced that beginning on Feb. 2 the University Pool will be open for early bird lap swimming from 7:30 – 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In addition, interested members of the University Community may purchase program memberships for the RACC Fitness Center Morning workout Club. Members will be able to use this facility from 7:30 - 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. The cost of this program is $25 per semester. Enrollment forms are available at the Fitness Center or by calling 442-PLAY to have one sent to you.

The department has also announced that a first-time instructional program in Golf will be introduced among the second semester recreation program offerings. The Golf program will be held on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. at the Golden Bear Indoor Golf Center in Latham. It will include a two-hour introductory class that will cover basic information about golf rules, etiquette, equipment, and area golf courses as well as four one-hour small group lessons with a PGA golf pro to help you get started on your swing mechanics and short game (putting). The cost of the program is $105. Interested persons should call 442-3067 for more information or to register.

Also, the department is still accepting registrations for the Yoga, Water Aerobics, Tennis, Aerobic Kickboxing, Learn to Swim and Life Guarding programs scheduled for the second semester. Information and registration materials may be obtained by calling 442-PLAY or visiting the Recreation homepage, newly re-located to: /recreation/rec9899.html

TransAfrica Director to Speak at Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon

Randall Robinson, founding president of TransAfrica Inc./TransAfrica Forum in Washington D.C., will be the keynote speaker at the University’s 20th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Black History Month Luncheon. The event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10, at noon in the Campus Center Ballroom. It is free and open to the public.

As founding president of TransAfrica Inc,/TransAfrica Forum, Robinson has led the struggle to maintain economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and staged massive daily protests for more than 400 days in front of the South African embassy during the apartheid era. He testifies regularly on Capitol Hill for foreign policy legislation that favorably impacts Africa and the Caribbean.

"Randall Robinson has the uncanny ability to shine the light of truth on America’s race relations at home and abroad," said Carl Martin assistant vice president for Student Life. "He does it in a way that enables everyone to see it, understand it and be moved to do something about it."

His recent book, a memoir, Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America, has received international acclaim for its revealing and devastating portrait of racism. At the same time, it is a call for activism aimed at redirecting future American policies. Actor Danny Glover said, "I cannot recall reading a more powerful rendering of the black world’s triumphs and despairs, hopes and dilemmas as seen through the lens of a single courageous man’s struggles." Robinson will sign copies of the book immediately after his talk.

The co-founder of the Free South Africa Movement, he received the Humanitarian Award in 1986 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1987 from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. He was also given the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1970.

Prior to his current role, Robinson worked on Capitol Hill as assistant to Congressmen Charles Diggs and William Clay. As a Ford Foundation Fellow, he lived in Africa for one year, conducting research on the Africanization of European law and its social impact on the population of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

TransAfrica is the American lobby for Africa and the Caribbean. It is dedicated to organizing popular opinion in the U.S. to advocate for policies and practices impacting U.S. foreign policy toward the nations of Africa and the Caribbean.

Brazil Expert to Give 19th Annual History Lecture

Professor Thomas E. Skidmore, the Carlos Manuel di Céspedes Professor of Modern Latin American History and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Brown University, will deliver the 19th annual Phi Alpha Theta Lecture on History, Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Assembly Hall.

Skidmore is the author of four books on the history of modern Brazil. Past president of the Latin American Studies association, he won its first Bryce Wood Award in 1988 for his book The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-85.

He has lectured frequently in the U.S., Latin America and Western Europe. The Brazilian edition (in Portuguese) of his Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964 (Oxford University Press, 1967) is in its 10th printing in Brazil. He visits Brazil yearly and is a regular commentator on television and radio there.

Sexuality Week

Actor Edward James Olmos, best known for his roles in Stand and Deliver, American Me, and television’s "Miami Vice," will be the speaker Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom during the University’s 16th Annual Sexuality Week. Encouraging Dialogues: Relationships and Culture" is the topic of the actor’s speech. Admission is free for those with a SUNY or other school ID, and $10 for the general public. Olmos will sign autographs at a reception after his speech.

Sexuality Week, now two weeks, Feb. 5-16, is being coordinated by the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program of the University Counseling Center. Its role is to educate students on a broad range of relationship and sexuality issues.

"During the 16 years that Sexuality Week has been in existence at the University at Albany, college students across the nation have been faced with critical issues and choices," said M. Dolores Cimini of the University Counseling Center and chair of the program. "Concerns related to gender issues, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity and reproductive health have remained at the forefront across time. These issues will be addressed throughout the week."

All of the Sexuality Week educational programs will be presented or supervised by individuals with expertise in the topic area, Cimini added.

Olmos, one of the most visible spokesmen for America’s Latino community, won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his portrayal of Lt. Castillo on the series "Miami Vice." In 1988 he received an Oscar nomination as Jaime Escalante, the eccentric but dedicated math teacher, in Stand and Deliver, which he also produced.

In addition to his work as an actor, Olmos is widely known for his humanitarian efforts. He is the U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and a national spokesman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He has received five honorary degrees and is executive director of the Lives In Hazard Educational Project, a national gang prevention program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.


