Two Accomplished SUNY Potsdam Students Exhibit Research in Albany

SUNY Potsdam Undergraduates Eric Martell '14 and Veronica Lavia '15 Present Research at Albany Exhibition

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SUNY Potsdam student Eric Martell ’14 presented his research project at an exhibition at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

POTSDAM, NY (04/24/2014)(readMedia)-- Two accomplished SUNY Potsdam undergraduates recently presented their research at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, in an event attended by legislators and SUNY officials. Students from 47 SUNY and CUNY campuses presented more than 100 poster displays highlighting their research in a range of academic disciplines.

Entitled "Innovative Exploration Forum," the event included work by SUNY Potsdam students Eric Martell and Veronica Lavia.

Eric Martell is a senior history and political science major from Wayland, N.Y. He presented the research project he completed over two years through the College's Presidential Scholars Program. Working with Dr. Kevin Smith and Dr. Thomas Baker from the Department of History, he researched the planning and approval of the 1961 invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Martell used declassified documents and memoirs from the Kennedy and Eisenhower administrations to understand how and why the Bay of Pigs operation was executed, who was at fault for its disastrous ending and how the invasion caused a rift in the relationship between President John F. Kennedy and the defense establishment. Martell has served as an undergraduate learning assistant and a teaching assistant for the history department and the College's Equal Opportunity Program and Bridges Program. In addition, he has been the treasurer and Student Government Association senator for the History Association, and is the president of the Political Student Association. After graduation, Martell plans to attend the University at Albany for its Ph.D. program in history.

Veronica Lavia is a junior visual arts major in the College's selective Bachelor of Fine Arts program, where she has a concentration in video. Originally from Carmignano, Italy, she presented research that she conducted along with Crane School of Music faculty member Donald George and Crane student Daniel Mertzlufft, to translate Donizetti's opera, "Teresa and Gianfaldoni," from Italian to English. The result is the first sing-able version of this chamber opera in English. Lavia is currently working on another research project through the Kilmer Research Award program, to translate an opera by Offenbach into English. In addition, she will present an artistic installation at the 2014 Lougheed Festival of the Arts on campus later this month. Lavia will show her video work based on an original short story, entitled "Dust." As an undergraduate, she has served as a group tutor and has worked for the College's Center for Student Research. Lavia will complete an internship in New York City this summer before returning to campus for her senior year.

Student research at SUNY Potsdam encourages a professional student-faculty collaboration or mentorship, aimed at contributing to the understanding of a discipline through the examination, study, creation and communication of new knowledge, by means of an original scholarly or creative project. For more information, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.