Exceptional faculty and staff awarded SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

The State University of New York has announced the recipients of the 2016-17 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The Awards are presented annually to recognize SUNY employees’ dedication to students’ education and their superior professional achievement.

This year, five SUNY New Paltz faculty and classified staff members have been honored with Chancellor’s Awards. They will receive a medallion and certificate at the College’s first fall faculty meeting and classified staff gathering, as well as a permanent stipend.

“The many faculty and staff honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best of our best, having ensured student success as they educate and mentor students with innovative approaches to academic instruction, infuse curricula with applied learning opportunities, adapt best practices from throughout SUNY, and much more,” said Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

This year’s awardees are:

Glenn Geher, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Professor Geher has been with the Psychology Department since 2000, and currently serves as department chair. He is also the founder of the College’s Evolutionary Studies Program, which has earned the affection of its many students and alumni and the admiration of peers and scholars from around the globe.

Geher’s scholarship addresses several interrelated areas of inquiry within the field of social psychology, including basic social and emotional processes, the psychology of intimate relationships, evolution and human social behavior and evolution in higher education. He has produced more than 80 publications to date, and sits on the editorial boards of journals including “Evolutionary Psychology” and “Bulletin of Human Ethology.”

Geher distinguishes himself through his commitment to engaging students, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, in performing their own research and participating in scholarly communities. A former student currently working as an instructor at another institution said, “Glenn gave me the courage to present my work and speak in public. Because of him I have become a confident professional who instills the same values in my students.”

Robert Guidi, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Guidi joined the College in 1994 and over the course of a 22-year career has risen through the ranks in Facilities Operations and Facilities Maintenance to his current position as overseer of building structures.

He has repeatedly proven himself as a team player, someone willing to learn new skills and share his knowledge with colleagues. Previous supervisors credited Guidi’s professional attitude, his ability to complete all tasks in a timely manner, his attentiveness to detail and his commitment to safety. His five nominators touted his willingness to go the extra mile to provide quality service and get the job done.


Susan Ingalls Lewis, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Associate Professor Lewis joined the History Department in 2001, and has been repeatedly recognized for her excellence as a scholar educator: as a College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year in 2008 and Excellence in Scholarship awardee in 2011, and as a 2014 New York Academy of History inductee.

A historian with an expertise in women’s history, Lewis has been a strong voice for innovative new courses and programming in her own department and in the interdisciplinary Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.

Her classes are described by students as striking a perfect balance between insightful lecture, thoughtful discussion and group work, creating a “safe haven” of trust and respect where diverse viewpoints are welcome and healthy debate is common. One student complimented Lewis’s ability to tell the stories of “the lesser-known individuals in society who collectively made a difference,” which helps students “immerse [them]selves in history and understand events on a social and personal level.”


Cyrus Mulready, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Associate Professor Mulready joined the English Department in 2007 as a scholar of Shakespeare and early modern British literature, and quickly earned a reputation as a caring and innovative educator capable of bringing the best out of his students.

His nomination for this award included seven letters of support from former students, who described Mulready in glowing terms: “He radiates competence and kindness”; “He is the most empowering professor I have had the privilege of knowing”; “He voluntarily and wholeheartedly places himself as a leader of education, and has handed us the tools and knowledge needed to propel ourselves through our own paths of success.”

Mulready’s colleagues honored him with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year award in 2011. He has returned meaningful value to fellow New Paltz faculty members, developing pedagogical workshops and conversations about new tools and practices for promoting student success.

An English Department colleague said of Mulready that “Even though he is widely known as one of our very best teachers, he is always looking for ways to improve; always thinking about pedagogical innovation; and always willing to share his ideas.”

Lauren Bone Noble, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
Adjunct Lecturer Noble joined the Theatre Arts Department in 2011, and has made invaluable contributions as a leader of courses in improvisation, stage acting and movement. She went above and beyond the responsibilities of her position in fall 2016, as Director of an innovative, “Mean Girls”-tinted production of Shakespeare’s timeless “Julius Caesar.”

She has also endeavored to create a collaborative community of adjuncts and part-time educators in the Theatre Arts Department, working with colleagues to ensure that department sections that satisfy General Education requirements share common syllabi and learning outcomes.

She’s colored her improvisation courses with her own interest in clowning, endearing herself to students with wholly unique and original lessons and increasing their versatility as actors in the process. Students supporting her nomination expressed admiration for her ability to create an atmosphere that moves them “out of [their] comfort zones” and gives them freedom and security to take new risks. A former student now pursuing an MFA in acting commented, “The guidance and inspiration I received from Professor Noble were huge factors in my decision to further my education and attend graduate school.”