June 23, 2016

Mitchell Wood Receives SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Mitchell Wood, SUNY Empire State College Chancellor's Award
SUNY Empire President Merodie Hancock and Mitchell Wood at the Capital region 2016 graduation

(ALBANY, N.Y. – June 23, 2016) Mitchell Wood, an adjunct professor in the humanities at SUNY Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning, has been recognized with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. He received the award at the SUNY Empire State College commencement in Albany on June 11.

“SUNY employs an exemplary body of faculty and staff across the state and the annual presentation of these awards underscores our deep appreciation for those who serve SUNY campuses, students and communities with the highest levels of distinction,” said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.”

Recognizing the SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners during the ceremony, President Merodie A. Hancock said, “By Chancellor’s Awards winners, that means they won awards competing with all of their SUNY colleagues, not just within Empire State College. I commend Dr. Wood for his service to the college and to its students.”

“It was overwhelming to be recognized and appreciated,” Wood said. “I thank my peers for their support and President Hancock for her energetic and reflective praise. I love my students, and I see the potential for greatness in each one. As President Hancock noted, I challenge them; I ask them to look at the world and themselves in a new way. While I was singled out for this award, there are many adjuncts in the college who use their creative energies to help students become more than they ever imagined they could be. My thanks and my admiration to all of you with whom I share this honor. “

About Mitchell Wood

Wood is an adjunct professor of humanities in the Center for Distance Learning and is known for his innovative teaching methods and enhancing the student experience through technology in his classes. An alumnus of Empire State College’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, he also earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Media Studies from the college. This has given him special insight into the needs of the adult student population, his colleagues say. Wood has been employed by SUNY Empire since March 2007 and teaches courses in the humanities, among them American Popular Culture and Music, Music, Becoming Americans and Public History. He also mentors students, working individually with them to design and implement their degree plans. When needed, he will arrange for independent studies for those students who require more in-depth or focused research opportunities to work one-to-one with him. In his Public History course, Mitchell offers students the opportunity to curate museum exhibits. These hands-on student experiences help connect students to real-world projects, while assisting the nonprofits in the communities in which they live and work. This is one of the many ways Empire State College students are offered applied-learning opportunities that support the SUNY Applied Learning Initiative. Wood also uses video and Blackboard Collaborate rooms (a virtual classroom platform) in his courses. It has been noted that, “His constant presence in the online classroom lets student know he is available. As a result, his courses are dynamic and intellectually stimulating.”

About the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

The awards are presented annually in seven categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, Teaching, Classified Service and Adjunct Teaching. The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. Individuals selected for this honor are role models within the SUNY community. In acknowledgment of their selection, recipients are given recognition for the particular award received in the college catalog. A certificate and a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence Medallion also are bestowed to commemorate selection.

About 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 across 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 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 75,000 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

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