This month, President Marion Terenzio was honored with The Arc Lexington’s Leadership Excellence Award: Advancing Inclusivity in Higher Education for her efforts to ensure students with disabilities have full access to higher education, career and life goals on campus, as well as campuses across the state. The award was presented at The Arc Lexington’s Night Out Gala on September 22, 2023, at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts in Gloversville, N.Y.
As co-chair of SUNY’s Task force on Empowering Students with Disabilities, Dr. Terenzio has championed accessibility and inclusion of all students and has put several initiatives into action on her campus that can be modeled across the SUNY system and beyond.
“The Arc Lexington and its Transitions programs are proud and honored to be able to recognize Dr. Terenzio for her role in advancing the lives of Transitions students and all students who seek to learn, work and live as successful adults contributing to our communities,” said Shaloni Winston, CEO of The Arc Lexington. “Dr. Terenzio has worked throughout her career to ensure that students are fully integrated on her campus so they can achieve success. We have so many students who have had a dream to go to college, and the partnership with SUNY Cobleskill makes more of those dreams possible.”
Transitions partners with SUNY Cobleskill and several other universities and colleges in the Capital Region to support teens and young adults with autism and learning differences with college, careers and life. Transitions students are actively enrolled on these campuses working toward degrees and certifications.
“By calling all learners to empower their future, Arc Lexington and SUNY Cobleskill share the firm belief that leadership rooted in dignity is not only a moral imperative but also a catalyst for positive change,” said Terenzio. “When you lead with dignity, you not only honor the individuals you represent but also uplift the very essence of the institutions we serve. Our commitment as leaders is to dignify every interaction and decision and make a lasting impact on the people and organizations we are privileged to serve.”
Dr. Terenzio is the 12th president of SUNY Cobleskill. She has been a widely recognized leader of higher education, receiving numerous awards for her work emphasizing shared governance as a decision and leadership model in efforts to create a thriving campus community and revitalize the role of higher education as a regional economic anchor.
Since her inauguration in April 2015, Dr. Terenzio has overseen the introduction of bachelor’s degree program in Therapeutic Horsemanship which works with individuals with special needs, young children, at-risk adolescents, and veterans; the launch of a minor in Accessible Instruction, a multidisciplinary learning pathway that teaches methods for adapting instruction to individuals with a range of learning, neurological, and physical motor challenges; an agreement with Living Resources to bring their CareerNext program to campus, supporting students with autism and learning differences earn their degree; and the creation of a campus chapter of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, recognizing high achieving students with disabilities/learning differences.
Dr. Terenzio currently serves as Co-Chair of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, the Board of Directors for the Bassett Healthcare Network, the New York State Rural Ambulance Task Force, the New York State Department of Education’s Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission, and the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics. She received the New York State ACE Women’s Network Catalyst Award in 2019 for her work with women leaders and the Jay Kappraff Award in Excellence in Science and the Arts from NJIT in 2022.
This year, Dr. Terenzio was selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award in Agricultural Education from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Her project will take her to France in October 2023 as she seeks to develop collaborative initiatives that will serve to elevate agriculture education programs in New York and create a robust international curriculum at SUNY Cobleskill.