Seven New Paltz employees recognized with SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

NEW PALTZ – Seven members of the State University of New York at New Paltz’s academic, professional, and classified staff have been honored with the 2013 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Each of the recipients will be recognized at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19, on the Old Main Quadrangle on the New Paltz campus.

  • Jeff Baker, the senior press operator for Printing Services in Office of Communication and Marketing, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service;
  • Richard Bodenschatz, the associate dean of Undergraduate Admission, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Hon Ho, a professor in the Department of Biology will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities;
  • Stacie Nunes, an assistant professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service;
  • Bruce Sillner, the dean of International Programs, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Stella Turk, an instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders and the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Jack Wade, a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Jeff Baker
Baker’s career at New Paltz began in 2007 as a senior offset printing machine operator in the print shop. He has displayed a remarkable commitment to his work, which includes exemplary customer service to the campus community year after year. Baker was instrumental in getting the print shop back in business after Superstorm Irene, which flooded the shop. He has been described by his supervisors as efficient, helpful, courteous, timely, neat, precise, budget conscious, and genuinely collegial.

“Jeff is known to take the time to give everyone his full attention, especially students,” stated New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “His commitment to excellence and dedication to the campus community in his role is quite impressive to all who know him.”

Richard Bodenschatz
Over the course of more than 30 years, Bodenschatz has worked in virtually every area of student recruitment and admission. Currently, he oversees development and implementation of all enrollment-related print and web materials and is a key partner in the production of an award-winning recruitment package that coordinates print, video, and web. Bodenschatz has served on campus and faculty-governance committees and on SUNY System Administration committees. He is an active member of SUNY College Admissions Professionals (SUNYCAP) and has served that professional organization as president and committee chair. In turn, SUNYCAP has recognized him with an Admissions Profession Award and a Distinguished Service Award.

In his nomination letter, President Donald P. Christian stated, “The fact that New Paltz has become a well-respected and highly selective public college is, in part, a testament to Rich Bodenschatz’s leadership, vision, creativity, and dedication – qualities he has shared with colleagues and students not only at his home campus but throughout the SUNY system.”

Hon Ho
Ho’s academic career at New Paltz has spanned 44 years. He has served as teacher, mentor, and department chair, consistently teaching a full-time course load and developing and introducing courses. An international expert in the biology and taxonomy of Phytophthora, Ho has also developed and maintained an extraordinary research career. His research and his integration of it into teaching has been supported by SUNY Research Foundation Faculty Research Summer Fellowships, SUNY Research Foundation Grant-in-aids, SUNY New Paltz Grants for Research and Creative Projects Program, and other SUNY and external grant awards. In addition to publication of numerous papers, abstracts, and short notes, Ho has given numerous presentations at national and international meetings, universities, and research institutes.

“Dr. Ho’s extraordinary research career has spanned 46 years and includes 91 highly-cited and substantial papers and other publications,” said President Christian. “Ho’s research career has led him to become an internationally recognized expert. He has contributed not only to his field, but to the reputation of SUNY.”

Stacie Nunes
Nunes has established a distinguished record of service throughout her three decades at SUNY New Paltz, most notably through her outstanding leadership of the CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry) and AMP (Alliance for Minority Participation) Programs. She has created a campus environment of support for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who are pursuing degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). At the same time, she has made a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the research infrastructure at New Paltz, attracting significant grants to support these programs. Her work has extended beyond the campus through her involvement in statewide alliances to develop opportunities for underrepresented STEM students and as a voice to improve the teaching of physical sciences and mathematics. Nunes has served the university in several key administrative roles, including associate dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences, acting director of Engineering Programs, Physics Department chair, search committee chair, and as a member of the university-wide Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Commenting on Nunes’s many achievements, President Christian stated, “Nunes has an exemplary record of service to SUNY New Paltz, to her discipline, and to the hundreds of students she has taught and mentored during her career here.”

Bruce Sillner
Sillner began his career at New Paltz in 1986 as the Director of the Haggerty Institute, supervising an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program for international students. He gained accreditation for the program from the Consortium of University and College Intensive English Language Programs (UCIEP). He also advanced the graduate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and in 1990 the New York State Education Department recognized SUNY New Paltz’s TESOL Program as exemplary. He has developed more than 20 study abroad programs, and, from 1997 to 2004, he chaired the Steering Committee of the SUNY Council of International Education (CIE). With his help, CIE built 580 SUNY programs in 74 countries. As the founding director of the Center for International Programs at New Paltz, Sillner aided in bringing together the Haggerty English Language Program, Study Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, the Institute for International Business, and bi-national programs under one administrative structure. He was instrumental in the establishment of an annual scholarship for New Paltz student studying abroad and has played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of opportunities for international study. His visionary leadership has touched the lives of tens of thousands of students. Under his leadership New Paltz has more students who study abroad and more international students than any comparable SUNY college.

President Christian stated: “Bruce Sillner has had a remarkable impact on international education at New Paltz. He is a true pioneer in the field of International Programs, and his work far surpasses normal levels of excellence, reaching beyond our campus, students and staff to national and international influence.”

Stella Turk
Since 1995, when she accepted full-time employment, Dr. Turk has held a series of administrative positions of increasing complexity and importance (including a period of time from 2007 to 2012, during which she held two such positions concurrently). As director of the Speech-Language & Hearing Center (1995-2007), Turk managed all aspects of a clinic housed within an academic institution, serving as HIPAA Officer, providing policy and financial oversight, and strengthening the Center’s outreach to the community. In 2004, she added the role of academic department chair for the Department of Communication Disorders. As chair, Turk initiated a faculty mentoring program, oversaw several significant curricular revisions, expanded the number of courses offered in online or hybrid format, and collaborated with colleagues to create a post-baccalaureate program in communication disorders and an interdisciplinary minor in deaf studies. Turk has provided exceptional service in the role of associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences since assuming that position in 2007.

“Few individuals can match the energy that Dr. Turk brings to her work, and few can so skillfully manage the level of administrative and service activity that she sustains on a consistent basis. She is an invaluable member of our campus community,” President Christian wrote in his nomination letter.

Jack Wade
Since coming to New Paltz in 1999, Professor Wade has consistently demonstrated exceptional teaching skill, sound scholarship, and outstanding service to students and to the New Paltz community. His courses are diverse, ranging from General Education surveys of theatre history to technical classes on lighting design and scenography to the capstone course for theatre majors. He is well known for setting rigorous standards and providing strong support and encouragement, working collaboratively and innovatively on production activities with students outside the classroom, and sponsoring students’ independent design projects. He has served regularly on faculty governance committees and also has given generous amounts of time and expertise to many student activities.

Wade is a “uniquely gifted and dedicated educator who inspires his students to be all they can be, professionally and personally,” stated President Christian.

The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are SUNY System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses.