GraduationsAlyssa Lawrenson of Highland Mills received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree during the Oct. 20 commencement ceremony at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa.To earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, students must complete five academic years of professional study in just over three calendar years at Palmer College of Chiropractic.Awards, programs, honorsThe award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is set to present an uproarious double-bill, bringing together Giacomo Puccini’s comic opera in one act, “Gianni Schicchi,” combined with the modern sequel, “Buoso’s Ghost,” by contemporary composer Michael Ching, from Nov. 16 to 18.The cast and orchestra includes Erika Nick of Highland Mills, NY, who will be playing second violin in the orchestra.SUNY New Paltz student Mauricio Ramos-Bazan of Highland Mills graduated from the Emerging Leaders Program in spring 2017.The SUNY New Paltz Emerging Leaders Program is a fun and dynamic learning opportunity for first-year students. The two-semester program encourages students to explore an understanding of self and others, and understand what it means to be a productive community member. The program introduces students to leadership and followership through hands-on activities, discussion groups, and self reflection.Graduates of the Emerging Leaders Program have gone on to apply their leadership skills to a variety of areas both on-campus and in the community. Many have distinguished themselves as leaders by becoming Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, Student Activities Managers and involved in many clubs and organizations. The benefits of Emerging Leaders go beyond graduation however. Employers look for personal characteristics such as integrity, motivation, communication skills and self-confidence.The Program is dedicated to providing a well-rounded experience for participants- no matter what level of leadership experience.SUNY New Paltz student Brendan White of Monroe gave a musical performance for hikers along the trail to Mohonk Mountain House on Oct. 21.Assistant Professors Alex Peh and Christiana Reader led students on a musical hike along the trail to Skytop Tower, the iconic structure that overlooks Mohonk Lake and much of the Shawangunk Mountain range.Student performers on violin, guitar, vocals and other instruments set up in a number of the small huts that line the trail and played for passers-by throughout the afternoon. The program culminated in a group performance inside Skytop Tower.Tenor saxophonist Timothy Melvin of Highland Mills performed with the SUNY New Paltz Symphonic Band Concert on Nov. 14 in Studley Theatre. The campus band performed alongside the SUNY Ulster Community Band and Wind Ensemble. The evening consisted of traditional and popular music, with guest conductor Vic Izzo.Charmaine-Grace Barlao of Monroe is a member of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s swimming and diving team. The Biochemistry/Biophysics major helped the Engineers defeat RIT with a final score of 203-97, with a chance for a second win against Ithaca this Saturday for RPI Family Weekend..SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Theatre and Dance debut its production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding,” running earlier this month in the Performing Arts Center.The student cast and crew includes Shannon Szynkowski of Monroe, who was the assistant stage manager.Directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Dr. Rivka Rocchio, the 90-minute play is a surreal tragedy about a death-bound love triangle of a bride, bridegroom and Leonardo. Doomed love, fate and revenge hang over the world of the play and the abstracted shadowy characters therein.The 13th annual Make a Difference Day enjoyed one of the highest student participation rates in the program’s history, as nearly 350 SUNY New Paltz students gave their time and energy on Saturday, Oct. 21, to more than 30 regional non-profit organizations, environmental causes and youth centers.Student volunteers included:• Nicholas Agneta of Highland Mills• Lauren Grassi of Monroe • Allison Vasquez of Monroe• Brendan White of Monroe • Emma Zahra of Monroe “Colleges and universities exist to educate the next generations of contributing, thoughtful citizens,” said President Donald P. Christian. “But we also exist in a broader community, draw on that community, and have responsibilities to serve our communities. Our students’ volunteer work today helps serves that purpose for New Paltz.”Make a Difference Day is jointly organized by the Office of Student Activities & Union Services and the Career Resource Center. Visit them for more information about how to get involved with this and other volunteer opportunities.The State University of New York at Potsdam has awarded scholarships, grants and awards to 1,071 students for the 2017-18 academic year. These accomplished SUNY Potsdam undergraduate and graduate students were recognized for their achievements with support for their educational experience.The students include:• Erika Nick of Highland Mills, who is majoring in Music Education and was awarded the Minerva Scholarship;• Shannon Szynkowski of Monroe, who is majoring in Theatre Pre-K-12 Education and was awarded the Richard C. and Joy Dorf Family Scholarship and the SUNY Potsdam Freshman Scholarship;• Shannon Wagner of Monroe, who is majoring in Exploratory / Undeclared and was awarded the SUNY Potsdam Freshman ScholarshipAmanda McHale recently traveled to New York City with a group of business economics students to attend the 2017 College Fed Challenge, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Oct. 31. After competing against 43 teams, SUNY Oneonta’s contingent and 11 other teams advanced to the semifinals, which took place Nov. 14.Five students presented at the competition, while McHale and other non-presenters had the opportunity to tour the vault at the Fed.McHale, of Highland Mills, majors in Mathematics at SUNY Oneonta.The Living-Learning Communities (L-LC) at the University at Albany bring outstanding new freshmen into a community of learners.Students live on the same residence hall, take some classes together, build a strong relationship with their L-LC lead professor, and study and participate in co-curricular activities around the theme or intended major of the L-LC.These students are engaged in their studies inside and outside of their classrooms. Student Engagement, housed in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, welcomed approximately 430 new freshmen into L-LCs this fall.The following students have been named to UAlbany's Living-Learning Communities for 2017-18:Julia Auerfeld of Monroe.Michael McDaniel of Monroe.Zachary Morganstein of Monroe.Justin Rivera of Highland Mills.