[Uncategorized] October 24, 2014 10:49 am

Children and families from Oneonta and the surrounding area are invited to participate in back-to-back Halloween events on Thursday, Oct. 30.

From 5 to 6 p.m., the Order of Omega, an honor society for sorority and fraternity members, will host a Halloween carnival in the Hunt College Union on campus.

Beginning at 6 p.m., student volunteers will guide trick-or-treaters and the adults who accompany them to the residence halls, where students will have snacks and other treats for the children. Trick-or-treating will conclude at 8 p.m.

Additional information about the event is available from the SUNY Oneonta Office of Residential Community Life at (607) 436-2514.

Hundreds of alumni, parents and community members will visit SUNY Oneonta from Oct. 24-26 for Homecoming & Family Weekend. Scheduled events range from tours of the completely renovated Fitzelle Hall to a 2.6-mile run/walk.

Admission to many of the weekend’s events is free, and members of the community are invited to participate. The full schedule is available here.

Highlights on Saturday include the annual craft fair in the Hunt Union ballroom, a rededication and tours of the completely renovated Fitzelle Hall, and a Brooks’ chicken barbecue on the quad. Saturday evening will feature a performance by Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra and a show by comedy duo Lynn Trefzger and Mark Nizer. Both events are in Hunt Union at 8 p.m.

The Project Space Gallery in the college’s Fine Arts Center will feature the work of several alumni artists.

Athletics events include a swim meet against Oswego at 1 p.m. Saturday at Chase Pool and two men’s soccer games at Red Dragon Field, against Fredonia at 3 p.m. Friday and Buffalo State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Family-friendly events include a Wii bowling tournament, pumpkin decorating, face painting, planetarium shows, an alumni wrestling clinic, and activities at the Science Discovery Center.

Weekend events will conclude on Sunday morning with the 2.6-mile campus Fun Run/Walk sponsored by the SUNY Oneonta Inter-Greek Council.

More information about Homecoming & Family Weekend 2014 is available from the SUNY Oneonta Office of Alumni Affairs at (607) 436-2526 or at oneontaalumni.com.

Marjane Satrapi

Celebrated Iranian-born author, illustrator and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi will present SUNY Oneonta’s Mills Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the college’s Alumni Field House.

Through generous support of the college foundation, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Satrapi is the author of the acclaimed graphic novel “Persepolis,” which has been translated into more than 40 languages. Set in Tehran in the 1970s and 1980s, the book chronicles Satrapi’s childhood against the background of the Islamic Revolution and Iran-Iraq War. The book was first published in France, where it won several prestigious comic book awards. In London, The Times named “Persepolis” one of its “100 Best Books of the Decade,” and in the United States, the book was chosen by the Young Adult Library Association as one of its recommended titles for all students. The animated film adaptation of “Persepolis” won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2008.

Satrapi is also the author of “Embroideries,” “Chicken with Plums” and several children’s books. Her live-action film adaptation of “Chicken with Plums” won the Best Narrative Film award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and was named Best Foreign Language Film at the São Paulo International Film Festival. Satrapi lives in Paris, where her illustrations appear regularly in newspa¬pers and magazines all around the world.

The Mills Distinguished Lectureship honors the memory of Professor Albert Mills and his wife, Helena, whose bequest to the College at Oneonta Foundation led to the establishment in 1988 of a fund to bring prominent speakers to the SUNY Oneonta campus.

Satrapi’s appearance at SUNY Oneonta is the culmination of the “common read,” a college initiative to enhance first-year student engagement and further infuse cultural literacy into academics by asking all incoming freshmen to read a diversity-related book. At summer orientation sessions, first-year students received copies of “Persepolis,” which is being discussed in courses across several disciplines this fall.

In 2010, the college committed to advancing diversity as one of six pillars supporting its strategic plan. The common read aligns with this goal by encouraging students to examine and better understand topics such as equity, inclusion and personal history through many lenses.

The National Guard and the Governor’s Office will present a Citizen Preparedness Corps Training at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Hunt College Union Ballroom on the SUNY Oneonta campus.

Weather-related disasters are a fact of life no matter where you live. In New York, extreme cold and excessive snowfall can create dangerous conditions. Even high winds can cause the kind of damage that knocks out electricity. Several local communities have been hard hit by flooding caused by hurricanes and heavy rain in recent years.

Citizen Preparedness Corps Trainings are aimed at helping people be ready for weather-related challenges, respond to them safely, and then recover as quickly as possible after a storm, flood or other situation passes. Trainings are free and open to the public. Sessions last about two hours.

All participants will receive free New York State Disaster Preparedness Kits—one per family—to take home. These kits include several key items that would come in handy in an emergency, including drinking water, flashlights, first aid supplies and food bars.

Because space is limited, participants need sign up for this training at prepare.ny.gov. Sign-up only takes about a minute.

Phil Whitman knew the only way he’d be able to pull off a surprise marriage proposal would be to throw his girlfriend, Gabriella Lena-Murphy, off the track.

