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Three from Hudson Valley Community College Honored with SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence Photos Available

CONTACT: Eric Bryant or Janine Kava (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, May 14, 2004

Three members of the Hudson Valley Community College faculty and staff recently were recognized with the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence.

Instituted in 1972 by the State University of New York, the Chancellor's Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the university by dedicated professionals. No higher honor can be accorded a faculty member or administrator. Since its inception, 81 faculty and staff members from Hudson Valley Community College have received the Chancellor's Award.

This year's recipients were honored at the college's 20th annual Faculty Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 13, in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center auditorium. They are:

Phil Brown
Phil Brown

Phil Brown of Castleton, the chairman of the Physical Education Studies Department, was honored with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Brown has worked at the college for more than 30 years, and has served as a department chairman for 17 years. During that time, he revitalized a once-struggling program and has created new opportunities for students. He spearheaded efforts to develop Physical Education electives that appeal to college students, including the new Adventure ropes course available at the college.

He was instrumental in creating the college's Human Performance Laboratory, which is used by upper-level Physical Education Studies and Respiratory Care students, as well as students in Anatomy and Physiology courses.

Brown also was instrumental in two major achievements associated with the college's Physical Education program - the creation in 1992 of an associate's degree in Physical Education Studies and a landmark transfer agreement in 2002 with The Sage Colleges. That agreement allows students to complete a Physical Education baccalaureate degree utilizing facilities and instructors from both institutions. It provides the only Physical Education bachelor's degree in the Capital Region.

A member of the college's Athletic Hall of Fame, Brown served as a coach for numerous sports at the college, including cross country, bowling and softball. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ithaca College.

Chris Helwig
Chris Helwig

Christine Helwig of Poestenkillalso received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Helwig, the director of Community and Professional Education, has been employed for more than 22 years at the college. Her position entails a wide variety of tasks, including supervision of the college's scheduling office as well as oversight of the credit-free offerings of the college, such as summer youth camps, the Center for Creative Retirement and other adult education programs. Under her leadership, the college's credit-free offerings have grown extensively. The college received more than 1,700 registrations for its children's programs during the Summer of 2003.

Helwig was promoted in 1994 to associate director of continuing education and in 1998 assumed the position of interim dean of continuing education. Her current post grew out of a reorganization of the college departments offering credit-free courses. Colleagues who supported Helwig's nomination noted her positive leadership style, resourcefulness and sense of humor.

She also has been active in the community, serving as a member of the Averill Park Central School District PTA and on several community advisory task force projects.

Helwig received her bachelor's degree from Russell Sage College and a master's degree from the University at Albany.

Diane Jasinski
Diane Jasinski

Diane Jasinski of Latham, a professor of mathematics at Hudson Valley Community College, was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Jasinski has been a member of the mathematics faculty since 1983, and during that time she has taught a range of courses. She began her career at the college as an education specialist in the college's Learning Assistance Center and moved to the classroom in 1988.

Jasinski currently teaches College Algebra and Trigonometry and Pre-calculus courses and often teaches students who may have developed fears or anxieties about math over the years. Support for her Chancellor's Award nomination centered on her ability to find the right teaching technique for individual students as well as her emphasis on collaborative learning.

Jasinski was one of the first math professors at the college to teach online and also was a pioneer in teaching via interactive television (ITV). At one point, she taught a course at Hudson Valley that was sent via ITV to Stillwater High School. To help her online students review for mid-term and final exams, she holds special sessions on campus on Saturdays, which makes it possible for them to attend.

An active member of the New York State Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, she was the recipient of the college's President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1996. Jasinski received her bachelor's degree from Russell Sage College, and her master's degree from the University at Albany.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.