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For alumni and friends of Schenectady County Community College

summer 2014

a l u m NEWS

Inside this issue

2 Grattidge-Ohnstad Science Competition

5 Food for Thought and All That Jazz Recap 6 Alumni Spotlight

7 New Program at SCCC

Celebrating 45 Years

This year marks the 45th anniversary of SCCC. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the tremendous ways in which the College has grown since classes began in September 1969, the thousands of students whose lives have changed after getting their start at SCCC, and our plans for the future. THEN and NOW…


8 Faculty Spotlight Dr. Dean Bennett 10 Class Notes

[ Help SCCC Go Green! ]

Join SCCC in our efforts to be more environmentally and economically friendly. Let us send you the next issue of AlumNews electronically. Simply e-mail your name, class year and e-mail address to, indicating that you would like to receive AlumNews electronically from now on, and we will add you to our e-mail list.

May 11, 1981 – Professor Shirley Ratajak leads a Typing Class in Elston Hall.


Professor Judith Spitz, of the Division of Business, Criminal Justice and Law, teaches an Advanced Document Formatting course at SCCC@Center City. The course is a hybrid, being taught online and in the classroom.

[ Save the Date! ] The SCCC Foundation’s Annual Gala will be held on Nov. 14, 2014, at Glen Sanders Mansion. Join us as we celebrate 45 years of SCCC at one of the region’s most well-known social gatherings, attracting hundreds of prominent business and community leaders, College trustees and Foundation board members, faculty, staff and alumni. For more information, contact the SCCC Foundation at (518) 381-1324 or via e-mail at

Circa 1981 – Students prepare a 1,256-foot loaf of bread to be lowered into an adjacent trough for baking. More than 150 students, faculty and others helped prepare the bread, the world’s longest loaf of bread, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Longer than four football fields, the loaf topped the previous record by more than 200 feet.

Chef Susan Hatalsky, Professor in the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism, instructs students in one of her Commercial Baking classes, as they prepare Amish pull apart bread for Pane e Dolci, the bakery open to the public.

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al umNEWS [ SCCC Board of Trustees ] Ann Fleming Brown, Chair Dr. William Levering, Vice Chair Renee Bradley, Secretary Dr. Alton Brisport Raymond R. Gillen Gary E. Hughes Michael W. Karl Christine Mallozzi Tina Chericoni Versaci Christopher Suzanne, Student Trustee [ SCCC Acting President ] Dr. Martha J. Asselin [ SCCC Foundation Board of Directors ] Jeanne Maloy, Chair Richard Kotlow, Chair-Elect Martha J. Asselin, Secretary Margaret K. de Koning, Treasurer Michael Wollman, Immediate Past Chair Susan Baker Betty Carol Barlyn Valerie Bleser Vera Dordick Evan Euripidou Diane Smith Faubion Jamison R. Flora Margaret King Raymond Legere Lynn Manning, SPHR Victor Mazzotti Terry Phillips Widjiono (Yono) Purnomo, CEC, CFBE Lois G. Smith-Law, PHR Tina Chericoni Versaci David Wallingford Christian Wessell ’00 Robin Wiley [ SCCC Communications Staff ] Darren Johnson Assistant Dean, Institutional Planning, Accountability and Advancement Lynn Harkness Information Processing Specialist II Jessica McHugh-Green Graphic Designer Heather Meaney Public Relations/Publications Specialist II [ SCCC Development Staff ] Sue Ferris Interim Executive Director of Development Nichele M. Darby Executive Secretary I Michelle Mora Coordinator of Development Lindsay Peck Coordinator of Development AlumNews is published by the SCCC Development Office. The Editor welcomes your comments. Please contact the Development Office at (518) 381-1324. Family: If this issue is addressed to your relative who no longer maintains an address at your home, please send a current address to the Schenectady County Community College Development Office, 78 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, N.Y. 12305 or call us at (518) 381-1324. Thank you.


