Academic Senate
Make the Difference: An initiative to promote kindness and civility on campus

Sponsored by the Academic Senate of Hudson Valley Community College

Kindness Coins
The first kindness coin was presented to President Drew Matonak by Academic Senate Chair Joan Shack. Drew then passed the coin along to student Robert Cherry. Campus Minister Sister Nancy Langhart and members of the Academic Senate also were present. The first kindness coin was presented to President Drew Matonak by Academic Senate Chair Joan Shack. Drew then passed the coin along to student Robert Cherry. Campus Minister Sister Nancy Langhart and members of the Academic Senate also were present.

Academic Senate Lunch Bunch Make the Difference campaign for 2007 A project for Academic Senate Lunch Bunch Make the Difference campaign for 2007 was done in memory of our colleague and friend, Stephanie Rosamilia. Lunch Bunch attendees donated ready-to-eat snacks and drinks and packed up almost 450 lunch bags for the food pantry. These lunch bags contain non-perishable (but tasty!) treats to serve students who otherwise would have had no means for buying lunches. The lunch bags will be available through the Counseling Center.

Kindness Coins: What are they?
Kindness coins are distributed to faculty, staff and students of Hudson Valley Community College for acts of kindness both large and small. The coins are limited in number, so we will do our best to have them circulate as widely as possible.

If you are handed a kindness coin, we hope you will know that it means that you are appreciated. And we hope you will want to pass the coin along and make someone else's day. If you do, please take the time to fill out the form below so we can acknowledge that person's kindness.

Have you presented or received a kindness coin?
Please let us know!


You can make the difference

. . .by offering a smile or a hug

. . . by being a good listener

. . .in a classroom by always being bright and enthusiastic

. . .in a classroom by always being supportive of and helpful to the others

. . .in the workday by being someone we can count on for an answer, to step up, to take your part

. . .by being someone we can count on always to do the right thing

. . .by being thoughtful and kind

. . .if you always make people laugh

. . .if you care what the campus looks like and help to keep it clean

. . .if you offer to help when you notice someone needs help

. . .if you speak up when someone makes a hurtful joke

. . .if you step in to deflect an insult or help someone out of an embarrassing situation

. . .if you graciously accept an apology from someone instead of retaliating

. . .if you take the time to thank someone who has helped you

. . .if you take the lead in class discussions when others are silent

. . .if you try to rein in group behavior that may be disturbing others. . .

And in so many other ways.


Kindness Coin Honor Roll

We recognize the following faculty, staff and students of Hudson Valley Community College for acts of kindness both large and small.

Jan. 2008
Nancy Cupolo

When I was having a really rough day, I just mentioned what was going in my life. Nancy took the time to listen and send me a card that very afternoon. It really made my day! Thank You Nancy

Sharon Harrington

Sharon has demonstrated the following acts of kindness to her classmates and instructor: by being a good listener; always being bright and enthusiastic; always being supportive of and helpful to the others; being someone I can count on for an answer, to step up; offers to help when she notices someone needs assistance; and for being thoughtful and kind.

Oct. 2007
Larry Ellis

For putting himself out to help students, above and beyond "the call of duty" when there is nothing in it for him except the satisfaction of helping.

Carlene Sheehan

She goes above and beyond her job to help those who need computer assistance!

Erin Manning

Erin's hard work on meeting faculty scheduling needs in English, Modern Languages, and English as a Second Language has made a big difference. Thanks Erin.

Kris Lewis

Kris is continually kind, thoughtful, extremely efficient, and always maintains tranquility mixed with humor - a rare combination. I know she is devoted to Maria and as she has steady streams of people, representing a cross-section of the college community, coming through her door to question, converse, & convey, she is obviously held in high esteem by many. She goes well beyond the requirements of her job, in my case, by listening and offering advice when it is sought, accommodating requests, answering e-mails, and even acting as editor to pieces of writing I have shared. She is an asset to the English department and I'm glad she is my friend.

She deserves coins aplenty!

March 2007
Craig D’Allaird

Craig organized the work of several volunteers, and the Foundation pitched in with a donation, to help a student who was in jeopardy of losing his home because of plumbing problems. Not only did Craig make it possible for the student to hang on to his home and to be able to concentrate on his studies instead of worrying, he really put Hudson Valley Community College on the map as a caring community. Craig truly personifies the Make the Difference spirit!

Willie Colon Willie was presented a kindness coin by his English class as thanks not only for his constant encouragement of all of us but also for treating the whole class to pizza one day recently. Thank you, Willie! You are one of the most generous people we’ve ever met.
Clem Campana Clem has been my contact for matters concerning the Physical Plant and other areas that probably have nothing to do with him. No matter what question I’ve asked or curve ball I’ve thrown, he has been nothing but courteous and helpful. He has no reason beyond simple kindness to respond to my pleas for help —- he could so easily tell me that it’s not his area — but, no, not once has he done anything less than come up with an answer for me.
Tim DiBell Tim DiBell works for Physical Plant and was operating the backhoe removing snow on a Monday morning for a path from the employee parking lot behind LNG and jumped down from the backhoe to clear more snow close to cars, so we would not have to walk through deep snow. That was very thoughtful of him and greatly appreciated by us.
Feb. 2007
Sherri Wait

Sherri is always kind and helpful at Hudson Valley Community College and in the larger community. Sherri volunteers time as an EMT and provides a wonderful example of caring and “giving back.”

