Category Archives: Oswego News

Accomplished alumna to address over 100 student honorees April 19

The annual SUNY Oswego Honors Convocation Friday, April 19 will recognize more than 100 academic achievers and feature a talk by an Oswego alumna who has built a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The formal ceremony recognizing student academic achievement will take place at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center convocation hall and arena.

Together with the students being honored, an audience of family, friends and campus colleagues of the honorees will witness the procession of faculty presenters in academic regalia, applaud students receiving awards, and hear from 1981 communication studies graduate Rosemary Cardamone Crane.

Crane has more than 30 years of experience in commercialization and business operations, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She is currently a partner and head of commercialization at Apple Tree Partners.

Before joining Apple Tree, Crane was the president and chief executive officer of Epocrates. Before that, she served as a company group chairman for the over-the-counter, specialty and nutritionals businesses of Johnson & Johnson, after serving as executive vice president of global marketing for the pharmaceutical group of Johnson & Johnson.

She spent two decades at Bristol-Myers Squibb, working her way up to president of the U.S. Primary Care Division.

After earning her bachelor’s degree from Oswego, Crane earned a master’s of business administration from Kent State University. She is a former member of the Oswego College Foundation board of directors and the School of Business Advisory Board. Originally from Utica, she now resides in Langhorne, Pa.

Honors Convocation is the culmination of SUNY Oswego’s Honors Week, which includes induction ceremonies for a range of honorary organizations across many disciplines and Quest, the college’s signature symposium dedicated to the scholarly and creative pursuits of faculty and students.

The convocation will be followed by a reception in the Campus Center activity court. The events are free and open to the public. Visitors without a SUNY Oswego parking permit may purchase a visitor’s permit from the Parking Office at


College student to present roller-coaster research April 17

SUNY Oswego senior Katharyn Christiana works with her precision model of a roller coaster in preparation for a scholarly presentation April 17 on thrill-ride dynamics at the college’s Quest symposium.
SUNY Oswego senior Katharyn Christiana works with her precision model of a roller coaster in preparation for a scholarly presentation April 17 on thrill-ride dynamics at the college’s Quest symposium.

Little did SUNY Oswego senior Katharyn Christiana know it at the time, but her family’s frequent trips to Disney World when she was a child would set her on a roller-coaster path to a college major and research subject she will present at the Quest April 17.

Christiana and her mentor and co-author, physics faculty member Dr. Carolina Ilie, have studied the mechanics of thrill rides with the aid of a working model of a roller coaster that Christiana has built.

The Kingston native will make a presentation on roller coaster dynamics at Quest, the college’s daylong celebration of scholarly and creative activity.

“I once went to Disney four times in a year,” said Christiana, who has been accepted for a University of Rochester graduate program in engineering and business and is waiting to hear from two universities with mechanical-engineering master’s programs.

“You start developing favorites among the rides,” Christiana said. “They have books in the parks about how Disney Imagineers design them. I’m the nerd that has to know everything about how things work.”

The physics major has gone further with that passion than most. With Ilie’s encouragement and the support of a SUNY Oswego Student-Faculty Collaborative Challenge Grant, Christiana has a senior thesis in progress: roller coasters, their history, design challenges, physical forces and the sensations the physics give riders.

Christiana ordered a kit for a precision working model of a roller coaster, then has systematically set about learning all she could about coasters. It hasn’t all been a joy ride.

“I made it and it worked, then it didn’t run and I made certain customizations,” Christiana said recently. “Then a part dried out and I’m trying to fix it.”

Ilie’s own passion for physics and mentoring fuel Christiana’s own determination, as she understands the rigorous and constant testing it takes to bring a roller coaster design to life and keep it running.

“She read all about the safety aspects engineers need to think about,” Ilie said. “What are the challenges? The main challenge is money, as everywhere. So how do you have maximum safety for budgeted money?”

Quest will be Christiana’s third scholarly presentation on roller coasters.

She spoke last fall on health and safety of thrill rides at a Rochester Academy of Science symposium at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, then recently made a presentation to the American Physical Society’s undergraduate division in Baltimore.

“That was an experience,” she said of APS. “I’ve never been around quite that many physicists before.”

Christiana has her sights set on someday becoming a Disney Imagineer.

“I realized that Imagineers think a little bit differently,” she said of her childhood — now adult — passion for how thrill rides work. “It was a lot like me: I’d watch a Disney movie and say, ‘That would be a neat idea for a ride design.’ Then I heard that people get paid to do this and I thought, ‘Cool — that would be the best!’”

