Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has named SUNY Oneonta to its list of “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” for the ninth consecutive year. The 2015 rankings, released today, recognize four-year schools that deliver academic quality and affordability.

In addition, Kiplinger’s ranked SUNY Oneonta No. 12 on its national list of the “24 Best College Values Under $30,000/Year, 2015.”

To assess quality, Kiplinger’s uses a number of measurable standards, including the admissions rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low tuition, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.

“We salute this year’s top schools,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”

Kiplinger’s is the third magazine in recent months to recognize SUNY Oneonta for quality and value. In September, the college jumped 25 spots to No. 41 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 list of the “Best Regional Universities” in the North and was ranked ninth among public institutions in the region. In July, SUNY Oneonta earned a spot on Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of “America’s Top Colleges” for the first time since the business journal began publishing the rankings in 2008.

The annual list of “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” is available online.

SUNY Oneonta has received $910,000 in Green Innovation Grant Program funding for a project aimed at reducing the impact of stormwater runoff from the campus.

Administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., the Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) supports projects across New York state that use unique stormwater infrastructure design and create cutting-edge green technologies. The grant was awarded through the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils’ Consolidated Funding Application process and funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.

“This grant will support our efforts to formulate an interdisciplinary, systematic, educational and mindful solution toward addressing stormwater management on campus,” said SUNY Oneonta Sustainability Coordinator Hannah Morgan. “As an added benefit, installing green infrastructure technologies across campus will give our students experiential learning opportunities in sustainable landscaping, including the construction of bioretention systems and permeable pavement.”

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More than 50 SUNY Oneonta students teamed up to raise nearly $1,100 for the St. Mary’s Food Pantry during this year’s Fashion for Food benefit on Friday, Dec. 5, at the Oneonta Elks Club.

Event planning students Kaila DeSilva, Adjani Reed and Jian Xie Feng planned and coordinated the benefit, which included a pasta dinner prepared by students Kim Demeo and Nicole Sadenwater, followed by a fashion show featuring 27 student models. Attire was provided by Transitions Boutique, Edward Teleky Jeweler and by the models themselves.

Oneonta student Virginie Petrus served as emcee, announcing the models, their outfits and the local sponsors for more than 50 walks down the runway. Each walk was sponsored by a local business or individual. During intermission, entertainment was provided by SUNY Oneonta’s Hooked on Tonics and Voices of Serenity student a cappella groups, and student magician Mike Barr.

A raffle of gift certificates and gift bags provided by local businesses—including a quilted chickadee provided by SUNY Oneonta retiree Nancy Wolters—was held at the close of the evening. Star Hobb, adjunct lecturer in Human Ecology, was instrumental in acquiring many of the raffle items.

Fashion for Food was started by Hobb three years ago with her Consumer Resource Management course students. In that course, students conduct service-learning projects, and several wanted to help St. Mary’s Food Pantry. The event has become an annual tradition that allows Human Ecology students from three different disciplines—food service and restaurant administration, fashion and textiles, and event planning—to practice their skills while giving back to the community.

SUNY Oneonta has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Honor Roll annually acknowledges colleges and universities for exceptional community service.

SUNY Oneonta is one of 19 State University of New York campuses named to the Honor Roll, which represents recognition from the highest levels of the federal government of a campus-wide commitment to service and civic engagement. SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher praised the Honor Roll schools for their commitment to making service a priority.

“Participating in community service is an important part of any college experience, and a hallmark of our strategic plan,” said Zimpher. “Each of our SUNY campuses has an astounding array of options for students as well as faculty and staff to give back to their local communities, and to have a greater impact on communities across the country and abroad. Congratulations and thank you to each of the campuses recognized by the President’s Honor Roll this year.”

Community Partnership and Student Engagement are two of five pillars in SUNY Oneonta’s strategic plan, and volunteer activities permeate campus life—from student athletes, who rake leaves for the elderly each fall, to civic-minded student clubs like Colleges Against Cancer, whose 2014 Relay for Life raised $52,000 for the American Cancer Society. Students collectively volunteer more than 55,000 hours each year through the college’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community, which coordinates regular volunteer opportunities at organizations like Saturday’s Bread, and holds events such as the annual Into the Streets day of service, which had record participation last spring. SUNY Oneonta students also engage through their coursework in service-learning activities such as last week’s Fashion for Food event, which raised nearly $1,100 for the St. Mary’s Food Pantry.

