MVCC PA > NYSUT Affiliate #39015 > AFT Affiliate #2839 >
< MVCC Email >
Meet the PA executive board, committee chairs & members, and area reps. Read the PA contract, constitution, and by-laws. Discover the benefits of having our own MVCCPA Benefits Fund. PA members: Learn about our activities through our internal publications and other projects. Community members: Find out what we're doing for the Mohawk Valley. Keep track of upcoming events and see photos from past events. Awards and Recognition given to PA
  Main >  Member Communications > PAnorama > May 2004

PAnorama: May 2004

What a week! PA members gave and gave and gave

Good, the more Communicated, more abundant grows.

John Milton wrote this line in Paradise Lost in the late 17th century. PA members showed that it still holds true in early May 2004. PA members participated in three separate awareness- and fund-raising events in the first week of May. Organizing such a busy week at a very busy time of the semester seemed impossible, but with so many members giving in so many ways, we exceeded our own expectations. Members contributed by running and walking, by educating and advertising, by asking for pledges and making pledges, by supervising a race course and supervising student volunteers, and even by illustrating, spectating, and cleaning their closets!

The 7th Annual Ted Moore Run/Walk

PA members began the week by donating their time, money, and talents at the Annual Ted Moore Run/Walk on May 1st.

Bob Clarke: Why I Gave

I donated an illustration as a special incentive prize for the individual collecting the highest pledge total for the Ted Moore event. This year, as in the past, that individual was Ted’s mother, Bernice Moore.

The barn that I illustrated to commemorate the memory of our colleague and friend Ted is located in Plainfield Center on Richfield Hill Road, which is owned by my wife’s relatives, the Young family. The tractor in the foreground is a 1952 Ford Model 9N. I always include a cat or two--no barn is without them. My traditional medium is pen and ink, which I feel captures the character of the weathered barns and landscape. I added our nation’s colors to the composition to symbolize the endurance of our country and the memory of those whose lives were lost on 9/11.

I’m happy that Ted’s mother now owns this piece, as there are tales behind the barns I illustrate. In fact, my fondest memory was on a hot, lazy summer day in 1964. It was my day off from working at a marina pumping gas and selling fish bait. I was attempting to illustrate “The Airport Farm” for the first time, and it was silhouetted against the sky on a hill behind the home I grew up in outside the Village of Clayton, NY. My mom came out to see what I was up to. She said, “What in the world are you drawing that old broken down barn for? There are so many beautiful things to draw!” Furious, insulted, and turning red, I didn’t utter a retort; it provoked me to continue drawing.

I’ve been illustrating old broken down barns for over forty years now. I thank my mom for the inspiration, and I hope that it brings good memories to Ted’s mom too.

Cathy Hardy: Why I Gave

As Chair of the Ted Moore Run/Walk event, I am always especially happy to contribute. This year was extra special because Mayor Tim Julian stopped by to deliver an official proclamation that May 1, 2004, shall henceforth be known as “Ted Moore Day” in Utica. This means so much to me because now, in addition to the MVCC community, the City of Utica also remembers and honors Ted Moore on May 1st. This was the 7th annual event, and we had never received any recognition from our city for what we are doing. It was an emotional moment for me, and I was honored and privileged to accept the proclamation.

Although I never knew Ted in the physical form, I feel like I know him in the spiritual form. Each year when I get stressed from this event, I feel Ted’s presence and it encourages me to keep going. I feel that Ted is smiling down on us on the day of the event. Each year, when it’s all over, and I put away the last table and pick up the last piece of paper, I look up and say, “Well, we did it again, Ted! Thanks for your help.”

Jim Maio: Why I Gave

Because alcohol awareness is a central theme to the Ted Moore Run/Walk, the event is most definitely a cause that we at the Counseling Center feel very strongly about. Helping people cope with the effects of alcohol abuse is a familiar role for us, and we enjoy taking part in such a meaningful event. Also, making ourselves and our services known are two of the biggest challenges that we face at the Counseling Center, so any chance we get to market ourselves is an opportunity that we don’t want to miss. Maimun and I both feel that devoting our Saturday morning at the Ted Moore Run/Walk was very much time well spent.

