College mourns passing of Dr. Spencer Mass, Director of Accelerated Dual Degree Medical Programs

It is with sadness that the College shares that Dr. Spencer Mass, instructor in the Department of Biology and director of the College’s Accelerated Dual Degree Medical Programs, died on Oct. 19, 2021, after a long battle with cancer.

A two-time SUNY New Paltz alumnus (’88 ’94g), Mass earned his MD from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1998 and returned to his alma mater in 2003. He worked as an Adjunct Lecturer through 2009, while also holding positions in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, before taking on a full-time position as a Lecturer in January 2010. He was promoted to Instructor in 2015.

Mass was a dedicated educator who taught a wide range of introductory and advanced courses and also served as a pre-health advisor and frequent collaborator with STEM programs like AC2, helping hundreds of students prepare for continuing education and careers in medicine and related professions.

“Dr. Mass brought his boundless enthusiasm, incredible sense of humor, intelligence and hard work to everything he did,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science & Engineering. “Spencer was a good friend and valued colleague to all of us. He will be sorely missed.”

He was also a committed supporter of undergraduate research and a beloved mentor to many biology students. He was a regular presence at the annual Student Research Symposium each spring and was recognized for his contributions as the 2015 Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities (RSCA) Faculty Mentor of the Year. The award committee that year described Spencer as a teacher who “fosters an open learning environment where students can ask questions, learn techniques and become fully involved in research.”

The College will share details about services as soon as they are available.

If you are a student who needs assistance in processing this loss, the Counseling Center is available at (845) 257-2920. Employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program at (845) 257-2886.