Ten Oswego Students, Employees Earn SUNY Chancellor’s Awards
Five students and five SUNY Oswego employees earned Chancellor’s Awards, the highest award for excellence given by the SUNY system.
Remmington Johnson ’22 won a special Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence – Military Service: Air Force, the only such award in the state system. Chancellor’s Awards also recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Caydee Blankenship ’22, Helena Buttons ’22, Matthew Lynne ’22 and Jayvana Perez ’22.
A creative writing major from Watertown, N.Y., Johnson earned three military awards while serving in Afghanistan for leadership, courage and forecasting ability. His service earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal – First Oak Leaf Cluster. Returning to the U.S., Johnson reflected deeply on his service and chose to write about his experiences and what he has learned. He graduated summa cum laude, earned the Dean’s Writing Award for Creative Writing and Rosalie Battles Creative Non-fiction Award, and was runner-up for the Alix Madigan-Yorkin Short Script Award. He has published several pieces in the Great Lake Review.
A double major in finance and economics from Antwerp, N.Y., with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Blankenship excelled in academics and analytical skills. Currently working with Northwestern Mutual as a financial representative and as a team analyst for the CFA Institute, she was senior analyst for the SUNY Oswego Investment Club and a financial analyst intern with the Carta Group. Blankenship earned an invitation to present her research at the New York State Economics Association Conference, and has received the Richard Hyse Outstanding Economics Student Award, among other honors. Also a member of Women in Business, Blankenship has been inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies.
A double major in communication and social interaction and in English from Churchville, N.Y., Buttons has shone brightly in dedication to others. Most notably, they coordinate Students Helping Oz Peers (SHOP), the college’s student-volunteer-run food and clothing pantry helping campus members in need. A Merit Scholar, Buttons interned in the President’s Office/Chief of Staff, including serving on the State Employees Federated Appeal committee. They also helped other students during internships with Career Services and the Dean of Student offices. Buttons was vice president of Lambda Pi Eta communication honor society and was a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Queer and Trans Outreach Center, and Her Campus Online Magazine. They were also selected as one of two Oswego Alumni Association’s 2022 Outstanding Senior Award recipients.
Meteorology major Lynne, from Jamesville, N.Y., excelled in academics, research and forecasting. A top student in synoptic meteorology classes, he interned with and conducted ongoing research related to the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center’s Winter Storm Outlook. He also conducted research on lake-effect lightning and lake-effect snow. A Presidential Scholar, he was a student forecast leader for the Lake-Effect Storm Prediction and Research Center, and presented research at the Great Lakes Atmospheric Science Symposium, where he was a leading organizer. He also was a member of the College Honors Program, vice president of the Meteorology Club and a member of the SUNY Oswego Jazz Ensemble.
Perez, a double major in criminal justice and in communication and social interaction from Ozone Park, provided an exemplary level of leadership and commitment to furthering diversity and understanding. Perez was a key organizer of the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Leadership Conference multiple times. Her many involvements included serving as president of the Latino Student Union, spearheading an increase in programming, particularly during Hispanic Heritage Month. She interned with the Dean of Students and Title IX office. Her overall excellence and effort resulted in the Presidential Scholarship, Hubert B. Smith Diversity Scholarship, Jean M. Grant Student Peer Health Educator Memorial Award and Eugenio Maria De Hostos Scholarship, among other awards.
The students were recognized on campus during Honors Convocation on April 8, with a statewide ceremony on April 26 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley, the former longtime SUNY Oswego president, presided over the occasion honoring 180 students total with the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence (CASE).
“Now more than ever, it is time to celebrate the accomplishments of our students who have helped one another get through this global pandemic and focus on getting the most out of their college education, and this year’s CASE winners are at the top of the class,” Stanley said. “It is my great honor to celebrate the fortitude, leadership, and achievements of this year’s winners, and I applaud their hard work and desire to do more for their campuses and fellow students. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Faculty and Staff Awards
The following SUNY Oswego faculty and staff members received their awards in front of their peers during the university’s opening breakfast in August 2022.
