Kaleidoscope Fall 2014 issue

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Kaleidoscope is the official magazine of The College at Brockport Alumni Association. Our fall issue highlights include: -An inside look at our new Liberal Arts Building -Brockports unique and award-winning Leadership Development Program -Feeding Brockport, How BASC does it -Bill Steeles ticket to success -Checking in with the Class of 1936 -Taking Summer Undergraduate Research to a new level


  • Fall 2014

    New academic building opens (page 4)

  • An aerial view of Bob Boozer Field at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium taken during the Courage Bowl on September 20, 2014. The football game featuring Brockport vs. St. John Fisher drew a school-record 9,316 fans. (Photo provided by Bob Cushman)

  • From the President .......................................2

    Campaign for Brockport Update .................3

    New Liberal Arts Building ............................4

    Leadership Development Program .............6

    An Inside Look at BASC ...............................8

    Bill Steele 62 ..............................................12

    Checking in with the Class of 1936 ...........14

    A Unique Research Opportunity ...............16

    Alumni News ...............................................18

    Spanning the Nation ...................................24

    Class Notes .................................................26

    First Person .................................................28


  • A SpeciAl JourneyAt the conclusion of my annual State of the College

    Address during our Faculty-Staff Convocation on August 19, I announced my retirement, effective the end of August 2015. Should you wish to review my remarks, they are available online at www.brockport.edu/president/stmts/conv-14-facstaff.html. This year culminates a 45-year career in higher education, with Brockport at the pinnacle. Kathy and I look back at our capstone decade at Brockport with fondness, and we look ahead with great anticipation to our final year at the College.

    Providing students with a quality, multi-dimensional education that prepares them to be productive and

    successful members of their communities is at the core of our institution. Its a practice that has been woven into the fabric of our mission since the College first opened its doors as the Brockport Collegiate Institute in 1835. At every turn, our faculty and staff work to create the best possible experience for our students, both in and out of the classroom. Whether the focus is on academic programs, athletics, recreation, co-curricular activities or first-class facilities, the effort and pride put forth to make sure we offer the very best is evident. Each day the changes in our living and learning environment are palpable. We hear about it from students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors.

    I am exceedingly proud of all that has been accomplished on behalf of student success during our tenure. In the following pages, youll see examples of those sources of pride. Stories include the completion of our new Liberal Arts Building, which is home to five academic departments. The Campaign for Brockport, Pursue Something Greater, continues to provide more and more opportunities for our students, and youll get an inside look at our award-winning Leadership Development Program a priority in the Colleges latest strategic plan.

    These examples serve as a testament to some of the special qualities of our College, including our unwavering commitment to student success. We are fortunate, indeed, to be part of this journey.

    Best wishes,

    John R. Halstead, PhDPresident

    KaleidoscopeVolume 27, No. 2, Fall 2014 Circulation 75,000

    PUBLISHER Roxanne JohnstonEXECUTIVE EDITORIAL TEAM Kerry Gotham Darby Knox David Mihalyov 87/03


    LAYOUT AND DESIGN Sam Nicolosi

    PHOTOGRAPHY Richard W. Black Matt Yeoman

    CONTRIBUTORS Charlie Cowling

    COVER PHOTO BY Matt Yeoman, Manager, Brockport Photographic Services

    SEND CORRECTIONS OR CHANGES OF ADDRESS TO:Division of Advancement 350 New Campus Drive Brockport, NY 14420 (585) 395-2451 kscope@brockport.edu

    BROCKPORT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORSWarren Kozireski 82/95 (President) Elaine Leshnower 61/98 (Vice President) Carl OConnor 07 (Treasurer) Allyn Hammel 86 (Secretary) Catherine Appleby 75/83/01, Marisa Ballara 07, Jon Bell 67/69, Nick Catanzaro 06, Joe Chesebro 94, Kimberly Della Porta 08, Joan Fenton 79, Becky Gillette 03, David Harris 90, Glenn Johnson 85, Lauren Kelly 03, Ron Milon 87, Donald Murray 69, Betty Jane Nasca 52, Karen Owen 87/91, Monique Rew-Bigelow 09/10, Harriet Sisson 85, Adam Standish 98/00, Daniel Stinebiser 76, Gary Sullivan 80, Karen Webber 09/10President Halstead presents Cullen Wegman 14 with the Presidents Citation Award at Aprils

    Honors and Awards Ceremony.



