SUNY Oswego professor named distinguished teaching professor

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Dr. Tracy K. Lewis, widely praised for his 30 years inspiring students of Spanish and Portuguese at SUNY Oswego, has earned the rank of distinguished teaching professor, one of the State University of New York system’s highest honors.

“Dr. Lewis is revered among legions of current and former students, many of whom teach Spanish and Portuguese in schools and universities around the world,” wrote SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley, recommending the rank for Lewis, professor in the department of modern languages and literatures.

“He sets a fine example for others through tireless international service, award-winning performance as a master teacher, advisor and mentor, and his sometimes unconventional yet highly effective approach to teaching that consistently challenges and engages students to whom he is devoted,” Stanley wrote.

Renowned and decorated for his scholarship on the languages and literature of Paraguay, lecturing there and in Brazil and Argentina, Lewis received numerous letters support for his elevation to distinguished rank, conferred May 14 by the SUNY Board of Trustees. 

Among the backers are a well-known Paraguayan poet and a university president in the South American country, colleagues at Oswego and other campuses, and current and former students.

 “I enrolled in an intermediate level Spanish class to simply get my general education requirement completed,” wrote Spanish teacher Mary Ann Reitano. “The professor of that class was Dr. Tracy Lewis and my life would forever be changed.”

SUNY Oswego senior Brianna Carnevale, who aims to be a Spanish teacher, provided vivid examples: “Whether it is ‘walking down the runway’ to practice clothing vocabulary or ‘completing tasks around the classroom’ to practice daily chores, the learning that takes place isn’t copying notes from the board but instead, becoming part of the lesson.”

 ‘Lively, charismatic’

Juan Manuel Marcos, president of Universidad del Norte in Paraguay and a close friend and colleague of Lewis, said, “In his teaching, as I have directly observed it in innumerable classes and lectures in the United States, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, Dr. Lewis is a well-prepared, lively, charismatic instructor who not only never bores his students, but also has the capacity to move them to the point of tears.”

As an undergraduate Spanish major at Dartmouth College, Lewis had scarcely given any thought to being a teacher when he became influenced by Dr. John Rassias, now a famous proponent of the Dartmouth Intensive Language Model. 

With the added influence of Robert Russell, another member of Dartmouth’s Spanish faculty, Lewis found himself on a career path with a set of ideas for teaching that encouraged active participation in the languages.

 Constantly experimenting and eager to use theatrical twists, Lewis seeks to create a highly charged classroom atmosphere that gives students the opportunity to create, for example, a mini-society in “the Kingdom of Lewislandia,” a metaphorical approach that immerses students in Spanish or Portuguese as they create provinces and share cultures and viewpoints.

Also a noted scholar, translator and poet, Lewis in 2012 received the Albert Camus Prize, the highest medal bestowed by Paraguay’s Ministry of Education, for his decades-long efforts to focus attention on the country as it made its way out of dictatorship to parliamentary democracy. 

His publications include a highly regarded translation of Marcos’ “El invierno de Gunter” (“Gunter’s Winter”) and books of poetry in Spanish and Guarani, the only indigenous language of the Americas whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people.

Lewis, whose doctorate is from Brown University, is a past recipient of the college President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

More than 1,600 graduate from SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley addresses graduation candidates of Oswego’s School of Education on Saturday, in the third of three sessions of commencement at the Campus Center arena and convocation hall. Seated in the red robe, Dr. Linda Clement, 1971 alumna of SUNY Oswego and vice president of student affairs at University of Maryland, served as commencement speaker for education. As the college conferred degrees on more than 1,600 undergraduates and master’s candidates, Peter Bocko, class of 1975 and chief technology officer for Corning Inc.’s Glass Technologies Group, spoke at commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Mark Baum, a 1981 Oswego graduate and senior vice president of industry relations and chief collaboration officer for the Food Marketing Institute, addressed candidates in the School of Business and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. To read the text of the commencement speakers’ remarks, visit oswego.edu/academics/commencement.
SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley addresses graduation candidates of Oswego’s School of Education on Saturday, in the third of three sessions of commencement at the Campus Center arena and convocation hall. Seated in the red robe, Dr. Linda Clement, 1971 alumna of SUNY Oswego and vice president of student affairs at University of Maryland, served as commencement speaker for education. As the college conferred degrees on more than 1,600 undergraduates and master’s candidates, Peter Bocko, class of 1975 and chief technology officer for Corning Inc.’s Glass Technologies Group, spoke at commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Mark Baum, a 1981 Oswego graduate and senior vice president of industry relations and chief collaboration officer for the Food Marketing Institute, addressed candidates in the School of Business and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. To read the text of the commencement speakers’ remarks, visit oswego.edu/academics/commencement.