Trustees Request Budget Increase for 1999-2000

The Board of Trustees on Dec. 15 proposed a five-year budget designed to bring the State University into the front ranks of American higher education. The Board recommended a $1.63 billion plan, requesting $44 million, a 2.8 percent increase, as a top priority for 1999-2000, which would fund collective bargaining agreements and inflationary increases.

The proposal acknowledged the State’s need for fiscal constraint and competing demands for limited resources. Given these constraints, said a SUNY spokesman, "if funding cannot be provided to support the entire budget recommendation, the board has urged special consideration be given to items that are needed to enable continuation of current programs and items that support both the core academic mission of the University and the state’s long-term economic development agenda."

In assessing the reaction among SUNY campuses to the new proposal, University Executive Vice President Carl Carlucci said, "Since this document was generated as an alternative to a failed budget request, there are very mixed feelings about it out there."

"On the other hand, a multi-year plan gives us at Albany an opportunity to develop our campus plans in the context of a larger SUNY agenda."

Components of the multi-year budget plan, in priority order, include: "performance-based funding;" investments for economic growth in research and technology; investments in technology; and Chancellor’s initiatives, such as Chancellor’s Scholarships for top graduating high school seniors, and an Eminent Scholars Program to attract the nation’s best faculty, and international students.

Fundraising Hit Record in 1998

SUNY raised a record $85 million through private fundraising in 1998, topping another record-breaking year in 1997.

The Albany campus was among the prime movers for the increase, said Paul Stec of the Office of Financial Management and Budget, increasing its private funding from $5.7 million in 1996-97 to $10.4 million in 1997-98 — an 81 percent rise.

Said Chancellor John Ryan, "we are on target to meet the fundraising goal we set in 1996 — to raise $100 million a year by the year 2000." Since 1995, private donations to campus-based foundations of SUNY grew by 26 percent, from $67.5 million in 1995 to $85 million last year. Twenty-one campuses raised $1 million or more each of the past two years.

Faculty Staff

Trilogy Gets Further Support

Lawrence Wittner of the Department of History recently received a grant from the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund of the Aspen Institute for Research on Vol. 3 of his award-winning trilogy, The Struggle Against the Bomb (Stanford University Press).

Fulbright Award to Miesing

Paul Miesing of the management faculty in the School of Business has become one of seven SUNY professors to receive prestigious Fulbright Awards to lecture, consult or conduct research abroad in 1998-99. Miesing has been developing business cases at China’s Fudan University in its MBA program.

The awards were announced in Washington on Dec. 18 by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the United States Information agency.

Mailroom Has Watchful Eyes

The University Police Department (UPD) recently presented its Outstanding Citizens Awards to Lianne Fenn, director of the Mailroom facility and to members of her staff, floor supervisors Miguel Santiago and Clarence White. Fenn, Santiago and White were instrumental in alerting UPD to possible criminal activity passing through the mailroom facility.

"Their cooperation and assistance was vital to the successful investigation and subsequent prosecution of cases, including credit card fraud that amounted to several thousand dollars," said Thomas Kilcullen, assistant chief of police, who presented the awards. Kilcullen expressed his gratitude to each recipient and stated that he was pleased with the interdepartmental cooperation that took place and hoped that it would continue in the future.

UPD developed the Outstanding Citizens Award in 1996 to acknowledge those individuals who help the agency to maintain a safe environment.

UPD Hires Three New Officers

Three new officers have joined the University Police Department (UPD).

Charles Schopf, who transferred to the University from SUNY College at Geneseo, is a 13-year veteran. While employed at Geneseo, he served on the bike patrol, and the "Adopt A Cop" program and was an advisor to the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. Schopf graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in business.

Wilfred "Rob" Robinson Jr., came to the University from the police department at SUNY College at New Paltz. A five-year veteran, he served as New Paltz’s liaison officer for the Educational Opportunities Program. In addition, he conducted a number of programs for the campus community, including personal safety and drug and alcohol awareness. He also coordinated all Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) programming and is a nationally certified RAD instructor. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, Robinson received his associate’s degree from Manhattan Community College and is currently working on his bachelor’s degree.

Charles Korherr came to Albany after working at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department for six years. He has been employed by a number of organizations, including the Rochester International Airport substation and the STAR Unit, which focuses on DWI and traffic-related offenses. Korherr earned an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Monroe Community College and a bachelor’s degree from the SUNY College at Brockport.

Psychologist Jaccard Named SUNY Distinguished Professor

By Mary Fiess

SUNY’s Board of Trustees has appointed James Jaccard, whose research addresses some of society’s most vexing problems among adolescents, a Distinguished Professor at the University at Albany. Jaccard serves in Albany’s Department of Psychology and is director of the Center for Applied Psychological Research.

"Professor Jaccard’s research has addressed reducing adolescent substance abuse, adolescent pregnancy and drunken driving among adolescents," said Chancellor John W. Ryan. "His work on population psychology, particularly among adolescents, has been instrumental in defining both practice and theory in the field. He is renowned for his work on attitudes and decision-making, quantitative methods and behavioral medicine and health."