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SUNY Oneonta will hold its 2014 December Candidate Recognition Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m. in the Dewar Arena of the Alumni Field House. Hosted by college President Nancy Kleniewski, the event will recognize students who are expected to complete their requirements for graduation this semester.

A total of 361 candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees are eligible to take part in the ceremony, and more than 1,500 family members and friends are expected to attend. Guests are asked to be seated in the Dewar Arena by 10:30 a.m. President Kleniewski will welcome and congratulate the students. SUNY Oneonta College Council Chairman Patrick Brown will greet the assembly. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs E. Maria Thompson will recognize the honors students and degree candidates. Kainat Malik, president of the Student Association, will offer congratulations. Burton Relethford, 2009 SUNY Oneonta graduate and Alumni Association board member, will deliver the alumni greeting.

The Catskill Brass will provide musical selections for the event, and Michele LaRusso of the SUNY Oneonta Class of 2014 will perform the national anthem and alma mater.
A live stream of the December Candidate Recognition Ceremony will be available online here between 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Candidates for December 2014 graduation are also eligible to participate in the college’s Commencement on May 17, 2014.

Toke Knudsen

Dr. Toke Knudsen, associate professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics, history has been awarded the 2014 Richard Siegfried Junior Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence. Walker will deliver the 20th annual Richard Siegfried Lecture, “Competing Cosmologies in India,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Craven Lounge of the Morris Conference Center.

Knudsen earned bachelor’s degrees in both mathematics and indology at the University of Copenhagen, where he also earned a master’s in mathematics. He received a Ph.D. in history of mathematics at Brown University. His research interests include astronomical and mathematical knowledge in the ancient world; Sanskrit texts on mathematical astronomy and cosmology; the tension between scientific and sacred cosmologies in pre-modern India; the reception of Islamic astronomy in India; diagrams in Sanskrit mathematical and astronomical works and their interpretation; Sanskrit manuscripts: scripts, writing materials and utensils, families of scribes, and cataloging, preservation and editing; and omen literature from ancient India and Mesopotamia.

The Siegfried Prize recognizes a non-tenured faculty member for outstanding academic achievement outside the classroom. The award is made possible by a gift from Alice Siegfried to the College at Oneonta Foundation in memory of her husband, theater Professor Richard K. Siegfried, who taught at the college from 1958 to 1995.

A team of economics and business economics students from SUNY Oneonta won an Honorable Mention Award in the 2014 College Fed Challenge, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November.

The College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate college students. Inspired by the working of the Federal Open Market Committee, the competition requires that students work as a team to research and analyze current economic data, develop a forecast and review potential future economic risks, and prepare a presentation and answer questions on a recommendation for monetary policy.

SUNY Oneonta’s team traveled to the Federal Reserve Bank for the first round of the competition on Oct. 31. The 13 students—Mark Alvarez, Mubarak Bawumia, Tim Boss, Andrew Burke, Michael Coleman, Daniel Dougherty-Samowitz, Brendan Mullen, Charlene Nelson, Sean O’Hara, John Perruna, Jennifer Rushlow, Kyle Sisco and Josuette Vasquez—were accompanied by their adviser, Associate Professor of Economics David Ring. Teams from 36 colleges and universities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut competed in the first round, and the SUNY Oneonta contingent bested teams from the other schools in its competition bracket to advance to the semifinals on Nov. 14.

Each team was evaluated in four categories—knowledge of current economic conditions; understanding of monetary policy; data and analysis; and teamwork. In the semifinal round, SUNY Oneonta earned a score of 16 out of 20 to finish among the top nine schools in the competition. Judges praised the SUNY Oneonta contingent for its teamwork and awarded a 5 (the highest score possible) in this category.

