Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Peace Activitst to Visit Campus

"Love Your Enemies: Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking" presented by Father Louis Vitale
Tuesday, June 10 in the Sarazen Student Union, Room 203/204 at 7 p.m.
Father Louis Vitale co-founded Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service and is currently on staff as the organization’s non-violent action advocate. Ordained in 1963 as a Franciscan priest, Father Louis has devoted his life to peace, working tirelessly for the dignity and well-being of people everywhere. With a background in the Sociology of Religion and social movements, Louie is a long time social activist.Father Louis recently served a 5-month prison term for crossing the line and praying at Fort Huachuca (the military installation in Arizona where we train our American Intelligence Officers in “Enhanced Interrogation” tactics such as the much publicized water boarding, among other torture methods.)
Sponsored by: Siena College Franciscan Center for Service & Advocacy; The Thomas Merton Society of the Capital Region; The Knights of Columbus of Saratoga Springs; Emmaus House, Albany Catholic Worker; The Secular Franciscan (Third) Order; St. Bernadine of Siena community, Albany; The Human Develop Committee, St. Bridget’s Church, Copake Falls.

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Siena History Professor Receives Barbieri Grant

Dr. Wendy Pojmann, assistant professor of history, has been awarded a $5,000 Barbieri Grant (Trinity College Research Grant in Modern Italian History) to support her research project entitled "Italian Women's Associations in International Women's Movements during the Cold War".
This book-length study will analyze the histories of Italy's largest women's associations,the Communist/Socialist Unione Donne Italiane and the Catholic Centro Italiano Femminile, in the context of post-World War II political divisions at the national and international levels, showing how projects for the emancipation of women were complicated by Cold War rivalries. Through their participation in a new kind of international women's movement, the UDI and the CIF reflected the Italian phenomenon of bipolarism in one country while at the same time carving out an international role for European women. Dr. Pojmann will deliver a public talk on her research at Trinity College during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Thanks go to Alfredo Medina from Academic Affairs for the press release.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Sociology Professor Selected for Distinguished Team

Mathew Johnson, associate professor of sociology, has been selected as one of ten scholars nationwide by Campus Compact to participate in the New Leaders Organizing Team. The purpose of the team is to foster deeper collaborative dialogue, planning, and action on campuses committed to civic and community engagement. According to the president of Campus Compact, “these scholars represent a group of emerging leaders who are making an impact on higher education’s ability to serve the public good.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents – representing some 6 million students – who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated solely to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building civic engagement into campus and academic life.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slideshow is back!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Big Blue Puppet

Prior to the commencement ceremony on Sunday, Kira Pogge '08 entertained the early arrivals with her ten-foot tall puppet costume she created named RITA. RITA was the end product of Kira's senior creative arts capstone course this spring. The capstone called for students to design their own project which took Kira the entire semester to do. "It was a lot of work, but pretty cool too," Kira said. Her costume is made from products found in her basement at home, including her high school back pack, Joanne Fabrics and Lowe's.
Active in the Siena chorus, orchestra and pep band during her years at Siena, Kira also spent eight months in the Walt Disney World College Program where she was honored with the Quarterly Performance Award for the Entertainment Division.
Kira will be attending The College of St. Rose this fall where she will pursue a master's degree in communications.

RITA combines the many skills and talents fostered by the Creative Arts program, the synergistic combination of visual, musical, physical and tactile aspects that come together to inspire the heart, the mind, and the soul. Kira will attend graduate school in the fall and plans to pursue a career in the not-for-profit sector, connecting resources to needs in an effort to build hope and fulfill dreams.
RITA, stands for Relentless Innocence Thoughtful Ambition. RITA realizes that smiles, which cost nothing, hold tremendous power – the power to make a frown into a grin, the power to change tears to laughter, the power to make strangers into friends, and the power to make a lonely heart feel loved. She encourages you all to feel free to share more smiles today and always.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fr. Kevin and Siena Alumni Featured in Success Magazine

The issue can be read online here.

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Videos from Commencement

Some videos from Sunday's commencement can be found here, thanks to SCTV!

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Graduation Slideshow

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812 Students Graduate at the 68th Commencement Exercises

Here is a synopsis of Sunday's slideshow coming soon. Check back!

On Sunday, May 18, Siena College conferred 812 graduates with Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science degrees by Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard, D.D., bishop of Albany. Fourteen students graduated summa cum laude (3.9 GPA or higher), 145 magna cum laude (3.79-3.89 GPA), and another 117 cum laude (3.5-3.69 GPA). Twenty were honors fellows, and the first ever certificate in revolutionary era studies was awarded.

Rev. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., in his first commencement ceremony as president, welcomed the members of the Class of 2008 into the alumni community as lifelong sons and daughters of Siena College.

Robert T. Cushing ’77, chairman of the Board of Trustees, conferred two honorary degrees at Sunday’s ceremony. Immaculee Ilibagiza, author and survivor of the Rwanda genocide, and James J. Barba, '66, president and chief executive of Albany Medical Center, were presented honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Ilibagiza delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2008. The speech, an emotional one for all present, shared a message of hope, despite the obstacles people face throughout their lives.
Her own life transformed dramatically in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days. During this horrific ordeal, ImmaculĂ©e lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God.* She reminded the students that as long as they are breathing, they have life and it is something to be cherished.

