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Fall 2013 cover

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Published in Spring and Fall by the Office of Public Relations,The Statement is mailed to alumni, parents, grad students, and friends. Articles may be reprinted without permission. Subscribe>>


Letter from the Presidents: Virginia Horvath and David Fountaine, '79

The spring of 2013 was an exciting, event-filled one, capped off by the graduation of the largest class in SUNY Fredonia’s 186-year history. That excitement and momentum continue this fall, as changes in leadership, strategic initiatives, and physical campus all show Fredonia’s commitments and priorities.

Four campus leaders honored with President’s Award for Excellence

Hundreds of employees, family and friends packed the Williams Center Multipurpose Room to support and congratulate this year’s recipients: Joseph Baxter, a network security administrator within the Department of Information Technology Services Data Communication Team; Darlene Burchett, a janitor within the Department of Facilities Services; Patricia Feraldi, director of Alumni Affairs; and Dr. Keary Howard, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Speaking from Experience: one of the most rigorous programs in country

James Smaldino and Allison Rosenberg
SUNY Fredonia’s Department for Communication Disorders and Sciences is a large, regional contributor to the output of young professionals. With nearly 200 students, its four-year undergraduate and two-year graduate programs are among the most rigorous and competitive of their kind.

Inauguration Week, Sept. 16-22

King Concert Hall was filled to near-capacity for the Sept. 21 investiture of Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath as SUNY Fredonia’s 13th president. Faculty, staff and students were joined by delegates from 47 other colleges and universities to witness the ceremony and hear President Horvath’s vision for the college.

Letter to Alumni from President Horvath and David Fountaine,'79

It’s been a whirlwind Fall semester, with Dr. Horvath beginning as Fredonia’s 13th president last July, and Dr. Fountaine beginning his new, three-year term as Alumni Association President on January 1. The campus also reached several key milestones — encompassing academic, brick-and-mortar, and administrative projects — that clearly show this dynamic institution is on course to an even brighter future.

Statement Fall 2013

Class Notes Fall 2013
Curtain Call! Brian Usifer, ’03, Music Director on Broadway

Kinky BootsBrian Usifer has found himself among some of Broadway’s biggest stars, contributing to the success of its hottest new musical. As Music Director of the smash hit Kinky Boots – winner of six Tony awards in June – it’s the latest accomplishment for this 32-year-old member of the Class of 2003, whose career got a “head start,” courtesy of another Fredonian whom he met when he was just 4 years old.

Ferguson earns Biology department’s biggest National Science Foundation grant to date

This past spring, Biology Professor Scott Ferguson was awarded a $250,000 Research in Undergraduate Institutions grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funding allows him to conduct a three-year research project, “Genetic Analysis of Gurken Translational Control in Drosophila,” that has the potential to assess how humans develop and are affected by disease.

Music Industry program crescendos from niche to noteworthy

Currently, some 200 students are pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration, with a concentration in Music Industry, at SUNY Fredonia. This unique collaboration between the schools of Music and Business provides a balance of general business courses such as accounting and macroeconomics, and music courses like music theory, with specialized courses that focus on music copyright, publishing, marketing and promotion.

College of Education emphasizes benefits of a global education

Fredonia teacher candidates have more options than ever to “internationalize” their experience through teaching and service-learning options on three continents. These partnerships enable students to seize unique opportunities to become more effective teachers while immersing themselves in a new culture.

SUNY Fredonia graduates largest senior class

GraduatesRoughly 1,500 students, including the largest senior class in Fredonia’s history, crossed the Steele Hall stage this past May, receiving congratulations from President Virginia S. Horvath as they were conferred with degrees during the 186th annual Commencement ceremony. In all, 1,355 undergraduates and 167 graduate students and advanced certificate recipients were honored.

Three receive Fredonia College Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious honor given by the Fredonia College Foundation, was presented to three honorees at a special May 11 dinner/dance in the Williams Center. Alumni Dr. J. Brien Murphy, ’53, ’56; and Michael Schiavone, ’78, along with the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, were each honored with the bi-annual award which recognizes citizens and organizations that make significant contributions to society through business, government, education and the arts.

Brains over Brawn! Computer Science students give bullying a one-two punch of science and technology

This year five students and a faculty member within SUNY Fredonia’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences created a program concept designed to combat bullying in classrooms by allowing teachers to collect data about bullying incidents throughout the school – data which can be used to alter classroom layouts to lessen the likelihood of a reoccurrence.

Youth is Served: Geophysicist Katie Boyle on the move

A working trip to Tanzania wasn’t exactly what 2010 graduate Katie Boyle was expecting the summer following graduation with a major in Geophysics and minor in Applied Mathematics with honors; neither were shots for rabies, typhoid, yellow fever and malaria. But opportunity knocked – or rather, shook – and Katie answered the call.

Homecoming Weekend Highlights

Homecoming 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of our Department of Geosciences, a Science Conference, the 35th anniversary of the Fredonia Radio Systems’ FM station, the 25th anniversary of Sigma Kappa Sorority, a play in Bartlett Theatre, spectacular concerts, great athletic contests and a host of other special events.

Blasting begins as dean of new College of Visual and Performing Arts

On July 1, SUNY Fredonia officially opened its new College of Visual and Performing Arts, formally combining its world-renowned School of Music with its strong departments of Theatre and Dance, and Visual Arts and New Media, as well as the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center. In doing so, the university named Dr. Ralph J. Blasting as its founding dean.

Kasling Lecture, Hagan Award recipients announced

Dr. William Brown, a member of the Department of Biology faculty since 2001, has been named the Kasling Lecturer for the 2013-2014 academic year and will present the Kasling address on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall. Timothy Frerichs, associate professor of art in the Department of Visual Arts and New Media, will receive the 2013 William T. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award at the same program.

Fredonia-Hamburg teacher preparation partnership celebrates 40th anniversary

More than 80 alumni of the Fredonia-Hamburg Teacher Education Center, a yearlong student teaching partnership that’s enjoyed four wonderful decades, gathered in East Aurora, N.Y., in April to mark a milestone between SUNY Fredonia and Hamburg Central School District. The attendees showed their love of teaching and passion about the preparation they received.

Blue Devils


Performing Arts

Upshaw and Kalish win over Fredonia hearts in four-day School of Music residency

Soprano Dawn Upshaw (right) and pianist Gilbert Kalish joined the SUNY Fredonia music community for a four-day residency in April made possible by a generous gift from Stanley and Elizabeth Star through the Fredonia College Foundation. From the moment the duo arrived on campus, they began engaging with students. Mr. Kalish held a piano master class, and Ms. Upshaw led a vocal master class. Together they taught a chamber music master class.

School of Music to welcome Arturo Sandoval and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

The 2013-14 academic year will allow two School of Music ensembles to shine that usually don’t get the limelight: the Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Guitar Ensemble.

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