Dear Alumni and Friends, I am honored to be serving the College as its Acting President and to update you on the recent developments on campus. In May, the Class of 2014, over 500 strong, received their degrees and certificates during an uplifting ceremony at Proctors. Featured speaker, SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall, reminded the graduates of their responsibility to use their education to lift up others as they pursue their own dreams. Back on campus, a First Year Seminar has been designed for incoming students. The seminar is designed to provide for greater student success by providing opportunities to enhance problem-solving skills and create a supportive cohort of fellow learners. Our new Nanotech Lab in the Center for Science and Technology is up and running and ready for use by students this September. A large landscaping project is underway which has greatly enhanced the appearance of the Washington Avenue approach to campus. The College’s plan for Start-Up NY has been approved. This will allow us to create incubator space on the campus for start-up businesses by providing tax free incentives to these companies. We hope to be accepting our first tenants shortly. In September, we will launch a celebration of the College’s 45th anniversary. Plans are underway for a variety of events held throughout the year to celebrate this event. Look for a comprehensive calendar of events coming to your mailbox soon. I invite you to join us for these and the many other events happening on campus in the coming year. Schenectady County Community College is your college and we welcome you to visit at anytime. Take part in our events, join in our course offerings and experience the dynamic environment that is SCCC. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Martha J. Asselin, Ph.D. Acting President

The Magic Number Foundation donor Dr. Walter Grattidge created the GrattidgeOhnstad Science Competition in 2010 to recognize the academic talent of students and encourage the development of future scientists. The 2014 prize was awarded to Rebekah Bolton ’14 (left), Science major, whose experimental measurement was closest to the accepted value for Avogadro’s number using the Electrochemical Method. Avogadro’s number is the fundamental experimental value in both chemistry and physics and scientists use it to predict the outcome of chemical reactions and to communicate extremely large values.

Then and Now... continued from cover Liberal Arts

Spring 1975 - Professor Patricia Barker, of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, teaches a psychology class.

Students relax in the new suite in Elston Hall created for students in the Liberal Arts: Honors Concentration, among the newest programs at the College.


1984 – Dr. William Meckley, Instructor in the Music Department, leads a Brass Ensemble class. Dr. Meckley is now Dean of the School of Music.

Instructor Sten Isachsen at the console in the College’s state-of-the-art recording studio, part of the impressive School of Music building, with Music majors Calvin Temoshok, Jessica Genovese and Brandon Isles.


Circa 1974 - Dr. Eileen Meals instructs a student in Anatomy and Physiology.

Tania Cabrera, Associate Professor in the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health with students in one of the Nanoscale Materials Technology labs.


Commencement 2014

The Class of 2014 consisted of 580 graduates earning their A.A., A.S., A.O.S. and A.A.S. degrees and certificates. They celebrated during the College’s 44th Commencement on May 22, 2014, held at Proctors. H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees, delivered the keynote address to members of the Class of 2014. There were two major milestones in Lori Greco’s life on graduation day: she earned her A.A.S. in Human Services and her faithful seeing eye dog Otis officially retired. Otis helped Lori navigate campus since she began taking classes in Fall 2011 and after he retired, she adopted him. Their story was featured in The Daily Gazette. Read it on our news clips page:

Daughter and mother MaryAnn and Robin Mulvaney both graduated with A.A.S. degrees in Hotel and Restaurant Management and plan to pursue bachelor’s degrees through SUNY Delhi on the SCCC campus.

SCCC – Not Just on Washington Avenue Anymore


he College continues to grow beyond our campus on Washington Avenue, making an impact in Schenectady and beyond in the following ways:

nology, Aviation, Public Safety, Supply Chain Management, Computer Networking Systems and Cyber Security. The Workforce Development Division will offer non-credit professional development training to sponsored businesses. Promoting the Arts – Drama students now hone their acting and production skills in the Hearst Education Center located in the lower level at historic Proctors in downtown Schenectady. The Division of Liberal Arts began offering Basic Acting and Theatre Workshop classes there in January 2014. Students in Instructor Jonathan Beller’s Theatre Workshop class devise original works they perform at the end of the semester.

Building Business – The College’s START-UP NY Campus Plan, part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new job creation program, was approved over the summer. The program provides tax-free status to businesses that invest in Schenectady and provide job opportunities in conjunction with SCCC. The SCCC plan establishes Tax-Free Areas at the College-owned Kindl Building (above) at 201 State St. and at the NYBizLab located at 251 State St. SCCC will be looking to attract businesses that align with its technology focused programs in the areas of Nanoscale Materials Technology, Alternative Energy Technology, Storage Battery Tech-


Offering Classes in Downtown Schenectady/ Albany – The College continues to expand its offerings at SCCC@Center City with students loving the convenience of going to downtown Schenectady and taking a variety of English, math, criminal justice, history, sociology and psychology classes. Courses at the downtown Albany location (the Albany County Office Building) are picking up steam as students discover that they can take valuable classes in the new Casino and Gaming Management and Supply Chain Management degree programs, as well as core courses in English and math.

Food For Thought - A

Dazzling Affair

The 23rd Annual Food for Thought and All That Jazz was a delightful affair. More than 250 guests and supporters of the Foundation were dazzled by stellar performances by students in the Jazz Ensemble, part of the nationally-accredited School of Music. Later, guests enjoyed delicious cuisine prepared and served by students in the renowned School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism. Serving as honorary chairperson this year was Joseph Carr, President and Owner of Joseph Carr Wines, producing fine wines from Napa Valley, Calif., along with limited production wines from Carneros and the Sonoma Coast. With outstanding support from our corporate sponsors (see list below), honorary committee members and contributions from enthusiastic bidders on dozens of silent auction items, more than $52,000 was raised in support of SCCC. Thank you to the following: • 1st National Bank of Scotia • The Adirondack Trust Company • AKW Consulting, Inc. – Anthony K. Ward & Barbara Bishop Ward • Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau • Albany Marriott • Anthology Studios • B95.5 • Ballston Spa National Bank • Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local #2 NY/VT • CapitalCare Medical Group • Capital District Transportation Authority • College Suites at Washington Square • CSArch Architecture/Engineering/ Construction Management • C.T. Male Associates • Daily Gazette

• Deily & Glastetter, LLP • Dimension Fabricators, Inc. • Fenimore Asset Management/FAM Funds • FirstLight • First Niagara Bank • Friedman Fisher Associates, P.C. • Galesi Group • General Electric • Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C. • JMZ Architects and Planners, P.C. • KeyBank • Kingsway Arms Nursing Center • Lavelle & Finn, LLP • Legere Restorations • Lessings Food Service Management • Marshall & Sterling Insurance • Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP • Mazzone Hospitality • Marvin & Company, P.C.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

M/E Engineering, P.C. Meyers & Meyers, LLP Mohawk Honda MVP Health Care National Grid NBT Financial Group Pioneer Bank Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation RealtyUSA Robert J. McNamara Financial Advisors Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux, LLP Socha Plaza Stewart’s Shops Sysco Foods Times Union Time Warner Cable Trustco Bank Watson, Peterson & Company CPAs, PLLC

Left to right: Bob McNamara, Karen Gagnon, Lisa Stratton and David Ardman

Save The Date!

24th Annual Food for Thought and All That Jazz Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 5:30 to 9 p.m. SCCC Campus Please contact the Development Office at (518) 381-1324 for sponsorship information and reservations.


Honors Convocation 2014

Davis Louis Jr. (second from right), Culinary Arts/Hotel and Restaurant Management major, was this year’s recipient of the Yono’s Scholarship. Davis is shown with (l. to r.) Dr. Martha Asselin, Acting President; Denise Murphy McGraw, Former Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees; Michael Wollman, SCCC Foundation Board Chair; and Donna Purnomo, donor.


he SCCC Foundation was pleased to award more than $151,000 in scholarships to 108 students at Honors Convocation on May 22, 2014. This ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of students and gives scholarship donors a chance to see firsthand the impact their scholarship funds have on our students. You can be part of next year’s Honors Convocation ceremony by starting a scholarship fund through the Foundation’s Scholarship Program. Please contact the Development Office at (518) 381-1324 to speak with someone about how you can help the next generation of SCCC alumni. The 2015 Honors Convocation will take place on May 21, 2015, at 10 a.m. in the Carl B. Taylor Community Auditorium. A Donor Makes the Difference “We are honored and proud to be able to sponsor scholarships to SCCC Culinary Arts students. We have seen firsthand the top notch skills, experience, passion and enthusiasm that SCCC graduates possess. This gives us great hope for the future of our industry.” – Donna Purnomo, Owner/Operator, with her husband Yono Purnomo, of Yono’s Restaurant. They established “Yono’s Scholarship” several years ago to honor a full-time returning student in the Culinary Arts or Hotel Restaurant Management degree programs.

Graduate Creates Her Own Global Network

Brazil has been on the mind of Kristi Harbers ’05. No sooner had she returned from working at the World Cup in Brasilia, Brazil, for more than a month this summer, than her thoughts turned to Rio and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Though it’s two years away, Kristi, Manager of Registration for Site Solutions Worldwide, a meeting planning services company headquartered in Burnt Hills, N.Y., has already begun arranging hotel accommodations and other logistics for security details involved in the global games. She’ll be instrumental in making sure that security professionals with the U.S. Department of State, a client of Site


Kristi Harbers ’05 in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Solutions, feel at home in Rio for the 27 days of Olympic competition. And like she’s done many times before, she’ll be

What it Means to Receive a Scholarship “I wouldn’t be able to go back to school without this scholarship. It’s a daily struggle. When I read the e-mail that I received the scholarship I was sitting down at lunch not knowing how I was going to pay for lunch that day. I was in shock. It brought tears to my eyes. I went to work and told my boss. I don’t even have words for it. I’m just very grateful.” – Jesse Stewart, Computer Networking Systems and Cybersecurity/Business Administration major and recipient of the Broughton Fellowship, a fully paid fellowship to attend SCCC next year.

packing her suitcases to make sure things go smoothly. Kristi will add Rio to the long list of places she’s had stamped on her passport including South Africa (2010 World Cup), Vancouver – British Columbia (2010 Winter Olympics), London (2012 Summer Olympics) and Sochi, Russia (2014 Winter Olympics). For each of her assignments, which sometimes had her living abroad for months at a time, she served as a liaison with security professionals during the large scale events, ensuring their lodging and transportation for the entire stay. Through her work with

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New Communication Concentration

This semester SCCC has added a new Communication concentration, part of the Liberal Arts degree. The new concentration prepares students for careers in areas including media management, social media, advertising, broadcast and mass communication, public relations and new media information design, all growing fields.

“ The beauty of this concentration is how well it fits with the two communication tracks, media, and non-media, in the SUNY Transfer Paths...” RaeEllen Doyle, Assistant Professor

The new concentration meets the SUNY Transfer Paths for communication that satisfies the common lower division requirements shared by all SUNY campuses, thus allowing students to seamlessly transfer to SUNY four-year institutions as communication majors. Along with developing concrete writing techniques, students will create blogs and YouTube videos, gain public speaking skills, discover the difference and links between traditional and new media, and analyze the production and consumption of visual messages, particularly those found in the media. Also, students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the communication field through an internship, allowing them to explore future career paths. RaeEllen Doyle, Assistant Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts, is the lead faculty member in the new concentration. “The beauty of this concentration is how well it fits with the two communication tracks, media and non-media, in the SUNY Transfer Paths,” she said. “Upon completion, students are poised to continue in either track, which is a huge asset for those who know they would like to pursue the communication field but are unsure of the direction they would like to take.” For more information on the program, please visit: or call the Division of Liberal Arts at (518) 381-1387.

Global Network

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Site Solutions, which began in 2004 when she was an intern and still a student at SCCC, Kristi has not only mastered the art of communicating with others from all over the world, she has created her own global network. “With these events, it’s the same people with the state department who go, as well as new people,” she said. “I end up working with people from all over the world. So wherever I go in the world, chances are there is somebody I know there.” In addition to major global events where she travels thousands of miles, Kristi also assists with the General Assembly of the United Nations in Manhattan each September, the time where all 193 members of the United Nations come together for

discussion. A Certified Meeting Professional, this year, in addition to handling accommodations, she will be arranging meetings during the General Assembly. She’ll also continue her work with other clients including the National Trust for Historical Preservation, the Hydrocephalus Association and the Society for Melanoma Research, organizing the registration for conferences across the country and enjoying handling the last-minute details. “I like it when it gets to be crunch time,” she said. “A couple of weeks before a major conference, we know that we have to do all of these things and it’s exciting to get everything done on time and do a good job.”

Donor Recognition Lunch Recap

More than 120 guests gathered at Mallozzi’s Ballroom for the SCCC Foundation’s Annual Donor Recognition Luncheon on June 12, 2014. It was an opportunity for donors and corporate partners to mingle with new members of the SCCC family. Speaking on behalf of the College and Foundation were Dr. Martha J. Asselin, Acting President; Ann Fleming Brown, Chairwoman, SCCC Board of Trustees; Michael Wollman, SCCC Foundation Chair; and Sue Ferris, Interim Executive Director of Development. They expressed their thanks to donors and acknowledged that many significant milestones and achievements have been made possible through charitable contributions. Among the featured speakers was Paula Marshman, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region. Paula spoke about the wonderful partnership that has been created between the Women’s Fund and the College and the ability to provide assistance to women who wish to further their education. Also, Ebony Belmar, Founder of Schenectady’s Hispanic Heritage Committee, spoke about her work in the community with youth as well as SCCC students. Heather Tarbox, Computer Science major and this year’s American Association of University Women (AAUW) Schenectady Branch Scholarship recipient, was the featured student speaker. She shared her story of what led her to SCCC and her journey now to The College of Saint Rose where she will be pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science to pursue a career in artificial intelligence.

Share Your News with AlumNews! Did you complete a degree, get a new job or have some other news to share with the SCCC community? Send it to the SCCC Development Office, 78 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305 or e-mail


Faculty member part of SCCC Class of 2014

Among the 580 graduates who were members of the SCCC Class of 2014 was Dr. Dean Bennett, Associate Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts. He crossed the stage at Proctors in May 2014, earning his A.S. degree in Performing Arts: Music. Why did you decide to pursue an associate’s degree in music?

This will have to be a long answer, since I’ve thought about it for a couple of decades. As a teenager, I was very involved in music (piano lessons, playing violin in the high school orchestra, singing in church choirs, etc.), but I also had my hands in a lot of other things, so when it came time to choose a college major, I had to make some tough choices. I chose History, but in compensation, I promised myself I would always continue to be involved in some sort of musical activity. Through most of my years as an undergraduate and graduate student (and beyond) this meant singing in choirs, which I really enjoy. A few years after getting established in my job at SCCC, I decided it was time to get back to unfinished business with some serious musical training. For me, it’s about fully enjoying life; I totally love the process of learning, and music in itself generates a lot of pleasure. Besides, I want to stave off mental decay for as long as possible; I’d like to believe all those studies that suggest learning and—in particular—musical practice tend to invigorate and keep the mind fresh and flexible. Finally, I never really wanted to stop being a “student’’—it’s one of the reasons I got into this teaching gig in the first place. It’s actually been very helpful for my teaching to re-live the joys and woes of the student experience. One result is that I’ve changed some of the ways I operate my own classes, and I think I’ve learned some humility and compassion for my students who struggle, since I myself did not always get ideal grades. As for enrolling in the program for a degree, I never really considered just taking a few classes here and there. A lot of the most rigorous classes are available only to students who have auditioned and entered a program. Also, aiming for a degree has given me that little kick of extra motivation to put in the necessary work; frankly, there were times when the tasks were so challenging that I might not have had the discipline to carry through with them if I hadn’t had a grade hanging over my head. The degree is not really necessary for my employment or professional advancement. In my case, it probably deserves the nickname “vanity degree,” since it’s ultimately something for me to feel proud of. Did you audition for the music degree program and were you accepted at the very beginning?

Yes, I did audition right at the beginning, and I was accepted (although my singing was stronger than my theory; I got kind of flustered and confused when asked to identify the key of the song I was singing. It was e-minor—one of the most easily recognizable keys!). As a matter of principle, I have been very determined never to ask for any special favors or exemptions because of my status as full-time faculty here. To their credit, I don’t think my professors cut me any special slack, either. What is your primary instrument?

