Faculty and Staff Honored with SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

Portraits of three award winners

Three members of the academic team at the State University of New York at Old Westbury have been recognized by the State University of New York Board of Trustees with 2020 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence  in their respective fields. 

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching has been presented to Thomas Lilly of the Politics, Economics and Law Department and Dr. Lorenz S. Neuwirth of the Psychology Department. Additionally, The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service was presented to Lorraine Todisco of the School of Business.  

“These professionals have shown a commitment to creating an atmosphere that positively motivates students – both in class and through co-curricular activities,” said College President Calvin O. Butts, III.  “We congratulate each of these honorees for continually going above and beyond in their efforts to create a dynamic learning atmosphere for students.” 

As recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Lilly and Neuwirth were recognized for consistently superior teaching in keeping with the State University’s commitment to providing its students with instruction of the highest quality. 

Lilly is currently chair of the Politics, Economics and Law Department and coordinator for the Industrial and Labor Relations Program. His use of the Socratic Method and real-world scenario, debates and discussions in his classes help prepare his students for careers in the field after graduation. As a member of the Long Island Labor and Employment Relations Association, he has provided students with opportunities for applied learning and professional development through invitations to special events, internships, mentoring opportunities and more. Prior to teaching full-time, he practiced labor law. Lilly earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A from Holy Cross College.  

Dr. Neuwirth, who along with being an assistant professor of psychology is a researcher with the SUNY Neuroscience Research Institute at Old Westbury, has taught almost a dozen different classes since joining the College in 2015, and spearheaded the development of the Minor in Neuropsychology. He created the College's first behavioral neuroscience and neuropsychology laboratories, and has mentored more than 30 student researchers. He has been pivotal in bringing Brain Awareness Week initiatives and a Chapter Epsilon of Nu Rho Psi, the National Honor Society in Neuroscience, to the College. He earned his Ph.D. and M.Phil. from the CUNY Graduate Center and his M.S. and B.A. from the College of Staten Island.

The Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service recognizes consistently superior professional achievement within and beyond the awardee’s position.  

Since joining the college in 2013, Todisco, who serves as the School of Business' director for Career Services, External Relations and Administration, has implemented several career readiness initiatives including information sessions, workshops, mock job interviews and mentoring for students seeking to further their career plans. She has hosted several career fairs and doubled the number of corporations taking part in career and accounting fairs since they were started. She also serves as an Academic Advisor for more than 150 transfer students, and as a representative of the School of Business at campus events. She held similar roles at Long Island University, NYIT, and J.P. Morgan Chase prior to working at Old Westbury, and earned a Master of Arts in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts in Applied Psychology from Fairfield University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Skidmore College.