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Course Offerings

FALL 2019 courses

  • Mahjong
  • Life of Mark Twain: Ken Burns' Film
  • Qigong and Meditation
  • Key Inventors, Inventions and Path-Breaking Innovations
  • Investments - Perspectives on Investing
  • Basic Automotive Maintenance
  • Color Pencil Drawing
  • Hiking
  • Book Club
  • Thailand:  The Land and the Birds
  • The Post-Revolutionary Generation: The War Hawks and the War of 1812
  • Beginning/Continuing Yoga
  • The Columbian Exchange
  • Bridge - Supervised Bridge at Intermediate Level
  • The Greek Gods, Part I: Goddesses
  • The Enlightenment and Human Rights
  • Films For Everyone
  • Aquasize


Welcome to Encore’s FALL 2019 course offerings. These learning opportunities are scheduled within the college’s academic calendar; they are assigned to available areas after the credit classes have been scheduled. This schedule is completed at least two months before classes begin. So, as you consider what to register for, please note carefully the dates, times, and places for each offering. Then register for those offerings that fit within your own calendar and commitments. 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. CALL SUNY ORANGE's main number to verify if college is open (845) 344-6222 or check the college's website sunyorange.edu.

Encore's office phone number is (845) 341-4896.

Email:  encore@sunyorange.edu




6 sessions | 1:00 - 3:30 | pm Monday

September 9, 16, 23,  October 7, 21, 28

ROOM - Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn to play that popular game, Mahjong, 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 Mahjong cards. Instructor will order these after 1st class. Approximate cost $9.00.


Instructors: Florette Soroka, Pat Blau

Florette has played Mahjong 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.



*** LIFE OF MARK TWAIN: Ken Burns' film

2 sessions | 1:00 - 3:00 pm | Monday

September 9, 16

ROOM - Rowley Center 010, The Forum

This film will cover Mark Twain’s life from birth to his death. You will learn of Mark’s life from time on the Mississippi to the Hartford house; which was the place he truly called home. Learn what he was like as a husband, father and friend.

This film is a good pre-trip informational, but is also available to all members. It does count as a class.


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 at Gettysburg, etc. She has given talks at historical societies, libraries and schools. Yvonne serves on the Encore Steering Committee.




4 sessions | 1:30 - 3:00 pm | Tuesday

September 10, 17,24, October 1

ROOM - Phys Ed Dance Studio

Qigong (chi-kung) is a system of coordinated body postures and movements. Breathing and meditation used for the purpose of health and relaxation will be taught. Students need to wear loose fitting clothes.

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.




1 session | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Tuesday

October 8

ROOM:  Rowley Center 010, The Forum

This class will analyze 25 of the most impactful inventions and innovations in modern human history. How did each one affect human life and transform humanity’s way of dealing with its spiritual, cultural, social, economic and environmental existence?


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 four time winner of New York’s Teaching Excellence Award, Author of eleven books and received the U.N. Distinguished Citizen Award.



4 sessions | 2:15 - 4:15 pm | Tuesday

October 15, 22, 29, November 5

ROOM - Library 130, The Gilman Center

How should the “world” shape our investments? How do we make our investment decisions? Behavioral Finance will help us to understand and keep us from getting in our own way. Day 1 will include an introduction to the “basics” of Investing. Class 2 through 4 will examine “why” we make the choices we do, and how to overcome our emotions.


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.




3 sessions | 3:00 - 4:00 pm | Wednesday

September 4, 11, 18

ROOM - Rowley Center 102

 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.




4 sessions | 1:30 - 3:00 pm | Wednesday

September 11, 18, 25, October 2

ROOM - Harriman Hall 211B

Students will be introduced into the use of color pencils, Different techniques will be shown as well as discussion of color theory and its application with color pencils. Students should bring in pictures as studies to draw from.

NOTE: Students will need to purchase the following color pencils (try online @ Dick Blicksor Jerry’s Artarama). A set of a minimum of 24 pencils ex: Soho pencil set of 24 $15.99 or Raffine color pencils set of 24 $9.99. Paper (Statmore Bristol 300 series 9x12 $4.79), Eraser ACURIT 4 in 1 $1.19, Color pencil sharpener Kum, long point $4.29. Ruler– 12 inch.
Total investment about $40.00.


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.




2 sessions | 1:00 - 3:00 pm | Wednesday

September 18, 25

Please note: Students must be able to walk for 2+ hours on sometimes rocky terrains with some uphill areas. Both hikes are moderate.

