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Eight From Hudson Valley Community College Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Eight faculty and staff members from Hudson Valley Community College Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for 2009.

Instituted in 1972, the Chancellor’s Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the university by dedicated professionals. Since its inception, nearly 100 faculty and staff members from Hudson Valley Community College have been committed to the ideal of teaching as the benchmark by which an institution is evaluated. We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these individuals.

The college’s recipients are: Mary Claire Bauer, Director of Admissions; Ann Geisendorfer, Department Chairperson, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Public Administration; Ellen Laird, Associate Professor, English, Modern Language and ESL; Christopher McNally, Associate Professor, Automotive Manufacturing, Electrical Engineering and Engineering Technologies; Jeanne Petropol, Secretary I, Department of History, Philosophy and Social Science; D. Elaine Reinhard, Associate Professor/Department Chairperson, Mortuary Science; Jacob Silvestri, Assistant Professor, Physical Education; and Lois Ann Terry, Associate Professor, Instructional Support Services and Retention.

Recipients are nominated in one of six categories: Excellence in Classified Service; Excellence in Faculty Service; Excellence in Librarianship; Excellence in Professional Service; Excellence in Teaching; and Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Mary Claire Bauer Mary Claire Bauer, of Albany, was honored for Excellence in Professional Service. She has been director of admissions at Hudson Valley since 2001, and was cited as one of the major factors behind the college’s continuing growth in enrollment. Bauer has expanded outreach activities for her office and begun several initiatives aimed at new student audiences. She has been particularly active in recruiting the growing number of home schooled students in the area. Bauer has been an admissions professional for more than 30 years and previously served as dean of admissions at SUNY New Paltz and senior associate director of admissions at Canisius College.
Ann Geisendorfer Honored for Excellence in Professional Service, Ann Geisendorfer, of Schenectady, has served as department chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Public Administration since 1999. She was instrumental in developing degree programs in both Forensic Science Studies and Criminal Investigation. As department chair, she oversees nearly 700 students in four unique degree programs. Geisendorfer is an attorney licensed to practice in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia and a practicing forensic scientist.
Ellen Laird Ellen Laird of Slingerlands, an associate professor of English, was honored for Excellence in Teaching. Laird has been a member of the Hudson Valley faculty since 1987, and is known as an innovative classroom teacher who melds the use of technology with a rigorous and caring teaching style. A writer herself, Laird has had her essays published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and New York Teacher, among other publications.
Christopher McNally Christopher McNally of Ballston Spa, an associate professor in the Automotive Department, was honored for Excellence in Teaching. McNally, who holds a doctorate in educational administration and policy studies, has been a faculty member at the college since 1996. He currently teaches the automotive electronics courses that all Automotive Technical Services students must complete to achieve their degree. These courses, which are often considered the most difficult in the program, involve the diagnoses and repair of the increasingly complex computerized systems in vehicles. McNally’s patient and thorough teaching style was noted by student and faculty colleagues who nominated him for the Chancellor’s Award.
Jeanne Petropol Jeanne Petropol of Averill Park, the department secretary for the Department of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, was honored for Excellence in Classified Service. This is the first year that support staff has been eligible for the State University Chancellor’s Award, and Petropol is Hudson Valley’s first honoree in this category. A college employee for 22 years, Petropol helps run a department that has approximately 100 faculty members teaching more than 540 courses a year. She was noted for efficiently and effectively coordinating department activities and providing superior service to students, faculty, department chairs and the community.
D. Elaine Reinhard D. Elaine Reinhard of West Coxsackie, the department chairperson for the college’s Mortuary Science Department, was honored for Excellence in Teaching. Reinhard, an associate professor, was one of the first academic department heads to investigate and implement online learning for her curriculum. Today, nearly every classroom course in the Mortuary Science curriculum can be completed online. A faculty member since 1986, she is known as a strong advocate for her students, and nominees noted how she often works one-on-one with students to help them prepare for the rigorous post-graduation licensing exam.
Jacob Silvestri

Jacob Silvestri of Rensselaer, an assistant professor in the Physical Education Department, was honored for Excellence in Teaching. Silvestri has been very active on campus since beginning his teaching career at the college in 1999. Noted for his engaging and motivational teaching style, Silvestri also serves as a mentor for the college’s Center for Effective Teaching and was integral in the development of a Health and Wellness Institute, which offers credit-free wellness courses to the community.

Lois Ann Terry Lois Ann Terry of Wynantskill, an associate professor and learning specialist in the college’s Computer Learning Center, was honored for Excellence in Faculty Service. A member of the college’s faculty since 1997, Terry has been active in keeping the college’s students and faculty knowledgeable about the capabilities of the academic computing system. She works daily with students to help them navigate how technology can help them in research, writing and other academic endeavors. Terry also has been instrumental in the work of the college’s Academic Senate and has served as co-chair of the senate’s curriculum committee since 2002. This committee oversees and approves all changes to the college’s curriculum.