Mary Craw, an office assistant in SUNY Oswego’s Office of Residence Life and Housing, earned the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service, recognizing four decades of service consistently putting students first.
Three dedicated SUNY Oswego staff members have earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. The 2022 award winners are Lisa Evaneski, Title IX coordinator; Joshua McKeown, associate provost for international education and programs; and Sean Moriarty, chief technology officer.
Mary Tone Rodgers, the Marcia Belmar Willock Endowed Professor of Finance, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in recognition of her impactful and successful time inside and outside SUNY Oswego’s classrooms.
EXCELLENCE IN CLASSIFIED SERVICE
Craw, an office assistant in SUNY Oswego’s Office of Residence Life and Housing, earned the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service, recognizing four decades of service consistently putting students first.
“While her job responsibilities include daily housing assignment management and student billing, she regularly goes above and beyond through her work with students, parents, staff and other campus offices,” wrote nominator Sara Rebeor, who supervises Craw as associate director for Residence Life and Housing. “Mary consistently works beyond her job duties to ensure students have a positive living experience.”
Craw has spent 37 of her 40 years at SUNY Oswego working in this office, but every day brings a positive attitude that helps students and co-workers.
“Mary’s daily tasks are many, but her greatest gift is her ability to impact others in a positive way,” Rebeor wrote. “She always puts students first, working to support them in their struggles. Mary’s ability to listen and her lighthearted warm approach provides a safe space for students to ask questions and express their fears and frustrations. Mary’s dedication to her students coupled with her knowledge of housing and campus policies and procedures and her positive honest approach are often recognized by staff.”
Craw also helps students and the college adapt as needs change, including as a key contributor to changing the student housing selection process from paper-based to online, as well as the implementation of gender-inclusive options.
She also provides leadership through training and support to staff at all levels related to functions such as housing assignments, billing and operational policies and procedures.
“You will often find staff in Mary’s office asking questions to help them in their work,” Rebeor noted.
Rebeor also praised Craw’s dedication to the campus and community through support of events, fundraisers, awareness walks, information fairs and much more. Craw is, Rebeor added, very connected to the campus community.
“Mary is known across campus for her candid and energetic interactions with students, parents, faculty, staff and coaches,” Rebeor wrote.
EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Evaneski is widely viewed as one of the most proactive and productive professionals in this field in the nation as well as in SUNY, nominees noted. Her 2022 recognition as a Diamond Honoree by the American College Personnel Association shows she is among the best in the fields that serve students. This major lifetime achievement reflects Evaneski’s more than 30 years in higher education, continuously taking on bigger challenges and opportunities to make a difference.
Her passion, purpose and excellence in serving students, victims and those needing assistance in many ways is where Evaneski really shines, nominators wrote. Evaneski joined SUNY Oswego in 2008 and began serving as Title IX coordinator in 2015.
Mary Toale, SUNY Oswego’s current officer-in-charge, previously supervised Evaneski while deputy director to the president and wrote a support letter in that role praising Evaneski’s superlative skills in supporting students.
“Because of Lisa’s exhaustive efforts to engage and educate, our campus community is aware of our policies, practices and resources in regard to sexual and interpersonal violence,” Toale wrote. “Lisa’s expertise and insight are highly sought after on and off campus. She is seen beyond campus as a leader in her field and has represented SUNY Oswego in local, regional and national conversations about Title IX.”
In addition to leading campuswide compliance with Title IX regulations, Evaneski helped create the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association and serves as past president. She has presented and consulted at the national and regional level on Clery regulations, Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act, higher education compliance, inclusion, social justice and other topics.
“Lisa is readily available and accessible to those in need of her expertise virtually 24 hours a day,” wrote Anneke McEvoy, associate director of the James A. Triandiflou ‘88 Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Transformative Practice. “She has developed a range of educational workshops and programs for students, faculty and staff on topics ranging from dating violence to stalking to affirmative consent.”
