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Criminal justice professor receives Morrisville State College’s Distinguished Faculty Award

MORRISVILLE, NY—Dr. Clare Armstrong-Seward of Smyrna has been named Morrisville State College’s Distinguished Faculty Award recipient.

The award is presented annually to a faculty member who displays professional growth, personal and professional achievement and has provided outstanding service to the college. She will be recognized during the college’s 106th commencement ceremony on May 6 at 1 p.m. in the recreation center.

Armstrong-Seward, associate professor of criminal justice and chair of the college’s criminal justice department, began her career with MSC at the Norwich campus in 2003, after working in the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for 26 years.

She has developed numerous courses and programs while at MSC, including the college’s associate and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. She also started Alpha Phi Sigma, Mu Beta chapter, an honor society for criminal justice students and the college’s Criminal Justice Club, serving as advisor of both.

The recipient of many accolades in criminal justice, Armstrong-Seward is the first woman to receive the New York State Medal of Honor and was also recognized in a legislative resolution by the New York State Assembly. Both honors were for her courage and bravery handling a hostage situation. She was also profiled by the American Correctional Association in its international magazine Corrections Today as its first subject of the “Best in the Business” column series.

Armstrong-Seward has taught numerous workshops and courses and has developed and conducted corrections and accreditation training programs. She also represents the American Correctional Association as a consultant, conducting accreditation audits throughout the nation.

In addition to her commitment in the classroom, Armstrong-Seward is dedicated in the community, serving as a certified instructor with the Municipal Police Training Council. She also has been a volunteer firefighter with the Smyrna Fire Department for more than 25 years, was a volunteer EMT for 15 years and was also a skills instructor.
Her teaching career has been decorated with accolades, including the 2013 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding skill in the classroom, as well as Student Government awards for Outstanding Faculty and Best Academic Advisor.

Armstrong-Seward is also involved with numerous organizations, including membership in the Correctional Accreditation Managers Association, Corrections and Youth Services Association of New York, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and New York State Women in Law Enforcement.

The founder of the Historical Association for Corrections, she is also a member and certified scuba diver for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and Scuba Schools International (SSI), two of the largest scuba diving certification organizations in the world. She has taken numerous advancement courses and extensively studied underwater forensics.

Armstrong-Seward earned an A.A.S. in criminal justice at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, a B.S. in sociology at the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, an M.A. in political science with an emphasis in public policy analysis and administration at Binghamton University SUNY, and a D.B.A. in business administration from California Coast University.

She and her husband, Chuck Seward, live in Smyrna.

Morrisville State College’s curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2017 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2017 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit