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Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff Achievements, Winter 2013

January 3, 2014 by Editor in Faculty and Staff with 0 Comments

Scott Foster, M.F.A., assistant professor of creative arts, was commissioned to create a portrait of St. Kateri Tekakwitha for a Schenectady, N.Y., parish named in her honor.

In order to produce the portrait of a Native American woman who lived in the 1600s, Foster relied on his research to make an informed decision about St. Kateri’s appearance. His goal was to create an image that portrayed the spirit of the first Native American saint.

“It has been written by her biographers that, to those who knew her, St. Kateri made tangible the grace and beauty of God. What does that look like? This painting is my answer to the question,” Foster said.

The project was a rewarding one for him as he was an original contributor to the still evolving iconography of St. Kateri.

Karin Lin-Greenberg, M.F.A., assistant professor of English, was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection of short stories titled “Faulty Predictions.” Her stories will be published by The University of Georgia Press and will be available next fall. The Flannery O’Connor award, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, has become a proving ground for emerging writers like Lin-Greenberg. It gives them a national platform to showcase their work and the opportunity to have it published.

A successful storyteller, Lin-Greenberg teaches creative writing courses in Siena’s English department. She sees links between her work in the classroom and the prose she produces. Lin-Greenberg’s writing affects her teaching, but her students also impact her writing. In fact, a class assignment inspired the first story in her award-winning collection.

Eric Breimer, associate professor of computer science, conducted a professional workshop titled “On the Shoulders of Giants: Mobile Websites with Twitter Bootstrap” at the Information Systems Educators Conference (ISECON) in San Antonio, Texas in November.

Alfredo Medina, associate vice president for academic affairs, was honored along with Bishop Howard Hubbard and two prominent Latinos in the Capital Region by the Albany Latin Festival Association on August 23. Medina, Bishop Hubbard, Al De Salvo of M&T Bank and Vilma Santa Maria, owner of Albany’s Mr. Pio Pio Restaurant, were the recipients of the Excelsior Award which recognized their dedication and commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the Latino community. The award ceremony was part of a celebration of culture and community held at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Jeanne Obermayer, student affairs compliance officer was awarded the University Risk Management and insurance Association Innovative Risk Management Solutions Award.

She was honored for the online risk management in event planning training program she developed that provides student leaders and club advisors risk management training directly tied to the College’s mission.

The training program is driven by student learning objectives and provides direct measures of assessment of those learning outcomes in a cost efficient and replicable manner for institutions of higher education.

Obermayer was recognized for this achievement at the URMIA Awards luncheon during the 44th annual conference in October at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

Diana Strock-Lynskey, MSW, professor of social work, participated in the Council on Social Work Education White House Briefing, “Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in a New Era: The Role of Social Work Education,” in September.

She was part of a select group of educators invited to attend. The briefing featured administration officials from the White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.

Over the years Strock-Lynskey has served on several national level committees for the Council on Social Work Education and has presented workshops and papers at their annual conferences.

The Catholic Charities Housing Office honored Deborah Kelly, J.D., associate professor of management, at its Hope for the Homeless event this fall. She was recognized for her work with Catholic Charities Housing and for directing the community outreach projects of Siena’s Students in Free Enterprise.

She has also been on the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Albany Diocese since 2004 and has served as its vice president for four years.

Allan Weatherwax, Ph.D., dean of the school of science and professor of physics, was awarded a $185,362 National Science Foundation grant to study interrelated ITM phenomena observed at high latitudes using coordinated and collaborative instrumentation from Antarctica. The ionosphere-thermosphere-magnetosphere (ITM) region constitutes Earth’s upper atmosphere and is an important region for study in determining how  electromagnetic and radiative energy emitted by the sun interact with Earth. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University and the University of New Hampshire. It will also involve Siena undergraduates who will assist with instrument deployment, data collection and analysis.

NASA awarded Weatherwax a $61,323 grant for the design, construction, testing and post-flight evaluation of particle and field instrumentation for space weather research. The VISIONS (VISualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral atom imaging during a Substorm) is a sounding rocket mission that launched in early February 2013 to advance understanding of some of the basic transport mechanisms during auroral events. MILENA (MIniaturized Lowenergy Energetic Neutral Atom imager) is a particle instrument on the VISIONS sounding rocket that was developed in a collaboration between NASA and Siena College. Under the current grant, Siena College will recommend improvements to the instrument design based on the performance of the instrument and the scientific goals of future missions. The grant will also support updates to the engineering design of an additional system to take into account lessons learned during the recent rocket flight.

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