Fredonia faculty, staff receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Five faculty and staff members whose collective service at the State University of New York at Fredonia extends to virtually all parts of the campus have received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, a SUNY-wide honor that celebrates consistently superior achievement in a broad range of work areas.

The quintet recognized for the 2016-2017 academic year and their respective awards includes: Dr. Cheryl Drout (Faculty Service), Dr. Steven Fabian (Teaching), Scott Richmond (Librarianship), T. John McCune (Professional Service) and Darlene Burchett (Classified Service). The recipients — with 95 years of combined service at Fredonia — will be recognized at the All-Campus Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 17 in Rosch Recital Hall.

“The strength and impact of SUNY is powered by expert faculty and staff from throughout our 64-campus university system, and the 361 individuals receiving this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best among the best,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “They are at the top of their game in providing their institution and students with the highest quality of instruction, professionalism, and support. It is my great honor to celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients.”

“The many faculty and staff honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best of our best, having ensured student success as they educate and mentor students with innovative approaches to academic instruction, infuse curricula with applied learning opportunities, adapt best practices from throughout SUNY, and much more,” said Chancellor Zimpher.

Psychology Professor Drout had made significant contributions to Fredonia in the areas of teaching, research and service in a career that spans 28 years. Her service includes two full terms as chair of the Department of Psychology and two years as interim chair. In that leadership role, Drout shepherded, through development, approval and implementation phases, a new B.S. degree in Psychology at Fredonia and SUNY’s first Dual Diploma with Izmir University, Turkey.

Drout’s engagement in system-wide governance includes three years as a Fredonia Senator in the University Faculty Senate and two as an active member of the UFS Student Life Committee. Her support of new faculty and students, promotion of diversity and encouragement of a greater international perspective on campus are reflected by numerous committee assignments.

It was noted that in leadership roles in the General College Program, General Education Committee, Revision Committee and Title III General Education Committee, Drout has contributed the intellectual development and training of students by revamping Fredonia’s core curriculum. A Fulbright scholar, Drout continues to promote the integration of international students on campus. She also hosts students from Japan in her cross-cultural psychology course each year and helps international students acclimate to the local area.

Drout is recognized as an effective teacher and a conscientious advisor and mentor and frequently includes students in her research and governance. She has also co-taught courses and professional seminars with Japanese and British faculty and presented her work at state, national and international conferences.

Beyond campus, Drout has shared her expertise and knowledge with local schools, organizations and churches. At the professional level, Drout served as co-chair of the American Psychological Association Division 35 Society for the Psychology of Women 2007 Program, held a leadership position in the Japan Studies Association and belonged to the Western New York/North West Pennsylvania Fulbright Chapter Board.

Drout, who joined Fredonia in 1989 and attained the rank of full professor in 2003, has a Ph.D. and M.A., both in psychology (social) from the University of Delaware and a B.A. in psychology from Muhlenberg College.

In 10 years at Fredonia, Associate Professor of History Fabian has demonstrated a commitment to student success, growth as an educator, pursuit of new pedagogical strategies to improve student learning and achievement as an African history scholar. Through his unique pedagogical approach, students realize opportunities for deep learning and development of critical thinking skills. A teaching focus on the non-western world has led Fabian to develop 11 courses.

It was noted that Fabian’s skill at cultivating historical empathy among students is the direct result of his impressive scholarship and adaptation of the Reacting to the Past model for engaging students. Insight into different identities, experiences and perspectives of the people Fabian studies has given him an appreciation of historical empathy. His knowledge of the subject material, lesson preparation, classroom organization, student involvement and time management are highly rated. These traits were recognized when Fabian received Fredonia’s Professional Development Award for Teaching and Learning in 2014.

Former students have praised Fabian for his engagement tools, for opening their eyes to a part of the world they knew little about, transporting them to another place and pulling them into his narrative.

Outside the classroom, Fabian is associate chair of the Department of History, manager of the department website and faculty advisor to several student organizations. He organizes trips for student clubs to regional historical sites and mentors students after they graduate.

Fabian, who joined Fredonia in 2007, has a Ph.D. and M.A., both from the Department of History at Dalhousie University, and a B.A. from the University of Victoria.

