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Graduates receive theater awards

At the G. Ray Bodley High School Commencement Ceremony in June, theater awards were presented to two honor graduates, Amanda Trombly and Katelyn Caza.

Katelyn Caza, salutatorian, was the recipient of the Quirk’s Players Directors’ Award, which is presented to a graduating senior who displays dedication to the theater program at Bodley, sets high performance standards, inspires others to excel and serves as a role model for other members.

Amanda Trombly was the recipient of the William Quirk Memorial Award for Achievement in Theatre.

Presented in memory of William Quirk, a longtime English teacher and theater director at both Fulton High School and G. Ray Bodley High School, the Quirk Award is presented to the graduating senior who has made the greatest contribution to the theater program during his/her high school years.

Both young ladies have appeared in numerous productions with Quirk’s Players at G. Ray Bodley High School, beginning while in elementary school and continuing through their senior year of high school.

Trombly is starting her studies at Le Moyne College and Caza is joining the freshman class at Syracuse University.

Cortese to receive honorary degree at Shineman Center’s dedication

One highlight of the Oct. 4 dedication ceremony for State University College at Oswego’s Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation will be the award of an honorary doctorate to a seminal figure in the advancement of sustainability in higher education.

Anthony Cortese, who is internationally known for his work in this field, will receive an honorary doctor of science during the afternoon ceremony and will deliver brief remarks.

“It is most fitting that Dr. Cortese receive this distinctive honor from SUNY at a ceremony dedicating a science complex that we envisioned and built according to rigorous standards of environmental design and that will serve in educating new generations of students to advance the principles of sustainability,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

“Dr. Cortese has contributed greatly to the world’s awareness not only of the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also of the many technologies we possess or can develop to address this urgent issue, once we put our minds to it,” she said.

“Dr. Cortese is an inspiration to our faculty and students to develop innovative ways of advancing economic, social and environmental solutions that will enrich the lives of our citizens and the world,” Stanley said.

Cortese has researched climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for more than 30 years.

He is a senior fellow of Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education, an organization he co-founded and headed as president for two decades.

He was the organizer of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, of which SUNY Oswego was a charter signatory in 2007.

Environmental scholar

The son of Italian immigrants, he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University and a doctoral degree in environmental health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and went on to become the first dean of environmental programs at Tufts University.

In 1990 at an international conference in Talloires, France, he organized the effort producing the internationally acclaimed Talloires Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future that galvanized higher education for sustainability worldwide.

He co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Higher Education Association Sustainability Consortium.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has been a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development’s Education Task Force and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for Higher Education.

LEED Gold science complex

The Shineman Center where he will receive the honor is built to achieve LEED Gold certification.

The new science complex, which opened for classes Aug. 26, features the largest ground source geothermal system for heating and cooling in the state, banks of solar photovoltaic panels and sections of green roof, where plants grow to collect and filter rainwater and help insulate the building.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of environmentally friendly buildings.

The Shineman Center joins the college’s LEED Gold-certified complex of student townhouses, The Village, and the newly opened Rice Creek Field Station facility.

Little Utica church offers free luncheon for area seniors

Little Utica United Methodist Church will be holding a free senior luncheon in the church parlor for people in the community age 55 and older from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 11.

This will be an opportunity for community members to have lunch and socialize with their neighbors.

The menu will include baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, Italian bread, tossed salad and gelatin salad. Punch, milk, tea and coffee, along with a variety of desserts, also will be served.

The next lunch is noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 9.

The church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at

Volunteers needed to prepare taxes

The Central New York area, including Oswego County, needs new volunteers for the AARP Tax-Aide program.

In 2012, the program served more than 4,000 taxpayers at 19 locations.

The program will train volunteers in tax preparation.

For more information, contact Ellen Wahl, Oswego County district coordinator, at

Library offers workshops

In addition to the four-part Introduction to Computers workshop, the Oswego Public Library also is featuring Writing Cover Letters, Introduction to Microsoft Word, Advanced Pinterest, and Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book.

