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ESF Faculty, Staff Honored with SUNY Chancellor's Awards


Four ESF employees were honored this spring with SUNY Chancellor's Awards, the system-level honors that acknowledge consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The ESF honorees were James Sahm, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Dr. Neal Abrams for Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Dr. Kimberly Schulz, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; and Dr. Shijie Liu, SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Sahm currently serves as the supervisor of Computing and Network Services, but he has taken on the responsibilities of the director of information technology since February 2016.

Through his leadership, numerous upgrades have been made to the campus infrastructure both in Syracuse and at the remote campuses. He implemented a campus computer-swap program that contributed to upgrading the entire ESF computer system and saved the College a considerable amount of money.

Abrams is an associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Chemistry. He chairs the departmental lab safety committee and is an ad-hoc member of the Departmental Review Committee for promotion and tenure, and is the Graduate Curriculum coordinator for the department.

He's been an integral part of every committee and task force that works with first-year students including serving as co-chair for the First-Year Experience task force. Abrams is an active member of college governance, serving in numerous leadership positions.

He is a faculty leader in ESF's commitment to community education and outreach. With the Open Academy, he designed and developed ESF's first set of online courses offered through Coursera on photovoltaics and is regularly invited to community events in science education and science competitions. He is an active member of the American Chemical Society.

Schulz, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, is described by her students as dedicated, inspirational and committed.

She gives numerous guest lectures across campus as well as educational presentations throughout the state, and teaching related to aquatic science, especially limnology.

Students give her classes high marks. Many of her students attend graduate programs in aquatic ecology, and all gain a respect for the importance of water in ecosystems to humans.

Schulz has also been named a Fellow of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, received ESF's Exemplary Researcher Award in 2012, and earned ESF's Best Faculty Advisor Award from the Undergraduate Student Association in 2015.

Liu is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering focused on sustainable resources and the environment. He has made significant research and scientific contributions in the field of catalytic processing of biomass into various value-added biochemical and biofuels and has contributed to the fundamentals of chemical engineering processes in addition to its applications in green processes.

Liu's book on Bioprocess Engineering Kinetics has been used to train students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in this key area for almost a decade. He is a dedicated teacher and has trained many Ph.D. , master's of science students and also several postdoctoral scientists and young academics. Their impact in the industry and academic fields is significant.

Liu has been an extraordinary and exemplary researcher with an international reputation and as such was also awarded ESF's Exemplary Researcher Award.