  • CAMPAIGNPRIORITIESWe established the following priority areas for campaign along with corresponding dollar goals. Our progress to date is noted for each area (as of 9/30/14).

    PRIORITY Goal Raised %

    Student Support $12 million $14.4 million 120%

    Faculty, Schools and Programs $9 million $5.2 million 58%

    Campus and Facilities Enhancements $2 million $683,894 34%

    The Fund for Brockport $2 million $1.97 million 99%

    As we move closer to our overall goal of $25 million, the College continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support it has received through the Campaign for Brockport, Pursue Something Greater. As of September 30, 2014, alumni, emeriti, faculty and staff, students and friends of Brockport have given more than $22.3 million. Thats more than 89% of our goal less than two years from our target date of June 2016!


    $25,000,000(by June 2016)

    $22,304,359(as of Sept. 30)



  • ATTENTION TO DETAILTrees cleared from the construction site

    are providing the wood for hand-crafted benches; a bird-friendly design has been applied to the two-story windows which flood the interior with natural light but deter birds from hitting the glass; sun-shading blinds on the outside of the building aid in energy-conservation and climate control; and a wildlife-friendly bio-retention pond just off the back of the building contributes to the natural sweep of the landscape.

    And those are just a few of the finishing touches.

    The Liberal Arts Building, the first new academic building on The College at Brockport campus in 40 years, serves as the new home for the Departments of English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Women and Gender

    Studies all programs in the School of The Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It will also house the offices of the schools dean and faculty.

    The attention to detail that went into the planning of this building is remarkable, says Dean Darwin Prioleau. Associate Dean Ginnie Bachelor and the planning committee played an integral role in


  • shaping a space that is visually stunning, welcomes collaboration, and is alive with creativity. This new building takes us a giant step forward in achieving our goal of bringing students and faculty together for meaningful interaction.

    A special gallery has been installed for the collection of E.E. Cummings paintings donated to the College several years ago. The restored paintings are displayed in cases that allow them to be enjoyed while protecting their fragile state. New works of art by various artists, chosen by the Colleges Public Art Committee, grace other areas of the building providing a visually stimulating environment for all.

    An array of classrooms and conference rooms, which includes a 200-seat auditorium that may be divided for smaller groups, are all replete with state-of-the-art technology to enhance teaching and learning. Two gathering places on the second floor are furnished with comfortable couches and chairs that invite students to meet for group projects, study

    or chat with friends. Second- and third-floor overlooks provide open air seating on temperate days.

    Brockport President John R. Halstead, PhD, says its no coincidence that the Colleges first new academic building in years houses the liberal arts.

    The Liberal Arts are the foundation of a Brockport education, said Halstead. They are the building blocks that provide the critical thinking skills to help our students succeed, so it is more than appropriate that this beautiful facility is home to these vital programs.

    Three-stories tall and 61,000 square-feet, the Liberal Arts Building is east of Brockports Drake Memorial Library and attached to it by a second-story connector, bringing these two hubs of learning even closer together. The $29.3 million facility was funded through the SUNY Construction Fund. The building has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

    For more information on naming a space in the Liberal Arts Building, visit www.campaignforbrockport.com/naming or call (585) 395-2451.

    Mccue AuditoriuM

    diAne 77 And Jerry Mccue e.e. cuMMings gAllery

    glenn goldberg 80 And FAMily bAlcony i And ii

    glenn goldberg 80 And FAMily liberAl Arts PlAzA


    Septembers grand opening of the Liberal Arts Building featured the dedication of the following named spaces as the result of generous gifts from Diane 77 and Jerry McCue as well as Glenn Goldberg 80 and Kim Burke.

  • Leadership education is not new at Brockport. It wasnt until 2009, though, that the College revamped the way it provided those resources to students, and the Leadership Development Program was born. Kim Piatt is the programs director and in her fifth year overseeing the burgeoning operation. From 199 students in that pilot year of 2009-10, more than 450 students took part in 2013-14.

    We take students who have this untapped potential, and we work with them throughout their time at Brockport to help them reach and exceed what they think is possible, says Piatt.

