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3 Performance Improvement Fund Proposals Advance


I’m happy to share that SUNY has selected three of our five proposals for the current round of the Performance Improvement Fund (PIF) program to move forward. This means they will receive some level of funding.

In determining which proposals to advance, SUNY grouped all of the PIF submissions into three broad areas:

List Item Shaping Educational Strategy;

List ItemStrengthening Student Recruitment and Success Infrastructure; and

List Item Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Across the System.

Our “Support First Generation Students” and “Transfer Student Success in STEM Disciplines” proposals have moved forward in the Strengthening Student Recruitment and Success Infrastructure area. “Recruitment of Diverse Faculty” received approval in the Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Across the System area.

SUNY is currently developing processes to refine and fund projects. At this point, we know that campuses will be asked to provide additional information about each of their advancing proposals, and that by July 1 a member of the SUNY staff will begin discussions among the campuses to develop collaborative, multi-campus plans to address common goals.

Unfortunately, the proposals on aerial mapping and financial literacy did not move ahead. However, we can continue our efforts in those areas with our regular funding, even if at a smaller scale.

The PIF will make a total of $53.5 million available university-wide. My thanks go to all who quickly identified deserving projects and then turned around narratives in support of them for submission to SUNY this past spring.

Nursing Mothers

Privacy for Mothers Who Breastfeed

Our college’s commitment to being a safe and welcoming learning and living environment means that we consider the needs of employees in all stages of life. This led the Space Planning Committee to convert Netzer room 131 into a "privacy room" to accommodate mothers who breastfeed.

Our new privacy room is a comfortable, quiet place, free from intrusion, where mothers can express breast milk for up to one year following the birth of their child or children. Furniture is in place now, and wall artwork and a clock will be hung on the walls soon.

It is important for the college to give space and time to support mothers and their children. I am thankful to the Space Planning Committee for taking initiative to see this project through.

Best Colleges New York

Two New Rankings List SUNY Oneonta As a Top Choice, an independent source for education news and trends, has ranked SUNY Oneonta No. 10 on its list of the "Best 4-year Colleges in New York." The rankings, released last week, are based on affordability, flexibility and student services.

"SUNY Oneonta has solid scores in a variety of metrics," says, noting our "strong retention and graduation rates and affordable tuition and fees."

Last week we also received advanced notice of an upcoming acknowledgement. Next month Colleges of Distinction will publish its inaugural list of college and universities that excel in engineering, business, education or nursing. SUNY Oneonta will be recognized as having "first rate programs and recognized professional accreditations" in both business and education.

It is always gratifying to receive external validation for our work. Colleges of Distinction and affirm that SUNY Oneonta offers an outstanding education in a supportive, engaging environment.


- In this Edition -

Education and Human Ecology to Launch Summer Leadership Academy

Living, Learning Communities Update

Website Rehab Underway

Reunion Weekend: Reminiscence and Recognition


Education and Human Ecology to Launch Summer Leadership Academy

Jan Bowers
Dean, School of Education and Human Ecology

Migrant Education Program  Logo

Last winter the School of Education and Human Ecology began investigating the possibility of developing a summer program with the New York State Migrant Education Program (Identification and Recruitment-MIS2000-MSIX and Data Security Center). Our idea was to offer a “college in high school academic experience,” where migrant students would earn college credit.

The regional Migrant Education Program office supported our concept with organizational and financial resources. Here on campus, Karen Joest and Frank Thornton stepped up to develop a curriculum tailored to the unique needs of migrant students. The result, I am pleased to announce, is that the college will host the SUNY Oneonta Summer Leadership Academy (SOMLA) in July. It will be the first program of its kind within our region.

SOMLA participants will experience college-level instruction designed to help them identify their individual strengths and interests, and establish personal goals. A bilingual staff with a strong background in migrant education will lead small-group learning activities. We are also engaging some of our CAMP students to serve as peer mentors at the Academy.

Over the course of seven to 10 days, SOMLA will cover a broad range of subject areas, including STEM, civic engagement and community service. Students who complete all program requirements will receive three college credits.

The School is grateful to have an enthusiastic partner in the Migrant Education Program, which has agreed to fund tuition, faculty salaries, and student housing and food. Together, we are opening the door to opportunities for academic and personal growth, and helping members of an underserved group bridge the gap between secondary and higher education.

Living, Learning Communities Update

Eileen Morgan-Zayachek
Associate Provost for Academic Programs

Last fall the college introduced living, learning communities (LLCs) to enhance the experience of students with specific similar interests through academic and co-curricular programming. In 2016 we invited applications for two LLCs, one focused on sustainability and the other on social justice.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)!

