SUNY Oswego Bestows New Service Awards

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego bestowed new awards for excellence in service April 15 in a campus ceremony. Dr. Marcia Burrell of the curriculum and instruction faculty accepted the President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Michelle Bandla, coordinator of first-year programs, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Staff Service.

The awards were created through the college’s Faculty Assembly to recognize outstanding faculty and professional staff members who demonstrate exceptional service in their contributions to the central mission of the college and provide exemplary models of what it takes to make SUNY Oswego a community of excellence.

Supportive voice

An associate professor of curriculum and instruction who recently accepted the responsibility of chairing her large department, Burrell has an extensive record of service to the campus as well as her community, SUNY, national organizations, and students and colleagues in other nations.

On campus, Chief Technology Officer Joseph Moreau wrote in support of her nomination, “It might seem that there is no committee or governance body on which she does not serve. From the curriculum governance councils to technology policy and planning groups to institutional accreditation committees, Dr. Burrell consistently offers a supportive voice of progress and reason in many critical campus dialogs.”

Director of International Education Joshua McKeown cited her work, with School of Education Associate Dean Barbara Garii, in establishing the college’s first study-abroad course in Africa, helping to make the college’s relationships in Benin “one of the most prominent international partnerships that Oswego has.”

Among Burrell’s many prominent roles are chair of the Campus Technology Advisory Board, co-director of Project SMART, chair of a campus re-accreditation work group, co-director of millions of dollars in state and federal grants, member of the State University’s Strategic Planning Committee, and National GESA (Generating Expectations for Student Achievement) Senior Research Associate.

She also this year is a board member with Thank a Service Member, active with the Unitarian Universalist Society and a volunteer with the Oswego Community Youth Orchestra.

“Sometimes I think she is really several people or just one person who never sleeps,” wrote mathematics professor Christopher Baltus, who detailed the strong relationship she has built between her department and the math department.

First-year advocate

A number of colleagues supporting Bandla’s nomination cited her significant role in improving the retention rate of Oswego’s first-year students. “I believe that it is my responsibility to provide support for students to ensure that they have the best opportunity to be successful,” Bandla wrote in her statement of service philosophy.

She received a related national honor earlier this semester, when she was recognized as an Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate. She was one of just 10 educators honored by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.

Bandla has built strong collaborative relationships with colleagues in the college’s academic and student affairs divisions, serving on two dozen campus committees, task forces and governance groups in the past seven years, including 12 this year.

Beth Richter, associate vice president of Noel-Levitz, supported Bandla’s award nomination, noting that Bandla strives to make full use of the College Student Inventory results at Oswego and generously shares her successful interventions with colleagues at national conferences on student success.

Bandla has made presentations at the national First Year Experience Conference and National Academic Advisement Association conference and most recently shared her experience with other higher education professionals in the February webinar “How We Retain More Students by Intervening Earlier.”