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ESF announces interim appointments

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has named Maureen O’Neill Fellows interim vice president for research and operations manager and Lisa Schwabenbauer as interim deputy operations manager.

Their appointments took effect Tuesday, ESF said in a news release.

The school expects to conduct a formal search for a vice president for research once it names a new president.


“The College is grateful to Dr. Fellows and Ms. Schwabenbauer for their willingness to assume these additional duties,” Joseph Rufo, officer-in-charge, CFO, and vice president for administration. “These are pivotal roles at ESF. Our researchers are recognized internationally for paradigm-shifting and forwarding-thinking discoveries that improve our reality in every facet of life.”

Rufo has been ESF’s top official since David Amberg’s time as interim president ended on May 31 and he returned to his role as a professor at Upstate Medical University, ESF told CNYBJ in an email message.

A presidential search was led by WittKieffer, an Oak Brook, Illinois–based executive search firm, and SUNY will make the final decision, the school added.


About the interim appointments

As the interim vice president for research, Fellows will “lead, support, and bring visibility” to the ESF research programs. Working with the offices of research programs, research finance and analytical and technical services, Fellows will help identify research opportunities; support faculty and staff to compete for funding; fulfill compliance requirements; and develop multidisciplinary initiatives.

Fellows will continue in her role as the vice president for government and external relations at ESF overseeing the Office of Alumni Relations, the Development Office and Institutional Research. As VP for government relations, she links the college with the community, elected officials, and agencies to communicate opportunities and develop relationships. Fellows assists faculty in receiving funding for projects as well economic development opportunities for the city, state and region.

As the interim deputy operations manager, Schwabenbauer will advise, support, and represent the interim vice president of research on matters related to the Research Foundation operations.

She will provide consultation and basic training to all campus offices involved in Research Foundation activities to help ensure compliance and will coordinate on policy and best practice development used to administer grants and contracts.

Schwabenbauer, a sponsored programs associate with the ESF’s Research Foundation, currently supports faculty and investigators in the administration of pre- and post-award sponsored research programs and helps to assure compliance with federal and sponsor regulations.


Visual credit: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry website


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