March 28, 2016

Mentor Mindy Kronenberg Recipient of Award for Excellence

President Merodie Hancock and Mentor Heidi Nightengale present Mentor Mindy Kronenberg, center, with the 2016 Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-time Mentoring. Nightengale is the 2015 award recipient.
President Merodie Hancock and Mentor Heidi Nightengale present Mentor Mindy Kronenberg, center, with the 2016 Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-time Mentoring. Nightengale is the 2015 award recipient.

‌(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – March 28, 2016) Mindy Kronenberg, a part-time professor in Cultural Studies with SUNY Empire State College’s Long Island region, has received the Empire State College Foundation Award in Part-time Mentoring.

‌Kronenberg received her award March 23 at the All College Conference held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 

Empire State College President Merodie Hancock said, “Congratulations. I join the cabinet, the (Empire State College) foundation board and the rest of your colleagues in extending my thanks and appreciation for your extraordinary efforts on behalf of our students.  

“Thanks also to all those who support the foundation’s mission and programs. This ceremony itself – and many other programs – would not be possible without your support.”

In making the announcement, last year’s recipient Mentor Heidi Nightengale said, “For the past 20 years, this year’s recipient has served students as a part-time mentor. Her connection to the college runs deep, as she is also an Empire State College alumna. A tireless worker, Mindy Kronenberg is known for being generous with her time and always available to her students, who often seek her out for advice and instruction.” 

Long Island region Dean Michael Spitzer said, “Although few students are required to enroll in literature and advanced-writing classes, Mindy always has more students than her assignment requires.”

Kronenberg said that she found receiving the award to be “very gratifying and affirming. It is especially a pleasure for me as an alumna to be recognized by colleagues, some of whom also are alumni.” Kronenberg also said she tries to inspire others every day.

In addition to the time she spends with students, Kronenberg has published her own poetry widely in various journals, as well as encouraged and assisted in publishing her students’ work. She has hosted the collegewide “Poets Among Us” session at All College conferences and serves the college in a number of capacities, including at the Center for Mentoring and Learning and All College meetings, and is active in the Long Island community as as a member of the Walt Whitman Birthplace, a local historical literary site, and a trustee/docent for the Miller Place-Historical Society. Kronenberg enhances the college’s reputation by regularly giving poetry readings at libraries, galleries and on the radio.  

About the Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-Time Mentoring 

The criteria for selection for this award include superb performance as a mentor, including in the areas of teaching, student advising, scholarship and service to the college. Additionally, the recipient must demonstrate mastery of teaching methods, have an ability to work with students from a variety of backgrounds and academic preparations and set high standards for actively helping students attain academic excellence. In short, the mentor is someone who is applauded by his or her colleagues, students and peers in the discipline. 

About SUNY Empire State College 

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels. The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average age 40. 

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time. 

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. 

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn. 

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year. 

The college’s 73,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. 

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. 

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

More information about the college is available at

Contact: Hope Ferguson, senior writer
518 587-2100, ext. 2509