Julie Wells-Tsiatsos: Why I Gave

For the last four years, I have had the privilege of being involved with the Ted Moore Run/Walk, coordinating student volunteers to assist with the event. This is an important community activity for our students to be involved with for a couple of reasons.

First, an important part of the nursing curriculum is teaching students about health promotion and disease prevention. With participation in this event, students are exposed to the ways in which we as health care providers can assist individuals facing drug and/or alcohol abuse addictions.

Second, many nursing students are eligible to apply for the scholarships available through the Ted Moore funds and the Run/Walk raises money for this scholarship fund. The current scholarship winner is our own Barbara Sheppard, a senior nursing student and current President of the Student Nurses Organization (SNO).

One of the greatest things about our nursing program is our dedicated and caring students. Even though they are very busy at the time of year when the event is held, all I have to do is let the students know about the event’s purpose, and they willingly volunteer their time and services because they feel it is for a great cause. Student volunteers report one hour before the race and are assigned positions along the course where Bob Gould and I feel there could be possible problems. The students guide and assist participants through the course--especially towards the end where the course gets a little tricky.

In addition to volunteering to monitor the course, nursing students participated by walking or running, and by conducting a special Popcorn Sale the week before the event, which raised an additional $122.00 for the Ted Moore scholarship funds. The students and I had a great time volunteering for the Ted Moore Walk/Run this year, and we look forward to next year!

The MS Walk

We made a call for “Margaret’s Marauders,” and PA members answered! Captained by Margaret Partyka, the PA team raised over $1,700.00 for the cause.

Marie Czarnecki: Why I Gave

I don’t normally participate in run/walk events because I’m not exactly the athletic type, but this year I decided to join the PA for the MS Walk. Our PA team consisted of PA members, friends, and family--even Margaret’s dog, Murphy. During the walk, as we were approaching the crest of a hill, I was awestruck by the long line of fellow walkers stretching before and behind us. I had the feeling of being part of a truly united effort. Talk about solidarity!

Caroline Lewis: Why I Gave

Cynthia Villanti asked me to participate in this year’s MS Walk--not only because I’m a friend and former PA member but also because of my brother.

My brother used to experience outbursts of anger and delight, uncontrollable waves of sorrow and rage, feelings of abandonment and suicidal thoughts. We never knew from day to day what kind of mood he would be in. We assumed, even jokingly, that he had a serious alcohol problem or was suffering from manic depression. “When are you going to get therapy?” we’d ask. “When are you going to get yourself into a drug rehab program?” As he grew into a full-fledged adult, we just ignored his behavior; his wildly wavering personality was too much for us to handle or comprehend.

Throughout his twenties, my brother often experienced periods of complete numbness in his legs and, although we had a maternal great-aunt who had been diagnosed with MS in 1954, we assumed that my brother’s symptoms had every thing to do with his abuse of illegal substances. Then he called me a year and half ago from Florida: he had been diagnosed with MS. He only went to the doctor because his vision was affecting him so much that he couldn’t drive to work. The numbness he could ignore, but he couldn’t ignore not being able to see. He was thirty-three years old.

I walked with the PA team because of my brother, because I have since learned that MS can seriously affect the emotional spheres of the brain, that it was neither drug abuse nor a mental disorder that caused our brother to behave irrationally. Sunday, May 2nd, was my apology to the misconception and presumption that if my brother would only try harder, would only seek out professsional help, that his emotional and psychological life would be better. Instead, he is afflicted by a disease that has no cure, and over which he has little control.

I had abandoned him. MS can be a silent or vocal disease. For my brother its silence was penetrating, and as family members, we had misunderstood his emotional and angry outbursts. Only one third of MS sufferers are male, and my brother is an unfortunate recipient not only of the silence of Multiple Sclerosis but also his family’s silence.