Respected internationally as a methodologist and statistician, Jaccard is one of the leading authorities on structural equation modeling. He has advised the New York State Police in development of data bases for DNA testing and is currently a core member of the research team of the Adolescent Health Project, a national survey on adolescent health sponsored by the federal government.

The author of five books and more than 100 major articles, Jaccard has attracted over $4.5 million in support from major research organizations in the past ten years. His scholarly contributions have impacted the fields of psychology, family studies, health, business, sociology and political science. In the academic world, he is particularly known for his excruciating attention to measurement and, through his surveys of thousands of families, a careful analysis of the content and extent of communications between parents and teenagers in the areas of alcohol and sexual behavior.

"Many years ago when I first started looking at prevention approaches to teenage pregnancies, I did a thorough review of the literature on the topic," he said. "I found there were very few programs that were parent-based and the people who were doing research in the area were concluding that parents have little effect on adolescents.

"I did a critique of that research and found it methodologically and conceptually weak. I evolved some theoretical approaches to the communication process, and as I’ve applied them empirically, I’ve found that parents can make a difference in their adolescents’ lives."

Jaccard became a faculty member in the University’s Department of Psychology in 1982 He has served three major professional organizations as an academic fellow and has been the recipient of an award for psychological research from the University of California and an award for health education research from the Society of Public Health Educators.

Nominations for promotion to Distinguished Professorial ranks arise from the faculty and student body on the nominating campus. A SUNY administration advisory committee evaluates the nominees and makes recommendations to the Chancellor, who presents them to the Board of Trustees for approval. The prestigious designation constitutes a promotion above that of full professor.

By Tim Heinz

Rachel Cohon

A scholar with a strong background in bio-ethics has joined the University’s Department of Philosophy. Former Stanford University professor Rachel Cohon, a specialist in the theories of David Hume, is "a wonderful colleague and a terrific, dedicated teacher," said department chair Bonnie Steinbock. "She has already been contributing to the University and to the Square Circle, a new faculty and graduate student discussion group about ethics created by John Kekes of the philosophy department. Rachel is lively, interesting, and clear about what she teaches, and she is also open to new ideas. She is my kind of philosopher."

At Stanford, Cohon earned the Marilyn Yalom Research Fund award; a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend; a Stanford Humanities Center Internal Fellowship; and a Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Program in Genomics, Ethics, and Society Fellowship. She also received several awards in graduate education, including a Regents’ Fellowship and a Chancellor’s Dissertation Fellowship. Cohon was joint winner of the Carnap Prize Essay Competition for both 1984 and 1985, and was one of five recipients to share the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award in 1981.

Cohon received her B.A. in philosophy, summa cum laude, from Pomona College in 1975 and her Ph.D. in philosophy from UCLA in 1981. She continued her teaching career at the University of California, Irvine, as a visiting assistant professor. In 1988, she accepted an assistant professor position at Stanford University; she was also a visiting assistant professor for a semester at the University of Southern California.

Cohon has taught a variety of philosophy courses, such as introduction to moral philosophy, ethical theories, irrational action, and health care ethics; a number of graduate seminars; and a Ph.D. core seminar in moral and political philosophy. The philosophy of action; the philosophies of David Hume; and moral philosophy, including history of ethics, medical ethics, metaethics, and other applied ethics are among her specialties. Cohon’s other teaching interests include the areas of political philosophy, British empiricism, introduction to modern philosophy, and introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. Courses she will teach this spring include Introduction to Ethical Theory and a graduate seminar, Topics in Moral Philosophy.

Throughout her career, Cohon, a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Hume Society, has published extensively. Currently, she is editing an anthology, Hume: Moral and Political Philosophy; and writing a monograph, Feeling and Fabricating Virtue. She also has several other works in progress.

The lifelong resident of California, she finds both the work here and the upstate New York weather stimulating. Most people native to the Capital Region "learn how to clear the driveway and drive on ice at their mother’s knee. But my mother’s knee was in California!" Cohon added, however, that she loves the winter – although she acknowledged that she is finding it difficult to remember "the difference between sleet and freezing rain!"

Susan Blood

Albany’s Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has welcomed a specialist in 19th- and 20th-Century French poetry to the French Studies program faculty. Susan Blood, formerly a professor at Yale University, "is a great addition to the program," commented program director Jean-Francois Briere. She was selected for the position from a field of more than 100 candidates.

A highly regarded educator, Blood is a summa cum laude graduate of Reed College. After receiving her B.A. in French literature, she went on to Johns Hopkins University, receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees in French literature in 1982 and 1988, respectively. Her academic honors have included Morse, Mellon, Gilman, and Danforth fellowships.

Blood began teaching at Yale in 1986, attaining the rank of associate professor in 1994. She remained there until joining the Albany faculty.

At Yale, Blood taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. Her teaching and research interests include all levels of French language; literature survey of French intellectual history; 19th- and 20th-Century French literature and culture, particularly in the visual arts; contemporary critical theory; Francophone poetry of all centuries; and critical and historical modernism. She speaks French at near-native fluency and possesses reading knowledge of German.