Paul Konye, professor at Siena's Creative Arts Department, composed a special concert piece in honor of Ilibagiza. The composition evoked a sense of optimism, like the honoree.

Dr. Tim Lederman, professor of computer science was awarded the Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching and Ray Boisvert, professor of philosophy was awarded the Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award. Tim Hannigan ’08, class president, gave the welcome address while Victoria Fernandes ’08 gave the senior commencement address.

Fernandes’ Mississippi home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina three years ago. “Within minutes of the devastation of Katrina being reported on the news, students, teachers, and even the custodians came to me asking if my family was safe and if there was anything they could do to help. The students raised over $2,000 by donating their meals and that money was sent down to Biloxi, Mississippi to help the schools get back on track. In April of that year, fifteen Siena students spent their spring break helping people in my hometown rebuild their houses, and their lives. I felt then that the Siena community had become my second family,” she said.

She told the students to take Siena with them, wherever they go, and “Don’t forget about those who have helped make you the person you are today; your parents, grandparents, professors, Franciscan brothers, and friends”.

The ceremony can be viewed on Time Warner Albany’s “Video on Demand” digital system.


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School of Business Faculty Awards

The winner of the research excellence award is Erik Eddy, assistant professor of marketing and management and the winner of the teaching excellence award is Kathy Silvester, associate professor of accounting.

The Research Excellence award is given to a professor in the School of Business who has had a distinguished research record over the past five years. The Teaching Excellence award is given to a professor in the School of Business who has an outstanding teaching philosophy and has had outstanding student and peer evaluations for at least five years.

Congratulations, Erik and Kathy!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Senior Week backyard games/ bocce tournament

Congratulations to the winners of the first annual senior week bocce ball tournament:
1st place- Alex Riccio and Jess Winkler
2nd place- Dr. Ray Boivert and Sergio Sericolo
3rd place- Tim Hannigan and Eric Scalzo a.k.a. Team Len Cutler

Thank you to Katie Collins and Katie Cooney of the Admissions office for organizing the tournament!

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70 Faculty and Staff Members Participate in GHI Workforce Challenge

Seventy Siena staffers ran or walked GHI's Workforce Challenge at the Empire State Plaza Thursday night. Siena was awarded third place for team size in the education division. The Siena racers were easy to spot in their gold tee-shirts that said "We sAINT your average team" on the back of it. Interestingly, University at Albany's shirts stated "Saints we Ain't". After the race, the Siena crowd celebrated on the patio of the Recovery Room on New Scotland Avenue.

BIG thank yous go out to Paul Stec, Nate Maloney, and Noel Hogan for funding the night. Also thanks to Carrie Hogan from Health Services for recruiting some of her Employee Fitness Challenge participants to join our team as well as Judy Dougherty in the Franciscan Center for rallying her friends around campus to join.

Most of all thank you to the participants...Let's rally more people for next year! The slideshow has music-- press the speaker symbol to un-mute.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Siena Wins GHI Workforce Challenge Award

Siena has been awarded 3rd place for largest number of participants in the education division!

Almost 70 faculty, staff, and administrators will run or walk the 3.5 mile race tomorrow night in Albany.

Good luck to the participants! We will have photos up on Friday- with lot's of bright gold shirts!

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Senior Week Backyard Games Tomorrow

The communications office will be covering this event tomorrow! Stay tuned for photos...See you on the athletics fields at noon.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Senior Awards
Academic Affairs has announced this year’s academic award recipients. Here they are!

Accounting - Michael Arlotta
American Studies - Timothy C. Hannigan
Biochemistry- Kathryn Neubauer
Biology, B.A. - Patrick G. Marinello
Biology, B.S. - Christina M. DiBattista
Chemistry - Justin T. Malinowski
Classics - Mary E. Bumbolow
Computer Science -Paul M. Borchers
Creative Arts - Kira I. Pogge
Economics, B.A. - Jenna M. Bruun
Economics, B.S. - Amy E. Loughridge
English - Amy N. Wetsel
Environmental Studies - Lauren E. Fifield and Casandra L. Naumann
Finance - Peter M. Battiste
French - Roman W. Griffith
History - Michael F. Murtagh
Marketing and Management - Heather M. Gagliardi and Emily L. Jones
Mathematics, B.A. - Vishal A. Phalgoo
Mathematics, B.S. - Matthew C. Farrelly
Philosophy - James A. Boswell and Susan N. Mannella
Physics - Joanna Dalland
Political Science - Roman W. Griffith and Christopher W. Klaeysen
Psychology - Robert O'Hare
Religious Studiesn - Mary E. Bumbolow
Social Work - Margaret S. Ryan
Sociology - Marissa R. Perillo
Spanish - John G. Zampella IV

Captain Thomas J. Bergin Memorial Award - John A. Harder
Fr. Benjamin Kuhn Award - Jennifer L. Stacey

Higher Education Opportunity Program Award - Academic Excellence Award - Alicia T. Bravo
Higher Education Opportunity Program Award - Community Service Award - Ryan M. Hayner
Higher Education Opportunity Program Award - Leadership Award - Shary I. Fernandez