Margaret Partyka: Why I Gave

PA members know from a previous PAnorama why I participated in the MS Walk again this year. I have MS, I care about others who have MS, and I want to do all that I can to help work towards improved treatments and hopefully, one day, a cure. According to the National MS Society, approximately 400,000 Americans acknowledge having MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. Globally, MS may affect 2.5 million individuals. Think about that number! Although anyone may develop MS, there are some patterns:

  • Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.
  • Two to three times as many women as men have MS.
  • Studies indicate that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.
  • MS occurs more commonly among people with northern European ancestry, but people of African, Asian, and Hispanic backgrounds are not immune.

It was only about 10 years ago that there was any medication available to slow down the progression of the disease. But they are not cures--there is no cure… yet. That’s why I organized the PA team: the more money we raise, the more research can be done to find one. Both personally and on behalf of the PA, I want to thank everyone who contributed to our team, either by sponsoring a walker or by walking with us on May 2nd.

Together we collected over $1,700.00, and we could not have done it without your support. Thank you!

The “Spring Clean Thing” Clothing Donation Drive

Jim Fiore: Why I Gave

I was asked, “Why did you give to the PA clothing drive?” Simple: My wife and I can only wear so many articles of clothing at once. All of the remaining items wind up on the dresser and we’re getting tired of moving them.

No, really, it’s not quite that simple but it is that easy. What do you do when you have more of something than you really need, or items that no longer fit? Leaving them in the closet would be a waste on numerous levels. It’s far better to give them to someone who can make use of them. It’s not rocket science. Also, Cynthia said that if I donated she would run the entire Boilermaker with a huge pair of cardboard scissors with “Runs with Scissors” written on it.

Steve Getchell: Why I Gave

As a member of the Community Outreach Committee, I was supportive of the clothing donation drive from the beginning. I love the idea because I wanted to donate to benefit the members of the community who are less fortunate and I knew that my wife and I could come up with lots of good used clothing to give.

It’s also great that we brought the clothes straight to the Salvation Army on Clinton Place. Several people have said to me that the Thrift Store is getting kind of expensive, and this way the people who use the soup kitchen can pick up the clothes for free. That, to me, is true charity. I would like to see the PA do a “spring clean thing” donation drive every year. I know that my family will always have lots of offer.

So there you have it. Milton was right: Good, the more Communicated, more abundant grows. Reflecting on this very busy first week of May, President Searles had this to say: “PA members are so generous--with time, money, energy, and all-around good will. This giving attitude can be seen throughout the year, of course, but a week like this one is really a standout. I’m proud to be part of it.

2004 PA Election results in fresh faces and energized experience

Rather than duplicate the tables here, we ask that you please view results of this year's election in the Executive Board and Committee Chairs & Members pages. Most of the just-elected terms end on 5.31.06. Per PA by-laws, several committees have until June 5th to elect their chairs.

PA members among those recognized for service to students with disabilities
by Lynn Igoe

Each year, the Mohawk Valley Community College Office for Services to Students with Disabilities joins together with students to recognize college employees who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in their service to students with disabilities. And each year, Professional Association members make up the bulk of the list of those being honored.

The following is a list of the 2003 honorees who are members of the PA, accompanied by a brief quote from their nomination letters. It would be impossible to serve the needs of our students with disabilities without the support and assistance of these valuable professionals. Along with our students, we thank and honor the following members of the Professional Association.

  • Cynthia Busic-Snyder “I can always count on good advice from Ms. Snyder and a level of fairness in her classes that only a great teacher can give.”
  • Heather Ramsdale “Because of her help I feel better about what I can do in my life.”
  • Scott Selden “This man has inspired believe that it doesn’t matter how bad your past was, that it is still possible to improve and make something positive of yourself.”
  • Guy Snedeker “Mr. Snedeker went out of his way to understand my disability (and) to teach me the way I could learn.”
  • Christi Harrington “Christi is an instructor who truly cares about her students and will go the extra mile to help a student reach her goals.”
  • Beverly Jaskolka “Mrs. Jaskolka...has even provided extra time outside her office hours to assist. She really wants the students to learn, not just get by.”
  • Jed Kimball “Jed has respected my disability and never set any limits, but rather insisted on more…. To him his students must go above and beyond.”
  • Mary Ellen Blakely “I believe she is the perfect example of how just a little compassion and understanding can aid a student to overcome their disability and see their potential.”
  • George Goerner “I feel Mr. Goerner went over and above the call of duty and was one reason why I was as successful as I was last semester.”
  • Paul Halko “He is always there to talk to. He goes out of his way to help any student that needs it.” [first nomination]
  • Paul Halko “He’s one of the reasons I attend MVCC; without Paul’s guidance and encouragement I do believe I wouldn’t have attended this school or any other.” [second nomination]

