For Immediate Release—Friday, June 1, 2007
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
SUNY Board Names Stephen Padalino
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Physics scholar is SUNY Geneseo's 15th faculty member to earn prestigious honor
GENESO, N.Y.—The State University of New York Board of Trustees yesterday appointed Stephen J. Padalino, professor of physics at SUNY Geneseo, a Distinguished Teaching Professor—SUNY's highest faculty designation.
Padalino—an acclaimed scholar in nuclear physics—is the 15th Geneseo faculty member to earn the Distinguished Teaching Professor rank, which recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. Since joining the college in 1985, he has received more than $2 million in external grants, using the funds to conduct research with his students, the majority of whom go on to graduate school. Padalino's major research grants have come from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. In collaborating with more than 200 students during his career at Geneseo, Padalino has earned respect and praise as a scholar, teacher, mentor and researcher.
In its letter of recommendation, the nominating committee found Dr. Padalino's professorial life "especially distinguished," noting that "he has fused his enthusiasm for teaching with an extraordinary research record and greatly benefited the students of the State University of New York at Geneseo."
Padalino has been instrumental in helping to build one of the biggest and highest quality undergraduate physics departments in the country. Geneseo is ranked among the Top 10 bachelor's-granting physics departments in the nation in terms of the average number of physics bachelor's degrees awarded to the classes of 2002-04, according to the August 2006 Enrollments and Degrees Report from the American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center. On average, Geneseo graduated 17 majors, according to the Institute.
During his time at Geneseo, Padalino has taught 20 different courses in physics and computer science, including sections on honors science and research. His former students include physics professors, high school teachers, laboratory directors, engineers, medical students and project managers.
"Stephen Padalino exemplifies what it means to teach at Geneseo," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "His passion for excellence is contagious, and his commitment to meet the highest standards of research and teaching inspires colleagues and students alike. We're delighted to celebrate his much-deserved recognition and his extraordinary record as a mentor to undergraduate researchers."
In addition to his teaching service, Padalino served for nine years as chair and associate chair of physics. In addition, he spent five years as the college's associate provost for budget, technology and research before returning to full-time teaching in 2005. Prior to his administrative duties, he served as director of the college's Nuclear Structure Laboratory.
Beyond the Geneseo campus, Padalino has conducted numerous workshops for students, including Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) courses on robotics, nuclear physics and modern physics and a month-long summer research program for Brooklyn Tech students. He also has served as a science judge for the BOCES Odyssey of the Mind competition.
In addition to his appointment as Distinguished Teaching Professor, Padalino has received a number of honors, including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (1992), the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship & Creative Activities Award (2006) and a SUNY Research Foundation Research and Scholarship Award (2006). In 2001, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Padalino Professor of the Year for New York State.
The Distinguished Teaching Professorship constitutes a promotion to a rank above that of full professor, and the authority to confer appointment resides solely with the SUNY Board of Trustees. Candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching; outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual, scholarship and professional growth; and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. In addition, candidates must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years; completed ten years of full-time teaching in SUNY, including at least three on the nominating campus; and regularly carried a full-time teaching load as defined by the campus at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level.
Padalino holds a doctorate in nuclear physics from Florida State University. He lives in Conesus, N.Y.