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Henry Bokuniewicz, Steven Skiena and Joseph Lauher Honored

STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 20, 2009—Three faculty members from Stony Brook University have been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Service and Distinguished Teaching Professor, the State University of New York has announced. Henry Bokuiewicz was among the ten SUNY professors approved for appointment to Distinguished Service Professor. SUNY also approved the appointment of Steven Skiena and Joseph Lauher to Distinguished Teaching Professors. The honor is one of the highest that SUNY bestows and is awarded for exemplary teaching.

“The genius of SUNY faculty lies not only in their intellectual capacity, but also in their surpassing excellence in teaching and in their ability to apply their scholarship and research in service to the campus and larger community in which we all live,” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl T. Hayden.  “These SUNY faculty attract students and scholars to our campuses, enhance the prestige of the entire university and they are most deserving of highest academic rank the university can bestow.  My sincere gratitude and hearty congratulations go to them all.”

“SUNY faculty who receive appointment to the rank of distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor are nationally- and internationally-recognized scholars and scientists of the highest academic distinction,” said SUNY Vice Chancellor and Officer-in-Charge John J. O’Connor. “Each of these remarkable individuals has met or exceeded the rigorous requirements for this promotion and I commend the Board of Trustees for recognizing their talent and service by approving their appointments to distinguished rank.”

Henry Bokuniewicz is a Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Bokuniewicz has been involved in multiple international groundwater projects, including those in Mauritius (Indian Ocean), Mallorca (Mediterranean Sea), and Barbados.  His research focuses on the behavior of coastal sedimentary systems, coastal groundwater hydrology, and monitoring programs for ocean beaches.

Steven Skiena is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science. Dr. Skiena has made significant contributions in several areas of algorithm design, particularly applied algorithms and computational biology. He developed new DNA sequencing assembly techniques to sequence the genome of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium which causes Lyme disease.

Joseph W. Lauher, is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Lauher has introduced innovative and effective teaching strategies to maintain a highly interactive class environment. He led the Department in the development of educational materials and strategies that are usable by successors.

The Distinguished Service Professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service.  It is a rank above that of full professor, and this promotion can be conferred solely by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.  Candidates must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and the State University, but also at the community, regional and State levels.  Further, many candidates for appointment to the rank have rendered influential service contributing at the national and international levels. In addition to the selection criteria for the Distinguished Service Professorship, to be nominated a faculty member must have held the rank of full professor for five years, have three years of full-time service at the nominating institution, and have completed at least ten years of full-time service in the State University of New York

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching at the graduate, undergraduate or professional levels. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth, and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. Further, to be eligible for nomination, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, have completed at least three years of full-time teaching on the nominating campus, 10 years of full-time teaching within the SUNY System, and must have regularly carried a full-time teaching load as defined by the campus.

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on more than 1,400 acres. In the 50 years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,000 students and 2,100 faculty, and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey. Considered one of the “flagship” campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs. Stony Brook accounts for nearly four percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

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