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FIT Faculty Member Appointed to Distinguished Ranks by SUNY Board of Trustees

Casey Vattimo, SUNY Office of Communications, 518 320-1311

Albany -- The State University of New York Board of Trustees today approved the appointments of 24 faculty members to distinguished ranks that constitute the highest system tribute conferred upon SUNY instructional faculty.

The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals at SUNY's state-operated campuses who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within the individuals chosen field. Six faculty members were given this promotion.

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching at the graduate, undergraduate or professional levels. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth, and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. Seven faculty members received this rank, with two others appointed in an honorific capacity.

The Distinguished Service Professorship is conferred upon instructional faculty at SUNY's state-operated and community colleges who have achieved a notable reputation for extraordinary service not only to the campus and to SUNY, but also to the community, the State of New York and/or even the nation, by sustained effort in the application of intellectual skills drawing from the candidates scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern. Six faculty members received this promotion. Three others were appointed to this rank in an honorific capacity, including science and mathematics professor Arthur Kopelman of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Professor Kopelman's profound commitment to environmental science is demonstrated by his significant and sustained service to FIT, New York State and the surrounding region. His pioneering research and innovative environmental education models guide both guardians of coastal ecosystems and science educators. He was one of a small group of distinguished New York scientists to apply for a NOAA Fisheries Section 6 grant to advance the conservation and management of endangered species in our waters. He has been a senior scientist for Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation and co-founded Environmental Scientists for Global Survival. He also co-founded the Coastal Research and Educational Society of Long Island, serving as president since 2000. He has been pivotal in the establishment of the annual SUNY-wide Sustainable Business and Design Conference and is a member of the College's Sustainability Council. After many years leading seal, bird and whale watching expeditions, his current research will provide scientists, for the first time, a photo-identification catalog and database of harbor and gray seals in New York waters.