SUMMER 2016Insidep. 16p. 3DEPARTMENTSFUN FOOD FACTSA tomato is a fruit that’smost often used in savorycooking. Rhubarb is avegetable that is usedmostly in sweet dishes.A banana is both a fruitand an herb.Fun Food Facts written byDonna Moriarty ’962President’s Message3Profile4Achievements26Portfolio28Alumni and Student News

FEATURES8The State University of New YorkEmpire State College MagazineNourishing Mind and Body: Cultivating Ideas forSustainable Communities10Dining Under the Five-Star Heavens12The Weiss Way to Perfect Pairing14The Right Recipe for Sharing and Caring15Learning to Serve Up the Sweetness in Life16Saving the Food Chain One Seed at a Time18The Samantha Seeley Brand: A Feast for MoreThan the Eyes20It’s a Fact: Blueberries Today Keep the Doctor Away21Food: Always an Excellent Table Topic22Getting Your Hands Dirty: A True, Growing Experience24Really Learning What’s On the Menu25How Does Your Garden Grow? Sweetly.Volume 41 Number 2 Summer 2016Produced by theOffice of CommunicationsManaging EditorMary Caroline PowersEditorMaureen WinneyWritersRobert B. CareyHelen Susan EdelmanHope FergusonHimanee Gupta-CarlsonDonna Moriarty ’96Karen NerneyMary Caroline PowersKevin L. WooDesignerLorraine KlembczykCopy EditorsMallory BurchKirk StarczewskiPhotographersTherese BosseJim Gupta-CarlsonMarty Heitner ’92David HenahanDee and John Hughes ’81Rachel PhilipsonJenna SalvaginSamantha Seeley ’16Tom StockProductionSUNY Empire State College Print ShopMore Content OnlineSocial Media Channelsp. 10p. 18College Photo: 2016 SaratogaPhotographer.comFrom left, Ethel Blitz ’90, Kate Nelson,student, and Richard Hendricks ’99 atPresident Hancock’s networking event inBoca Raton, Fla.; John and Marion Brown ’82enjoying themselves at the annual CulinaryInstitute of America dinner; PresidentMerodie Hancock, right, joined at the BlackHistory Celebration in New York City by,left, Faculty Member David Fullard, CollegeCouncil Member G. Angela Henry anddistinguished alumni honorees Ted Bunch ’94and Nell Baxton Gibson ’82.

FROM THE PRESIDENTAs I read these stories, I am again remindedof the tremendous job Empire State Collegedoes in bringing academic studies to the livesand passions of our students.”A Passion for Food and LearningIf ever there was an EmpireState College publication thatshows how successfully weintegrate the learning interests ofour students into their studies, it isthis issue of Connections.The editors decided to devote agood part of the magazine to foodin all its wonderful complexitiesafter a particularly exciting alumnievent at the Culinary Instituteof America in Hyde Park, N.Y.,where attendees learned about thenuances of matching wine withfood, while enjoying both.The stories presented here areabout members of our collegecommunity engaged in a varietyof different ways with one ofhumankind’s most basic andenjoyable needs – food. They arenot just eating food, they aregrowing it, preparing, servingit and sharing it, in addition tophotographing and selling it.I found these stories particularlyinteresting, not just because theyare about food – although thatis a wonderful subject – but alsobecause they are about how theinterests and passions of ourstudents and alumni find their2www.esc.eduway into their course work. Whileeducators long have known thatwe learn and retain informationmore readily when we arepersonally interested in the subject,accomplishing that bond acrossthe curriculum is often a challenge.As I read these stories, I am againreminded of the tremendous jobEmpire State College does inbringing academic studies to thelives and passions of our students.I suspect many of us whowere not science majors wishour undergraduate sciencerequirements could have matchedwith our own personal interests,such as The Science of Food andNutrition course with MentorKevin Woo. Years after I filledmy science requirement withAstronomy, I find myself fascinatedby the role science plays in how weprepare food, as well as how ourbodies take advantage of the foodswe eat.While this issue of Connectionsfocuses on food, Empire StateCollege faculty and students havemany similar stories. From thearts, to history, to beer and wine(of course), to firefighting andbeyond, the Empire State Collegeexperience empowers students toactively integrate their professionaland personal