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Suffolk’s Tah’Joenae Hinton Named NJCAA Division III Second-Team Region XV All-Star

Tah_Joenae Hinton

by Danielle Shangold

Medford second-year Suffolk County Community College Women’s Basketball player Tah’Joenae Hinton has been named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Second-Team Region XV All-Star for the 2016-2017 basketball season.

Only ten women are chosen for the prestigious award from NJCAA Region XV.

Hinton suffered an early season shoulder injury, but returned stronger then ever to complete her last season as a Shark.

Hinton was a team co-captain whose leadership and experience on the court helped her excel.

This season Hinton:

averaged 11.1 points a game
averaged 10.6 rebounds
scored a high of 21 points in a single game
had a high of 21 rebounds in a single game, 8 offensive, 13 defensive

“ Tahj has developed as a player but more importantly has grown as a successful student and a productive young woman with a bright future,“ said Coach Kevin Foley.

Media Contact:
Drew Biondo
631-451-4776
biondodr@sunysuffolk.edu


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Courtney Hubbard ’16 Wins Food Network’s ‘Bakers Vs. Fakers’ Competition

bakerHost Buddy Valastro and Courtney Hubbard of Hampton Bays on the game show Bakers vs. Fakers. COURTESY FOOD NETWORK

 

Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Woman Wins Food Network’s ‘Bakers Vs. Fakers’ Competition

Feb 14, 2017 12:44 PM

From the very first moment Courtney Hubbard ’16 was able to hold a spoon, she has been an avid baker.

When the Hampton Bays High School alumna was a small child, she would always be in charge of the mixing bowl when she baked cookies or brownies with her “nana,” Linda Hubbard of Hampton Bays.

“I liked to bake whatever I liked to eat,” Ms. Hubbard recalled as a big smile spread across her face. “So brownies were my favorite thing to bake with her, because I think her recipe was the best recipe.”

As she got older—and her parents started trusting her to use the oven in the kitchen—Ms. Hubbard, now 21, started baking on her own, and getting more creative with her craft. She baked a cake to look like a tiger for her younger sister Olivia Pervete’s birthday, and wedding cakes with intricate flowers and designs.

She transitioned from home baker to professional when she graduated in January 2016 from Suffolk County Community College’s culinary school on East Main Street in Riverhead, where she studied baking and pastry arts.

This past November, the young baker was a contestant on the Food Network’s game show “Bakers vs. Fakers”—and she came home with the $10,000 grand prize.

On the show, hosted by Buddy Valastro, both professional bakers, like Ms. Hubbard, and amateurs are brought in for a bake-off where they are asked to make treats with unusual ingredients—such as bacon, aromatic ginger or even beer.

baker2

Courtney Hubbard ’16 of Hampton Bays, NY on Bakers vs. Fakers. Courtesy of Food Network.

When Ms. Hubbard was brought on the show, she and the two other contestants were asked to bake cupcakes using hot peppers. A self-proclaimed picky eater, Ms. Hubbard said it was challenging, because she doesn’t care for spicy foods. “I was, like, ‘Really? That is going to taste good? Who is going to want to eat that?’” she recalled. “I just thought of heat and chocolate. In Mexican chocolate, they have heat in there.”

She used her go-to chocolate cake recipe for the base of the cupcake, adding in pepper jelly and ancho chile powder along the way. The cupcake was topped with cream cheese frosting.

“I was tasting it along the way,” Ms. Hubbard said. “I was, like, ‘This has to come out good, or it’s going to taste like a nacho or something.’ So I tasted the batter, and I thought it was very spicy, because I just don’t like spicy food. But when I tasted the baked cupcake, I tasted the spice but it was a little mellowed out.”

Ms. Hubbard explained that while the judges seemed like they were looking for a stronger pepper taste than her cupcakes offered, she was excited that she still managed to secure second place in that round.

In the second and final round, Ms. Hubbard was tasked with baking something using, as ingredients, “school snacks,” such as baby carrots, chocolate milk, raisins, applesauce or Fruit Roll-Ups.

Ms. Hubbard chose to work with chocolate milk and Fruit Roll-Ups—two of her personal childhood favorites. She used the chocolate milk to make the pastry cream for a napoleon. Then Ms. Hubbard reduced the Fruit Roll-Ups with port wine to create a reduction sauce for the plate.

