SUNY New Paltz celebrates Commencement

Suny New Paltz web portraits.The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold the May 2014 Undergraduate Commencement  Ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, on the Old Main Quadrangle on the New Paltz campus. The Graduate Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in the Athletic and Wellness Center.

This year, there are 1,967 undergraduate and 517 graduate degrees being conferred. There will be more than 1,200 undergraduates and more than 200 graduate candidates participating in the ceremonies who will celebrate their achievements in the presence of their family and friends. The ceremonies will recognize two cohorts of students: August and December 2013 and May and August 2014 candidates. New Paltz President Donald P. Christian will preside over the ceremonies. All members of the campus community are invited and encouraged to attend.

New Paltz alumnus Paul C. Huth ’72 ’79g, director of research emeritus/associate curator, Daniel Smiley Research Center, Mohonk Preserve, will be this year’s Undergraduate Commencement speaker. He will also receive an honorary doctorate of science at the ceremony. This is the highest honor that the State University of New York (SUNY) can bestow upon an individual and is authorized by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Huth has been a part of the Mohonk Preserve ecosystem research program for 40 years. He served first as an assistant to founder Dan Smiley, and then as director of the program for 22 years. In 2011, Huth moved into the role of director of research emeritus/assistant curator at the Smiley Center.

As director, he managed a diverse research program consisting of the Smiley Center collections and archives (totaling some 60,000 items). He also oversaw an eight-decade-long ecosystem monitoring and database program, through which the Center made some 12,000 species observations each year. Huth also oversaw a Research Associate Program, which accommodated 58 researchers from 30 academic institutions around the country and a center for the dissemination of information to hundreds of academics, authors, students, reporters, historians, and area residents.

Huth is known both locally and nationally for his dedication and determination in observing and recording weather, water, fauna, and flora of the Mohonk Preserve. His daily measurements of the lake water, temperature, quality, precipitation, and ice coverage have created a record of weather unmatched by other programs. He has published more than 100 articles in local and national professional scientific journals. He appears in the Marquis “Who’s Who in Science & Engineering.” In 2013, he received the Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award from Mohonk Consultations for “leading stewardship, conservation and collaborative research for the Shawangunk Mountains and beyond.” Also in 2013, Huth received the John Campanius Holm Award from the National Weather Service for “remarkably accurate daily weather records that span 32 years [that] are a valuable resource to the Nation’s climate program.”

Arielle Rubinstein (Robbinsville, N.J.) was selected as this year’s valedictorian. Rubinstein, who achieved an overall grade point average of 4.0 during her four years at the college, will receive a BA degree in communications disorders and linguistics. She will deliver a short speech to her fellow graduates during the ceremony.

Kaitlin Camporese (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) is the salutatorian. Camporese, who also has a 4.0 GPA, will receive her BS degree in accounting.

SUNY New Paltz’s Commencement ceremonies will be webcast over the Internet. To access the webcasts visit http://totalwebcasting.com/live/newpaltz.

2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence
This year, five SUNY New Paltz students were honored by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher with the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Created in 1997, the Award recognizes students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement. This year’s recipients include: Chelsea Allocco ’14 (Computer Science, Mathematics) of Chatham N.J.; Stephen Lawrence ’14 (Communication Studies) of Bayport, N.Y.; Brendan Wright ’14 (Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies) of Patchogue, N.Y.; Loucia Papaseraphim ’14 (Early Childhood Education) of Astoria, N.Y.; and Deborah Walnicki ’14 (Sociology) of Glenmont, N.Y.