The college has expanded its portfolio of LLCs for the coming school year, offering four LLCs:

List ItemPre-health

List ItemLeadership

List ItemOWLS NEST (sustainability and the outdoors)

List ItemTeach for Change (education and social justice)

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)!

Field trips, presentations by healthcare providers and volunteer work in local healthcare facilities are elements of the Pre-health LLC. Students will also have the opportunity to network with alumni working in healthcare jobs and admissions officers at professional schools.

Leadership LLC students will focus on enhancing and understanding leadership skills. They will have the opportunity to participate in LEAD@Oneonta activities such as iROAR (the freshman leadership day), and to learn from college and community leaders.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)!

The OWLS NEST occupies a floor in Hulbert Hall. This LLC focuses on protecting the environment, outdoor education and wilderness recreation.

The Teach for Change LLC is for childhood education and adolescence education majors committed to becoming leaders in education as they work to make the world a better place. Participants will collaborate on team-building activities and community-service projects.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)!

Students in each LLC will live in the same residence hall and take classes together, including a freshman seminar taught by a faculty member who works with the residence hall director to develop themed programming that links to the theme of the LLC.

A healthy LLC requires at least 15 or so members. Marketing by the offices of Communication, Admissions and Residential Community Life has resulted in 54 LLC registrations up to this point. This effort puts us on track to recruit enough students for all four LLCs to be successful this fall.

Website Rehab Underway

Hal Legg
Executive Director of Communications

Web Page Preview

A project to bring the website up to contemporary technical standards should be complete by the end of June, resulting in greater stability, flexibility and a more user-friendly editing environment.

Since January, the Office of Communications has been working with the Office for Academic Programs, Office of Enrollment Management and a support vendor to migrate our website on the newest Drupal version. Once the rebuild is complete and our website is stable, our web development team will work with offices and departments to move their content to the Drupal platform, which allows editing directly in the browser with an easy-to-use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface.

As part of the transition, the college home page will get a facelift, with a more modern design, a refocused color palette and additional content.

Reunion Weekend: Reminiscence and Recognition

Alumni Association Awards Honorees

John Fusco '72
Excellence in Alumni Service Award

Wendy Lascell ’97

Current Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service Award

Art Palmer

Emeritus Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service Award 

Carol Bollinger

Honorary Alumna Award 

Barry Warren

Honorary Alumnus Award

Cordell Reaves ’07 (CGP)

Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Alumna/Alumnus Award

Jolie Moran ’07

Emerging Leader Award

Iota Tau Kappa (ITK)

Red Dragon Spirit Award (Group)

John Werner ’71

Red Dragon Spirit Award (Individual)

Carly Salzman ’17

Student Leadership Award 

Tom Travis ’69

Humanitarian Award

William Hagzan ’94

Military Service Award 

Paul Adamo
Vice President of College Advancement

Reunion Weekend is a 24-year tradition at SUNY Oneonta, combining service, recognition and philanthropy. Our Alumni Association sponsors this annual event, which this year was held June 2-4. Over 650 alumni and guests from across the United States came to Oneonta to reminisce and celebrate milestone anniversaries or graduation commemorations such as the 10th, 25th and 50th reunions. There were also gatherings of alumni who as students were members of clubs, fraternities and sororities. 

Reunion Weekend is a lot of fun, but there is a serious side, too. The Division of College Advancement, especially the staff in the Office of Alumni Engagement, plans for most of the year to make this experience possible for a diverse alumni constituency. Many of SUNY Oneonta’s best donors and best friends are on campus for Reunion, which helps to define the culture and affirm the values of our college.

The Alumni Association Awards ceremony is a signal feature of Reunion. This year’s itinerary also included a reception to express gratitude to those who give at least $1,000 annually and have included the College at Oneonta Foundation in their estate plans.

The brothers of ITK returned to campus to mark their fraternity’s founding 50 years ago. Together they have raised over $80,000 in memory of two brothers who died in military service. This endowed scholarship in our college foundation is for SUNY Oneonta students from military families with financial need.

Mask and Hammer, one of the oldest student organizations on campus, celebrated with an all-alumni version of Midnight Madness, their annual comedy show. This group also gathered to offer a toast to Kyle “Cellophane” Burch ’08, who passed away earlier this year. Classmates, friends and family are honoring Kyle’s memory by raising gifts for a new endowed scholarship bearing his name.

The Class of 1967 marked its 50th reunion, passed through the pillars, dined together, and received reunion medallions, given annually to only these alumni. With spirit, they are raising funds to endow the Class of 1967 Scholarship.

To learn more about Reunion Weekend, or to nominate someone for next year’s Alumni Association awards, go to

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