passions with theircourses of study.During our dinnerconversations at the CulinaryInstitute and at many other alumnievents that always magically seemto involve good company, goodfood and good drink, I hear overand over again from you, ouralumni, about how Empire StateCollege’s individualized approachto learning was transformationalin your lives. We have enjoyedyour stories for the last 45 yearsand look forward to hearing themin the years to come. It shouldcome as no surprise that otheralumni and students whom you’llmeet in this magazine embodythat same central tenant of thetransformational nature of theEmpire State College learningexperience. I hope you enjoy theirstories. Bon appetite!Merodie A. HancockPresident

PROFILEby Karen NerneyCathleen SheilsPosition: Executive Director of EnrollmentManagementExperience: 20-plus year career in admissionsand outreach, most recently as director ofadmissions at New York State School of Industrialand Labor Relations at Cornell University.Job philosophy: The entire student experienceis the focus: from initial inquiry, the admissionsprocess, enrollment and academic support,engagement with faculty to graduation andmaintaining relationships with alumni. “Youcan’t underestimate the importance of that firstinteraction with a prospective student, as thatsets the tone of their experience with ESC.”PHOTO CREDIT: RACHEL PHILIPSONEducation: Associate degree, SUNY Morrisville;B.S. in Economics and Master of ProfessionalStudies in Policy Analysis and Management,Cornell University.Cathleen SheilsWhat’s growing: Corn, soybeans and hay,predominantly for animal feed.What she’s passionate about: Access toeducation for first-generation college studentsand minority students.On the side: Marketer and “chief bagger”for Cozy Corn, a biofuel business she runswith her husband.Where she grew up: On a dairy farm inPortsmouth, R.I. “The barn was my second home.”Travel preference: Off the beaten path. “Myhusband and I like to see agriculture whereverwe travel, so we visit diners, farm supply locationsand local farms.”What she gained: Creativity. “My sistersand I would be outside from early morningtill sundown.”Childhood memories: Showing cows at countyfairs; connecting to her Portuguese heritage andancestral roots in the Azores.Early influences: “I value the way we wereraised and what my mother and father did forus. They never said we couldn’t accomplishsomething.”Path to education: Mentors encouraged her topursue higher education. “Being a first-generationcollege student never leaves you; it’s always partof who you are.”What that gave her: Empathy for her targetpopulation.Current home: A 1,000-plus acres farm near theFinger Lakes with husband Michael, a full-timefarmer, and in-laws, nieces and nephews nearby.Great reads: Historical fiction.Favorite sports team: Boston Red Sox.Favorite food: Rhode Island seafood: lobsters,clams, fresh fish.Go-to menu item: Vegetables in season.Road trip: Visiting family and Portuguesemarkets in Rhode Island.Supportive role: Chairwoman of the SouthernCayuga Agricultural Advisory Committee, whichsupports student leadership and appliededucational experiences, including growing freshgreens and tomatoes for the school cafeteria.Words to live by: Serenity prayer. “I try to focuson what I can control and what role I can have inthe big picture.”www.esc.edu3

ACHIEVEMENTSNortheast region Mentor Robert Congemi haspublished his 12th book, “The Spirit Travels WonderfulDistances.” In Congemi’s words, “This book moves awayfrom my customary realistic literature to writings ofmagical realism.”Kymn Rutigliano, mentor in Business, Managementand Economics, has been named associate editor ofthe International Journal of Adult Vocational Educationand Technology.Mark Soderstrom, associate professor and chairman ofthe Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, published“Speculating a Better Future” in Jacobin magazine,discussing speculative fiction and politics.Kristin FitzSimonsKristin FitzSimons has beennamed interim director of theStudent Information Center.Previously, she was the assistantdirector of admissions. She hasbeen part of the ESC communityfor nine years. FitzSimons hasa B.S. from the College forHuman Development atSyracuse University.Mentor Peggy Tally’s proposal for a book, “DifficultWomen and the