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SUNY Recognizes Faculty, Staff with Chancellor's Awards

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (May 17, 2010) -- Seven SUNY Plattsburgh faculty and staff have received a State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence this year. Drs. Ellen Fitzpatrick, Paul Johnston and Daniel Vogt were honored with the Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Thomas Morrissey received the Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Dr. Hiroshi Itoh, the Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Jerry Lottie, the Award for Excellence in Professional Service; and Jan Gillett, the Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

A full-time faculty member since fall 1994 and an associate professor since 2002, Fitzpatrick serves as coordinator of the Latin American Studies Program.

"Dr. Fitzpatrick's excellence as a teacher has been demonstrated through the many courses she has developed and taught, for students at all stages of their college careers, and the long-term mentoring she has provided for a number of students," said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. "Dr. Fitzpatrick's truly special contribution as a teacher has been to design, plan and lead a number of short-term study abroad expeditions to Mexico, Nicaragua and Turkey. Through the courses she has developed, some 150 SUNY Plattsburgh students have had an experience abroad during which they were engaged with members of a local community and applied their classroom knowledge to real-world problems."

Johnston, an associate professor of English, has been a full-time faculty member since 1989.

"Dr. Paul Johnston is a teacher's teacher," said Dr. Jon Chatlos in his nomination letter. "A master teacher in a department known for excellence of teaching."

"I concur with this assessment," said Ettling. "While at SUNY Plattsburgh, he has taught more than 25 different English courses in the areas of literature, poetry, writing and literary criticism. He has taught lower-division students in introductory courses and upper-division students in advanced seminars. One of the best indicators of Dr. Johnston's success as a teacher is the high praise he receives from his students. On their course evaluations, students often rank him in the highest possible category. Their comments show that they appreciate his depth of knowledge, exceptional command of teaching methods and sense of humor. Clearly, his students consider him to be one of the best teachers at SUNY Plattsburgh, and they often remark on student evaluations that his course is the favorite one they are taking. Personally, I appreciate Dr. Johnston's willingness to take on new challenges. For example, in 2008 he cheerfully agreed to teach a televised course in order to benefit the students at SUNY Plattsburgh's branch campus in Queensbury, N.Y."

Vogt, a professor of biological sciences, has been a full-time faculty member since fall 1983 and has held the rank of professor since 1995. 

"Dr. Vogt is an accomplished teacher of undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, serving science majors in programs such as biology, environmental science, chemistry, ecology and biochemistry, as well as non-majors in introductory-level courses," said Ettling. "Nancy Parri, adjunct faculty member in chemistry and once an undergraduate student of Dr. Vogt's, writes (in the nomination form) '… His excitement for the research he was doing was infectious, and I could not wait to get started with our research project. He was a wonderful mentor and was extremely helpful …'"

Morrissey, a SUNY distinguished teaching professor in the English department and a 1991 recipient of a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, has been a full-time faculty member since 1974 and has held the rank of professor since 1987.

"In addition to his extensive scholarship, Dr. Morrissey has been involved in a host of service activities," said Ettling. "He has served as director of freshmen learning communities for two years, co-developer of the Looking for America program of course clusters for first-year students, principal architect of the college's writing across the curriculum program and its director for several years. In addition, he has served and continues to serve on numerous committees in the English department and at the college level, including the advisory board for the college's Center for Teaching Excellence. The respect his faculty colleagues have for him is illustrated by the fact that he currently serves as chair of the English department, which is his second time in this position."

Itoh, a political science professor has been a full-time member of the SUNY Plattsburgh faculty since 1970 and has held the rank of professor since 1978. 

"Over Dr. Itoh's 40-year career, he has steadily pursued his research into Japanese constitutional law and politics," said Ettling. "He has published two single-authored books, two co-authored books, four edited books, 20 journal articles and book chapters and a dozen book reviews and essays – all in English – plus eight articles and a dozen essays in Japanese. He has also presented the results of his research in more than 40 conference papers. Dr. Itoh has done this work while maintaining a regular teaching load, with only the occasional sabbatical or other leave – most recently to accept an eight-month Fulbright Fellowship in 1998. He has contributed to scholarship in his field not only through his own publications and presentations but also by organizing conferences, bringing Japanese and American scholars together, bringing scholars together with politicians and business people, and in other ways encouraging and supporting the work of others."

Assistant Chief of Police Lottie has been a full-time member of the University Police since 2000 and was promoted to assistant chief in 2001.

"Mr. Lottie's keen investigative skills dealing with emergency situations arising on campus, coupled with his proactive approach to emergency preparedness, has served to minimize risk and enhance safety on our campus," said President John Ettling. "He has devoted considerable energy to fire safety education and training … This training, which has been referred to as a 'model across the country,' simulates a dorm room fire and evacuation through a smoke-filled hallway."

Gillett is a keyboard specialist 2 in the Financial Aid Office. Employed since 1984, Gillett has worked all but two of those years in financial aid.

According to her supervisor, Todd Moravec, director of student financial services, Gillett's "dedication and devotion to students is unrivaled by any classified staff member on campus. Year in and year out she consistently provides a personal level of service that makes students and families feel special."

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