National Collegiate Honors Council Tabs Torda for Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at Two-Year Institution

PHOTO: Elaine TordaMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange English Professor Elaine Torda, who coordinates the College’s challenging Honors Program, will receive the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution when the NCHC meets this November in Chicago.

The Brandolini Award will be presented during the Council’s 50th Anniversary Gala at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13 in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The award recognizes a two-year college honors director or faculty member for outstanding contributions to the honors community.

Torda joined the SUNY Orange faculty in 2000 as an English instructor. She has coordinated the College’s Honors Program since 2003 and has overseen steady growth in the program, to include expansion on the Newburgh campus. In 2013, she was named as a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Excellence.

Under her supervision, and with the aid of faculty mentors from all corners of the College, SUNY Orange’s Honors students have strongly represented the College via award-winning presentations at such prestigious student seminars as the Beacon Conference and the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference.

Torda has been active within the NCHC as well. She is a NCHC Fellow and a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. She is chairperson of the Council’s Two-Year College Committee and has delivered numerous presentations on Honors-related topics at the Council’s annual convention. She has been a session leader for the Council’s Developing in Honors workshops.

The SUNY Orange Honors Program highlights the cross-disciplinary nature of learning while seeking to augment academic inquiry with cultural awareness, community building, community service and leadership. The College’s program features smaller, discussion-based classes and assignments that allow for individual research and creativity. Faculty members stress the benefits of classroom education as well as the importance of non-traditional learning. Students who complete the Honors Program are well-rounded individuals with much to offer colleges, employers and communities.

As this year’s recipient of the Brandolini Award, Torda will receive an engraved plaque along with a $500 check for the SUNY Orange Honors Program. Brandolini was the founding director of Valencia (Fla.) College’s honors program in the 1980s and served in that capacity for 20 years. He was a frequent presenter at NCHC conferences and a session leader for “Beginning in Honors” for many years. He served on the NCHC’s Executive Committee and its Two-Year College Committee.

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