SUNY Potsdam Professor Receives Faculty Distance Education Award


Dr. Geoffrey W. Clark of SUNY Potsdam's Department of History has been named the recipient of the 2014 Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award. Clark received the $1,000 award for his course titled "Europe Since 1500."

The Russells, who live in Raleigh, N.C., endowed the award to encourage excellence in SUNY Potsdam's distance education program. They established the honor to recognize faculty who are conducting their courses in an exemplary manner, providing a financial incentive to improve their distance education courses and rewarding faculty members who make their courses available to as many students as possible.

A 1957 alumnus of SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, Thomas L. Russell is director emeritus of the Office of Instructional Telecommunications at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. His career covered more than 40 years, including five years teaching elementary and secondary school music, before changing to instructional technology and eventually focusing on research and distance education at NCSU. Jane D. Russell taught at the elementary through university levels, and then enjoyed a career as a university law librarian. From the University of Florida, she moved up to a position at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2009, she was bestowed with Honorary Lifetime Membership in the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association.

About the recipient:

Geoffrey W. Clark has been a professor of history at SUNY Potsdam since 2009. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, and both his master's and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is the author of "Betting on Lives: The Culture of Life Insurance in England, 1695-1775," and the co-editor of "The Appeal of Insurance," as well as numerous articles and essays on the history of insurance and finance. He has organized or been an invited panelist at several international conferences, and has been featured on BBC Radio 4.

Clark received the SUNY Potsdam President's Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2011, and won a SUNY/National Center for Academic Transformation Course Redesign Grant to pioneer the offering of hybrid courses at Potsdam. He has worked closely with Norton Publishing Company in the development of pedagogical materials for history survey classes nationally, and continues to extend his teaching of history beyond the traditional campus setting, through distance learning. 

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's dedicated faculty, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.