SUNY award winners

Two Human Ecology faculty and one staff member have won State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence for 2017. The statewide award recognizes faculty and staff at SUNY colleges who have consistently demonstrated professional achievements that sustain intellectual vibrancy, advance the boundaries of knowledge, provide the highest quality of instruction, and serve the public good.

This year’s winners in the College of Human Ecology are Registrar Tracey Thompson, Human Development Associate Professor Felix Thoemmes, and Nutritional Sciences Professor Patricia Ann Cassano.

"These recipients have been recognized for excellence in the areas of professional service, teaching and faculty service,” said Alan Mathios, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology. “Their dedication and outstanding contributions are a great source of pride not only for me, but for the whole College community. Most importantly, they advance our three primary missions of research, education and outreach at the highest level of quality."

Thompson leads the College’s Office of the Registrar, which maintains academic records and helps undergraduates understand and complete requirements for graduation. He has played a critical role in developing reporting of student data, improving classroom management and space, and streamlining the functions of the registrar’s office to improve the student experience.

“Tracey is also regarded highly as a mentor and leader of people,” Mathios wrote in his nomination letter. “The registrar’s office has a reputation for being an excellent place to work and to grow your professional career.”

Thoemmes won the Award for Excellence in Teaching for his rigorous and demanding courses in quantitative methods for social science research. He hosts a Methods Study Group for undergraduates and graduate students interested in learning more about social science research.

In his nomination, Mathios called him “one of the college’s most dedicated and talented teachers.” In fact, he received multiple nominations for the award from undergraduate and graduate students.

Professor Cassano, currently the interim director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences, won the Award for Faculty Service. In various leadership roles, she has spearheaded the development of the division’s new strategic plan, worked to develop a new division web site, and is working to develop a portfolio of online degree and certificate nutrition programs. She teaches courses in epidemiology and nutrition policy, including one course that is offered at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Cassano is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on nutrition and genetics, and specifically the nutritional foundations for respiratory diseases. She directs the annual University Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making, a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Cochrane Collaboration and Cornell.