SUNY Oneonta News

May 2, 2011



ONEONTA, N.Y. -- A member of the faculty, a member of the professional staff, and a member of the classified service staff at SUNY Oneonta have been named as recipients of the 2011 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences Devin Castendyk will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Director of Special Programs Lynda Bassette will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Creative Media Services Secretary Donna Baker will receive the Chancellor’s Award in Classified Service.

A hydro-geologist, Dr. Castendyk teaches courses for the Water Resources major in the Earth Sciences Department at SUNY Oneonta. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, a master’s degree from the University of Utah, and a bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College. Dr. Castendyk specializes in analyzing the quality of water that has seeped through pit mines into pit lakes. He is the senior editor of the book “Mine Pit Lakes: Characteristics, Predictive Modeling, and Sustainability.” Dr. Castendyk received the college’s 2009 Richard Siegfried Junior Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence.

“Devin is dynamic, charismatic, impeccably organized, and willing to go far above and beyond the average contribution for the benefit of his students,” SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski said. “The energy and enthusiasm that he brings to the classroom are tremendous.”

A member of the SUNY Oneonta professional staff since 1997, Ms. Bassette has served as director of the college’s Educational Opportunity Program since 2002. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College. Her professional affiliations include service as national deputy director of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society, a member of the Oneonta Auxiliary Services Board of Directors, and a member of the advisory council of the SUNY Delhi Center for Academic Services.

President Kleniewski cited Ms. Bassette for demonstrating “superior professional achievement within and beyond her position.” She added that “Whatever the endeavor, Ms. Bassette exhibits compassion, passion, intelligence, a wide range of administrative skills, leadership, flexibility, adaptability, the ability to problem solve, and the ability to finely administer sensitive topic discussions that result in open dialogue and an improved campus climate of inclusion.”

Donna Baker began her career at SUNY Oneonta as a cleaner before becoming the secretary to the director of the Instructional Resource Center—now called Creative Media Services—in 1991. She is maintains the schedule of public spaces at the Instructional Resource Center building for college and community groups, handles special media requests, and supports the general operations of the Creative Media Services department.

“Donna’s dedication to the college is admirable,” said President Kleniewski. “Whether answering students’ questions about equipment, managing room schedules for faculty members, or coordinating events with offices across campus, she’s always organized and thorough.”

The 2011 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence will be presented at the college’s 122nd Commencement on Saturday, May 21.



For more information about the College, please call the Community Relations Office at (607) 436-2748 or send e-mail to Hal Legg, Director of Communications.

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