Blood has lectured at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and at Vanderbilt University; she has also participated in conferences around the country. Her written works Include Baudelaire and the Aesthetics of Bad Faith, published in 1997 by Stanford University Press. She is now working on a book-length study of theater and class-consciousness in the French Romantic period.

Blood, said Briere, "is very open and nice, and the students seem to love her. She is fitting in at the school nicely. This semester, she will be teaching a course on modernism. Everyone is very enthusiastic about her addition to the University."

Faculty Opinion

The Dispute Over General Education: Some Talking Points

By James W. Wessman
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

General education is perhaps the most contested domain of contemporary universities, at least in relations between universities and outside groups most interested in contemporary higher education. On campus, however, general education is less disputed, which has created a sense of stasis. Although our general education program was launched in 1992 with specific language about future expansion into areas like foreign language and mathematics, no forward movement toward these or other goals has occurred. This inertia could be due to various factors:

• a sense that everything really is fine
• a lack of leadership, whether academic or administrative
• a limited faculty sense of equity in the general education program
• the departure of the key personnel who authored the current program

To comprehend the local situation, I spent much of the summer of 1998 reading about general education in general, perusing other universities’ web sites, and reflecting on our own program. This summary is derived from a report written about that work for Professor John Pipkin, Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Here I limit myself to some major points on my readings and reflections from that report, which hopefully will generate greater discussion of general education on campus. The materials on other schools’ gen ed programs stubbornly defy easy summarization. (For those interested, the original version also is available.)

As in most universities, our general education program requires students to take courses in a broad range of areas. What makes our program unique is that it is committed to four principles which cut across these areas. The following is a list of those principles, in my words:

1. Students should get a general introduction without necessarily intending to do advanced work in this field.

2. Students should reflect about the character of disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) knowledge.

3. Students should learn actively rather than passively.

4. Students should show sensitivity to multiple perspectives, within the university and without.

It is important to understand how this program reflects a postmodern pedagogical perspective. By postmodernism, I refer to a curriculum in which faculty encourage students to find their own voices, rather than mimicking those of their professors. The second component of our general education program, "disciplinary reflectiveness," reflects the notion that knowledge is organized in disciplines which are equally valid. Disciplines exist not only because they direct inquiry, but because knowledge is discontinuous across the landscape. This is an extreme statement of relativism which acknowledges the historical origins and evolution of disciplines, but which goes a significant step further and makes them all equal. There are scientific truths, literary truths, ethnographic truths, and so on, with no absolute to posit that some truths are more fundamental or "more true" than others.

One of the external pressures on general education comes from groups like the National Association of Scholars and similar groups in New York State. Their concern with the content of general education could in part be addressed by taking the position that disciplinary reflectiveness is a more appropriate way of talking about content.

The notion of "active learning," the third principle of our general education program, occasions similar problems. Active learning is neither Aristotelian nor Socratic: students as novices do not listen passively to teachers as experts, nor do they engage in verbal play, trying to guess the teacher’s correct answer. Students are expected to assume greater responsibility and fully participate in their courses, to help shape them with their own experiences and insights.

Active learning is a critically important feature of the postmodernist agenda because it tips the balance of power in academia. Faculty become less experts qua lecturers and more coaches or tutors. Obviously, some faculty think of this as capitulation. The implied notion that students help set priorities and beyond this that their own lives constitute raw material for the academic mill is difficult for many to accept.

The fourth principle, that of multiple perspectives, refers to expected standards of tolerance, relativity and respect and is not coterminous with "political correctness," an unfortunate ruse for attempts to reestablish a single interpretation of the subjects studied in university curricula.

In my reading, I was most impressed with authors who made the following points:

1. We can summarize what general education is about in terms of three questions: What do we know? How do we know? And what do we do about it? If we take these three questions as a guide, the "what" question refers to content, disciplinary boundaries, etc.; "how" refers to methods and questions of evidence, including active learning and multiple perspectives; and "do" points us to issues of praxis that are not easily addressed in our academic culture. More general issues, like theory, cut across all three questions. These questions state in a comprehensible way what we already do in general education. "Disciplinary reflectiveness" is not a concept designed to persuade students or suspicious faculty (or others) about the merits of our program. If we cannot state it better, we are bound to continue to have problems of a public relations variety.

2. Although general education has a history dating back to the 1920s, it never was practiced the same way in different institutions or at the same institution in different points in time. There was, however, a formative era, following World War II, when general education took on some of the features most commonly associated with it, stemming more from the experience of the Great Depression and World War II than from developments internal to academia.

One of the innovations of the late 1940s and early 1950s was that, like primary and secondary schools in earlier centuries and decades, the university took on the goal of promoting citizenship, which in typically American fashion had to be utilitarian.

Not that the new incarnation of Gen Ed did not provoke ambivalence. The faculties involved in the post-war evolution of general education were opposed to premature and over-specialization, not with the disintegration of American society. They struggled with the need for students to remain general as long as possible and to resist the temptation to sacrifice their growth in general competencies in favor of the slippery slope toward specialization in a major.

3. An issue I have not heard addressed on our campus is the distinction between liberal education and general education. Although general education was initially proposed in as a replacement for liberal education early in the 1920s, since that date the distinction has become increasingly blurred, so that at times general education is asked to do what liberal education once attempted to do. Perhaps there is a way to make this point in responding to those pressures, primarily external, that would make content the key to general education.

