Michele Paradies and Tim Zeszutek Honored for Teaching; Cherie Wierzbicki-McMickle Cited on Staff Side

PHOTO: Dr. Michele ParadiesMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange faculty members Dr. Michele Paradies and Tim Zeszutek have been named recipients of the 2014 State University of New York’s Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence while Cherie Wierzbicki-McMickle, senior clerk in the Financial Aid Office, has been presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Professional Service.

The three recipients received their awards during a College gathering in mid-May and were also formally recognized during the College’s annual Commencement ceremony on Thursday evening (May 22). Each award winner received a medallion and certificate signifying the honor.

"Faculty and staff who receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence have served their students, fellow faculty and staff, campuses, and communities with the utmost distinction,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees across New York State.”

The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are presented annually to faculty and staff in six categories: faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities, teaching, and classified service.

Paradies (right), who joined the SUNY Orange faculty in 2000, primarily teaches anatomy and physiology courses to students who are preparing to enter the College’s health professions programs. She also has developed and taught a neurobiology course, and she routinely instructs a challenging Honors course entitled “Biology for Today” that addresses various topics. Last spring she received the SUNY Orange President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

PHOTO: Tim Zeszutek works with a studentHer impact upon the College has also been felt beyond the classroom as she is active in many facets of the College. She mentors students from the Honors Program as they complete their required capstone projects and she has helped guide the development and maintenance of the College’s Educational Gardens. She currently serves as vice president of the College’s governance system and has actively served on many College committees.

Zeszutek (left, with student), a professor of criminal justice, joined the full-time faculty at SUNY Orange in the Fall of 2009 after having previously served as an adjunct instructor teaching criminalistics. He also completed more than 20 years of service with the New York State Police, rising through the ranks from trooper to investigator and later was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He served the last 12 years assigned as a crime scene investigator with a forensic investigations unit.

Teaching primarily at the College’s Newburgh campus, Zeszutek instructs nearly all of the criminal justice students enrolled in the degree program at the Newburgh campus and serves as advisor to the criminal justice student club.

PHOTO: Cherie Wierzbicki-McMickleWierzbicki-McMickle (left), who has been the senior clerk in the Financial Aid Office for 22 years, has shepherded the office’s infusion of technology into its daily operations. She has created an electronic version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), established e-forms that are used by both students and staff, developed a Financial Aid Resource Guide and updated manuals for several software programs regularly utilized by financial aid staff.

Respected for her exemplary customer service to students, parents and members of the community, Wierzbicki-McMickle also conducts SUNY Orange Workshop Nights at area high schools to help students apply for admission to SUNY Orange; complete necessary forms to request grade transcripts and immunization records; and submit forms for FAFSA, TAP and supplemental financial aid.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940