Paul Williams

I have selected Paul for this reward because of his excellent work ethic, the integrity he exhibits daily, and the great example he sets for other students. He is hard working, courteous, helpful, and a generally nice guy; but what I admire most is that Paul is not afraid to stand up for what is right. In a time where honesty and hard work are "out of fashion," and where being respectful is not always popular, Paul challenges his peers to do all of those things. Paul is always willing to assist a student but likewise if you have not been listening he will be the first to remind you of your obligations in the classroom. He leads by example and as a result is respected by fellow students. For all of the above reasons I have passed on this coin to Paul. Congratulations, Paul and thank you!

Scott Hathaway

Scott is the kind of person who makes going to work a joy and not a drag. He is upbeat and always helpful. He truly cares about the students and about his colleagues. Scott is calm and good-natured and always welcoming if you have a question.

Jan. 2007
Aise Ayar

On the first day of the spring semester, I met a new female student who forgot her schedule and didn't know how to find the location of her 9 a.m. math class. Aise overheard this girl's problem and volunteered to help. Not only did Aise show this girl how to go online to find the location of the class, but Aise also escorted her over to the BTC.

Stephen VanValkenburgh

Steven is continually thoughtful and kind when assisting the students in the Computer Learning Center.

Michael Fagerstrom

Michael, a student, not only graciously moved to another carrel when asked but helped lift the heavy carrel onto a cart so it could be moved to another area in the library.

Tom Edwards

Tom, a computer services staff member, helped move a heavy lectern in the library to the elevator.

Kathleen Bernhard

With Kathy's guidance the "Viking Angels" collected many wonderful gifts for my (Carrie Farley’s) son's unit in Iraq. It made their Christmas away from home tolerable. My son and I will always remember this act of kindness and the support given to him.

Dec. 2006

Lou Rosamilia

Lou is one of the kindest and gentlest people on campus. He treats his students with respect and patience. This semester he has organized a weekly prayer time in the Chapel for all who have any needs.

Bill Muller

For starting my day with a laugh and a chortle.

Andy Miller

In paying for my lunch, I came up short by about 37 cents. Andy was standing behind me in line and did not hesitate to “chip in.” Another woman was standing there, too, and offered to donate. Unfortunately, I didn’t know who she was, but the whole thing just made my day!

Beth Kane

With a knock on the door, came unexpected help. Beth offered to take my mailing to the second floor because she was headed that way.

Elaine Scott

Elaine works for Chartwells in the Campus Center. She greets everyone with friendliness and the most beautiful smile.

Justin Phillips Justin is a biology study center peer tutor who is always available for students. He sits in on classes he tutors to make sure that he knows everything he needs to help our students in A and P. He sometimes tutors in his free time or stays an extra hour (unpaid) if he feels the students need it.

Cathy Kilmer

To name one act of kindness would be like picking up one grain of sand on the beach.

She is the matriarch of the Hudson Valley "family." Cathy is the embodiment of the "family spirit" at Hudson Valley.

Jonathan Winnicki

Jonathan is polite and helpful and really caring about the students.

Cathy Kilmer

For many years of dedicated service to Hudson Valley Community College near the start of her retirement years.

Venus Ward

She helped someone in the LAC to find the proper peer tutor.

Matt Zembo

Matt’s office is across the hall from mine and he is frequently busy with small groups of students. The other day he was talking with a group of 4 students in his office, discussing History Club activities and I heard them all laughing; he was engaging those students as he often does, asking questions and enjoying their camaraderie.

These “outside the classroom” connections between students and faculty are priceless.

Susan Smith

Susan is always helpful, kind, and cheery.

Diane Simmons

Diane is always willing to give a helping hand and has done so on many occasions. It is a pleasure to have her as a student and to be able to recognize her civility with a kindness coin.

John Bosselman

Helped someone with a computer related problem.

Susan Kayorie

For positive interactions with students outside of the classroom.[Some of us met for coffee in the Campus Center just after the students had submitted their final writing projects, my usual end-of-the semester treat for a job well done. From now until the last day of classes the students are the instructors--giving presentations and leading discussions.]

Susan Kayorie

A thank you for the snacks in the Marvin 215 [adjunct office].

Carol McCarthy Sieper

Countless kindnesses, dedication to the college and to the college community. Hours away from her family at home devoted to her “family” at Hudson Valley.

Chad Furman

How perfect this was: I was hauling some books on a giant library cart across campus when I hit a bump. Boxes of books (and the box of kindness coins from our meeting that day) were scattered on the ground. Chad didn’t hesitate for a second in helping me with my mess.

Steve Denio

Book story, continued: Still hauling my monster cart of books, I needed help in getting through from the library to Marvin faculty side. Steve responded to my call for help and made it possible for me to get those books in the right place.

George Hajnasr

George always helps with moving furniture or anything else I need.

Roberta Gentner

Burt, as we all call her, is always looking out for other people and she is always kind and pleasant.

Marcus Walker

On our last day of class, a number of students found a mess hidden in a computer table in our BTC classroom. When I asked for a volunteer to clean up the mess, Marcus graciously volunteered to remove the various beverage bottles and candy wrappers.

Carrie Farley

Carrie's decorating 'contest' on the second floor of Guenther not only brightened the halls, it inspired many laughs and, more importantly, a sense of community between our offices.

Scott Sherman

Scott, our evening custodian, offers help to faculty leaving BTC late at night.

Linda Stein

Seeing my hands were full of books, she went out of her way to open my office door.

James Jenkins

For taking the lead as president of the History Club and executing his duties above and beyond the call of duty for his fellow students.

Bob Matthews

On the Friday afternoon of the pinning ceremony a student had a seizure while Bob was staffing the reference desk. Bob made sure the student was safe and comfortable until the EMTs came.

Nov. 2006

Drew Matonak

The first coin was presented to our college president for his unfailing kindness and courtesy; we’re proud that he represents our college.

Robert Cherry

Rob is a hard worker and a good and caring student. He serves our country in the Army Reserves.