Instagram Combined Shape quotation Created with Sketch. 69

SUNY Potsdam Employees Honored with Chancellor’s & President’s Awards

June 3, 2024
SUNY Potsdam Recognizes 12 Faculty & Staff Members for Excellence 

SUNY Potsdam recently honored 12 faculty and staff members with the 2024 Chancellor’s Awards and President’s Awards, in recognition of their dedication and service to the campus. 

This year, three employees received Chancellor’s Awards, while another nine were honored with President’s Awards. The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are SUNY-level honors, conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. The President’s Awards are open to faculty and staff at SUNY Potsdam, including PACES Dining Services, the Child Care Center and campus Research Foundation employees.  

This year’s Chancellor’s Award recipients were as follows: 

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service: 

Billijean Elliott is the Administrative Assistant II in The School of Education and Professional Studies. Throughout her 26-year career at SUNY Potsdam, Elliott has demonstrated excellence through her attention to detail and positive outlook. She began work at SUNY Potsdam in 1996, starting in the Office of Admissions, before later moving to her current position in the dean’s office at The School of Education and Professional Studies. During her 11 years in the role, she has served four deans, two interim associate deans and one assistant dean. Elliott has helped to maintain continuity and positivity through this time. In her interactions with students, faculty and staff, she addresses issues with professionalism and sensitivity. Among other accomplishments, she helped to write self-study report documents for the School’s recent accreditation process, and kept colleagues on task with gentle reminders throughout. She has recently begun to oversee a new clerical hub, supervising a program aide and two other administrative assistants in the division, working to delegate responsibilities based on skillsets and constantly seeking ways to improve processes. Elliott was previously awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Clerical Service in 2018. 

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service: 

Shane Ashley is the Chief of Police for University Police, a position he assumed in 2022 following a national search. He began his service at SUNY Potsdam in 2008, when he was first hired as a University Police Officer 1. He was promoted to Officer 2/Lieutenant in 2013, in recognition of his outstanding work ethic and leadership potential. In 2018, Ashley received the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Administrative Services. During his time with the department, Ashley has served on numerous campus committees and task forces, including the Emergency Response Resource Group, the Behavioral Evaluation Committee, Commencement Committee, DEI Community Wellness and Safety Committee, NASPA Culture of Respect Initiative, and Athletics Behavioral Review Board, among many others. Ashley has completed numerous trainings and led sessions himself, both for the campus community and as a certified instructor for the Law Enforcement Training Institute. He represents the campus as a member of the county, SUNY and national chief associations. Ashley also volunteers his time in the community with the Fresh Air Fund, Bark in the Park, as a foster care volunteer and working with faith-based organizations. 

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: 

sheila mcintyreDr. Sheila McIntyre is a Professor of History. Since coming to SUNY Potsdam in 2001, she has taught courses in medical history, historical methodology, early America, Revolutionary America, witchcraft and early American Indigenous history. McIntyre’s courses stand out due to her extraordinary dedication to her craft as a scholar and storyteller of early American history, as she brings in experts as guest speakers and introduces topics she is well versed on. She is the author of numerous articles and two books, “Reading Roger Williams: Rogue Puritans, Indigenous Nations, and the Founding of America” (2024) and “The Correspondence of John Cotton, Jr, 1640-1699” (2009), with another in the works. McIntyre was a founding member of the Potsdam Pathways Steering Committee that implemented changes to the General Education Program, and lent her time and energy to help colleagues develop new WAYS courses. She secured a Gardiner Foundation grant for the campus in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which will pair undergraduate fellows with historians, giving a once-in-a-lifetime public history opportunity for students. McIntyre was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. She has since taken on the role of associate director of general education.  

This year’s President’s Award recipients included: 

  • President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advising: Dr. Colleen Skull, Associate Professor of Voice, Crane School of Music 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching: Dr. Marnie Erin, Instructor, Department of Environmental Studies 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Clerical Service: Sarah Burgess, Program Aide, Crane School of Music 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Clerical Service: Suzanne LaRose, Administrative Assistant I, University Police 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in College Service: Dr. Deborah Conrad, Senior Assistant Dean for Assessment and Accreditation, School of Education and Professional Studies 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Operational Service: Rodrick Harvey, Plant Utilities Engineer 2, Physical Plant/Heating Plant 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service: Jason Hunter, Director of Photography and Video Communications, Office of College Communications 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities: Dr. Jessica Pearson, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Studies 
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Tanya Hewitt, Instructor and Chair, Department of Public Health and Human Performance 

To find out more about employment at SUNY Potsdam, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 


For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke 315-267-2918

General News