Judo = Alumni Achievers

May 17th, 2017 | Comments Off on Judo = Alumni Achievers | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note: The Judo=Alumni Achievements article was originally published in the fall/winter 2011 edition of Spartan.

Judo = Alumni Achievements

With continued enthusiasm, for over 42 years, Judo Instructor-‘Sensei’-PE Professor Peter Petrosino has taught, promoted, and followed with pride the careers of numerous students among the thousands who enrolled in his Judo classes.  The Alumni Association recently assisted Petrosino in his quest to reconnect with many more of his former students with an ad in the Spring/Summer 2011 edition of The Spartan.

During conversations with Pete, we continue to marvel at the correlation between the required dedication and discipline of Judo students, and the remarkable achievements attained by these same individuals.  While some did not continue their Judo pursuits, they all remarked that its teachings have been useful in their everyday life.

Here are some of the responses Pete received, from some of his former students:

Edward W. Bolton ’75 received his Brown Belt in Judo.  He is currently a criminal investigator and college instructor, living in Florence, Texas and is married with two children.  He received his master’s degree in criminal justice and a Doctor of Education (ABD) and shares that 38 years ago, Pete Petrosino was his Sensei.  “I am glad our paths crossed at that time.  Thank you for your teachings.  You buried me in the mat many times.  It was a good time.  Thanks, Pete.”

Kathleen M. ‘Glav’ Glavin ’74 became a physical education teacher in Norwich, NY.  She shares that, “I have very fond memories of our Judo classes at ‘ACC’.”  Glav participates in and teaches the Educational Karate Program (EKP) in her school district.  She said she often talks about her lessons from Judo and compares the belt colors with her K-2 students.  Kathleen copied some of the “Zen-Koan” riddles taught in Judo to read to her students every year.

Edwin E. Lewis ’78 attended grad school at the University of Missouri, earning his M.S., and Auburn University, earning his Ph.D.  Following school he worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at Rutgers University and the University of Maryland.  Lewis later worked as a professor at Virginia Tech, and he and his wife are now on the faculty at the University of California where he does research and teaches.  Most of his work focuses on developing biological alternatives to chemical pesticides in agriculture, among other things.  Ed said that he has moved around quite a bit and that he has participated in Judo about everywhere he has been including: Cornell, Missouri, Alabama, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Sacramento, California.  While he hasn’t found a club locally that practices early enough for his schedule, he continues to look.

Jeanne A. Cofrancesco ’75 has been with a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm for 20 years, working in communications and marketing in Miami, Cleveland, New York, and New Jersey.  When she responded to Sensei’s request, Jeanne shared that she often thinks about the concepts that were taught in Judo and how they apply so well in other aspects of her life.  While she didn’t keep up with the practice of Judo, she said that, “there are some things from Judo class that I carried away as life’s lessons and they prove true time and time again.”  First, if you are starting a new endeavor, first learn to fall; when done correctly, it will prepare you and make you stronger.  Second, when met with an opposing force, go with the resistance; that sometimes includes stepping out of the way.  And finally, if a Master throws you to the floor, it won’t hurt you, and you will likely learn something important in the process.  Recalling her first lessons in Judo, Cofrancesco said “throwing ourselves tucked head-first into a fall so we wouldn’t get hurt” still brings a smile to her face. 

Included in Spartan’s Fall 2011 article were stories about Jerimy G. Blowers, PhD ’93, Nancy (McElroy) Ingalls ’79, and Thomas C. Blair ’71.   To read more of these stories online, go to:  http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/giving/alumni/spartan-alumni-newsletter/ and select the Fall 2011 issue of Spartan.

UPDATE:  Sensei Petrosino will be leaving a lasting legacy of nearly 50 years to Auburn/Cayuga Community College, as he says “goodbye” to the Judo Club at the end of this semester.  He began in the fall of 1968 as an Instructor of Health and Physical Education, earning his B.S., M.S., at SUNY Cortland.  He coached Soccer for several years and then formed the Judo Club in 1972 where he served as its advisor until he recently decided it was time to . . .  step off the mat.  Pete will be greatly missed.

In Case You Missed It!

February 22nd, 2017 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note:  The Coming Full Circle article with Dr. Ronald R. Grube ’73 was originally run in the spring/summer 2007 edition of Spartan, then called Vision and Partnership.

Coming Full Circle

Ron Grube - ACCDr. Ronald R. Grube ’73 has recently been hired at Cayuga Community College as Assistant Professor of History and Geography.  Having graduated from the Auburn Community College in 1973, he has now come full circle.  And what a ride it was!