Parking is free April 17 for visitors to Quest, when hundreds of talks, panel discussions, demonstrations and concurrent events will take place largely in the Campus Center and nearby Lanigan and Snygg halls.

Sustainability Fair to feature ‘Before the Lights Go Out’ author

Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor of popular group blog Boing Boing and author of “Before the Lights Go Out,” will headline SUNY Oswego’s 2013 Sustainability Fair Wednesday, April 17.

Free and open to the public, the fair and its sustainability symposium will run 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center, concurrent with Quest, the college’s annual daylong celebration of scholarly and creative activity.

Koerth-Baker will make a presentation at 2 p.m. in Room 114 of the Campus Center.

In the arena, the fair will feature electric vehicles, student sustainability projects and vendor demonstrations, from farming techniques to windmill developers, from reclaimed-lumber products to initiatives at Destiny USA.

Koerth-Baker and the other symposium presenters also will speak with visitors to the fair.

Student groups represented at the fair will include SUNY Oswego Eco Reps and the college’s Actively Collaborating Toward Solutions program, one of 10 winners of SUNY’s inaugural Small Grant Sustainability Competition. ACTS seeks to involve college and K-12 students in sustainability projects, from composting to controlling invasive species.

Emphasis will shift toward enterprising ways students, area residents and the rest of the world can contribute to sustainability, from what to do with old tires to raising money for AIDS research by recycling, according to Mike Lotito, engineering coordinator, and Jamie Adams, program coordinator, for SUNY Oswego Facilities Design and Construction’s sustainability office.

The new symposium — all three presentations will be in Room 114 of the Campus Center — will kick off at 11 a.m. with founders of The Crash Pad talking about how three men under 30 supported their lifestyle of hiking, climbing and biking by designing and building a LEED Platinum hostel in Chattanooga, Tenn.

At noon, Jim Strickland and Laurie Freeman will make a presentation about their decision to live off the grid in the Adirondack Mountains and what it has taken to be energy independent since 2000.

The grid plays a leading — and very fallible — role in Koerth-Baker’s 2012 book, “Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us.”

She takes readers from the system’s start in 1882 through the historic 2003 Northeast blackout and out the other side to today. She focuses on practical, achievable steps for all Americans to shape the nation’s energy future — preferably before any next national energy emergency.

“We’re excited and fortunate to have a world-renowned speaker like Maggie come to campus,” Lotito said. “Her insight and understanding of how our electrical infrastructure works and where we’re headed as a society with regard to energy production, efficiency and transmission are invaluable. This offers our students a unique opportunity to participate in a dialogue about a complicated issue that affects us all.”

Koerth-Baker’s appearance is in conjunction with this year’s alternate-reality game, moderated annually by Ulises Mejias of the communication studies department.

This year’s theme is “Fracking,” exploring the issues around the hydrofracking technique for extracting natural gas from shale.

Parking is free April 17 for visitors to Quest, when hundreds of talks, panel discussions, demonstrations and concurrent events will take place largely in the Campus Center and nearby Lanigan and Snygg halls.


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab taps three more SUNY Oswego students

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology selected three SUNY Oswego seniors for internships this summer for computer programming work on the Cassini satellite mission. From left are Samantha Bielli, majoring in computer science and applied mathematical economics, computer science major Delvison Castillo and software engineering major Andrew Darwin.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology selected three SUNY Oswego seniors for internships this summer for computer programming work on the Cassini satellite mission. From left are Samantha Bielli, majoring in computer science and applied mathematical economics, computer science major Delvison Castillo and software engineering major Andrew Darwin.

Following the trail blazed by 2012 alumnus Earl Bellinger, three more SUNY Oswego students will rocket into internships this summer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, the California Institute of Technology.

JPL selected SUNY Oswego seniors Samantha Bielli, Delvison Castillo and Andrew Darwin to work for 10 weeks on the Cassini satellite mission at the renowned research complex in Pasadena starting June 18.

Bellinger, a graduate in computer science and applied mathematics now in a Ph.D. program at Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing, burned so brightly during his time at JPL in 2012 that a supervisor there asked Oswego physics professor Shashi Kanbur to “send us more” for summer 2013, Kanbur said.

Kanbur spoke with Oswego computer science faculty members James Early, Doug Lea and Alex Pantaleev — and consulted Bellinger — before recommending senior computer science majors Bielli of Gloversville and Castillo of New York City and senior software engineering major Darwin of Ferrisburgh, Vt.

“It will be a fantastic experience for these students to put on their resumes,” Kanbur said. “I think it’s a great thing for the college. Think about their orientation at JPL: ‘Where are you from?’ ‘SUNY Oswego.’ ‘OK, where are you from?’ ‘SUNY Oswego.’ ‘And where are you from?’ ‘SUNY Oswego.’ Where you are from creates an impression.”