The following table contrasts liberal education and general education, for heuristic purposes:

Liberal Education General Education
grounded in instrumentalism’s objectivist assumption grounded in instrumentalism’s subjectivist assumption
esstentialism: essence over existence existentialism: existence over essence
Cartesian dualism: education for its own sake Dewey’s pragmatism: education for personal and social action
fixed body of great truths and principles, discovered by great thinkers knowledge is incomplete, tentative and hypothetical; all people are involved
knowledge is content knowledge is instrument
transmits established ideas overcomes preconceived ideas
learning is assimilation learning is active
disciplinary interdisciplinary
disciplines the mind empowers the individual
education reform is refinement of common core educational reform is readjustment of outcomes

4. Not everyone agrees with the notion that overspecialization is the problem and general education is the solution. William Green, in a 1990 issue of Liberal Education, points out that models of general education "fail to show... how the discrete pieces of general education connect with one another... to give comprehensive coherence and integration to an entire college education." Therefore, "General education is unable to do the job these reports assign to it..."

Green also has some observations that pertain to our criterion of "disciplinary reflectiveness," which encourages faculty to examine the discourse of their fields. "Although all fields have a discourse, it does not follow that all they have is a discourse..." Green takes on the argument that general education can avoid these kinds of problems by being interdisciplinary. His closing point is that the issue is not specialization but narrowness: "intellectual selfishness... makes us poor translators of what we know." This problem can be overcome, Green says, by faculty learning two languages: that of their fields and that of their students.

5. Is there another model for coherence and integration? Richard Weeks, in a 1996 issue of Liberal Education, suggests we look at the academic major, which obviously is greatly attractive to students and parents alike. Majors, he points out, are cumulative and relevant. Can we make the same claims for general education?

Although I cannot relate what I learned from looking at the web sites of other SUNY centers and other universities, I should point out how many different styles and shapes of general education exist across the country. Any faculty member could profit from a similar exercise.

I would like to close with the observation that we need a much more vigorous and widespread discussion of general education on campus, aimed at coming to a consensus about what we want and how our program could be improved. In particular, I am concerned about overcoming the inertia or stasis of a program that has been allowed to remain unchanged for most of this decade. Below are some of the components of general education at universities to which we compare ourselves:

• freshman writing
• foreign language
• mathematics
• information literacy
• something of current relevance, such as technology (or the environment or computers or values) and contemporary life

Another entirely different question would be general education requirements at the upper-division level, which attempt to do one or more of two things: (1) make students take additional "broadening" courses outside their majors and minors, but at the 300- and 400-levels; and (2) continue the cross-fertilizing benefits of general education at a higher level, such as through university-wide capstone courses, perhaps with annual themes. Without the latter, I don’t see how we can pretend that our Gen Ed Program has coherence.


Inerconnect Research Center Will Focus on Ever-Faster Computers

A Focus Research Center (FRC) in interconnect technology will bring in over $45 million during its first three years to a coalition of New York universities that includes the University at Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Cornell and the University at Stony Brook also are participating.

The coalition, whose contracts will be administered by Georgia Institute of Technology, will tackle the most challenging of the technological issues that must be solved to create ever-faster computers. A second consortium, headed by the University of California at Berkeley, will undertake projects on chip "design and test" issues. The two consortia are the first of six the semiconductor industry hopes to form and fund with $10 million a year each. The SIA announced details last Dec. 9 in San Francisco.

"We are very excited about the research, educational, and economic opportunities that the Focus Center-New York provides to our faculty, students, industrial partners, and New York State," said President Hitchcock. "By combining pre-competitive and competitive research and development activities, the Focus Center-New York will be uniquely positioned to advance the state’s technological and economic stature in the high tech world of computer chips. We are grateful for the proactive leadership, bold vision, and continued commitments by Governor Pataki, Majority Leader Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that made this center possible."

The President said she looked forward to working with Rensselaer "to make this initiative a resounding success."

The national Focus Center in Interconnects, which was announced in August, will conduct research on interconnects, the complex signal-carrying conduits in the computer chip that are universally recognized as the technology driver for increased chip speed and performance. The Focus Center-New York (FC-NY) will participate as a partner in the national FRC, which will include Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University in addition to Georgia Tech.

According to financial details announced in December, the FC-NY will receive over $5.85 million over the next three years from the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corp., a subsidiary of the Semiconductor Research Corp., which administers the FRC program, with funding approved through 2001. Over the same period, the FC-NY will also receive $15 million in matching funds from New York State, as well as an additional $24 million in cash and infrastructure support from private industry.

FC-NY will be headquartered at the University’s Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management at Albany, and Alain Kaloyeros, director of the New York State Center for Advanced Thin Film Technology, will be the director. Timothy S. Cale, professor of chemical engineering at Rensselaer, will direct the Rensselaer portion of FC-NY.

Kaloyeros will also be part of the FRC’s five-member Leadership Council, along with representatives from Georgia Tech, MIT, RPI and Stanford.

