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Five 'Fredonians' honored with Chancellor's Award for Excellence
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Five 'Fredonians' honored with Chancellor's Award for Excellence

Displaying their Chancellor’s Award for Excellence medals are (from left): Greg Snow, Daniel Ihasz, Laurie Ensign, Robyn Reger and Dr. Jeanette McVicker.

The prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, a statewide honor that recognizes consistently superior professional achievement and service throughout SUNY, has been awarded to five SUNY Fredonia employees.

Robyn Reger, who has served in the Payroll and Human Resources offices as well as the Administration Division, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. She has demonstrated outstanding achievement, dedication and eagerness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Those traits, together with her ability to manage increasingly complex tasks and effectively support other colleagues, made her a candidate for successive promotions, including her current position of Secretary 1 in Administration in 2003. She’s known as a quick learner and self-starter, and her friendliness and outgoing personality have been assets wherever she’s worked.

Along the way, Ms. Reger has taken on extra duties that include membership on the Sustainability Committee, Parking Committee, and Administration Division Awards Committee. She was also a member of the Maytum Hall Relocation Task Force, which arranged for the relocation of over 90 professional staff, and the Williams Center Relocation Task Force.

Additionally, Reger served on search committees for Faculty Student Association Executive Director, Budget Director and Communications Designer, and provided full-scope clerical/administrative support to search committees for the Vice President for University Advancement, Director of Internal Control and Financial Analyst.

The “spirit of Fredonia” is clearly exemplified by Reger. She coordinates Administration Division donations to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Roswell Park’s Rockin’ the Commons fundraisers, and facilitates her division’s “adoption” of a needy family at Christmas. Reger joined SUNY Fredonia in 2001, working initially as a Clerk 1 in Human Resources and then in Payroll. She was previously employed as a medical office receptionist and customer service representative. Reger earned an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Jamestown Community College.

She is a past recipient of the Barbara Saletta Meritorious Service Award (2012) and the Outstanding Administrative Service Award in the secretarial/clerical category (2011).

Gregory Snow, an instructional support associate within the department of Information Technology Services, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

With nearly 40 years of experience in audio engineering, Mr. Snow is the campus specialist in audio technology, multimedia systems engineering and electronic maintenance of analog electronic systems. His other “hats” include: chief operator for WCVF, adviser to Fredonia Radio Systems and Sound Services, and adjunct instructor in the Sound Recording Technology program.

Faculty members and professionals from nearly every corner of the campus have benefitted by some form of technology that Snow has engineered. Examples of his work are found in numerous building and renovation projects. He was responsible for rewiring the aging cable system infrastructure in Thompson and McEwen Halls, Fredonia Radio Systems’ Production Room, the Youngerman Center’s Closed Circuit Television System, the Williams Center, smart classroom console teacher stations and the Communication Department’s radio lab.

Snow’s expertise is on display at every Commencement, where he is in charge of setting up, calibrating, mixing and processing audio equipment. He also played a significant role in the design and construction of the Mason Hall Sound Recording Technology studio.

Snow has served on numerous campus committees, including Classroom Technology, School of Music Technology, Mason Rehearsal Room Design, Media Advisory Council, Commencement Planning, Sound Recording Technology Director Search and Multimedia Specialist Search. He is also the founder and scholarship chair of the Music Technology Award.

Snow’s expertise in audio engineering also extends beyond the campus. He owns a firm that provides electronic services to professional recording studios and corporate clients in Western New York and has designed and installed sound systems in churches and businesses. He also designed and built a world class professional sound recording studio.

Prior to joining SUNY Fredonia in 1997, Snow worked as a systems installer, radio engineer and announcer, recording studio owner and engineering manager. To remain current in a rapidly changing industry, he vigorously seeks out technical training. He studied physics and electronics technology at Jamestown Community College.

Dr. Jeanette McVicker, who has compiled an impressive record for teaching, scholarship and service at SUNY Fredonia beginning in 1988, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The campus has benefitted in countless ways from McVicker’s presence.

McVicker, a professor of English, offers a classroom that is comfortable, intellectually challenging and stimulating. From her background as a specialist in Literary/Cultural Studies and a published scholar in the works of Virginia Woolf, McVicker has developed courses on feminism, modernism, critical theory, media and culture. These courses played a major role in the English Department’s core curriculum.

Life-changing and deeply emotional are adjectives that students use to describe effects that her classes have on them. She’s a firm, stern, but approachable, kind and caring professor who instills a desire to read and think. Many former students have continued their education at the graduate level and been awarded doctorate degrees.

Her reputation for excellent, innovative and engaged teaching, combined with a continued commitment to improve the rigor and quality of multiple programs and general education, is widely known.

