Four Faculty and Staff Members Receive 2023 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence
May 9, 2023
Four members of the Hudson Valley Community College faculty and staff were named recipients of the prestigious SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence for 2023.
Instituted in 1972 by the State University of New York, the SUNY Chancellor's Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the university by dedicated professionals. Recipients must show a strong dedication to their work and scholarship. Since its inception, nearly 200 faculty and staff members from Hudson Valley have received the Chancellor's Award.
“We take pride in announcing this year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Award,” said President Roger A. Ramsammy. “These worthy individuals join a long list of outstanding faculty members and professionals who have been recognized for their service to the college.”
Excellence in Faculty Service
Department Chairperson and Associate Professor / Health, Physical Education and Exercise Studies
Colleen Ferris has been the chairperson of the Health, Physical Education and Exercise Studies Department for the last eight years, and served as a full-time faculty member for over a decade prior to being named to lead the department.
Ferris first came to the college as the women’s basketball coach in 1999, but perhaps her greatest impact over the past 25 years was her efforts to widen the scope and academic offerings of the department she now leads. She spearheaded the development and launch of two new degree programs (Exercise Science and Health and Wellness) and three new certificate programs (Fitness Specialist, Coaching and Worksite Health Promotion) within a year after being named chairperson. Her department now also oversees the Health Sciences certificate, which brings to seven the total number of academic programs she oversees in her department.
When she took over as chairperson, the department had 157 students. Today, the department has more than doubled in size, and, in Fall 2022, had 354 enrolled students. According to those who nominated her for this honor, she is known as collaborative, team player and outstanding leader.
Excellence in Classified Service
Campus Security and Access Officer / Public Safety
Mark Flavin has dedicated 40 years of service to Hudson Valley Community College, and for the past several decades he has served as access control officer and dispatcher for the college’s Department of Public Safety.
Flavin is responsible for dispatching not only college Public Safety staff but also directing any outside fire, police or EMS that are called to the campus. He also was noted for his expertise in the ever-changing technology that has become a part of the public safety efforts on campus, including the college’s access control systems, fire alarm monitors, ID systems and closed-circuit television.
In nominating Flavin for this honor, his supervisor, Public Safety Director Fred Aliberti, said: “In my 15 years here at the college, I have come to rely on Mark as a reliable leader who can easily communicate with students and staff on routine matters as well as emergencies. His ability to organize our Public Safety office allows us to be more accessible and dependable to our campus population.”
Flavin was recognized with the college’s Meritorious Service Award for classified staff members in 2013.
Excellence in Teaching
Assistant Professor / Dental Hygiene
Gabriele Hamm has been a faculty member since 2006 and was one of the guiding forces behind the development of the Dental Assisting certificate program within the Dental Hygiene Department at Hudson Valley. She currently serves as the coordinator and lead instructor for the certificate program as well as the Alternative Dental Assistant Program (ADAP), which was created to give experienced dental assistants the opportunity to pursue the education required to receive state and national credentialing.
In her role as coordinator, she guides classroom and clinical instruction but also leads the establishment and maintenance of affiliation agreements with dentists from around the Capital Region and around the state. Hamm was noted for her proactive efforts in promoting the dental assisting profession and for being a strong advocate for her students.
Since 2018, she has been a member of the New York State Board for Dentistry, where she serves as a strong voice for the profession in which she teaches.
Excellence in Professional Service
Executive Director / Communications and Marketing
Dennis Kennedy has served as the executive director for the college’s Communications and Marketing Department for the past 12 years. In addition to marketing, public relations, communications, web and social media, he also currently oversees the Graphic Design and Print Shop and the Multimedia and Video Services unit, which has helped create a truly holistic marketing unit for telling the college’s story.
His leadership in the marketing of the college has led to award-winning campaigns and an increased visibility for the accomplishments of its students and faculty.
Kennedy has also been key player in organizing and carrying out hundreds of events on campus over the past 12 years, including press conferences, building and athletic field dedications, commencement ceremonies, all-college meetings, and the inauguration of President Ramsammy.
In addition, he has taken on several leadership roles at the college, including service on the Enrollment Committee, Middles States Standard Review Committees, Emergency Response Team and the COVID-19 response team. In addition, he serves as one of the leaders of the Commencement Committee and was co-chair of the college’s Future Forward Strategic Planning Committee.