So, he planned a trip to Oneonta for her birthday weekend and filled it with one surprise after another.

Phil and Gabby met at SUNY Oneonta in October 2007 during their freshman year, over lunch with mutual friends at Wilsbach dining hall. They graduated in 2011 and had not been back to Oneonta since. For the past two years, they’ve lived in Raleigh, N.C., where Gabby teaches third grade and Phil designs swimming pools.

To celebrate Gabby’s birthday, Oct. 12, Phil told her he was taking her to New York for the weekend and had “a bunch of surprises” planned. When they set out on the 12-hour drive, he wouldn’t tell her where they were headed. It could have been Marlboro, where she grew up, or maybe even New York City. “I didn’t know where we were going,” she said, “but when I started seeing beautiful, rolling mountains, I thought, ‘We’re going to Oneonta!’ ” That was surprise No. 1.

On Friday night, the couple’s college roommates, Rachael Bracken ’11 and Kevin Peterson ’12, met them at the Clarion Hotel on Main Street for a night of reminiscing and celebrating, complete with their favorite late-night snack, Tino’s cold-cheese pizza, of course. Surprise No. 2.

The next morning, Phil and Kevin spent four hours painting “Gabriella Lena-Murphy Will You Marry Me?” on the cement wall at the intersection of West and Center streets, a sort of public billboard where Oneonta residents and students from SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College have taken turns advertising events for decades. Rachel kept Gabby distracted with breakfast at Latte Lounge and a walking tour of the SUNY Oneonta campus. Once the wall was complete—including taping brown paper over the words for a big reveal— Phil texted Gabby and asked her to meet him for lunch at Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q. When she arrived, her parents and several other family members were there. Surprise No. 3.

After lunch, Phil suggested a hike at Table Rocks. On the way, they drove by the wall and stopped to check it out. On one corner of the brown paper were the words, “Gabby, peel here.”

“I peeled it off and I thought it was going to say ‘Happy Birthday,’ said Gabby. The last surprise!

“She finally got it all off and I got down on one knee,” said Phil. “I don’t even think I said anything. I think she just turned around and jumped on me and hugged me, and then she started crying, and I started crying. It was an awesome moment.”

Afterward, the couple painted a pink heart with the word “yes!” on the wall and posed for pictures with family and friends. They’re planning an April 2016 wedding in Raleigh.

Alanna Bergstrom

SUNY Oneonta junior Alanna Bergstrom, an environmental science major from Staten Island, has been chosen to receive the SUNY Emerging Leaders Award. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated significant leadership within their campuses and/or communities. Recipients will attend the SUNY Student Leadership Institute from Oct. 17-19 in Rochester.

From building a do-it-yourself hydroponic window garden to promoting the benefits of eating kale, apples and other locally produced foods served on campus, Bergstrom has led efforts to raise awareness among students about sustainability, one of six pillars in SUNY Oneonta’s strategic plan.

As vice president of the Environmental Activism Club, Bergstrom helps to coordinate campus events, including Green Dragon Week, Sustainability Day and environmental documentary nights.

She is also becoming a familiar fixture in the dining halls. As an intern with the college’s Farm to SUNY program, she promotes the benefits of buying locally grown meat, fruits and vegetables and tries to get students excited about eating locally produced food. Twice a week, she’s stationed at a table in a high-traffic area, handing out recipes featuring the fruit or vegetable of the month, surveying students about their knowledge of local foods, and doing demonstrations such as a “food mile” apple taste test, where students could choose between a Washington state apple and an apple from a New York orchard. SUNY Oneonta is one of four SUNY schools participating in the Farm to SUNY initiative, which seeks to increase the procurement of fresh and minimally-processed New York-grown produce by SUNY campuses at a competitive price that provides a sustainable profit margin for farmers.

“The main thing I want to do is promote local food on campus,” said Bergstrom, who also applied for and received two Sustainability Fund grant awards to create a demonstration hydroponics system and build a small greenhouse on campus.

After watching a TED Talk on how to grow your own food if you live in New York City, she began experimenting with building a hydroponic window garden using water bottles and fish tank pumps, and she learned more during a summer internship with a hydroponics start-up company. She hopes to grow leafy greens this year and tomatoes and strawberries next year through the system, which will be set up in a window of the Science 1 building.

Bergstrom is also working with two other Oneonta students (including her sister, Shannon) this fall to build a 9- by 12-foot greenhouse where food can be grown year-round on a small scale. She envisions fresh tomatoes and basil that could be featured in sandwiches at the college’s new Seasons café or used by Food Service and Restaurant Administration or Dietetics students in demonstrations and educational activities.

By raising awareness, one person at a time, Bergstrom hopes to be part of a larger movement to use resources more sustainably. “If you impact enough people,” she said, “it’s going to spread like wildfire.”

The Department of Africana and Latino Studies at SUNY Oneonta will host a series of performances, lectures and other community events marking Latina/o Heritage Month. The celebration will begin with an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Le Café at the Morris Conference Center on the college’s campus, and conclude on Nov. 5 with an observance of the Dia de los Muertos at noon.

