Share |

Back to Current Announcements

Faculty and Staff Accept SUNY Chancellor's Awards

SUNY Orange professors Dr. Frederick Melone and Andrea Laurencell Sheridan have received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, while professor Diane Bliss and staff member Anne Ruscher accepted the Chancellor’s Award for faculty service and classified service, respectively.

The Chancellor’s Award is the highest honor regularly bestowed upon community college personnel within the State University of New York. Melone teaches in the College’s renowned dental hygiene program while Laurencell Sheridan and Bliss are English professors. Ruscher is senior secretary in SUNY Orange’s business department.

“One of my themes for SUNY is individualized education, meaning the work we do to help our students navigate the programs and opportunities within our 64 campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Our faculty and staff educate, inspire and support our students to pursue their passions; they are the driving force on campus. Those we honor today are leading this effort through their commitment to their craft and their dedication to our students. I am proud to celebrate and honor this year’s recipients.”

Appointed to the College’s faculty ranks in July 2000 as supervising dentist in the dental hygiene program, Melone is concluding his 18th year at SUNY Orange. He presently teaches four courses, serves as the program’s clinical instructor and assists in management of the College’s dental hygiene clinic.

He has served on a variety of College committees and task forces throughout his tenure, has mentored students and has worked to integrate the Dental Hygiene Department into activities at the College and within the broader community. Melone is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, before enlisting in the military and training at the Brooke Army Medical Center’s U.S. Army Medical Field Service School.

He served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for nearly four years and was discharged with the rank of Major, prior to entering private general dental practice.

Laurencell Sheridan is concluding her 10th year at the College. Throughout her tenure, she has taught a range of courses from basic writing skills to Honors-level seminars and interdisciplinary studies courses. She serves as an Honors Program liaison, mentor to students participating in the annual SUNY Orange Achievement in Research & Scholarship annual conference, and advisor to the College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for students at two-year colleges and universities.

She is a magna cum laude, honors program graduate of Russell Sage College, receiving a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned a master’s degree in humanities and social thought, concentrating in literary cultures, from New York University, as well as second master’s degree in English from SUNY New Paltz.

She maintains membership in several professional organizations, including the International David Foster Wallace Society, the Modern Language Association, the American Literature Association, and the Society for Contemporary Literature, where she held the role of president for three years.

Bliss has been a faculty member at SUNY Orange since 1992. Over that time, she has immersed herself in all aspects of the College community, while at the same time serving professional and educational organizations within the state and region. In addition to work on numerous committees, she served as president of the College’s Shared Governance system from 2005-10.

Additionally, she has held the role of special assistant to the chair of the English Department and was coordinator of the College’s Writing Consultancy project. She currently oversees recruitment, supervision and mentoring of the department’s vast roster of adjunct professors. For the past 10 years, she has served as the College’s delegate or alternate delegate to the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, where she presently holds membership on the council’s executive and governance committees. She has delivered presentations on shared governance for both the FCCC and SUNY.

Bliss earned an associate’s degree in forest technology from SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Hartwick College and a master’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton.

Ruscher has worked at SUNY Orange for 24 of the past 26 years, spending 11 years as clerk in the College’s Records and Registration office (1992-2003) and the past 13 years as senior secretary in the Business Department. For two years in between, she worked for the Orange County Department of Personnel.

In her role, she coordinates all office functions within the business department, assists students and faculty members in a variety of capacities, and helps with budgetary management. She is a widely respected colleague renowned for assisting students in any fashion she can, whenever and wherever they need it. Faculty members in her department know she can be relied upon to provide any manner of support, and always at an exemplary level.

Ruscher earned an associate’s degree in business retail management from SUNY Orange in 2006.

The four Chancellor’s Award winners will be recognized during the College’s annual Commencement ceremony set for Thursday, May 17.


Mike Albright