Purchase College Student Steven Brown ’15 Studies Abroad on Gilman Scholarship

steven brown in hungary

Purchase College arts management major Steven Brown ’15 earned a competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Student award allowing him to study abroad in Budapest, Hungary this semester. One of the first students to participate in the new arts management exchange program, he’s studying at the International Business School of Budapest.

The allure of world travel began for him during his sophomore year as one of two students who represented Purchase College in Tokyo, Japan during the Technos International Week last June. He then spent last summer studying in Madrid, Spain.

Brown is grateful for the assistance he’s received that allows him to travel. In addition to the Gilman award, he’s also received a private College Success Foundation scholarship and in 2013 earned the ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship awarded by the Association of Council Members and College Trustees of the State University of New York.

When on campus, Brown is an active member of the Purchase College community and beyond. He’s volunteered for the Project Focus mentoring program with students in Mount Vernon. He’s a resident assistant and this summer he will mentor incoming Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) freshman during orientation week and into the fall semester. Brown is an EOP student and sees himself as a role model.

“As a Latino American, first generation student from New York City studying at Purchase College, I have really worked toward becoming an ambassador for other young people coming from underrepresented families and backgrounds,” he says.

“I have found that some of the most intelligent students often lack in confidence to believe that they, too, can do what I have done and continue to do. As a result, I push as much as I can to advocate for both the Hispanic community as well as the LGBTQU communities. I am a strong believer that some people really just need the support to make the first move,” Brown adds.

Click here for more information about the Purchase College EOP program.

Purchase College Students Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award Winners for 2014

suny chancellor award 14

Congratulations to Purchase College students Lauren Britton BFA ’14, Michaela Ellingson BFA ’14, and Elizabeth Pysarenko BA ’11 and MA ’14 for their selection as recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

On April 2 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher presented 274 SUNY students with the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. “Students honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence truly embody the power of SUNY,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “As proven leaders and role models, scholar athletes, creative artists, and civic volunteers, each student is recognized not just for academic achievement, but also for the profound impact they have on college campuses and local communities across New York State. Congratulations to all of the students being recognized.”

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.

Lauren Britton is a BFA candidate in the Purchase College School of Art+Design. Selected as the Outstanding Junior in Painting and Drawing last year, she’s also served as a peer advisor, spent three semesters as a teaching assistant, and completed numerous internships. She’s been a resident assistant and an organizer of many student exhibitions including this year’s Senior Painting Class Senior Show scheduled for presentation at two locations in New York City. Her painting Sinking Ship was chosen for the Best of SUNY Art Exhibition last summer while she spent time in Italy at the Siena Arts Institute Portfolio Development program.

A BFA candidate in the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, Michaela Ellingson has been the class representative for the dance class of 2014 for four years. She’s served as a dance ambassador to prospective students and as a resident assistant for two years. An active dance outreach volunteer, she’s traveled to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica with JUNTOS Collective to perform at an HIV/AIDS compound, nursing homes, children’s hospitals and orphanages, and art centers, as well as performing for the patients at the Hearthstone Alzheimer Care Facility in New York. Her choreography has been performed in multiple venues on and off campus including the Downtown Cabaret in DUMBO, Brooklyn and at the Salt Dance Fest Showcase.

Elizabeth Pysarenko graduated magna cum laude from Purchase College in 2011 with a BA in art history and continued her studies here in the master’s program in modern and contemporary art, criticism and theory, which garnered her two merit scholarships from the art history board of study. As an undergraduate, she earned the James Greenwood Prize for Best Senior Project in Humanities in 2011 and the President’s Award for Excellence in 2009. In the summer of 2010, she represented Purchase at St. Petersburg State University to explore cultural and social differences between the Russian Federation and the US.

Pictured left to right are Purchase College students Elizabeth Pysarenko, Michaela Ellingson, and Lauren Britton


Purchase College Professor of Music Laura Kaminsky Receives Inaugural Grant for Female Composers from Opera America

Purchase College Laura Kaminsky

Opera America, the national service organization for opera, announced the first round of recipients of its new program, Opera Grants for Female Composers. Congratulations to Purchase College Professor of Music Laura Kaminsky, one of eight composers chosen to receive an award from 112 eligible applications.

Kaminsky will receive $12,500 to support development of her composition As One, a 75-minute-long, multi-chamber opera that explores the revelatory, redemptive journey of a transgender individual wrestling with profound ontological issues. Libretto is by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.

Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” whose works are “colorful and harmonically sharp-edged” (The New York Times), and whose “musical language is compounded of hymns, blues, and gestures not unlike those of Shostakovich” (inTune). Social and political themes are common in her work, as is an abiding respect for and connection to the natural world. The visual is made manifest in sound, with color and image often serving as inspiration. Her music is “full of fire as well as ice, written in an idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection.” (American Record Guide)

In addition to her role as professor of music at Purchase College, she is also artistic director of Symphony Space in New York City.

SUNY Purchase Faculty Members Donna Dennis and Sarah Walker Earn Art Awards

Donna Dennis Sarah Walker

Congratulations to SUNY Purchase School of Art+Design faculty members Donna Dennis and Sarah Walker for earning art awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The art prizes, awarded annually, honor both established and emerging artists. Winners were chosen from a group of 37 artists who had been invited to participate in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, which opened on March 6 and continues through April 12, 2014.

Dennis, professor of Art+Design in sculpture, won the Award of Merit Medal for Sculpture, a $25,000 prize given to an outstanding American sculptor.

Walker, a lecturer in Art+Design, won the Jacob Lawrence Award of $10,000 which recognizes outstanding achievement in the visual arts. The Academy also purchased Walker’s 2012 work, C.M.E., as part of its Art Purchase Program. Since 1946, the work of talented, living American artists has been purchased and placed in museums across the country.

Donna Dennis
Cataract Cabin 1993–94
Mixed media
144 x 144 x 144 inches

Click here for more information about SUNY Purchase School of Art+Design

Purchase College Alum Leta Sobierajski: One of Print Magazine’s New Visual Artists

lena sobierajski

Congratulations to Purchase College alum Leta Sobierajski, ’10 (BFA, Graphic Design) on being named one ofPrint Magazine’s New Visual Artists. Securing a spot on its coveted “20 Under 30″ list, she rose above thousands who were nominated by “industry greats.”

According to Print Magazine:

Every year, Print celebrates the next generation of visual artists. From thousands of talented illustrators, designers and photographers, we choose 20 creatives who are making a splash in the art world and award them the coveted New Visual Artists designation….

…They push boundaries, blur creative lines and prove that “older” doesn’t necessarily mean “better.”

As a senior, Sobierajski received the Dean’s Senior Recognition Award for Graphic Design in 2010.

Read about her in the Print Magazine article here.

Purchase College Panthers Men’s Basketball Makes NCAA Tournament

Baskebtall MCAA

The Purchase College Panthers men’s basketball team, ranked No. 19 in the country, according to D3hoops.com, has now won four of the last five Skyline Conference crowns and back-to-back titles, following a March 1 victory over Mount Saint Mary (100-82). The conference championship victory punched Purchase’s automatic bid ticket to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Alberta Magnus will open tournament play on Friday evening against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) at Purchase at 5:30 p.m. Following the evening game, the Panthers will take on Hartwick in the 8:00 p.m. Friday-night tipoff.

Winning teams on Friday will play-off Saturday, March 8, at 7:00 p.m., for a chance to advance to the NCAA’s “Sweet 16.”

Tickets on Friday are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens and all students with ID (ticket price includes both games). General admission for Saturday night’s matchup will be $6 at the door and $3 for seniors and students with ID. Cash only. Children under two-years-old are free both days. All ticket prices are determined by the NCAA.

No. 19-ranked Panthers come into the matchup at 25-2 on the season. They are led by Skyline Player of the Year Andre Nixon (SR/Harlem, NY) and fellow standouts Joel Neri (JR/Port Chester, NY), Justin Person (JR/Greenburgh, NY), Ryan Lobban (SR/Bronx, NY) and Haughton. Standout reserve Jake Stevens III (SR/Brooklyn, NY) loomed large in the championship game, scoring 17 points and handing out 10 assists.

Panthers’ David Haughton (SR/Greenburgh, NY) was named Skyline Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Haughton scored 14 points and grabbed a program-record 26 rebounds on Feb. 27 in the Panthers’ 88-73 semifinal win versus Old Westbury. He then scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and added eight boards as Purchase earned a 100-82 victory over Mount Saint Mary on Mar. 1 in the finals.

“This is an exciting and historic time,” said Purchase College head coach Jeff Charney. “This is the first NCAA game in this portion of the region in a very long time and the first time our program will ever host an NCAA Tournament game. We are hoping that the fans come out and support us. We’re looking forward to playing before the home crowd.”

-Photo by Imani Humphries

Purchase College Named to Kiplinger’s list of “Top 30 Best Values in Small Colleges”

purchase logo blue brown

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has named Purchase College to their list of Top 30 Best Values in Small Colleges. Purchase earned the number 9 spot on KPF’s selection of top ten public colleges in the category.