Voice, and I also did a lot of piano. Have you always been interested in music?

Hasn’t everyone? Well, I was raised in an environment where musical skills were valued a lot; my mom sings and, besides, the Mormons of my community generally tried to outdo one another in developing their talents (I think that’s a good thing). Among my geeky friends in high school, our idea of a good party was to gather around the piano singing hymns and showcasing our classical repertoire (this continued for me at Brigham Young University, which is a major hub of musical activity). Did you find the curriculum rigorous?

Absolutely. Any worthy musical program needs to be rigorous, and SCCC has a good one. The faculty know the standards for their field, and they are unwilling to compromise in their expectations. This generates respect—and maybe a little terror?—but it ultimately benefits the students who make it through the program. Any particular selections you have performed that were near and dear to your heart?

I really enjoyed singing the Mozart aria Non Piu Andrai from The Marriage of Figaro. Another favorite was Reynaldo Hahn’s L’Heure Exquise, which is in an entirely different style from the Mozart.


Keystone Society The Keystone Society is the recognition society that honors those alumni, faculty, staff and friends of SCCC who have named the SCCC Foundation in their estate plans, either through a will, trust, life income plan, or other arrangement. We thank and recognize the following individuals who have made a special commitment to SCCC. We are grateful for their vision, which will enhance the educational opportunities for future SCCC students. Keystone Society members are recognized on the Wall of Honor in the Begley Lobby and in the Foundation’s Annual Report. They are also invited guests at the Annual Donor Recognition Luncheon. If you have named the SCCC Foundation in your estate plans, you are considered a member of the Keystone Society. For more information, please contact Sue Ferris, Interim Executive Director of Development, at (518) 381-1442. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Anonymous (4) Benita C. Allaire Dr. Stephen K. Astmann Helen H. Begley* Vladia C. Boniewski ‘71, SCCC Emeritus Professor Grayce Susan Burian, SCCC Emeritus Charles W. Carl, Jr.* Professor Peter Cousins, SCCC Emeritus* Professor Mary Jane Dike, SCCC Emeritus Karen* and Walter Grattidge Al and Anita Haugen Karen Brown Johnson Dr. Margaret (Peggy) King, SCCC Emeritus Professor Jessica K. Malheiros, SCCC Emeritus, Founding Faculty Member* Thomas Nelson, SCCC Emeritus and Ann Henderson Thomas L. and Barbara M. Rider Janet P. Robbins, SCCC Emeritus Gretchen and Lewis Rubenstein Donald F. Schenk ‘74* Phyllis E. Gordon Stanton Esther Swanker

* In memoriam

Alumni Services The following services are offered to SCCC Alumni: Academic Advisement Staff in the Academic Advisement Center work with individuals who have already completed a degree and are seeking advice on either a second degree or information about what other options exist. Contact: Michael Mastrella (518) 381-1340 or ADA Transition Services SCCC alumni are always invited to serve on the ADA Advisory Committee. Contact: Susanna Fenlon (518) 381-1345 or Begley Library/Computer Services The Begley Library is available to Alumni to utilize as guests with access to the research services. Limited access to computers is also available to Alumni who would like to utilize Begley’s online catalog and online database resources. Contact: Lynne King (518) 381-1241 or Career and Employment Services Alumni are invited to all general career expos coordinated by this office. They have free access to the College Central job posting system and access to career appointments. Contact: Robert Frederick (518) 381-1365 or The College Store The College Store provides Alumni ID cards ($5 charge), custom clothing/ gifts through website partner which includes a selection of merchandise customizable to alumni and special order books and merchandise. Contact: Christopher Henry (518) 377-1606, option 5 or Financial Aid Financial Aid is available to answer questions for alumni and provide assistance for student loan deferments, forbearance and consolidation assistance. Contact: Cynthia Russell (518) 381-1352 or Registrar’s Office This office assists alumni in registering for credit or non-credit courses and providing official transcripts and verifications upon request. Contact: Registrar (518) 381-1348 Student Affairs/Student Activities The Office of Student Activities allows alumni to participate in a variety of campus events. Clubs and organizations also invite alumni to participate in their events. Contact: Stephen Fragale (518) 381-1336 or Feel free to stop by campus and visit any of the resources above.