Rise of the New Anti-Heroine inTelevision’s Third Golden Age,” has been accepted forpublication by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Tally iswith the School for Graduate Studies.Francesca Cichello has been named interim directorfor International Programs. She has worked in IP since2006 as director of student services.Gayle Stever, associate professor, was recognizedby both the American Psychological Association andseveral encyclopedias for her research on parasocialattachment theory, which has sparked a huge numberof hits on her posts on “Research Gate.”Cark Burkhart, Danielle Boardman and JamesMcMahon presented “Making Time: Co-CurricularEngagement and Non-Traditional Students,” at theStudent Affairs Conference at New York University.The presentation explored the value of co-curricularengagement for nontraditional students, so theycould gain the financial rewards of a degree, even ifthat meant missing out on other parts of the college4www.esc.eduexperience. This presentation focused on efforts atSUNY Empire to make college “worth it” outside, as wellas inside, the classroom.Provost Alfred Ntoko’s article on adult students,“Scaling Up for Adult Students Requires Focus andCreativity,” was published in The EvoLLLution, an onlinenewspaper dedicated to postsecondary education.It asserts that nontraditional students have differentobjectives and goals than traditional-aged students anddescribes how Empire State College provides the accessand services that enable them to meet their goals.The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor StudiesInstructor Syreeta McFadden published an article inthe Manchester Guardian about presidential candidateBernie Sanders and the black Democratic vote. She alsopublished an article in The New York Times Magazine,“Teaching Disobedience,” on the civil rights movement.Mentor David Fullard published his seventh article onRikers Island, part of a series for City Limits. He also wasquoted in The New York Times about the possibility ofclosing the prison, where he was formerly a captain.Joanne Levine, interim associate dean at the Centerfor Distance Learning, published an article in Child andFamily Social Work, “The Plight of International ChildSupport Enforcement,” which describes the negativeimpact of increasing rates of mobility and divorce on theenforcement of child support.Mentor Heidi Nightengale was interviewed abouther writing in the children’s books genre for She talked about being inspired to write “WhatFragrance is the Moon?” by a conversation with herniece, then a toddler.Faculty member James Rose, who teaches sustainabilityand agro-ecosystems at the college’s Genesee Valleylocation, wrote a piece for The Daily Messenger thatcontends that if, “Given the choice between betting onthe five-day weather forecast in upstate New York or theveracity of any poll at any given time, the smart moneygoes with the meteorologist every time.”Interim Director of the Office of Veteran and MilitaryEducation Desiree Drindak has been appointedpresident-elect for the New York State AdvisoryCouncil on Military Education, a national organizationwith individual state ACME affiliations committed

to addressing military education issues within theirrespective states.Sybil DeVeaux, instructor of Business, Management,and Economics in the Manhattan location, was selectedas one of 25 Brooklyn Women of Distinction for 2016 byBrooklyn Daily magazine.“The Ecopolitics of Consumption: The Food Trade,”co-edited by Brooklyn Mentor in Cultural StudiesKaryn Pilgrim, has been published by LexingtonBooks/Rowman and Littlefield. The book is a collectionof essays that examine the ways current food systemsexert control over human lives, while deepening theglobal ecological crisis.Brooklyn Mentor Jacob Remes, who teaches HistoricalStudies, Public Affairs and Labor Studies, has publishedhis first book, “Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity,and Power in the Progressive Era,” with the University ofIllinois Press.Mentor Rebecca Bonanno was awarded the ImperatoreFellowship. Her work is in the area of mental-healthliteracy. The goal of her fellowship project is to focus onchild mental-health issues among families in the town ofHuntington, Long Island, by developing and delivering amental-health literacy curriculum