Course Offerings

Preview: Fall 2014 Course Offerings

Here's a "sneak peak" of the courses (and instructors) that Encore will offer this Fall 2014 semester. This list is a taste, an enticement, a hint. Please note: Specific dates, days and times, as well as full course descriptions, will be posted when our registration packets are mailed in August.

  • "Your Family Tree Begins With YOU!"- Pat Wilson
  • "Petticoats To Prostitutes: Women In The Civil War"- Yvonne Bigney
  • "Aquacize"- Ann Condon
  • "Chocolate, Another Contribution of the New World To Civilization"- Jacques Levine
  • "Layman's Guide to 'Krishnamurti'"- Bernie Ampel
  • "Another Mystery Lady: Meet Vera Stanhope"- Chris Godwin
  • "Child Labor in Walden"- Mary Ellen Matisse
  • "What Is Money And Why Should You Care About Monetary Policy?"- Greg Gilman
  • "Let's Go To The Movies"- Nelson Page (This course is free to members)
  • "Fiction and Non Fiction"- Marlena Lange
  • "Hiking: Basha Kill & Black Rock Forest"- Marlena Lange
  • "Mahjongg"- Florette Soroka
  • "Heroes & Villians, Continued"- Frank Kieck
  • "Crafts For Fun"- Jean Kachele
  • "Made In Chester"- Clifford Parker
  • "Greece's Parthenon"- Demos Kontos
  • "Bridge"- Marion Sotelo, Jeanine Kachele, Marilyn Schuck
  • "Help! Facebook, Facetime, Skype, Twitter: What's This All About?"- Maureen Larsen
  • "The Civil War"- Heidi Weber


Spring 2014 Course Offerings

Welcome to Encore’s SPRING 2014 course offerings.  These learning opportunities follow the college’s academic calendar and are assigned to available areas after the credit classes have been scheduled.  This scheduling is completed at least two months before classes begin.  So, as you consider what to register for, please note carefully the dates, times, and places for each offering.  Then register for those offerings that fit within your own calendar and commitments.  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. Encore office phone number is (845) 341-4896.

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 Spring 2014 Course Schedule.

Monday Classes Spring 2014

***CHINA IN AFRICA: 2 sessions Monday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, April 7,21

 ROOM – Orange Hall 109

In this course we will examine the impact of China on Africa from antiquity to the present with an emphasis on the past half century.

Instructor: Richard Hull

Richard is a Professor of History at New York University, the Town of Warwick Municipal Historian and has published several works on Africa and World Civilizations.  He is also a four time winner of the NYU Teaching Excellence Award.

***IDENTITY THEFT: 2 sessions Monday, 2:30pm-4:30pm, April 28;  Friday, 2:30pm – 4:30pm, April 25

ROOM: Harriman Hall 211A 

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in North American 13 years in a row.  This course will cover the 5 major types of identity theft:

  • how identity theft fraud affects your credit reports, car insurance, etc.
  • cyber security protection in a world full of social media
  •  the best practices for use at home and work
  • how to obtain and understand all 3 credit reports—FREE
  • the value of continuous monitoring

Please bring a notebook and pen to class.

Instructor: Nancy Wolff

Nancy was an instructor with BOCES Adult Education, has been a small business owner for 25+ years, is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Club, an Ambassador with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, a senior Benefits Counselor and is licensed in NY, NJ, and PA.

Tuesday Classes Spring 2014

***THE LAYMAN’S GUIDE TO QUANTUM PHYSICS: 3 sessions Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, March 4, 11, 18

ROOM –Library 221

This course will be a layman’s guide to Quantum Physics which is a study of the smallest items in the universe, what is quantum weirdness, what does superposition mean. The course will be taught in plain English with no Math required.

Instructor: Bernard Ampel

Bernie has lived in the Hudson Valley for 40 years, has been a Psychotherapist in family and individual counseling for 30 years in private practice and is interested in all things pertaining to the working of the mind.

***HISTORY OF TOWNS: 2 sessions Tuesdays 2:00pm-4:00pm April 1, April 8

ROOM – Library 130 Gilman Center

This two-session course takes us on a historical journey of two of Orange County’s prominent towns .  Our guides are well-known and very accomplished citizen-historians; Mary Ellen Matise  and Maryanne O’Dell.

  • Town of Cornwall History – Tuesday April 1

This session will be a power point presentation of the rich history of the Town of Cornwall in Orange County, NY and its significance in the forming of this great Nation.  From Henry Hudson’s 1609 journey to the present day, Cornwall, in the Hudson Highlands, has been in the forefront in industry, arts, nature and education with many famous names enjoying its splendor.

Instructor: Maryanne O’Dell

Maryanne has been the Cornwall Town Historian since 2009, is currently the elected Receiver of Taxes for the Town of Cornwall and has been a Cornwall resident for 35 years.