Some of the other events planned are:

• A screening of “Latino Americans,” the first major television documentary series to chronicle the history and experiences of Latinos, on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. in Hunt Union’s Red Dragon Theater;

• Two Ralph Watkins Lecture Series presentations, one on Oct. 9, delivered by Kwame Fosu, Policy Director and Director of International Affairs at Rebecca Project in Washington, D.C., and the second delivered by Pedro DiPietro of the Women’s & Gender Studies Department at Syracuse University on Oct. 30;

• Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra, award-winning salsa musicians, will perform from 8 to 11 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Hunt Union’s Waterfront Room; and

• A Gender Out of Bounds presentation titled “From La Llorona to Gay Vampires: Gender and the Supernatural in Mexican Literature and Folklore” by Jorge Estrada of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department on Oct. 29.

A complete calendar of events is available at www.oneonta.edu/LHM. All Latina/o Heritage Month programming is free and open to the public.

Rosemarie Avanzato

Rosemarie Avanzato of SUNY Oneonta’s School of Education and Human Ecology is the 2014 winner of the college’s Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award. She will deliver the Seva Lecture, titled, ”How Easy It Is To Incorporate Service-Learning Into The Classroom,” on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Craven Lounge of the Morris Conference Center. The presentation, and the dessert reception that precedes it, are free and open to the public.

A Family and Consumer Sciences and Human Ecology lecturer, Avanzato holds an associate’s degree in fashion merchandising from Nassau Community College, a bachelor’s degree in clothing and textiles from SUNY Oneonta, and a master’s in education (reading) from SUNY Oneonta.

Avanzato engages students in her Consumer Resource Management classes in service-learning projects ranging from collecting pet supply donations for a local animal shelter to coordinating the Cinderella Project on campus. This national program provides free, gently worn gowns and accessories to high school students dreaming of attending their high school prom. Each spring, Avanzato’s students collect donations of dresses, shoes, jewelry and other accessories and give them to area high school students at no cost. Avanzato is also the adviser for the college’s Association of Secondary Educators student organization.

The Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award recognizes a SUNY Oneonta faculty member who exemplifies the ideals of compassionate service. SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Ashok Kumar Malhotra established the Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award in 2008 through an endowment to the College at Oneonta Foundation, which funds an award of $1,000 to each year’s recipient.

The college provost names award winners based on a faculty selection committee’s recommendations. Criteria for the award include performing community service locally, nationally or internationally; demonstrating the ability to motivate and inspire others to perform community service; and integrating community service into the teaching and learning process.

Fifteen SUNY Oneonta freshmen have been selected to participate in Critical MaSS: Math and Science Scholars, a scholarship program supporting students who plan to pursue careers or advanced degree programs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Each student received a scholarship award of up to $2,700 for the fall 2014 semester. If they continue to meet program criteria, they will receive a similar scholarship each semester, totaling up to eight, while they are STEM majors at SUNY Oneonta.

In addition to the scholarships (up to $21,600 per student), Critical MaSS scholars will have access to a variety of required and optional experiences to bolster their chances of academic success and increase their level of engagement. For example, during their junior year, each scholar will have access to up to $1,500 to fund a research project or professional development activity, such as attending a scientific meeting.

Now in its second year, the Critical MaSS program is funded by a five-year grant awarded through the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM Program. It will support a total of 24 SUNY Oneonta students in the fields of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science & Statistics, Physics & Astronomy or Environmental Science with scholarships of up to $5,400 per year. Nine students who began the program last fall are in their second year as Critical MaSS scholars.

“Although SUNY Oneonta is well-known for having low student debt costs at graduation, there are still many students whose families have difficulty paying for college,” said project coordinator Dr. John Schaumloffel, chair of the college’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

Second-year Critical MaSS Scholar Courtney Cooper, a chemistry major from Norwich, NY, said the benefits of the program extend beyond financial support.

“Transitioning to a place where you don’t know anyone and don’t know what to expect can be scary and intimidating. For me, the STEM program made it easier in multiple ways. For example, not only did I get to meet other students with interests similar to mine but I also got to meet staff members in the courses I could possibly be taking. STEM helped by providing guidance throughout the first year of college, during both the class time and meetings with advisers outside of class.”

Working closely with Schaumloffel on the project are Dr. Jennifer Withington, assistant professor of Biology; Dr. Leigh Fall, assistant professor of geology within the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; and Dr. Nathan Gonyea, associate professor of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education.

SUNY Oneonta received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, on Sept. 16. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—SUNY Oneonta will be featured along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s November 2014 issue.

“It is an honor to receive recognition for our efforts to be inclusive and welcoming. We are fortunate that our college community attracts students, faculty and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds. This gives us unique opportunities to share, learn, and grow,” said SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski. “The greatest reward for infusing diversity into the campus experience is the hope that our students will show one another greater empathy, know more of the struggles that shape us all, and go into the world prepared to meet challenges through strength of character.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected SUNY Oneonta based on the college’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

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