for parents of childrenage 4 to 18.Two different projects will share the 2,500 annualKeep-Mills Research Grant. Mentors Lorraine Landerand Gayle Stever, of the Genesee Valley region, willwork with a student on a research project focusing onthe use of Twitter by celebrities and environmentalorganizations to promote and share environmentaland sustainability messages and information. Thesecond project, undertaken by Mentor NatalyTcherepashenets of the Center for Distance Learning,will continue her research on second-languageacquisition and teaching methodologies by engagingin a joint project with Pedagogical University in Krakow,Poland.Richard Wells, assistant professor and mentor atThe Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies,has published an article in LABOR: Studies in WorkingClass History of Americas. “The Labor of Reality TV:The Case of ‘The Deadliest Catch’” examines how thecontent of that TV program masks the world of labor byromantically envisioning life at sea.Professor Robert Carey was the Martin Luther King Jr.Day speaker at the Cathedral Church of St. John theDivine in New York City. When Carey was doingtheological studies at Union Theological Seminary, hehad an opportunity to work as an assistant pastor atEbenezer Baptist Church, King’s home pulpit in Atlanta,where he also served as the acting chairman of theAtlanta Council on Human Relations.Mentor Mindy Kronenberg, who teaches writing,literature and the arts on Long Island, has joined theboard of directors of the Inspiration Plus Foundation, anarts organization that nurtures creativity and facilitatesartistic practices while educating through science andecological awareness. Additionally, her poetry wasincluded in the “Poets4Paris” chapbook, published byLocal Gems Press, an effort to raise money to assist inhealing/rebuilding after the terrorist attacks in Paris.Assistant Professor of Public Affairs Bill McDonald, whoteaches emergency management in Staten Island, hasaccepted a seat on the National Fire and EmergencyServices Higher Education Committee. McDonald also isa paramedic.Ann Becker, HistoricalStudies mentor and Riverheadcoordinator, published a reviewof Richard F. Welch’s “GeneralWashington’s Commando:Benjamin Tallmadge in theRevolutionary War” in the LongIsland History Journal. She alsoAnn Beckerco-authored a photo-history book,“Miller Place and Mount SinaiThrough Time,” with Edna Davis Giffen, which looksat these two North Shore enclaves, as they changedfrom small farming hamlets to thriving suburbancommunities.President Merodie A. Hancock has joined the UnitedWay of the Greater Capital Region of New York Board ofDirectors. As a member of the board, Hancock will beresponsible for promoting and guiding United Way ofthe Greater Capital Region as it works to improve livesand advance the common good and diverse communityneeds throughout the Capital District region.Anita DiCianni Brown ’15, collegewide careerdevelopment coordinator, and Anastasia Pratt,mentor, presented at the New York State Cooperative& Experiential Education Association in Troy, N.Y. Theirpresentation focused on the college’s efforts to provideexperiential education opportunities for its students andbuild upon the work done by the Applied Learning Teamchaired by the college’s Gina Torino and Pat Isaac.Additionally, Pratt published her fifth book, “Winooski,”co-authored with Al Blondin and the Winooski HistoricalSociety, which focuses on Winooski, Vt., a smallindustrial city just north of Burlington.www.esc.edu5

Mentors Alan Belasen and Roxana Toma, published“Confronting Corruption in Business: TrustedLeadership, Civic Engagement” with Routledge. The bookfocuses on the contextual issues that trigger corruptionand destructive leadership. Belasen is professor andchairman of the graduate Business, Management andLeadership programs. Toma is assistant professor ofPolicy Studies at the college.David Starr-Glass, a mentor with InternationalPrograms, contributed an article to the Journal ofInternational Students, “The Self, the Other, and theInternational Student.” He also was named to theadvisory editorial board of the Journal of InternationalEducation in Business.Vice Provost for Academic Programs Thomas Mackey’sbook, “Metaliteracy in Practice,” co-edited withTrudi Jacobson, of SUNY Albany, was