Rosario Licciardello, veteran, lettuce and onion farmer

5-21_OBITlicciardelloRosario “Charlie” Licciardello, 95, of Pine Bush, NY, formerly of Fulton, passed away Feb. 28.

A native of New York City, he had resided in Fulton most of his life. Charlie was a self-employed lettuce and onion farmer.

He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving with the 542nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion and in both the European and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters of Operations.

Charlie was predeceased by his parents, Gaetano and Venera Cutuli Licciardello, a brother, Michael Licciardello and a sister, Sadie Malone.

Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Marie Hakes Licciardello of Pine Bush; children, Maria (Robert) Nazzaro of Pine Bush, Richard (Sandra) Licciardello of Fulton, Lauri (John) Quigley of Pine Bush, Howard (Terri) Potter II of Bath and Scott (Sheila) Potter of Albany; a sister, Vita (Bart) Chalone of Fulton; 16 grandchildren; six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 24 at Holy Trinity Church, corner of Rochester and South Third streets, Fulton, with military honors.

Foster Funeral Home in Fulton has care of the local arrangements.

Roger A. Cook, retired Army officer, audiologist

5-21_OBITcookRoger Addison Cook, 67, passed away May 14, 2014 after a brief illness.  

He was born July 3, 1946 to Carlon Addison Cook and Marjorie Alice Sylvester Cook in Fulton, NY.

He was preceded in death by his parents.  

He is survived by his loving wife Sherry J. Morrey of Port Isabel and his sister, Cheryl F. Cook of Framingham, MA.

Roger had a distinguished military career and retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army in 2002.  

He began his military life with graduation from the Citadel Military College of South Carolina as a member of Class 1969. He remained in the Army Reserves while attending East Carolina University, Greenville, NC where he obtained a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and followed by a master’s degree in clinical audiology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  

He was employed as a clinical instructor in audiology at the Medical University of South Carolina; as an assistant professor of audiology at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC and an adjunct professor of audiology at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC.

Roger entered active duty in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1981, first in the capacity of a clinical audiologist and then as a health care administrator. His assignments included Fort Wainwright, AK, Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Rucker, AL; Fort Benning, GA and Fort Sam Houston, TX.

Always looking for the next challenge, Roger was awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge and the Air Assault Badge. Additional military training included Airborne Training, Combat Casualty Care Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Army Flight Surgeon Course after which he maintained non-crew flight status.

He furthered his formal education while on active duty by obtaining master’s in public health from the University of South Carolina and a doctor of audiology from the Audiology Foundation of America.

His military honors include the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medical (2nd award).

Upon retirement at Fort Sam Houston, Roger headed to the southern-most tip of Texas in search of sunny skies and beach life.  

He was an avid fisherman and dove hunter and enjoyed walking his beloved golden retrievers at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island.  

After Sherry’s retirement from the Army in 2006, they traveled extensively in the Caribbean in search of the bluest waters and whitest beaches. 

Roger will be greatly missed by his family and friends who accepted his rascal ways and off-beat humor. The family expresses their deepest appreciation to the medical staff of Harlingen Medical Center for their compassionate and competent care during Roger’s stay.

There will be future plans for the spreading of Roger’s ashes in the Laguna Madre and in Fernandez Bay, Cat Island, Bahamas.

