SUNY Board Names New Leadership at Buffalo State, Dutchess, Herkimer, and Maritime Colleges

June 17, 2014

Albany – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner as president of SUNY Buffalo State and Dr. Michael Alfultis as president of SUNY Maritime College; and approved the appointments of Dr. Pamela Edington as president of Dutchess Community College and Nicholas F. Laino as interim president of Herkimer County Community College.

About SUNY Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner

Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D., has served as provost, vice president of Academic Affairs, and professor of Psychology at Hood College in Maryland since July 2010. She is a lifelong educator, scholar, author and humanitarian who, during her 28-year academic career, has served in various leadership and administrative positions and as a professor of psychology at five universities.

From 2004 to 2009, Conway-Turner was provost, vice president of academic affairs, and professor of psychology at SUNY Geneseo, where she was responsible for all 20 academic programs, as well as overseeing policies, budgets and personnel. In addition to her teaching and research, Conway-turner has traveled to Haiti regularly over the past decade, performing humanitarian work as a member of H.O.P.E., a not-for-profit, volunteer organization based in Rochester, N.Y., assisting the people of Borgne, Haiti, in achieving equitable, just, and sustainable living conditions.

Prior to that, she was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware. Other positions she has held include American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at the College of New Jersey, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the College of Arts and Sciences, and graduate program coordinator at the University of Delaware. She has also held teaching positions at Santa Clara University and California State University, Long Beach.

Conway-Turner has Ph.D. in Psychology, M.A. in Psychology, and B.A. Microbiology, all from the University of Kansas.

About Dutchess Community College President Pamela Edington

Dr. Pamela Edington brings almost 30 years of leadership and managerial experience in community college administration and management. Dr. Edington has served in the capacity of assistant professor of Sociology, a dean of Social Science and Human Services, dean of Academic Affairs, and most recently as provost and dean of Academic Affairs at Norwalk Community College located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

That Dr. Edington is strongly endorsed by the Dutchess Community College Board, reflected by the Board’s unanimous vote in favor of her appointment and their enthusiastic support of her appointment. Throughout her career, Dr. Edington has proven to be an innovator, a consensus builder, and a skilled and respected administrator.

Dr. Edington holds a B.A., cum laude, in Sociology from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, and an Ed. D. in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration from the University of Massachusetts.  

About Herkimer County Community College Interim President Nicholas F. Laino

Nicholas F. Laino has served as the vice president for Administration and Finance as well as dean of Administration at Herkimer County Community College since August 2005. Mr. Laino is currently the officer-in-charge at Herkimer County Community College and was appointed to this position by the Herkimer County Community College Board of Trustees on December 18, 2013, effective February 1, 2014, upon the retirement of President Anne Marie Murray.  

Mr. Laino previously served the college as officer-in-charge from March through August 2008, prior to Murray’s appointment. Mr. Laino brings a wealth of financial and leadership experience to the position.

About SUNY Maritime College President Michael Alfultis, Captain United States Coast Guard (ret)

Dr. Michael A. Alfultis is a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain and decorated officer, earning the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for Superior Performance of Duty (June 1988-July 1989) and the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award from the U.S. Coast Guard. He currently serves as the director and chief academic office of the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus, a position he has held since June 2010.

Alfultis graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1982 with a degree in Marine Science. His first assignment was in Guam as operations officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Basswood. He later served as operations section chief of the International Ice Patrol, from 1987 through 1989. Alfultis returned to the Academy in 1989 as a member of the teaching staff.

Alfultis has taught marine science courses including Oceanography, Meteorology, Ocean Dynamics, Ocean Circulation and Remote Sensing. At the Academy, he was an original architect of the Marine and Environmental Sciences major, and developed a three-course Geospatial Sciences curriculum to educate cadets and officers about the use of emerging technology. Alfultis has supervised extensive cadet research across Coast Guard sectors, and various agencies of state, local, and federal entities.

He has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from University of Rhode Island, an M.S. in Oceanography from University of Washington, and a B.S. in Marine Science from the Coast Guard Academy.

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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