SUNY Chancellor Honors Excellence Among Geneseo Faculty and Staff

GENESEO, N.Y. - Four SUNY Geneseo faculty members, two from the college's professional staff and a classified service member are among the recipients of Chancellor's Awards for Excellence for the 2011-12 academic year. The awards are SUNY system-level honors to provide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. The chancellor presents the awards annually to faculty and staff in six categories:  teaching; faculty service; scholarship and creative activities; professional service; librarianship; and classified service.

Receiving Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Teaching are Alice Rutkowski, associate professor of English, and Shuo Chen, associate professor of business.  Tony Macula, associate professor mathematics, received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Ken Kallio, associate professor of psychology, received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.  Calvin Gantt, director of Geneseo's Access Opportunity Program (AOP), and Becky Lewis, assistant provost for international programs, both received a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.  The Chancellor's Award for Classified Service went to Donna Gerould, agency program aide in the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

"These awards underscore SUNY's appreciation of faculty and staff who serve our campuses and students with absolute excellence," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "They have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and service and are highly deserving of this distinction."


Alice Rutkowski has had an enormously positive impact on the English department since she joined the faculty in 2003, bringing high energy and rigorous instruction to department offerings in 19th-century American literature, American studies, women's studies, gender studies, Asian/Asian-American studies and writing instruction. One faculty colleague noted the strong relationship she has with her students: "I can hardly think of a better teacher and role model for our current students. She speaks their language and she speaks ours."  Another colleague credits her ability to integrate technology into her classroom, citing her skill at using wiki and student blogs to enhance in-class instruction. Rutkowski's students give her rave reviews for being available, accessible and fully attentive to their needs and interests both in and out of class. 

Shuo Chen has been on the Geneseo faculty since 2005 and has received glowing evaluations for her teaching, scholarship and service. A colleague in economics praised Chen as a "true teacher-scholar, who continues to develop new and innovative techniques to improve student-learning outcomes." Another praised her as "an inspirational colleague and a wonderful force for her students." Even with classes curriculum development responsibilities, Chen has been able to stimulate learning among all of her students and finds time to work with students individually. Her students note her accessibility inside and outside of the classroom and often works with students in her office well beyond stated office hours.


Tony Macula has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 1993 and has integrated mathematics into a variety of academic areas on campus, establishing strong interdisciplinary collaborations with chemistry, biology, computer science and physics.  He was an early advocate for including Geneseo undergraduates in mathematics research and has been tireless in supervising their projects and involving them in his own. He has supervised more than 50 undergraduate researchers in 42 projects; 18 of those students have become co-authors of professional papers with him. Macula himself has published 58 papers addressing such topics as anti-counterfeiting, biomolecular computing, genomics and computer security. Macula was instrumental in introducing biomathematics education to Geneseo, one of a small number of colleges with such a program.


Ken Kallio has been a highly effective leader on the Geneseo campus for more than three decades, demonstrating superior initiative in the ability to get things accomplished. While fulfilling his role as a full-time faculty member, he has established a wide and varied record of service in campus governance, academic assessment and curriculum improvement. His record of service includes multiple terms on the college senate and other elected positions on campus. He also has been active at local and state levels of United University Professions and has made a significant personal commitment to community service and to the college's mission of service learning. During his six years as psychology department chair, Kallio placed emphasis on faculty professional development. He also served a 17-year tenure as chair of the campus Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB).


Calvin Gantt has been with the college's Access Opportunity Program since 1998 and has served as director since 2007. The program helps first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented students achieve their educational, social and career goals as SUNY Geneseo students. Under Gantt's leadership, enrollment in the program grew by 30 percent the past four years, and the department has maintained an average graduation rate of more than 85 percent, one of the best rates among AOP programs at SUNY  comprehensive colleges. Gantt has a profound dedication not just to AOP students but all Geneseo students. One college administrator called Gantt "a  man of considerable talent. He is intelligent, inquisitive and committed to making a difference for underrepresented students in higher education." 

Rebecca Lewis started at Geneseo in 2004, serving in various academic capacities in the School of Education and dean's office before being named assistant provost for international programs in 2008. She supervised the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation process for the School of Education and received praise for her perseverance, dedication and firm leadership. Since she began directing the college's international programs, the number of Geneseo students who participate in some sort of study abroad program has increased 50 percent, and the number of Geneseo-sponsored summer abroad programs has doubled. In addition, she has created highly successful "study away" programs such as the college's humanities sequence in New York City. She receives high praise from colleagues for transforming international programs into one of the most successful examples of its type within SUNY.


Donna Gerould is an agency program aide in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation. Those nominating Gerould cited her outstanding efficiency, dedication and cooperation. SUNY established the award in 2008 to recognize superior performance and extraordinary achievement by employees in the classified service. 

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516