05/09/2014 Six Farmingdale Faculty, Staff Earn Prestigious SUNY Chancellor's Awards

Six members of the faculty and staff at Farmingdale State College have been named winners of the State University of New York’s coveted Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. 

“Faculty and staff who receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence have served their students, fellow faculty and staff, campuses and communities with the utmost distinction,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.  “It is a great honor to be able to recognize Dr. Joanne Lapidus-Graham, Professor Donna Proper, Professor Howard Gold, Professor Robert Seyler, Kenneth J. Tax, and Barbara Sarringer with this award.”

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence provides SUNY-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.  The annual awards are presented to faculty and staff in seven categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, Teaching, Adjunct Teaching and Classified Service.

Dr. Joanne Lapidus-Graham, of Woodbury, won the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.  She joined the full-time faculty at Farmingdale State College in 1990 as an assistant professor and currently holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Nursing within the Theresa Patnode Santmann School of Health Sciences.  She is faculty counselor of the Nursing Honor Society at Farmingdale, and as part of the college’s global initiative, she introduced a campaign to support the recruitment of nurses from Botswana.  Off campus she is a member of five local, regional and national nursing organizations, including the New York State Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association.

Jennifer Talevski, Farmingdale student and co-president of the Farmingdale Student Nurses Association, said of working with Dr. Lapidus-Graham: “It is evident that she not only signifies leadership in all that she does, but influences her students to do the same.  She serves as an excellent role model for nurse educators because of her teaching abilities and ways of transcending devotion to the nursing profession.  I am inspired by all of her accomplishments.”

Professor Donna Proper won the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.  The Wantagh native joined the full-time faculty at Farmingdale in 2004 as an assistant professor and currently holds this rank in the Department of Visual Communications within the School of Business.  Off campus she is a digital marketing consultant.

Kenneth J. Tax, a resident of Coram, has won the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.  Mr. Tax joined the college in 1999 and currently holds the rank of Instructional Support Technician serving as a Network Administrator in the Technology Computing Center within the School of Engineering Technology.  He is a previous winner of the Farmingdale Foundation Award in Professional Service and the Farmingdale Presidential CARES.  In addition, he is a proud alumnus of Farmingdale State.

His campus activities include membership in the Elections Committee and the International Energy and Sustainability Organizing Committee.  He also serves on the Technology Committee.

Professor Socrates Thanasas, assistant dean in the School of Engineering Technology, said of Mr. Tax, “He is a talented, dedicated professional with a passion for anything that is computer related.  As a result of his passion, he has become an expert on software, hardware, and computer networking issues.  Ken is always available and ready to help when a colleague or a student runs into computer related problems.  He is not only an extremely competent problem solver, but also an excellent resource person who can give valuable advice on a wide range of computer related issues.”

Central Islip resident Barbara Sarringer has won the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.  Ms. Sarringer has been the psychology department secretary for the past 32 years, where she is admired not only for the quality of service she brings to the department but for her dedication to the campus community.

“Barbara is quite simply a good and caring person with a deep sense of fairness and an uncommon level of conscientiousness,” said Dr. Michael Goodstone, chairman of the psychology department. “Excellence at work is simply the result of who she is and our entire campus is the beneficiary.”

In addition to her work in the psychology department, Ms. Sarringer is an annual fixture at commencement ceremonies, where she volunteers for whatever needs doing.  She serves on the Open House Committee, and was the driving force behind Operation Shoebox, a campus-wide effort to provide care packages during the holidays for U.S. military servicemen and women overseas.  She is a CSEA union representative and secretary to the local CSEA president.

Earlier this year, two Farmingdale adjunct professors – Howard Gold and Robert Seyler – were the recipients of SUNY’s first Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.  They are the only professors on Long Island to have received the award.

Howard Gold, of Massapequa Park, teaches writing in the professional communications department.  Previous to the Chancellor’s Award, he received the Farmingdale Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Off campus he is a senior technical writer at Forest Laboratories in Commack.

Robert Seyler, a West Babylon resident, joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Farmingdale in 2004.  Known for his uncommon rapport with students and his passion for all things mechanical, he inspired one student to say: “The breadth of his teaching responsibilities and his unqualified success in meeting many challenges ranks him at the top of the department.”

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