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Young (center) with Vinnie Cazzetta (left), SUNY Orange vice president for
institutional advancement and executive director of the
Foundation; and Martucci

“Golfing for Scholarships” nets more than $36,000

MIDDLETOWN (June 25) – The SUNY Orange Foundation’s annual golf outing, held June 18 at Falkirk Estate and Country Club in Central Valley, netted $36,705 for the College's scholarship fund, bringing total support for scholarships to more than $635,000 over the event’s 17-year history.

Seventy-two golfers registered for the event, held for the fifth successive year at the Falkirk course. Ralph Martucci, who has been a member of the Foundation’s Golf Committee since the event’s inception, once again served as chair of the committee for this year’s outing.

In addition, new SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young visited with the golfers in the morning while experiencing her first "Golfing for Scholarships" event.



Winners announced for Delaware Highlands Conservancy scholarships

BETHEL (June 25) --The Delaware Highlands Conservancy awarded its annual “Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship” in the amount of $1,000 to Alex Hess, a 2015 graduate of Deposit Central School, and the “Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial Scholarship” in the amount of $1,000 to Claire Harvey, a 2015 graduate of Honesdale High School.

The Yeaman scholarship has been awarded annually since 2004 to a student planning to pursue a field in environmental studies in college. Given in honor of the Conservancy’s founder, Barbara Yeaman, the scholarship is open to students in school districts bordering the Upper Delaware River in New York and Pennsylvania. The scholarship embodies Barbara’s vision and the dedication of our members to protect our special Upper Delaware River region now and for future generations.

Recipient Alex Hess graduated as the valedictorian from Deposit Central School in June 2015, and will be attending SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry) in Syracuse in the fall, where he will major in Environmental Resources Engineering. Alex feels at home in nature and hopes to help maintain our healthy environment; as he explains, "I hope that with continued community support we can help make our rivers flourish. As an avid fisherman, I know the importance of the river and its benefits to society." Active in both his school and community, Alex was President of the Student Council, Secretary of the Honor Society, and a leader in his Envirothon team.

For more information on the Conservancy and how it connects people to the lands where they live, work, and play, visit


Libraries awarded grant for summer reading programs

POUGHKEEPSIE (June 25) - The Mid-Hudson Library System announced the receipt of a $10,000 Special Legislative Project Grant,

Morre details on our Community Page


Orange County Human Rights Commission names 2015 senior scholarship winners

GOSHEN (June 22) - Aliyah Ojo-Banks and ChrisJohn Groutkas have been awarded the Orange County’s Human Rights Commission’s 2015 Senior Scholarship awards.

Each student will receive $500 to help them with college expenses. Ojo-Banks attends James I. O’Neill High School in Highland Falls and will move on to SUNY Albany in the fall. Groutkas is a student at Pine Bush High and will attend the University of Maine.

“Aliyah Ojo-Banks and Chris John Groutkas are a perfect example of students who are committed to making Orange County a better place with respect to human rights,” said Fred Cook, chairman of the Orange County Human Rights Commission. “The Human Rights Commission wish the scholarships winners, along with students who applied for the scholarship, the very best. We hope the scholarship winners and applicants will continue the goal of improving human rights throughout their lifetime.”

To be selected for the Human Rights Commission’s scholarship, students must display mutual respect and understanding among all racial, religious and ethnic groups. They are also required to initiate and/or participate in programs(s) that foster human rights awareness in their school or residential community. Ojo-Banks is a vocal advocate of transgender rights and Groutkas has helped organize several seminars, covering issues related to racism, the rights of LGBT teenagers and issues pertaining to global human rights.

The Orange County Human Rights Commission was established in 1970 to serve the citizens of the County. Its primary objectives are to foster mutual respect and understanding among all racial, religious and nationality groups.


Newburgh Library’s summer reading program helps adults to ‘escape the ordinary’

NEWBURGH (June 22) - “Escape the Ordinary” at the Newburgh Free Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program, full of great books, events, prizes and more. Registration starts July 6 and remains open until Aug. 10. Tattooing, comic art, and an author visit are all part of the lineup of free programs open to adults 18 or older.

Full details on our Community Page


Rhinebeck High School teacher earns Dean’s Award for excellence in teaching

NEW PALTZ (June 16) - The State University of New Paltz School of Education recently recognized Rhinebeck High School teacher Maureen Cunningham as one of the recipients of its 32nd Annual Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Ms. Cunningham has been teaching English at Rhinebeck High School for the past 29 years and will be retiring this June. She was nominated for this award by school administrators and selected by a committee of education faculty and professionals. Ms. Cunningham’s nomination was further supported by a vast number of letters from students, alumni, parents, colleagues and community members who appreciate the significant impact she has made on students’ lives, learning outcomes and growth, and to the overall school environment.

“I have heard this will be Mrs. Cunningham’s final year of teaching.  My children have been lucky to have had such an inspirational teacher. She deserves the highest of honors because after all one excellent teacher in life has a tremendous impact on the lives of many,” said parent Sarah Hill.

The School of Education at SUNY New Paltz established the Dean's Award for Excellence in teaching in 1984 to recognize outstanding teachers in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Each awardee is nominated by a school district administrator, with written support from the teachers' colleagues, students, and parents of students.

