SUNY Awards New Paltz for Advancement Excellence

NEW PALTZ — The SUNY New Paltz Division of Advancement was recently recognized for its excellence in bringing the university to meet the public through its extraordinary web site, alumni programs and motivated staff.

The three awards were presented during the annual State University of New York Council of University Affairs and Development (SUNY/CUAD) Conference, held June 7 – 9 in Saratoga Springs.

For the second consecutive year, the SUNY New Paltz web site was awarded the SUNY/CUAD Award for Excellence in the web site competition category.

Judge this year of the SUNY sites, Chris Lyons, director of Internet marketing at the Rochester-based e-commerce company NetSetGo, chose New Paltz’s for its “good understanding of the concept of a web site as an experience; clean, consistent design; strong brand presence; and interesting and relevant content.”

Rachel Reuben, web coordinator and member of New Paltz’s Office of Public Affairs, said the “clean, consistent design” is something to which the Web Team devotes much focus. “We are concerned with maintaining a very high image and identity program for the university through all its publications, both electronic and print,” she said.

In addition to Reuben, the Web Team includes Mary Kastner, Jan Harrison and Laura Kniffen of the Publications Office; Lucy Walker of the Office of Computer Services; and the web coordinator’s student assistant Ugyen Namgyel, who has worked in the web office for more than a year.

“These awards represent great strides for SUNY New Paltz,” said Paul Clifford, director of the Office of Alumni Affairs, whose alumni program was deemed the best of those submitted for this category by alumni offices of SUNY’s 64 campuses. The judges commended New Paltz for building a strong foundation for an alumni program in one short year.

“It’s nice when good, hard work is recognized by your peers in the profession,” said Clifford.

In 1999, SUNY New Paltz recognized the need for funds to support alumni programming, and the Office of Alumni Affairs began selling ads in its alumni magazine. New Paltz since launched six new alumni chapters, two new alumni clubs, new alumni traditions and an Alumni Career Assistance Program. The alumni staff has also begun to renegotiate affinity partnerships, and developed a new online mall which has resulted in a 600 percent increase in the office’s programming budget.

“We are now on the road to serving our 45,000 alumni the way they deserve to be served,” Clifford concluded.

Laura Kniffen, production artist in the Publications Office, was awarded the Harry and Barb Charlton Newcomer Scholarship Award. This award provides development opportunities for new advancement professionals employed at SUNY institutions, and offers on-site conference expenses scholarships for up to five SUNY/CUAD newcomers. Kniffen was among only three selected this year.

Following the conference, Harry Charlton expressed his regard to Kniffen, stating, “Meeting you in person convinced me that we were right on target when we selected you as a 2000 Charlton Scholar. Your enthusiasm, coupled with your great credentials was the ‘proof of the pudding’…With people like you coming aboard, SUNY and New Paltz will be well-served in the years ahead.” Kniffen has been with the Publications Office since November 1998.

For an abundance of information about SUNY New Paltz, visit its award-winning web site at