SUNY Fredonia faculty honored with Chancellor’s Award

Submitted Photo SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence recipients include (from left, seated) Lisa N. Melohusky and Kimberly S. Mancino, and (from left, standing) Dr. Bruce Neal Simon, Lori R. Johnson, Dr. Junaid Ahmed Zubairi and Daniel M. Tramuta.

Six faculty and staff at the State University of New York at Fredonia have been honored with the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, including Lecturer Kimberly S. Mancino of the School of Music, Professor Junaid Ahmed Zubairi of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Daniel M. Tramuta, Online Learning Coordinator Lisa N. Melohusky, Associate Professor Bruce Neal Simon of the department of English, and secretary contract support specialist Lori R. Johnson of the offices of Facilities Planning, and Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability.

“One of my themes for SUNY is individualized education, meaning the work we do to help our students navigate the programs and opportunities within our 64 campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Our faculty and staff educate, inspire and support our students to pursue their passions; they are the driving force on campus. Those we honor today are leading this effort through their commitment to their craft and their dedication to our students. I am proud to celebrate and honor this year’s recipients.”

Laurie Tramuta of the School of Music voice faculty was honored earlier in the year as the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.

Ms. Mancino, a Fredonia alumna with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, was named the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has been a faculty member since 2005 in the music therapy program and has over three decades of teaching experience. Beginning as an adjunct faculty member, she has taught 13 different courses in addition to clinical supervision, and was promoted to a full-time contingent faculty member in 2012. Mancino is a licensed creative arts therapist in New York State and a board certified music therapist. Her scholarly and creative work includes the development of an award-winning inter-generational music camp at Lutheran Social Services, for which she received the Innovation of the Year Award by the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. She also developed a service learning course at BOCES, which allows preservice music educators to work with special needs students. She has been instrumental in the recruitment of music therapy students and serves as liaison for the School of Music and local practicum sites. A colleague noted, “Kim brings a positive attitude to all of her tasks, a quality which is especially valuable in a field which the therapist’s job is to help people to live full lives [despite] their mental and physical frailties.” In addition to professional memberships in Music therapy-related organizations, she was recognized as a Neurologic music Therapist Fellow by the Academy of Music Therapy. She served as co-chair and host for the 2016 music therapy program 40th anniversary celebration on campus and was the local co-host, volunteer chair, and instrument chair for the 2014 regional conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association.

Dr. Zubairi, a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences since 2004, was named the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. In 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Zubairi for the Flight Data Tracker (FDT) he designed, with assistance from undergraduate students, to track and save flight data that’s currently accessed from an aircraft’s black box. To further his research and implementation on the FDT, he established an advanced data research lab at the Fredonia Technology Incubator where he works collaboratively with students. He also has developed an innovative disaster management algorithms scheme in which patients of a mass disaster can be quickly assigned to nearby hospitals. Zubairi has nearly 50 referred publications, five book chapters and two books to his credit. He earned his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from NED University in Pakistan, and M.S. and Ph.D. in computer engineering from Syracuse University. Zubairi is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Exceptional Academic Service from the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, the WNY Muslims’ High Achievement Award and was selected to give the Robert W. Kasling Lecture at Fredonia.

In addition, he received multiple SUNY scholarly incentive awards, a Malaysian Government Intensification of Research in Priority Areas (IRPA) research award and was co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant. He is a member of numerous editorial and advisory boards and has served as a keynote speaker at many international conferences. A colleague noted, “For two decades he has a track record of impressive achievement in a highly challenging field where he continues to see the accolades of his peers from throughout the globe. His research is paired with a dedication to student learning where he selflessly mentors students at his own institution and abroad.”

