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FIT Professor from Sayville Receives Top New York State Honor for Excellence in Teaching and Service

Cheri Fein, Executive Director of Public and Media Relations, 212 217.4700
Dr. Arthur H. Kopelman, professor of Science in the Department of Science and Mathematics at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, has been appointed to Distinguished Service Professorship rank by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor conferred upon instructional faculty in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, of which FIT is a college.

The Distinguished Service Professorship is presented to faculty who have achieved a notable reputation for extraordinary service, not only to their college and to SUNY, but also to the community, New York State, and the nation, through sustained application of intellectual skills that are drawn from scholarly and research interests and applied to issues of public concern.

To be eligible for the nomination, candidates must demonstrate an extended term of service that exceeds work generally considered to be part of their basic professional duties. Candidates also must have been full professors for five years and have at least ten years of full-time service at a SUNY college.

"SUNY has now conferred its highest faculty honor upon more than 850 current and retired professors from across the system," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "These honors recognize their extraordinary achievements as teachers, scholars, and mentors, which are a tremendous source of pride for the State University."

"It is with great pride that we recognize SUNY's most brilliant scholars and teachers and those whose service to the community and to SUNY merit the distinguished ranking," said Board Chairman Carl T. Hayden. "We are grateful for their contributions to our students, to SUNY, the communities we serve, and the body of knowledge in their chosen field of inquiry. The Board joins with the recipients' families and campuses in celebrating their academic, service, research, and teaching accomplishments."

Dr. Kopelman, who has been a member of the FIT faculty since 1981, teaches courses in biology, ecology, and environmental problems. He is also an adjunct associate professor of Marine Science at Dowling College, where he teaches a course titled "Whales of Long Island." He was pivotal in the establishment of the annual SUNY-wide Sustainable Business and Design Conference and is a member of FIT's Sustainability Council.

In addition to his work as an educator, Dr. Kopelman is a population ecologist whose research interests for the past 23 years include the population dynamics and feeding ecology of whales and other mammals of New York and New England. He is the president, co-founder, and webmaster of the Coastal Research and Educational Society of Long Island (CRESLI) (, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes and fosters understanding and stewardship of coastal ecosystems through research and education. He had been a senior scientist for the Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation in New York and was one of the co-founders of the Environmental Scientists for Global Survival.

Dr. Kopelman received his bachelor's degree from Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), and his master's and PhD degrees from the CUNY Graduate School.

About FIT

A comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, taught by the faculty of the School of Liberal Arts, is at the core of every degree program at FIT. Students seeking the Associate in Applied Science degree must complete at least one course in each of the following areas: communication, math, science, social science, and western civilization. A minimum of ten courses in liberal arts are required for students seeking the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. These include the five areas listed above, plus arts, humanities, foreign language, other world civilizations, and American history. FIT students can select a liberal arts minor from eighteen areas of study, including one of four foreign languages, film and media, history of art, economics, sustainability, mathematics, English literature, Asian or Latin American studies, and communication studies. FIT's Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Arts Management is administered by The School of Liberal Arts, which additionally administers the college's Presidential Scholars program, the Writing Studio, and the Academic Skills Center.

FIT, a leader in career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology, with 46 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students and offers courses in a wide range of fields, among them fashion merchandising management, jewelry design, fashion design, advertising and marketing communications, toy design, and home products development. Visit