The Sights & Sounds of Summer 2022 Featuring the FTC Summer High School Scholars

The Sights & Sounds of Summer 2022 is the culminating event of the Five Towns College Summer High School Scholars Program. It was a resounding success!

During this special showcase, Summer Scholars presented their final projects to faculty and staff, parents and friends.  This unique introduction to creative college courses in the arts and technology industries has been offered at Five Towns College for the past 10 years. This year, students received full scholarships- an amazing opportunity for local high school students! This initiative provided a way for the College to show support for local students who missed out during the pandemic and wanted to explore their creativity.

More than 70 students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade took part in the five-week college experience in a wide variety of classes, including Filmmaking, Digital Photography, Mass Communication, Acting & Theatre Production, Public Speaking, Fantasy & Creature Design, and so much more. Juniors and seniors were eligible to receive college credits for each course they successfully completed, and all eligible students received a Certificate of Completion.

Highlights of the Long Island Summer Scholars Program

Drawing & Imaging
This introductory class, taught by Interactive Media Arts Professor Julie Haring, exposed students to both traditional and computer-generated drawing techniques. During the presentation of their completed works, many students, including Chloe Slansky and Phoenix Savalli, noted that they had never worked in charcoal before. Ms. Slansky called the experience “eye-opening.” Professor Haring praised her students’ talent and hard work and noted that they had come to the program after being highly recommended by their art teachers.

Creative Business Practices
Students in this class were guided by Business Professor Rhonda Tenenbaum in developing a viable business plan to use as the launchpad for their budding business idea. During the Sights & Sounds event, one of the students, Varshitha Kodela, presented her plan for a tutoring business that would also offer S.T.E.M. instruction. Chair of the Business Division Kate Kimmel applauded her “great plan” and remarked that Ms. Kodela definitely had a marketable business idea and suggested that the business focus solely on tutoring related to S.T.E.M. curricula.


Intro To Filmmaking
Lessons learned in Professor Daniel Galiardi’s filmmaking class culminated in the presentation of the students’ final films in the Five Towns College Performing Arts Center for viewing by family and friends. The short films covered a wide range of subjects that spoke to the high schoolers’ passions and affinity for the medium. Everyone had so much fun in the course!

Audio Recording Technology and Production
The wall-to-wall audio recording console in Studio 305 took center stage for the five weeks that students learned about the complexities of recording sound from Professor Nina Caccavale and Department Chair John Machado. The Summer Scholars were tasked with creating their own audio track after learning the basics of recording, mixing, EQ, modulation, and more. During the Sights & Sounds event, the studio was packed with students and their parents eager to hear the recordings that the class had created. This, too, had students beaming with pride about their creations.


Public Speaking
Students in this class were ready to overcome the age-old adage that many people have a greater fear of public speaking than death! Professor Ron Stanlec’s lessons focused on building confidence by having the students practice tricks-of-the-trade that make for successful presentations. Summer Scholars had the chance to test their skills by individually presenting to an audience of family and friends . . . and they succeeded!


Jazz Ensemble
Talented high school singers and musicians took to the stage in the Upbeat Café to perform a variety of standards, including “Moondance” and “Dream A Little Dream of Me,” featuring vocalists Angelina Ionnou and Jisela Hernandez. Brandon Mendez Jr. played the piano and vibraphone. FTC Professors were readily involved with the Sights & Sounds performance; Professor Scott Ballin joined on the piano, while Professor Steven Briody conducted the eight-piece ensemble.

Digital Photography
Budding photographers were treated to a special showcase of their hard work by having their photography displayed on the oversized projection screen in the Five Towns College Performing Arts Center. Film and Television Professor Rob DiGiacomo taught students the basic tips and technology needed for the successful conception and execution of an image.



Mass Communication Division Chair Holli Haerr and WFTU Radio’s General Manager Rashika Williams introduced their students to the exciting world of broadcasting. They conducted classes in the College’s industry-standard Studio 400 and Radio Station, WFTU. After five weeks of hands-on training for both the on-air talent and production staff, the Summer Scholars demonstrated for their friends and family a real broadcast, featuring reports about what they learned in the Television studio, and they also performed a live radio show. It was an amazing day and students really enjoyed getting this practical education!

Fantasy & Creature Design
The ever-burgeoning interest in Fantasy & Creature Design led Five Towns College to offer this class. Under the direction of Professor Robert Field, students designed their creatures in both traditional and digital media, and were tasked with giving their creations back stories and character analyses. The class culminated with a PowerPoint presentation of their work before family and friends. It was an awesome project that all enjoyed!

Acting & Theatre Production
The largest group to date of high school summer scholars joined this popular class for an introduction to professional performance and production. Dr. David Krasner, Chair of the Theatre Division, helped the students craft their performances, which were based on the poetry found in Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. This collection of poems bought to life the epitaphs of residents of a fictional small town. Each budding actor selected a poem to prepare as a monologue accompanied by singing and movement. The students’ collective performance in the Five Towns College Performing Arts Center was the final presentation of the successful Sights & Sounds event.

Overall, the day was filled was enthusiastic, excitement and high energy evidencing a great summer. There was a campus-wide BBQ for all to enjoy as well!

For more information about the Summer High School Scholars Program, please contact Admissions at or 631-656-2110 or check for updates on the website here.