Mentor Appreciation Award

Thank YouMentors play a significant role in guiding students through their studies and encouraging academic success.  In recognition of the hard work and dedication of Empire’s faculty, MSiA developed the “Mentor Appreciation Award”.  Below is listed the recipient and nominees for each term.  Thank you SUNY Empire State College mentors for all of your great work!

Fall 2015


Dr. Michelson made a very difficult course approachable and gave me direction that helped me embrace the subject matter without fear. She is patient and has the ability to be critical but not hurtful in her criticism. I was able to navigate this course and come out the other side with an abundance of knowledge not only about adult learning but peripheral areas where I now have a better understanding and ability to analyze and discuss critically.

Michelson has a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, and she is a lead developer and mentor for the SUNY Empire State College School for Graduate Studies’ Master of Arts in Liberal Studies  (MALS) program. Michelson is the author of multiple articles, books, and book chapters, most recently Gender, Experience, and Knowledge in Adult Learning: Alisoun’s Daughters (Routledge, 2015). She worked as a visiting scholar and trade unionist in South Africa and elsewhere focusing on the Recognition of Prior Learning as an instrument of social justice.

12745678_10153930810753787_7863580560229920609_n (2)Mildred Van Bergen

I was very concerned about starting college because I faced a lot of challenges. Mildred was supportive and encouraging, and she worked with me to improve my writing  and reading skills so that I was prepared to take additional courses the next semester.

Mildred Van Bergen is the Director of Academic Support for SUNY Empire State College’s Long Island Location. Van Bergen also teaches courses at the college such as Introduction to Independent Learning and Preparing for College Writing.

Van Bergen has a M.A. in Liberal Studies from SUNY Empire State College, and is presently a doctoral candidate.  Her work with academic support is essential to student success at Empire, and she is well known among students for her approachability and expertise.


Spring 2015

Frances Boyce

Frances has been a major support in my success as an ESC student.  She places the bar high and always assures me that I can achieve all I want for myself.

Frances A. Boyce has worked with adult students returning to college for over 20 years. She holds a B.A. and M.A. economics.  As an economist, she is committed to reducing the barriers to a college education; as a woman of color, she is committed to ensuring that people of color have access to better opportunities.


Read some remarks students wrote about SUNY Empire State College instructors this term!

Fall 2014

Dorothea-Lipari-optDorothea Lipari

Dorthea is always supportive and understands the special conditions of adult learners. She makes herself accessible so I can plan for the completion of my current studies and look towards my future courses.

Dorothea Lipari her Master of Social Work Degree from the State University of Stony Brook and licensure from the New York State Education Department Office of the Professions in 2008.  Her areas of interest in social work have been in clinical counseling, particularly in the fields of those individuals affected by domestic violence, loss and bereavement and other stress-related disorders.  Ms. Lipari joined Empire State College faculty as an adjunct PLA evaluator in April, 2007, and as part-time mentor in Community and Human Services in September, 2010.


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