Six SUNY New Paltz faculty and staff have been recognized for outstanding scholarship, teaching and service to the campus community as 2022 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence honorees.
The Chancellor’s Awards are conferred annually to celebrate superior professional achievement in five categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship & Creative Activities, Teaching and Classified Service. Awardees receive a medallion and certificate commemorating the achievement, as well as a permanent stipend.
Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees:
Since joining SUNY New Paltz as a writer in 2015, Andrew Bruso has assumed roles of increasing responsibility in the Office of Communication & Marketing (OCM), including most recently his appointment as director of communication in August 2021.
He has consistently impressed campus leaders with his interpersonal skills and positive interactions with colleagues, ability to handle multiple projects, attention to detail, and willingness to learn, and has proven himself to be highly collaborative and customer-service oriented in all his work.
As the College moved to more digital communication in response to pandemic conditions, Bruso assumed increased responsibilities that often required working under tight deadlines and outside of normal business hours. His contributions include production of the Daily Digest email newsletter, a new tool for sharing news and announcements that faculty, staff, alumni, students and their families have relied upon for timely and accurate information during these unprecedented times.
For more than 20 years, Professor of Psychology Glenn Geher has been an active and involved faculty member whose service contributions reflect his natural strengths of building community and supporting students in achieving their goals.
His College-wide service includes chairing the Academic Affairs Committee, (2002-06), the Department of Black Studies during a critical reorganization (2015-16), and the President’s Free Speech Task Force (2016-17).
Within the Psychology Department, Geher organizes many events that bring prominent scholars to campus to speak with New Paltz students and colleagues. He also edits and publishes the department newsletter, highlighting alumni achievements, and annually mentors students on research projects, often helping them secure a first conference presentation or journal publication.
His passion for strengthening and enriching the College community manifests in many other unique ways. A longtime Alumni Association supporter, Geher leads the annual Alumni Weekend hike in the Shawangunks. Each year he also helps organize a kickball tournament as an opportunity to help students, faculty, and staff to relax and have fun together. And of course, he is a founding member of “Questionable Authorities,” New Paltz’s all-faculty rock band.
Anca Rădulescu came to the College in 2014 and earned continuing appointment and promotion to associate professor of mathematics in 2020.
For 15 years, she has consistently published multiple papers per year in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Her work is noted by external referees for its broad broad scope and impact and her ability to cross disciplinary boundaries, open new lines of inquiry, and apply new or unusual tools and perspectives to challenging problems. That she maintains this scholarly output while also carrying a 3:3 teaching load and significant campus service contributions is all the more impressive.
Also noteworthy is that 12 of Rădulescu’s 38 published papers at the time of her nomination were co-authored with undergraduate students. She has shown unwavering commitment to supporting student researchers and helping them achieve the applied learning experiences that are so valued by graduate programs and employers across disciplines and professional fields.
This mentorship can be literally life changing for New Paltz students. When Rădulescu was awarded the 2017 Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award, one recent mentee said their work together “has been an important and memorable part of my experience … I would not have seriously considered graduate school if it had not been for Dr. Rădulescu’s encouragement and guidance.”
Since arriving at New Paltz in 2013 as the College’s first social media manager, John Oles has exceeded expectations leading efforts to market SUNY New Paltz and its academic programs in a rapidly changing social media ecosystem, contributing to enrollment increases and a rising reputation in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
He has proven to be both an excellent student, staying up-to-date on trends and launching accounts on new platforms, and a generous teacher, sharing his expertise with colleagues across campus who rely on his guidance and grasp of contemporary best practices.
He took on added responsibility with a promotion to assistant director of social media & marketing in 2021 and continues to handle the pressures and unpredictability of his job with poise and a can-do attitude.
When the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift to more digital communications, Oles worked tirelessly supporting the College’s efforts to provide nuanced information, clearly and accurately, to varied audiences across platforms and media. He continues to leverage his organizational skills, creativity and strategic mindset to build and engage audiences in innovative ways, and help promote an integrated marketing culture across the institution.
SUNY New Paltz’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic required contributions from all members of the campus community, but few offered more than Dr. Richard “Jack” Ordway.
A New Paltz alumnus with deep family ties to the College, Dr. Ordway has been a campus physician since 1982 and director of the Student Health Service since 2011. He is a thoughtful administrator and supportive supervisor for a staff of 10 physicians, nurses and front-office staff, and a central hub of an integrated wellness program at the College, collaborating frequently with the Psychological Counseling Center, Disability Resource Center and other units, as well as external departments of health, to ensure timely and appropriate treatment for New Paltz students.
His approach to problem solving and collaborative decision-making helped the College successfully navigate a mumps outbreak in 2016-17, and it became a model for other campuses when he presented findings and best practices at a New York State Department of Health conference.
Thus recognized for his expertise and leadership, Dr. Ordway was well prepared to assume a leading role in our institutional response to COVID-19. His expertise is complemented by an extraordinary dedication to the health of our students, faculty and staff. He has worked many seven-day weeks since March 2020, all the while maintaining the calm, capable and compassionate leadership that led one colleague to say, in a nomination letter, that for Dr. Ordway, “being a physician is not a job, it is a way of life.”
Thomas Welch (Excellence in Classified Service)
Tom Welch, currently a Facilities Operations Assistant 2, has provided a commitment to excellence and quality of service during his 20+ years at SUNY New Paltz that merits this special SUNY system acknowledgment.
His service record in the Grounds Shop is that of a dependable colleague who goes above and beyond to ensure that students, faculty and staff can enjoy a safe, comfortable and attractive campus 12 months of the year. He boasts a flawless attendance record and has never missed a single snowstorm, even when conditions require campus cleanup efforts well before sunrise.
Welch has also exemplified best practices in campus facilities management in his commitment to sustainable, cost-effective measures to keep New Paltz beautiful. Few colleagues, past or present, can claim to have helped plant more trees on campus than Welch, efforts which have been key to the College’s receipt and maintenance of Tree Campus USA status.