SUNY Board of Trustees Announces Appointments at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, System Administration, Clinton Community College

November 3, 2016

Albany – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Bahgat G. Sammakia as interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Dr. Jinliu (Grace) Wang as vice chancellor of Research and Economic Development at SUNY System Administration. In addition, together with the Clinton Community College (CCC) Board of Trustees, the Board appointed Ray M. Di Pasquale as president of CCC.

About Dr. Bahgat G. Sammakia

Dr. Sammakia is vice president for Research at Binghamton University, a post he has held since 2010. He joined the campus in 1998. He is also a SUNY Distinguished Professor with expertise in mechanical and materials engineering as well as systems science and industrial engineering.

He is the founding director of the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, a New York State Center of Excellence located at Binghamton University. He was the founding director of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) on Energy Smart Electronic Systems, in collaboration with Binghamton University Professor Kanad Ghose. He was the co-founding director of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing in collaboration with Binghamton University Professor Mark Poliks and Cornell University.

Prior to joining Binghamton University, Dr. Sammakia held various management positions at IBM, having oversight of thermal and mechanical analysis groups, the surface science group, the chemical lab, and the company’s site technical assurance group and his last position as manager of development for organic packaging in the IBM Microelectronics Division. He began working for IBM in 1984 as an engineer.

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Alexandria, and earned his Master of Science and Doctorate degrees at SUNY’s University at Buffalo. All of his degrees are in mechanical engineering. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Sammakia was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Sammakia’s appointment is effective on or about December 1, 2016, and will continue until a permanent president is appointed. He will receive an annual state salary of $425,000.

About Dr. Jinliu (Grace) Wang

Dr. Wang currently serves as acting Assistant Director for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this role, she leads the Engineering directorate at NSF and manages a funding portfolio of over $900 million to invest in frontier engineering research, support engineering education, and foster innovation and technology commercialization. Prior to that, she served as NSF's Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering, a capacity in which she oversaw the operation of the Directorate for Engineering, and helped identify and implement research, innovation, and education priorities. She is the NSF representative for the White House’s Lab-to-Market interagency group, accelerating the translation of research breakthroughs into market reality and stimulating economic growth.

Previously at NSF, Dr. Wang served as division director of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. She joined NSF in 2009 as program director for SBIR/STTR program, focusing on investing in small businesses in the areas of nanotechnology, advanced materials, and manufacturing. Dr. Wang began her career at IBM/Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, where she played a key role in the research and development of Perpendicular Magnetic Recording media. She holds seven U.S. patents.

Dr. Wang earned her Doctorate in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University in 2001.

Dr. Wang’s appointment is effective January 1, 2017 at an annual state salary of $224,000, and a supplemental salary of $71,000 from the Research Foundation for SUNY to support her research responsibilities.

About Ray M. Di Pasquale

Di Pasquale previously served as president of the Community College of Rhode Island. His appointment as president of Clinton Community College marks his return to SUNY. Di Pasquale served as the vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, as well as the interim vice president for Institutional Advancement at SUNY Brockport.

He has served as commissioner of the Rhode Island Board of Governors, and has held leadership roles within the higher education sector. He began his career at Middlesex Community College where he served as assistant director of Admissions, after having held leadership positions, including director of Athletics, director of Admissions, assistant to the president, dean of Admissions/Public Relations and vice president of Enrollment Management/Student Affairs.

Di Pasquale earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas Tech University and Master of Science degree from Northeastern University.

His appointment is effective January 1, 2017 at an annual state salary of $175,000.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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