Outstanding Academic Athlete Award - Elizabeth J. Akin-Volleyball; Traci L. Baldwin-Field Hockey;S usan E. Blaisdell-Soccer; Karina A. Davis-Tennis; Jessica M. Hackett-Volleyball; Timothy C. Hannigan-Lacrosse; John J. Hart-Cross Country, Track and Field; Kevin T. Hogan-Lacrosse; Christopher A. Klepps-Baseball; Anne C. Linley-Field Hockey; Amy E. Loughridge-Soccer; Melissa M. Manzer-Basketball; Diane R. Martori-Cross Country; Katherine P. Ostrye-Lacrosse; Alicia A. Reagan-Field Hockey; Madeline T. Rickard-Soccer; Jennifer L. Stacey-Cross Country; Thomas W. Twiname-Cross Country, Track and Field; Jacob P. Willis-Baseball and Emily J. Winslow-Field Hockey, Lacrosse

Siena College Alumni Association Service Award - Mary E. Bumbolow, Kristina A. Ferrara and Carly G. James
Siena College Senior Service Award - Jennifer A. Armstrong and John G. Zampella IV
Siena College Student Affairs Award - John G. Zampella IV
Siena College Student of the Year - Eric A. Scalzo
Siena ROTC Presidential Leadership Award - Megan A. Dobbins
The Albany Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants Undergraduate Student Award - Michael Arlotta
The Board of Associate Trustees Creative Arts Award - Maria R. Segala
The Fr. Laurence Rainville Award - Kevin J. Decker
The Francis Medal Award - Carly G. James and Timothy J. Miller
The James L. Kreuzer Award - Michael R. O'Brien
The James Patrick Furlong, M.D. Award - Amy R. Mathew
The John T. Garry II Award - Aileen M. Fitzgerald
The International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi Award - Emily L. Jones
The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Award - Daniel A. LeBlanc
The Student Achievement Award of the Wall Street Journal - Jarid C. Colucci
The Thomas A. Whalen Prize - Christina M. Chiappetta and John G. Zampella IV
UHY Advisors Award in Memory of Nathan Stoll - Kristin A. Cheek

Honors Fellows- Elizabeth J. Akin, Peter M. Battiste, Jenna M. Bruun, Mary E. Bumbolow, Mark A. Caramore, Karina A. Davis, Christina M. DiBattista, Megan A. Dobbins, Lauren E. Fifield,Erin C. Frazee, Edward C. Gaier, Roman W. Griffith, Jessica M. Hackett, Arthur A. Infantino, Christopher W. Klaeysen, Jaime R. Margies, Suzanne G. Orser, Eric A. Scalzo, Aman M. Shah and Laura E. Sherin

Certificate of Honors in English -Natasha Javed, Kelsey L. Moak, Suzanne G. Orser, Amy N. Wetsel
Certificate of Honors in History- Arthur A. Infantino, Michael S. Kosar, Nicole A. Praetorius

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Photos from Abroad

Here are this year's study abroad photo contest winners:


“This photo was taken on the shores of Capri when we arrived from Sorrento on the ship to spend a day on the island. This was located in the main port that all the tourists ships pulled into to allow visitors to enter onto the island.”


“The photo was taken at Etosha National Park in Central Namibia, the country I studied abroad in. We were on our travel seminar portion of the semester and were camping at a lodge right next to a watering hole.”


“This is a photo I took in during a homestay in a Lissu (Lissus are an ethnic minority) village in Thailand. I had the chance to help out in the fields of this village, and everyone gathered in a field hut for lunch. This woman is wearing traditional Lissu clothing, and is chopping vegetables gathered from the fields for our lunch.”

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Campus Action Attends Rally in Washington, D.C.

Members of our Campus Action club recently returned from a School of the America’s watch on Capitol Hill. They, along with other watch groups and partner organizations from across the nation, met with their representatives in Washington, D.C. to garner support for HR 1707, the Latin America Military Training Review Act of 2007.

This legislation would suspend operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly named the School of the Americas and calls for an independent report on the authorization and use of torture manuals that advocated tactics that violated U.S. and international law. The legislation would also carry out an assessment of U.S. foreign military training in Latin America.
The participants were:
Kayla Grant '09, English major; Paul Bissember '08, Spanish major; David Bissember '08, Spanish major; Chris Adelmann '08, political science major; Dana Mazer '11 , history education major; Brian Bennici, Residence Director/Hines Hall

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Townhouse 136- Senior Profiles

Here is just one townhouse-worth of senior class profiles. The class of 2008 is definitely destined for great things! We can't wait to see what they accomplish next.
Seniors- contact us if you are interested in being profiled, too! Faculty/staff- any students you want to see profiled?

By the way- Townhouse 136's cumulative 4-year GPA is 3.78!

Photo: Top L-R: Eric Scalzo, Ali Valimahomed, Tim Miller Bottom L-R: John Zampella, Tim Hannigan, Patrick Marinello

Tim Hannigan
Major: American Studies
After graduation: Albany Law School of University of Buffalo Law School
Activities/involvemts: Captain of men's lacrosse, Class of 2008 president, pre-law club, summer legal fellow
Favorite Siena moment: All of senior year
What you will miss most: My roommates and the legendary weekends at 136.
To the retuning students: Enjoy your time here and pass on the tradition of Siena community to the incoming class.
Siena in one word: Home.

