Commencement Speaker Announced

Dr. Stephen ZawistowskiAlfred State will welcome “Dr. Z,” aka Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, PhD, CAAB (certified applied animal behaviorist), executive vice president, national programs science adviser to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, NYC, who will serve as the college’s commencement speaker on Sunday, May 13, 2012. He previously addressed the ASC community on companion animals in 2010.

Dr. Z’s keynote address will serve as the culmination of the College’s “Campaign 101” initiative whereby Alfred State and the two local animal shelters, the SPCA serving Allegany County and the Hornell Area Humane Society, joined forces throughout the spring to encourage 101 animal adoptions

“As I contemplated Commencement 2012, the College’s 101st, I couldn’t get Disney’s 101 Dalmatians out of my mind,” Dr. John M .Anderson, college president, reflected. “When I realized that, in essence, it was a story about animal cruelty, I asked myself what we, as a college, could do to mitigate animal mistreatment in our area. Enlisting the help of our veterinary technology faculty as well as the local shelters, we decided upon ‘Campaign 101,’ an effort to encourage the adoption of 101 pets from the two shelters by May 13. One aspect of this plan is the continuation of our students’ and faculty’s work in providing medical care for the shelter animals, including spaying and neutering, which, ultimately, makes the animals more adoptable. The second aspect is encouraging faculty and staff as well as the local communities to consider adopting a pet into caring homes…even if they’re not 101 dalmatians! And Dr. Z, who has championed animal rights for years, seemed to hit the spot!”

Stephen L. Zawistowski, PhD joined The ASPCA in 1988 as vice president of education and is currently Science Advisor.

Dr. Zawistowski’s deep concern for animal welfare grew out of his work as a caretaker for laboratory animals, while earning his BA in biology from Canisius College in 1977. He then was awarded a graduate fellowship at the University of Illinois to study behavior-genetics in the Department of Psychology and completed his Masters in 1979, and PhD in 1983. Later that year, while teaching biology at Indiana University as a visiting assistant professor, the National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Zawistowski a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Environmental Biology. He left Indiana in 1985 to become assistant professor of psychology at St. John’s University, where he taught until joining the ASPCA. Dr. Zawistowski is a certified applied animal behaviorist and chaired the Animal Behavior Society’s Board of Professional Certification from 1998 to 2007.

Dr. Zawistowski was a founding board member and past president of the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, serves on the Harmony Institute Community Advisory Board, and the Scientific Advisory Panel of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the board of the Found Animal Foundation/Michelson Prize and member of the board of the Alliance for the Contraception of Cats and Dogs. Dr. Zawistowski is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, adjunct assistant professor with the Hunter College program in Animal Behavior and Conservation and an adjunct faculty member in the Canisius College graduate program in Anthrozoology.

Dr. Zawistowski is a well known speaker on education, animal behavior, and animal welfare issues. He is a frequent guest on television and radio, and is often quoted in newspaper and magazine articles. While at the ASPCA he has authored, edited and consulted on over 20 books on animals and pet care. “Animal Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff,” edited by Dr. Lila Miller and Dr. Zawistowski was published by Blackwell Publishing in spring 2004. His two most recent books, a history of the ASPCA written with Marion Lane and titled “Heritage of Care” was published in December 2007 and “Companion Animals in Society” in January 2008. In early 2000 he appeared as the host of ASPCA Pet Check segments on PBS. Published in a number of scientific journals, he is also the founding co-editor of the “Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.”

In 1989 Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PSYeta) named him Psychologist of the year for outstanding contributions to animal welfare science. St. John’s University presented him with the Patrick Daly Memorial Award for a career in education marked by compassion and commitment in Spring 2002. In 2008 he received a Public Service Award from the Department of Justice for his work on the Michael Vick dogfighting case. In 2009 he was a Green Chimneys Gala Honoree, and in 2010 received the ACCD Leadership award. Dr. Zawistowski is also listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.”

Dr. Zawistowski is a father and grandfather and lives on Staten Island, New York with his wife Jane, a beagle, and two tabby cats.