published byALA Neal-Schuman and offers a structure for movinginformation literacy into real-world practice, highlightingthe work of librarians and faculty who are applying themetaliteracy model in teaching and learning settings.Decision Support staff members Joe King and KateOstroot presented their paper, “Zoltar Speaks: Will YouComplete Your Online Course?” at the 42nd annualNorth East Association for Institutional Researchconference. Their research utilized data collectedfrom an online readiness survey administered to newstudents taking undergraduate online courses duringthe summer term.Mentor Patricia Isaac was selected by the AmericanPsychological Association’s Committee on Children,Youth and Families to join its working group ofpractitioners and researchers with experience workingwith African-American, Latino-Hispanic and NativeAmerican youth to address racial/ethical disparities inyouth mental health services. The group’s goal is thedevelopment of a resource guide for practitioners.Newly named Dean of Academicand Instructional Services LisaD’Adamo-Weinstein, Northeastregion, has been named one of sixNational College Learning CenterAssociation appointees to anexpert reviewer panel. D’AdamoWeinstein also serves as one ofLisa D’Adamothe core committee members andWeinsteina lead reviewer for the NCLCALearning Centers of ExcellenceProgram and co-presented a post-conference instituteat the 30th annual NCLCA conference on developinglearning centers of excellence.6www.esc.eduMaster of Arts in Adult Learning Mentor DianneRamdeholl co-edited, with Tom Heaney, a new volumeof New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education,“Reimaging Doctoral Education as a Practice of AdultEducation,” in which she also authored a chapter. Thework looks at graduate education, specifically doctoralprograms, through the lens of adult education practice.A paper by Mentor Justin Giordano, co-authored withstudent Emmanuel Tabone, was recognized at theNortheast Business & Economics Association 2015conference with the Overall Best Paper Award. Thepaper was based on their research about “MinimumWages and Low-wage Workers: Correlational Evidence.”Giordano also has released “No Escape,” a newCD album of his original compositions, written andperformed by him.Mentor Gina Torino published “Examining Biases andWhite Privilege: Classroom Strategies that PromoteCultural Competence” in a special edition of the JournalWomen and Therapy.Nicole Hoyt, financial aid advisor, received the NewYork State Financial Aid Administrators AssociationRegion IV Service Award at the NYSFAAA conference,which recognizes individuals who have provided asignificant contribution to the association at the regionallevel. Hoyt is the elected co-chairwoman of the region.CDL Instructor Mark Peters has published a book,“Bullshit: A Lexicon,” which includes illustrations by NewYorker cartoonist Drew Dernavich. It is described bythe publisher, Three Rivers Press, as a handy guide toidentifying and calling BS in its many forms, from “bunk”and “claptrap” to “applesauce” and “gobbledygook.”Mentor Jordan Wright and Manhattan undergraduatestudent Suzanne Stern had a paper published in thePsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity,that grew out of a research project to investigate theimpact of spirituality on sexual minority identity.Director of Financial Aid Kristina Delbridge receivedthe Sister Bernadine Hayes and Rusty Hopkins ServiceAward for her contributions to the New York StateFinancial Aid Administrators Association. Delbridge hasbeen on the executive council of the organization asregion IV’s representative since 2011, is a leadershipcoach for the SUNY Empire Leadership Institute and amember of the Interagency Task Force on TAP.Mentors Nadine Wedderburn and MaryNell Morganpresented at the centennial annual meeting andconference of the Association for the Study of AfricanAmerican Life and History. Their panel, “Reading and