  • Walden: A Brief History of a Planned Industrial Community – Tuesday, April 8

The history of Walden is unique.  Jacob Walden and his investors purchased land at the High Falls of the Wallkill where they planned to establish an industrial community.  Later businesses brought new concepts of corporate organization which shaped this small village making it a factory town attracting both foreign and domestic workers.

Instructor: Mary Ellen Matise

Mary Ellen is currently the Historian for the Village of Walden.

***LEGAL CHECK-UP FOR SENIORS: 1 session, Tuesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm, April 1

ROOM – Harriman Hall 211A

This course gives an overview of legal issues important to seniors including Elder Law, retaining assets in the event long term care is needed, Living Trusts, wills, Power of Attorney and Health Care proxies as well as an update on new legal issues.

Instructor: Sanford R. Altman

Sandy has been practicing law in Orange County since 1983 and now focuses on areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Business Law and Probate and Estate Administration.  As a member of the Legal Service Network for the AARP, he has maintained the strict standards of legal experience required by this nationwide non-profit organization.  He is Chairman of the Town of Montgomery Seniors Independence Project, a member of the Adult Protective Services Task Force, on the Advisory Board for the Orange County Office for the Aging and the Advisory Council for the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Region, a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Trust and Estates Sections, the Orange County Bar Association and is past President of the Middletown Bar Association.

***LINE DANCING: 2 sessions Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, April 8, 22

ROOM – Physical Education Dance Studio

Students will learn line dancing from beginner to advanced.  Line dancing is very good exercise and a lot of fun for students from 8 to 80.  If you can count to 8, you can do it.  There will be all types of music.

Instructor: Theodore Bound

Ike is an instructor of line dancing steps and dances for all levels from beginner to advanced.

***UTILITARIANISM AND THE GOOD: 2 sessions Tuesday, 3:00pm-4:30pm, April 22, 29

ROOM – Library 221

This course will discuss some of the basic principles of utilitarian theory and apply those principles to some contemporary problems such as euthanasia and the rights of animals.

Instructor: Robert N. Isseks

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

***KENYA/LAND AND WILDLIFE: 1 session Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, April 29

ROOM - Harriman Hall 211A

The instructor will show a power point presentation of his wildlife trip to Kenya.  There will be brief discussions of geography, but, the primary concern will be the wildlife.

Instructor: William Fiero

William is an avid traveler, focusing on nature and photography.  He has been to Africa twice and Central and South America.

Wednesday Classes Spring 2014

***JAZZ/BLUES IN THE HUDSON VALLEY: 3 sessions, Wednesday, 2:30 – 4:00 pm,

March 5,12,19            

ROOM – Library 221

This class will explore an overview of famed jazz/blues artists of the Hudson Valley.  We would like to have student contributions.  There will possibly be a class trip to a local jazz/blues event.

Instructor: Russ Layne

Russ is the founder/executive director of the Sugar Loaf Music Series Inc. and former radio host , The Gumbo Shop, WJFF, Jazz of Russ Layne.

***MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD: 5 sessions Wednesday 2:00pm-4:00pm, April 2,9,16,23,30

ROOM – Bio Tech 203

Join us in a murder mystery play presentation of Charles Dicken’s unfinished masterpiece.  No acting experience is necessary.  No script readings and no memorization will be required.  Active participation is optional.  This is a mystery without singing.

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.

***THE NOVEL FICTION-NON FICTION:  2 sessions, Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm,  April 9, 16

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

This course will cover two books: Canada by Richard Ford (April 9) and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (April 16).  Since this book is so long, feel free to choose one of the 3 people she writes about, Ida Mae Brandon Gladny, George Starling or Robert Pershing Foster and just follow that person’s life through the book.  Students will be required to read each book prior to the class.

Instructor – Marlena Lange

Marlena has 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.

***RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: 3 sessions Wednesday 1:00pm-3:00pm, April 9,16,23

ROOM – Harriman Hall 211B

This course will explore the events that transpired in Imperial Russia that led to the Russian Revolution.  The course will explore the Romanov family, the influence of Rasputin, the government, the problems caused by World War I and the rise of the Bolsheviks.  This course will look at how the revolution came about, the execution of the Royal family as well as the Russian Civil War.

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.

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Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, April 9,16,23 ROOM – Orange Hall 109

This course will investigate how and why Republicans and Democrats have failed to find common ground over a number of issues including budget, debt, etc. the vast generation and how the problem can be rectified.

Instructor: Paul Basinski

Paul is the Chair of the Department of Global Studies and an Assistant 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.

***HIKING: 2 sessions 2:00pm-4:00pm Wednesday, April 23,30

Moonbeams Preserve, April 23

This walk is an easy hike: the first part is on the parking lot side of the road.  We walk through open fields, then come into a wooded area and then to the Little Shawangunk Kill, a lovely stream with various flora, such as liverworts.  Then back to the parking lot for the first hour or less.  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 not 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  Directions will also be included with course confirmation.

Appalachian Trail, April 30

We will meet at the College parking lot next to the Encore office at 1:30 pm.  We will car pool to the Greenville section of the Appalachian Trail off of Route 516 in Sussex, NJ which is on the border of Greenville near High Point State Park.  There will be parking for only 4-5 cars.  The hike is a fairly moderate one with one major hill.  We will start the hike around 2 pm and be back to the cars by 4 pm.

Wear sturdy shoes or sturdy sneakers or hiking boots if you have them.  Bring water and sunscreen.  The instructor will bring Deep Woods Off and a first aid kit.  Rain cancels this course. If you have any questions about that day’s hike, you can call the instructor’s cell phone 845- 665-9200.

Instructor and Guide: Marlena Lange

***MORE MYSTERY LADIES: 2 sessions, Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, May 14,

Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, May 15

ROOM – LRC 221

Get to know a new mystery lady, Vera Stanhope, created by British writer Ann Cleeves.  In both print and video, CDI Vera solves murders in Northern England while dealing with her own middle age issues.  Explore how she adds to that special group of sleuths: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote’s Jessica Fletcher, “Prime Suspect’s” Jane Tennison, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency’s Mma Ramotswe and carries several steps further the tradition of teenage Nancy Drew.  We’ll also look at how Vera’s character, played by accomplished actor Brenda Bleythen, has been translated from the novel to television.  After this short course, we’re betting participants will vie to read the Vera books and and see the Vera DVDs!

Instructor: Chris Godwin

Chris is Professor Emeritus of English, SUNY Orange and has a special interest in how women are portrayed in literature and media.

Thursday Classes Spring 2014

***VOLUNTEERING IN ISRAEL WITH CAARI (Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel)

1 session, Thursday, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm, March 6

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn about an amazing winter of volunteering experience in Israel.  Hear the details of this program which includes tours, lectures, community service including teaching English in elementary schools in Tel Aviv, museum visits and clearing land in UNF Forests.  Cynthia and Joel will share their personal experiences and photo albums, will show you a DVD and brochures of the program and answer all questions.

Instructor: Cynthia Weintraub

Cynthia Weintraub is a retired reading teacher.  She has been active in the Jewish community in Orange County since moving here from Brooklyn in 1973.  She is presently president of the Jewish Family Service and past president of the Middletown Chapter of Manasseh.  She is also on the board of the People for People Fund.  For the past 4 winters she and her husband, Joel, have volunteered in Israel with the CAARI program.


Thursday, 4:30 pm-7:00 pm, March 27

ROOM – LRC 221

We will review the plot, character, geography and impact of Huckleberry Finn on American and World authors.  There will be interactive technologies, application of several aspects of the novel with lots of audience participation.  Please note: a copy of the book and packet of information should be picked up at the President’s office 2 weeks prior to the start of class.

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.”  Dr. Richards acquired his PH.D. in medieval literature from the University of Denver in 1987.

***BRIDGE: 5 sessions, Thursday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, April 3,10,17,24, May 1

ROOM –Shepard Center Alumni Room

Take a seat and continue to learn more bridge conventions, play of hand, defense and signals with our knowledgeable faculty trio.

Instructors:  Marion Sotelo, Jeanine Kachele, Rhoda Pollock

All three instructors have been duplicate bridge players for many years.  Marion has attained the rank of Silver

Life Master and Rhoda the rank of Bronze.  All three love the game and want others to share their enthusiasm for the game.

***TOOLS FOR LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST: 3 sessions, Thursday, 2:00pm – 4:00 pm,

April 3,10,17   ROOM – Harriman Hall 207

This course is designed to provide strategies for seniors to age in place.  The course will cover: fall prevention, community mobility, health and wellness and assistive technology for seniors.

Instructor: Helen Spann, COTA

Helen is Assistant Coordinator for Center for Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology at SUNY Orange.

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Friday Classes Spring 2014

.***MOVIES:  6 sessions, Friday, 2:00 – 5:00 pm, March 7,14,21, April 4,11,25

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:

  • March 7 - Uninvited
  • March 14 - Tucker
  • March 21 - Glory
  • April 4 - The Lady Eve
  • April 11 - Vertigo
  • April 25 - Gaslight

Program is subject to change

Instructor:  Nelson E. Page

Nelson has been affiliated with the motion picture exhibition for the past 30 years.  As President of MajesticStar Entertainment, Nelson presently oversees five locations with a total of twenty screens, located in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.   He also served as Chairperson of the Fort Lee Film commission and serves on several other Boards which include Theatre Organ Society International (TOSI), Bergen County (NJ) Film Commission and the Riverton Film Society in Nyack, NY.


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