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April 18, 2012

Utica Professor Reed Coughlan Named Turben Chair in Mentoring

Susan H. Turben is an early childcare specialist, a philanthropist and the college’s second graduate

Reed Coughlan, a SUNY distinguished teaching professor and coordinator of SUNY Empire State College’s Utica Unit, was awarded the fifth Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring at an awards ceremony at an All College Conference in late March.

Reed Coughlan headshot

Reed Coughlan

“I am surprised, excited and delighted to receive this honor,” Coughlan said. “The Susan H. Turben Chair provides an opportunity to reflect further on the art of mentoring, on the happy coincidence of students who inspire us and a college that allows us to work with them in incredibly flexible ways. Knowing, as I do, that there is so much outstanding work being done by so many at all levels in the college, it is a bit humbling to be selected for recognition.”

Coughlan, whose area of specialty is social theory, structure and change, has been very active teaching and serving the growing refugee community in Utica.

“I am so pleased that Reed Coughlan was awarded this year’s Turben Chair in Mentoring,” said Susan H. Turben ’72. “Dr. Coughlan’s work with Somali and Bosnian refugees – people seeking to fashion new lives – dovetails with the mission of Empire State College, which helps people ‘reinvent’ themselves as college graduates. I am proud that I was able to complete my degree and make contributions to my chosen field of early childhood development because of the flexibility and support of Empire State College. Dr. Coughlan, as the Turben Chair in Mentoring for 2011-2012, will continue this proud tradition of support and care,” Turben said.

Coughlan is a member of a group that recently received nearly $50,000 to design a community green space “One World Garden,” in downtown Utica. The grant from TKF Foundation was announced by Rust To Green Utica, an initiative designed to encourage faculty and students to work with local community partners in upstate New York toward sustainable urban development. The competitive grant funding was awarded by the Baltimore-based TKF Foundation through its “Open Spaces, Sacred Places” program to celebrate and illuminate Utica’s unique and changing blend of people and places created by both long-settled immigrants and a recent influx of refugees.

Coughlan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton. He also has received the Susan H. Turben for Excellence in Scholarship and the Altes Prize in Exemplary Community Service, and is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. Coughlan also has been an Imperatore Community Fellow, a program funded by an endowment funded by Arthur E. Imperatore and by the Empire State College Foundation Annual Fund, designed to generate public discussions of compelling community topics, bringing together faculty, students, alumni and friends of the college. His work with Bosnian refugees was the focus of his research for that program.

About the Turben Chair

The Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring is awarded annually to a faculty member with the potential to make a significant contribution to the theory, research and practice of mentoring. The new recipient is announced at the All College Conference in March. The appointment is for one year, and the recipient receives a $6,000 cash award, a half-time reduction in teaching and mentoring responsibilities and funding for travel and research expenses.

The Turben Chair is supported through an endowment from the Susan and John Turben Foundation. Susan H. Turben ’72 was the second graduate of Empire State College.

The Turben Chair was established to promote excellence in mentoring as the primary relationship between the college’s adult students and faculty working together in person and online. It is awarded to an Empire State College faculty member who demonstrates the capacity to advance scholarship and best practices in mentoring.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide in more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For additional information, visit www.esc.edu.

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