Teaching ‘The Souls of Black Folk’,” centered on anexamination of W.E.B. Du Bois’ classic text.“Baba Yaga’s Assistant,” a graphic, young adult novelby CDL Instructor Marika McCoola, and illustrated byEmily Carroll, debuted as No. 3 on The New York Timesbestseller list to critical praise. Published by CandlewickPress, the novel is the 2015 New England Book Awardwinner, 2015 Junior Library Guild selection, shortlistedfor the 2015 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential ArtAwards in the Favorite Graphic Novel/Book category andnominated for the 2016 YALSA Great Graphic Novels forTeens list in the fiction category.Long Island mentor and contributing editor to theDaily Kos Ian Reifowtiz was interviewed on France 24,an English-language news channel, where his opinionis sought regularly, on the Oregon mass shooting,President Obama’s reaction and the politics of guncontrol in the U.S.Mentor Nadine Fernandez, atthe Syracuse location, presentedpapers based on her research onCuban migration to Europe at twoconferences abroad. The first wasthe European Association of SocialAnthropology Mobility Networkconference, titled “Grounding (im)Nadine Fernandezmobility: embodiment, ephemera,ecologies,” in Lisbon, Portugal.The second was an invited workshop sponsored by theInternational Gender Studies Centre at Lady MargaretHall at Oxford University, England.Outreach and Recruitment Specialist Heather Howardwas lead presenter, along with her recruiter andoutreach colleague Kate Colberg, as co-presenter,at the 14th annual National Institute for the Study ofTransfer Students conference in Atlanta. They discussed“Identifying and Addressing the Unique Needs of theNontraditional Transfer Student.”SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and MentorA. Tom Grunfeld was the keynote speaker at aconference in Freiburg, Germany, themed theInternational Symposium on Cultural Inclusion in Chinaand the World. His talk was titled “Cultural Security forChina’s Ethnic Minorities: The Case of Tibet.”Gohar Marikyan, associate professor, and convenerof the Science, Mathematics and Technology areaof study at the Manhattan location, was invited toparticipate and present at the 22nd InternationalLearning Conference in Madrid. She presented theresults of her research topic, “Interrelation BetweenMathematics and Common Sense.”Associate Professor Cindy Bates directed “TheCommons of Pensacola,” a play by Amanda Peet, atCurtain Call Theatre, in Latham, N.Y. The show is basedon the Bernie Madoff scandal and imagines what itmight feel like to be the wife, child or grandchild ofsomeone who commits crimes like those committedby Madoff.Richard Savior, assistant professor, BusinessManagement and Economics, Metropolitan region, hasauthored a chapter, “Leadership Practice in Mentoring,”in a new book, “Mentoring With Meaning,” whichexplores the role of leadership in academic mentoring,examines the benefits and impact of effective mentorleadership and discusses the principles that guideeffective mentorship.Jason Russell ’02, assistant professor of labor studies,was appointed editor of the “Fabriks: Studies in theWorking Class” book series published by AthabascaUniversity Press. This series provides a broad-basedforum for labor studies research.Hate crimes were discussed at forum at the college’sManhattan location with featured input fromLetitia James, New York City public advocate, andadjunct faculty with the college, and Deputy InspectorMark Magrone, commanding officer of the NYPDHate Crimes Task Force. The ESC Human ServicesCollaborative sponsored the event with the college’sHarry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies.Students in Associate Professor David Gechlik’sgroup study on hate crimes came up with the idea oforganizing and hosting the forum. Gechlik moderatedand Lisa Whiteside, an instructor with the college,who is retired from the New York City Department ofCorrections, spoke.Mentor Michele Forte, Academic Advisor DianaHawkins and Senior Recruitment and OutreachSpecialist Kelly Mollica delivered “Team-BasedApproaches to Attract, Recruit, and Successfully RetainAdult Learners” at UPCEA’s national marketing andenrollment management conference in Denver, Colo.Empire State College Professor of Business,Management and Economics Julie Gedro has beennamed associate dean of business for the college,effective June 15. She will be located in Rochester. Also,she has been elected by her peers as president-electof the Academy of Human Resource Development,the leading voice among HRD scholars globally. She iscertified as a Professional in Human Resources by theSociety for Human Resource Management.www.esc.edu7

