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Five Faculty/Staff Receive 2015 President’s Award for Excellence at Hudson Valley Community College

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Five faculty and staff members at Hudson Valley Community College were recently honored with the 2015 President’s Award for Excellence.

The award was established in 1985 by then President Joseph J. Bulmer as a way to recognize excellence in teaching and professional service on campus. Each year, a campus committee accepts nominations for the honor and chooses those who they deem fitting of the honor.

Judith L. Bowers of Delmar, who has been teaching at the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) since 1999, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The EOC offers tuition-free academic and workforce development opportunities to disadvantaged and educationally under-prepared New York State residents. As one of the faculty members whose goal is to help students prepare for high school equivalency examinations, Bowers, an assistant professor, has spent the past two years re-writing the equivalency curriculum to adhere to the new, more rigorous standards of the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). Students praised her ability to challenge and motivate them to achieve their goals.

Brian Farr of Wilton, a faculty member in the college’s Chemical Dependency Counseling program, was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Farr has taught a variety of courses in the Chemical Dependency Counseling program for four years and he also coordinates internships for the program, which educates students to become certified substance abuse counselors. Farr was recognized for his outstanding teaching ability as well as his outreach to the community to raise awareness about substance abuse.

Antoinette “Toni” Howard of Waterford, a faculty member in the college’s Teacher Preparation Department, was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Howard has been a faculty member at the college since 2005, and was praised by her nominators for her innovation in the classroom and her use of technology to reach out to students.

Matthew Howe of Wynantskill, the coordinator of testing, advisement and academic placement, was recently honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in College Service. Howe joined the professional staff at Hudson Valley in 2007 and during that time he has taken many steps to improve the services offered by his department. Howe was charged with leading the overhaul of the college’s New Student Orientation in 2015 and has been involved in efforts aimed at student success and retention.

Marcella Smith of Valley Falls, a staff member at the college, was recently honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in College Service. Smith serves as a technical assistant to two of the college’s academic departments – the Teacher Preparation Department and the Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Communication Department. Combined, both areas serve more than 400 students, and Smith is involved in many aspects that support student success and retention.

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