Castillo, who also minors in anthropology and cognitive science, said it took a long time to hear from JPL after he applied, but the waiting paid off.

“I was thinking I was not going to get it, so it was twice as good when I heard,” he said. “I was amazingly happy.”

Darwin, a mathematics minor, awaits more specifics on the interns’ assignments this summer.

“I understand we will be working on Web-based architecture on existing and legacy code, and creating new functionality, all part of the Cassini satellite orbiting Saturn,” he said.

Bielli, with a second major in applied mathematical economics, is eager to work outside the classroom.

“Working in a real-world situation rather than in class — a lot of good opportunities can come out of this,” she said.

Last summer, Bellinger, winner of a 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, wrote computer code for the Cassini mission that NASA continues to use every day.

“He did an exceptional job,” Kanbur said. “His program optimizes the way the (mission’s computer) control sends commands to the spacecraft, and vice versa…His supervisor there was very impressed.”

Kanbur noted that Bellinger, in Brazil, and Castillo, in Taiwan, both had Global Laboratory experiences through the college. SUNY Oswego offers hands-on, immersive problem-solving opportunities to undergraduates each summer at research sites around the world in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The experience helped create the initial opportunity for Bellinger at JPL, Kanbur said.

“The three of us had a Skype call with Earl so he could tell us what his time was like at JPL and how they are using his research,” Darwin said of the Oswego interns. “Earl said he would be happy to help us between now and this summer.”

Oswego County Historical Society to host lecture on Scriba Patent

The Oswego County Historical Society will host the first lecture of the 2013 series on Sunday, April 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Richardson-Bates House Museum, 135 E. Third St., Oswego.

Guest lecturer Peg Peck will present a program entitled “George Scriba and the Scriba Land Patent.”

Peck is the currently the co-historian of the town of Constantia, which is located in the southern part of Oswego County where George Scriba once lived.

This lecture will help answer the questions about who George Scriba was and how he came to purchase most of what is the present day Oswego County and parts of Oneida County. The Scriba Land Patent totaled 500,000 acres of land east of the Oswego River.

“The Scriba Land Patent has a tremendous historical impact on the history of Oswego County. It is hard to imagine in today’s world anyone ever acquiring that much property,” said Justin White, society president. “The name Scriba is known to those of us who live in Oswego County, but not everyone knows the incredible story behind it.”

An immigrant from Germany, Scriba came to United States in the late 18th century and opened a successful banking business in New York City. He soon turned his attention to land speculation when the State of New York began selling large tracts of land.

Peck will discuss her extensive research on George Scriba, including his lofty dreams for major development of Oswego County.

“This area was a virtual wilderness in 1794 when George Scriba had a vision to make this area a desirable destination for pioneers,” added White.

“His investment played an integral part in the settlement of this part of the state,” White continued.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Oswego County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich history of the county.

The society maintains and operates the Richardson-Bates House Museum, a historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


College’s new X-ray device to probe archeological samples

Kathleen Blake of SUNY Oswego’s anthropology department displays a new low-dose device that uses X-ray fluorescence technology to analyze the elements in archeological samples.
Kathleen Blake of SUNY Oswego’s anthropology department displays a new low-dose device that uses X-ray fluorescence technology to analyze the elements in archeological samples.

Analyzing sharp-force trauma, studying ceramic artifacts disinterred after centuries, disclosing the trace elements in soils — SUNY Oswego forensic anthropologist Kathleen Blake can think of many uses for portable X-ray equipment purchased with a National Park Service grant.

The new instrument will enable faculty and student researchers to study samples in detail without liquefying, pulverizing or otherwise destroying them.

“This device is widely used in archeological and museum studies,” Blake said.

Douglas Pippin, an assistant professor of anthropology and an archeologist, received the $49,500 grant with colleagues Paul Tomascak of the earth sciences faculty and Blake.

He acknowledged that the new Bruker XRF Tracer III looks like a cross between a state police radar gun and a device for “Star Trek.”

The gun-like device came with a pump to create a vacuum, a small on-board computer for work in the field, a tripod and other attachments.

It uses X-ray fluorescence to analyze the elements and their proportions in a sample.

“This is extremely low-dose,” Pippin said. “It’s for looking closely at the surface of a sample to a depth of less than a centimeter.”

The researchers won the grant in conjunction with work the anthropology department is doing cataloging 160,000 Native American and other artifacts from archeological sites around the state.

