Faculty and Staff Recognized for Excellence with SUNY Chancellor's Awards

05.13.10

Two SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff members were recently recognized for their hard work by being awarded the prestigious 2010 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence from State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

Dr. Walter J. Conley, a Professor in the Department of Biology who has served as Chair of the Faculty Senate, was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and Library Clerk Susan L. Dresye received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. They were honored on campus by SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller recently at the annual Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony, held on Friday, May 7.

“As SUNY campuses celebrate the achievements of students and faculty for this academic year, I will have the pleasure of formally naming the recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “These awards are given each year to faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to their students and an exceptional commitment to excellence. Congratulations to all of this year's honorees, including Walter Conley and Sue Dresye at SUNY Potsdam.”

The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories: faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities and teaching.

Individuals selected for this honor are role models within the SUNY community. In acknowledgment of their selection, recipients are given recognition for the particular award received in the college catalogue by the addition of the phrase “State University Chancellor's Award for Excellence in …” following their title. A certificate and a Chancellor’s Excellence Medallion are also bestowed to commemorate selection. 

Walter Conley

Since he joined SUNY Potsdam as Professor of Biology in 2000, Dr. Walt Conley has continuously gone above and beyond in his service to the College, faculty and students. Walt has initiated and executed an incredible amount of positive change on the campus. He has been especially instrumental in the composition and teaching of a biology course devised for future elementary teachers. Walt also teaches a Marine Biology course almost every summer in the Gulf of Mexico. As Chair of the Faculty Senate, Walt was responsible for arranging and hosting the successful Fall 2008 Plenary Meeting of SUNY Faculty Senate. This was the first time this meeting was held at SUNY Potsdam, and one segment was a Parliamentary Procedures Workshop for Campus Governance Leaders in the SUNY system. Many participants were eager to return to SUNY Potsdam to visit. Walt’s eager participation in easing the transition to college life for first year students is evident in his involvement in the First Year Success Programs. He is a Faculty Floor Fellow for the Natural Science FIG and has also taught numerous FYSS classes. During his tenure, Walt has served on more than two dozen committees for the College, including the Self-Study Steering committee for the upcoming Middle States reaccreditation process. He has been instrumental in leading an effort to enhance transparency for college budgets by helping to create a model of how to make complex budgets understandable. Walt serves as Department Chair, advisor of the Biology Honor Society, and is the Academic Coordinator of the Women’s Softball Team. Additionally, he has coordinated several Darwin Day events.

Susan Dresye

Susan Dresye has worked “behind the scenes” in Technical Services at the College Libraries for over 30 years. During this time, she has provided vital services to all members of the College and the community who use the library’s resources. Throughout her tenure, Sue has always been committed to producing work of the highest quality in a timely manner. She is an excellent problem-solver who is open to new ideas and is eager for opportunities to challenge herself. In recent years, Sue has become a leader in the team structure of the libraries, where she collaborates with the entire library faculty for planning activities. However, it is within the Technical Services area where she really provides excellent leadership. She has planned and overseen the implementation of the cataloging side of a number of large projects, resulting in improved access to the library’s resources. Sue’s detailed knowledge of the library’s online system makes her a valued resource should problems arise.

Founded in 1816, SUNY Potsdam is a four-year liberal arts college nestled on the outskirts of the Adirondack Park. Among the 64 units of The State University of New York system, SUNY Potsdam has the longest history and currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. It is well known for its academically challenging liberal arts and sciences and teacher education programs, as well as its world-renowned Crane School of Music.