Ten SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff members were recently honored with the 2010 President’s Awards for Excellence. SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller recognized the employees for their dedication and leadership at the College’s annual Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 7.
Among those honored were: Kimberley A. Bouchard, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, who received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Lorelei T. Murdie, facilities manager for the Crane School of Music, who received the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Richard W. Williams, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, who received the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advising; Roberta A. Greene, secretary for both the physics and geology departments, who received the President’s Award for Excellence in Clerical Service; and David C. Thomas, a cleaner in the Physical Plant Department, who received the President’s Award for Excellence in Maintenance/Police/Food Service.
Additionally, Glen M. Grigel, a musical instrument technician for the Crane School of Music, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Improving Campus Climate and Promoting Community Outreach; Donald P. Borsh, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance and Richard M. Henry, a professor in the Department of English and Communication both received the President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Marsha L. Baxter, an associate professor of music education at Crane, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and/or Teaching Relating to Cultural Pluralism; and Douglas Rubio, a professor of guitar at Crane, received the President’s Award for Excellence in College Service.
Since she arrived at the Department of Theatre and Dance in 1995, Kimberley Bouchard has enriched the lives of those she works with at the College in every dimension. She finds excitement and takes great pride in every aspect of her teaching, which ranges from a 100-level course to mentoring a senior on a culminating project. Having served as department chair for several years, Kim is also the chair of the steering committee overseeing design and construction of the new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Building. Kim is constantly seeking to enhance her teaching abilities. She served as a resident Fulbright Scholar at Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona Spain, and was also selected as one of eight directors for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Summer Seminar in Washington, D.C., where she won the award for Excellence in Teaching Theatre Arts. Kim feels that every moment should be a “teaching/learning moment,” and this is reflected in the countless hours that she spends with students, whether it be directing them in a scene or teaching them to work as stage managers.
As Facilities Manager for the Crane School of Music, Lorelei Murdie has served the College community with pride and professionalism for several decades. She has been responsible for the seamless running of over 300 performances per year, including major ensembles, faculty and student recitals, and guest artists. Lorelei has trained numerous student crews to become effective, efficient and non-distracting stagehands during countless performances. Lorelei’s fairness and decision-making skills are recognized as two of her strongest qualities, which she has often utilized when being called upon to balance competing demands for time and space. In addition to coordinating the events that take place at the School, Lorelei acts as the public face of Crane and as a host to visiting performers, treating each of their concerts as special events that should be held to a high standard.
Dr. Richard Williams has demonstrated excellence in advising and mentoring many students since he arrived at SUNY Potsdam in 1997. His work with students has been a consistent and reliable hallmark throughout his employment, whether he is working with students on the formal sponsorship of internships, directing honors research and independent studies, academic advising, graduate school advising, serving as faculty advisor for the Psychology Club or serving as Academic Coordinator for several athletic teams. Rick is readily available for his students, maintaining lengthy office hours and remaining proactive in maintaining contact with them. His work has led to tremendous successes, both personal and professional, for numerous SUNY Potsdam students and alumni. His dedication to his students is unparalleled, as he often keeps in touch with them after graduation. Because of these attributes, students value his insight and see him as a true mentor.
Roberta Greene has been the Secretary of the Physics and Geology Departments since 2006. In addition to her normal secretarial duties, she volunteers to help with numerous extracurricular and College service activities including Commencement, Orientation, Honors Society inductions and more. For the past two years, Roberta has volunteered to accompany faculty and students of the Geology Department to the annual regional meeting of the Geological Society of America. Thanks to her exceptional organizational skills, the meetings have become much more valuable and enjoyable to the students. Roberta also assisted in planning and organizing the 2010 Campus Festival. Her dedication to geology and physics students is phenomenal, whether helping them with an academic issue or a personal problem. Roberta has also displayed a strong commitment to her own continued growth and development, having observed many classes to get a better understanding of the needs of both departments.