Patrick Marinello
Major: Biology
Minor: Philosophy
After graduation: Albany medical College
Activities/involvements: Admissions tours, tutoring, Albany medical program, spring break service trips, community service
Favorite Siena moment: Sienafest senior year
What you will miss the most: All of my friends
Siena in one word: Fantastic.

Tim Miller
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Physics
After graduation: University of Delaware Ph.D. program for Chemistry
Activities/involvements: Chaplain's office, chemistry club, tour guides, saintly student speakers, townhouse council, SEB, Habitat for Humanity
Favorite Siena moment: Too many to list!
What you will miss the most: people and saga food
Other comments: Siena was some of the best years of my life.
Siena in one word: Amazing!

Eric Scalzo
Major: Political Science
After graduation: William and Mary Law School
Activities/involvements: Pre-law society president, mock trial president, student senate, Habitat for Humanity, studies abroad in South Africa Favorite
Siena moment: Senior year
What you will miss most: Dr. Cutler's class
Other comments: Thank you Siena for all of the opportunities provided and doors opened. I have had an amazing four years!
Siena in one word: Community.

Ali Valimahomed
Major: Biology
Minor: Psychology
After graduation: Albany Medical College
Activities/involvements: scientific writing and biology tutor, volunteering, tour guide, intramural basketball, lifting
Favorite Siena moment: Senior year
What you will miss most: All my roommates and friends.
Other comments: I could not have asked for a better college experience. Siena delivered not only an enriching education, but it provided me with a warm community and friends for life. Siena in one word: Home.

John Zampella
Major: Biology
Minor: Spanish
After graduation: Georgetown Medical School
Activities/involvements: Student senate, biology club, sustainability committee
Favorite Siena moment: Every one since moving into townhouse 136.
What you will miss the most: My friends and professors Other comments: I am not really graduating...
Siena in one word: Home.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Here is more detailed information on this year's faculty/adminstrator awards. Again, Congratulations!

The James Knust Award for Excellence in Administration is awarded each year by the Council of Administrators to recognize one individual who has consistently demonstrated a particularly high level of dedication and accomplishment in his or her position at the college. Nominations may be submitted by any administrator, and the award decision is made by the Executive Committee of the Council.

This year the Executive Committee has chosen to present the award to two individuals.

The first of the two awards is to Jeanne Martin Obermayer.

For the past 25 year Jeanne Obermayer has been a constant at Siena College. Even though her official title has changed a number of times, her consistent performance as a professional in Student Affairs has never wavered. In a position that very often deals with stressful, serious, and/or legal situations, often at odd hours, Jeanne’s ability and experience allow her to make difficult decisions according to college policy and within state and federal guidelines. She is known to be thorough and fair when faced with difficult student situations.

A colleague says, “Jeanne has always been aware of the bigger picture involved in the decision making process and acted as a very practical voice of reason, especially when dealing with anticipated student reactions to potential procedure or policy changes. Jeanne is one of those people who never desires the spotlight but is an absolutely critical cog in the success of the Student Affairs administrative team. She is no-nonsense when she needs to be and exceptionally caring when appropriate.

This colleague continues, “I had the pleasure of knowing Jim Knust and I believe that there are a select few individuals who are ‘Siena people’ in Jim’s mold – none, however, more so than Jeanne Obermayer. She embodies what all of us should strive for as professional members of this institution – the personal motivation to see that a job gets done right and on time, the integrity to handle confidential information and an individual’s emotional state with the proper respect, the courage and discipline to do what is right by the student and the institution; and the ability to do all of this with a caring, cooperative and professional manner.

The second Jim Knust award is presented to Mary “M J” Strunk.

M J Strunk has been an administrator at Siena College for 25 years. Currently, she is Asst. Vice President/Comptroller and under her leadership we have seen improvements in purchasing, accounting, auditing, and numerous other “behind the scenes” activities to improve the fiscal health of the College. M J works well beyond the Monday-Friday 8:30 to 4:30 schedule, committing evenings and weekends to her obligations.

Many people don’t know the extent she and her team go through to make the audit process as smooth as possible. They give up their weekends in June and early July to see the audit process complete, working late nights and counting every dollar.

Working outside the department, MJ and a group of her colleagues help the College’s Relay for Life chapter by arranging a fund raising benefit. As a result of their efforts, the event has drawn over 125 attendees and raised nearly $8,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year, the event will help support cancer research on campus.

A mentor for younger staff on campus, M J is always approachable. She gives advice based on her own experience and never declines to help. Her advice has yet to lead a younger staff member down the wrong path.

For her dedication and leadership, we are pleased to award the Jim Knust Award for Excellence in Administration also to M J Strunk.

Raymond Kennedy Award for Excellence in Scholarship

In recognition of the contribution that scholarly activities provide toward the attainment of academic excellence, each year one member of the faculty is acknowledged for having made a significant contribution to his or her discipline with the presentation of the Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award. This year the Raymond Kennedy Award is presented to our distinguished colleague, Professor of Philosophy Ray Boisvert.

