May. 11, 2012

McCoy, House Receive SUNY Distinguished Professorships


Linda House, top, and Beth McCoy

GENESEO, N.Y. - The State University of New York Board of Trustees has awarded two SUNY Geneseo faculty members with distinguished professorships. Beth McCoy, professor of English, has been named a distinguished teaching professor, and Linda House, professor and chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, a distinguished service professor.

The distinguished rank constitutes the highest system honor conferred upon instructional faculty at state-operated campuses. All distinguished faculty in active service within SUNY are also members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, established in March.

The distinguished teaching professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students, and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth, and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements.

The distinguished service professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service. Candidates must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and university, but also at the community, regional and state levels. Further, many candidates for appointment have rendered influential service contributing at the national and international levels.

The board said both students and other faculty extol McCoy's generosity as a mentor, and note that what they learn from her stays with them long after they leave her classroom or office. She teaches African-American literature, as well as a Humanities core requirement and sections of a required first-year writing class. That board also noted that McCoy sets a high bar and assists her students in achieving beyond their own expectations The board also recognized her success in adapting this model to campus-wide teach-ins, which she introduced as a method of engaging the Geneseo community in national and local issues related to race, identity and privilege.

The board said House transformed the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences from a small program into a powerhouse of academic excellence as well as a service provider to the larger community through its highly respected speech and hearing clinic. The board also noted that she was instrumental in initiating an English as a second language program for Geneseo's international students; took on leadership roles on campus committees and in shared governance; held an array of positions in SUNY-wide service; and provided supervision to nearly 40 clinical fellows at the state and national level.

"The Board is pleased to present these individuals with SUNY's highest distinguished ranking," said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. "Their commitment to the students, faculty, and staff at their respective campuses and their vast achievements within their respective fields is impressive and highly commendable."

"In bestowing our highest faculty honor, we proudly recognize the extraordinary achievements of these individuals and thank them for their continued commitment to excellence," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "I look forward to working more closely with this group as they join the SUNY Distinguished Academy."

McCoy and House are among 21 SUNY faculty named this year to distinguished ranks. They are among 44 Geneseo faculty members who have received the rank since 1973.
Since the program's inception in 1963, SUNY has appointed 942 faculty to distinguished ranks: 312 distinguished professorships; 284 distinguished service professorships; 341 distinguished teaching professorships; and five distinguished librarian professorships.

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