After receiving his bachelor degree in psychology from East Tennessee, Ron Grube continued his education at the Union Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia.  He then went to Boston University, Colgate Rochester Divinity School (Master of Divinity), Onondaga Pastoral Counselling Center (Professional Training and Residency in Psychotherapy), and the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he obtained a doctorate in American History and Historiography.  With that, the circle was completed and Ron is back at the College that gave him his start.

As Dr. Grube tells it, “it just took 35 years to get around the block!”  Welcome, Ron!

Update:  Dr. Grube officially retired from Cayuga in September of 2016, but has continued to teach as an Adjunct Instructor.

“My ‘trip around the block’ will be complete on May 12th of this year, when I will have taught my last courses at Cayuga Community College.  I started teaching history, geography, and psychology here at CCC 21 years ago (full time history 11 years ago).  I can say now that no part of my career has been more fulfilling than these past 21 years at CCC.”

Ron Grube - CCC“While all the meetings and many other duties of full-time education are not high on my list of what I will miss, I will say with absolute confidence that my time in the classroom has been the most worthwhile professional experience I have ever had. It has been great! I love the students – I love the opportunity to help launch careers –and I love the chance to turn people on to history.”

“After finishing my teaching career in May, I am going continue my several construction projects at home. I have a book on the Civil War and historiography to complete. AND, I need to spend some serious quality time traveling on the Erie Canal instead of teaching about it. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise to a good many of my past and present students.”

“Everyone should have the chance to spend a part of their career doing what they truly love. I have been fortunate. Auburn Community College helped to launch my careers. Cayuga Community College gave me the opportunity to find joy in teaching,” shared Dr. Ronald Grube ’73

In Case You Missed It!

November 8th, 2016 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note:  The Marilyn U. Fuller ‘99 article was originally run in the fall/winter 2000 edition of Spartan.


marilyn-fuller-fall-2000Marilyn U. Fuller works part time in the continuing Education office at CAYUGA.  Her job is one of “many hats” she wears in her life.  Here is her story.

“I started going to college later in life.  My children were little and I needed the stimulation of the mind that my college classes provided.  I looked forward to my evening classes and getting excellent grades, although it was a lot of work.  I picked at my degree a bit every fall and spring semester; I never wanted to take classes in the summer as I had my hands full with toddlers at home.  So it took a wee bit longer than for the typical student.  But certain classes really changed my life and viewpoints.  I loved art history and all my art and English classes.  Psychology with DON SANZOTTA and GEORGE SMRTIC were involving, fun, and very interesting!”

merlyn-faire-2“Some of the skills I learned carrying the academic load I did, really help me in my life now, but I also own my own business performing music at festivals and fairs, and the research skills I absorbed at college helped me prepare for this kind of fascinating unusual work.”

“I feel now I have the best of all worlds!  Variety is the spice of life and I have set up my life to juggle many tasks and ‘wear the many hats’ of my own choosing.  Cayuga Community College has let me do just that by offering a smattering of many types of courses, (with) faculty to learn from, and to customize my degree to suit my needs and interest.  The library is extensive and the staff has always been helpful to me.”

“I would recommend that a student jump right in and try a course or two, even if they aren’t interested in getting a degree at the moment.  You just never know what will spark and set the readiness to learn aflame in someone.  Even though I graduated in 1999, I intend on always learning and continuing my education in a myriad of ways.  Thanks CAYUGA!”

Thank you, Marilyn, for your inspiration!


merlyn-faire-3“Since the publication of this article in the Spartan 16 years ago, my two girls, Jesse and Shawna, are now grown women and have moved out into their respective independent living situations. Both attended CCC; Jess completing her degree at Empire State, and Shawna took the BOCES Living Skills program.  I am very proud of them both!  I have gone on to do many wonderful events, concerts and Renaissance Festivals up and down the East Coast, with my husband and partner, Wayne Fuller. Together we make up our musical duo called Merry Mischief and our stage names when we play are “Merlyn & Harry.” I still adore playing music and working with him so very much!  I have also had two books published, Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir and The Merlinian Legend, which can be found on Amazon!”

merlyn-faire-4“I am currently in the process of finishing my third book, A Rose by Any Other Name, which is about my daughter, Shawna Rose Underwood, who has Down Syndrome. This next wonderful and informative book should be out and available by spring 2017.”   ~Marilyn Fuller ’99

Marilyn is happy to say that she is still with the College’s Department of Community Education, celebrating her 19th year.  “Thank you Cayuga, for giving me the skills to feel qualified to try so many different things!”

