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SUNY Morrisville professor receives SUNY’s first diversity award

MORRISVILLE, NY—Dr. Timothy W. Gerken, associate professor of humanities at SUNY Morrisville, is the first recipient of the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) Award for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. 

The award, presented at the 2017 SUNY Diversity Conference, recognizes the outstanding contributions made by individuals in advancing diversity, inclusion and social justice through innovative programming, research, teaching and service. Recipients demonstrate extraordinary commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion and social justice throughout their respective institution and the University. 

Gerken, of Garrattsville, is the chair of the SUNY University Faculty Senate (UFS) Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID). As a member of the Senate, the Senate Executive Committee, and committee member since 2012 and Committee Chair for the prior year, he has been a change agent for the Senate. He is also a member of the newly formed System-wide Diversity Advisory Council. 

Gerken has also championed diversity and inclusion on the Morrisville campus. He was the first chair of the College Senate Professional Development Committee and worked to establish the faculty mentoring program, the semi-annual professional development conference, and a variety of diversity and social justice programming during his 12 years at Morrisville. 

He was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Service Excellence in 2015. 

A writer and photographer whose work critiques societal power structures, Gerken also serves as the director of the Butcher Library Gallery on the Morrisville campus and coordinates donations of artwork to the Morrisville College Foundation. He has organized a variety of art shows by artists from diverse backgrounds. He started the annual Veterans’ Art Show and a show featuring the work of photographers from the Arc of Madison Cortland. 

Gerken earned a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in language, literacy and learning from Fordham University, an M.F.A. in poetry writing from Brooklyn College, an M.S. in English with a secondary school certification from Southern Connecticut State University, and a B.S. in personnel management from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. 

Morrisville State College’s curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs. 

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit