Convocation ceremony marks beginning of academic year

NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold its 20th annual convocation at noon on Friday, Aug. 25, in the Julien J. Studley Theatre, located in the Old Main Building.

Convocation is a formal welcoming ceremony for incoming first-year students and transfer students, with a focus on the academic experience at the university. At the ceremony, new students are introduced to the intellectual expectations and values that support the SUNY New Paltz community of scholars.

Pauline Uchmanowicz, associate professor of English, Convocation speaker
Office of Public Affairs, August 2006

This year’s convocation will begin with the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Lourdesa Hults, a music major at New Paltz. President Steven G. Poskanzer will make opening remarks and Associate Provost Laurel Garrick Duhaney will give the introduction. John VanderLippe, presiding officer of the faculty, will officially welcome the new students. Members of the SUNY New Paltz faculty will also attend.

Gerald Benjamin, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will introduce the Convocation speaker, Pauline Uchmanowicz, associate professor of English. Her address is titled “Lessons from ‘Schoolsville,’ or How to Graduate in Four Years.”

In 2004, Uchmanowicz received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes professors who perform superbly in the classroom and who garner the respect of their colleagues, students and campus president.

Uchmanowicz, who is also the director of Writing Across the Curriculum and chair of the University Writing Board, has previously received the University Graduate Fellowship from the University of Rhode Island in 1992 and a University Research Grant Program Award from Wayne State University in 1996. In addition, she received a SUNY New Paltz Athletes Faculty Appreciation Award in 2002.

Uchmanowicz’s scholarly publications include articles in “College English,” “Writing Program Administration” and “Writing on the Edge.” Her poetry and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, New American Writing, Z Magazine and elsewhere. She is a regular feature writer for local magazines such as the Chronogram, Upstate House and Catskill Region Guide. In addition, she is a food columnist for the Woodstock Times.

Note to editors: A photograph of Convocation speaker, Pauline Uchmanowicz, may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at