SUNY Poly Faculty & Staff Receive SUNY’S Highest Honor

SUNY Poly Faculty & Staff Receive SUNY’S Highest Honor

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 14:09
In the News

For Release:          Immediate – July 24, 2018

Contact:                 Dave Dellecese, Public Affairs Specialist ­

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SUNY Poly Faculty & Staff Receive SUNY’S Highest Honor

Four Recognized with 2018 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

Albany, NY, and Utica, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute proudly announces that four members of its faculty and staff have received Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence from the State University of New York for 2018. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishments and personal dedication of its instructional faculty and professional staff across its campuses.


SUNY Poly’s 2018 Chancellor’s Award recipients include:


  • Dr. Robert Brainard, Professor of Nanoscience

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching


  • Dr. Nathaniel Cady, Professor of Nanobioscience

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities


  • Lisa Capuana, Secretary I

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Services


  • Michael Durr, Facilities Supervisor of Grounds and Cleaning Staff

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service


“One of my themes for SUNY is individualized education, meaning the work we do to help our students navigate the programs and opportunities within our 64 campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Our faculty and staff educate, inspire, and support our students to pursue their passions; they are the driving force on campus. Those we honor today are leading this effort through their commitment to their craft and their dedication to our students. I am proud to celebrate and honor this year’s recipients – Robert, Nathaniel, Lisa, and Michael.”


“The Chancellor’s Award recipients exemplify the excellence that is at the center of SUNY Poly,” said Dr. Grace Wang, Interim President of SUNY Poly. “We are proud of each faculty and staff member who was honored by this well deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication that helps make SUNY Poly such a dynamic institution as it drives world-class research and academic opportunities.”


Dr. Brainard joined what is now the SUNY Poly community as a faculty member in 2005. With a high number of peer-reviewed publications to his name, including many co-authored with his undergraduate students, the Professor of Nanoscience is noted by his peers as a dedicated teacher with deep thought and care put into the design of his lectures, teaching methodology, and interaction with students in and out of the classroom.


Dr. Cady joined SUNY Poly in 2006 as an Assistant Professor at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Considered a highly creative and productive research biologist by his peers, the now Professor of Nanobioscience was trained at Cornell University has had been integral member of the institution, with research that currently reaches into areas such as advanced computing using methods that mimic the human brain. His broad body of work encompasses a vast array of technical disciplines and application areas, and he has a sustained record of research funding from federal agencies as well as highly cited publications in peer-reviewed journals.


Lisa Capuana has worked at SUNY Poly for 34 years, currently serving in the role of Secretary I in Human Resources. In the more than three decades she has spent at the institution, she has worked with nearly every department on campus to arrange for new hire interviews, handling any task with professionalism. From revamping the HR filing system, to coordination between the two campuses on a daily basis to keep the flow between sites fluid, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge that her co-workers state have improved numerous processes across campus.


Michael Durr joined SUNY Poly in 2004 as a Purchasing Agent, a position he would hold until 2011 when he accepted the position of Facilities Supervisor of Grounds and Cleaning Staff. His decision-making, flexibility, problem-solving abilities, creativity and additional time spent in early mornings, late evenings, and weekends on campus is reflected in the success of internal and external events and the clean, attractive appearance of the Utica campus. In addition to his professional duties, he has serves as the SUNY Poly UUP Chapter Vice President for Professionals since 2011 and an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for the SUNY Poly Athletics Department, requiring him to balance this extra service along with his primary job duties.


The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence acknowledge consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the continued pursuit of excellence while underscoring SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)

SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit