SUNY Fredonia Adjunct Professors Earn Chancellor’s Awards

FREDONIA – Amber Rinehart, of the SUNY Fredonia Communication Department, and Maureen Yuen, of the School of Music, have gained SUNY-wide recognition as recipients of Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, a new honor that “celebrates consistently superior adjunct faculty teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level.”

They are among 43 adjunct instructors from 23 campuses receiving the inaugural awards announced by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

“Adjunct teachers are a key component of the SUNY faculty, providing top-quality instruction and making an important contribution to academic success and degree completion among students,” Zimpher said. “These awardees are truly the best of the best, having demonstrated extraordinary dedication to their students and an exceptional commitment to teaching excellence.”

Rinehart, who joined the SUNY in 2006, teaches Video Field Production, Mass Media & Society, Rhetoric of Vision Sound, Fundamentals of Communication, Media Law & Ethics and Desktop Video. In 2011, she earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Motion Picture and Television Production, with an emphasis in documentary production, communication and media, from Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

She graduated, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and dual majors in Digital Video Production and Public Relations, from SUNY Fredonia in 2006. Rinehart was the valedictorian of the 2001 graduating class at Forestville Central School.

On campus, Rinehart is a member of the Applied Communication Association, Council for Women’s Concerns Committee and Society for Professional Journalists, a judge for the Public Speaking Competition, and advisor to Sigma Gamma Phi-Arethusa sorority. She previously served as a member of the PRSSA Communication Professionals Panel, advisor to the Lucid Dreamers Club, advisor to the Performing Arts Company production of “Mr. Marmalade” and supervisor and coordinator of the Sheldon Multimedia Lab in McEwen Hall.

She is currently engaged in the production of “Plastic Water,” a Great Lakes plastic pollution documentary, with Dr. Sherri Mason, coordinator of Environmental Sciences at SUNY Fredonia and a lead researcher and expert in fresh-water pollution.

In 2013, Rinehart became an honorary member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, a national honor society that recognizes academic excellence among freshman, and Alma Mater Society, the premier non-academic honor society at SUNY Fredonia.

Rinehart is one of only three adjunct communication instructors throughout SUNY to receive the Chancellor’s Award.

An acclaimed violinist from Canada, Yuen has been involved in numerous School of Music projects, including the complete Bach Brandenburg Concerti and Vivaldi/Piazzolla Seasons concert with her colleagues, since joining SUNY Fredonia in 2004. She co-founded the annual composition competition at SUNY Fredonia in 2011 with Dr. Robert Deemer.

Yuen was awarded a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of British Columbia at the age of 21.

She is a string adjudicator with Kiwanis Music Festivals in Canada and a member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory Music. In her role as a senior adjudicator and strings specialist with the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, formerly known as the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program, Yuen has adjudicated string students at all levels across North America, as well as given presentations at the Eastman School of Music and other institutions.

Active in chamber music collaborations and coaching, she was a founding member of the English Bay String Quartet, which toured North America and the Caribbean.

Yuen gives solo and chamber music recitals and master classes throughout North America, including Western Illinois University, Brock University, Pasadena Conservatory, Cleveland State University, Louisiana State University, Ohio University, Northern Ohio University and the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

Yuen – who performs as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, Norway, and Italy – has earned acclaim for concerts featuring the Beethoven Violin Sonata Cycle and complete Brahms Sonatas with pianist Fr. Sean Duggan, as well as the complete Prokofiev Sonatas. Her interest in new music resulted in her becoming a featured performer at the Composer’s Workshop at the annual New York State School Music Association’s Winter Conferences in 2010 and 2011.

She is one of only two adjunct music instructors throughout SUNY to receive the Chancellor’s Award.

Chancellor’s Awards are presented in the following categories – Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, Teaching and Classified Service – in addition to Adjunct Teaching. The awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.