Outside of her department, McVicker has served as director of the Women’s Studies program, helped establish the interdisciplinary minor of Journalism and, more recently, spearheaded the effort to define Fredonia’s baccalaureate learning goals. She has also served on the General Education Committee, Interdisciplinary Studies Council, University Senate, and numerous curricular committees, including coordinator for an Interdisciplinary Program in Journalism. She has been the graduate coordinator in the English Department since 2008, and previously served as chair and associate chair.

McVicker serves as a reviewer for PMLA, has numerous publications in prestigious journals, has been solicited to contribute to juried collections, regularly contributes reviews for the central forum J-History and has presented at national and international conferences in Canada, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Romania, Tunisia, Greece and England. She shares these experiences with her students, thus inspiring and challenging them in their own scholarly work.

McVicker holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in Philosophy, both from the State University of New York at Binghamton, as well as a B.A. in English Literature from Purdue University. She received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.

Daniel Ihasz, considered one of the nation’s experts in voice science and the singing voice, has been awarded a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Students benefit significantly from the range of his knowledge of repertoire and style which allows them to offer a broad musical palette at recitals and concerts. In recent years, Mr. Ihasz, professor of Music, has been engaged in innovative team teaching in vocal study with School of Music colleagues, providing models for alternate male and female voices and sharing individual experiences on developing technique and artistry. Students, in turn, learn more quickly and with a deeper understanding of technique and artistry as a result of the synergy.

Ihasz’ former students have achieved success in competitions, been accepted into highly competitive young artist programs and leading graduate schools, and earned leading roles in professional opera and musical theater. By observing an “open door” policy at his voice studio, he spends countless hours speaking with students on a variety of topics.

The performance résumé of Ihasz, a lyric baritone, reflects noted success in opera, oratorio, chamber music, recording studio work and musical theatre. He has also become the American face of VOCE VISTA, a program of cutting-edge voice science, as a result his collaboration with Dr. Donald Miller, who began exploring it in the 1980s. Ihasz lectures across the nation and has earned high praise from his peers as a clinician of this entirely new educational model for vocal training.

Ihasz, who joined the School of Music in 1992, has served on virtually all of its committees. He also serves on the Budget and Planning and the General College Program committees, and co-chairs the Baccalaureate Goals Implementation Committee. He has served as a member of University Senate, the Distinguished Professorship Committee and been a mentor to faculty and former students.

Ihasz has been engaged in the administration of the Voice Area as chair or co-chair for nearly 170 voice majors. He produced the Voice Faculty Gala to raise money for scholarships and served as a leader for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, serving as governor of New York State for the Northeastern region and past president of the Central New York Finger Lakes chapter.

Ihasz was awarded a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature, and a prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.  He also earned a B.A. in Vocal Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Laurie Ensign, who has diligently worked to significantly expand the number of services and information seminars offered to faculty and staff, has been awarded a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Since joining SUNY Fredonia as a keyboard specialist in Student Accounts in 1988, Ms. Ensign has been promoted five times, culminating with assistant director of Human Resources for Employee Benefits in 2008. She has been commended for proactive outreach and leadership to creatively inform the campus about updates in benefits. Methods that she has utilized include benefits fairs, which attracted 30 vendors and over 200 employees last year, as well as small-group presentations and individual meetings.

Ensign takes the lead role in educating employees on their current and future benefit options and continually provides exceptional customer service to potential, current and retired employees. Ensign is, quite simply, the “go-to-person” or “guru” for health and retirement benefit assistance.

A recent example of her expertise is her skillful management of two Early Retirement Incentive plans which drew interest from more than 150 employees. She prepared and shared criteria-specific reports, campus-wide communications and summary reports for campus and SUNY Administration. In the process of meeting individually with many employees and their spouses to review the program, she earned praise for her patience, thoroughness and professionalism.

In her role as Employee Assistance Program (EAP) coordinator, Ensign promotes wellness across the campus and raises the visibility of EAP. She has led numerous wellness initiatives, including the popular EAP Wellness Fair held every year.

Even with all these duties, Ensign is able to serve on several campus committees, such as the Student Affairs Judicial Board, SUNY Fredonia Federal Credit Union Board, Chautauqua Leadership Board, Fredonia Diversity Sub-committee and the Campus and Community Children’s Center Board of Directors.

Ensign graduated with distinction from Bryant & Stratton Business Institute with an associate’s degree, and has completed courses through Empire State College, Fredonia’s Leadership Academy Program and Cornell’s School of Continuing Education. She has attended seminars and presentations offered by Civil Service, NYS EAP, TIAA-CREF, ING, MetLife, NYSDCP, NYS Retirement and Social Security, among others.

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