PROFESSORS EARN SUNY CHANCELLOR'S AWARD FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE

5/28/2008

SUNY Orange Faculty Dr. Karen Stephens and Stephen Winter Cited by Chancellor for Classroom Work

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Earlier this month, SUNY Orange professors Dr. Karen Stephens and Stephen Winter were named as winners of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, presented on behalf of the State University of New York by Interim Chancellor John B. Clark.

Awarded annually to those faculty members who have excelled within the classroom, the Chancellor’s Award is among the most prestigious faculty honors bestowed by the SUNY system. Both Stephens and Winter were introduced as Chancellor’s Award recipients during SUNY Orange’s 58th Commencement Ceremony, held May 17 on the College’s Alumni Green.

In addition to receiving his medal that signifies a Chancellor’s Award winner, Winter also delivered one of three Commencement addresses to the College’s graduates that day.

PHOTO: Steve WinterThe longest tenured faculty member currently at the College in a full-time role, Winter (shown at right) has been teaching business-related courses at the College for more than 40 years. Throughout his tenure, Winter has been a leader and visionary in implementing new and innovative programs designed with student learning in mind.

Nearly 30 years ago, he was the first SUNY Orange professor to offer an Honors Course. He instituted the use of advisory boards in the Business Department that continue to support the College today. More recently, he has actively pursued the use of instructional technology, having developed an online course for Principles of Marketing while also offering web-enhanced materials to supplement each of the courses he oversees today.

Winter’s innovative ideas stem for a teaching philosophy in which he is committed to creating a partnership in the classroom. He understands and nurtures an informative and respectful rapport with students.

On developing that classroom atmosphere, Winter remarked, “It is always a work in progress. All parties must be flexible and seek the proper balance so we create an optimum fit to achieve learning.”

He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queens College, a master’s in business administration, with honors, from Baruch College and has completed postgraduate study in economics at the University of Missouri. He served as chair of the Business Department for 24 years.

“Steve has always strived to improve himself,” said Lucinda Fleming, chair of the SUNY Orange Business Management Department. “Throughout his tenure at the College, Steve has served in academic, administrative and faculty posts. He brings all of his professional experience into the classroom for the benefit of his students.”

The Chancellor’s Award is the latest in a string of accolades for Winter, who recently was named the Northeastern Region 1 winner of the Teaching Excellence Award, as presented by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). He and Stephens also accepted the SUNY Orange President’s Award for Teaching Excellence from College President Dr. William Richards.

Winter will accept his ACBSP award at the Association’s 2008 Annual Conference in New Orleans this June and will be considered for the group's International Teaching Excellence Award.

PHOTO: Karen StephensA revered colleague and professor, Stephens (shown at left) has consistently demonstrated a strong respect for the welfare, value and dignity of her students, who gravitate to her easy instructional style and benefit from her guidance. She is a strong student advocate and is consistently called upon by the Student Services staff to assist with student advising.

“At the heart of our work is ‘teaching and learning,’ and Karen exemplifies the best of what we do,” says Dr. Catherine Chew, vice president for academic affairs.

In addition to the vast clinical background she brings to the classroom, Stephens has been a strong proponent of developing supportive and effective learning environments—implementing instructional methods that feature small student discussion groups and embedding critical thinking throughout her curriculum.

“I try to provide a stimulating learning environment that allows the student to feel free to ask questions and respond to questions without fear of censor,” she explains.

As Chancellor’s Award winners, Winter and Stephens follow former colleague Joan Siegel, who was a recipient of that award in 2007.

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Mike Albright
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