Honoring Outstanding Alumni

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Robert Sutherland ‘79
A.A.S. Nursery Management

Bob Sutherland’s longstanding dedication to SUNY Cobleskill is felt both on campus, where he provided expert instruction in the Plant Science Department, and internationally, as the coordinator of countless study abroad opportunities for students. For the last 10 years he has managed Mohican Farm for The Clark Foundation, spearheading sustainability initiatives that have led the Farm to recycle more than one million pounds of food scraps and green waste since 2010. Bob is a member of the Otsego Lake Association’s Board of Directors, supports “Kid Garden” at Cooperstown Elementary School, and played a leading role in planning the development of a county-wide composting facility in Oneonta.

Distinguished Alumnus Award – School of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Jeremy Elliott-Engel ‘07
B.T. Agricultural Business Management

Jeremy serves as Associate Director of 4-H Youth Development for University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Previously, as a Regional 4-H Youth Development Specialist and County Program Director with University of Missouri Extension, he tripled the size of the three-county 4-H program, and implemented strategic initiatives to help diversify program membership. His work often intersects with community service efforts; Jeremy is a co-founder of Virginia Tech’s Students for Cultivating Change (S4CC). The organization fosters inclusivity among LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, while seeking to advance the awareness and presence of this LGBTQ+ individuals within the industry.

Distinguished Alumnus Award – School of Business, Liberal Arts and Sciences

Doug Hazlitt ‘83
A.S. Sciences

Doug Hazlitt is the owner and operator of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, one of the largest and most popular wineries in the Finger Lakes Region, and producer of multiple acclaimed labels, including “Red Cat.” Doug graciously donates a significant portion of his time and wine to several non-profit organizations throughout the Finger Lakes, for fundraisers, dinners, and auctions. Each year he and his winery pitch in to raise money for Seneca Santa, a non-profit organization that provides gifts to families and children residing in Schuyler County. An avid restorer of wood schooners and sailboats, Doug continues to balance leadership positions in both his industry and community.

Christy Scott ‘09
B.S. Early Childhood
A.S. Child & Family Services (‘07)

Christy joined the Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center as an assistant teacher shortly after graduating from SUNY Cobleskill in 2009. She continued to advance in her career and industry by attending early childhood conferences and expositions, and helping the Center earn national accreditation. She subsequently assumed the position of lead preschool teacher. In 2017, she became director of the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center. Her ties to the College’s Early Childhood Department also include an adjunct teaching position, supervision of practicum students, assistance with Early Childhood Club activities, and membership on the Early Childhood Advisory Council. Recently, she has collaborated with Dr. Gail Wentworth on “Generations Together”- a caregiver respite program for our community.

Young Alumnus Award

Eric Struening ‘14
B.T. Wildlife Management
A.A.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Technology (2013)

Since graduating from SUNY Cobleskill in 2014, Eric has been an invaluable professional connection, linking the College and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP). He has also organized a considerable number of student trips, to local parks, foreign countries, and everything in between. Hired as an instructional support assistant immediately after graduating, since 2016 Eric has been the co-advisor for SUNY Cobleskill’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited since 2016, helping to steadily grow the student-led chapter, and raising more than $34,000 to support the organization’s conservation mission. He co-taught SUNY Cobleskill’s EcoLife Expedition to South Africa in 2019, and has worked with the iMapiInvasives network in New York and was recognized in the organization’s winter newsletter.

Outstanding Student Award

Tessa Winkler ‘18
B.S. Early Childhood (Anticipated Graduation date 12/19)
A.A.S. Early Childhood (2018)

First as an AAS student, and, most recently, as a bachelor’s-level practicum student in the Early Childhood Studies Program, Tessa’s outstanding efforts in learning and in service have earned her a 4.0 GPA. Tessa has been actively involved in the campus community. As a freshman, she assisted Early Childhood Club members with their annual Scholastic Book Fair. She later took on the role of club president, leading the way for the club to participate in numerous community activities. She helped coordinate the club’s most recent donation of early literacy books to Bassett Healthcare library. Tessa is also an active and engaged leader on the Admissions team. She is often seen giving tours, working at Accepted Student Days and Open Houses, and participating in recruitment activities.

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