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Leist Appointed Distinguished Teaching Professor; Carson Named Distinguished Service Professor

The State University of New York Board of Trustees has approved the appointments of Susan M. Leist, professor of English, to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, and David A. Carson, chair and professor of history and social studies education, to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.

Distinguished professorships constitute the highest rank bestowed on SUNY instructional faculty. The distinctions will be officially acknowledged during the college’s Academic Convocation ceremony in September.

“The applications of these two individuals were strongly supported by our campus community,” said Kevin Railey, interim provost. “Both Dr. Leist and Dr. Carson have contributed much to enhance our students’ lives and to enrich the educational experience here at Buffalo State. I congratulate them both on a well-deserved recognition.”

Susan LeistLeist joined the Buffalo State faculty in 1991 after completing an Ed.D. in English education at the University of Virginia. She is an inspirational instructor in English education, especially the teaching of language and writing. A former director of the Humanities Program as well as the College Writing Program, she is responsible for the “Writing Across the Curriculum” guidelines at Buffalo State. Leist also teaches in the Honors and Intellectual Foundations programs. Her literary specialty is British medieval and Renaissance literature.

Beyond outreach to students, Leist teaches workshops for faculty to integrate writing into their courses, strengthening learning foundations for students. The depth and breadth of her expertise is articulated in her book Writing to Learn in Higher Education, a prominent resource in its field. Also, she has partnered with a colleague from the sciences to create a course that explores the synergistic value of understanding opposing disciplines. She received the Buffalo State College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001.

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level. Candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching; outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing scholarship, intellectual development, and professional growth; and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements.

David CarsonCarson, who arrived at Buffalo State in 1983, has a long career of exemplary service to the college and at the SUNY-wide level. Now in his fourth term as a senator in the SUNY Faculty Senate, Carson has served as co-chair for the Advisory Council on General Education and as a member of the SUNY General Education Assessment Review Group. He has served as an elected senator in the Buffalo State College Senate since 1998, and his committee work, particularly in curriculum development and faculty control of the curriculum, is widely respected.

Carson holds a Ph.D. from Texas Christian University; his areas of expertise are American history, colonial and early American history, and the American presidency. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999.

Since Carson became chair in 2005, the History and Social Studies Education Department has added six full-time faculty members, enhancing the department with specialists in Latin American, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, African, and European history. Carson’s ongoing educational association with the Teca del Mediterraneo in Italy has also earned high praise.

The Distinguished Service Professorship is conferred upon instructional faculty who have achieved a notable reputation for extraordinary service not only to the campus and to SUNY, but also to the community, the state of New York, or the nation by sustained effort in the application of intellectual skills drawing from the candidate’s scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern.

“These honors recognize the extraordinary achievements of our faculty as teachers, scholars, and mentors, which are a tremendous source of pride for the State University,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.