Cultivating ideas forsustainable communitiesby Mary Caroline PowersIn devoting much of the space in this issueof Connections to food, we thought wecould tap into New Yorkers’ regional prideabout certain dishes.You know, salt potatoes in Syracuse and beansand greens in Utica, Coney Island hot dogs andBinghamton’s Spiedies, Rochester’s GarbagePlate and North Country poutine. And streetfood, oh, street food!But the state and its citizens, including themany thousands who have graduated fromEmpire State College or who are currentlyattending, are an eclectic group open to tryingnew foods and combining the flavors of onecuisine with the tastes of another. To say that allyou can get to eat in Flushing is dumplings andduck would be very, very far from the truth.So, we decided to steer away from thedownstate pizza wars, the unending debate aboutwhich roast beef on weck joint is the best inBuffalo, and whether the potato chip really wasinvented in Saratoga.Instead we reached out to our faculty andstaff, our alumni and current students andwhat we found was a treasure trove of foodies.These are not just people who like to eat, theylike to cook for themselves and others, theywant to ensure a safe food supply and protectthe land where we grow the food we eat. Theyare genuinely concerned about the increasingfragility of the earth. They are working toproduce and save organic and pure-strain seeds.They are supporting farmers markets by thescores and engaging in the community supportedagriculture movement. They are tapping mapletrees and creating community connections withtheir restaurants. They are writing about food,photographing food, growing food, cooking foodand eating it. And they are studying it.Our faculty have taken some deep dives intothe history, science and nutritional value offood and are sharing what they’ve learned withour students; our alumni are attending collegesponsored events, gathering to share fine foodand wine and their ESC experience, all the whilecelebrating the extraordinary agricultural richesthe state of New York has to offer.The bounty seems endless: Long Island’s fruitsde mer and all those Hudson Valley apples, therich milk products – cheeses, yogurt, ice cream –produced in the stretches of rolling farmlandbetween Albany and the shores of Lake Erie,the lovely and lucious wines of the FingerLakes region.If there is a message we really want to deliverit is this: the passion of New Yorkers abouttheir food and drink will drive the momentumgaining effort to preserve, protect and promoteour food, our farms and our fertile soils forgenerations to come. And the more we knowabout this, the more we can learn and studyand integrate these ideas into our knowledgebase, the greater the chances these goals willbe achieved.Photography by Samantha Seeley

Dining Under the Five-Star Heavensby Helen Susan EdelmanAnight out at the CulinaryInstitute of America, inHyde Park, N.Y., is by allstandards an exceptional experience.Beyond the cornucopia of fresh foodsand spectacular flavors, the meal is amulti-sensory learning opportunity,where diners take pleasure in thebounty of virtuosic chefs exploringall aspects of the menu – fromaromas to aesthetics. Every fall since2002, 100 or more alumni, students,board members, donors and thepresident of Empire State College,have gathered for dinner at theprestigious C.I.A. The sell-out eventfeatures a comprehensive, interactivepresentation on topics such as wineand food pairings, cooking withwine, how to buy and serve wine,as well as a guided tasting ofselected wines.It all started with Joan Altman’81, former assistant to the HudsonValley dean and a graduate from10www.esc.eduthat location. She was attending aretirement luncheon at the C.I.A.and thought, "This would be awonderful venue for an alumnievent." Altman contacted thedirector of sales for external eventsat the C.I.A. and, with support fromthe Office of Alumni and StudentRelations, the two of them workedtogether planning and executing theevent for the next 10 years. Eachyear, a different p

enjoying themselves at the annual Culinary Institute of America dinner; President Merodie Hancock, right, joined at the Black History Celebration in New York City by, left, Faculty Member David Fullard, College Council Member G. Angela Henry and distinguished alumni honor