I quote from the letter, from a colleague outside the philosophy department, nominating Dr. Boisvert for this award:

“Over the years I have read a fair amount of scholarly work on major philosophers and – frankly – most of it I have found to be opaque, daunting, and very slow reading. So it was truly a pleasure to come upon Ray Boisvert’s terrific introduction to John Dewey, John Dewey: Rethinking Our Time (SUNY, 1998).This book is insightful, lucid, and even lively. It places Dewey clearly within the “great western tradition” of philosophy, with particular attention to ways in which Dewey responds to Platonism (as translated by Plotinus), Renaissance ideals of seeking absolute certainty (as seen in Galileo), and various manifestations of mind-body dualisms. The book also situates Dewey within our American context … and brings in the story of Dewey’s long and eventful life to illustrate ways in which the philosophy emerged from lived experience… Dr. Boisvert’s study is also highly interdisciplinary…Within the first few chapters, he manages to bring in Poe, Proust, Umberto Eco, John Winthrop and others – all in ways which truly “open up” Dewey’s thinking. The clear, concise, and extremely readable chapters on education, democracy, art and religion all contribute to a sound understanding of, and appreciation for, Dewey’s philosophical achievement.

“A glance at Dr. Boisvert’s long CV reveals that this book is just the “tip of the iceberg.” Rethinking Our Time was preceded by an earlier book on Dewey, Dewey’s Metaphysics (Fordham, 1988) … (which) contains an extremely interesting section on the influence of Darwin on Dewey. And Dr. Boisvert’s many other papers and articles on Dewey amount to a major scholarly achievement.”

In this letter, Ray’s colleague goes on to talk about Ray’s well known interests in cuisine, fine wine, and the ethos of hospitality…(which led him) to run a yearly wine-tasting party that benefits impoverished children in rural Haiti. “This integration -- of scholarship and teaching, hospitality and generosity, concern for the poor and recognition of the moral imperative to help those less fortunate than we – is characteristic of Ray’s career and Ray’s life: a man of integrity as well as a fine teacher and renowned scholar.”

Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching

In recognition of teaching excellence, Siena College created this award in honor of Professor Jerome Walton, one of the College's first lay faculty, who served Siena for 21 years as a Professor of Commerce, Economics, Statistics, and Business Mathematics. The award is given annually to the faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching. This year the award is made to Dr. Timoth Lederman, Professor of Computer Science.

Dr. Timoth Lederman became head of the computer science department in his second year at Siena, four years before he earned tenure. He was the first director of academic computing and is the only person at the college to have served as Chair of the Faculty and as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition, Tim has chaired the Campus Technology Committee for 12 years, has served on other numerous committees, worked on special projects, and volunteered at countless events. But we honor Tim Lederman tonight not as an administrator but as a teacher, focusing tonight on the sequence of courses that is identified with Tim, the Software Engineering sequence.

Not only do the department’s faculty members know how important Tim’s Software Engineering sequence is to CS majors, but so also do the students who completed it. Alumni voted these courses as the “most useful” courses taken at Siena. Scott Vandenberg attributes this mainly to the creative and passionate way that Tim manages the courses.

Tim designed these courses in a unique way that allows students to experience many challenges of professional work, by working in teams for a client that has a real problem requiring a software solution. The teams operate as small companies, each developing their own website, preparing extensive technical documents, administering their own computers, interacting with their clients, and delivering a final product. For example, a few years ago his Software Engineering students developed sophisticated software to make revisions to the college catalog electronically, incorporating several layers of permissions and maintaining a record of every change. You may have seen these programs and others in operation at the Academic Celebration.

Tim frequently arranges for Siena CS alumni to speak to his classes. Normally these speakers are local, but Tim also put together and experimented with a computer conferencing system that he has now used so that an alumnus working in Hawaii could speak to the class. This is typical of the effort Tim puts into his courses.

Tim came to Siena from a very rewarding research position at the New York State Health Department. He came because he wanted to teach. Tim does an outstanding job in the classroom where he teaches students about technical areas of computing, but he also has that special ability to transcend basic pedagogy and get his students to develop into life long learners. Former student Jayme Gresen wrote, “…even after graduating two years ago, I feel just as close to (Dr. Lederman) as when I was sitting in front of him in Roger Bacon. He is one of the greatest teachers I have ever come in contact with, and I feel incredibly honored to have been taught by him.”

His long time colleague at Siena, Jim Matthews, says that all of us who have worked with Tim during his 27 years at the college have benefited tremendously from his teaching excellence, his outstanding service, his leadership and his care and concern for all members of the Siena community.

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School of Science Highlights 2007/2008

Department News

Environmental Studies - With the essential support of Fr. Kevin Mullen, the School of Science and the School of Liberal Arts added a new Department of Environmental Studies. The successful search for a leader will bring Prof. Jean Mangun from Southern Illinois to be the first department head. Heartfelt appreciation goes to Prof. Larry Woolbright and the faculty in the previous Environmental Studies Program for building the foundation for this new venture. This development is part of the green initiative identified by Fr. Kevin as a key example of Franciscan values in the future of Siena.