Over 16 years, McCune, director of Technology Support Services, has taken on increasingly challenging roles. Working with a team of 12 staff members and approximately 25 students, it was noted that McCune has improved the quality of technology and support on campus, most notably in smart classrooms, computer labs and Reed Library, as well as on mobile devices and desktop computers throughout the campus.

McCune supervises the multimedia production of Fredonia’s annual commencement ceremonies and other large-scale events and has also been instrumental in providing technical support for campus Convocation events.

A co-author of the first chapter of SUNY’s inaugural volume of “Shared Governance in Higher Education: Demands, Transition, Transformations,” McCune was recognized, along with fellow members of Fredonia’s University Senate, with the first SUNY Shared Governance Award. McCune was also the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the SUNY Educational Technology Officers Association.

McCune has served on many SUNY organizations, including Innovative Instruction Technology, Open SUNY Course, SUNY Computer Officers Association, SUNY Educational Technology Officers Association, SUNY Technology Conference Planning, SUNY IITG and SUNY FACT2. He was asked by SUNY’s Associate Provost for Academic Technologies and Information Services to develop a support model for Open SUNY.

Prior to being named to his current position in 2015, McCune’s job titles included Co-Interim Executive Director of Multimedia, Multimedia Team Leader, Macintosh/PC Support Specialist and Instructional Support Assistant.

McCune earned a B.S. in communication from Fredonia, a M.S.M. in information technology management from Colorado Technical University, an Ed.S. in computing technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University, and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in computing technology in education, also at Nova Southeastern. McCune holds eight professional certifications.

It was noted that Senior Assistant Librarian Richmond has built a reputation for service, expertise and innovation in a variety of positions in Reed Library in the last 10 years. As a member of the Information Literacy Instruction Team, Richmond develops and implements instruction on information literacy for a variety of courses. He works in conjunction with teaching faculty in developing research assignments and instructional support materials.

Richmond has received praise for his extensive knowledge of library resources and love of library science. It was noted that he is not reluctant to “think outside the box” to help students expand research projects or draw upon his creativity, as demonstrated by development of a library research scavenger hunt that mimics “Amazing Race,” a reality television show. Richmond was also instrumental in transforming in-person information literacy sessions into an online environment.

Richmond has also served on 16 various campus committees that include General Education Committee, Affirmative Action Panel and Information Management Working Group.

Service beyond the campus includes memberships in four state and regional committees. Richmond assisted Fredonia in receiving a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant and played a key role in implementing the program, promoting it through blogs, facilitating book discussions, introducing guest speakers on campus and assisting faculty in incorporating Big Read books into their curriculum.

Richmond participated in the Assessment in Action program sponsored by a division of the American Library Association and led a campus team to investigate the impact of information literacy in first-year general education courses.

Prior to his current appointment in 2012, Richmond was a visiting librarian and worked in Practicum, Reference and Instruction, and Archives and Special Collections. He was awarded the Professional Development Award for Teaching and Learning in 2011 and 2015. Richmond is a current member of the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, State University of New York Librarians Association and Western New York Library Resources Council.

Richmond, who has a master of Library Science degree from SUNY Buffalo, earned an M.A. in English and B.A. degrees in history and English from Fredonia.

Burchett, a building janitor, has demonstrated high standards, for both herself and others as a member of Custodial Services and Facilities Services for over 30 years. She has proven to be an asset by providing the best possible service on a daily basis to those who depend on her and has won praise for her friendliness, energy and motivation.

Burchett perennially earned superior marks for creating the best possible experience for first-year female students in Alumni and Nixon halls and has been described as a shining example of how impactful custodial employees are to residence hall students. A hard worker, it was noted she willingly goes the extra mile for students, is attentive to their needs and concerned about their health and safety.

Burchett began her career at Fredonia as a cleaner in Hemingway Hall in 1986. She has served as a grounds worker in Facilities Services and janitor and cleaner in Custodial Services.

A graduate of Dunkirk High School, Burchett received the President’s Award for Excellence in 2013 and the Outstanding Administrative Service Award – Trades in 2003.