Session 1 September 18 – Rock Hill Neversink Unique Area – Katrina Falls Road
Session 2 September 25 – Winding Hills Rt 17K

Please include your cell number in case of rain.

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.




2 sessions | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Wednesday

October 2, 16

ROOM - Library 221

We will discuss A Heart in a Body in the World a novel by Deb Caletti October 2.
For the October 16th class, we will discuss Educated a non-fiction by Tara Westover.
Students will be required to read 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.




1 session | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Wednesday

October 16

ROOM - Rowley Center 102

A powerpoint presentation of the instructor’s birding and historical visit to Central and Northern Thailand.


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.




3 sessions | 1:00 - 3:00 pm | Wednesday

October 23, 30, November 6

ROOM - Rowley Center 010, The Forum

This course will explore how the United States ended up in another war with Great Britain only a
few decades after the conclusion of the American Revolution. The post-Revolutionary War
generation saw themselves as the vision of America and the men who were elected to Congress,
the so call “War Hawks,” believed themselves to be the embodiment of the American dream .In
addition, we will look at the events that transpired during the course of the War of 1812 such as
the battles of Lundy Lane, Fort McHenry and New Orleans.


Instructor: Heidi Amelia-Anne Weber, Ph.D

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.




3 sessions | 1:00 - 2:00 pm | Thursday

September 12, 19, 26

ROOM - Phys Ed Dance Studio

Students will learn/practice some basic Hatha yoga postures. We will work on strength, flexibility, balance and breathing techniques. You must be able to get up and down from the floor. Please wear comfortable, loose 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. Mary is on the Encore Steering Committee.




3 sessions | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Thursday

September 19, 26, October 3

ROOM - Rowley Center 202

An overview of the exchanges of plants, animals, microbes, philosophies and other aspects, endangered by the contacts between Eurasians and Americans after the explorations of Christopher Columbus.


Instructor: Joseph Britto

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




4 sessions | 1:00 - 3:00 pm | Thursday

October 3, 10, 17, 24

ROOM - Shepard Center Alumni Room

This course is only for experienced bridge players. We will review duplicate bridge and learn new added conventions. Beginners cannot enroll in this course.


Instructors: Martha Schuck and Genevieve Lusignan

Martha and Genevieve enjoy the bridge tournaments and hope to encourage better play among
the students.




4 sessions | 2:00 - 3:30 pm | Thursday

October 10, 17, 24, 31

ROOM - Rowley Center 202

The course will consider the character of ancient Greek religion and will examine the nature of female deities – especially Demeter, Persephone, Ariadane, Aphrodite and Athena.


Instructor: Dr. Demosthenes Kontos

Professor Kontos is a historian who has a Ph.D from the University of Cincinnati. He has taught European history at the University of South Dakota, University of Cincinnati and has just retired at SUNY Orange, where he has taught for fifty years.




1 session | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Thursday

November 7

ROOM - Library 130, The Gilman Center

Are either of these concepts meaningful in the 21st century? A discussion of the current struggle, the Constitution, religious fundamentalism and resurgence of Fascism.


Instructor: Jerry Kleiner

Jerry has been President of the Historical Society and the Wallkill Precinct for the past 3 years. Graduated from George Washington University. He serves as 2nd ward alderman for the city of Middletown.





5 sessions | 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Friday

September 20, 27, October 4, 18, 25

ROOM - Harriman Hall 111

This film series will be on famous villains; which will be both entertaining and informative. A brief
history of each film will be presented before showings; discussions will follow. These are the
tentative films. Program subject to change.

  • Double Indemnity - September 20
  • Psycho – September 27
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – October 4
  • Wall Street – October 18
  • Misery – October 25


Instructor: Matt Pfisterer

Matthew 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 as a director of public libraries in Ulster and Dutchess counties.




3 sessions | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm | Friday

October 11, 18, 25

ROOM - Phys Ed Pool

An introductory class of the movements & equipment of water fitness. For swimmers and non-
swimmers who are comfortable in the shallow end. Bring your own lock for lockers in locker room where shower facilities are available. Also you may want to bring a plastic water bottle.

All students meet on pool deck (if pool is locked, then meet at door)

No street shoes allowed on pool deck.

Please note: It would be helpful if the participant’s doctor knew about this exercise

Requirements: Students must have the ability to enter and exit the pool and the ability to move around the shallow end of the pool independently.


Instructor: Anne Condon

Anne has been a popular, certified and accomplished swimming instructor for many years.