Course Offerings

Spring 2015 Course Offerings

Here's a list of the upcoming Spring courses. To see the complete course descriptions, scroll down below this list. You will also see the dates, times and places for each course. Once you receive your registration packet in the US Mail, you may register. If you wish to join and register, please contact us at 341-4896.

  • "Tai Chi"- Roberta Berowitz
  • "Mah Jongg"- Flo Soroka, Pat Blau
  • "Conductorcise"- David Dworkin
  • "Your Family Tree CONTINUES"- Pat Wilson
  • "Your Family Tree BEGINS With You'"- Pat Wilson
  • "Golden Age of Hollywood B Westerns"- Frank Kieck
  • "Hiking"- Marlena Lange
  • "Book Club"- Marlena Lange
  • "Preserving Orange County's Important Lands"-Marlena Lange
  • "The Final Year of Conflict: Civil War in 1865"-Heidi Weber
  • "America & The World"-Paul Basinski
  • "Portraits of 19th & 20th Centuries"-Marilyn Mandell
  • "Publish Your Own Book"-Marianne Sciucco
  • "Advanced Bridge & Intermediate"- M. Sotelo, J. Kachele, M. Schuck- Jean Kachele
  • "Rocks 7 Minerals"- George Gardianos
  • "Spinoza: On The Improvement of the Understanding"- Robert Isseks
  • "Petticoats To Prostitutes: Women During The Civil War"- Yvonne Bigney
  • "Huckleberry Finn"- President Bill Richards
  • "Aquacize"- Ann Condon
  • "Films For Everyone"- Nelson Page

Sring 2015 Course Offerings

Welcome to Encore’s Spring 2015 course offerings.  These learning opportunities are scheduled within the college’s academic calendar and are assigned to available areas after the credit classes have been scheduled.  SInce this schedule is completed at least two months before classes begin, neither Encore nor its instructors can make changes after that.  The only exception would be a college-wide postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling i.e. snow day. So choose your courses carefully.

Please remember to note for each course:

  • the number of sessions
  • the exact dates of those sessions
  • the location (building & room)

Because of content and/or classroom size, many courses have enrollment caps. Registrations are processed on a "First Come-First Served" basis. Here is our FALL 2014 Course Schedule.

Monday Classes Spring 2015

*** MAH JONGG: 6 sessions 1:00-3:30pm Monday, March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn to play that popular game, Mah Jongg, which you keep hearing about.  The American version will be our focus.  The class is for men and women who are beginners, but can also serve as a refresher course for those who have played before.  Participants will need to purchase their own Mah Jongg cards.  Instructor will order after 1st class.  Approximate cost $7.00.

Instructor:  Florette Soroka, Pat Blau

Florette has played Mah Jongg for over 35 years and has been teaching others to play for numerous years in Chester, at Middletown Mulberry House, Encore and at the Town of Wallkill Wildflower Community Center.

***TAI CHI: 5 sessions, 3:00pm-4:00pm, Monday, March 2, 16, April 6, 20, May 18                    

ROOM – Phys Ed Dance Studio

This class is a basic introduction to part 1. It will begin with the T’Chi traditional bow, C’hi Kung, which is a very slow meditative movement for health at about 20% effort; rhis a warm up exercise lasts  approximately 15 minutes.  There will also be some history of the T’ai Chi style, part 1 and a part 2.  The class time will be 45 minutes to 1 hour, 1 day a week for 5 weeks.  Loose clothing, sweat outfit will be the best clothing for this class.  I recommend bottle water for hydration during class.

Instructor: Robert Berkowitz

Bob is certified to teach Tai Chi Part Three.


***CONDUCTORCISE: 1 session 2:00-3:00pm, Monday, April 13

ROOM – Phys Ed Dance Studio

Join the instructor in physical activity sessions that provide sound aerobic fitness conditioning, a rich musical experience, and a healthy dose of can-do motivation.

Instructor: David Dworkin

David is a world renowned conductor and clarinetist who combines decades of professional musical experience with added joy, charm, culture and sophistication to fitness.


Tuesday Classes Spring 2015


***YOUR FAMILY TREE CONTINUES: 1 session, 2:00-4:00 pm        Tuesday, April 7

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

This session will be a continuation of the course taught in the fall 2014 semester.  Students should have attended this session. Bring previously collected information with you.

Instructor: Patricia Wilson

Pat is a Middletown native, a retired Middletown School District teacher and the current treasurer for Encore.

***YOUR FAMILY TREE BEGINS WITH YOU: 2 sessions 2:00pm – 4:00pm      Tuesday, April 14, 21

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Students will begin creating their personal family tree.  Organization of the family tree information will be taught and each person attending will have the start of their family tree book upon completion of class. Students will need to bring a 3-ring binder, copy of their birth certificate and a favorite photo of themselves.

Instructor: Patricia Wilson

Pat is a Middletown native, a retired Middletown School District teacher and the current treasurer for Encore.