You are invited to sign the online guestbook or leave a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.

Barbara May (Shutts) Gifford, avid quilter and seamstress

5-21_OBITgiffordBarbara May (Shutts) Gifford, 89, of Hannibal, passed away peacefully May 15, 2014 at Oswego Hospital. 

Barbara was born Aug. 8, 1924 in Sterling, daughter of the late Howard Cooper and Amy Stone Cooper. She lived in Martville and most recently, Hannibal. 

She was employed by Westreco and Herron’s Fabric Center. Barbara was an avid quilter and custom seamstress and was known for enjoying spirited card games with her many friends. 

She was a member of the Hannibal United Methodist Church; along with being the founder of the Lake Shore Country Quilt Guild, co-founder and co-trainer of RSVP Osteoporosis Program in Hannibal, Elderberrys Senior Citizens of Hannibal, Ecumenical and the Enoch Thomas cluster representative from the Hannibal United Methodist Church, member of the Sarah Circle (sending cards from the church), member of the Spirit Life Team, Church Woman of the Year, and Historical Society Citizen of the Year. 

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Gifford was predeceased by her first husband, Harry E. Shutts; her second husband, John A. Gifford; a step-daughter, Nita Gifford and her sister Marian C. Ducret of Georgia on April 5, 2014. 

She is survived by three sons and a daughter: Barry E. (Madeline) Shutts of Tampa, FL, Stephen H. (Sharon) Shutts of Wolcott, Glenn A. (Vivian) Gifford of Henrietta and Margaret S. Shutts of Rochester; two step-daughters, Gail Gifford of OH and April Mullins of CT; four grandchildren: Jackie (Tom) Cole, Jessie (Todd) Shoemaker, Angela Shutts and Nicole Macon (Kevin); five great grandchildren; a niece, Joanne Gaba and a nephew, David Ducret. 

Calling hours were Monday, May 19 at Hannibal United Methodist Church, 320 Church St., Hannibal. Funeral services followed with the Rev. Dean Flemming officiating. 

Interment will be at Fairdale Rural Cemetery, Hannibal. 

Special thanks go out to the emergency staff at Oswego Hospital for the gentle care Barbara received while in their care. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hannibal United Methodist Church, 320 Church St., P.O. Box 89, Hannibal, NY, 13074; the Alzheimer’s Association of CNY, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY, 13204 or the American Diabetes Association Syracuse, NY Office, 6390 Fly Rd., 2nd Floor, E. Syracuse, NY, 13057. 

Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal has care of arrangements.

Rotary learns about Fresh Air Fund

Representatives from The Fresh Air Fund were guests of Oswego Rotary recently where they presented information on the Fresh Air program. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Each summer two or three buses head to the Oswego County area, with 30-40 children per bus, to spend a week or more with a host family. Children are hosted by families in 13 states currently giving inner city children an experience they will never forget. For more information on the program contact Kathy Froio at 695-5502 or Kathy.froio@friendlytown.org.  Picture are, left to right, Kathy Froio and Liz Claycomb from the Fresh Air program and Oswego Rotary President Sue Witmer
Representatives from The Fresh Air Fund were guests of Oswego Rotary recently where they presented information on the Fresh Air program. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Each summer two or three buses head to the Oswego County area, with 30-40 children per bus, to spend a week or more with a host family. Children are hosted by families in 13 states currently giving inner city children an experience they will never forget. For more information on the program contact Kathy Froio at 695-5502 or Kathy.froio@friendlytown.org. Picture are, left to right, Kathy Froio and Liz Claycomb from the Fresh Air program and Oswego Rotary President Sue Witmer

Porky and Buddy: Why so many black cats for adoption?

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I was wasting time on the internet the other day. I was supposed to be researching an article. But you know how one thing leads to another and somehow I ended up looking at the Oswego County Humane Society’s adoptable cats.  

They have a lot of really beautiful cats, but I did notice that many of their older cats are black or mostly black. Why is that?  Are there a lot of black cats in our area?

Jon Continue reading

Your hometown. Your news.