Women in Science Initiative- The School of Science is in its second year of a Luce Foundation grant that funds full scholarships for women undergraduates in science. This year’s Clare Boothe Luce Scholars are Patti Carroll (Physics) and Christina Sillery (Computer Science and Biology) whose awards started in the 2007-08 academic year. They will be joined by this year’s awardees Janelle Rizzo (Computer Science) and Sarah Amie (Biochemistry).

New Scholarship Grant for Science Majors- The National Science Foundation awarded in April 2008, a five-year grant totaling $598,852 to Siena College for support of their project, entitled "Educating Scientists for Tech Valley: A Cohort Scholars Program." The grant will provide scholarships and programs that encourage undergraduate students to major in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The project is under the direction of Larry R. Medsker, Allan T. Weatherwax, Karen S. Quaal, Rachel Sterne-Marr, Rose A. Finn.

Externally-Funded Research- Current external grants to SoS faculty now total over $5.3 million.

New grants announced this year are
1. NSF S-STEM ($600,000) to provide scholarships for science students
2. NSF grant to Rachel Sterne-Marr ($600,000) for research on Cell Signaling
3. NSF RUI Collaborative Research grant to Allan Weatherwax on Investigating Intermediate Scale Structures in the Auroral Oval and the Ionospheric Trough ($73,592).
4. Grant to Dr. Rose Finn ($145,000) for Spitzer space telescope observation.

5. NSF grant to Dr. Allan Weatherwax ($756,000) to continue his atmospheric and space weather studies from Greenland and Antarctica. This work is in collaboration with Stanford University and UC-Berkeley.

Undergraduate Research

Three School of Science students, supervised by SoS faculty, completed and presented a honors thesis this academic year.

Independent Studies and Internships (Coordinated by Prof. Tim Lederman)
During Summer 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008, there were:
- 199 Independent Study/Research registrations; and, of these, there were:
- 187 different Independent Study/Research projects or titles;
and, overall, there were:
- 163 different students who had an Independent Study/Research project during this academic year.
- 81 different faculty members supervised at least one Independent Study/Research student this academic year.

Louis J. Favreau Memorial Scholarship recipients
John Amann and Ashley Frederick (Each are freshman physics majors)

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates National Program- Seven Siena Science students were invited to participate in research this summer at prestigious universities.

Other Undergraduate Research

Professor Jon Bannon worked with Siena Mathematics major Matthew Farrelly on a modern algebra problem. His paper to the Rose-Hulman undergraduate journal has been accepted for publication.

Biochemistry major Meaghan Hart is doing research under Mathematics Professor Emelie Kenney on rates of HIV transmission by category of patient.
Several students work with Biology Professor George Bazinet on the antibiotic activity of plant extracts.

Professor Kevin Kittredge (Chemistry) has an NSF Career grant and works with six Siena students on undergraduate research in the synthesis of functionalized crown ethers, preparation and studies of nanoparticles assembled as thin films, stability studies of polyamide films towards heat and light, and microwave-assisted synthesis using polymer bound reagents.
Mathematics major Antonella Martuccio, was awarded a $2,000 scholarship by the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State.

This April two Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty and seven undergraduate students traveled to the American Chemical Society's National Meeting in New Orleans to present their research in six separate presentations.
Undergraduate ALFALFA team- Patti Carroll (junior physics major) and Kevin Risolo (sophomore physics major) were recently invited to join the Undergraduate ALFALFA team. ALFALFA is the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey, a blind HI survey being conducted by Cornell astronomers using the Arecibo radio observatory. The undergraduate team includes astronomers and students from 14 institutions nationwide, and the team was recently awarded an NSF grant to fund an annual workshop at Arecibo. Patti Carroll and Kevin Risolo participated in this workshop this past January, and they learned about the telescope and the survey as well as observing and data reduction procedures. Faculty advisor is Dr. Rose Finn.

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School of Liberal Arts Highlights 2007/2008

Education Department alumnus Richard Ognibene, Jr., was named New York State Teacher of the Year. He is the second Siena Education alum to be named Teacher of the Year in New York in the past four years. Mr. Ognibene is the son of Professor Elaine Ognibene from the English Department and Professor Richard Ognibene, Sr. from the Education Department. Both of our Professors Ognibene are retiring this year after many decades of service to the College.

  • Center for Revolutionary Era Studies is a the single academic partner of the Historic Saratoga – Washington on the Hudson Partnership. This New York State Commission was established to raise public awareness of the rich Revolutionary War heritage of our area. The Commission will work to encourage tourism while maintaining the natural beauty of Upstate New York. Siena’s Center will conduct research, present public lectures, and provide student internships in collaboration with the Saratoga National Historic Park Here is an article from the Schenectady Daily Gazette published today.
  • Professor Margaret Hannay of the English Department has received two grants to write a biography of Lady Mary Sidney Wroth: a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Short-Term Fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Wroth was the first woman in England to write a sonnet sequence, and the first to write an original drama. Hannay has recently discovered evidence suggesting that her illegitimate son became a pirate in the Caribbean.

