College Honors Scholars and Athletes During Annual Fall Convocation Ceremony

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – To officially kick off the 2009-10 academic year, which began this past Monday, SUNY Orange recognized more than 100 of its academic and athletic standouts Thursday evening during its annual Student Scholarship Awards and Recognition Ceremony, held in Orange Hall Theatre.

PHOTO: Professor Tom StackIn all, a total of 106 new and returning students were honored during the event hosted by the Educational Foundation of SUNY Orange in conjunction with the College’s scholarship committee. The College’s wide array of academic, community service and athletic scholarships were distributed by Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange President, and Nick Illobre ‘’71, chairman of the SUNY Orange Foundation.

The award winners, along with family members, friends, classmates and College officials, were welcomed by Richards and Vinnie Cazzetta, vice president for institutional advancement. Prior to the distribution of scholarships, brief speeches were delivered by Thomas Stack, a business professor who this past spring received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and Lisa Zylberberg, a returning adult student enrolled in the College’s evening nursing program who received a pair of scholarships.

After thanking College administrators and those in attendance who donated to or created scholarships, Zylberberg added, “It is an honor to receive a scholarship at SUNY Orange. To have been selected means you’ve excelled in the classroom, succeeded within your academic major, developed outstanding athletic ability or demonstrated leadership within the community. I’m sure many of my fellow students here tonight have accomplished many, if not all, of those goals.

“For me, receiving a scholarship has reaffirmed my decision to return to the classroom several years ago. And it also has reaffirmed my decision to attend SUNY Orange,” she added. “As a returning adult student, I was nervous about going back to school, but I wanted to further my career and help my family. I had options but the reputation of the College’s nursing program convinced me to take that leap. It hasn’t been easy. But anything worthwhile never is.”

Stack told the audience, with a particular emphasis for students, that now is a great time to be a college graduate since studies show that people with a college degree can earn as much as $28,000 more per year than high school graduates. He also relayed a story of a student who discovered her passion for business studies at SUNY Orange after struggling in her first attempt at college work.

PHOTO: Jessica Sweetman accepts her awards“I’ve always thought the secret value of community colleges, and particularly SUNY Orange, was that people can try out different majors and learn different fields. Those of you who aren’t sure what you want to do, this is a great place to start, especially because of the (affordable) tuition,” Stack added. “Many have started here with a dream, but I believe just as many have found a dream.”

Second-year Honors Program student Jessica Sweetman (right) and nursing student Patricia Liardi were the night’s big winners, taking home five and four scholarship awards, respectively. SUNY Orange grants more than $125,000 in scholarships annually via the Educational Foundation. Typically, incoming and returning students are recognized during the Fall Convocation ceremony while graduating students receive their scholarships in May, just prior to Commencement. The vast majority of SUNY Orange scholarships are funded through the generosity of donors and friends of the College.


