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03/04/2011
Hudson Valley Community College Students Named To Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Photos Available

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, March 4, 2011

Photos Available Photo Gallery Available

Nearly 50 Hudson Valley Community College students were recently honored by acceptance in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Students are chosen by a campus nominating committee for this honor based upon their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and continued potential for success. A ceremony at the college on Monday, Feb. 21, marked the achievement.

The 2011 recipients included:

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 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 14,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.

Owais Amjed of Albany, who is studying Biological Sciences at the college. Amjed, who has a 3.69 grade point average, is an active member of the college's Tour Guide Club and also vice president of the Muslim Student Association. He also volunteers in Albany Medical Center ICU.

Christina Duerr of Albany, who is studying Invasive Cardiovascular Technology at the college. Duerr, who has a 3.43 grade point average, coordinates monthly support meetings at the Albany County Women's Correctional Facility. She is also invoved in mentoring a 12-year-old child in foster care.

Darren Finn of Albany, who is studying Biological Sciences at the college. Finn, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is a volunteer at Albany Medical Center, providing time in the emergency room and the pediatric oncology/hematology department. A peer tutor for biology, chemistry and writing, he also was elected vice president of fellowshpi for the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter.

Paola Gonzalez-Martinez of Albany, who is studying Theatre Arts at the college. Gonzalez-Martinez, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is an active member of the region's community theater productions, especially in the area of fight choreography; she served as an intern for the New York State Theater Institute this past fall.

Mihaela Monahan of Albany, who is studying Nursing at the college. Monahan, who has a 3.71 grade point average, a peer tutor for several of her Nursing courses, she has been involved in leadership roles for several other student organizations on campus, including the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, International Students Club and Nursing Club. Outside of school, she has done community service with the American Cancer Society, Red Cross, the Ronald McDonald House and Better World Books.

Michaela Whalen of Belchertown, who is studying Human Services at the college. Whalen, who has a 3.70 grade point average, is a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, secretary of the Human Services Club and a volunteer with the Homeless Action Committee in Albany.

Nicole Hrinishin of Broadalbin, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Hrinishin, who has a 3.52 grade point average, is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and volunteers year-round with WGNA's Pennies from Heaven campaign, which raises money for several children's charities. Nicole is also involved in Junior Achievement, helping children build financial awareness.

Sidiq Soulemana of Bronx, who is studying Physical Education Studies at the college. Soulemana, who has a 3.5 grade point average, is captain of the college's football team and led the Northeast Football Conference in tackles. He assists the school's athletic trainer in preparing athletes for games and to help prevent injuries.

Alexandra Elwell of Buskirk, who is studying Early Childhood at the college. Elwell, who has a 3.74 grade point average, is the president of the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter and past secretary of the Human Services Club. She also is a first responder and volunteer firefighter in her community as well as a youth group leader in her church.

Jessica Slawson of Castleton, who is studying Early Childhood at the college. Slawson, who has a 4.0 grade point average, has been a Girl Scout leader for the past three years and was vice president of the Greenbush Area Mom's Club. She also is actively assisting in her daughters' classrooms.

Christine Holle of Cohoes, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Holle, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is a fourth grade religious education teacher and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She serves as a student tutor for fellow business administration students and also holds a full-time job while completing her studies.

Binyamin Lightfoot of Cohoes, who is studying Biological Sciences at the college. Lightfoot, who has a 4.0 grade point average, works as a volunteer at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home and also volunteers at the Albany Pine Bush. As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, he served as vice president of fellowship.

Elizabeth Raab of Cohoes, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Raab, who has a 3.87 grade point average, is very involved in the local theater community, having been involved with productions at Park Playhouse, Confetti Stage and RPI Players. She serves as a volunteer coreographer for the Cohoes High School annual musical. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, she also volunteers at Jewish Family Services.

Natalie Mosconi of Fonda, who is studying Dental Hygiene at the college. Mosconi, who has a 3.64 grade point average, an active member of the American Dental Hygienists Association, she has visited local elementary schools to teach young people about good oral health. She has been involved in volunteer work to benefit those with cancer and Sjogren's syndrome.

Nikita Timofeev of Glenmont, who is studying Engineering Science at the college. Timofeev, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is vice president of the Math Club, a member of the Foreign Language and Culture Club and also has been a two-year work study student in the Nursing department. Nikita, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, was a participant in the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association.

Amanda Smith of Greenwich, who is studying Computer Information Systems: Web Design at the college. Smith, who has a 4.0 grade point average, has particiapted in Habitat for Humanity for the past two years and also serves as president of the Student Christian Association. She is a peer tutor and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Jason Paiko of Hoosick Falls, who is studying Computer Information System: System & Network Administration at the college. Paiko, who has a 4.0 grade point average, serves as a volunteer firefighter in Hoosick Falls and is an active member of his church community. Jason, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, also serves as a peer tutor in the college's Learning Assistance Center.

Felicia Roll of Kingston, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Roll, who has a 3.37 grade point average, is an advocate for disability awareness among her fellow students.

Zainab Ali of Latham, who is studying Engineering Science at the college. Ali, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, the Engineering Science Club, secretary of the Math Club and a participant in outreach effort to get more young people interested in engineering.

Rebecca Welch of Latham, who is studying Criminal Justice at the college. Welch, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is vice president of the Criminal Justice and Forensics Association and a past president of the group. She has been actively involved in all aspects of the club, including arranging speakers, new student outreach and fundraising.

Courtney Barry of Mechanicville, who is studying Physical Education Studies at the college. Barry, who has a 3.25 grade point average, is active in coaching youth sports including time with Saint John's of Valatie CYO basketball team and the Uncle Sam Lady Hoopster AAU team.

Mark DePaul Jr. of Mechanicville, who is studying Business Administration at the college. DePaul Jr., who has a 3.78 grade point average, is a member of the Animal Outreach Club and Phi Theta Kappa honor society. He also has been affiliated with the Olde Saratoga Fyfe and Drum Corps for more than 10 years.

Thomas Stoddard of Montgomery, who is studying Physical Education Studies at the college. Stoddard, who has a 3.58 grade point average, has been a volunteer at the Special Olympics for the past two years and works year-round as a volunteer coach for swimming and track and field. He is captain of the college's lacrosse team and a member of the Physical Education Majors Club. Thomas has also coached several youth football and lacrosse teams.

Brenda Ebel of Niverville, who is studying Human Services at the college. Ebel, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is an active volunteer leader in her community. She is involved in Cub Scouts, the Columbia Greene Humane Society and several other charitable organizations in Columbia County.

Amanda Hernandez of Old Chatham, who is studying Early Childhood at the college. Hernandez, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is president of the Early Childhood Club as well as the college's Theater Club. A peer tutor and member of Phi Theta Kappa, she also holds two part-time jobs while completing her studies.

Tara Tufankjian of Port Ewen, who is studying Dental Hygiene at the college. Tufankjian, who has a 3.37 grade point average, is a member of the Student American Dental Hygientists Association and is her class president for the group. She has won two awards for educating the dental community on community water flouridation and has participated in several outreach activities at local elementary schools.

Heather Meyer of Ravena, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Meyer, who has a 3.5 grade point average, recently initiated a community day care in her Ravena neighborhood. She volunteers 10 to 20 hours each week watching children, designing creative activities and oversees homework for the neighborhood children.

Nicole Sheldon of Rensselaer, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Sheldon, who has a 3.73 grade point average, was a member of the college's women's bowling team for the past two years and also served on the captain's council, which gathers together captains of the college's intercollegiate athletic teams.

MeMe Zin of Rensselaer, who is studying Computer Information Systems at the college. Zin, who has a 3.9 grade point average, is a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, and holds membership in the Muslim Student Association and the Entreprenuers Club. She also is active as a volunteer in the local Burmese and Muslim community.

