Press Releases


Date Released: 5/24/2006

Three Purchase College faculty and one staff member have won 2006 State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards. The professors are all on the faculty of the School of Natural and Social Sciences.

Associate Professor of Biology Joanne Tillotson, Ossining, N.Y., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her teaching responsibilities include General Biology I and II as well as upper division instruction in biochemistry and molecular biology, winning high marks and praise from all her students. She also maintains an active cancer research laboratory that involves a number of undergraduates in her investigations and she is involved in the College’s Pre-Med program as well as the Bridges to Baccalaureate summer program for underserved students.

Political Science and Women’s Studies Professor Zehra Arat, Tuckahoe, N.Y., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. She is an internationally recognized human rights and feminist scholar who has published extensively, is actively involved in numerous professional organizations, and is a member of the editorial boards of internationally respected journals. In 2004, she studied human rights in Turkey as part of a fellowship from the International Research and Exchanges Board. Her research in Turkey, her birth country, involved the study of human rights discourse and practices in the country since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. She is also the author of the books Democracy and Human Rights in Developing Countries and Deconstructing Images of “the Turkish Woman.”  She is the Founding President of the Human Rights Section of the American Political Science Association and the editor of a new book series on human rights by the SUNY Press. 

Associate Professor of Chemistry Joseph Skrivanek, Peekskill, N.Y., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. His list of accomplishments includes the academic leadership of the Natural and Social Sciences, serving as coordinator of his Board of Study, Head of the Division of Natural Sciences, Dean of Natural Sciences, and co-Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Since returning to full-time teaching, he has chaired the Natural and Social Sciences Student Research Symposium. Over the last six years, he has brought in $3 million in major grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the PepsiCo Foundation, and an additional $200,000 from private donors, all to support the Bridges to Baccalaureate program, the Research and Science Visions and Preparation Program, and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Center, all of which he administers. Dr. Skrivanek has conceived of and designed these programs with the goal of   increasing the number of minority and low-income community college students who aspire to and actually complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Purchase College Counselor Mary Garcia, White Plains, N.Y., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Ms. Garcia began her career at Purchase as a Residence Coordinator, becoming a Counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program in 1994 where she works to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in college. In addition to her thoughtful, caring and effective service in that area, Ms. Garcia also helps lead summer orientation, serves on the Judicial Board, sits on the board of directors of the Children’s Center, and is campus liaison to the Westchester Scholars Program, which promotes computer literacy for schoolchildren living below the poverty level. 

SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners are nominated by their respective campuses on the strength of their records of exceptional teaching, research or service.