In Case You Missed It!

August 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It
Editor’s Note:  Shawn R. Gray ’07’s article was originally run in the fall/winter 2013 edition of Spartan.

Alumni Achiever, Shawn R. Gray ’07

Shawn Gray-2Unsure if he even wanted to attend college, Shawn began at CCC as a CJ major, along with his high school wrestling teammates. He quickly discovered that he was not that interested in the material but enjoyed his elective classes in biology and chemistry, which fostered his passion for the sciences. He joined the Academic Support Center as a tutor in biology and chemistry and served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. Gray transferred to SUNY Oswego where he began majoring in zoology, but later changed to biology and then added physics as a minor. While there, he was co-president of the transfer honor society and co-president of the Biology Club. Following graduation in 2010, Shawn attended Northwestern University earning his Master of Biotechnology (MBP) in 2012.

While attending Northwestern, Shawn met and made friends with classmates who originated from all over the world (China, India, Japan, Korea, and Russia). Since middle school, he had been inspired by the rich history and culture of China. Early civilization, as represented by world relics in China, drew his interest at a young age, and in college he wanted to gain a further understanding of the lives of his Chinese colleagues. He first visited China during the years of 2008 and 2010. Since 2012, Gray has been a science instructor at an international high school attached to Beijing Normal University.

Shawn GrayThus far, Shawn’s experience with China “has been great.” Although the country is very culturally different from the United States, he is enjoying himself and looks forward to being certified in the language (self-taught) this September.

Eventually, Shawn intends on finding a career as an international consultant for the industries of medical advancement and alternative fuel energies. “I am a strong believer in change and that change is for the better. New and improved technologies will provide crucial transformations to medical care and will sustain the demand on energy for mankind. I intend to play a role in these transformations once my oral Chinese and communication skills are up to par.”

Gray was a student intern in the Physics Department at SUNY Oswego where he performed scientific research. He was a research assistant/technical experimentalist with AuraSense Therapeutics, LLC, Northwestern University, in 2011 and 2012 where he served as an intern in the development of biomaterial functionalized-gold nanoparticle conjugates for gene regulation and cellular therapies. He was also a teacher’s assistant/lecturer and teacher’s assistant in Bioprocess Engineering for graduate students in the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP) at Northwestern.

Shawn and wifeAcademically, Shawn achieved the Dean’s List and President’s List while at CCC and SUNY Oswego. He earned the “Contributions to the Culture of Academic Excellence” from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2009 (Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society; Biology Club). His professional service included the MBP “New Student” Mentors Coordinator with the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society President. He worked with Habitat for Humanity from 2007 to 2010 and has held memberships with The Scientific Research Society of Sigma Xi since 2010, Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi since 2008.

Shawn is the eldest of four children. His parents, Lois A. (Terino) Gray ’83 and Kenneth Gray ’78, met while attending CCC in the ’80s; his brother Brett T. Gray is a 2013 alum. He married Brooke Yulan Chang in January of 2015 and the couples lives in Chengdu, China. Of his time at CCC, Shawn shares that Patricia ‘Pat’ Bullock (front desk), Teresa Hoercher, Vicki Hamberger and Peggy Carroway (ASC staff) helped to make his experience great.

The Sky Is Not the Limit

May 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on The Sky Is Not the Limit | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note:  Major Sean J. VanHoltz ’87’s article was originally run in the fall/winter 2009 edition of The Spartan.

VanHoltz ski shotMajor Sean J. VanHoltz ’87 graduated cum laude from CCC with a degree in telecommunications, followed by a B.S. in Aviation Business Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, in 1991. After working as an Aviation Insurance Underwriter, Sean attended USAF Pilot Training and served six years full-time in the U.S. Air Force. This gave Sean the education and experience he needed to work for Gulfstream Aerospace and Flight Safety International in Savannah, GA, as a Gulfstream GV pilot instructor.

In 1999, Sean was hired by US Airways and became an instructor pilot in the Airbus A320, while maintaining his operational currency and flying combat sorties in the C-130 with the Air National Guard as a Traditional Guardsman. Immediately following 9/11, Sean accepted a voluntary furlough from US Airways and returned to active duty military status at the 174th Fighter Wing in Syracuse, NY.

