Course Offerings

Spring 2018 Course Offerings


Here's a list of the upcoming FALL 2018 courses.

  • Mah Jongg
  • The Essence of T'ai Chi
  • Investment: How To Choose The Right Ones For You
  • Wives of Civil War Officers
  • Got Sleep
  • Meet The Winemaker: Grapes And Wines In The East
  • The Ghost Dance: Tragedy At Wounded Knee
  • Beginning & Intermediate Color Pencil Drawing
  • Scottish Highlands And Islands: Birding, Hiking & Sights
  • Book Club
  • Hiking
  • 1968
  • Ancient America
  • Art & Discussion Of Style
  • The Beatles: The Making of The White Album
  • Beginning/Continuing Yoga
  • Bridge: Supervised Bridge At Intermediate Level
  • Films For Everyone
  • History Of Substance Abuse In Orange County
  • Evangelical Epistemology
  • Basic Automotive Maintenance

To see the complete course descriptions, scroll down below this list. You will also see the dates, times and places for each course. Once you receive your registration packet in the US Mail, you may register. If you wish to join and register, please contact us at 341-4896.

These learning opportunities are scheduled within the college’s academic calendar and are assigned to available areas after the credit classes have been scheduled.  Since this schedule is completed at least two months before classes begin, neither Encore nor its instructors can make changes after that.  The only exception would be a college-wide postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling i.e. snow day. So choose your courses carefully.

Please remember to note for each course:

  • the number of sessions
  • the exact dates of those sessions
  • the location (building & room)

Because of content and/or classroom size, many courses have enrollment caps. Registrations are processed on a "First Come-First Served" basis.


MONDAY Classes Fall 2018

*** MAH JONGG: 6 sessions 1:00 - 3:30 pm Monday, September 17, 24   

                                                                                    October 1, 15, 22, 29

                                                            ROOM - Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn to play that popular game, Mah Jongg, which you keep hearing about.  The American version will be our focus.  The class is for men and women who are beginners, but can also serve as a refresher course for those who have played before. Participants will need to purchase their own Mah Jongg cards.  Instructor will order these after 1st class.  Approximate cost $8.00.

Instructor:  Florette Soroka, Pat Blau

Florette has played Mah Jongg for over 35 years and has been teaching others to play for numerous years in Chester, at Middletown Mulberry House, Encore and at the Town of Wallkill Wildflower Community Center.



Tuesday Classes Fall 2018

***THE ESSENCE OF T’AI CHI: 6 sessions 1:30 – 3:00 pm: Tuesday

                                                           September 4, 25, October 2, 16, 23, 30

                                                                 ROOM – GYM 1

Students will learn the first set of movements from the Yang Style long form of T’ai Chi Chuan. Qigong movements for meditation will also be taught.  Students will need to wear comfortable clothing and sneakers.

NOTE: Students will be standing for a prolonged period.  If they have any physical limitations, they may want to consult a physician to see if this activity is suited for them.

Instructor: Joe Petrosi

Joe started studying T’ai Chi over 25 years ago as an alternative to having back surgery.  He has studied T’ai Chi with some world renowned masters and also teaches T’ai Chi Sword, Walking Stick, Staff and Spear.  He is a Certified Qigong Instructor.



                                                               4 sessions: 2:15 – 4:15 pm Tuesday

                                                               October 2, 9, 16, 23

                                                               ROOM – Library 130

What factors should you consider when comparing and selecting from 2 investments within the same type?  We will examine stocks, EFT’s (Exchange Traded Funds), mutual funds, MLP’s (Master Limited Partnerships), REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts), etc.  Also, we’ll discuss what type of investments are right for you.

Instructor: Robert Pollsen

Robert is a retired Certified Financial Planner professional.  He has worked in NYC’s financial district for over 25 years: Standard & Poor’s, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and more.

***WIVES OF THE CIVIL WAR OFFICERS: 3 sessions: 2:30 – 4:30 pm

                                                                        Tuesday, October 9, 16, 23

                                                                         ROOM – Rowley Center 202

“Behind every good man is a good woman.”  Let’s apply this maxim as we explore the lives of the women who stood beside the Civil War officers.

Instructor: Yvonne Bigney

Yvonne was a Civil War re-enactor for 10 years participating in many reenactments including Museum Village, Walnut Mt, the 135th anniversary @Gettysburg, etc.  She belonged to the 15th NY Volunteer Calvary and the 124th NY Infantry, the “Orange Blossoms”.  She has given talks at historical societies, libraries and schools.  Yvonne serves on the Encore Steering Committee.

     *** GOT SLEEP: 2 sessions: 3:00 – 5:00 pm Tuesday/Thursday

                                                                           October 23, 25

                                                                            ROOM – Library 221

Stress & sleep deprivation place one at risk for a wide range of stress related conditions.  In this course, we look at how to promote healthy sleep habits, what the current sleep research is, and understanding of sleep architecture can add.  The main objectives are to inform about positive benefits of sleep and increase good health.

Instructor: Nancy Delauro

Nancy is a Public Health nurse who has worked for the Orange County Health Department in both nursing and early intervention.  She has taught in the past for SUNY Orange and Encore.