Times and dates are:

Writing Cover Letters, 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 14

Intoduction to Microsoft Word, 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 19

Advanced Pinterest, 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 21

Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book, 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 28

The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, and is open Monday through Saturday.

All programs are free and open to the public. Call the library at 341-5867 to register for workshops or for details.

‘Remarkable Women’ celebrates state’s difference-makers

Muriel Allerton among those profiled in new book

A new book co-edited by current and former State University College at Oswego faculty recounts the indelible niches the women of New York state have carved, from suffragist Susan B. Anthony to astronaut Eileen Collins, from abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman to actor, comedian and producer Lucille Ball.

In “Remarkable Women in New York State History,” a book of mini-biographies, dozens of less well-known women shine among the celebrated, thanks to having made significant differences in their communities — among them Oswego County’s Doris Allen, Muriel Allerton, Rosemary Nesbitt and Lida Penfield.

“We originally wanted the title to be ‘Women Making a Difference,’” said Marilynn Smiley, SUNY Oswego professor of music, who with Helen Engel, former Oswego adjunct in biological sciences, served as co-editors of the book and co-historians for the state’s branches of the American Association of University Women.

“We asked every (AAUW) branch in New York state to submit a brief bio of at least one woman in the community who really made a difference in some way,” Smiley said.

The outpouring that followed — edited to 145 mini-biographies from 85 authors in 32 branches of AAUW around the state — kept Smiley and Engel busy for more than four years, resulting in the 320-page work published in May by the History Press of Charleston, S.C.

The path to publication actually began seven years ago, when Smiley noticed at a regional AAUW conference that Pennsylvania’s branches had produced a similar work.

She and Engel began research on women in the Oswego area who would fit the difference-maker criteria.

“The amazing things these (New York) women did really needed to be recognized, and I’m so pleased that they have been,” Smiley said. “There is a sense of relief and of immense accomplishment” that it’s done, she added.

Inspirational work

The co-editors see “Remarkable Women in New York State History” as a reference book for libraries, historical societies and for museums dedicated to some of the famous women.

The biographies are presented alphabetically from Allen, a retired SUNY Oswego professor, actor and former local politician, to Rita Wright, a Cortland social worker.

But Smiley and Engel also view it as a potential source of knowledge and inspiration among a much broader range of women, students and others.

The authors hope the book helps convince young women “they can become leaders,” Smiley said.

“That even if they’re in an era when what they’re doing is very unusual – it’s amazing how recently women were allowed to go to college – that they could accomplish it. … Some women at the (AAUW) state convention said they were giving it to their daughters and granddaughters who were graduating from college,” she said.

Smiley and Engel acknowledge that as a reference work, there are significant gaps in the book.

For example, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the nation’s most famous women and a Chappaqua resident, is not included, because representatives of lower Hudson Valley branches of the AAUW chose less well-known women to write about.

Smiley said she shouldered one key gap herself, authoring a mini-bio of JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

In all, Smiley wrote 10 of the 145 biographies, and Engel, who did a great deal of the photo editing, wrote two.

Their writing focused largely on women who made a difference in the Oswego area.

Smiley, who has taught at SUNY Oswego for more than 50 years, said the late Lida Penfield, longtime English professor and local historian, helped form the state AAUW in the 1920s, at the request of the Cornell University president’s wife.

Penfield became the first president of the association’s Oswego branch after traveling to Cornell for meetings.

“Lida Penfield went there from Oswego, and I believe some other faculty members from here attended,” Smiley said.

“They were complaining because their salaries were so low,” Smiley said. “They were pleading for AAUW to make it known how low their salaries were. That’s been one of the missions of AAUW ever since: equal pay, as well as equal educational and research opportunities.”

All profits from the sale of “Remarkable Women of New York State History” go to the American Association of University Women in New York state, which owns the rights to the book.

The AAUW, founded in 1881, advocates for women and families, attempting to break down any barriers to engagement and advancement that remain at colleges and universities around the nation.