While at the 174th he was selected as the Director of Operations of the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, a special operations unit where he was trained as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) qualified Air Liaison Officer (ALD). During this assignment he obtained experience in the F-16D “Viper.”

T1The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recruited VanHoltz as a Federal Regulatory and Law Enforcement Agent in 2004 to help build their aviation security program. Subsequently, he returned to Traditional Guardsman status with the Air National Guard.

Due to his unusual background, Major VanHoltz was selected as an Interagency Liaison Officer to the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC.  After four years in this position, he was selected to work on the Joint Staff at Headquarters NORAD and USNORTHCOM in Colorado Springs, CO, on active duty status.

VanHoltz aviationnet idCurrently, VanHoltz is scheduled to begin Joint Instructor Training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, in the T-1 Jayhawk in the fall of 2009. He will spend the next four years as a Weapons System Officer Instructor teaching USAF, Navy and Marine officers low-level radar navigation, electronic warfare, and weapons employment. His student officers will earn their wings through this advanced flight training program and will subsequently follow a training pipeline to the F-15E Strike Eagle, F18 E/F Super Hornet, B-1B Bomer, B-52 Bomber, or the EA-6B.

The next step, following this assignment, will be to either attend F-15E WSO training or return to the 174th FW to fly the new MQ-9 Reaper until his retirement. His future plans include obtaining his Ph.D. while working retirement days as a college professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, while flight instructing as a hobby and telling war stories.

So you see, the sky is not the limit after leaving CCC.

In Case You Missed It! – Richard J. White ’96

February 2nd, 2016 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! – Richard J. White ’96 | Posted in In Case You Missed It
Editor’s Note: Richard J. White 96’s article was originally run in the fall/winter 2003 edition of The Spartan.


By Richard J. White, MA – 1996 graduate
Therapist at Central Virginia Community Services

I attended Cayuga Community College from 1993 until 1996 at the age of 18. At that time … I was ignorant about many facets of lie … and lacked motivation to excel … Cayuga was the first of many stepping stones … it allowed me the opportunity to improve my knowledge and level of education, which opened doors to higher levels of education later in life. The professors were challenging and supportive…

Attending CCC puts less of an economic burden on students as opposed to regular four-year colleges. Attending at the community level also allows the student … to determine what field he/she wishes to specialize in. The benefit of this option is that it does not financially tax the individual for enrolling in classes only to realize one third of the way through that this is not the field the student wishes to specialize in. Cayuga was the beginning of growth for me and allowed me the opportunity to push forward in my career. I have currently finished my master’s degree in professional counseling and will begin working towards licensure in the state of Virginia – and possibly begin my doctorate in clinical psychology. (In case you are wondering … I originally started out in the field of chemistry and mathematics.)

I would like to take the time to thank the following professors for putting the energy into “pushing me” towards my potential: Professor Janet Correll for aspiring me to continue with practice in the area of music; Dr. Maryanne Felter for tearing apart my papers and for helping me to put them back together properly; Professor Donald Sanzotta for pointing me in the right direction; and John Battle, academic advisor, for encouraging and helping me with choosing the right classes … I would also like to thank James Gant and Tom Kuncle who, at the time, were track coaches, for their time to help me improve “in shot” in spite of the fact that I was terrible in this area. Their efforts, if anything, helped my self-worth more than my athleticism.

My advice for students who are not sure where to go in their life … is that they consider the community level first before wasting time and finances … Students … consider Cayuga Community College as an option for you academic pursuits! Consider the “best of studies” at Cayuga Community College!

In Case You Missed It!

November 23rd, 2015 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It
Editor’s Note: Jason Romano ’93 was originally run in the fall/winter 2012 edition of The Spartan.

As a Senior Talent Producer with ESPN, Jason P. Romano ’93 is responsible for overseeing a group of 6 Bristol based Talent Producers, and servicing 23 ESPN television shows with guests. They work on all of their shows based in the primary studio in Bristol Connecticut; SportsCenter, ESPN First Take, NFL LIVE, College Football LIVE, and SportsNation. They also contribute to ESPN Radio’s shows with “Mike and Mike”, Scott Van Pelt, and “The Herd.”  In addition, Romano works in talent development; providing feedback for ESPN’s current NFL analysis’s, as well as working with their management team to scout and find future on air talent. In June, Jason served as a faculty member at the NFL’s Broadcast Boot Camp. This four day event teaches current and former NFL players the “ins and outs” of broadcasting.


