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Four from Hudson Valley Community College Awarded State University of New York's Highest Honor

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8071

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Three members of the Hudson Valley Community College academic community and one college administrator were recently given the state university's highest honor, the 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, 69 faculty and staff members from Hudson Valley Community College have been given the Chancellor's Award.

Honored with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching were: Dr. Linda Adamchak of Delmar, an assistant professor of biology at Hudson Valley Community College; Melanie Bleich of Clifton Park, a professor of academics at the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC); and Dr. Mary Gillespie of Saratoga Springs, an associate professor of human services at Hudson Valley Community College.

Honored with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was Louis Coplin of Glenmont, the college's director of student life.

"All four of these individuals share a passion for their work and a commitment to the college," said President John Buono. "We are justifiably proud that the state university again saw fit to honor the outstanding faculty and staff of Hudson Valley Community College."

Adamchak has been a faculty member at the college since 1993 and has primarily taught Anatomy and Physiology during that time. Nominators noted Adamchak's academic preparation, passion for teaching and sincere interest in her student's academic welfare.

Bleich has been employed at the Capital District since 1979, where she has taught a wide range of courses, from Adult Basic Education to College Preparation. Bleich has previously been honored for developing and improving various academic programs during her tenure. Since 1996, she has co-chaired the EOC's International Heritage Celebration Week.

Gillespie joined the college's Human Services department in 1998 and quickly established herself as a dedicated and innovative teacher. Gillespie was the first faculty member in her department to create a distance learning curriculum for one of her classes. Her willingness to try new technology has helped bring more students to the college and been a model for other faculty.

Coplin's position at Hudson Valley Community College is a combination of two jobs – coordinator of Educational Opportunity Program and coordinator of student activities. During his 13-year tenure, he has created retention strategies geared at assisting those students considered high-risk, easing the transition to college life. Coplin also supervises the Student Senate, and regularly chaperones local and national student trips to leadership and diversity conferences, and educational, cultural and social outings.

Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 50 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunities Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.