Course Offerings

Spring 2016 Course Offerings

Here's a list of the upcoming Spring 2016 courses.

  • Mah Jongg
  • History of Kiryas Joel and Its Impact on Orange County
  • Beginning/Contnuing Yoga
  • Color Pencil Drawing
  • Route 66 Revisited: Miami Beach and The Keys
  • The Essence of T'ai Chi
  • Choosing a President
  • World War II in Europe
  • Hiking
  • Book Club
  • Then & Now: The O & W From Cornwall to Middletown, The Newburgh-Walden & Middletown-Goshen Trolley
  • Bridge: Intermediate & Advanced
  • The Children's War
  • Document Examination: Forgery
  • Aquasize
  • Films for Everyone


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.

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.

Monday Classes Spring 2016

*** MAH JONGG: 6 sessions 1:00 - 3:30 pm Monday, March 28, April 4

                                                            April 11, 18, 25, May 2

                                                  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 these after 1st class.  Approximate cost $8.00.

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.



Tuesday Classes Spring 2016


***History of Kiryas Joel and Its Impact on Orange County

                                       2 sessions 2:00 – 3:30 pm Tuesday, April 26, May 3

                                        ROOM – Rowley Center for Science/Engineering

                                                            Room 202

This course traces the origin and evolution of the Satmar Village of Kiryas Joel with a focus on the Satmar Sect of Hasidim, from its roots in Central Europe in the late 1700’s to the present.

Instructor: Dr. Richard W. Hull, Ph.D

Professor Emeritus of History, New York University.  Dr. Hull is now Official Town Historian of Warwick and 2014 Citizen of the Year.  He is the four time winner of New York’s Teaching Excellence Award.  Author of eleven books including “History of Jews and Judaism in Africa”, he’s also received the U.N. Distinguised Citizen Award.


***BEGINNING/CONTINUING YOGA: 4 sessions 12:00 – 1:30 pm

                                                            Tuesday, March 29, April 5, 12, 19

                                                            ROOM – Phys. Ed Dance Studio

Whether you are new to the practice of yoga or have had some experience with it, this class is appropriate for you.  If new to the practice, instruction will address the needs of a beginner.  If you have had some experience, you will be able to progress and deepen your practice. Students should wear loose fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Instructor: Mary Berrigan

Mary is a 20 year practitioner and teacher of yoga. She has taught classes for Adult Ed programs. She is currently a substitute yoga teacher at Positive Fitness in Middletown, NY.

***COLOR PENCIL DRAWING: 4 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm

                                                            Tuesday, April 5, 12, 19, 26

                                                   ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn the basics of color pencil drawing, a medium new to many of us.  This is a hands-on course.

NOTE: Students will need to purchase color pencils; locally try Hobby Lobby or Jerry’s Artarama/Dick Blicks or Craftsy-all online.  Students will also need a gum eraser and a ruler and 9 x 12 drawing pad (make sure it will be good for color pencil).

Instructor: Joe Petrosi


Wednesday Classes Spring 2016


4 sessions 2:15-4:15 pm,                                                                       

                                        Wednesday, February 24, March 2, 9, 16                                                                             ROOM – Harriman Hall 319

Route 66 is a metaphor for travel to interesting places.  The TV show from the 1950’s saw Buz and Tod explore the USA in a Corvette.  In our tour we travel to Miami Beach and the Florida Keys recreating last year’s fascinating Road Scholar Trip. If you can’t be there, the next best thing is to join us and use your imagination.

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 ESSENCE OF T’AI CHI:  6 sessions 2:00 – 4:00pm, Wednesday

 March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4

                                                              ROOM: Phys. Ed Dance Studio

Students will learn how to do a small T’AI CHI routine that can be done on a daily basis. At the same time, they will learn to stimulate their internal CHI.

NOTE: Students will be standing for a prolonged period. If they have any physical limitations, they may want to consult a physician to see if this activity is suited for them.

Instructor: Joseph Petrosi

Joe started studying T’ai Chi over 25 years ago as an alternative to having back surgery.  He has studied T’ai Chi with some world renown masters and also teaches T’ai Chi Sword, Walking Stick, Staff and Spear.  He is a Certified Qigong Instructor.

***CHOOSING A PRESIDENT: The 2016 Race: 3 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm

                                                                      Wednesday, April 6, 13, 20

                                                                       ROOM: Orange Hall 109

This class will focus on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and election.  The questions we will explore include: How does the U.S. choose Presidents? Why does it take so long and cost so much?

Instructor:  Paul Basinski

Paul has taught political science for 30 years at SUNY New Paltz, Hillsdale College. Fort Hays State Univ. in Kansas. He is now chair of the SUNY Orange Department of Global Studies here at SUNY Orange. He loves the study of politics.