Roman began his career with ESPN in July of 2000 as a producer at ESPN Radio. He became a Talent Producer in 2003 and was promoted to his current position last year. Of the many celebrities that have come through the ESPN halls, Jason has shared some photos of himself with a few of them. He said that his time at CCC was great. “It was my first exposure to broadcasting and really helped me learn and develop the basic skills needed to be successful in the broadcasting industry.”

Update: Jason participated in the Alumni Voices program this month. For more information about Jason, see Alumni Voices in this issue of CAV.

In Case You Missed It! – R. Daniel Soules ’76

May 21st, 2015 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! – R. Daniel Soules ’76 | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note: R. Daniel Soules ’76 was originally run in the fall/winter 2011 edition of The Spartan.

Dan SoulesDan Soules and his business partner Mark Dunn, of Grant Avenue Development, Inc. (GAD), received the Small Business of the Year 15+ Years award from the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce, which recognizes demonstrated staying power with a commitment to community involvement and community projects. They have been tremendous supporters of education by their contributions to the Auburn Education Foundation and numerous youth programs. GAD also supports local charities and organizations, such as Matthew House, United Way, YMCA, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Auburn Doubledays and the “Ride for Missing Children.”

Currently, Soules and Dunn own and operate 35 Arby’s Restaurants in three states. With their first restaurant in Geneva in 1986, Grant Avenue Development came into existence. Dan is senior partner in Soules & Dunn Development Group; is president and CEO of GAD; and is partner and owner in a multitude of business management and real estate concepts. Soules’ companies employ over 500 employees in four states.

As an active member of the community, Dan has served on the boards of Cayuga Museum, the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Cayuga County. In 2007, he was recognized by the Weedsport Central School District with the Graduate of Distinction award. He and his companies have donated millions to related charities and non-profit programs. Recently, he, along with his siblings, pledged a $25,000 scholarship to Weedsport Central School. The scholarship is for a Weedsport graduate enrolling in the new Entrepreneurial Studies program at CCC and is in memory of their mother, Julie Briggs. Dan’s wife and best friend in life, Karol, was recently re-elected for a second term to the Auburn school board; they have two sons, Corey and Conor.

Update: Dan Soules was Cayuga Community College’s 2015 Commencement Speaker, on May 17, 2015.

In Case You Missed It!

February 10th, 2015 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note: Kim Edwards ’78 was originally run in the fall/winter 2008 edition of The Spartan.

Kim Edwards newKim Edwards ’78 gave the campus a lot to talk about in April when her best selling novel was made into a movie by the Lifetime Television Network.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim’s debut novel, is a gripping family drama about a secret that shapes the lives of two families over a quarter of a century. It is a testament to the way that life can take unexpected turns and how two families’ lives are intertwined into mystery, loss, and grief.

The Chicago Tribune wrote “Edwards, the author of a short-story collection and the winner of a Nelson Algren Award, is a born novelist. From the riveting depiction of the twins’ birth, which opens the book, she sustains suspense through 400 pages of compelling prose, consistent characterization, and a plot that is poignant without being preachy or sticky-sweet.”

Kim has won numerous awards, including a Whiting Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and most recently the Kentucky Literary Award for fiction. She is also the author of a collection of short stories titled The Secrets of a Fire King, which was an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Anteaus, Story, and The Paris Review and have received National Magazine Awards for excellence in Fiction and a Pushcart Prize. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter has been chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover title.

After graduating from CCC, Kim received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a master’s degree in creative writing and linguistics from the University of Iowa. After teaching English in Asia and the U.S., she currently teaches writing at the University of Kentucky. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and daughters.

In Case You Missed It!

November 10th, 2014 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note: Bruce G. Burton ’72 was originally run in the fall/winter 2010 edition The Spartan.

Burton_BruceBruce G. Burton ’72

You never know how a college course will shape your destiny. For Bruce Burton, recently returned from service as a platoon leader in Vietnam, destiny called in Millard Peck’s class at Auburn Community College in 1972.

“I wrote a paper for Professor Peck on the rise of postwar Japan as an economic power,” remembers Burton. “That class triggered my interest in international affairs. A few years later, I updated that paper on postwar Japan for a class at Syracuse University. While at SU, one of the professors in a large international relations class was asked about taking the Foreign Service Exam. ‘Don’t bother,’ he said, ‘20,000 people take that exam and only 200 get appointed. None of you stands a chance.’”