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Daniel M. Tramuta and Online Learning Coordinator Lisa N. Melohusky were named recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Mr. Tramuta, also a Fredonia alumnus, began his career at Fredonia in 1986, and has held the titles of tennis coach, assistant varsity basketball coach, residence hall director, senior financial aid advisor, associate director of financial aid and interim director of both Admissions and Financial Aid. He currently serves as “Chief Enrollment Manager” and provides leadership to Admissions, Financial Aid, First-year and Transition Programs, and other professional and support offices. Among many initiatives, Tramuta led Fredonia as the “pilot” institution in SUNY’s Smart Track initiative. He served a three-year term as President of the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association and is held in high regard across campus and at the SUNY system level. He has been recognized with awards and honors from the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association, New York State Association of College Admissions Counselors, State University of New York Financial Aid Professionals, State University of New York Educational Development Program and the State University of New York at Fredonia Alumni Association. A SUNY colleague noted, “When the Excelsior Scholarship was launched, Dan was out in front. He communicated with HESC and SUNY system administration to clarify the details, and he clearly communicated this information to families and school counselors.” Tramuta has also served on a number of SUNY system administration committees.

Ms. Melohusky began her career at Fredonia in 2007 as an Educational Technologist, with her primary responsibility to support the Learning Management System. She was later appointed Instructional Designer and then Online Learning Coordinator, overseeing the use of OnCourse, providing online and in-person support for system and pedagogical questions. She chaired the Online Learning Advisory Committee and spearheaded the successful campus-wide Open Educational Resources Initiative, including providing training at Open SUNY to assist other campuses in completing the process. She also assists with new faculty orientation, new student orientation, international student orientation and the July Educational Development Program Workshop for Expanded Learning (JEWEL). Melohusky received the FACT2 Excellence in Instructional Support Award from SUNY and an Innovative Technology grant, which helped fund the Record It! Studio used by faculty and staff to create high-quality digital learning tools. In 2014 she was recognized as an Open SUNY “Expert Instructional Designer.” She has made a number of presentations at state and national level conferences. A colleague noted, “Fredonia is fortunate to have such a hardworking, intelligent, and dedicated individual contributing to our network of learning.” She earned her bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and master’s degree from Central Connecticut State University.

Dr. Simon, an associate professor and chair of the Department of English since 2015, was named a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, recognizing more than 50 service roles at Fredonia and statewide. He has served as a senator in Fredonia’s University Senate, as well as vice chair, chair, parliamentarian, and as a member of its executive board, assisting with major revisions to its by-laws. In 2014, Simon was a joint recipient of SUNY’s first Shared Governance Award. He also, as a member of the negotiation team, helped to shape Fredonia’s distinctive Handbook for Appointment, Reappointment and Promotion. He became a SUNY University Senator in 2015, serving as a member of its executive committee and as a member of the Task Force on Contingent Faculty and as Comprehensive Colleges Sector Convenor. Simon also serves United University Professions as Vice President for Academics for the Fredonia chapter, and on statewide committees including the Future of Public Higher Education Committee and the Contingent Employment Committee. Simon led during a period of curricular change in the department of English, and made major contributions to Fredonia’s general education revision initiative as well as the proposed M.A.T. program for English education. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in English at Princeton University and A.B. in English and Mathematics from Hamilton College. His research and teaching interests include U.S. literatures, American studies, black studies, critical race/ethnicity studies, postcolonial studies, and science fiction and fantasy. A colleague wrote, “Bruce Simon’s service rests on active engagement for better educational quality, freedom for faculty speech, job security for contingent faculty and inclusivity for all.”

Ms. Johnson was named a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. She joined the Fredonia staff in 2005 and was named Secretary 1 in November 2010. Johnson has served as a member of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Labor Management and Grievance committees and is a current member of its Election Committee, a member of the Council for Women’s Concerns Committee and served on several search committees. She also has received Crowd Manager Training and volunteered at Fredonia’s Commencement. Johnson serves as a mentor to the secretarial staff at Fredonia as part of a program through the Professional Development Center. She earned an associate’s degree from Jamestown Business College, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire State College and was the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Administrative Service Award at Fredonia. A colleague noted, “A member of the campus for over 12 years, Lori has a proven track record of providing exemplary customer service. Her skills, work ethic and commitment to Fredonia make her most worthy of this award.” Director of Facilities Planning Markus Kessler noted, “Lori’s greatest attributes are her professionalism and willingness to do anything she can to make Facilities Planning, EH & SAS and the campus successful.”