Wednesday Classes Spring 2015

***GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD B WESTERNS: 4 sessions 2:15-4:15pm  Wednesday, March11, 18, 25, April 1

ROOM – Harriman Hall 211B

Join us as we return to those days of yesteryear of the ‘30’s, ‘40’s, & ‘50’s: there will be a little history, a little action and a little romance (mostly with the horse) as we view some of the films of William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, Tim McCoy, Bob Steel, Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Hoppy and many more.

Instructor: Frank Kieck

One of Encore’s most popular instructors, Frank is an avid old time radio and mystery fan who collects old radio shows and mysteries as a hobby.

***BOOK CLUB: 2 sessions 2:00-4:00 pm, Wednesday, April 1, April 8

ROOM – Library Gilman Center

We will read and discuss The Namesake, a novel written by Jhumpa Lahiri for the April 1st class.  For the April 8th class, we will read and discuss Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, written by Roz Chast.  This is a “graphic” novel.  The story is told in cartoon pictures and text.  Students will be required to read each book prior to class.

Instructor: Marlena Lange

A long time Encore instructor, Marlena has also been a teacher of English at Chester High School, SUNY Orange, Harriman College and Mercy College.  She has worked in many local prisons and is an active member of Friends of Thrall Library.

***HIKING: 2 sessions 2:00-4:00 pm Wednesday, April 15, April 22

Moonbeams Preserve, April 15

This walk is an easy hike; the first part is on the parking lot side of the road.  During the first hour, we walk through open fields, then come into a wooded area and finally to the Little Shawangunk Kill, a lovely stream with various flora, such as liverworts.  Then we walk back to the parking lot.  Those who want can pick up their cars to leave.  The rest of us will cross the road and walk on well-marked trails through gentle woods and without much incline, following two different connected trails.  This will take an hour or so.  For directions to the preserve, which is owned by the Orange County Land Trust, go to

Appalachian Trail Mt. Peter, April 22

For the second walk, participants will meet in the back parking lot at SUNY Orange next to the Encore office at 1:00 pm.  We will drive to 17A going west from Warwick.  Near the top of the mountain (Mt. Peter) and right before the turn for the ski area, we will park – there’s a paved area on the right..  The trail head is a few yards south of that parking area. We’ll walk an hour and then turn around and walk back.  It is moderate with hardly any elevation gain, and there are a few lookouts along the trail.

Rain cancels this course.  If you have any questions about that day’s hike, you can call me between 11 and 1:30 at 343-4841 or my cell 665-9200.

Instructor and Guide:  Marlena Lange

***PRESERVING ORANGE COUNTY’S IMPORTANT LANDS: 1 session        2:00 – 4:00 pm, Wednesday, April 29

ROOM – Bio Tech 203

This class will be a two hour presentation. The staff and Board president of Orange County Land Trust will explain what a land trust is, including what a conservation easement is; provide a brief history of OCLT’s beginnings, such as our founding members, Jacques Levine and Seymour Gordon; show  slides of our working farms and public preserves; examine the responsibilities of land trusts, especially their mandate to protect the lands they have saved in perpetuity; describe our recent accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance, and finally, explore the ways to help our County continue to protect its open space and farmland.

Instructor: Marlena Lange

Board President Orange County Land Trust

***THE FINAL YEAR OF CONFLICT: CIVIL WAR IN 1865: 3 sessions  1:00-3:00 pm, Weds.   APRIL 15, 22, 29

ROOM – Library 221

This course will cover the last year of the American Civil War. It will highlight the efforts made by the Union Armies to finally defeat the Confederate forces like Major General Sherman’s Campaign of the Carolina’s and Lieutenant General Grant’s Virginia Campaign.  We will also discuss important events including the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the start of Reconstruction.

Instructor: Heidi Weber

Heidi is an Assistant Professor in the SUNY Orange Global Studies Department.  She is also Honors Coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning at SUNY Orange.

***AMERICA & THE WORLD: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 3 sessions, 2:00-4:00 pm,    Wednesday April 8, 15, 22

ROOM – Harriman 211A

The United States once practiced a policy of isolationism, generally avoiding international affairs and yet today it is a global super power.  We will explore the dynamics behind this transition.

Instructor: Paul Basinski

Paul is the Chair of the Department of Global Studies and a Professor of Political Science at SUNY Orange.  He helps run the college’s Global Initiative and is also responsible for the Gilman Center for International Education.

***PORTRAITS OF 19TH & 20TH CENTURIES: 2 sessions, 2:00-4:00pm          Wednesday, March 11, 18

ROOM – Harriman Hall 313

We will study portraits of the 19th and 20th centuries from John Singer Sargent to Cindy Sherman.  We will consider the impact of photography on portraiture, look at how artists’ relationships to this genre change over the 20th century, and consider the question of identify as expressed through a constructed image.

Instructor: Marilyn Mandell

Marilyn received an MA in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley and taught as an adjunct professor for many years.