[ Class Notes ]

Submit your news for the next issue of AlumNews. Please send us information about job changes, educational advancements or significant personal moments. Submit updates you would like to share with your fellow alumni by e-mailing to We look forward to sharing your good news!


David Rule, Ph.D. ’80, Performing Arts: Music, went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The College of Saint Rose, where he became a trained symphonic trumpeter. From there, he earned both his Master’s degree and Doctorate from the University at Albany in Educational Psychology. After serving in many higher education capacities, he became the President of Portland Community College in Portland, Ore. In January 2013, he was named President of Bellevue College in Bellevue, Wash. George Goldhoff ’83, Hotel and Restaurant Management, continued his education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst earning a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant in 1987. In 1997, he earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on finance and management from Columbia University. He has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for PURE Canadian Gaming in Alberta, Canada, since 2011. Herbert Hyde ’82, Hotel and Restaurant Management, is retired and has selfpublished two memoirs, College and Eighth and Hello Mudder.


Takis Dikas ’94, Business Administration, went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College. He worked for New York State in the Office of the Comptroller and the Department of Taxation and Finance for 10 years. He currently works for Golub Corporation in Rotterdam, while


at the same time establishing his online company Corporate Citizenship. He is the author of four books and has also served as a missionary. April Schmick ’95, Paralegal, joined Tabner, Ryan and Keniry in Albany as a Legal Assistant after graduating from SCCC. In 2000, she was promoted to Litigation Paralegal. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Empire State College. In 2006, she was appointed to the Board of Assessment Review for the town of Day, and in 2010, was elected as its chairperson. Also, in November 2013, she was elected as Councilwoman of the Day Town Board. Tim Guernsey ’97, Teacher Education Transfer, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Central Connecticut State University. He has been the Head Coach of the Girls Volleyball and Basketball Teams and a Health and Physical Education Teacher at Regional Hebron, Andover and Marlborough High School in Hebron, Conn., for 13 years. Leon Rossi ’97, Business Administration, earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Siena College. He is currently the Vice President of Finance and Accounting at TPR Holdings in New York City.


Michael Dzikowski ’01, Computer Science, went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Business and Technology Management from SUNY Delhi in 2011 and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Business Administration, Technology Management and Human Resources from SUNY IT. He is a Computer Systems Analyst/Programmer and had been a Senior Technical Assistant at SCCC for 11 years. He is also an advisor for the Spanish Club, a Professional Tutor for SCCC and a Professional Tutor for SUNY Delhi.

Debra Person ’01, Human Services, founder and executive director of Exodus 3 Ministries in Syracuse, N.Y., was featured in the June/July issue of Mysterious Ways, published by Guideposts, a non-profit outreach ministry that publishes globallypopular inspirational magazines and books. Her story, A Tale of Two Houses, describes her journey from the brownstone apartment building that served as her “final downfall” to the house that became her “saving grace.” After graduating from SCCC, Debra earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from The College of Saint Rose. In 2005, she returned to Syracuse and became a case manager at Vera House, a non-profit organization that serves victims of domestic and sexual violence and families in crisis. While working full-time at Vera House and raising her brother’s four children, she graduated in 2008 with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Syracuse University, specializing in community organization, policy, planning, and public administration. In 2010, Debra founded Exodus 3 Ministries (E3M), a nonprofit, faith-based organization that provides spiritual counseling, emotional support and other services to women and families in the Syracuse community. Jennifer Clift ’04, Teacher Education Transfer, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in Social Studies from Skidmore College in 2006. She then earned her Master’s degree in Literacy from the University at Albany in 2011. She has worked as a substitute teacher through Capital Region BOCES in Albany for the past seven years. Amber Cherico ’06, Hospitality and Tourism Management, earned her Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Delhi in Business Administration with a concentration in Travel and Tourism Management. She also completed an internship with Disney.

