Five receive State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

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Five members of the College of Human Ecology community have been awarded State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence during the 2019-2020 academic year. This statewide award recognizes faculty and staff at SUNY colleges who demonstrate commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advance the boundaries of knowledge, provide the highest quality of instruction, and serve the public good.

This year’s winners from Human Ecology are:

  • Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities: Laura Tach, associate professor in Policy Analysis and Management, for her research that sheds light on the connections between economic insecurity, relationship instability and the well-being of children.
  • Excellence in Teaching: Rhonda Gilmore, senior lecturer in Design + Environmental Analysis, for her outstanding teaching and mentoring.
  • Excellence in Faculty Service: Kathleen Rasmussen, professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, for service contributions to the College and the University.
  • Excellence in Professional Service: Darryl Scott, Director of Admissions and Student and Career Services, for his commitment to innovation and support of students.
  • Excellence in Classified Service: Eric Maroney, graduate field assistant in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, for his dedication to serving students.

“These recipients’ dedication and outstanding contributions are a great source of pride not only for me, but for the whole College community,” said Rachel Dunifon, Interim Dean of the College of Human Ecology. “Most importantly, they advance our mission of using research, interdisciplinary perspectives and collaboration to anticipate, analyze and address contemporary societal problems.”

Tach’s research crosses the fields of sociology, demography and public policy to examine the structures in place that perpetuate cycles of poverty in society. “She is widely recognized as contributing some of the highest quality demographic and qualitative work on how family instability restricts family and child well-being, and ultimately undercuts the social mobility of disadvantaged families,” Dean Dunifon said.

Gilmore, who has been teaching in Design + Environmental Analysis for more than 25 years, works to keep students engaged and learning by engaging community partners as clients for design studios and focusing on professionalism and career skills for undergraduates.

“Rhonda promotes excellence by her dedication to and enthusiasm for her work and by providing continual support to her students,” said Dunifon.

Rasmussen, an internationally-renowned expert in maternal and infant nutrition, has dedicated herself to serving as a leader in the College and at the University in a variety of positions including Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Dean and Secretary of the University Faculty and an elected member of the Cornell Board of Trustees. “One rarely encounters an individual who is both so accomplished in research and is also an exemplar of faculty service,” Dunifon said. 

Scott leads the Office of Admissions and Student and Career Services, which he successful integrated over the course of his time at Human Ecology. 

Professor Alan Mathios, former dean of Human Ecology, said Scott’s leadership has improved the student experience. “The integration of admissions, student development and career exploration has enabled Darryl and his team to be a focal point for the educational process for students, beginning as high school applicants and through graduation,” he said. 

Dean Dunifon said Scott’s service to the College is exemplary. “Darryl brings integrity and passion to his work, which has allowed the College to innovate and respond to changing university and student needs."

As a graduate field assistant, Maroney serves as a liaison between student and faculty members, with an exemplary focus on customer service. 

“Eric stands out as incredibly dedicated and hard-working, and routinely goes beyond what is required to exhibit commitment to the mission of the College and the University,” Dunifon said. “He is always looking for ways to improve processes and service to the students.”

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