***ADVENTURES IN PUBLISHING: PUBLISH YOUR OWN BOOK: 1 session, 3:00-5:00pm, Weds. May 13

ROOM- Library 221

Dream of publishing your own book?  With today’s technology and the internet, you can do this yourself and share your work with friends, family and readers all over the world.  Please join Middletown author Marianne Sciucco in a 2 hour workshop on independent publishing where she will show you how she published her first novel in print, digital, and audiobook.  This class will be of interest to anyone thinking about publishing a book, whether it’s a novel, poetry, memoir, family history, cookbook, etc.  Topics include: changes in publishing industry over the last 10 years, the trend toward independent publishing and its growing acceptance among readers, why authors might choose to go this route rather than seek traditional publishing, and the work involved in publishing and marketing your own book.

Instructor:  Marianne Sciucco

Marianne is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse.  She has brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.  Her debut novel, “Blue Hydrangeas,” is an Alzheimer’s love story.  She currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley and, when not writing, works as a campus nurse at SUNY Orange.

Thursday Classes Spring 2015

***ROCKS & MINERALS: 2 sessions 2:00-4:00 pm, Thursday, March 12,19            ROOM: Harriman Hall 211A

Students will be taught to recognize the rocks and minerals that we may encounter every day and why we collect them.

Instructor: George Gardianos

George has been a mineral collector for 40 years.  His collection is over 9,000 specimens.  He has collected the US East Coast, Mexico, Canada and Greece. He has also been an active member of Orange County Mineral Society since 1976.

***ADVANCED BRIDGE AND INTERMEDIATE: 4 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm            Thursday, April 9,16,23,30

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Take a seat; continue last fall’s class with our knowledgeable faculty trio.  Learn more bridge conventions, play of the hand, defense and signals.      

Instructors: Marion Sotelo, Jeanine Kachele, Martha Schuck

All three instructors have been duplicate bridge players for many years.  Marion has attained the rank of Silver Life Master. All three love the game and want others to share their enthusiasm for the game.

***SPINOZA: ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE UNDERSTANDING 2 sessions 3:00-4:15pm, Thurs. April 23,30

ROOM – Library 221

The course will be an extended interpretation of Spinoza’s essay and the idea of perfecting the mind.

Copies will be available at the campus library prior to 1st class or can be viewed online.

Instructor: Robert N. Isseks

Robert is a lawyer in Middletown concentrating in constitutional law, civil rights and federal litigation.

***PETTICOATS TO PROSTITUTES: WOMEN DURING THE CIVIL WAR             3 sessions 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Thurs., April 2, 9, 16

ROOM – Orange Hall 108

You know about the generals, the soldiers and the battles. Now come and learn about the effect the civil war had on the women and how they dealt with the many changes.

Instructor: Yvonne Bigney

Yvonne was a civil war re-enactor for 10 years participating in many reenactments including Museum Village, Walnut Mt, the 135th anniversary @ Gettysburg, etc.  She belonged to the 15th NY Volunteer Calvary and 124th NY Infantry-the “Orange Blossoms”. She has given talks at historical societies, libraries and schools.

***HUCKLEBERRY FINN: 1 session, 4:00-6:00pm, Thursday, March 26

ROOM –Morrison Mansion Music Room

We will discuss the historical and literary importance of Samuel Clemen’s seminal work.

Please note: Copies of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, and any handouts will be available in the Encore office after March 9.  The Encore office is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 am to 11 am.

Instructor: President Bill Richards

Dr. Richards, who arrived at SUNY Orange on August 1, 2003, encourages innovative collaborations and is often fond of saying, “We can do things better together than we can separately.”  He earned his Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Denver in 1987.


Friday Classes Spring 2015

***AQUASIZE: 3 sessions, 3:00-4:00pm, Friday, April 17, 24, May 1                  ROOM – Physical Education Pool

An exercise class in the shallow end of the pool.  Non-swimmers who are comfortable in the water up to great swimmers are welcome.  Participants are introduced to movement in the pool and exercise helpers .Showers are available as are lockers. Bring own towels and locks.

It would be helpful if the participant’s doctor knew about this exercise. No street shoes on the pool deck!

Requirements: The ability to enter and exit the pool independently and the ability to move around the pool independently.

Instructor: Anne M. Condon

Anne has been a popular, certified and accomplished swimming instructor for many years.

***FILMS FOR EVERYONE: 6 sessions 2:00-5:00pm Friday                         ROOM – Harriman Hall 111                                     

Students will view 6 films which will be both entertaining and informative.  A brief history of each film will be presented before showings; discussions will follow the movie.  The following films will be shown:  

  • April 10     Uninvited
  • April 17     Meet John Doe
  • April 24     The Third Man
  • May 1        7 Little Foys
  • May 15      The Red Shoes

NOTE: Program is subject to change.

Instructor: Nelson E. Page

Nelson has been affiliated with the motion picture exhibition for the past 30 years, He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge with Encore.

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