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March, 28 2018

Dear Dr. Pomakoy and the Teaching Promotion Committee:

I am most pleased to write on behalf of Dr. Dani Weber. She clearly has met the requirements for
promotion as set forth in the promotion rubric. I’ve organized my letter to follow the rubric after an
opening note I think worth mentioning.

Introductory Note:

Dr. Weber’s portfolio includes AF forms and letters of evaluation from the Division Tenure Committee. I
wish to note that all of those letters are copies of what was signed and submitted to the Vice President
for Academic and Student Affairs. If Dr. Weber’s portfolio does not have signed copies, it is because the
originals – with the signatures -- were already filed and we had the electronic copies. Please accept this
as certification of Dr Weber’s AF Forms and letters from the Division Tenure Committee, which were
either all submitted to me or generated by me. Some years we scanned the originals, but we didn’t
always. That is not the fault of Dr. Weber.

Effectiveness with Students:

Teaching: We hired Dr. Weber because she was the most devoted to teaching under-prepared students
in an applicant pool of 153 candidates. Yes: she was the best out of 153, including some impressive
internal candidates. We continue to recommend appointment for her because her prowess with our
students is impressive. Please take the time to review the letters of evaluation from the Division Tenure
Committee, her AF Forms, her observation reports, and her letters from her peers. They will show you a
teacher who has great success with our students. Those documents show both quantitative data and
qualitative narratives. Dr. Weber was hired as a developmental education specialist. However, Dani
has superlative SEEQ scores, despite holding high standards and teaching our most at-risk students.
That means that students appreciated her efforts, found her classes valuable, and had a good
experience in her classes no matter the grade they earned. This happens because Dani mixes together a
caring approach – always showing students that she respects and cares about them – with necessary
toughness to get them to succeed. Layer on top of that her infectious embrace of the subjects she
teaches; her enthusiasm is palpable and spreads to her students, stimulating curiosity and growth. Her
promotion portfolio clearly shows a teacher who meets the mark of excellent in the teaching ability
section of the rubric.

Advising: Advising for Dr Weber is an extension of the care she shows in the classroom. She works
meticulously with her advisors and takes on more than her share through our FP mentoring program.
In particular, she is excellent at reaching out to advisees, earning their trust, and getting them to
voluntarily meet with her to advance their careers.
Character and Personality: I enjoy working with Dr. Weber and have had the ability to get know her well
over the past few years. That began in earnest when we both were in the College’s productions of
Ragtime, Assassins, and Marshall County Line. That means we have literally spent hours and hours
together beyond the time I have spent as her supervisor. And there is one common theme through all
of my interactions with her: Dani Weber is a wonderful person. She goes beyond the characteristics
exhibited in our rubric. She is deeply empathetic, powerfully caring, passionately funny, and stridently
fair. In all things she puts our students first, using that powerful concept as a guiding principle in her
interaction with colleagues and students. This approach is shown in her excellent work ethic, her
attitude, and her sense of professional fair-play. She also has a lovely singing voice and plays a mean
piano!

Scholarship:

Dr. Weber consistently attends and presents at conferences designed to improve her expertise in her
field, which is especially powerful given that she has a terminal degree. Furthermore, she is continually
working on improving teaching in her classroom and on campus. Here is a key example that I think
Dani may have omitted from her portfolio: SUNY Sullivan was chosen for a grant designed to help train
instructors in teaching reading comprehension in writing classrooms, especially our workshops. When
we applied for the grant, we had to choose a lead instructor to do that training. We chose Dr. Weber,
and she has already begun her research, and she will be awarded funding from the grant to bring her
research to other writing instructors. This was an easy decision for us to make given her research skills,
and I think it important that you apply this work to her portfolio. The research she has done to date has
been informal, but she is laying the groundwork for her training sessions to take place in the coming
months. I can attest to the awarding of the grant, Dr. Weber’s role in the grant, and her research in
scholarship of teaching. Dr. Weber’s portfolio attests to the other areas of this rubric well, and I applaud
her fine work in continuing her scholarship and research.

General Education Activity

Dr. Weber’s portfolio clearly shows her fine work in this category. She has taken a leadership role in
committees within the department, and worked diligently on our ILO process last year as a member of
SPIA. Her work on the Brightspace committee has been exhaustive and incredibly helpful to the
division. She is the advisor for an active club on campus. Furthermore, she has taken multiple roles in
our theater program, and please don’t think that these acting roles do not involve teaching. Every time
a faculty member takes part in a production, it is a teaching opportunity. Staff/faculty are often cast
not just because they have talent – Dani clearly has this – but they are cast as role models for the
students. I’ve watched Dr. Weber take the time to run lines, rework scenes, and talk to students about
how to act with professionalism. This is always extra work that other actors don’t need to do, but Dr.
Weber always does more for our students and for our college. Her work with theater takes on student
mentoring, community participation (our productions also involve the public), contribution to the
division, collaborative work (ensemble work must be collaborative), and shows she does much more
than just check-in and check-out. I realize you may think that it may seem odd to count one item in so
many categories, but please note that the one item takes up at least 12-15 hours of rehearsal time a
week, and sometimes it can require more time as the opening run approaches. It is a serious time
commitment, and it is worth more than just a notch in one category. I believe there is evidence of
multiple service that transcends one category alone, but that is not surprising given her commitment to
her students and our institution.

Please give Dr. Weber’s portfolio your highest consideration. I hope you are able to take to the time to
read it closely and see all of the fine work she has accomplished for us in a short period of time.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Paul Reifenheiser