SUNY Oswego earlier received two grants totaling $1.5 million for work under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Blake, a visiting assistant professor who is on the research team for the NAGPRA project, worked in January as a visiting scientist under a fellowship with the Forensic Anthropology Unit of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City.

Much can be learned, she said, about injuries to bones, taphonomy (changes in organisms from time of death to discovery) and other subjects that the technology can illuminate.

“This will be so helpful to student projects, too,” she said. “For example, what happens after burial of a deer’s leg? What can it tell us about the amount of copper laid down by the blade that cut the bone? What kind of blade was it?” 

Horowitt appearance to launch ‘innovation ecosystem’ in Oswego

As part of SUNY Oswego’s community incubator initiative, National Grid on Tuesday, April 9, will co-sponsor an appearance of venture capitalist Greg Horowitt to launch the project, called “Thrive.”

Horowitt, co-author of “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” will participate in a free public “innovation rainforest launch” for Oswego County at 7 p.m. in SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom.

The program is the first part of a yearlong series of workshops to be held in the county on creating an “innovation ecosystem” with Global CONNECT, an applied research and technical assistance consultancy Horowitt co-founded at the University of California-San Diego, focused on the development and growth of innovation clusters.

Horowitt is founding partner and managing director of T2 Venture Capital, a seed and early-stage venture fund for entrepreneurial businesses focused on high-impact innovation in the technology and health care sectors.

Global CONNECT has grown to encompass one of the world’s largest networks of innovation hubs, including more than 40 programs in 20 countries intent on accelerating global technology commercialization.

Other partners of Thrive include NBT Bank, Operation Oswego County, the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and Beacon Hotel.

Parking for the April 9 program will be provided in lots E-15 and C-15 across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall; E-27 adjacent to Sheldon’s east side; and E-23 north of Rich Hall.

Those seeking more information may contact the SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations at or 312-3492.

To participate in building Oswego County’s innovation ecosystem, register online at or call 312-3492.

Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame announces newest class induction

The newest members of the Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted Saturday, April 20.

This class continues to recognize those athletes and coaches who have contributed so much to the legacy of sports at the Oswego High School

The Oswego City School District and the Buccaneer Boosters have announced this year’s inductees.

For the first time, two teams from the same sport will be inducted as the 1995-96 and 1996-97 state runner up ice hockey teams will become the newest team members of the Hall of Fame.

Both teams earned a berth in the state finals only after performing solidly throughout the regular and post season.

The members of the 1995-96 team included Mark Donabella, Matt Vashaw, Mike Tucker, Matt Von Esch, Mike Foley, Steve Cook, Brendan Coliver, Phil Carroll, Chris Rinaldo, Ben Miller, Ben Perlman, Chris Ackley, Greg Parr, Mark DeSantis, Travis Doty, Pat DeBan, Nate Elliot, Josh Crannell, Erik Cole, Jeremy Knopp and Kevin Jung.

Members of the 1996-97 team included Chris Ackley, Kevin Jung, Phil Carroll, Matt Vashaw, Mark DeSantis, Mike Tucker, Nate Elliott, Greg Parr, Chris Rinaldo, Mike Foley, T.J. Barnes, Dan Farley, Chris Mathes, Derek Carr, Lou Iorizzo, Josh Molinari, Bob Haynes, Mike Fortier, Tris Gillen, Mark Donabella, Steve Cook, Ben Perlman, Travis Doty and Brian Gallagher.

Several outstanding individuals will also take their deserving place as part of this year’s inductees.

The first husband and wife will be inducted as multi-sport and multi-talented athletes Howie McCann and Sherry (Brown) McCann will be present for the induction ceremony.  They were stars in every varsity sport they have participated in with numerous all league honors.

Deb Miller made her mark in Oswego High School athletics and was widely recognized for her athletic prowess as she was yet another multi-sports athlete who made her mark on the Oswego High School sports legacy.

Erwin “Jeep” Dewey is currently in his 50th year of coaching at Oswego High School and his loyalty, dedication and achievements were recognized with his selection into this year’s hall of fame class.

The late Fran Carl was also chosen for this year’s class he was a forward-center for the basketball team and a football end from 1947-1950.

Inductees will be recognized during halftime of the Oswego High School girls’ varsity lacrosse game at approximately 2:45 p.m. Saturday, April 20 at Wilber Field.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for the Alexander’s on E. First Street in Oswego Saturday, April 20. Inductees will be guests of the Buccaneer Boosters.

It is hoped that a large crowd will be on hand to recognize the accomplishments of this year’s class. Ticket reservations may be made by calling the Athletic Office at 341-2019.