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Heard Around the Watercooler


Helayna Herschkorn, a resident of Irvington, was awarded a Doctoral Degree in School Psychology from St. John’s University in January, 2015.  Helayna participated in the university’s Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 7th and its Graduation Ceremony on May 17th.  She is the daughter of Nicole and the late Ronald Herschkorn and sister to Candice.  Helayna graduated from Irvington High School in 2007.


Lifelong Tarrytown resident Donald Whitely is exhibiting a solo photography show at Watercooler (21 North Broadway in Tarrytown) throughout the months of August and September.  An artist’s reception on August 2nd premiered the exhibit.  Whitely, who has taken photographs since childhood, shoots both film and digital pictures.

An admissions counselor and Associate Professor at Westchester Community College, Whitely has exhibited his work during the college’s celebrations of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Cultural Awareness Week.  In addition, he has exhibited at the Warner Library in Tarrytown, the AC-BAW Gallery in Mount Vernon, the DeWindt Gallery in Shrub Oak, NY, the Theodore Young Community Center in White Plains, the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY, and for the Westchester Chapter of the Harlem Fine Arts Festival in White Plains.

Whitely’s work in part reflects his travels to South Korea, South Africa, Ghana and Sengal in West Africa, London, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and the Carribean.  He has photographed for the Harlem Chamber of Commerce at the Annual Harlem Street Fair, and most recently, at the Saratoga Jazz Festival (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) in Saratoga, NY.  A longtime volunteer for many local community organizations, Whitely has served on the Editorial Review Board for The Hudson Independent since its inception.  For more information about Whitely’s work, visit:


Irvington resident and former Hudson Independent reporter Dylan Etzel has been accepted to the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C.  The program allows selected undergraduate students to pursue an intensive program in international studies and also obtain a master’s degree.  Considered one of the top graduate schools for international relations in the world, the SAIS program is devoted to the study of international affairs, economics, diplomacy, and policy research and education.  Etzel is a rising junior at JHU and a 2013 graduate of The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry.  An active member of JHU’s Model United Nations team, Etzel has earned a place on the university’s Dean’s List each of his four semesters and serves as an editor to the JHU Politik Press, Vector Magazine, and the Baltimore Zeitgeist.  He is also a member of the JHU Varsity Fencing Team.


Five new members have been elected to the Phelps Memorial Hospital Center’s Board of Directors. They are Patricia Armstrong, of Irvington, a 30-year-veteran of the cable Industry; Kenneth Taber of Tarrytown, an attorney with the NYC law firm known  as Pillsbury;  Tobe Banc, MD, of Briarcliff Manor, Assistant Medical Director at Phelps;  Craig Zalvan, MD, FACS, of Briarcliff Manor, Medical Director of the Institute for Voice and Swallowing Disorders at Phelps; and David Swope of Ossining, the  founder of Club Fit, who is also  president of County Homes, LLC, and  the owner of Tappan Hill in Tarrytown. Mr Swope is also Chairman of the Board of Westchester Community College.

Please send submissions about distinctions, honors, and awards given to local community members, students, and organizations to:

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