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Four Fredonia faculty, staff to receive SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence
Friday, June 13, 2014

Four select faculty and staff have been named recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, a SUNY-wide honor that recognizes consistently superior professional achievement.

 Steven Siragusa
 Michael Jackino
 Elizabeth Lee
 Dr. Andrew Cullison

The quartet of award recipients – Steven Siragusa, for Classified Service; Michael Jackino, for Professional Service; Elizabeth Lee, for Faculty Service; and Andrew Cullison, for Teaching – have given 81 collective years of service to the campus.

"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.

With 36 years, Mr. Siragusa, supervising plumber and steamfitter, is the senior-most award recipient. Siragusa began his Fredonia career as an assistant stationary engineer in Heating Services in 1978. He earned promotions to maintenance assistant in 1982 and to plumber and steamfitter in 1986. Upon appointment to his current position in 1990, Siragusa began directing all skilled and semi-skilled tradespeople assigned to the plumbing shop.

As the shop supervisor, Mr. Siragusa has encountered a wide range of difficult jobs and situations – broken water mains, flooded bathrooms and broken heating pipes concealed inside walls – but has always maintained a calm, controlled demeanor. Sigarusa is considered the “go-to” person when it comes to heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues.

Mr. Siragusa has also earned accolades for performing a planned job well, such as water line replacement projects. He works well with colleagues in his own department in addition to employee teams from heating and custodial departments.

A graduate of Fredonia High School, Mr. Siragusa has completed numerous supervisory and skill development programs conducted by Jamestown Community College, APPA Facilities Management Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo Toxicology Research Center and New York State/Civil Service Employees Association.

Mr. Siragusa received the Fredonia Outstanding Administrative Services Award/Trades in 2009.

Mr. Jackino, assistant director of Facilities Services with a focus on technical services, moved from the classified employee ranks to the professional employee ranks through what is described as hard work, determination and ability to adapt and grow beyond job requirements.

Mr. Jackino was hired as a refrigeration and air conditioning technician in Facilities Services in 1990 and promoted to facilities coordinator in 1999. In addition to supervising the operation of the campus work order system and other computer systems utilized in Facilities Services, Mr. Jackino manages the campus physical space inventory for SUNY System administration.

When promoted in 2009, Mr. Jackino’s duties were expanded to include supervision of all computer systems operated by Facilities Services. He also began to serve on several campus-wide technology committees, including the Information Technology Advisory Board, Web Task Force, Content Management System and Door Access.

Value that Mr. Jackino brings to Facilities Services increases when new buildings are constructed and existing ones renovated. He created and maintains a network-based shared file of drawings for most buildings. All contract documents for new and renovated buildings are easily added to the electronic library for future reference. His comprehensive system of building data is said to greatly enhance the efficiency of Fredonia’s staff and is beneficial to outside consultants.

Mr. Jackino received the Outstanding Administrative Services Award for Professional Staff in 2007, completed the Fredonia Leadership Academy in 2008 and supervisor/management training offered at Jamestown Community College. He received an associate’s degree from Alfred State College and has completed over 70 specialized training programs.

Professor Lee, professor of Visual Arts and New Media, has compiled an exemplary record of service, both at Fredonia in multiple capacities as well as within the evolving field of photography. She has made far-reaching contributions to colleagues, the department and the campus as associate chair and chair of the Department of Visual Arts and New Media and also played an integral role in the creation of the new College of Visual and Performing Arts.

As associate chair of the department, Professor Lee directed the merger of the art department with the existing Media Arts program. She took on the significant challenge of overhauling the curriculum, creating new mission and vision statements, establishing a new subject code numbering system and re-writing the catalog text.

During her term as chair, Lee worked with Dr. Karl Boelter and Dr. Stephen Rees to write and present a proposal for the creation of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and also served as chair for the visioning committee that established the conceptual footings of the new college. She helped secure the Cathy and Jesse Marion Endowment through the Fredonia College Foundation for exhibition programming and oversaw the initial design of an extensive gallery renovation.

Professor Lee, who joined the Fredonia faculty in 2000, currently serves as vice chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and is a member of Faculty and Professional Affairs Committee, and Academic Personnel Committee. She has chaired and served on many committees at the department level.

Outside of campus, Professor Lee was vice chair of the Northeast region of the Photographic Society of Education, a content evaluator of the book, “Biologically-Inspired Computing for the Arts: Scientific Data through Graphics,” and technical reader for two editions of “Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age,” and, “Exploring Color Photography from Film to Pixels.”

Lee earned a M.F.A. in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design and a B.F.A. in Art from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2013, she was named the first recipient of the Marion Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Cullison, associate professor of Philosophy, is considered by his peers to be a first-rate college professor. They describe him as very intelligent, articulate, quick on his feet, accessible, conscientious and personable. In addition, they note he is thoughtful about exploring and developing new ways to get students interested in and connected with the doctrines, arguments and methods that are central to philosophy.

Through interactive lectures, video podcasts, course blogging and other teaching innovations, Dr. Cullison enables students having different learning styles to succeed. Student evaluations of his classes are, on average, higher than the department average. It is considered to be a particularly impressive achievement, given that three of the four other full-time faculty members in the department are also the recipients of Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.

In his first year at Fredonia in 2007, Dr. Cullison established the Young Philosophers Lecture Series, which brings two recent Ph.D. recipients to campus for research and introductory talks each year. Dr. Cullison served as the advisor to the Fredonia Philosophical Society and founded and also coached Fredonia’s Ethics Bowl team.

His work with Academy Geeks has provided high-impact internship experiences to students in the areas of computer programming, marketing, graphic design and animation. He is also secretary-treasurer of the American Philosophical Eastern Division and the author of 16 articles that have been or will be published in highly regarded journals.

Dr. Cullison, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and B.A. from DePauw University, began a new position at his undergraduate alma mater in June.

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