Susan Sutton Smith Event Honors Students, Faculty

Susan Sutton Smith Award

More than 200 SUNY Oneonta students and faculty were honored for academic excellence at the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture and Award Reception on April 9.

The Susan Sutton Smith awards are given each spring to first-year students, sophomores and juniors who have earned a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The 2023-2024 awards event recognized 206 SUNY Oneonta students for their achievement in academic excellence.

The on-campus event featured the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture, delivered this year by Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kiyoko Yokota. Dr. Yokota received the faculty Susan Sutton Smith Award, and her lecture was titled “Clean but Green – the Paradox of the Oligotrophic Cyanobacterial Blooms.”

Dr. Yokota, a limnologist, earned her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She also completed a short-term postdoctoral training at the Netherlands Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) before she started teaching full-time. Dr. Yokota’s research interests include phytoplankton dynamics, cyanobacterial blooms, aquatic food webs, biogeochemical cycling, pollutant dynamics, and interaction between changing climate and lakes at the local, regional and global scales. She is a New York State Safe Boating Instructor and serves as a faculty liaison with Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan, a research and student exchange partner of SUNY Oneonta; Technical Advisor for the Otsego Lake Association; and Professional Certification Program Lead for the North American Lake Management Society.

Dr Yokota
Dr. Kiyoko Yokota
Carmela Marner
Carmela Marner
Dr. Sean Shannon
Dr. Sean Shannon

Two additional faculty members were recognized at the event. Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre Carmela Marner received the university’s annual Simphiwe Hilatshwayo Award for Outstanding Part-Time Instructor. Assistant Professor of Law Dr. Sean Shannon received the Innovative Pedagogy Award.

This lecture and the awards for academic excellence are made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta alumni to the Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, in honor of her commitment to academic excellence.

Back to top