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Best-seller Authors Cheryl Strayed and TC Boyle Highlight the Spring 2015 Events Schedule at Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

New York Times’ best-seller authors Cheryl Strayed and TC Boyle highlight the Spring 2015 schedule of Cultural Affairs programs taking place from February to April at Hudson Valley Community College. These events and others in the spring line-up are open to the public free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Details of the full schedule are available at

Strayed, whose memoir, “Wild,” was made into a movie in 2014, visits the college on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. Boyle reads from his most recent novel, “The Harder They Come,” on Friday, April 24 at 11 a.m. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis for both appearances, which take place in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and 10:15 a.m., respectively.

“Wild” is the story of Strayed’s solo, 1000-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to put her life back together following her mother’s sudden death, a divorce and her slide into a risky lifestyle that included heroin use. Strayed is portrayed in the movie by best-actress nominee Reese Witherspoon.

Boyle’s novel is an exploration of the roots of violence and anti-authoritarianism in America. He has written more than 24 works of fiction and has received many literary awards, including the Pen Faulkner Prize for the best novel (“World’s End,” 1998).

“Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” a series of presentations by leading civil rights scholars and moderated film screenings, sponsored by the college’s Marvin Library with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, runs from Feb. 9 to March 25 on campus and at some off-campus locations in Troy. The series is based on the nationally acclaimed documentaries, The Abolitionists and Slavery by Another Name, which tell the stories of the remarkable leaders and ordinary men and women involved in this powerful movement during its beginning years from about 1830 to the end of World War II.

The lecture, “Is There Still an Opportunity for the Dream?” by Rev. Dr. Eric Shaw of Troy’s Bethel Baptist Church kicks off the series on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at noon in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium. Shaw discusses Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the lessons we can learn from him today as we grapple with contemporary racial struggles.

Among the other speakers in the series are Manisha Sinha, Ph.D., professor of Afro-American Studies and History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on Thursday Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.; Dr. Oscar R. Williams, associate professor and chair of the Africana Studies Department at the University at Albany, on Tuesday, March 17 at 2 p.m.; and Professor Sheila Curran Bernard, the writer of the film, “Slavery by Another Name,” and associate professor of history and documentary studies at the University at Albany, on Wednesday, March 25 at noon.

For more information, including a schedule of film screenings, go to

“Seizing Opportunities,” a talk by Todd Silaika about the history, goals and challenges of the student-entrepreneur takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center. A Hudson Valley alumnus, Silaika is employed by Merrill Lynch.

The challenges of using green building practices in renovating and maintaining the historical integrity of an 1830s building is the subject of a talk by Joanne Coons, a professor of Building Technology at Hudson Valley, on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at noon in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center. Coons focuses on her efforts to restore the Peters-Lockrow farmhouse in Clifton Park in a talk titled, “Rehabbing a Historic Farmhouse into a Net-Zero-Energy Green Home.”

For more information about these and other lectures in Voices: A Library Lectures Series, go to

Internationally known photographer Oliver Wasow teams up with local photographer Pete Mauney for the exhibition, Artist Unknown, from Feb. 12 to March 21 in the college’s Teaching Gallery. “Re-presenting” found photographs by others in a new light, Artist Unknown has been likened to the 1955 exhibition, Family of Man, curated by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art. It opens with a talk by Wasow and a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. on the 12th.

On Thursday, Feb. 19 at noon, Shakespeare and Company of Lenox, Massachusetts presents “Hamlet” in the college’s Maureen Stapleton Theatre. The play marks the culmination the theatre group’s week-long residency at the college.

The film, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” exposing the animal agriculture industry as having the single-most detrimental effect on the environment,” will be screened and discussed on Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the college’s Maureen Stapleton Theatre. Sponsored by the college’s Animal Outreach Club and the New York State Humane Association, the event features Kathy Stevens, founder and director of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, as guest speaker.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; 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 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.