She is currently working as a Travel Agent for AAA Northway in Schenectady and is a Mary Kay consultant. Joshua Thompson ’06, Performing Arts: Music, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from The College of Saint Rose and then went on to earn his Master’s of Music and Graduate Professional Diploma from The Hartt School in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Joshua was appointed to the faculty of both Castleton State College in Castleton, Vt., and SUNY Adirondack where he teaches the horn studios and chamber ensembles. Joshua is also the founder of Gloversville Community Music, a private lesson studio and community outreach program in the arts. Stacy Heller ’08, Performing Arts: Music, earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from SUNY Potsdam. She spoke at the University at Albany’s Undergraduate Research Conference and is currently working as an Office Manager at Auto Integrity in Rotterdam, N.Y. Erin Madigan ’08, Teacher Education Transfer, earned her Bachelor’s degree from Plattsburgh University-Queensbury site in December 2013. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Community Psychology. Nicole Lips ’09, Computer Information Systems, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Management in 2011. She is currently enrolled at the University at Albany, pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree in Digital Forensics.

[ In Memoriam ]


Morgan Valachovic ’11, Liberal Arts: Honors Program, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies in 2013. She is currently enrolled at Union Graduate College, pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus on marketing. She is a volunteer at Heaven Sent Animal Rescue, works in the President’s Office at Union College and is the Sales Lead at Ann Taylor Loft.

[ Retirements ]

Best wishes to this year’s retirees: Mary Louise Farina, Information Processing Specialist I, Academic Affairs Division Judy Fruiterman, TRIO Counselor, Academic Affairs Division Nagwa Habib, Senior Clerk, SUNY College and Career Counseling Center, Student Affairs Division

Donald Simon ’13, Business Administration, is pursuing a dual Bachelor/Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington. He works as an Insurance Sales Representative for State Farm in Lancaster, Texas. Prior to moving to Texas, Don was also a team member of Seed to Feed, a focused project designed to connect local teens with college students while growing fresh vegetables for those in need in Schenectady.

Kathleen Hollingsworth, Senior Bookkeeper, Administration Division

Lucas Muller ’13, Business Administration, transferred to Siena College and is a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual. He is the Assistant Treasurer for the Capital Region Rotary Club, and a member of the Chamber of Schenectady County.

Corrine McGarvey, Senior Typist, Academic Affairs Division

Robin Gatlin ’13, Paralegal, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from the University at Albany and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Women’s Studies.

Kathleen Slezak, Account Clerk, Administration Division

Paul Iovinelli, Computer Operator, Information Technology Division Kathleen Lafreniere, Account Clerk, Administration Ted Mar, Associate Professor, Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health Brian McGarvey, Director of Financial Aid, Student Affairs Division

Constance J. Ostrowski, Professor, Division of Liberal Arts Angela Prestigiacomo, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Academic Affairs Division

Linda Tuller, Principal Account Clerk, Information Technology Division

Dr. Richard Leveroni, Emeritus, longtime Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (now the Division of Liberal Arts), passed away on June 1, 2014. Dr. Leveroni joined SCCC in September 1970 as an Instructor and taught a wide range of courses including English, Literature, Speech, Sociology and Education. He was instrumental in founding the Teacher Education Transfer A.S. degree program, which he shepherded for many years. Richard was the first individual in the history of the College to receive a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1973) and was also named a recipient of the Foundation Award in this same category in 1992 and he received the 2008 SCCC Foundation Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He retired in 2010. Left: Dr. Leveroni, 1983

Eileen Lemley passed away on June 6, 2014. Eileen worked for many years in Begley Library as a Typist and Information Processing Specialist. She retired from the College in 2010. Eileen embodied the College’s mission of lifelong learning. Recently, she was taking courses in the Community Archaeology Program and assisting in conserving artifacts from the French and Indian War site.


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Then and Now Right: September 1969 – Some of the first applicants to SCCC stand outside Elston Hall with the first Director of Admissions, Peter Lederer. Above: 2013 – Students leaving Elston Hall.

AlumNews Summer 2014  

Newsletter for alumni and friends of Schenectady County Community College.

AlumNews Summer 2014  

Newsletter for alumni and friends of Schenectady County Community College.