“So I took the test. It’s long and difficult. In the final part, you get to choose one of three topics to write an essay. One of them was the rise of Japan as a post war economic power. I had that paper memorized, and to this day, I think that stroke of good luck is what let me pass the exam and get into the Foreign Service.”

For over two decades, as an American diplomat, Bruce Burton witnessed history as it was being made. He started in the Carter Administration as a political officer reporting on human rights in Paraguay, then began working on arms control and security in Europe. “In the early 1980s, NATO was locked in what turned out to be the last great political-military confrontation with the Soviet Union,” Burton recalled. “Some questioned whether the NATO alliance could hold together, especially if Germany buckled. There were many long days and negotiating sessions as we worked to counter Soviet efforts to split the Alliance. Germany and the other Allies held firm, and we succeeded.”

In the late 1980s, Bruce served as U.S. Deputy Director of Soviet Affairs. In this role he coordinated preparations in Washington for many high-level meetings between Secretary of State Shultz and his Soviet counterpart, as well as the series of Reagan-Gorbachev summits in Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington and Moscow. At Reykjavik, Burton recounted, “I was the official record keeper at an all-night negotiating session on arms control. Although some called it ‘The Summit that failed,’ we accomplished tremendous breakthroughs in arms control and other areas that night. Even though Reagan and Gorbachev departed Iceland without an overarching agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons, both were determined to solve the problems vexing the U.S. and the Soviet Union. So what we and others accomplished at a lower level that evening endured and served as the basis for great progress when the President and Gorbachev were ready to try again.”

Future assignments in London and Tel Aviv kept Burton in the center of world history. As head of the political section at the embassy in London, he helped coordinate policy with our closest ally on a range of global issues and was eyewitness to momentous developments: the end of communism in Europe; the fall of Margaret Thatcher; the collapse of the Berlin Wall; the reunification of Germany; and the First Gulf War.

From London, Burton went to Tel Aviv. “Working in Tel Aviv with the Israelis and Palestinians was especially complex,” recalled Burton. “Years before, as a reporter for the Herald-Journal, I had interviewed Yitzhak Rabin when he visited Syracuse as Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. When I commented to him that some people accused Israel of not wanting to negotiate, he practically bit my head off: ‘Give us a negotiating partner and we will negotiate,’ he replied angrily. I never thought then that years later I would be working with this man who, as Prime Minister, was now trying so hard to secure peace in the Middle East. With his signing of the Mideast Peace Accord at the White House in 1993 and his determined efforts afterwards to make both Palestinians and Israel live up to the accord, Prime Minister Rabin delivered on that commitment he had expressed twenty years before.”

Bruce retired from the State Department but still serves as Senior Advisor for the relatively new and somewhat experimental Office of eDiplomacy. “This is an unprecedented effort to use new information technologies to improve the State Department’s ability to communicate and collaborate around the globe,” he said. “It includes online communities, a Department wide wiki, blogs, traditional websites, virtual outreach initiatives and much more. It’s a challenge keeping up with social media, but this is the new wave of diplomacy. No matter what the medium is, we will always need to talk to each other.”

Looking back over his career, Bruce acknowledges the role that ACC/CCC played in his life. “For one very important thing, I met my wife Amy (Class of ’66) when she was going to ACC, and she has been a partner with me in all these places. As for the school, a college is really about its teachers, and ACC had a great group of professors,” Burton remembers. “Ken Scouten made literature entertaining but also taught the need to have the courage of your convictions in critical thinking. In his own quiet and contemplative way, David Richards imparted the profound insights of the great philosophers about the human experience. Nancy Mattson showed how the Greek tragedies still speak to us, two millennia after they were written, a wonderful lesson in the continuity of Western civilization. Ray Leszczynski sparked a lifelong interest in the physical world, from geology to astronomy. And, of course, there was Millard Peck.”

What advice would Bruce Burton give to today’s Cayuga students? “Speak up in class. If you think you’re right, say so and say why. Learn to make decisions with incomplete information, because you rarely have all the facts for any situation. Accept challenges—you’ll never know what you can do if you don’t dare. As the late basketball coach John Wooden said, ‘Those who say something can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.’”

Update:   Fall 2014

“I’m still with the Office of eDiplomacy and we are still experimenting with the use of social media – and now crowdsourcing – to enhance American diplomacy.  One of our most successful new programs has been the Virtual Student Foreign Service, which matches the energy and special skills of American college students with the needs of our embassies, State Department offices and even other federal agencies for unclassified, online projects.  Interested CCC students should visit http://www.state.gov/vsfs/ for more information.