                                                                       2 sessions: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

                                                                       Tuesday, October 23, 30

                                                                        ROOM – Harriman Hall 201

The focus of this course is on the history and development of the grape and wine industry in the East with special emphasis upon New York State.

Instructor: Richard Eldridge

Professor Emeritus Richard Eldridge taught Political Science at SUNY Orange. He started Brimston Hill Wintery in 1979 which now includes 12 varieties of grapes vines.



                                                                    3:00 5:00 pm, Tuesday, November 6

                                                                          ROOM – Rowley Center 202

Learn about this tragic chapter in America’s history. Unable to accept harsh reservation conditions, the Lakota Sioux, starving, miserable and desperate, turned to the Ghost Dance religion in a last-ditch effort to improve their grim lives, leading to the tragedy at Wounded Knee.

Instructor: Frank Salvati

Frank is a resident of Orange County and passionate student of the Indian Wars, particularly in North Eastern America.  He has been a popular speaker about the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and others.



Wednesday Classes Fall 2018


                                                              6 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Wednesday

September 5, 12, 26 October 3, 10, 17,    


Beginning students will learn to draw various objects like flowers and scenery.  Intermediate students who have taken the class before will learn some new techniques to add to their talents.  Students should bring in pictures as studies to draw from.                                  


NOTE: Students will need to purchase the following color pencils (Crayola set of 72 pencils is good) usually priced under $8.00; drawing pad (a nice vellum paper heavy weight 10 x12 or larger), eraser (kneaded or white plastic), pencil sharpener, ruler, small package of grafite transfer paper as well as a Derwent burnisher and blender set.

Instructor: Joe Petrosi

Joe is an accomplished artist.  His works hang in many private homes and businesses, both here and abroad.  In 2012 he was voted the Best Ink and Pencil Artist in the Hudson Valley.  His work has been exhibited in both multi-artist and one man shows in the tri-state area.


                                              1 session, 2:00 – 4:00 pm Wednesday, September 26

                                                                                  ROOM – Rowley Center 202

William returns with another fascinating presentation from his travels.  He’ll use a PowerPoint presentation on his trip to the Scottish Highlands.  He will discuss the land, culture, and birds of this beautiful country.

Instructor: William Fiero

William is an avid traveler, focusing on nature and photography.  He has also been an Encore instructor for a number of years showing beautiful photography of his world travels.

***1968:  3 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm Wednesday, October 10, 17, 24

                                                                                  ROOM – Rowley Center 010

As this is the 50th anniversary of this pivotal year in contemporary American history we will explore, in detail, the major events of 1968.  We will discuss cultural, political, social and military actions which took place in that year.  Some of the major topics that will be covered include Khe Sanh, the election of 1968, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, student uprisings, the Civil Rights Movement and the launching of Apollo 8.

Instructor:  Heidi Amelia-Anne Weber

Dr. Heidi Amelia-Anne Weber is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Global Studies at SUNY Orange.  She is actively involved in teaching classes in the Honors program as well as for Encore.  Heidi was selected as the recipient of both the SUNY Orange Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

***BOOK CLUB: 2 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Wednesday October 10, 17

                                                                            ROOM – Library 130

We will discuss On the Move, An Autobiography by Oliver Sachs on October 10.  For the October 17 class, we will discuss The Plot Against America, a novel by Philip Roth.

Students will be required to reach each book prior to class.

Instructor: Marlena Lange

A long time Encore instructor, Marlena has also been a teacher of English at Chester High School, SUNY Orange, Harriman College and Mercy College.  She has worked in many local prisons and is an active member of Friends of Thrall Library.

***HIKING: 2 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm Wednesday, September 12

                                       1:00 – 4:00 pm Wednesday September 26


Please note: Students must be able to walk for 2+ hours on sometimes rocky terrains.

Session 1 - Moonbeams – This is an easy walk, September 12:   2:00 – 4:00 pm

For the first adventure, we will meet at Moonbeams Parking Lot by 1:50 pm

(Prosperous Valley Road)  Directions will be included with course confirmation.

Session 2 - Neversink Unique area – Rock Hill – The end of Katrina Falls Road

                                                                             September 26 – 1:00 – 4:00 pm

To car pool, we would meet at 12:30 pm in the parking lot next to the Encore Office and drive down Route 17 (Quickway) to exit 109, immediate right, then next immediate right to Katrina Falls Road.  I will supply a map at the 1st hike.

Wear sturdy shoes or sturdy sneakers or hiking boots – if you have them.  Bring water and sunscreen.  Rain cancels this course, If you have any questions about the day’s hike, you can call the instructor at (845) 665-9200.

Thursday Classes Fall 2018

***ANCIENT AMERICA:  3 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 pm Thursday

                                                                        September 13, 20, 27

                                                                         ROOM – Library 130

This course is a brief survey of the history, culture, and people of the Americas before the arrival of Europeans, Africans and Asians in the 15, 16 and 17 centuries.

Instructor:  Joseph Britto

Joseph has been an Adjunct History Lecturer at SUNY New Paltz for 26 years.  He now teaches for SUNY Orange.