“They weren’t a big fan of that,” Ms. Hubbard said of the judges’ reaction to the reduction sauce. “But I like Fruit Roll-Ups, so that was delicious to me. I was, like, ‘You can say that—but I will eat it all day long!’”

When the judges were tasting her creation, she remembers crossing her fingers, hoping she would win. She said she went into shock when she opened the gold envelope that showed she won.

“They said my name—I still have the envelope,” Ms. Hubbard said. “I was, like, ‘Did they say my name? Did I imagine that?’ It was like I was dreaming. I really didn’t think I would win.”

Perhaps the hardest part about the entire competition for Ms. Hubbard was not telling anyone that she was going on the show. Viewers are not initially told which of the contestants are bakers and which are “fakers,” so to help keep the secret Ms. Hubbard had to sign a contract that kept her from being able to share the exciting news with her friends and family.

From the time she filmed the show in Jersey City, New Jersey, in November, until the time it aired on January 25, Ms. Hubbard had to bite her tongue every time someone would start a conversation with her about her baking. “I thought about it every day until January 25,” she said.

The secret became even harder to keep once Food Network aired a commercial promoting the episode, called “Caliente Cupcake,” on December 26. She was quickly recognized by her signature French braids—but at that point she still couldn’t confirm that it was she on the show.

“Everyone [saw] it,” Ms. Hubbard said. “I had people messaging me saying, ‘Did I just see you?’ and I was, like, ‘I don’t know. You’ll have to watch!’”

Ms. Hubbard calls the 17 hours she spent on the “Bakers vs. Fakers” set the best day of her life. She credits most of her success to her nana and to chef Richard Amster, who taught most of her baking classes in culinary school.

“This is for her,” Ms. Hubbard said of her nana. “This is me saying, ‘Thank you—thank you for showing me my dream.’”

While the elder Ms. Hubbard was the one to introduce her to her craft, she credits Mr. Amster with giving her the confidence to be a successful baker.

She recalled her first day of class with Mr. Amster: “My very first day, I cried. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t get something right, and I was so disappointed and so discouraged with myself. He took me out in the hallway and he told me, ‘Courtney, there is no crying in baking. If you want to be a pastry chef, you have to be confident and just get it done and do it right.’”

She listened to Mr. Amster’s advice, though she admits she cried when she learned she won $10,000.

“So I asked him, ‘Can the “no crying in baking” rule be edited to “no crying in baking unless you win $10K”?’ And he said, ‘You won—you make the rules.’”

Mr. Amster said on Monday that he is proud of Ms. Hubbard. “She did a great job,” he said, pointing out that he noticed Ms. Hubbard used some of the techniques taught in his classes. “It was a pleasure to see her. How can you not appreciate a student who comes in and gives 100 percent?”

Ms. Hubbard is saving her winnings from the show to use toward opening a bake shop in the future—possibly locally. She is sticking to baking in her kitchen until her business, Courtney’s Sweet Tooth, picks up.

Until then she is taking orders and sharing pictures of her treats on her Facebook page, facebook.com/courtneyssweettooth.

 

 

Courtney Hubbard works on a cake in her kitchen in Hampton Bays. DANA SHAW

Source: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

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No Argument: A Young Suffolk Speech and Debate Team Makes Its Mark Nationally

sccc-speechdebate2017-2Team photo (L to R):  Faiz Shakir (Deer Park), Heather Mannkopf (Sayville), J.T. Brockmann (Medford), Rihana Joseph (Brentwood), Team Captain Austin Santiago (Commack), Christopher Chiusa (West Islip), Bree Dougherty (Farmingville), Coach Christopher Holfester

The Suffolk County Community College Forensics team competed at the Talk Hawk Invitational Tournament held at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA last weekend.

  • Austin Santiago—3rd Place — After Dinner Speaking
  • Heather Mannkopf—7th Place — Persuasive Speaking
  • Heather Mannkopf—Top Novice — Persuasive Speaking
  • Rihana Joseph–4th Place — Program Oral Interpretation
  • Rihana Joseph—Top Novice — Program Oral Interpretation
  • Rihana Joseph—Top Novice — Prose Interpretation
  • J.T. Brockmann—Top Novice — Dramatic Interpretation

“Our team is composed of first-year competitors with the exception of returning captain Austin Santiago,” said Director of Forensics and Coach Thomas Bovino. “Our goal is to place at the Phi Rho Pi national championships in April,” Bovino said and added,  “at this point, we are doing well but need to continue making progress and polishing our work so that we can have a good showing at nationals. The students are continuing to add in new work in each tournament and are rehearsing regularly to reach a consistently high level of performance.”

