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SBU Professors Mitchell and Schwartz Appointed to SUNY Distinguished Ranks

Michael schwartz

Two Stony Brook University professors are among nine SUNY faculty appointed to distinguished ranks by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

Joseph S.B. Mitchell

Joseph S.B. Mitchell, a professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and a research professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been named SUNY Distinguished Professor, while a Distinguished Teaching Professorship has been conferred on Michael Schwartz, chair of the Department of Sociology and faculty director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies. By virtue of these appointments, Mitchell and Schwartz become members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy.

“We are proud to recognize our faculty with these prestigious rankings, especially now as SUNY is fostering their best ideas and practices within the Distinguished Academy, and calling upon their leadership as we prepare to launch Open SUNY,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Many thanks to those honored today with a distinguished rank, and congratulations.”

The Distinguished Professorship, awarded to Mitchell, is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within a chosen field. This distinction is attained through significant contributions to the research literature or through artistic performance or achievement in the case of the arts. The candidates’ work must be of such character that the individuals’ presence will tend to elevate the standards of scholarship of colleagues both within and beyond these persons’ academic fields.

Mitchell is “nationally and internationally recognized as one of the world’s leaders in computational geometry,” the SUNY Board of Trustees said.

He has been an NSF Presidential Young Investigator awardee, a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the 2010 Gödel prize, and is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. Mitchell has an extensive record of service to his professional field. He serves on the editorial board of four of the top journals in computational geometry and he has been very active as a committee organizer of the top conferences in his area. Professor Mitchell is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Michael Schwartz

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship, awarded to Schwartz, recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. 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, 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 in the System, and must have regularly carried a full-time teaching load as defined by the campus at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional level.

Schwartz was cited by the Board of Trustees as “one of Stony Brook’s very best teachers.”

“For four decades, he has lectured brilliantly to undergraduates; his curricular and classroom innovations have enabled him to meet the historical challenges of increased class size, maintaining the highest level of undergraduate engagement,” the Board said. “He is the founder and administrator of Stony Brook’s Global Studies program and has written extensively in the areas of economic sociology and social movements.”

Since the program’s inception in 1963, SUNY has appointed 975 faculty to distinguished ranks, as follows, including these most recent appointments: 326 Distinguished Professorships, 294 Distinguished Service Professorships, 350 Distinguished Teaching Professorships and 5 Distinguished Librarian Professorships.

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