The article mentions my work on relations with the Soviet Union (and the USSR’s breakup) and on Israeli-Palestinian issues.  Current events regarding both remind me of Secretary of Shultz’s statement one time that nothing is ever finished in foreign policy.    The Soviet Union isn’t coming back but events this year in Ukraine sure make it feel like the bad old days of the Cold War.  And despite those early hopes of achieving a settlement in the Middle East, conflict rather than peace remains the rule between Israel and the Palestinians.”

In Case You Missed It!

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note: William D. Stuart ’74 was originally run in the spring/summer 2012 edition of The Spartan

William StuartWilliam D. Stuart ’74

“Never give up on your dreams…”

Many of us have shared the sentiment Bill Stuart felt when he was fresh out of high school; “I was young, and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life or how I would ever achieve any level of success.”  Fortunately the time he spent at ACC helped him to not only to “get a clue” but he came out “knowing what he wanted to do with his life!”  Since then, Bill has accomplished a great many things.  While Bill acknowledges that he had some great professors while attending ACC, one in particular made the real difference, Professor of Marketing Bill Lovell.  Stuart admits that he even missed some ‘Happy Hours’ at Curley’s because he didn’t want to miss class; “this marketing thing really captured my interest.”

Following his graduation from ACC, Bill went to Albany State where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing.  Over the past 37 years, he rose to the level of Senior Vice President for two major US retailers before starting his own consulting company in 1995.  He is the CEO of Stuart & Associates Inc., a leader in sales and leadership development for retailers and manufacturers.  Since then William’s company has helped some of the largest corporations in the world (P&G, Microsoft, Hoover, Philips consumer electronics, Best Buy, etc.) develop and launch new products.  He and his company have shown their clients how to drive revenues and bring more of the profit to the bottom line.

“I have had a great life.” Bill shares.   He and his wife have seen the world, something he never thought could have happened.  He feels that it was all sparked by a marketing class he took 36 years ago from a guy who cared enough to give his students his best.  “Thank you Professor Lovell.”

Bill currently lives in Franklin, TN with his wife.  They have three sons; the His oldest is out on his own “making a name for himself,” and his twins are in college.  They love to ski, cruise and travel the world.  Stuart enjoys cycling, collectable street rods, and flying RC planes.  He shares that his life has turned out so much better than he could have ever dreamed, and it all started at ACC.  The advice he has to share is simple “Never give up on your dreams whatever they made be, no matter what others might think or say.  Remember this:  There is only one person who stands between you and success and that’s the person you look at in the mirror every morning!”

In Case You Missed It – Joseph Belth

February 26th, 2014 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It – Joseph Belth | Posted in In Case You Missed It

Joseph Belth, Ph.D was originally run in the spring/summer 2012 edition of The Spartan


Joseph Belth - NowDr. Joseph M. “Joe” Belth ’58 responded to our invitation to “Golden Spartans” to share his story.  Belth was briefly profiled in our Fall/Winter 2010 issue under the caption, “What Alumni Have Done with their Degrees.”

From an expanded biography, we learned that Joe was born and raised in Syracuse, NY.  He married Marjorie Lavine in 1955 and decided to attend ACC because of its affordable tuition and proximity.  Joe transferred credits to Syracuse University and graduated summa cum laude from ACC and SU’s College of Business Administration the same year.  With a fellowship from the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education, Joe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1961 with a Ph.D. in Applied Economics with a concentration in insurance.  In 1962, he joined the faculty of the School of Business (now the Kelley School of Business) at Indiana University, Bloomington, and retired in 1993 as professor emeritus of insurance.

Active in the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA), Belth wrote books on the subject of life insurance and had numerous award-winning articles published in academic journals.  He taught and conducted extensive research on deceptive sales practices in the life insurance industry (considered controversial by insurance practitioners at that time).  After encountering censorship from trade journals and professional organizations, he began publishing a monthly independent newsletter in 1974 – The Insurance Forum – which is now in its 39th year.

Belth received significant accolades for his work.  In 1966, for “outstanding contribution to the literature of insurance,” Joe received an Elizur Wright Award from ARIA for his book, Participating Life Insurance Sold by Stock Companies.  In 1991, for “intensive scrutiny of the insurance industry since 1974,” The Insurance Forum received a George Polk Award [in the special publications category], which is one of the most coveted in journalism.  In 1999, “in recognition of distinguished service to education and professionalism,” Joe received a Huebner Gold Medal from The American College.  He has been profiled in three national publications – The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and The New York Times – and is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Joseph Belth - Then 1958In 1974, Belth was invited to be commencement speaker at ACC, the first alum so honored.  In his address, Joe asked students to consider their responsibilities to society.  Retired now for 18 years, he and his wife continue to live in their home outside Bloomington, Indiana.  They have three children, four grandchildren and one step-grandchild.