Evaneski spearheads awareness efforts including the popular annual Yards for Yeardley campus walk/run, One Love workshops and It’s on Oz events supporting the It’s on US national pledge to end sexual violence. She was among the first to join SUNY’s Got Your Back initiative to create backpacks full of supplies for victims of domestic violence. Evaneski also has developed an exemplary program for students workers that led to former interns entering the student affairs field.
“I have attended several trainings and conferences with Lisa, and when she enters the room, it’s like one of the Beatles just walked in,” wrote Jennifer Knapp, interim dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.
“Students know her, faculty and staff know her, alumni know her, SUNY Title IX professionals certainly know her, and that is all due to her tireless work to make our campuses and communities the most inclusive, safe and informed as possible,” Knapp added. “I have seen first-hand the care she takes with the people she works with, both victims and those accused, and I know she is the reason many of our students are able to persist and successfully finish their degrees.”
When the pandemic hit, Evaneski moved quickly in developing resources and using technology to ensure trainings and investigations could continue effectively.
“Lisa Evaneski works to give our campus the tools to be a more informed and accountable community, to take care of ourselves and each other, and to go out into the world as agents for positive change,” Toale wrote. “Her characteristics represent all that is good in our community.”
Evaneski earned her master of education in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University and a bachelor of science in education from Wheelock College.
EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
McKeown’s nomination noted that Oswego’s reputation in SUNY and beyond, the number and diversity of students who engage in education abroad, and the expansion of education abroad under his leadership reflect his excellence and commitment to continuing improvement.
Scott Furlong, provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, wrote that McKeown “has lifted SUNY Oswego’s status in regards to our efforts within international education and programs to the point that SUNY Oswego is seen as a leader within SUNY, where colleagues throughout SUNY, including SUNY Administration, seek him out for advice and help.”
In leading the Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP), McKeown redesigned the education abroad diversity, equity and inclusion strategy to engage new faculty in underserved disciplines, develop sustained student mentoring and outreach programs, develop new and expanded scholarship and funding opportunities, and recruit a talented and diverse office staff resulting in increased underrepresented student participation in education abroad (now 1 in 4 total participants).
Under his leadership, education abroad expanded to become a SUNY leader with over 100 study-abroad and exchange programs in more than 30 countries, which often enroll more than 400 students annually.
Nominators pointed to the variety of programs and the success of faculty-led courses that deeply embedded educational experiences into offerings. These include education and sustainability in Benin; the geopolitics of energy in Turkey; transitions from authoritarianism in Qatar, South Korea and Myanmar; theatre in Buenos Aires; storytelling in Abu Dhabi and Ghana; World War I in Vienna; fermentation in Germany, Ireland and Scotland; and how to build a sensor to measure air quality in London, among other topics.
Awards recognizing the innovations and accomplishments of McKeown and his OIEP team include the 2019 Excellence in Diversity Abroad award recognizing the rate of underrepresented minority students who study abroad from Oswego, the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange International Partnership Award (2018), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Award for Excellence and Innovation in International Education (2017) and the Heiskell Award Honorable Mention from the Institute for International Education in 2016 for the “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” program.
McKeown, who came to Oswego in 2001, won a Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators program and serves on the national-level Fulbright Award committee.
But among these accomplishments, colleagues praised McKeown’s emphasis on making students’ experiences educational, meaningful and –- most of all –- safe.
A scholar of education abroad, McKeown’s books include “The First Time Effect: The Impact of Study Abroad on College Student Intellectual Development,” which has been cited almost 300 times and is based on a broad range of data he collected and analyzed, and a 2021 co-edited volume “Global Higher Education During COVID-19: Policy, Society and Technology.”
“His commitment to educational excellence is no more evident than in his tireless work to ensure global learning is inclusive and accessible for all students,” wrote Andrew Gordon, CEO and founder of Diversity Abroad. “Josh McKeown’s contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion in international education are well known and have been recognized with the highest awards in our profession.”
