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Anthropology Professor to Be Honored at Portrait Unveiling

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Sept. 22) - Dr. James Armstrong's portrait will be unveiled in a ceremony at SUNY Plattsburgh's Feinberg Library on Friday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. At that time, his portrait will join the portraits of the other SUNY Plattsburgh faculty who have earned Distinguished Professorships.

Dr. James Armstrong Armstrong is one of only nine faculty members throughout the entire SUNY system to receive the promotion to Distinguished Teaching Professor this year. Presented annually by SUNY, the honor is bestowed upon faculty who demonstrate consistent superior mastery of teaching; outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth; and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements.

"Jim has done SUNY Plattsburgh proud in receiving this award," said President John Ettling. "On our campus, this award is especially prized, as it reflects our strong commitment to quality teaching and an environment that fosters close student-faculty collaboration."

Dr. James Armstrong joined the faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh in 1981 as an assistant professor of anthropology and was later promoted to associate professor in 1987 and to full professor in 1997. A recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999, he currently serves as chair of the Department of Anthropology and as the associate director of the Redcay Honor's Program.

During his time at SUNY Plattsburgh, he has taught a wide range of classes and received strong, positive ratings from students on the quality of his instruction. This could be, in part, because of his interest in pedagogy. He has written about and experimented with various pedagogical devices, such as learning communities, linked courses and cluster courses.

Dr. Armstrong is a steadfast scholar. He has co-edited one book and has published 12 referred articles and book chapters. He often involves his students in this research, combining his work as scholar and mentor.

His efforts with students have resulted in great successes. Twenty-six of his students have given presentations at scholarly conferences, and around 100 have participated in paid internships with Hope Community Resources in Alaska, working to deliver social services to indigenous communities there.

In addition to his role as teacher, Dr. Armstrong has served the college in many other capacities. A six-time chair of the Faculty Senate's General Education Committee, he, at one time, served as both the chair of the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He has also served on several important search committees, helping with the search for president, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and dean of arts and science.

An active member of the larger community, he serves on the boards of both the Clinton County Mental Health Association and Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood.

Dr. Armstrong earned his bachelor's degree in anthropology from California State University, Long Beach, and his doctorate from the University of California, Riverside.

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