  • The Philosophy Department hosted its second Living Philosopher’s program. The American philosopher and political theorist Michael Walzer was in residence during both the fall and spring semesters, working with a select group of 15 students who studied his writings and then presented their findings to him in a final symposium. Professor Pablo Muchnik has directed this unique program for the past four years, assisted by many colleagues in the School of Liberal Arts.

  • Many students in Liberal Arts presented papers at national conferences with the support of their professors. The students come from a variety of majors, including Psychology, Sociology, English, and American Studies. Larissa Walker '09, a double major in Philosophy and Political Science had a paper accepted for publication in The Reed, an interdisciplinary journal of existentialism, St. Olaf’s College.

  • Also in English, Professor Nate Leslie’s book entitled Emma Saves Her Life was nominated in the first round for a Pulitzer Prize. The book is based on the letters written by Leslie’s grandmother over the course of her long life.
  • Two Siena professors were recently honored by the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Professor Maureen Hannah of the Psychology Department and Ms. Karla Digirolamo, chief operating officer for Unity House in Rensselaer County and an instructor in the Social Work Department were both recognized for their work in preventing domestic violence.

Photos: The Ognibenes and Dr. Naton Leslie at a book signing

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School of Business Highlights 2007/2008

Here are some tidbits from the School of Business
Finance students, managing the Bjorkland Fund, finished in Second Place for Rate of
Return of an undergraduate managed value fund at the International Student Managed Investment Fund competition held at the University of Dayton.

Students in Free Enterprise were awarded First Runner-up in a competition of regional SIFE chapters.

The Third Annual School of Business Student Research Conference was held in April. The featured speaker was Chris Baldwin, President of the Snack Foods Division of Kraft Foods, an alumnus of Siena College Class of 1986.

Five School of Business students participated in the Leadership Conference at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in February. They were accompanied by Associate Professor of Management Melissa Costello.

In January, the School of Business Marketing Research Lab was opened. It consists of five pods, each containing six computers and associated software and databases for both class instruction and independent student and faculty research efforts.

A Master of Science in Accounting was approved by the College’s Board of Instruction. A request for State Education Department approval is now being processed. If approved, the program will commence in the Fall 2009.

A Bachelor of Science program in Actuarial Science and a Certificate Program in Risk Management were approved by the Board of Instruction and will commence in Fall 2008.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Student Senate Raises $2,000 for Cancer Research

Last weekend, the student senate hosted an Alex's Lemonade stand on campus and raise $2,000 for the fight against childhood cancer.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation grew out of the front yard lemonade stand started by AlexandraScott, a pediatric cancer patient. In 2000, at the age of four, Alex opened her first annual lemonade stand with high hopes of raising money for pediatric cancer causes, specifically research into a cure. Since that time she held an annual lemonade stand in her front yard and inspired others to donate money to her cause. After fighting her own battle with cancer for over seven years, she died peacefully at home in August of 2004. At the time of her death, she had raised over $1,000,000 for pediatric cancer research and, amazingly, was only eight years old. Her legacy continues through Alex' s Lemonade Stand Foundation. With the help of tens of thousands of volunteers who hold stands to help the cause, the donors who give, and our generous sponsors, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $18 million for childhood cancer research.
Alex's Lemonade is now being sold in the Sarazen Student Union.

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Faculty/Administrator Awards 2008

Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching- Dr. Timoth Lederman, professor of computer science

Raymond Kennedy Award for Excellence in Scholarship- Dr. Raymond D. Boisvert, professor of philosophy

The James Knust Award for Excellence in Administration- Jeanne Martin Obermayer, dean of students and M.J. Strunk, assistant vice president for finance.

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Changes in Safety and Security

Dr. Maryellen Gilroy,vice president for student affairs announced yesterday that LTC Michael Papadopoulos '82, commander of the ROTC program and professor of military science at has been appointed Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Public Safety.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in systems management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He retires from the United States Army in June after a distinguished career of twenty-five years. Mike has held such positions as Senior Operations and Training Officer, Professor of Military Science and Leadership at the University of Rhode Island, Chief of the NATO Advanced Command Post and Senior U.S. Military Representative in Greece, and numerous other Plans and Operations positions during his Army career.

Tom Breslin, the current Assistant Director of Security, has been promoted to Associate Director of Public Safety.

The change in the name of the department from Security to Public Safety will be to reflect the broadened scope and importance of this operation nationally on College campuses.

Congratulations to Mike and Tom!

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Academic Celebration Day

Over 130 students showcased their work at this year's academic celebration. There was a wide range of projects beginning with a Foundations submission on the musical settings of St. Francis and including student/faculty research that has already been presented at the national level, in dependant studies and group projects.

Entire classes got involved: Dr. Paul Konye's orchestra class composed original melodies; Dr. Patricia Trutty-Coohill's modern art course presented exhibition cards for Siena's Sculpture Show; Dr. Mary Fitzgerald's Hoyt's English Lit II class provided many projects on the Victorian era; Dr. Dmitry Burshteyn's honors students chose different countries and studied their influence on psychology; and sociology and marketing and management students presented their findings from their research methods classes. The software engineering capstone course showed off programs that student groups had been working on since September 2007. Other School of Science students showcased posters from integrated laboratory courses.

