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ESF Contingent Joins in SUNY Chancellor’s Inauguration

Johnson highlights ESF research in her remarks

Faculty, staff and student representatives were on hand to celebrate the inauguration of SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson Sept. 14 in New York City.

Interim President David Amberg and his partner, Mindy Akers, attended a reception Thursday evening at the New York Public Library with several members of the ESF community, including Dr. Maureen Fellows, vice president for government and external relations; Dr. Melissa Fierke, executive chair of Academic Governance and associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology (EFB); Dr. Jacqueline Frair, associate professor in EFB and associate director of the Roosevelt Wild Life Station; Nora Heaphy, director of donor relations; Dr. David Kieber, professor in the Department of Chemistry; Dr. Christopher Nowak, chair of the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management; Matt Marko, chair of the ESF Board of Trustees; and Mark Lichtenstein, chief of staff and chief sustainability officer.

At Friday's ceremony at the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, Amberg and Fierke participated in the inaugural procession. Also attending were graduate student Rea Manderino; representing the SUNY Student Association; James Louis Quinn, Undergraduate Student Association president; and Lichtenstein.

During her remarks, the chancellor highlighted ESF's American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project: "At our College of Environmental Science and Forestry, professors William Powell and Charles Maynard have applied the tools of biotechnology to saving the American chestnut tree which was nearly wiped out by an imported blight - a model that might rescue other trees threatened by invasive pests in a changing climate."

The Chancellor also focused on SUNY's commitment to service learning, referencing SUNY's response to last year's hurricanes in the Caribbean. ESF was a leading institution in that initiative.

Prior to the inauguration festivities, Amberg, Fellows and Lichtenstein met with Venetia Lannon, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Deputy Secretary for the Environment.