Gordon added that McKeown “has built permanent structures and instilled a thorough culture of respect and inclusion in his division that creates space and opportunities for talented and diverse team members to thrive and for students to achieve their goals and dreams,” noting especially the peer-engaging Study Abroad Mentors and Diversity Mentor Program.
McKeown earned his Ph.D. in higher post-secondary education and bachelor of arts in international relations from Syracuse University, and a master of business administration from Clarkson University.
EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Moriarty received praise for his outstanding leadership in technology development to support the college’s instructional mission since joining Oswego in 2013 as chief technology officer (CTO). In leading Campus Technology Services (CTS), he has deployed software solutions for all areas of the college, ensuring the reliability and security of campus networks, supporting effective instructional technologies and advancing digital accessibility – while prioritizing the end-users of technology in all areas of college operations.
“The position of Chief Technology Officer is extremely critical for a university and takes on many roles serving faculty, students and staff,” Furlong wrote. “Having a critical understanding of the diverse needs of these users cannot be understated, and Sean has such a grasp and works equally well with stakeholders from all areas . . . Sean engages with the needs of the campus and its personnel and works diligently to find effective and efficient solutions.”
CTO is a position that involves managing technology but with a deft and inclusive human touch, wrote Rebecca Mushtare, associate dean of graduate studies, who also is an art faculty member and former accessibility fellow.
“Sean’s primary role as a leader and as an administrator is to take the time to listen, bring the right people to the table to work together on solutions, and then be at the ready to find and advocate for the resources necessary to make this work happen,” Mushtare noted.
“Sean has a superb understanding of the role that technology plays in supporting all aspects of the college mission, and he has been very effective in nurturing a shared sense of this mission throughout the CTS organization,” wrote John Kane, who directs the college’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and is long-time member of the Campus Technology Advisory Board and economics faculty member.
Furlong also noted that Moriarty has elevated Oswego’s status in planning and technological infrastructure to the point that colleagues throughout SUNY, including SUNY’s administration, seek his advice and help.
Moriarty served as vice-chair and chair of the SUNY Council of Chief Information Officers from 2016 to 2020, and for numerous other SUNY and national Educause committees. In 2020, Morirarty was recognized with the SUNY Council of CIOs Collaboration Award.
Nominators also praised Moriarty’s work in leading the charge on web accessibility to meet both the requirements and the honest responsibility of ensuring that technology supports all audiences in a fair way.
“Not interested in just meeting the requirements, he also worked to create a Faculty Accessibility Fellows program that would begin the process of developing faculty in this space and creating champions for the entire campus,” Furlong wrote. “Now in its third year, the Fellows program has been very successful in sharing information regarding the accessibility of the web and other electronic materials. This was particularly important as the entire campus had to engage in more online teaching due to the pandemic.”
During the pandemic, and most notably with the quick pivot to remote instruction in March 2020, Moriarty succeeded in demonstrating institutional flexibility and developing creative, innovative solutions in short periods of time. To prioritize students and educational needs, he worked with CTS staff to offer just-in-time professional development with workshops on educational technology for recording, video conferencing and handling electronic documents and assignments. Moriarty also worked to find hardware and technological solutions for students who suddenly had to maintain their college coursework from home.
Moriarty earned a master of business administration, bachelor of commerce and bachelor of science in math and computer science, all from the University of Windsor.
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Mary Tone Rodgers
For Mary Tone Rodgers, winning the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching culminates an impactful and successful time inside and outside SUNY Oswego’s classrooms.
Rodgers came to SUNY Oswego in 2012 as the college’s first-ever endowed faculty member, the Marcia Belmar Willock ’50 Endowed Professor of Finance. In the decade since, she has used more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street as well as her intelligence, personal skills and student-first approach remarkably, nominators noted.
“An accomplished educator, Dr. Rodgers is adept at teaching a broad range of financial topics to diverse audiences and in a range of modes,” wrote nominator Richard Skolnik, who hired her while dean of the School of Business and continues to teach in that school. In addition to teaching core courses, Rodgers developed new classes to meet student needs –- with shining student reviews and tangible outcomes throughout, he added.