Irish Semester Offers Wealth of Culture and Art

By Carol Olechowski

’Tis said that, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. Thanks to a semester-long program at Albany, everyone at the University will have an opportunity to be Irish from February to May.

Under the auspices of the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), Albany’s Irish Semester will feature three months of readings, master classes, concerts, films, drama, dance, and lectures to be enjoyed by those who are Irish – and by those who just wish they were. The program begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall with an opening address by Ireland’s foremost cultural critic, Fintan O’Toole, who is also a columnist for the Irish Times and a New York Daily News theatre critic.

Other Irish Semester offerings will include:

• Authors Theatre presentations by Tony award-winning actress Anna Manahan (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) and Merlin Holland, who will speak about his grandfather, Oscar Wilde. Holland’s and Manahan’s presentations are co-sponsored by CAH and the New York State Writers Institute.

• Writers Institute-sponsored showings of the films The Importance of Being Earnest; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Odd Man Out; The Informer; and Curious Journey, a film history of Irish freedom fighters. Timothy O’Grady, who co-authored the Curious Journey screenplay, will be on hand for the viewing and a subsequent discussion of the movie.

• master classes in photography with eminent photographer Steve Pyke and in music with Irish instrumental duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill. Hayes and Cahill will also present a concert.

• a talk by author Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes), co-sponsored by Associated Writing Programs and the Writers Institute.

• a performance of That Place, Those People by the Irish Modern Dance Theatre, in its American début.

An Evening of Samuel Beckett: One-Act Plays and J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, both presented by the University’s theatre department.

My Gentle Harp: Choral Folksongs of Ireland, a concert by the University Chamber Singers.

• the symposium Women at Home and Across the Sea, presented by Mary Linnane, Margaret Lynch-Breannan, and Bonita Weddle of Albany’s history department.

• an Irish-American roundtable discussion moderated by the English department’s Anne Sullivan, with Assemblyman Jack McEneny as special guest.

• exhibitions of recent prints by the chair of the University’s printmaking program, Thom O’Connor; Images of Ireland from photographer Steve Pyke’s I Could Read the Sky; and illustrations of John Montague’s Love Poems by art department professor emeritus Richard Callner.

Several Irish Semester classes are being offered, as well. They include British Novel II: Focus on Irish Authors, James Joyce, Irish Literature and Culture, and Senior Seminar on the Irish Literary Renaissance, all within the Department of English; and the Department of Theatre’s Seminar in Irish Theatre and Drama and Readers Theatre.

While most of the Irish Semester events are free, nominal fees are charged for others. For information about venues, hours, and prices, or for reservations, please call 442-4207. Information about the various events is also accessible from the Irish Semester website:

According to CAH director and Writers Institute associate director Donald W. Faulkner, the Irish Semester promises to be "a really lively and dynamic series. We settled on the theme because of an interest in making more connections with the greater Capital Region, which is significantly Irish in demography. Beyond that, the more we got into Irish culture and arts, the more we found how influential they are – how versatile and inspiring for many other cultures. We wanted to bring to the table something that would encourage people from other cultural perspectives to find common ground."

Kelli Wondra, CAH assistant director, who serves as Irish Semester coordinator, adds that the program "would not be possible without joint sponsorship from the College of Arts and Sciences and the President’s and Vice Presidents’ offices. The generous support of the New York State Writers Institute; the University Art Museum; the Performing Arts Center; and the English, history, Judaic studies, music, and theatre departments have given the semester a rich variety of events. These lectures, performances, classes, and resources represent significant contributions to the Center for Arts and Humanities’ programming efforts."

Business School Alum Volunteers Expertise and New Lecture Series to University

By Linda Wheeler

The School of Business has added a new person to its professional ranks: Executive in Residence. Robert Gebo, BS ’67, a former vice president with AT&T, began in September providing support and consultation to faculty and students at the School.

"Bob is here on a volunteer basis," said Dean Donald D. Bourque. "He was looking for a project that would use the knowledge, expertise and business contacts he’s developed over the years to the benefit of the School, and this seemed to fit nicely."

Bourque and faculty member Richard Hughs worked out the agreement for Gebo to spend two or three days a week at the School, taking on projects that would enrich the experience of both students and faculty, but that didn’t already fall into anyone’s domain. His objectives include developing a visiting executive lecture series, analyzing student satisfaction questionnaires and making recommendations based on his findings, assisting in obtaining internships and job interviews for students, helping students with resume preparation, assisting faculty by developing and delivering presentations, and helping to teach the first-year MBA "Global Business" course.

In his first semester at the School, Gebo arranged for John Finnigan, AT&T international alliances vice president, to speak at an evening MBA Strategic Management class, and organized the first of the 1998-99 Milton C. Olson Memorial Lecture Series presentations. On Dec. 2, William Gauld, vice president and chief information officer for Textron Inc., addressed nearly 100 students, faculty and guests on the topic "Operational Challenges and Ethical Practices Facing a Multinational Corporation." This was the first in a four-lecture series focusing on business ethics. The talk was co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association and was underwritten by a fund set up by former Dean Milton C. Olson and continued in his memory by his family.

