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Chancellor Honors Two SUNY Oswego Innovators For Professional Service

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego staff members Andrew Michaelis, systems administrator and Oracle database administrator, and Gary Morris, director of career services, are recipients of the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Andrew Michaelis

Andrew Michaelis
Andrew Michaelis

Michaelis, a 1991 SUNY Oswego alumnus and 23-year college employee, received praise from supporters at Oswego and across SUNY as a technological visionary, an admired and emulated innovator, ingenious problem-solver and selfless collaborator.

President Deboarah Stanley, in a letter forwarding his award nomination, called Michaelis “a futuristic thinker” who “maintains a fierce commitment to keeping our campus ahead of technological changes.”

Michaelis’ supporters said his job titles don’t do credit to all that he has taken on and accomplished, among them efforts that have increased the efficient use of databases and other technological tools, saved countless hours of time for students, faculty and staff and reduced the use of paper.  He has become a leader SUNY-wide in solving complex data access, security and interface problems, and higher education software vendors have moved to adopt his solutions.

Michaelis’ many contributions include his role in developing myDegree, a mobile app to provide students with information on their progress toward a degree in four years under terms of the Oswego Guarantee; a secure system for instant creation of email and computer accounts for new students and faculty; code that taps the college’s Ellucian Banner student information system and other databases to automate registration under the First Choice course-selection program for freshmen; in-house solutions to allow professors to view students’ photos and key documents in the MyOswego course registration and management system; and a first-in-SUNY method to apply Single Sign-On user authentication to Banner.

“Inside the Administrative Technology team that Andy is part of, he is recognized as a leader and mentor,” wrote Sean Moriarty, SUNY Oswego’s chief technology officer. “When there are problems, Andy works diligently to ensure that students have access to (mission-critical systems) as quickly as possible, regardless of the time of the issue. But his true value is that his vision creates a roadmap of what needs to be accomplished now to implement tomorrow’s solutions.”

Michael B. Notarius, chief information officer for SUNY’s Information Technology Exchange Center in Buffalo, wrote that he has long worked collaboratively with Michaelis, most notably on the SUNY-wide Identity Management initiative critical to SUNY Federated Services and the Open SUNY venture. “Andy was the first to share his expertise on Identity Management with integration to the Banner student information system,” Notarius wrote.

In 2014, Michaelis was one of the first six members to receive the Student Information and Campus Administrative Systems organization’s Partner Award for Outstanding Service. In addition to his SUNY Oswego computer science degree, he has numerous systems and database certifications and has made several presentations at SUNY-wide conferences.

Gary Morris

Gary Morris
Gary Morris

In a letter forwarding Morris’ award nomination to SUNY, President Deborah F. Stanley lauded innovations that have advanced Career Services’ reach and effectiveness, including the annual Health Care Conference, his longstanding commitment to globalization efforts and a multifaceted approach to gathering first-destination data on the college’s graduates.

“Gary has moved our campus forward in several ways,” the college president wrote. “He routinely masters cutting-edge technology, staying abreast of new technological advances and using them strategically to enhance his department’s program and service delivery. He is well-known on campus as a collaborator, regularly bringing together faculty and staff to engage in discussions that ultimately benefit our students and overall campus community.”

Morris, a 1988 alumnus, a 19-year college employee and the career services director since 2011, oversees career and major exploration, career development, senior transition and alumni support. A summary of his own career for the SUNY award notes he “has worked tirelessly to integrate career planning into classroom experiences through activities such as curricular infusion, classroom presentations and demonstrations.”

Among his innovations, Morris has created or coordinated NYC Career Connections, Backpack to Briefcase, the Etiquette Dinner, Online Professionalism and Sophomore Year Experience. He introduced such technological tools as Optimal Resume and Candid Career. School of Business Dean Richard Skolnik praised Morris for bringing recruiters and faculty together, developing “strong ties with numerous firms.”

Kathleen S. Evans, assistant vice president of student affairs, wrote in a letter of support, “He is consistently a very high performer, achieving extraordinary results in all projects and initiatives with which he is affiliated.” Morris initiated a three-part program to reverse declines in graduate survey responses — #Ozmystory, LinkedIn Photo Booth and Digital Dirt Squad — leveraging social media to reach graduates and current students and achieving a 65 percent response rate. The SUNY average is 40 percent, she wrote.

Morris, who has a master’s in education from Kent State University, has held leadership positions with the Central New York, SUNY and regional career development organizations. SUNY colleagues have recognized him with numerous awards, including best-in-SUNY honors for his first-destination graduate survey strategy, the sophomore-success initiative and the Backpack to Briefcase networking and workshops conference. His achievements extend beyond his duties to student engagement: He co-led an Oswego Going Global course that ended with scaling Mount Kilimanjaro and headed a humanitarian mission to El Salvador.