“She introduces students to financial information resources through projects that require utilization of the college’s Bloomberg terminal,” Skolnik wrote. “In the ‘Commercial Credit’ seminar, she wrote a case study that was accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. The case was enhanced by inviting alumni with commercial loan experience to participate in the case discussion.”
Rodgers has published research in financial market crises in prestigious journals including the Journal of Economic History, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Research in Economic History and Review of Financial Economics, also acting as guest co-editor of a special issue in that publication. Rodgers has included students in data analysis for her research.
Additionally, she was appointed the Chandler Research Fellow in Business History at Harvard Business School, and as a select participant in a Federal Reserve workshop on financial crises.
‘Dedication to Students’
“Her consummate dedication to students through service, engagement and experiential learning is evidenced with student and alumni outcomes and support,” wrote Irene Scruton, assistant dean of the School of Business and director of the college’s master of business administration (MBA) programs –- where Rodgers is a popular teacher.
“Using her Merrill Lynch career experience, she offers our students a significant understanding of working professional responsibilities balanced with the academic rigors of the course,” Scruton noted. “Mary is gifted in providing students with content relevancy for immediate application to students’ work environments.”
“Mary’s dedication to students includes taking extra steps for them on the job market,” economics professor Ranjit Dighe wrote. “Many of the top financial firms tend to hire almost exclusively from Ivy League and other elite schools, and Mary works her connections at Merrill (and perhaps other firms) to help our students who are well qualified but otherwise might not get an interview.”
Rodgers showcases “an extraordinary commitment to student learning outside of the classroom,” Skolnik wrote. “She is the faculty advisor of the Student Investment Club, which manages a portfolio of over $600,000 and is organized similarly to a professionally managed fund. … Experience gained in the investment club has enabled students to secure competitive positions in the financial industry.”
Rodgers –- who also earned the SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advisement and an Open SUNY Award for Online Teaching Excellence –- has advised and prepared student teams who have placed well in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge.
Inspiration and Mentor
Ruth Perez ’15, who since has worked in the finance industry including as a vice president at JPMorgan Chase in New York City, spoke of Rodgers’ value as an inspiration and role model.
“As a young woman in college, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in finance but lacked the confidence to believe that I could do so,” Perez wrote, noting that Rodgers’ classes served as daily inspiration. “I distinctly remember the first time I met Professor Rodgers, and I was struck by her gravitas, confidence and warm nature; I knew that I wanted her not only as a professor but also as a mentor. Seeing how she carried herself and the career she had built gave me confidence that I could aspire to the same.”
When Dillon Nimako ’19 scored an interview with Goldman Sachs while a student, Rodgers “was willing to help with everything I asked for, and all I didn’t ask for help on, but certainly needed it.”
“This included interview advice, a full-scale technical review, and even a mock interview based on her experiences on Wall Street,” Nimako, now an investment analyst with Barings, recalled. “Although she was busy teaching classes, conducting research, and providing mentorship to the other 1,000+ students in the business school, she made it as if I was her sole priority; completely dedicated to my success in this particular endeavor.”
“Through multiple classes as a professor, as an advocate and presenter for the Dress for Success event that my collegiate club hosted, and as the faculty advisor to my CFA Institute Research Challenge team, Dr. Rodgers has consistently provided the guidance and motivation for me to find my purpose and the joys in learning something new every day,” wrote Mark Prezioso ’17, who is now senior pricing analyst with Constellation Brands.
“Dr. Rodgers opened the door for me to work on projects such as a $4 billion acquisition, managing and reporting on a complex wine and spirits operational budget, and in my new role, I’ll be formulating pricing strategies in international markets and providing pricing support for new product development,” Prezioso wrote, adding that Rodgers’ “spirit of continuous improvement and growth” continues to inspire tackling new challenges and opportunities.
The award comes as Rodgers transitions to teaching part time for SUNY Oswego’s MBA program while starting work on a new book for Cambridge University Press.
Rodgers earned her Ph.D. in finance from Pace University, an MBA in finance from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in education from Carelton College.