Another great turnout for the annual Spring Social

Continuing what has become an annual tradition, the PA hosted another Spring Social this year. The Member Services and Community Outreach Committees cooperate to schedule each PA Social: Member Services handles the party planning and Community Outreach arranges a community/charity fundraiser in conjunction with the event.

“We decided at an Executive Board meeting last year,” Luther Riedel explains, “that the PA would host an end-of-the-semester social in both the spring and fall semesters.” The PA Socials involve not only good food, drink, and conversation with colleagues to celebrate the end of each semester, they also offer an opportunity to build a stronger sense of solidarity among members.

This year’s PA Spring Social was held at the Ramada Inn on Friday, May 7th. PA members brought donations of clothing and light household wares to the Social and dropped them off in the huge rental van at the building entrance. Then, members gathered for a relaxing hour in the lounge before enjoying dinner on the PA.

Round-the-clock PA giving: Two ways to participate in ACS Relay for Life

Ask Mary Ellen Hart why you should join her team for the Relay for Life event in June, and she’ll say, “PA members should participate because everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer.”

Mary Ellen is organizing a team to participate in this summer’s American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life. She already knows of several PA people planning to walk, including Jackie Womack, Alma King, Janet Visalli, and Rose Patterson.

The event takes place on June 12th, beginning at noon with a survivor lap (the very first lap around the track is made by cancer survivors). PA participants will walk at JFK High School in North Utica. It’s a 24-hour walk from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday, and at least one member of the team must be walking the track for the full 24 hours.

The teams provide tents with entertainment, food, and beverages. “It’s a really fun event,” says Mary Ellen. The team’s theme is “Beach Club.” Why?



Jackie notes, “We always enjoy ourselves because as we walk, music is playing, people are talking, they hold talent shows, children are having a great time.”

“And it’s all for such a worthwhile cause,” Mary Ellen notes. Last year, the team raised over $9,000.00! To join the “Beach Club” by walking or donating, contact Mary Ellen in Financial Aid before June 4th (792.5412 or

A second way to participate is to purchase a candle in honor or in memory of a loved one. The Rome Teachers Association (RTA) has asked the PA for its support again this year. The RTA will light candles at the NYS School for the Deaf in Rome on June 12-13th. To purchase candles for $5 each, send your name, address, and phone number, along with the number of candles you wish to purchase and in whose honor or memory you’re purchasing them (make checks payable to the American Cancer Society) to Rome Teachers Association, P.O. Box 1105, Rome, NY 13442.

Picket in solidarity: Support Mount Markham teachers in contract struggle

In April, over 300 members of about 30 local unions, including our own PA, picketed to show our support of the Whitesboro Teachers Association, which has been without a contract for far too long.

On Tuesday, May 25th at 6 pm, the PA will have another chance to demonstrate its solidarity by picketing with the Mt. Markham teachers. The Mount Markham Teacher’s Association is among 30 NYSUT local bargaining units which have been working under contracts that expired in 2002.

To underscore the severity of the situation, NYSUT President Tom Hobart visited with Mt. Markham TA President Nancy Cooper in late April to support the 120-member local union’s struggle to gain a fair contract.

PA President Ellis Gage Searles encourages PA members to join their K-12 colleagues. Searles says, “It’s important to them, but it’s also important to us. When we march in solidarity, we show our concern for the issues facing all educators.” Contact Ellis for directions or to arrange carpools.

Section Map >