David Thomas has been a Cleaner at SUNY Potsdam since 1994 and most recently has been assigned to Stowell Hall. During this time, he has become a huge asset to the faculty, staff and students of the Biology and Chemistry Departments. The pride that Dave takes in his work, along with his willingness to go above and beyond is two of his strongest attributes. In addition to caring for all of the laboratories, the large lecture hall, the planetarium, hallways, stairways, entryways and restrooms in Stowell Hall, Dave has also taken it upon himself to keep track of all the events and functions that take place in the building so that he can offer his help in that capacity as well. Dave has been described as the “guardian” of Stowell Hall, and proves this by being a team player, always helping out when needed with a smile and without a complaint.
Because Glen Grigel is one of the first contacts for students who are beginning their college career at the Crane School of Music, his tireless work, innate kindness and sense of humor are some of the elements that help make a great first impression. Keeping up the extensive fleet of instruments in Crane is no easy task, but Glen’s expertise in the field of instrument maintenance and repair, along with his attention to detail, make it possible. Glen makes it apparent to everyone he comes into contact with—from the newest student to the most seasoned faculty member—that he is dedicated to serving their needs with care and compassion. Glen was awarded the Distinguished Service Award in 2004 from the New York State Band Directors Association, and has also made significant positive impacts outside of the College on NYSBDA, NYSSMA and the St. Lawrence County Music Educators Association.
Donald Borsh’s creative commitment to collaborative work is truly valued by the Department of Theatre and Dance, as well as the rest of the College. Don’s exemplary skills have been demonstrated in his many artistic works, which have also given opportunities to numerous students as both performers and audience members, to learn about the many aspects of choreography and performance. Some of Don’s works include the production of “The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore” (1995), and the musical “Cabaret” (2002), which was the first collaboration between the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Crane School of Music’s Opera Ensemble and Orchestra. Don then continued by serving as choreographer and/or lighting designer for the productions of “Working” (2005), “Urinetown” (2007), and “On the Town” (2010).
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Richard Henry has presented and published on both contemporary and parody world literature. Through his dedication to the College and achievements as a creative writer, scholarly editor and department member, Rick has helped SUNY Potsdam achieve local, regional and national recognition. One of Rick’s books, “Lucy’s Eggs: Short Stories and a Novella,” published by Syracuse University Press in 2006, won the Adirondack Center for Writing Award for the best work of fiction published in 2006. In 2009, Rick was the recipient of a Research and Creative Endeavors Award for his research on Percival Wilde. Aside from all his publications and awards, Dr. Henry has also helped to establish the Potsdam College Press, and acted as the editor of SUNY Potsdam’s nationally acclaimed literary journal, “Blueline.” His work has truly contributed to the literary and intellectual life of the English and Communication Department, as well as the College as a whole.
Since she joined the faculty of the Crane School of Music in 1998, Dr. Marsha Baxter has worked tirelessly through her years at SUNY Potsdam to advance the cause of cultural pluralism. She has done so through her teaching, advising and community involvement. More specifically, Marsha has dedicated a significant amount of her career to helping others understand the role which pedagogy plays in the transmission of musical knowledge and skills in culturally specific circumstances. Marsha has developed a teaching practicum and traveled with students to Puebla, Mexico. She has also taught a variety of courses in music from a variety of cultures, and has invited guest lecturers and performers of non-Western musical traditions to appear at Crane. Marsha makes it her responsibility to ensure that Crane students are well aware of the opportunities which are available to them in exploring multicultural music in education, and she encourages them to extend their education of the cultural aspects of music beyond the classroom and practice room.
C. Douglas Rubio
Dr. C. Douglas Rubio has accumulated an impressive and extensive record of service activities over the last decade. Within Crane, Doug chaired the Personnel Committee, which developed and honed guidelines in order to help faculty apply for continuing appointment, renewal and promotion. Doug has also served on a number of other committees within Crane, including the Strategic Planning Committee and the NASM Accreditation Self Study. Outside of Crane, Doug served on the Academic Calendar Committee, Campus Workload Task Force and the President’s Faculty Salary Study Group, among others. Most relevant to this award was Doug’s position as Chair of the Performance Department at the Crane School of Music. This position is most challenging, due to the large size of the department and widely varying constituencies. Doug’s tireless work to help his department better serve Crane, combined with his strong representation for the specific interests of the Performance Faculty, have truly been an inspiration to his colleagues.
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.