Faculty and staff awards, honors and publications – September 2019

SUNY New Paltz congratulates faculty and staff on their recent awards, honors and publications.

Do you have news to share with friends and colleagues? Please use this link to tell us about your accomplishments and be included in a future publication of faculty achievements!

Lydia Bright (Biology) received a National Science Foundation award to support travel to Arizona, where she studied the regulatory language of Paramecium species.

The project aims to both characterize the regulatory process genome-wide, and also to understand regulatory evolution across a species complex.

Bright seeks to characterize transcriptional, signaling, and other immune-related changes in Paramecium cells in response to the bacterial intracellular parasite Holospora undulata.


Amy Cheng (Art) is the author of “Learning to See,” an essay about her spring 2017 Fulbright teaching experience at the Renmin University of China’s Graduate Painting Program.

The essay was published in “Narrative Inquiries from Fulbright Lecturers in China: Cross-Cultural Connections in Higher Education,” a new book from Routledge Press.

An excerpt from the essay can be read on Cheng’s website.



Preeti Dhar (Chemistry) is co-author with Durga Nath Dhar of “Medicinal Plants of India,” a new book published by World Scientific, designed to be used as a guide to managing common ailments using natural products.

The book describes widely used medicinal plants and essential oils. It tabulates 55 biological properties of 171 medicinal plants indigenous to India with an emphasis on Indian medicinal plants that have a long tradition of medicinal use in Ayurveda.



Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (Geography) received a National Science Foundation award totaling $99,554 to support a new project titled “Examining Atmospheric and Soil Contamination in Urban Community Gardens.”

The project takes a public health approach to studying the extent to which atmospheric deposition and other factors lead to arsenic, lead and other forms of contamination in city gardens.

Engel-Di Mauro is part of a related, interdisciplinary team of researchers working on this issue in cities including Troy, New York, and Tierra Amarilla, Chile. Read more about this project at Phys.org.

Howard Good (Digital Media & Journalism) is the author of a new, “lovingly handmade” collection published by Analog Submission Press, titled “Spooky Action at a Distance.”

Good is the winner of the Lorien Prize for Poetry and the Press Americana Poetry Prize. He co-edits the online poetry journals Unbroken and UnLost.


Maureen Morrow (Biology) received a National Science Foundation award to support travel and research alongside Kristen DeAngelis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The project involves analysis of soil bacterial populations subject to long-term warming, applied to mimic the effect of climate change.

Morrow’s participation in broadening this data set is also designed to support her ongoing professional development in microbial ecology, which she returns to New Paltz students through research experience sin the Capstone Microbiology course.

Kathleen Murphy (Music Therapy) is the author of a chapter in second edition of “Music Therapy Supervision,” a comprehensive publication and resources for students and professionals in the field.

Murphy’s contribution, “Ethical Issues in Supervision,” detail contemporary approaches and best practices in music therapy for respecting the dignity and rights of all people, including clients, colleagues, research subjects and students.

Jonathan Raskin (Psychology) has been elected president of the American Psychological Association‘s Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32). Raskin, who also serves as the current chair of the Department of Psychology at SUNY New Paltz, will assume the roles of president-elect for 2019-2020, president for 2020-2021, and past-president for 2021-2022.

The Society for Humanistic Psychology represents a constellation of disciplines including the earlier Rogerian, transpersonal and existential orientations and more recently developing perspectives of phenomenological, hermeneutic, constructivist, feminist and social constructivist psychologies.

Use this link to learn more about the American Psychological Association.

David Richardson (Biology) has received a $5,000 grant from the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission for a project titled, “Climate change, teleconnections, and invasive spiny water flea effects on Lake Champlain water quality trends.”

Richardson is also co-author, along with many New Paltz students and alumni, of “Serial introductions modify a trophic cascade and partially mitigate changes in lake ecosystem structure,” a new article published in Freshwater Science, a journal from the University of Chicago Press.

Richardson and his co-investigators document the rapid change of the food web in Lake Minnewaska.

Roberto Vélez-Vélez (Sociology) received a $217,905 grant from the National Science Foundation to support a collaborative research project on the ongoing recovery effort in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Vélez-Vélez will work with Jacqueline Villarrubia-Mendoza from Colgate University to examine the response from residents of Puerto Rico to the initiatives and programs implemented by community-based organizations known as Centros de Apoyo Mutuo (mutual support centers) that have emerged in recent years.

The awarded project extends an ongoing research agenda from these scholars, focusing on the grassroots emergence of mutual support organizations and the expansion of their agendas toward long-term recovery.

Vélez-Vélez and Villarrubia-Mendoza are currently residing in Puerto Rico as part of a year-long data collection process supported by the National Science Foundation. Preliminary results from their fieldwork has been published in the Latino Studies journal.

Read more about their work in the online magazine of the North American Congress on Latin America.