“SUNY is proud to offer a world-class higher education at a price that students and their families can afford,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to Purchase College on this much-deserved recognition, which is an affirmation of its outstanding quality and a reflection of our system-wide commitments to access and affordability.”

See the complete list here.

More about Purchase College here.

New York Times Columnist and Purchase College Alum Michael Powell ’78 Wins Prestigious George Polk Award

michael powell

New York Times columnist and Purchase College alum Michael Powell ’78 (history) has won a prestigious George Polk Award for 2013.

The winning story appeared last March in his NYT Gotham column, which covers New York politics and government. He’ll share the award for justice reporting with reporters Frances Robles, Sharon Otterman and N. R. Kleinfield for uncovering evidence that a Brooklyn homicide detective used false confessions, tainted testimony and coercive tactics to convict dozens of defendants. Read the story here.

The George Polk Awards are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism. They were established by Long Island University in 1949 to commemorate Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered the year before while covering the Greek civil war.

The winners are chosen by a committee of Long Island University faculty members, alumni and journalists who select from newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online news organizations. Judges place a premium on investigative and enterprise work that is original, requires digging and resourcefulness, and brings results.

Powell, a distinguished journalist for more than 25 years, shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his NYT coverage of Eliot Spitzer. Purchase College honored him in 2010 with the President’s Award for Distinguished Alumni.

Purchase College Professor Jeff Taylor Appears on 60 Minutes

Jeff Taylor 60 minutes

Purchase College Arts Management Professor Jeff Taylor appears on a segment of the CBS News program 60 Minutes, where he will be talking about master forger Wolfgang Beltracchi. Arts management senior Laura Germaine helped 60 Minutes fact-check the piece. Beltracchi is also interviewed by Bob Simon and shows him how he created the works and the provenances that conned the connoisseurs. It will air Sunday, February 23 at 7 pm. ET.

Full story here.

More about the Purchase College Arts Management program here.


Purchase College Senior Wins Experience Hendrix Competition


Congratulations to Purchase College Conservatory of Music senior Chris Krasnow who was selected overall winner to perform with the Experience Hendrix Tour this spring.

When Experience Hendrix, the official family company charged with managing the name, likeness, image and 100 percent of the music of Jimi Hendrix’s legacy, announced an inaugural guitar competition in 2013, thousands of musicians around the world responded. The stakes were high: A chance to win a performing slot on the annual Experience Hendrix tribute tour, set to roll in March 2014, along with a slew of cash and other prizes. The rules were simple. Entrants were asked to submit a video that shows themselves performing a Hendrix track.

The team of judges, charged with selecting a single winner, included Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and Experience Hendrix CEO, and legendary engineer/producer Eddie Kramer, who worked with Hendrix at the very start of his recording career in London, and, later at Woodstock, among other renowned artists and guitar aficionados. The judges were looking for the video that showed “the most Hendrix-like guitar playing.”

So, how did Chris Krasnow feel when he found out he won? “Talenthouse, the group that coordinated the competition with Experience Hendrix, just made the official announcement a few days ago. The awesomeness is still settling. The coolest part is that I’m going to get to play on one of the Experience Hendrix tour dates with someone like Buddy Guy, or Bootsy Collins, or Dweezil Zappa,” Krasnow says. “There are like 14 different artists in different cities on different dates, and they haven’t told me yet which show I’ll be doing… so, that’s going to be another great big piece of energy and excitement.”

Krasnow, who grew up in New York City and attended LaGuardia High School, started playing classical piano at age five. He later shifted to trombone, but by high school was also playing guitar and experimenting with studio production gear. His studies at Purchase focus on jazz trombone performance, but Krasnow remains active as a guitarist for a NYC band he started in high school, known as Sister Helen, as well as a band called Citris made up of Purchase students. “I’m also really into the whole studio production area,” Krasnow says.

As a gifted, experienced, and versatile musician in high school, Krasnow said he knew he wanted to study jazz, and that Purchase was the obvious choice. “I feel lucky for the choice to have been so easy. When a college has a serious jazz studies program with faculty like Todd Coolman and Jon Faddis—and probably a dozen other names I recognized, even in high school—that’s the school where I want to study.”

Purchase College Conservatory of Music studio composition junior Itamar Gov-Ari also entered the contest and was right behind Krasnow as one of only five runners-up.

To see Chris Krasnow’s video (featuring Krasnow on guitar, drums, and trombone, with friend Juliette Trapani on vocals), visit Experience Hendrix