Gebo, who earned his B.S. in business at Albany, went to work for AT&T almost immediately after graduation. His career of more than 30 years included assignments in field operations, operations management, human resources, sales, systems support and global services, just to name a few. He was on the core team that negotiated the creation of a multibillion-dollar joint venture with British Telecom and headed the team that negotiated the first contract for information movement and management services – a half-billion-dollar deal. During the last four years, he was Global Services vice president for the northeastern U.S., supporting global customers whose headquarters are in the Northeast.

Gebo, whose wife, Patricia, received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Albany, says the two reevaluated their goals when they decided to retire. "Among our major goals," he says, "were to smile more, to be retired for as many years as we worked, and to give something back to the community. This project is an exciting beginning for me on the road to achieving those goals."

A December 2 lecture brought together Dean Donald Bourque; Jason Weinberger, president of the business school's Graduate Student Association; guest speaker William Gauld, VP and CIO of Textron Inc.; faculty member Richard Hughs; and alumnus and Executive Lecture Series creator Robert Gebo.


Allen E. Liska, 58

Allen E. Liska, 58, a professor in the Department of Sociology who was internationally known for his work in social psychology and criminology, died on Dec. 17 at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Liska was widely published in his field and had been on the faculty since 1977. He wrote the textbook Perspectives on Deviance, a classic in universities around the world. Liska was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1982 and chaired the department from 1985 to 1988. He was a visiting professor in 1983 at the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia and in 1988 at Nankai University in the People’s Republic of China.

Liska had only recently received the honorary title of Fellow from the American Society of Criminology for his scholarly contributions to the field. He served on the board of the Society and on its various major committees.

"Al Liska has had a distinguished career, crowned by his recognition as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology," said Glenna Spitze, chair of the Department of Sociology. "He has been a leader and valued colleague in our department for more than two decades. He will be deeply missed."

Liska is credited with playing an important role in student growth. "Al directed more Ph.D. students in our department than any other faculty member," said Stewart Tolnay, another colleague of Liska’s in the sociology department.

Professor Steven Messner, who worked with Liska for 16 years, recently told the Times Union: "This is a big loss for the University because Al was a leader in his field and was an important leader in the department as well." Liska consistently published in the top journals of sociology, including regular contributions to the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review.

Liska is survived by his wife, Jeanette, two daughters, a brother and three grandchildren. A memorial service was held in December at the Alumni House on the University campus.

Catharine Newbold, 87

Catharine Newbold, a history professor at the University for more than 30 years, died on Dec. 20 at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. She was 87.

Born in Iowa, Newbold began her career in 1936 as a public school teacher in her native state after receiving a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa. She earned her master’s degree in social studies from Cornell University in 1942, and taught at Ohio’s Miami University from 1942 to 1946. In 1946, Newbold joined the University at Albany faculty as instructor/assistant professor; she held that post until 1959, when she attained the rank of associate professor. She was a Fulbright Scholar at The Hague in the Netherlands during the 1955-56 academic year.

After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1962, Newbold was named a professor at Albany. She taught U.S. history until her retirement in 1978; History of the American South was one of her most popular courses. She had a special interest in 19th century studies.

After retiring to Palm Springs, Newbold traveled extensively and cultivated her interest in books and art through work with that community’s Desert Museum and Friends of the Library.

Paul Saimond, 65

Longtime University administrator Paul A. Saimond died on Dec. 13 at Albany Memorial Hospital. He was 65.

Saimond earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the New York State College for Teachers. He taught at high schools in Long Island, Rensselaer, and Schenectady prior to accepting a 1962 appointment at the University as assistant professor and supervisor of student teaching.

By the time of his retirement in 1996, Saimond had served in a number of other administrative capacities, including assistant dean of graduate studies, associate dean of graduate studies, assistant vice president for research and graduate studies, and assistant vice president for academic affairs. He was also a mentor to numerous Albany students and staff. Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs William Hedberg, who worked with Saimond from 1974 to 1996, praised Saimond for his aptitude at "recruiting young talent to the University staff and mentoring them," which demonstrated "his interest in education and in making young people successful."

Saimond was well known as a community leader in Watervliet, where he spent his childhood. A member of the Watervliet Civic Center board, he also served on the municipality’s school board and helped to found the local library. In addition, he was active with the Boy Scouts of America, the Albany County Social Studies Council, and the Upper Hudson Valley Library Federation, and served as an usher and parish council member at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Watervliet.

A sister, Margaret Mundy of Maine; and nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles survive Saimond.


University Awarded Kresge Challenge Grant for Library

The University received an early Christmas present on Dec. 22: a $500,000 Kresge Foundation challenge grant for completion of the new library.

In awarding the grant, The Kresge Foundation has assumed a key role in the University’s efforts to raise a total of $3.5 million in private funds to furnish and equip the facility and rehabilitate the existing University Library, built in 1962. New York State has already provided $26.6 million for construction of the new library, the first new academic building on the Uptown Campus in 30 years. The facility is slated to open in July.

By Jan. 5, the University had raised more than $1.6 million for furnishings and equipment. The additional $1.365 million necessary to complete funding of the project must be raised by Jan. 1, 2000; the grant is conditional upon that outcome.

