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Seasonal News Digest
Spring 2004

The following collection of news briefs highlights strategic accomplishments by faculty, students, staff and alumni of St. Lawrence University as reported in weekly News Digests in January-June 2004.  The collection is organized by theme.

The News Web site offers the latest press releases, on-line news features, links to national news placements, events calendar, sports news, and campus publications. 

For more:

The next Seasonal News Digest will come out in September covering stories and releases of July, August and September.

Faculty and Student Research and Scholarship

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ning Gao was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to study the air quality of the

Lake Champlain Basin. The grant will be used to cover the costs of research, including undergraduate student research assistants and summer interns.

Associate Professor of Physics Aileen A. O'Donoghue is among the scientists who have been at work on an extensive survey of stellar activity in nearby solar-type stars, the results of which were reported at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This report may provide information about the behavior of the sun in both the past and the future.

Chapin Professor of Geology and Mineralogy Mark Erickson and two of his former students, Booth Platt Jr. '00 and Douglas H. Jennings '93, co-authored the article "Holocene Fossil Oribatid Mite Biofacies as Proxies of Paleohabitat at the Hiscock Site, Byron, New York" in the Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Vol. 37 (2003). The research was completed with support from the James S. Street Student Geology Fund at St. Lawrence.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Michael E. Schuckers was awarded an additional grant of $55,000 for the next phase of a biometric statistical research project from the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR). The organization awarded Schuckers a grant, also for $55,000, for the initial phase in 2003. Schuckers and a group of student researchers are evaluating various statistical methods that have been proposed for estimating the false-reject and false-accept rates of biometric identification devices.

St. Lawrence University is a participant in an interdisciplinary collaborative research project that, overall, has received some $3.1 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with support from the Department of Homeland Security. St. Lawrence was notified that its collaborative biotechnology research project with Clarkson University and other institutions has been approved for funding by the National Science Foundation-Information Technology Research Program. Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Michael E. Schuckers will represent St. Lawrence as the co-principal investigator for the project.

Continuing funding of a program titled "K-12 Project-Based Learning Partnership Program," the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded nearly $2 million to Clarkson and St. Lawrence universities over the next four years. The grant expands Clarkson's Project-Based Learning Partnership Program, created by Clarkson University Professor Susan E. Powers, and St. Lawrence University's Teaching Scholar Partnership Program, led by St. Lawrence principal investigator Assistant Professor of Education Esther Oey.

St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Christopher A. Monz was awarded a grant of over $80,000 by the National Park Service, Alaska region, for a two-year project to monitor the impact of visitor use in the Southwest Alaska Network parks and collaborate with other scientists on inventory and monitoring studies.

Munsil Professor of Government J. Ansil Ramsay delivered the Frank P. Piskor Faculty Lecturer in April, on the topic "Good Societies and How to Get Them: The Political Economy of Development." Associate Professor of Mathmatics, Computer Science and Statistics Duncan J. Melville has been named the Frank P. Piskor Faculty Lecturer for 2005. Next spring, Melville will deliver a lecture on campus on the topic "Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Mesopotamia."

 Academic Programs and Projects

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a grant of $250,000 to St. Lawrence University, in collaboration with four other New York State independent colleges and universities, supporting development of a resource-sharing system for academic libraries throughout the state. The project, called ConnectNY, allows the institutions to share library holdings, making the collections of all five readily available to students, faculty and staff. Colgate University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology and Vassar College join with St. Lawrence to form ConnectNY.

The Second Annual Burt Symposium on Education, Environment and Economic Vitality took place in March. The theme of the event was "Our Community, Our Future: Building on Local Assets in St. Lawrence County." Returning as a guest speaker at the symposium was Michael Shuman, an attorney, author, consultant and entrepreneur known nationally for his work in the field of community economics. His talk was titled "Going Local in St. Lawrence County: A First-Year Progress Report," following up on the work completed by local action/research teams formed as a result of the inaugural Burt Symposium in 2003.

Student Honors and Awards

The Center for International and Intercultural Studies at St. Lawrence awarded travel/research grants to nine students, to assist them with expenses incurred while undertaking research projects during the coming summer and fall.

Thirty students were selected as 2004 University Fellows for this summer, in a program that allows them to receive funding while conducting research with a faculty partner. This is the sixth year of the program.

Twelve juniors were named McNair Scholars for the summer of 2004, enabling each to conduct research with a faculty mentor.

John B. Linsley '04, was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Group Projects Abroad scholarship for intensive Swahili, allowing him to participate in the prestigious program's summer component. It is directed by the African Studies Institute of Georgia. Linsley is one of only three undergraduates to be awarded funding; the additional 14 participants are currently in graduate programs, at institutions including Boston University, UCLA, Michigan State University and the University of Georgia. In addition to studying Swahili in Tanzania, the program will also enable participants to travel to a number of places where Swahili is spoken, including Zanzibar, and the historic site of Bagamoyo, formerly one of East Africa's largest slave-trading depots. Participants will also spend time living with host families who speak Swahili as a first language.

Some 55 students participated in the 2004 Festival of Science, offering oral or poster presentations on their research. 
For more --

Toyin Showole '04 has been chosen as the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Province Leader of the Year, a first in St. Lawrence University's history.

Faculty Publications

Hypnocounseling: An Eclectic Bridge Between Milton Erickson and Carl Rogers, by St. Lawrence University Emeritus Professor of Education Hugh Gunnison Jr., was published by PCCS Books of Ross-on-Wye, Wales, UK. In the book, Gunnison explores the links between Ericksonian hypnotherapy and Rogerian person-centered therapy.

