December 9, 2019

Margaret Tally Named 2020 Distinguished Teaching Professor

Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Tally has been named a 2020 Distinguished Teaching Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. She is SUNY Empire’s sixth faculty member to hold this title.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Dec. 09, 2019) Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Tally, a professor in SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies, has been named a 2020 Distinguished Teaching Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. She is SUNY Empire’s sixth faculty member to hold this title. 

SUNY’s Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes instructional faculty for outstanding teaching competence. At SUNY Empire, Tally teaches social and public policy to graduate students throughout New York State, including many first-generation college graduates who are furthering their careers in public service. 

Tally will be honored at the Annual Distinguished Academy Celebratory Dinner and Induction Ceremony on June 23, 2020, along with the year’s other inductees from across the SUNY System. 

“Dr. Tally is an exceptional educator, serving as a role model not only for her students, but for her peers as well,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “She embodies the tenets of a SUNY Empire education, helping to open doors and push her students to achieve their fullest potential. I congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.”

"Everyone in the School for Graduate Studies is overjoyed with the Board of Trustees’ decision to confer on Dr. Tally the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor,” said Nathan Gonyea, Dean of the School for Graduate Studies. “Dr. Tally has long been a model of supportive, rigorous teaching and advising. She is beloved by her students for encouraging them to stretch beyond their current abilities to achieve new heights of intellectual achievement, and by her colleagues for her thoughtful and supportive mentorship. She is wise, collaborative, generous of time and expertise, and humble – in short, the epitome of a distinguished faculty member.” 

“Dr. Tally exhibits creativity and strong organizational abilities in every aspect of her work,” said SUNY Empire Provost Meg Benke, who has worked with Tally since 1993. “She has energy and commitment to teaching and scholarly leadership. In working with students with the highest need of support at the start of her career until now working with predominantly graduate students, Dr. Tally is one of our most significant teacher leaders and role models.” 

“I’m honored to receive this award, and I want to thank all the talented graduate students who’ve inspired me, and my graduate colleagues who support me,” said Tally. “I also wish to thank my dean and associate dean in the School for Graduate Studies, our provost and president at Empire State College, and our graduate professional staff, who help all of us serve our students every day. I view this as a collective award, representing how we have all worked to build a positive learning environment in higher education for our diverse and deeply deserving students.” 

“Dr. Tally takes the best of what can be done in the classroom and scales it to meet the needs and expectations of today’s students,” said Emily Burns Perryman, a graduate student in Social and Public Policy. “She has always been incredibly supportive, helpful, responsive and nurturing, while pushing each and every one of us to do our best.” 

Tally joined SUNY Empire State College in 1993 as assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2000. She has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate programs over the past 26 years in the field of social science, including time spent teaching and coordinating curriculum for the college’s Verizon Corporate College Program. In 2002, Tally was awarded SUNY Empire State College’s Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the college’s highest scholarship award and in 2018 she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She achieved the rank of full professor in 2007. 

Tally earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and M.A. in Philosophy both from the New School for Social Research, and has a B.A. in government from Cornell University.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates students at any stage of life with a personalized learning experience delivered online, in person, or a blend of both. Since 1971, SUNY Empire has empowered students to earn an accredited degree around the demands of a busy lifestyle to advance their personal and professional goals. With world-class faculty, more than 1,300 dedicated mentors to help students tailor their degree programs, and cutting-edge distance learning technology, SUNY Empire delivers a trusted and flexible online college experience grounded in more than 30 New York state locations and seven international sites where students can learn and collaborate in person. Our nearly 50 years as a leader in awarding credit for prior learning and life experience helps students earn a degree faster and at lower cost. To learn more, visit and follow @SUNYEmpire.