President Hitchcock, in announcing the award, noted: "We are grateful for this vote of confidence by the trustees of The Kresge Foundation in support of a facility that will be a resource not just for the students and faculty of the University, but for the region and the state. A great university needs a great library to support the scholarship and research of its students, faculty and the community, and the Kresge grant moves us closer toward realization of that goal. I also want to extend my deep thanks to all our alumni, faculty, staff, friends and supporters whose generosity was so important in obtaining this challenge grant."

Based in Troy, Mich., The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation which supports capital projects in higher education and a number of other fields.

The new library is a technologically advanced and flexible facility in which University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members will be able to pursue research, instructional and training activities with ease. Three floors of the five-story facility will provide space for the nearly 600,000 volumes in the University’s science, mathematics and technology collections. The new library will also house laboratory facilities for computing and digital imaging, information retrieval and instructional technology, electronic multimedia classrooms and seminar rooms; the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives; and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Aside from providing space for teaching and learning and for state-of-the-art technologies, the facility will relieve pressure on the existing University Library. Since 1967, student enrollment has increased from 9,000 to 16,000. At the same time, the University Libraries, which rank among the top 100 largest research libraries in the U.S., have expanded to nearly 2 million volumes.

Sports Talk

2nd Annual Big Purple Growl Basketball Game & Ferocious FeastSet for Saturday, February 6

Join the entire University as the RACC is filled with purple-clad fans for the second annual Big Purple Growl Basketball Game and Ferocious Feast on Saturday, February 6. Packed with a variety of activities, this event offers something for everyone and kids of all ages. The Big Purple Growl Basketball game combines the spirit of Homecoming with the atmosphere of a winter carnival and is designed to foster University pride, spirit and tradition.

The fun begins with the Ferocious Feast from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the University Gym. The Feast will feature a bountiful buffet, a live DJ, door prizes and the Family Fun Zone, which will include a bouncy bounce, face painting, hoop shooting and football throws and hands-on craft tables. At 5:30 p.m. Albany’s Women’s Basketball team takes on Sacred Heart and the RACC Lobby activities get underway. The Men’s Game vs. Sacred Heart begins at 7:30 p.m., and half-time will feature a special ceremony honoring the athletes of the 1998 Championship teams – Football and Men’s and Women’s Cross Country. The award winning Amsterdam High School marching band also will be on hand to add to the festive spirit!

 Admission to the games is free for faculty and staff with SUNY Card. The cost of the Ferocious Feast is just $12 for adults, $6 for children 7 - 12 and free for kids 6 & under. Additional activities in the RACC Lobby will include a Velcro Wall, Great Dane Tattoos and purple face painting, Mr. Twisty the Balloon Wizard, and tons of free giveaways, hoop shooting and prizes.

Wear your purple and bring your family and friends out to the Growl – it’s sure to be one of the most exciting events of the year! For more information or to purchase tickets to the Ferocious Feast, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 442-3080. We look forward to seeing you there!

Men Ascend Conference Ladder

Albany has a six-game winning streak following last Saturday’s 76-64 New England Collegiate Conference victory over Southern Connecticut State. The Great Danes are currently 10-8 overall, and third in the conference standings with a 6-4 mark.

"This win helps us move up the conference ladder," said junior guard Todd Cetnar, who had 15 of his 22 points in the second half against Southern Conn. "They were ranked ahead of us in the preseason poll, and to beat them twice this year helps build our young team’s confidence."

Notes: Todd Cetnar has a 15-game, double-figure scoring streak, and is averaging 16.4 points during that stretch . . . freshman Dave Schloss is already among the top 10 single-season leaders with 45 blocked shots . . . guard Bob Markel has moved to fifth on the school’s career steals list with 128 . . .

Women Win Key Classic

The Great Danes have won eight of their last 11 contests to erase a 1-5 start to the season. Albany stands at 9-8 overall, and is tied for fifth in the New England Collegiate Conference with a 6-4 record.

During the holiday break, Albany won the Capital Key Classic with victories over two top-20 teams. The Danes upended then No.2-ranked St. Rose, 84-72, in the championship behind MVP Liz Tucker’s 24 points. "This is certainly the biggest win I’ve experienced in my life," said Tucker, whose teammate Megan Buchanan led all scorers with 26.

Notes: Senior guard Kelly Paolino has moved to seventh on the school’s career scoring list with 850 points, and is sixth in assists and fourth in steals . . . Megan Buchanan’s 33 points vs. Bridgeport on Jan. 18 tied the second-best single-game total in UA annals, and was three off Cindy’s Werner’s school mark . . .

Diaz in Double Track Win

Xiomara Davila Diaz won two events as the men’s and women’s indoor track teams competed in a quadrangular with Colgate, Buffalo and Vermont on Jan. 23 in Hamilton. Davila Diaz captured the women’s 55-meter hurdles in 8.21 seconds, and was first in the 500 (1:16.89). Other winners were Janna Johnston (high jump), Ben Wright (1,000) and John Morris (high jump). The women’s 4x400 relay also finished ahead of the field in 4:01.53.