***ART AND DISCUSSION OF STYLE: 2 sessions Thursday

                                                                       October 4, 11

                                                                       1:00 – 3:00 pm


                                              31 Jersey Avenue

                       Members are responsible for their own transportation

Participants will come to the Studio and view the various artwork that is currently being displayed.  3/5 cards will be handed out and the participants will write down names of various pieces of art on display and then a group discussion of the works will take place.

Instructor: Joe PetrosiJoe is an accomplished artist. His works hang in many private homes and businesses, both here and abroad.  In 2012 he was voted the Best Ink and Pencil Artist in the Hudson Valley.  His work has been exhibited in both multi-artist and one man shows in the tri-state area.




                                                                                   2 sessions 2:00 – 4:00 PM

                                                                                       Thursday, September 20, 27

                                                                                ROOM – Harriman Hall 207

This lecture will follow in the footsteps of the Beatles and their journey through their turbulent year, 1968, when they embark on the creation of group’s ninth studio album – The Beatles (aka “The White Album”).  We will explore the genesis of many of the songs they wrote while they were engaged in studying transcendental meditation in India.  Additionally we will discover that even though their recording sessions were filled with personal and creative differences, their studio output during 1968 far exceeded their annual work from previous years.

Instructor: Vincent Bruno

Vincent is a rock historian with focus on the Beatles and the Sixties. As a Beatles scholar and storyteller, he looks to both embrace their legacy and to present an entertaining, interactive and informative session for both the casual listener as well as the hard core Beatles fan. He holds an MPA from Baruch College and, as an adjunct instructor for the past 25 years, he has taught courses in Humanities, Management and Coop Ed.

***BEGINNING/CONTINUING YOGA: 4 sessions 1:00 – 2:00 pm

                                                              Thursday, October 4, 11, 18, 25                                                                                     ROOM – Gym 1

This class is appropriate for beginning and ongoing yoga practitioners.  Students must be able to get up and down from the yoga mat with ease.  Sitting, standing and prone poses will be explored.. Students should wear loose fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Instructor: Mary Berrigan

Mary is a 20 year practitioner and teacher of yoga. She has taught classes for Adult Ed programs. She is currently a substitute yoga teacher at Positive Fitness in Middletown, NY.


                                                                            4 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm

                                                             Thursday October 4, 11 18, 25                                                                                                         ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

We will play out hands and discuss bidding and play.  There will be an introduction of bidding conventions.     This is not beginning bridge.

Instructors: Reena Manson, Pat Boyne

Each week one guest instructor will join our talented teachers.


Friday Classes Fall 2018

***BASIC AUTOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE: 3 sessions 2:00 – 3:00 pm Friday

                                                                    September 21, 28, October 5

                                                                     ROOM –

This course will cover the basics of automobile maintenance.  The course will be broken down into 3 sessions.  During each session we will discuss different parts and systems of the vehicles.  When completed, students will have a basic understanding of how a vehicle works and basic vehicle terminology.  There will be a question and answer portion at the end of each class.

Session one will cover the systems of the vehicle including tires, batteries and lights on the dash.

Session two will cover things to look for and questions to ask when purchasing a new or used vehicle.

Session three will cover basic maintenance of the exterior of the vehicle.

Instructor: Mario Levato

Mario has owned and operator his local automobile repair shop for many years.

***FILMS FOR EVERYONE: 5 sessions 2:00 - 4:00 pm Friday,

                                                              September 21, 28, October 12, 19, 26                                                                                        ROOM – Harriman Hall 111


Students will view 5 films which will be both entertaining and informative.  A brief history of each film will be presented before showings; discussions will follow the movie.  These are the tentative films.    


  • Adam’s Rib   --      September 21
  • The Apartment  -  September 28
  • What’s Up Doc -   October 12
  • 9 – 5                 -   October 19
  • Tootsie             -    October 26

Program is subject to change.Instructor: Matt Pfisterer

Matthews Pfisterer has served as the Director at Middletown Thrall Library since 2011.  Matt earned a Master’s Degree in Information Science from SUNY Albany, worked as a public Librarian, and gained experience a director of public libraries in Ulster and Dutchess counties.


                                         1 session, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Friday October 5

                                          ROOM – Rowley Center 202

This course examines the addiction to the major drugs from the Native American period to the present.  Focus will be on the causes and consequences for individuals, families and communities.  Attention will also be given to types of treatments and the success and failures.

Instructor, Dr. Richard Hull

Professor Emeritus of History, New York University, Dr. Hull is now Town Historian of Warwick, NY and 2014 Citizen of the Year.  He is the four time winner of New York’s Teaching Excellence Award.  Author of eleven books including “History of Jews and Judaism in Africa”, he’s also received the U.N. Distinguished Citizen Award.


                                                                  2:00 – 4:00pm Friday, November 9

                                                                  ROOM – Harriman Hall 211A

Faith vs reason – A continued discussion of theories of knowledge, the Enlightenment, science vs magical thinking, and modern fascism vs a free press.

Instructor:  Jerry Kleiner

Jerry has been President of the Historical Society of Middletown and the Wallkill Precinct for the past 3 years.