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Two Faculty Members Named SUNY Chancellor’s Award Recipients

Posted: May 27, 2014

Sharon Poling and James Hinkle at this year’s Commencement Ceremony where they were presented with their Chancellor Award medallions.

Sharon Poling and James Hinkle at this year’s Commencement Ceremony where they were presented with their Chancellor Award medallions.

Fulton-Montgomery Community College is pleased to announce James Hinkle, Associate Professor of Media Communication, and Sharon Poling, Professor-Director of COCAL and Experiential Learning, have been named SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence recipients.

James Hinkle has been a member of the FM faculty since 1996 and is currently an Associate Professor of Media Communications. His nomination states, “He brings his professional experience and knowledge in news reporting, broadcasting and public relations into the classroom as he gives his students ‘real world’ knowledge and skills… Mr. Hinkle ensures that his students are learning the current techniques and trends in the field and using the most updated equipment… He teaches in six different classrooms dedicated to the Communication and Broadcast Media program and is responsible for teaching the concepts behind and the operation of TV studio equipment and software, video editing equipment and software, audio production equipment and software and news production software.” One student wrote, “Mr. Hinkle taught me more than just the facts; he taught me the true work ethics and responsibilities that earning a degree requires.” Another wrote, “I realized how beneficial so many of his lessons, projects and exams were. I felt ahead of the game in many aspects.” Reflecting on his experience transferring to a four-year college one former student wrote, “I was asked by both the students and professor to help some of them since my project was completed in about half the time. This was possible because of how much [he] taught us to perfect all assets of our craft… ‘A’ quality work wasn’t enough. He would challenge me to turn something great into something spectacular.”

In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Mr. Hinkle is generous with his time outside of the classroom serving as the advisor for the Communications Club, organizing class and club trips, helping students secure jobs and internships, as well as writing letters of recommendations for students seeking to transfer to higher education. For all of his time and commitment to student outside of the classroom, the Student Government Association has honored him in the past by awarding him as “Advisor of the Year.”

For his excellence in teaching and his unselfish dedication to his students and the campus community, Mr. Hinkle was presented the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Sharon Poling joined FM in 1984 when she was hired in a part-time grant position to assist in developing and implementing an innovative new program, Collaborative Career Learning. Today, she is the Director of Collaborative Career Learning and Experiential Education, known as COCAL. She was nominated by several of her colleagues at FM because she exemplifies the Award for Excellence in that she has, “repeatedly sought improvement of herself, the campus, and ultimately the State University, and serves as a professional role model.”

Her nomination also states, “Ms. Poling has successfully shepherded hundreds of students, possibly over a thousand, over the years through her program and on to careers. For many of these students, they come to Ms. Poling during a very scary and uncertain time in their life. Recently, a student wrote to her, “thank you for everything you did for me…I will never forget your kindness and understanding. There have only been a handful of people in my educational life who have made such a positive impression on me, and you are right up there on the top of my list…thank you for being so dedicated to your students.”

In order to make these opportunities possible for students, Ms. Poling works diligently to make connections with local and Capital District employers to ensure that each and every student in the COCAL program gets the hands-on learning experience required to be successful in the business and industry of their choice. The nomination states, “She has earned the respect of local business partners as they continue to accept and count on her to provide excellent referrals.”

Over the years, Ms. Poling has served on and chaired several committees, including Student Life; Academic Policy; Middle States Review and the College Senate. She has served the faculty union (FACE) in numerous capacities and currently serves as its President. As President, she has worked to establish a collaborative relationship with College Administrators, the members of the Board of Trustees and the members of the two counties Board of Supervisors. One of her colleagues wrote, “Sharon represents the heart and soul of FM; she believes the college mission and demonstrates her dedication to the fulfillment of that mission every day.”

For her excellence as Director of COCAL and her unselfish dedication to improving the campus community, Ms. Poling was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

“Sharon and Jim have visibly demonstrated extraordinary commitment and service to the College and I congratulate them both on this very deserving recognition,” stated FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger.

Instituted in 1972 by the State University of New York, the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.


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