Our dedicated faculty and staff are at the very heart of what makes SUNY Potsdam unique.
SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff members are published authors, well-known researchers, accomplished artists and inspiring mentors. Like our students, they are a friendly, caring group from a range of backgrounds - always ready to discuss a challenge or assist with a project.
Dedicated to teaching, learning and service, SUNY Potsdam faculty are not just active in the classroom, but outside it, too. Many of our students say they learn as much through friendship and interaction with their professors and with staff members as they do in classroom studies.
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Lights, Camera, Action
During her final semester at Crane, Erika Murata ’22 lined up the internship of a lifetime, working on the set of the Late Show with Seth Meyers in New York City. Leaning on skills from her music business degree, she has been assisting audio engineers and the house band as they prepare the music for the show.
United for Ukraine
Dr. Gregory A. Gardner has been many things to many people throughout his varied career: Military intelligence officer. Visiting professor. Business expert. Colleague. Friend. No matter his role, he has always focused his efforts on advancing democracy and promoting free commerce—first with the U.S. Air Force, and later as a SUNY Potsdam faculty member and Fulbright Scholar.
Protecting the Majestic Grey Crowned Crane
Taking flight like the endangered birds she studies, Bridget Amulike has launched an inspiring career as a conservation biologist, educator, and researcher. Born and raised in Tanzania, Amulike is now in the middle of a prestigious two-year SUNY PRODiG Fellowship at SUNY Potsdam, teaching her students about wildlife conservation with real world examples from her research in Africa on grey crowned cranes.
Finding Inspiration on the Camino
Over the summer, Dr. Jeffrey Francom and 17 students embarked on an amazing 500-mile trek along the Camino de Santiago in Spain! Crane students Zian Taylor, Lindsay Hebert, Noah Unser, and Matthew Bahr discuss the transformative experience.
Smile for the Camera
Imagine a game camera with reading glasses. That’s one of the creative ways that four faculty members have been capturing photos of an unsuspecting assortment of small mammals through the modified lens of a wildlife camera. Funded by a grant through the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, Dr. Glenn Johnson, Dr. Kate Cleary, Dr. Jessica Rogers, and Dr. Bridget Amulike launched a pilot project this summer to determine the most effective ways to collect data on a variety of critters ranging from deer mice and shrews to chipmunks and weasels—research that will inform future projects looking at tick abundance in the region.
Mentor for Success
When students with disabilities need assistance with residence life and academic accommodations on campus, they turn to Jessica Burnett ’09 & ’11, the assistant director of Accommodative Services. To better serve her students, Burnett recently completed 25 online training sessions, which in turn caught the attention of the New York State Disability Service Council (NYSDSC). The organization presented her with the New Professional Award this summer, which recognizes an individual who is self-motivated and who seeks out resources and training opportunities to improve their job.
Protecting the Endangered
Traveling up and down the east coast, and through the Gulf of Mexico, Brogin Van Skoik ’11 puts his degree from SUNY Potsdam to the test. Working as an endangered species observer on a large dredging vessel, he carefully monitors the human impact on a precious assortment of turtles, fish, and whales—halting dredging operations at a moment’s notice if too many species are harmed by the shipping operations.
Work by Crane Composer Performed by Major Orchestras
Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodriguez, an assistant professor of music composition and theory at The Crane School of Music is making waves this summer in Los Angeles! Her composition, “Un Danzón a Mi Manera (A Danzón Done My Way),” has already been performed on stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles under the baton of renowned music director Gustavo Dudamel. It will be featured two more times by the Los Angeles Philharmonic this summer, on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
From a high-altitude forest in Guatemala to a biological corridor in Costa Rica, Dr. Kate Cleary brings years of experience, steeped in hands-on international research, into the classroom. As an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, she has been working closely with students to study bats in St. Lawrence County, collecting data about their population numbers that will be shared with the U.S. Geological Survey’s North American Bat Monitoring Program.
Coming Full Circle
Ever since graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in community health, Missi Wooldridge ’08 has continued to make a positive impact on the world around her—focusing her career on drug policy reform and harm reduction. This fall, she will be giving back to her alma mater, and returning as an adjunct professor in the College’s fully online master’s degree program in community health.
A Mover and Shaker
Unlike the slowly developing rock formations that she studies with her students, Dr. Page Quinton has moved mountains since she started at SUNY Potsdam—infusing the campus with her passion for teaching as she launches new applied learning initiatives in and out of the classroom.
Arts Management in the Real World
Business savvy students pursuing a degree in arts management are gaining valuable hands-on experience this semester at organizations around the North Country—impactful capstone internships that allow them to take what they’ve learned in the classroom out into the real world. Led by Arts Management Coordinator Joshua Vink, students are completing the internships at organizations like the St. Lawrence Arts Council, Brick & Mortar Music and the Community Performance Box Office.
Finding Peace in Potsdam
Born and raised in New York City, Laneise Goggans ’15 & ’22 found a new home when she enrolled at SUNY Potsdam. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she returned to the city and immediately launched a career as a dance teacher at a charter school in Brooklyn. Now she’s back in Potsdam, pursuing a master’s degree in education while raising her twin boys, in a community that has always felt like home.
Seeds of Change
In an ever-changing world, SUNY Potsdam is at the forefront of adapting with the times, and developing relevant academic offerings for students. During the Spring 2021 semester, Dr. Christa Haifley offered a Cannabusiness class for the first time—one of three new courses that will form the backbone of a Cannabis Studies minor currently being developed at the College.
Love and Music
As an alumnus of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Drew Coles ’12, has come full circle, and is now leading Crane’s music business program as an assistant professor and program director. Leaning on the experience he’s acquired as a musician and entrepreneur through the Metropolitan Players—a highly successful wedding band business he launched with his wife Erin Coles ’12—he is sharing his real-world experiences with his students, and preparing them for successful music business careers.
Powered by a SUNY PRODiG Fellowship, a passion for anthropology and a wealth of lived experience, Kathryn Allen is inspiring other women to pursue their interest in the STEM fields.
The Curious Cases of Nasser Malit
Dr. Nasser Malit has volunteered his time with the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Unit since 2011. In the role of a forensic anthropologist, he narrows and focuses the almost endless possibilities surrounding a skeleton or a shard of calcium. Malit’s early research prepared him for this work, taking him deep into the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, where in 2004, he excavated a 7,000-year-old human skeleton in partnership with the famed paleoanthropologists in the Leakey family. His forensic anthropology students now benefit from his vast knowledge while examining bones in his lab.