A new book by St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of French Roseline Tremblay is a study of the contemporary Québécois novel. L’Écrivain imaginaire. Essai sur le roman québécois: 1960-1995 or The Imaginary Writer: A Study of the Québec Novel (1960-1995), has been published by Hurtubise in Montreal.

 Alumni Philanthropy

Trustee Emerita Marjorie Watters Longley '47 completed a gift agreement valued at $1.4 million and has directed that her gift be used in support of the Student Center and two scholarships initiated and supported over the years by her – the Akwesasne and the Clarence Gaines Scholarships.  The cash from this gift will be distributed at a later date through Longley's estate. In recognition of her generosity, the University named in her honor the Marjorie Watters Longley '47 Student Leadership Suite, spaces located on the north end of the third floor of the Student Center that house The Hill News, the Gridiron, and the Thelomathesian Society offices, work and meeting areas. The designation of this space in her honor recognizes Longley’s long and respected career as a business executive for the New York Times and her active role as a civic leader in New York City.

Several donors to St. Lawrence University announced their intention to support a renovation of Burkman Gymnasium in the Augsbury Physical Education Complex. Work on the facility began in mid-April. Preston Carlisle '52 and his wife, Joan Carlisle, of Lisbon, New York, join Trustee Emeritus John Priesing and his wife, Madryn, parents of John '94, of Bronxville, New York, in making leadership commitments of over $200,000 each for the project, according to Vice President for University Advancement Michael P. Archibald. Joining the Carlisles and the Priesings in supporting this effort with leadership gifts are Dave Jennings '74, former New York Jets punter and current sports broadcaster of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey; and Francis LaMantia '88 and Wendy Hubbert LaMantia '91 of Wilton, Connecticut.

Campus Events

St. Lawrence University's neighbors throughout the region were invited to participate in the grand opening of the new Student Center on campus, held on February 21. An open house and guided tours of the new building were part of the celebration. The 60,000-square-foot building took 18 months of construction to complete, beginning with groundbreaking in July 2002 and finishing in January. Project architects are MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, of Pittsburgh, PA; the general contractor is Northland Associates, Syracuse.

Canton-St. Lawrence University Race Weekend, which took place on May 1, resulted in the donation of $3,000 to each of its charity partners: Camp Sunshine and St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House. Camp Sunshine is a retreat in Casco, Maine, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.  The inaugural Canton-St. Lawrence University race weekend found 230 runners and over 100 volunteers taking part in the day.

A ceremony to dedicate the Wachtmeister Field Station was held at the facility in May. In 2001, members of the Wachtmeister family, of Warrenton, Virginia, gave $1 million to construct and equip the Wachtmeister Field Station, a component of the University's Integrated Science Education Initiative (ISEI). The gift came from Edward and Karen Wachtmeister; their son Erik Wachtmeister '99, Aspen, Colorado; and his brother, Carl Wachtmeister '05. Karen Wachtmeister is a University trustee. The gift funded the purchase and installation of permanent monitoring equipment; construction of a field study laboratory facility, where samples can be examined and instruction can take place; and the purchase and installation of supporting equipment in campus laboratories.

Commencement took place on May 16, with three distinguished graduates of the University receiving honorary degrees and offering brief remarks at the ceremony. Honored were:

Karen Hitchcock '64, former president of SUNY Albany

Mark Klett '74, internationally known photographer and college professor

Lorrie Moore '78, novelist and college professor

The Board of Trustees named the campus fitness center in honor of Trustee Ronald B. Stafford, a 1957 graduate who was a member of the New York State Senate for 37 years. Trustees voted at their meeting May 15 to name the University facility the Ronald B. Stafford Fitness Center. Stafford has been a member of the Board of Trustees for 18 years, giving his personal support to the University. In addition, he has advocated for support from New York State funds for a variety of academic projects, scholarship programs and facilities construction projects at the University, including the construction of the fitness center, which opened in 2001.

President Sullivan announced to the campus his decision, endorsed unanimously by the Board of Trustees, to close the Xi chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, effective immediately.

The awarding of Alumni Citations to four outstanding graduates and the Sol Feinstone Humanitarian Award to a fifth was a highlight of Alumni Reunion Weekend at St. Lawrence University, June 3 through 6. Alumni Citations, awarded to graduates of the University for long-term and exemplary service to the University or for exemplary professional accomplishment or community volunteer activities, will be given to Varick Chittenden '63, of Canton, executive director of Traditional Arts of Upstate New York; Donald Rose '64, of Palo Alto, California, and a native of Pitcairn, retired director of Intel Corporation; Dean Eppler '74, of Houston, Texas, a geologist with NASA's International Space Station;  and Kelly Spooner Zinna '87, of Bethesda, Maryland, and a native of Ogdensburg, a forensic psychologist who has expertise in school violence.  The Sol Feinstone Humanitarian Award, presented to a graduate who, through devotion of his or her resources or personal effort, has demonstrated deep commitment to the advancement of the freedom of people to pursue and attain personal, professional and economic freedom, will be presented to Robert Daly '54, of DeWitt, a clinical psychiatrist, professor and founder and president of the Institute for Ethics in Health Care.

In Memoriam

This spring, the University mourned the deaths of Emily R. Mounce '07, Flint Professor of Fine Arts Elizabeth L. Kahn and Professor Emeritus of Geology Robert O. Bloomer.