Caitlyn Pugliese of Schenectady, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Pugliese, who has a 3.47 grade point average, is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and has also served as captain of the college's volleyball team. She supports the Adopt an Angel program and has been involved in several other charities in her community.

David Vignolesi of Schenectady, who is studying Engineering Science at the college. Vignolesi, who has a 3.03 grade point average, is president of the Engineering Science Club at the college and last semester led an outreach program that involved 20 HVCC Engineering Science students visiting a local elementary school to work on an engineering project. He also headed up a sub-group of the club that is interested in mini-engineering projects.

Victoria Ramos of Selkirk, who is studying Liberal Arts & Sciences: Humanities & Social Science at the college. Ramos, who has a 3.77 grade point average, is the 2010-2011 Student Senate president at the college and also serves as a board member for the college's Faculty Student Association.

McKenzie Bourque of Slingerlands, who is studying Liberal Arts & Sciences: Human & Social Science at the college. Bourque, who has a 3.88 grade point average, ia a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and a HonorScholar at the school. She has also been involved in several student groups at HVCC including Sisters Inc., a service club, and served as a peer advisor for Project Aware.

Aaron Estes of Tillson, who is studying Radiologic Technology at the college. Estes, who has a 4.0 grade point average, vis ery involved in his church, the Tillson Lighthouse Church, and has volunteered numerous times to help members of his community.

AbdulRahman Al-Salami of Troy, who is studying Engineering Science at the college. Al-Salami, who has a 3.78 grade point average, is Hudson Valley Student Senate senior senator, president of the Muslim Student Association, and a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

Elizabeth Beck of Troy, who is studying Nursing at the college. Beck, who has a 3.65 grade point average, is involved in several charities in her local community and church. She is a member of the Nursing Club.

Vicki Bower of Troy, who is studying Gallery Management at the college. Bower, who has a 3.13 grade point average, is involved in the Capital Region arts community and volunteers at established galleries such as Albany Center Gallery and Marketplace Gallery. She now directs, as a volunteer, the gallery at the Townsend Park Bakery Café. She is one of the leaders of the students in the college's Gallery Management program.

Brian Gasparro of Troy, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Gasparro, who has a 3.57 grade point average, participated in a service learning project at Saint Jude the Apostle School and also has been a volunteer at the Saint Mary's Church soup kitchen. Brian holds two part-time jobs while attending school.

Katherine McGrane of Troy, who is studying Radiologic Technology at the college. McGrane, who has a 3.34 grade point average, serves as co-president of the Radiology Club and has demonstrated excellence and leadership in both academic and clinic areas of her studies.

Donald Miller of Troy, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Miller, who has a 4.0 grade point average, started a foundation and held a golf fundraiser that raised over $50,000 for cancer research on behalf of his best friend, who has cancer. Donald was honored by the Rensselaer County Legislature for his efforts. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, he has been involved in numerous other volunteer efforts including the American Cancer Society, Epilepsy Foundation and Junior Achievement.

Kathryn Tisaj of Troy, who is studying Business Administration at the college. Tisaj, who has a 3.6 grade point average, provided voter registration assistance and has also been involved in many Student Senate activities.

Rebecca Duncan of Voorheesville, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Duncan, who has a 3.51 grade point average, is a leader on the college's bowling team.

Stephanie Owens of Waterford, who is studying Computer Information Systems: Web Design at the college. Owens, who has a 3.54 grade point average, is an active member of her church community and participates in preaching as well as the building of kingdom halls for Jehovah's Witnesses. She also has assisted her fellow students in several computer science courses related to her area of sudy.

Megan Bailey of West Sand Lake, who is studying Individual Studies at the college. Bailey, who has a 3.81 grade point average, is captain of the college's softball team and active in her own horseback riding lesson business. She also has taught horseback riding to Girl Scouts.

Cody Hanna of West Sand Lake, who is studying Engineering Science at the college. Hanna, who has a 3.58 grade point average, is an active member of both the Math Club and the Engineering Science Club. He also participated in the Tour De Cure charity cycling event, raising $1,500 for diabetes research.