For Immediate Release—Friday, June 2, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

Six SUNY Geneseo faculty and staff earn Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

GENESEO, N.Y.—Six faculty and staff members of the State University of New York at Geneseo have been named recipients of the 2006 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence.

Ian Alam, assistant professor of marketing, Kathryn Rommel-Esham, associate professor of education, and Melissa A. Sutherland, assistant professor of mathematics, received Excellence in Teaching Awards; Mary Ellen Zuckerman, professor and dean of the Jones School of Business, received an Excellence in Faculty Service Award; Stephen J. Padalino, professor of physics and astronomy, received an Excellence in Scholarship & Creative Activities Award; and Tamara L. Hurlburt, associate director for judicial affairs, center for community, received an Excellence in Professional Service Award.

Ian Alam of Brighton, N.Y., is completing his fifth year as an assistant professor of marketing at Geneseo, teaching marketing theory, marketing communications and Internet marketing. He has proven to be an outstanding teacher who uses a creative mix of theory, interactive exercises and practical projects to engage his students. He has the ability to promote clear understanding of some of the most challenging issues of marketing theory with a style that students find both inviting and effective. In class, he is a communicator, informer, facilitator, discussion leader and instructor. His courses, though rigorous, are enrolled at full capacity. Alam stays abreast of current theories and scholarship through his own research and publication, conference participation and consistent review of materials in his area. His work has been published in such prestigious journals including the "Journal of Marketing Management" and the "Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science." Alam also serves as an academic advisor for 25 students and is known for his constant availability on campus or by telephone or e-mail.

Tamara L. Hurlburt of Dansville, N.Y., is associate director for judicial affairs, a position she has held since 2001. Before that, she served as Geneseo's assistant director of residence life from 2000-01 and associate director of residence life from 1998-2000. She has served as coordinator of the college's Employee Assistance Program and as advisor of the Student Association since 2003. She also has served as an instructor of several freshmen seminars since the fall of 2003. From 1990-1992, she was a residence director at Geneseo. She is respected by students, faculty and staff for her support of Geneseo's concept of discipline as an education process, her ability to assert her authority in a fair and even-handed manner, and her compassion. She provides proactive programs on various topics, including alcohol and sexual awareness, to ensure that students understand the rules for community living and have the tools for dealing with new experiences. Although her title may make her responsibilities seem limited to one area, in reality, Hurlburt's work goes far beyond the area of judicial affairs. As the advisor to the Student Association, she ensures the organization is fiscally sound, assists with leadership training and gives advice without hampering its ability to self-govern. In addition to her assigned duties, she is involved in student volunteer programs, has taught and has been a discussion leader for the College's common reading program for first-year students. She also is one of the most active volunteers at Teresa House hospice in the village of Geneseo.

Stephen J. Padalino of Conesus, N.Y., is a professor of physics and astronomy and joined the Geneseo faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor of physics. In 1990, he became an associate professor, and in 1995 was named a full professor. Padalino has established and maintained what is arguably the most active research group on Geneseo's campus. He has been the principal investigator on sponsored research grants totaling $1.7 million and has a pending proposal for $419,000. This funding has enabled him to give research experience to more than 225 undergraduates—150 of whom have had full-time summer research funding throughout the years. His current funding also supports research for eight faculty members in three departments—physics, chemistry and computer science. Padalino, whose primary research interests lie in nuclear diagnostic development and implementation, is known by his colleagues as an "idea person" who is highly creative in his approach to problem solving and has a knack for bringing together physicists, chemists and computer scientists to produce integrated approaches to research. For the past decade, Padalino has focused on the area of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), which enables scientists to study, here on Earth, the processes that take place in stars. His research is cutting-edge and essential for studies carried out at the National Ignition Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has maintained a research contract for more than a decade. Padalino also has established close relationships with scientists at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology nuclear physics department and Cornell University.

Kathryn Rommel-Esham of Geneseo, N.Y., an associate professor of education, is a mathematics educator in Geneseo's Shear School of Education. Rommel-Esham began her career at Geneseo as an adjunct professor in 1991, became a visiting assistant professor in 1998 and then an assistant professor in 1999. In September 2005, she became an associate professor. She demonstrates the elements of a student-centered teacher who holds to the highest standards. Rommel-Esham is able to blend content and pedagogy in her classes, teaching rigorous mathematics while motivating her students to become caring teachers with concern for student learning. Active hands-on teaching, laboratory exercises, library readings, writing assignments and rigorous assessment are the norm in her classes, where she maintains an informal yet authoritative interaction with her students as she guides them effectively from a critical understanding of the lesson at hand to larger issues in teaching and learning. She also provides insight about teaching to her colleagues. As a professor who has team-taught reading and math/science courses with her writes, Rommel-Esham's "passion for understanding of the interconnectedness between math/science and literacy were invaluable to the student and to me." Rommel remains current in her discipline so she may provide the best possible preparation for her students. She has numerous publications, grants and presentations on her vita and is an engaged member of the College community who serves on department and College-wide committees. Above all, she is an exemplary teacher and mentor who has seamlessly woven the teaching of professional skills into Geneseo's mission as a public liberal arts college by promoting creativity, critical thinking and intellectual reflection in her classes.

Melissa A. Sutherland of Mt. Morris, N.Y., an assistant professor of mathematics who graduated with honors from Geneseo in 1992, "is among of the most effective educators in the department and, I believe, on campus," one of her colleagues writes. Sutherland joined the Geneseo faculty in the fall of 2001. She has mastered the art of moving a class forward while probing for points that need clarification to ensure that everyone will understand the next step. Sutherland's class preparation is meticulous, and the courses she teaches range from those required for elementary education certification to upper-division courses that prepare students for graduate school in the discipline. Regardless of course level, her teaching exemplifies rigor and a sincere concern for student learning. Beyond the classroom, Sutherland is involved in the college's Math Day for Girls, an outreach program for girls in the local and surrounding high schools who are at risk of dropping out of math. She also serves as the advisor to Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor society for undergraduate mathematics, and PRISM, the undergraduate mathematics club. In addition, she is a member of the College Senate and is active in several state and national professional organizations. She has published articles in "New York State Mathematics Teachers' Journal" and "Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics Magazine" and recently co-authored a textbook titled "An Introduction to Abstract Algebra With Notes to the Future Teacher" with two Geneseo colleagues.

Mary Ellen Zuckerman of Brighton, N.Y., has served as dean of Geneseo's Jones School of Business since 1999. She joined the Geneseo faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor in the areas of marketing, organizational behavior, product promotion and consumer behavior. She became as associate professor in 1990 and a full professor in 1999. A highly respected faculty member and professional, her leadership and tenacity moved the business school forward through a demanding and successful accreditation process with the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business. Zuckerman gained approval for a master's degree in accounting at Geneseo, which allows students to complete the academic requirements for taking the certified public accountant exam, and by assisting in the establishment of the Pamela York Klainer Center for Woman and Business. In addition, she has worked with members of the college's Business Advisory Council to establish a fund that supports scholarly activities that keep them current in their discipline and improve teaching and learning. Zuckerman has lent her skills and time to numerous campus-wide initiatives, including chairing the College Assessment Committee and the successful search for a new dean of education. She co-chaired the college's Blue Ribbon Commission on Faculty Roles, Rewards and Evaluation. Her service and leadership extend beyond the campus as well. She serves as president of the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration and is a member of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame Selection Committee, as well as the University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Conference Planning Committee.