Thursday, May 19, 2011

SUNY Honors Gravity Expert At Graduation

The keynoter at SUNY Oneonta’s 122nd commencement subjects people to “centrifugation, water immersion and altered visual stimuli.”
No, Dr. Malcolm M. Cohen isn’t coming here from Army Intelligence and the controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” of the Bush Administration. Rather, he is NASA’s expert on how changes in “human oculomotor control, perception, and perceptual-motor behavior” affect human beings.  More specifically, gravity, and how the lack of it affects astronauts.
After receiving an honorary doctorate, Cohen will address more than 1,000 graduates in attendance – of 1,484 receiving degrees this spring – in SUNY Oneonta’s two commencements, one at 10 a.m. and the other at noon, in Alumni Fieldhouse.
Notably, this will be the last graduation for F. Daniel Larkin, provost and vice president of academic affairs, who is retiring.
One of his last duties will be to present SUNY Chancellor’s Awards to Devin Castendyk, assistant professor, earth sciences, for teaching; Lynda Bassette, director of special programs, for professional service, and Donna Baker, Creative Media Services secretary, in classified service.
A graduate of Brandeis with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Penn, Cohen has been associated with the NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif, since 1982, rising to chief. 

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