June 9, 2015

Susan H. Turben Award in Excellence in Scholarship Named

Roxana Toma

Roxana Toma, a faculty mentor in Policy Studies with SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies, is the 2015 recipient of the Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

“I congratulate Roxana Toma for winning the Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “The large number of candidates, the rigorous selection process and the high standards and accomplishments – in terms of teaching, mentoring, scholarship, innovation and community service recipients must achieve – is very impressive. These are people who best represent the aspirations of the college community. They have contributed their talents, passions and often their entire careers, to their colleagues, to higher education and adult learning, the communities where they live and work and, most importantly, to the overall success of the college and its students. Roxana is an outstanding member of the faculty and is an inspiration to all of us.”

“I was deeply honored to receive the Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship,” said Toma. “This kind of recognition makes all the difference, in terms of my motivation for continuing scholarly work. I would like to thank my faculty chair, Peggy Tally, for bringing the best out of me. Because of her, I have blossomed at the college and I love what I do. My thanks also go to my faculty colleague, Alan Belasen, for being such an inspiration. His energy is contagious and empowering for those of us around him. My special thanks to my faculty colleague, Meg Benke, for being such a sturdy foundation throughout my journey at the college, and for always believing in me. Last, but not least, I'd like to thank my dean, Tai Arnold, for encouraging  high standards in the School for Graduate Studies, for giving me confidence in my work, and for allowing me the room to grow my scholarship.”

Roxana Toma came to Empire State College five years ago as a new Ph.D. with an award-winning dissertation. Since that time, she has built on that record of scholarship through peer-reviewed articles and presentations. Her research skills, insightful analysis, collaborative generosity in working with colleagues and students and her creativity and strong organizational abilities were cited by colleagues as reasons for the recognition.

Tai Arnold, dean of the School for Graduate Studies, said, “Roxana Toma is constantly learning and developing as a faculty member, as a member of the learning community and through her professional work. Her commitment to scholarly research – by students and faculty alike – is enthusiastic and unsurpassed. Along with publishing her own research and collaborating with colleagues on joint projects, she regularly encourages students to submit their own research to conferences, and showcases her students’ work.”

Toma was presented with her award at the annual All College Conference held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.


About the Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship

The Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship recognizes and honors a faculty member or professional employee for distinguished scholarly activity that is widely recognized and significantly enhances the academic reputation of Empire State College.


About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35, and graduate students’ average age is 40. Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online, or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 73,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.

Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918


518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)