Mary Achando (Ottaway Scholarship, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship)
Justin Arnold (Athletic Scholarship)
Amanda Behr (Robert B. and Joan M. Rowley Memorial Scholarship)
Jennifer Benjamin (Ada DeGeus Alumni Nursing Scholarship, Judi Jaffe Scholarship)
Caressa Bertholf (Grace Reynolds Memorial Scholarship)
Ivan Bonet (Peter Howell Scholarship)
Corey Booth (Athletic Scholarship)
Valentine Bordes (Harold F. Ripley Scholarship)
Richard Broas (The International Studies Scholarship)
Skylar Brundage (Thomas C. Walts Memorial Scholarship)
Kayla Cabacungan (Athletic Scholarship)
Krystle Caraballo (Ottaway Scholarship)
Sandra Carlino (OTA Alumni Scholarship, Dr. Edwin H. Miner Memorial Scholarship)
Judith Carr (Coldwell Banker Currier and Lazier Realtors Scholarship, Margaret B. and Frank L. Howe Memorial Scholarship, Lauren Keely Memorial Scholarship for Returning Adult Students)
Amanda Castillo (Athletic Scholarship)
Cindy Castro (Christopher and Ellen Byrne Scholarship)
Miranda Conklin (Sandra Schuler Scholarship)
Lauren De Choudens (Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Scholarship, Ottaway Scholarship)
Colleen Decker (Athletic Scholarship)
Samantha DeGroat (Athletic Scholarship)
Joshua Depew (Athletic Scholarship)
Guadalupe Diaz (Hanorah M. "Dollie" Sweeney Memorial Scholarship for ESL Students, Moses Stivers Memorial Scholarship, Rafael Gutierrez Memorial Scholarship)
John Diee (Athletic Scholarship)
Emily Dosch (Robert Novak Scholarship)
Samantha DuBois (Athletic Scholarship)
Taryn Durgin (Margaret Botti Dental Hygiene Scholarship, Dr. Andrew Godwin Dental Hygiene Scholarship)
Kristene Elia (William & Elaine Kaplan Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship)
Huguette Eugene (Cultural Awareness Scholarship)
Christopher Fry (Athletic Scholarship)
Julien Gago-Viel (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Jessica Garcia (Dr. Paul and Ida Lipschutz Scholarship)
Sonya Gendelman (Congelosi Family in Memory of Solowinski Family Scholarship, Alice Curtis Desmond Memorial Scholarship, New York State Federation of Home Bureaus Scholarship)
Windy Graziano (Harold L. Mamelok Memorial Scholarship)
Mary Green (Edwin J. & Rachel Dietz Scholarship)
Kathryn Gulak (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Eric Haley (Ada DeGeus Alumni Nursing Scholarship)
Lauren Hamilton (Jake Kriney Family Scholarship)
Malyka Hamilton (Middletown Rotary Club Scholarship)
Kristina Hasbrouck (Athletic Scholarship)
James Hegmann (Athletic Scholarship)
Rosa Hernandez (Christopher and Ellen Byrne Scholarship)
Kim Hoeffner (Sam and Julia Selkowitz Scholarship for Vocal Ensemble)
Margarita Ibbs (Dr. Harold W. Morgans Scholarship, Ottaway Scholarship)
Christina Iwanow (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Nicholas Jakubowsky (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Karoline Anthonisen Scholarship)
Kathren James (Charles C. and Vivian Chappell Scholarship, Charles J. Klingman Memorial Scholarship)
Carlton Jay (Friends of Music Scholarship)
Danielle Justino (Ruth Kassel Scholarship, Faculty Perpetual Scholarship, Jesse Bookstaver Scholarship)
Jennifer Kaluszewski (Athletic Scholarship)
Edi Kapetanovic (James Ottaway Jr. Honors Program Scholarship)
Ashley Kersting (Athletic Scholarship)
Benjamin Kleiman (Accounting Club Scholarship)
Patricia Liardi (Alice Curtis Desmond Memorial Scholarship, Gertrude and Reuben Mokotoff Scholarship, Dawn Froehlich Memorial Scholarship, Ingeborg A. Rogge Memorial Nursing Scholarship)
Rachel Lyons (Friends of Music Scholarship)
Joseph Maffucci (Ruth K. and Steve Taffin Memorial Nursing Scholarship)
Samantha Manley (Athletic Scholarship)
Nicholas Marion (Robert B. and Joan M. Rowley Memorial Scholarship)
Anthony Martin (Athletic Scholarship)
Ruben Martino (Spencer McLaughlin Scholarship)
Christina Mason (Charles Toole Memorial Music Award)
Juliane McGeady (Athletic Scholarship)
Devin Meikle (Athletic Scholarship)
Jason Miedema (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Carmen Milian (Athletic Scholarship)
Kathryn Miller (James Ottaway Jr. Honors Program Scholarship)
Kerriann Minogue (Bertha and Nathan Mark Memorial Scholarship)
Ashley Mita (James Holmbraker Memorial Award)
Erika Mohrmann (Marge Harrington Memorial Scholarship)
Devin Morales (Hanorah M. "Dollie" Sweeney Middletown High School Memorial Scholarship)
Tiina O'Connell (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Robert O'Connor (Middletown Lions Club Scholarship)
Christina Pawlak (James Ottaway Jr. Honors Program Scholarship)
Antoinette Peters (Levitan, Yegidis & Goldstein Scholarship)
Kendra Peters (Frances C. Marks Scholarship, Shepard and Edna Pryluck Scholarship, Alice Curtis Desmond Memorial Scholarship, Long Term Care Educators Association Scholarship)
Helene Pierce (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Heather Quinn (Charles C. and Vivian Chappell Scholarship, Roberta Bernstein Scholarship, Excellence in Physical Therapy Scholarship)
Thomas Quinn (Catherine A Wessell Boeckman Scholarship)
Rachel Reed (Athletic Scholarship)
Branden Reeves (Advance Testing Company Scholarship)
Christine Reiner (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Travis Renwick (Athletic Scholarship)
Amanda Rhinehart (Boyd Foundation Scholarship)
Kenneth Riley (Middletown Kiwanis Club Scholarship)
Kaitlyn Roeber (Health Professions Scholarship)
Brenda Rosas (Dr. Paul and Ida Lipschutz Scholarship, Christopher and Ellen Byrne Scholarship)
Alexa Savaglio (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Joseph Schlegel (Orange Sullivan Chapter NYS Society of Professional Engineers Scholarship, Chris Chachis Sportsmanship Alumni Memorial Scholarship)
Kristen Schork (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Arielle Sharp (William & Elaine Kaplan Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship)
Keith Slesinski (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Corrina Stoker (John J. Bonacic Public Service Scholarship, Garden Club of Orange County Scholarship, George F. Shepard Outstanding Alumni Citizens Scholarship)
Connor Sullivan (Athletic Scholarship)
Jessica Sweetman (Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Scholarship, Jack Goldstein Alumni Memorial Scholarship, Jack Polletts Memorial Scholarship, H. Seeley McClure Memorial Scholarship, Edward Morrison Honors Scholarlship)
Geoffrey Swyka (Presidents Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement)
Tiana Taylor (Athletic Scholarship)
Cameron Tidd (Faculty Annual Scholarship)
Russell Tourangeau (Encore Spring Graduate Award)
Angela Troyer (James Ottaway Jr. Honors Program Scholarship)
Christine Tyler (Caitlin Hammaren Arts Scholarship, Robert B. and Joan M. Rowley Memorial Scholarship)
Margaret Urbanksi (Dr. Paul and Ida Lipschutz Scholarship)
Taylor Wagner (Athletic Scholarship)
Ceara Williams (Athletic Scholarship)
Amelia Worley (Ottaway Scholarship, John F. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship)
Terence Zampino (Peter Alberghini Inspirational Scholarship)
Lia Zelada (Christopher and Ellen Byrne Scholarship)
Lisa Zylberberg (Carol A. Gregory Grant in Aid Scholarship, Meola/Levy Scholarship)

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940