The highly competitive tournament was attended by 18 other colleges, including:

  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Columbia College
  • Contra Costa Community College
  • California State University—Chico
  • Diablo Valley College
  • Hartnell College
  • Las Positas College
  • Los Medanos College
  • Modesto Junior College
  • Mt.  San Antonio College
  • Ohlone College
  • Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Solano Community College
  • Speech at Berkeley

The Suffolk team is coached by Thomas Bovino, director of forensics, academic chair of communication studies/tv/radio/film; Christopher Holfester, head coach, professor of communication studies; Ron Staniec, volunteer assistant coach, adjunct instructor of communication studies and Fatima Dar, volunteer debate coach, former Suffolk team member.

Media Contact:
Drew Biondo
631-451-4776
biondodr@sunysuffolk.edu


 Find Suffolk County Community College Alumni Association online:

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 Click here to make an online gift to support SCCC students and programs

5/4/17 Save the Date Salute to Excellence Gala Honoring Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers

Suffolk Community College Foundation

Save the Date for Salute to Excellence Gala

May 4, 2017
Hilton Long Island-Huntington
598 Broad Hollow Rd, Melville, NY 11747

Honoring Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers

7:00 pm–8:00 pm Networking Reception
8:00 pm–10:00 pm Dinner and Awards Ceremony

See photos from Salute to Excellence 2016

REGISTER ONLINE

sccc-gala-2017


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Suffolk Cheer Garners Silver in National Competition

cheerteam2017-1-14

The Suffolk County Community College Cheer team garnered a silver medal at the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) 2017 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship held at Discover Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on January 14.

The team competed against 9 other top college teams, earning a silver medal in UCA’s Open All Girl Division on only their second visit to the national competition according to the team’s head coach, Gina Caputo’83.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments made by this team.  It is a great moment for the Suffolk cheer program.  The support from our families, friends, and alumni fueled us every step of the way,” Caputo said.
Team members

Katlyn Alger Ronkonkoma
Julia Bromberg Holtsville
Brianna Capersino Shirley
Ashley Cardillo Setauket
Genna Consalazio West Babylon
Robyn Cronin Commack
Diana Ferretti Sayville
Brianna Giffin Ridge
Sarah Kavanagh East Islip
Teresa Keegan Centereach
Eireann McGrath Patchogue
Ciara Meisner Islip Terrace
Danielle Mignogna Shirley
Cassandra Pacheco Commack
LeeAnn Parker Coram
Alexandria Peters Manorville
Meghan Procida Bay Shore
Samantha Sanchez North Babylon
Angelique Scala Coram
Leighann Sepulveda Holbrook
Rachel Steck Port Jefferson Sta.
Nichole Testa West Farmingville
Casey Wesolowski Port Jefferson Sta.
Krystal Williams Bay Shore
Danielle Wunsch Shirley
Jamie Ziskin Mount Sinai

Media Contact:
Drew Biondo
631-451-4776
biondodr@sunysuffolk.edu


 Find Suffolk County Community College Alumni Association online:

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 Click here to make an online gift to support SCCC students and programs

 

Suffolk County Community College President Shaun L. McKay To Be Honored 1/16/17

Suffolk County Community College President Shaun L. McKay To Be Honored 1/16/17

32nd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSUNYSFLK%2Fvideos%2F10158123786645381%2F&show_text=0&width=560


 Find Suffolk County Community College Alumni Association online:

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Suffolk’s Yaroslava Babenchuk Named Fullbright Scholar

yaroslava-babenchuk

Dr. Yaroslava Babenchuk a senior international officer and associate dean of special programs and external partnerships at Suffolk County Community College has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award to India in 2017.  The program focuses on helping U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Babenchuk was notified of the award last week.

“This award is an honor not only for me personally, it is a great achievement for Suffolk County Community College,” Babenchuk said, adding, “while in India, I will be highlighting the excellent work we do at our college while advancing the international education agenda for Suffolk and community colleges nationwide.”

