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10/16/2008
Hudson Valley Community College Honored Community Partners, Distinguished Alumni Photos Available

CONTACT: Paula Monaco (518) 629-8071 or (518) 378-3835 cell
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, October 16, 2008

Photo Available Photo Gallery Available

Albany Medical Center – one of upstate New York's largest and most sophisticated teaching hospitals – today received Hudson Valley Community College's Corporate Excellence Award in recognition of the hospital's commitment to the college, its alumni and the Capital Region.

The Corporate Excellence Award is one of five awards that were presented at the 2008 Hudson Valley Community College Distinguished Service Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation and the college's Alumni Association. The event was held at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom in Troy.

James Barba
James Barba
Paula A. Stopera
Paula A. Stopera
Michael J. Whalen
Michael J. Whalen
Charles Touhey
Charles Touhey
William C. Wolff
William C. Wolff

Four individuals were honored at the event:

  • Paula A. Stopera '77, president and CEO of Capital Communications Federal Credit Union, received the Otto V. Guenther Career Achievement Award.
  • Michael J. Whalen '73, director of administration for Prime Care Physicians, received the 1953 Award for Distinguished Service to Hudson Valley Community College by an Alumnus;
  • Charles Touhey, an educator, businessman, and civil rights activist, received the 1953 Award for Distinguished Service to Hudson Valley Community College by a Non-Alumnus;
  • William C. Wolff '72, executive director of the La Salle School, received the Hudson Valley Community College Humanitarian Service Award; and
  • James Barba, president and chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center, received the Corporate Excellence Award on behalf of the hospital.

Award Information:

James Barba/Albany Medical Center:
Albany Medical Center has been a partner of Hudson Valley Community College for more than a decade in a number of critical health professions. In addition to the hundreds of nurses that Albany Med has partnered to educate, they also have joint programs in radiologic technology and respiratory therapy. Each of these academic program fields benefit from the medical center's commitment of funds for student scholarships, faculty support and equipment. On average, about half of Hudson Valley's graduates begin their careers in these health professions at the hospital. Earlier this year, Albany Medical Center's President & CEO, James Barba, made another commitment to the college as honorary chairperson of the college's first comprehensive fundraising campaign: $1.75 million over the next ten years. The funding will create a part-time Nursing program to expand the number of graduates annually by 50 percent.

Paula A. Stopera '77 joined Capital Communications Federal Credit Union in 1980 and was promoted through the organization to her current position of president and CEO. Paula also holds the position of Treasurer on the Capital Communications FCU Board of Directors. Capital Communications is the second largest credit union in the Capital Region and has been recognized as the number one credit union nationwide for member satisfaction (Radon Financial Group 2003, 2005 and 2008). Capital Communications has been the recipient of The Business Review's Great Places to Work award for several years and was acknowledged for being one of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Capital Region. Nationally, Paula received the Operations Professional of the Year award from the Credit Union Executive Society. On the New York State level, she was recently named 2008 Professional of the Year by The Credit Union Association of New York.

Michael J. Whalen '73 is a graduate of Hudson Valley's Radiology Technology program. Since his graduation Michael has held numerous positions across the region with hospitals, clinics, and health centers, and currently serves as director of administration for Prime Care Physicians. Michael credits his success to the fine education and career direction he received at Hudson Valley. He contributes back to the program in a number of ways, including serving on the department's Advisory Board, participating in the program's regular survey assessments, sitting on departmental chair search committees, standing in as a guest lecturer, and serving as a resource as needed for the department.

Charles Touhey and the Touhey Family Foundation is one of the region's leaders of industry, government and philanthropy. The Touhey family has generously donated to the college for a number of years. The partnership began when Charles approached the college back in 2000 with a plan to integrate previously incarcerated individuals into college programs to provide them with a positive direction for their future. What emerged from those early planning meetings was Project ReConnect, which has served 270 students over its eight years. Last year, Charles again approached the college, this time with an idea to continue to provide instruction on diversity issues to professionals in the field of early childhood education. The Diversity in Education – Community Outreach program now seeks to engage 50-60 educators in a program of study over the next five years. The program includes instructional content in culturally sensitive teaching and diversity in education for preschool and elementary school teachers, teacher assistants and Head Start personnel.

William C. Wolff '72 is executive director of the La Salle School and is the first lay administrator in a long line of Christian Brothers who have guided the school's operations since it opened 154 years ago. In the last decade, Bill has worked alongside staff to expand the agency's services and complete more than $13 million in facility improvements. Bill has volunteered in his hometown of Chatham and served on the boards for numerous community organizations. These include the Albany Police Athletic League, the Crellin-Morris Association, the Chatham Central School District Board of Education, and the Chatham Education Foundation. Bill is president of the New York State Coalition of 853 Schools and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies. Bill is also a member of the National Public Policy Committee of the Alliance for Children and Families. In 2007, he was named a Distinguished Lasallian Educator for the United States Region of the Christian Brothers.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate's degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.