“Eleven years ago when I was hired as an English teacher at Rhinebeck High School Ms. Cunningham was my mentor, and from our first meeting, I knew I had been given an incredible gift,” said colleague Stephanie Baird “Her love of teaching inspired me then and continues to inspire me today. She brings out the best in young people, and before they know it, they’ve achieved more than they ever thought possible. Ms. Maureen Cunningham is an extraordinary educator who exemplifies “excellence in teaching.””

The SUNY New Paltz Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching honors excellence, innovation, service, professionalism, commitment, and enthusiasm. It acknowledges the integral role that teachers play in our community where they foster the ideals of learning, inquiry, and the primacy of education as a foundation for intellectual, social, and economic well-being. The School of Education honors exceptional teachers throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley as part of its objective to recognize and foster excellence in education.


SUNY Orange announces new construction gas operator training

MIDDLETOWN (June 2) – SUNY Orange, in partnership with Precision Pipeline Solutions and Northeast Gas Association, announces its upcoming New Construction Gas Operator Training program will begin on June 15.

This summer’s three-week training program marks the fourth class offered jointly by the College and Precision Pipeline and follows three highly successful courses held over the past year. In all, 34 people have graduated from the first three classes, and approximately 90 percent of the graduates from the initial two courses found employment in the industry, many with Precision Pipeline. Placement results from the recently completed class in April are still pending.

“Through the New Construction Gas Operator Program, SUNY Orange has become a catalyst to putting many veterans, unemployed and underemployed job seekers to work at steady well-paying jobs,” says Jon Selander, founder and CEO of Precision Pipeline Solutions. “The collaborative partnership between Precision Pipeline Solutions and SUNY Orange has resulted in qualified individuals supporting PPS’s growth and becoming PPS’s leaders of tomorrow.”

Classes are conducted, in part, at Precision Pipeline’s newly renovated facility that offers state-of-the-art technology for students, who will be trained by instructors from Northeast Gas Association, Precision Pipeline Solutions and SUNY Orange. The program--partially funded by a Job Innovation Accelerator (JIAC) grant and a Trade Adjustment and Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant--is also being supported by Orange County’s  Workforce Investment Board and Veteran’s Services Agency.

The program will meet from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a total of 120 hours of instruction. Times for the hands-on training elements of the coursework may vary. The program features training in the following areas: pipe fitting, fusion, installation and inspection; leak detection and gas meter regulation; accident awareness and prevention; blue print and pipeline drawings; and workplace competencies, communication and teamwork skills.

Students must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Those who successfully complete program will receive a program certificate and industry credential from Northeast Gas Association, and will receive job search assistance with local pipeline installation employers. Full scholarships are available. There is a $25 registration fee.

For more information on participant requirements, contact Patricia Kelly, SUNY Orange JIAC grant coordinator, at (845) 341-9021, or Christine Trieste, SUNY Orange TAACCCT grant coordinator, at (845) 341-9718. Information is also available at


Cooke Elementary DARE students head to ballpark        

MONTICELLO (May 4) - 5th Grade DARE students from the George L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello headed out to Scranton, Pennsylvania on May 6, to see the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders play the Gwinnett Braves.

The day was “School Day – Strike Out Drugs and Alcohol” at the PNC stadium in near Scranton.

The RailRiders are a N.Y. Yankees affiliated minor league baseball team.

The cost of transportation for the students to attend the game was donated by the Sullivan County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Sheriff’s Patrol PBA.

Sgt. Blake Starner and Deputy Anthony Dos Santos of the Sheriff’s Patrol, with the fifth graders, ready to board the bus


SUNY Orange announces new media degree program

MIDDLETOWN (May 4) -- For Hudson Valley residents seeking to pursue careers in the fields of video, audio or digital film production, SUNY Orange now offers a New Media academic degree program that immerses students in all elements of the creative, editing and production processes related to today’s audio and video professions.

The two-year program, which will result in an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, is designed for students seeking career opportunities in television production, film production, audio production, screenwriting, news broadcasting and media development. While the AAS degree prepares graduates to enter the workforce immediately upon earning their degree, students may also transfer to a four-year institution upon graduation.

The course sequence is rich with new courses in cinematography, digital storytelling, screenwriting, sound design, TV studio production and video effects. Existing courses in media production, digital photography, visual communications, foundations of communication and web design accompany a series of core academic courses in English and math, as well as several electives, to round out the degree.

Graduates of the program will be proficient in visual composition using different forms of digital media such as video, photography, web design and art. Graduates will also be adept at audio production, specifically, digital radio production, sound design and audio engineering.

“This program will be a great fit for traditional high school graduates who have an interest in video, photography, art, social media or web design,” says Linda Fedrizzi-Williams, academic associate vice president for the College’s liberal arts programs. “For those who are working in the audio and video fields today who may have graduated a decade or two ago, this program will offer them a chance to ‘retrain’ themselves with hands-on experience on today’s technology.”

Students will sharpen their production and presentation skills in the Gerry Media Lab, a newly renovated on-campus television studio made possible through the generosity of Alan Gerry. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue internships and additional experiential learning projects to further broaden their understanding and experience.

Courses can be taken in person or online and students are being accepted for enrollment for the upcoming Fall 2015 semester. For more information, visit the New Media web site at



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