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Faculty Member Steve Keeler Awarded SUNY Distinguished Service Professorship

DATE: 12-17-2012

The State University of New York Board of Trustees today approved the appointments of eight faculty, including Cayuga Community College Professor Steve Keeler, to distinguished ranks. All distinguished faculty in active service within SUNY are also members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, established in March 2012.

“The Board is pleased to present these eight outstanding individuals with SUNY’s highest distinguished ranking,” said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Their commitment to the students, faculty, and staff at their respective campuses is clearly evident in the vast achievements they have made in their fields. Congratulations to all of today’s honorees.”

“In bestowing its highest faculty honor, SUNY proudly recognizes the extraordinary achievements of these faculty and the positive impacts they have had on our great system of higher education as well as their colleagues and students," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Their achievements are highly commendable and we thank them for their impeccable service to SUNY.”

It is rare for a community college faculty member to receive appointment as distinguished faculty. There are currently 450 faculty out of more than 33,000 faculty in SUNY who hold distinguished rank. Only 15 are community college faculty members.

Keeler received the Distinguished Service Professorship,which honors and recognizes extraordinary service. Candidates must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and the State University, but also at the community, regional and State levels. Further, many candidates for appointment have rendered influential service contributing at the national and international levels. Service must exceed the work generally considered to be a part of a candidate’s basic professional work and should include service that exceeds that for which professors are normally compensated. It must also extend over multiple years and, very importantly, must involve the application of intellectual skills drawing from the candidate’s scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern.

Keeler is the director of Media Communications degree programs, and the chair of the Cayuga Community College’s Humanities and Communications Division. He was instrumental in the creation of Cayuga's School of Media and the Arts. He is known for his leadership and innovation in media and arts education, technology, online learning, curriculum development, and entrepreneurship education.  His commitment to the larger community is also substantial. He has taken on leadership roles in regional and statewide organizations, including NEA/NY, the Auburn Public Theater and Auburn Regional Media Access Center, among others. 

He has been honored nationally and regionally for his achievements. In 1999 and 2001, the Society of Broadcast Engineers honored him as National Educator of the Year.  In 2000 he received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. In 2001 and 2005, he was a finalist for the American Association of Community Colleges' David R. Pierce Faculty Technology Award. In 2005 he received Cayuga’s Faculty Award for Excellence, and in 2006, he was named College Technology Educator of the Year by the Technology Association of Central New York.

Since the program’s inception in 1963, SUNY has appointed 950 faculty members to distinguished ranks, as follows, including these most recent appointments: 315 Distinguished Professorships; 287 Distinguished Service Professorships; 343 Distinguished Teaching Professorships; and 5 Distinguished Librarian Professorships. For more information about SUNY’s faculty award program, please click here.

About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating approximately 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs, and nearly 2 million in workforce and professional development programs, on 64 campuses. There are nearly 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

About Cayuga Community College

Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system. A full opportunity College, Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further study and career preparation. The College also addresses identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By sustaining academic excellence within a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, serves as a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional, and global communities.