Chancellor’s Award Recipients Announced

May 3rd, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized

Three faculty members and the chief of police at SUNY Oneonta have been named recipients of the 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Jerome Blechman will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Associate Professor of English Daniel Payne will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Assistant Professor of Music Joseph Pignato will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; and University Police Chief Barton Ingersoll will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

A member of the SUNY Oneonta Earth and Atmospheric Sciences faculty since 1982, Dr. Blechman was recognized for his service to students, the department, the college and the community. As coordinator of the college’s Meteorology Program for nearly 30 years, he has developed curricula; supervised numerous student research projects, independent studies and internships; and advised the majority of the students in the program. His record of service includes five years as department chair, leadership on numerous college committees and 12 years representing the department on the College Senate. In the community, he has served as a member and chair of the Town of Oneonta Planning Board, as a grant writer for the Oneonta Family YMCA and as coordinator of the New York State YMCA Gymnastics Championship Meet. A 1991 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Blechman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.

A member of the SUNY Oneonta English Department since 2001, Dr. Payne has developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher and respected scholar in environmental studies. In addition to teaching a variety of established courses, he has created nine new courses in environmental literature, science and technical writing, nature writing, screenwriting, creative nonfiction, Hawthorne and Melville, modern environmentalism, literature of the Adirondacks and biography. The author of three books — with a fourth in progress — as well as numerous essays, articles, creative works, book reviews and conference papers, Dr. Payne serves as director of the John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference held every other summer by the English Department. He holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo, a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University and a bachelor’s degree from Union College.

A member of the SUNY Oneonta Music Department faculty since 2004, Dr. Pignato was recognized for his contributions as a scholar, composer and music educator. He teaches courses in improvisation, composition, rock and popular music performance, music industry, and music technology. He also directs two contemporary music ensembles and serves as the faculty adviser for two music-related student clubs. Increasingly recognized as an expert in the areas of alternative music education, improvisation and music composition, Dr. Pignato has given performances, paper presentations, lectures and clinics in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. One of his compositions, “Paprika King,” was selected for inclusion in the “Notations 21” anthology of composers active in graphic notation and experimental music. He holds a doctoral degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

As SUNY Oneonta’s University Police Chief since 1994, Dr. Ingersoll has overseen the department’s transition to a professional, state-accredited University Police force. His commitment to excellence in police training extends beyond campus; in December 2011, he was recognized by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services for his role as president of the New York State University Police Chiefs Association in pursuing accreditation for SUNY police agencies — a designation held by fewer than 20 percent of the police agencies in New York state. Dr. Ingersoll has also led the college’s efforts to develop a robust emergency preparedness plan, and he secured almost $100,000 in grants for highly technical equipment used in the campus-run Otsego County Law Enforcement Academy. He holds a Ph.D. from SUNY Albany, master’s degrees from SUNY Albany and Elmira College and a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College.

Chancellor’s Awards recognize consistently superior achievement and commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good.

The 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence will be presented at SUNY Oneonta’s 123rd Commencement on Saturday, May 19.