    The program is designed to enable students to develop their leadership skills and potential through a series of sequential levels. Components of the initial Green level include taking part in interactive workshops, attending campus events that challenge students to think critically about diversity, and participation in community service. Gold activities focus on group values, which require weekend seminars, a group project focusing on a social action plan and presentation of the project at Brockports

    annual Scholars Day.Once students earn Green

    and Gold certificates, they move on to the Presidential level where they are required to take a semester-long Leadership and Society course as well as an internship in a chosen career field. The final Capstone level includes serving as a mentor, group advisor or workshop presenter. It also involves taking an active role in planning the LDPs annual Student Leadership Conference.

    The focus on these specific levels of leadership growth is particularly important when analyzing the programs success. Piatt says recent research suggests that, unlike previous models of leadership education, engaging students sequentially instead of simultaneously, is more effective. Its a method Brockport instituted before the research validated it.

    Joining the Leadership Development Program helped me become more focused on my goals and what I wanted for my

    future, says Amisail Perez 14, who is among the first group of students to complete all levels of the program. Without that experience, I would have been less determined and not had the drive to push my limits and take myself out of my comfort zone.

    With so many students taking part in the program, how does Piatt make it work so well? She

    says she couldnt possibly do it without the faculty, staff and alumni.

    Because Brockport is this incredibly special place where people fully support the idea of student development, we end up with all of these faculty and staff members who are willing to donate and volunteer their time to help students grow, she says. Thats phenomenal to me.

    Almost 200 such volunteers took part in 2013-14. Responsibilities include mentoring students on an individual basis, serving on a variety of committees and

    The rapid rise to national prominence of Brockports Leadership Development Program is as impressive as the number of volunteers who come together to make it one of the Colleges true success stories. Its one of the many ways the College provides its students with an enriching and meaningful education. In the end, the benefit to students is immeasurable.

    Amisail Perez 14


  • In just its fifth year of existence, the Leadership Development Program is recognized as one of the best student affairs programs in the nation. In spring 2014, it was named the Grand Bronze winner of the NASPA Excellence Awards. That means it was distinguished as the third-best program among a handful of Excellence Awards winners.

    2013-14 NASPA Excellence Awards Gold Award: Student Union, Student Activities, Greek Life,

    Leadership and related category

    Grand Bronze: Third-place among all Gold recipients in the Excellence Awards

    Additional Awards 2013 Program of the Year by the NASPA Student Leadership

    Programs Knowledge Community Spotlight

    2010 ACUI (Association of College Unions International) Region II Outstanding Community Building Program Award

    presenting at the programs annual conference.

    One of my mentors helped me discover my love of higher education, student affairs and my future career, says Alyssa Mitchell 14, who interned over the summer at Loyola Marymount University through the Center for Talented Youth of Johns Hopkins University. This fall, she began a position as an admissions assistant at Brockport.

    Piatt gets calls from schools around the country seeking help and guidance when setting up their programs. Invariably, most marvel at how many faculty, staff and alumni volunteers are a part of it.

    The model we use has the potential to influence one of those trends that ends up revolutionizing the way we do student leadership development, says Piatt. I think we are on the cusp of helping to change the face of leadership development at higher education institutions.

    As the College developed its 2011-16 Strategic Plan, the Leadership Development Program was one of its priorities. Three years later, its success has been recognized well beyond the Brockport campus. In April, it received one of the most prestigious honors from the nations leading student affairs association. The Grand Bronze designation from NASPA means the

    program is considered the third best student affairs program in the country.

    To have our program be something other schools look to as a model and as a best practice in the field is just amazing, says Piatt. It was a banner year for us. We not only received the overall excellence award, but we also received the spotlight leadership program of the year from NASPAs leadership program knowledge community.

    The pride Piatt feels with the Leadership Development Program still comes down to the impact it has on the

    students.Its a privilege to watch them grow and

    develop into the type of leader they didnt realize they had the potential to become.

    Alyssa Mitchell 14

    Become a VolunteerThe Leadership Development Program relies heavily on volunteers to maintain its award-winning excellence. As a member of our alumni community, there are a variety of opportunities ranging from being a mentor or advisor to a committee member or even a wor...