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Four From Hudson Valley Community College Receive President's Award for Excellence

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three faculty members and one member of the administrative staff at Hudson Valley Community College were given the President's  Award for Excellence for 2010. This honor is given to those who have shown exemplary service to the college and its students.  Honorees are nominated by students and colleagues.

The recipients are: Ana Almonte of Albany, an assistant professor in the Department of English, Modern Languages and English as a Second Language; Loretta Blitstein of Albany, an instructor in the Department of Human Services and Chemical Dependency Counseling; Mary Beth Hampshire of Troy, assistant professor, Mathematics and Engineering Science; and Erin Manning of Troy, scheduling officer in the Office of Educational Outreach and Academic Services.

Almonte, who teaches Spanish Language and Culture at the college, was noted for her enthusiasm for Latin culture and engaging teaching style. A faculty member since 2000, she has organized informal student trips to Spanish neighborhoods in New York City to explore Latin culture and created an organization for her former students to continue their study of Latin culture. Almonte also teaches online and uses a variety of technologies to enhance her instruction. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from The University at Albany.

Blitstein, who teaches several courses in the Human Services department, was described as a caring mentor and role model for her students. A faculty member since 2006, she is co-advisor to the Human Services Club and a member of the college's National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Diversity Training Team.   She received an associate degree from Hudson Valley Community College and her bachelor's degree from The University at Albany. She received her Master of Education in Counseling from The College of Saint Rose.

Hampshire, who teaches calculus and statistics courses at the college, was honored for her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to teaching. In her seven years at the college, she has been very active outside the classroom as well, helping to create an honors-level mathematics course and serving on a variety of college-wide academic and planning committees. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College in North Carolina and received her Master of Science degree from The College of William and Mary.

Manning, who has been employed at the college since 2002, creates the college's master schedule and final exam schedule. She works with department chairs to assign available classroom space. Manning was noted for her attention to detail and her ability to coordinate multiple tasks with efficiency and patience.   A graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree at The University at Albany and her master's degree from Russell Sage College. 

This year's recipients were honored at the college's 26th annual Faculty Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 13, in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre.

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 Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and also sponsors 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 13,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.