Dr. Babenchuk will visit higher education institutions, non-profit organizations and government bodies in the cities of New Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Bhubaneswar to garner first-hand knowledge of the Indian higher education system and will have an opportunity to closely interact with her Indian counterparts.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Babenchuck and our college,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay. “Dr. Babenchuk’s selection for this prestigious program is evidence of her scholarly reputation and opens a new international window of learning and collaboration to our college and students,” McKay said.

Dr. Babenchuk said the experience will act as a springboard for future initiatives focusing on student, faculty and staff collaboration between Suffolk County Community College and Indian higher education institutions.

The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that awards about 1,100 grants to American scholars each year. Funded by the US government, Fulbright Scholars are chosen based on their leadership and their abilities to teach, conduct research and contribute to solutions for shared international concerns.

Source: Suffolk County Community College


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Southampton’s Hector Franco is Top Chef in Culinary Competition

hector-franco-2016-12Southampton’s Hector Franco won Suffolk County Community College’s Chopped-like culinary competition, Battle for the Beach, with a tasty pan seared chicken with natural au jus. The competition was held last Friday at the college’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center in Riverhead.

Student contestants were presented with a mystery basket of ingredients that they had turn into a mouth-watering dish in just 90 minutes. The competition is similar to the popular reality television show “Chopped” airing on the Food Network.

Top Chef Franco won a seven-night stay at the Sheraton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., and an opportunity to work under the supervision of the resort’s executive chef.  The prize includes round-trip airfare and ground transportation.

Source: Suffolk County Community College


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Suffolk Debate Team Tops Penn State in Preliminary Rounds

debate-team-2016-12-4

Christopher Chiusa (West Islip), at left, and Faiz Shakir (Deer Park) holding their winning judges ballots from the debate at Hofstra University on Sunday, December 4.

The Suffolk County Community College Parliamentary debate team of Faiz Shakir and Christopher Chiusa defeated two different pairings from Penn State University at a regional speech competition’s preliminary rounds held at Hofstra University on Sunday, December 4th.

Shakir and Chuisa were one win away from advancing to the award rounds before they were narrowly beaten by a team from Hofstra University in the final round of competition.

More than 20 colleges from 11 states participated in the annual event.


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National Science Foundation Grant Awarded to Suffolk to Increase STEM Degrees for Underrepresented Minority Students

Suffolk County Community College will be awarded $100,000 of a $4 million grant as a partner institution in the SUNY Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program. The program is a collaboration of 14 SUNY schools who are partnering in the new five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among underrepresented minority student populations.

“The strength and success of Suffolk’s STEM scholars and the vital role of community colleges, particularly Suffolk, remain crucial entry points and valued partners in this LSAMP alliance within SUNY.  This results in long ranging benefits for our diverse students, enabling them to bridge from the community college to the baccalaureate level, on to graduate school and into the STEM workforce-the next generation of STEM scholars,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay.

Dr. Candice Foley, Suffolk County Community College will serve as a SUNY LSAMP Associate Director for the alliance; responsible for community college activities, successful 2-4 year transfers, and as a liaison to National Science Foundation (NSF) programs.  The five-year award includes funds for stipends to Suffolk STEM students to engage in authentic research experiences – a known high impact practice for increasing participation and completion by underrepresented populations in STEM.  Stony Brook and the other SUNY schools will look to expand the alliance and create additional STEM curriculum opportunities for students.

Over the next five years, the three leading goals of the project will be to:

  • meet the continuing challenge of preparing under represented students for a successful transition into STEM majors;
  • provide experimental activities that lead to socialization into science; and
  • promote systemic change by broadening participation in research.

Since 1996, SUNY LSAMP has been an instrumental in shaping STEM education and forging new opportunities for UREP students to pursue and succeed in STEM programs and degrees in New York State and has garnered an 11-fold increase in STEM enrollment for minority students in the last 20 years in New York State. The program has also helped increase STEM bachelor’s degrees by almost 300 percent. During the past five years, the program has been a catalyst to helping to nearly double community college students transferring to four-year STEM undergraduate programs.
Suffolk County Community College is building a two-story, 33,792- square-foot Renewable Energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Center on the Michael J. Grant, Brentwood campus that will be the first of its kind in the state community college system.

Source: Suffolk County Community College


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