An Internet search provided, in the words of the late Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story.”  We discovered that Belth’s name is almost synonymous with life insurance.  Nationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities and one of the most respected critics of the industry, he has testified before congressional subcommittees and regulatory commissions since the early ’70s.  Joe has been extolled and criticized by colleagues, life insurance executives, and regulators alike.  He has witnessed the life insurance industry’s sales practices scandals of the 1990s and the failure of several insurance companies and has remained a steadfast advocate for the average consumer.  Over the years, Joe has been quoted extensively by national media and his name continues to appear in the press.  Enter the name “Joseph M. Belth” into any search engine and see what you get.  Pretty impressive.

Finally, we wish to extend our thanks to Dr. Belth for continuing to remember his alma mater.  In 1974, he established an award in memory of his parents, Irving and Helen Belth, which to this day recognizes a graduate for both outstanding scholarship and student citizenship.

In Case You Missed It!

December 11th, 2013 | Comments Off on In Case You Missed It! | Posted in In Case You Missed It
Editor’s Note: An article Cathleen McColgin was originally run in the fall/winter 2010 edition of The Spartan.

Cathleen C. McColgin, Ph.D. ’86

Cathleen McColgin May 2010Dr. McColgin’s association with Cayuga Community College has been a long and impressive one. It began soon after she graduated in 1986 with an AAS in Nursing. After working as an RN and completing her BS in Nursing at SU in 1987, she joined the CCC faculty in 1988 as Coordinator of the Nursing Lab. While employed at Cayuga, Cathleen served in instructional and administrative capacities: as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor in the Nursing Department; then as the college’s first Director of Assessment; and in 2001 as Associate Dean of the Fulton campus.

By 2008, Cathleen was serving as Provost of the Fulton Campus, as well as President of the Faculty-Student Association (FSA). Cathleen received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2005. She also led the successful application process to SUNY and SED (State Education Department) for Branch Campus status of the Fulton campus, which the Governor approved in March 2006. While she served as president of FSA, she presided over negotiations with Follett Higher Education Group for management of the college’s bookstore, which was successful and resulted in securing a $100,000 donation to the Cayuga Community College Foundation. Some of the community and college service organizations that Cathleen has been actively involved in as a board member include the CCC Foundation, ACC/CCC Alumni Association, United Way of Oswego County, and Oswego County Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, Dr. McColgin served for 15 years as a captain in the United States Army Reserve at the 376th Combat Support Hospital. In August 2008, Dr. McColgin was named Provost and Senior Vice President of Onondaga Community College. Her responsibilities there include supervision of instructional, student, enrollment, and diversity services, along with continuing and extended learning. In addition, she leads the faculty to achieve goals and objectives as set forth in the Academic Master Plan and the college’s strategic plan.

Cathleen and her husband Robert have three grown children, Colleen, Todd, and Jennifer, and one grandchild, Mars. Cathleen enjoys golf and travel in her free time.

Update: Fall 2013
Onondaga Community College Provost Cathleen C. McColgin — formerly provost of the Fulton campus of Cayuga Community College — received the prestigious 2013 Multicultural Leadership Award at the National Diversity & Leadership Conference Sept. 19 at the California University of Pennsylvania.

The Multicultural Leadership award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through their achievements and exemplify the ability to excel in their field.

“This award is a tremendous honor for Dr. McColgin and our entire campus community,” said Onondaga President Casey Crabill. “Dr. McColgin’s efforts have made Onondaga a better place for all who come here. We are grateful for her contributions and proud of her accomplishments.”

McColgin, of Skaneateles, has been at OCC for five years. She was provost in Fulton’s CCC campus for seven years. She also was a full-time tenured professor at CCC for 13 years.

McColgin received her doctorate degree in higher education with an emphasis on teaching and administration from Syracuse University. She is a New York State registered nurse and spent 15 years as a captain in the United States Army Reserve at the 376th Combat Support Hospital.

Gen. Colin Powell was the conference keynote speaker at the conference.

For more information on the conference, go to natdiversityconference.com.