***WORLD WAR II IN EUROPE:  3 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm Wednesday,

April 13, 20, 27                                                       ROOM:  Library 221

This course will cover the significant events that transpired in Europe leading to the outbreak of World War II.  In addition, it will highlight the role that the United States of America played in this conflict, the military, political, social and cultural history of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials and the prosecution of the German war criminals.

Instructor: Heidi Amelia-Anne Weber

Dr. Heidi Amelia-Anne Weber is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Global Studies at SUNY Orange.  She is actively involved in teaching classes in the Honors program as well as for Encore.  Currently, she is working on the establishment of a Holocaust Center here at SUNY Orange.

***HIKING: 2 sessions 2:00 - 4:00 pm Wednesday, April 20, 27

Please note: Students must be able to walk for 2 hours on sometimes rocky terrains.

Moonbeams, April 20

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 we walk 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 a slight 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.

Winding Hills, April 27

This walk is easy to moderate.  Starting near the entrance (where there is also parking) we will do a short walk with a hill through the woods.  We will then walk around the lake to another trail with a hill and back to entrance and parking area.

Wear sturdy shoes or sturdy sneakers or hiking boots-- if you have them.  Bring water and sunscreen.  Rain cancels this course.  If you have any questions about the day’s hike, you can call the instructor’s cell phone (845) 665-9200.  Tuesday, May 3 will be the rain date.

Instructor and Guide:  Marlena Lange

***BOOK CLUB: 2 sessions 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Wednesday, March 30, April 6

                                                  ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

We will discuss US, by David Nichols for the March 30th class.  For the April 6th class, we will discuss Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, written by Georgina Howell.  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.




Thursday Classes Spring 2016

***THEN AND NOW – THE O & W: From Cornwall to Middletown

                               The Newburgh – Walden & Middletown – Goshen Trolley:                                        

                                2 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm: Thursday, March 3, 10 

                          ROOM – Rowley Center for Science/Engineering Room 202

The Middletown Branch was the most important branch of the Ontario and Western Railway.  In this program we will learn a brief history of the O&W and see then and now photos of the Railway.  Before the automobile and bus lines, the trolley was a quick and inexpensive interurban system. A brief history of trolleys will be discussed along with now and then photos of both lines.

Instructor: Ray Kelly

Ray is the recording secretary and member of the Ontario and Western Railway Society. He is retired from the New York State Department of Transportation. His interest in the trolley and O&W developed during his state service when he would see remains of both.

***BRIDGE – INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED: 4 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm

                                                            Thursday, March 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28                                                                                                      ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Take a seat; continue last spring’s class with our knowledgeable faculty trio.  Learn more bridge conventions, play of the hand, defense and signals.  Only for experienced bridge players familiar with basic convention.     

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.

***THE CHILDREN’S CIVIL WAR: 3 sessions 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm         

                                                              Thursday, April 7, 14

                                                              ROOM – Bio Tech 119

This class goes into the lives of Civil War drummer boys, what they experienced and how they viewed the events taking place as well.  Also we’ll look at the lives of civilian children and what they experience.

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.


Friday Classes Spring 2016


*** DOCUMENT EXAMINATION: FORGERY: 3 sessions 3:00 – 5:00 pm

                                                                    Friday, March 4, 11, 18

                                                              ROOM – Library 130 / Gilman Center

Forensic handwriting examination involves the analysis of handwritten material in an effort to verify or determine authorship, detect forgery and prove or disprove authenticity.

Instructor: Dr. Raymond Berwerger

Dr. Berweger is a dentist who in 2015 was certified as Forensic Document Examiner. Since 2014 he has held an apprenticeship in the office of Robert Baier, CFDE

***AQUASIZE: 3 sessions 3:00 - 4:00 pm Friday, April 8, 15, 29

                                                            ROOM – Physical Education Pool

Aquasize is an introductory course for both non-swimmers and swimmers!  Aquasize teaches basic water movements in the low end for exercise.  Students may bring their own equipment.

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

Meet at the benches, in swim attire/without street shoes. If pool door is locked, meet at the door!

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 - 5:00 pm Friday,

                                                                      April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13                                                                              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:

  • 4/8       “To Be or Not to Be”   - Jack Benny
  • 4/15     “Ninotchka” – Greta Garbo
  • 4/22     “Stalag 17”  -  William Holden
  • 4/28     “The Apartment”   - Jack Lemon
  • 5/6       “Double Indemnity”  - Fred McMurray
  • 5/13     “Victor/Victoria”  -  Julie Andrews

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.