Here are some videos of students presenting their projects:
James Best '08 describing the hypothetical scenarios presented to 60 undergraduate students in order to compare moral judgement's of one's own morally questionable to judgements made of others' behaviors in the same situation. He did this project with Jamie Mowers.

Psychology students prove that this subject's history and influences span the entire globe.
Derrel Melton '10 and Sam Tymchyn '09

Ishani Choksi '10 and Akeem Shirley '11

Marietje Hauprich took cooking oil from the dining oil and made it into biodiesel as part of Siena's ongoing efforts at green chemistry.

John Zampella '08 and Tara Renna '08 explain their research on motor neurons in medicinal leeches.

Taela Durst '09 explains how she is discovering the best conditions for preserving art.

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Consumer Behavior Class Completes Service-Learning Project

Students in Dr. Cheryl Buff's Consumer Behavior class put their business knowledge to good use by creating brochures and power point presentations on behalf of a trust that assists marginalized Kenyan tribes’ people. Their marketing materials will help the trust raise awareness and help sell the tribes' products. More information on the trust can be found at

The Trust consists of approximately 100 square miles in the Laikipiak Plateau Region of Kenya. It is not possible to accurately estimate the total number of area residents as they are largely nomadic but the best guess is somewhere between 10,000 and 19,000 individuals. The trust is trying to establish a viable life for these individuals in order to stem the exodus to Nairobi where they incorrectly believe there are jobs and a future. Sadly, when they arrive in Nairobi there are no jobs, slums of unimaginable filth and squalor and health issues which the government, ill-equipped to deal with the issues, estimates that 83 percent of the 3.5 million slum dwellers are either HIV B/AIDS or TB positive.

Students were thrilled to use their skills to help this cause. "I felt connected to these people. It was just a little bit of work from us - something small we know how to do - but it will mean so much for them," said Michael Lashomb '09.

Dr. Buff was especially pleased in the range of creativity of the students' work. "They were all very different. Some created a story. Others had a product focus. They all worked in their own way," she said.

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Center for Revolutionary Era Studies Continues to Grow

The Times Union published an article today on the Center's progress and relationship to the Saratoga Battlefield. That article can be found here.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

This year's honors topics

The class of 2008 boasts 22 honor students. The students defended their research April 28-May 2. Here are their theses projects:

Karina Davis, “Beyond the Status of the Embryo: A Relationship Based Perspective on Pre-implantation Genetics and Designer Babies”

Christina DiBattista, “No Child Left Chubby: An Analysis of the Childhood Obesity Epidemic and Albany County Public Elementary Schools”

Megan Dobbins, “Soldier First, Female Always: How Modern Warfare is Affecting Gender Roles and American Society”

Lauren Fifield, “Student-Initiated Sustainability: A Tool for Grassroots Campus Greening”

Erin Frazee, "A Place at the Table: Recognizing the Value of Religion in Medical Decision Making"

Roman Griffith, “The Evolution of European Union Political Integration”

Jessica Hackett, “Factors Contributing to the Gap between the United States and Japan's Mathematics Education Results: A Comparative Analysis and Recommendations for Closing the Gap”

Tara Heffernan, “American Teen: Finding Her Place Among the Words”

Arthur Infantino, “Electric Automobiles in New York City Newspapers from 1900 to 1910”

Christopher Klaeysen, "Ticking Time Bomb: The Precarious Condition of Human Rights in a Terrorist Emergency"

Jaime Margies, “Tolkien's Allegory: There and Back Again”

Suzanne Orser, “¡JA-HA-JA-HA! El Humor...Hyphenated”

Julianna Piazzola, "Correctional Mental Health In New York State: Where We've Been, Where We Are, and Where We Should Be Going"

Eric Scalzo, “Zimbabwe Truth and Reconciliation After Mugabe”

Aman Shah, “Perspectives on Health Care Reform: A Study of Medical Students and Providers”

Laura Sherin, “Red Carpet Ethics: Celebrities' Role as a Moral Barometer for Modern American Society”

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Club of the Year

The Environmental Club was awarded Organization of the Year by the Student Senate last week. Since it began, the club has helped to raise awareness for the environment and has spearheaded many green initiatives including residence hall recycling, biodegradable carry-out materials in the dining hall and an Earth day celebration to remember.

Please visit their website for more information and to join!

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Academic Accomplishments

In the past year, there were:

- 199 Independent Study/Research registrations; and, of these, there were:
- 187 different Independent Study/Research projects or titles; and, overall, there were:
- 163 different students who had an Independent Study/Research project during this academic year.

Congratulations to the students who completed their own research during this school year!

It is a challenging experience, but one that will contribute to your future success.

A big thank you to the faculty mentors who oversaw these projects! Your dedication to your students is something everyone at Siena is proud of.

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This is a new source for everything that's happening on the Siena campus- student activities, faculty scholarship, study tours, classes, presentations, events, student achievement, and more.
We'll be using videos and photos to tell our Siena stories.

The blog will be updated regularly, so check back often to stay in the loop! (or subscribe to our RSS feed)

Feel free to suggest blogs and comment, comment, comment! This blog is about Siena- let's all get involved in the conversation.

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