For Immediate Release—Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
Five SUNY Geneseo Faculty and Staff Receive
Chancellor's Awards for Excellence
GENESEO, N.Y.—Five faculty and staff members of the State University of New York at Geneseo have been named recipients of the 2007 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence.
They are: Christopher Annala, associate professor of economics in the School of Business—Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Kimberly Davies Hoffman, associate librarian (Milne Library)—Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Librarianship; Gerard Floriano '84, associate professor of music in the School of the Arts—Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; David Geiger, professor of chemistry—Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; and Paul Schacht; associate professor of English and assistant to the provost for general education and assessment—Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
Annala, of Brighton, N.Y., successfully engages his students in active learning that allows them to comprehend the complex concepts of his field. His current students selected him to be an honorary member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for his "outstanding teaching." Annala is known for developing mentoring relationships with students that enhance learning in the classroom and beyond. Annala has taken a keen interest in the economics curriculum, designing new courses such as his award-winning Economics of Sports. In addition, he has been instrumental, with his co-advisor, in the national success of the Geneseo's Federal Reserve Challenge team. One of his students writes, "I have never seen a teacher who can spark the intellectual curiosity of students as he does. Students' attendance is always high, and the class is always engaged and attentive." Since joining the college in 2000, he has advised student organizations and honors theses.
Davies Hoffman, of Brighton, N.Y., has a remarkable record as a reference and instruction librarian. She has served the college and the library in many capacities and has an impressive list of presentations and publications, including many co-authored with faculty members and other librarians. While serving as coordinator of reference services, Davies Hoffman coordinated a months-long project to cull the print reference collection that involved all reference librarians. Her planning, use of statistical data and open leadership style helped created a more user-friendly and leaner collection, and opened the library space to innovative student-friendly renovations. An instruction librarian, Davies Hoffman has created unique and effective in-class partnerships with faculty members in three departments. She served concurrently as chair of the College Senate's Student Affairs Committee, as a member of the college's Executive Council Committee and as a volunteer in a diversity group created by the college's Commission on Diversity and Community. In addition, she served as the assistant on the Literary Dublin study abroad trip for one year and then co-led that trip for two years in a row. Davies Hoffman joined the college in 1999.
Floriano, of Penfield, N.Y., is an accomplished conductor and serves with distinction as Geneseo's director of choral activities. His creative activities began at Geneseo through his leadership of three choral ensembles of the highest quality, all requiring auditions for admission. He rises to the challenge as a musical artist and conductor of the Festival Chorus, a large oratorio chorus; the Carol Choristers, a women's choral group; and the Chamber Singers, an elite mixed ensemble. One of his peers writes, "The repertoire that he chooses É is uniformly excellent, demanding and appropriate. His rehearsals are carefully organized and each concert is beautifully conducted." Floriano's influence as a conductor and music educator extends to the region, nation and abroad. He has conducted the Buffalo Youth Orchestra for 16 years and serves as chorusmaster of the Janiec Opera Company and at the internationally acclaimed Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina, where he also serves as resident conductor of orchestras. In addition, Floriano is co-artistic director, conductor and board member of Mercury Opera Rochester. He has made appearances as guest conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchard Park Symphony, the Montana Conference All-State Orchestra and the Artist Alliance International Choral Festival in Vicenza, Italy. Floriano received his Bachelor of Arts in music from Geneseo and joined the college's faculty in 1998.
Geiger, of Geneseo, N.Y., is one of the most highly respected individuals on campus and an ideal role model for outstanding teaching, research and service in a public liberal arts college. Geiger teaches a wide variety of rigorous chemistry courses, requiring significant time commitment and effort from his students. He encourages and leads his students to high achievement, preparing his students to be true scientists. One of his students states, "Dr. Geiger transformed the learning process from one of memorization to a process of thinking and discovery. His classes É taught me to begin to think like a scientist." Despite his ambitious research agenda and heavy teaching load, Geiger cares about his students individually and collectively. Each fall semester, he requests 8:30 a.m. classes scheduled for the opening day of school so he can be one of the first professors to greet the new students and help them embark on their new learning experience. He supervises students in research projects and has mentored 57 students, most of whom have made presentations at professional conferences and many of whom are co-authors on publications. In addition, Geiger is author of 37 scholarly publications and has successfully acquired more than $300,000 in external research grants, always building funding for students into his proposals. He joined the college in 1985.
Schacht, of Brighton, N.Y., has provided selfless service to Geneseo over the years in a variety of critical positions throughout the college, often on short notice or for many years, far exceeding the normal life span of committee leadership. In each of these positions, Schacht has performed the usual duties but also maintained a technologically advanced Web resource which proves to be vitally useful to others on campus. He is generous in sharing his work in ways to demonstrably reduce the workload of his colleagues. He created the Collaborative Writing Project, a Web site teaching tool for his students to practice collaborative writing and peer editing. Schacht immediately offered the tool to others in his department and has assisted several colleagues by training them on the site, creating accounts for their students and giving demonstrations in their classes. He also has been involved in shaping some of the most complex and time-consuming initiatives on campus, including chairing the General Education Committee and the campuswide Assessment Committee; co-authoring the college's General Assessment Plan; and serving on the American Democracy Project Committee, the Strategic Planning Advisory Group and the Middle States Periodic Review Report Committee. Schacht also was called upon to serve as acting dean of the college on a month's notice, fulfilling that duty for the better part of a year. As one of his letters of support states, "Not many people are as disposed to serve so willingly." Schacht joined the college in 1985.