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September 21, 2018

Two at SUNY Oswego Win Awards for Scholarship, Creativity


OSWEGO — Ashraf Attia of SUNY Oswego’s School of Business faculty, who studies cross-cultural and e-commerce marketing and many topics in sales and service, and music faculty member Robert Auler, who has performed globally and worked locally to raise the profile of the arts, have received the college President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity.

Ashraf Attia

Ashraf Attia

Ashraf Attia

A faculty member in Oswego’s department of management and marketing since 1998, Attia has published 16 peer-reviewed articles and 26 papers in conference proceedings. He has 10 more under review or in press.

“Dr. Attia’s intellectual contributions are significant,” wrote his nominator, management colleague Barry Friedman. “He is a well-recognized expert in the area of sales training effectiveness, especially with respect to the Middle East.”

Friedman added, “Dr. Attia’s excellent research record is complemented by teaching excellence. He receives well-earned excellent student evaluations.”

School of Business Dean Richard Skolnick noted that Attia collaborates far and wide, complementing his research with sales and service training workshops in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, and in serving on the boards of three journals: Industrial Marketing and Management, the International Journal of Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence, and the Global Review of Business and Economic Research.

In another letter of support, colleague Sarfraz Mian wrote that Attia has published with at least 20 scholars, frequently hosts visiting international scholars at SUNY Oswego and has a long list of consultancies around the world.

Attia’s research ranges from the ethics and effects of social media marketing to e-commerce in the Middle East. For example, he was lead author for “The Impact of Social Networking Tools on Political Change in Egypt’s Revolution 2.0” and received the Best Paper Award from the Academy of Marketing Science’s Multicultural Marketing Conference for “E-commerce in Egypt: Underlying Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications for Public Policy Makers.”

Mian noted that Attia’s scholarship has helped improve the learning experience of Oswego’s marketing students. “His scholarly habits have positively impacted not only the quality of his own teaching, but also supported our efforts to develop innovative marketing curriculum,” Mian wrote.

Promoted to professor in 2007, Attia has a doctorate in marketing and a master’s in economics from Old Dominion University, and an MBA from the American University in Cairo. He received letters of support for the scholarly and creative activity award from university colleagues at Elon, Edinboro, California State-Bakersfield and Suleyman Sah in Istanbul.

Robert Auler

Robert Auler

Robert Auler

The dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, Julie Pretzat, put it succinctly: “Since his arrival at SUNY Oswego in 2003, Rob has made an indelible mark on the cultural scene in CNY and beyond.”

A decorated concert pianist in halls in Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Paris and across the United States, Auler also has expanded musical opportunities at SUNY Oswego, Pulaski and elsewhere, Pretzat and other supporters wrote. “His is an amazing talent that he has been very generous in sharing through his performance, teaching, mentoring and betterment of our greater community,” she said.

Auler co-founded the Oswego Jazz Project, a faculty combo that has played in concerts, clubs, and on National Public Radio and NBC’s “Today.” He founded and continues to direct the LaVeck Concert Series in Pulaski.

Auler and colleague Mihoko Tsutsumi recently founded the Oswego Youth Conservancy to encourage young musicians. He has organized the Focus on Faculty Series of concerts the past two years. He has drawn top classical and jazz performers to the college’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series, often serving as accompanist.

Collaborator and friend Jonathan Pieslak, a composer and guitarist, said he has enjoyed working with Auler on professional recordings, such as the CD “Shards” highlighting works of Pieslak. “The energy, sensitivity and performing nuance that he brings to the piano is truly outstanding, and in many ways superior to what I have heard within the soundscape of professional contemporary classical pianists in New York City,” Pieslak wrote.

The composer has observed Auler in Oswego classrooms. “He brings the piano to life for his students, and provides direct, actionable feedback,” Pieslak said of Auler. “Perhaps most importantly, Rob cares about his students. He genuinely wants them to grow as music students and as people.”

Pretzat noted that Auler’s efforts have helped produce such alumni success stories as that of composer Nick Gianopoulos, now a composer in Los Angeles.

Auler, who has a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, has been promoted to full professor effective Sept. 1.

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