It appeared from the opening whistle that the SUNY Oneonta men’s soccer team was determined to let nothing stand in its way of getting back to the NCAA Division III national championship weekend. When the final whistle sounded, the Red Dragons overpowered Brandeis, 3-0, to win the sectional championship and, with it, punch their ticket to Kansas City, Mo., in two weeks.

“Another great game,” said coach Iain Byrne afterward. “Brandeis is a quality team and a classy group of men. It was a physical game and I thought we controlled the tempo of the game.”

As has been the case all year long, Oneonta (21-0-2) came out attacking. In the third minute, sophomore Hans Purtell played a cross from the left flank that ended up on the head of senior Justin Rivera at the left post. Rivera sent the ball across the front of the goal, where junior Jake Sutherland just missed getting a foot on it.

Five minutes later, it was Sutherland who gave Oneonta a 1-0 lead. Classmate Dylan Williams made a great through pass to Sutherland, who was able to get a touch on it and break free from his defender. Once he had control of the ball, Sutherland slid a shot between the legs of Brandeis keeper Joe Graffy. It was Sutherland’s 11th goal of the season and his second straight game-winning goal. He leads the team with seven game-winners this season.

“When we score early we are that much more dangerous,” said Williams.

Dangerous they were, as the Red Dragons could have easily added a couple more goals to their ledger, but had to settle for a 1-0 lead at halftime.

“I thought we were tremendous in the first half,” said Byrne. “We brought the game to them. When we scored the second goal we instinctively sat back and defended, but then the third goal came and it was in hand.”

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A new, volunteer-run thrift shop opened Nov. 18 in the basement of SUNY Oneonta’s Netzer Administration Building.

Conceived out of concern for the responsible reuse of materials and keeping as much consumer product out of the waste stream, the Red Closet Thrift Shop is a concerted effort by an enthusiastic group of SUNY Oneonta students and staff to find homes for quality clothing and household items that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

The shop is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 to 2. Clothing, shoes, accessories and books are sold on a “pay what you will” basis, with a suggested price of $3 for most items. The store is open to the public, and anyone can donate quality, clean items with re-use potential.

Proceeds from sales will eventually benefit a scholarship being established for SUNY Oneonta students who demonstrate a dedication to sustainability initiatives at the college and beyond.

Sustainability is one of six pillars in SUNY Oneonta’s Strategic Plan 2010-2015.

SUNY Oneonta will hold its third annual Global Movement Festival from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in the Hunt Union Ballroom.

The festival will benefit Disaster and Emergency Relief Services West Africa (DERSWA), a nonprofit organization co-founded by SUNY Oneonta alumnus Daniel Pneuman. During the first hour of the festival, Pneuman will provide an overview of how the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) became an epidemic across West Africa, and what governments and major international organizations are doing to address it, in a 15-minute talk titled, “The Grassroots Response to the Ebola Epidemic.”

Pneuman graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2011 with a degree in Africana and Latino studies and political science. After graduation, he moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where he worked at a civil rights law firm and was elected president of Peace Action WI, a grassroots organization working with a coalition of Peace Action affiliates across the country to advocate on foreign policy and social justice issues. In August, he was hired to work as a program manager in Freetown, Sierra Leone, but the ebola epidemic postponed the beginning of the job until 2015. In the meantime, he helped found DERSWA, a network of African community organizations providing EVD education, prevention and trauma-support efforts in their countries.

The festival will include a buffet of international cuisine, an international fashion show, the chance to create and purchase artwork, and performances by several SUNY Oneonta individuals and student organizations, including Xclusive, Voices of Serenity, Hooked on Tonics, World Percussion Ensemble, World Dance Class, Chamber Singers, D Moss, Kyle Schauss and Alena Rajbhandari. Guest artists Anissa and Tinny Wilkens of Oneonta will perform Indonesian dances, and students from Valleyview Elementary School will show off their African drumming skills.

This event is sponsored by SUNY Oneonta’s offices of International Education, Equity and Inclusion, and Alumni Engagement; Department of Music; Student Association Activities Council; Multicultural Student Council; and School of Arts and Humanities.