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News Archive

Barbara Rupple

NCCC one of eight in New York to receive state library award

By News Archive

July 26, 2019

The Henrietta G. Lewis Library on the campus of Niagara County Community College (NCCC) serves as a repository for Niagara County regional history, and thanks to a Conservation/Preservation Discretionary Grant from the New York State Library, artifacts from this collection will be better preserved with improved access. The $8,482 grant was one of eight of this nature awarded across the state.

NCCC plans to use the funds for a collection of archived maps including one of Niagara and Orleans Counties that dates back to 1860, a map of Cambria from 1906, and a soil map of Niagara County from 1906, among others. Prior to the grant, the maps were stored rolled in circular boxes that warped the paper, and made it difficult for library staff to accommodate viewing requests by patrons. The new process will allow the archivist to store the maps in a flat case with acid-free paper, keeping the artifacts in better condition and allowing for easier access.

In addition to the map collection, NCCC has a special collection of 183 books that focus on Native American history, including the nearby Tuscarora Nation. The rare books were compiled by prominent local historian Arthur B. Nichols, and present rich, detailed history of the Tuscarora and Iroquois Native Americans that predates the founding of Niagara County by several centuries. Many of these books have suffered from light damage, loose bindings and yellow pages due to being stored on open shelving exposed to elements. The grant funds are being invested in ultra-violet light window covers and a preservation environment monitor to ensure better conditions for these treasured items.

One hundred years of Teaching Excellence at NCCC

By News Archive

July 10, 2019

Sanborn – Niagara County Community College was created in 1962, the original campus was located in downtown Niagara Falls at the former Nabisco Shredded Wheat plant. By 1973, NCCC had moved to its permanent location in Sanborn at the intersection of Route 31 (Saunders Settlement Road) and Route 429 (Townline Road).  A lot has changed about NCCC over that time, but one thing has remained the same: faculty who are dedicated and committed to creating an environment of excellence in teaching and learning.  The NCCC Criminal Justice department has the unique privilege of having three such dedicated faculty members in the department who together have over a century of teaching experience.

James A. Mezhir, who has been teaching at NCCC for 45 years, Tim Veiders, teaching at NCCC for 42 years, and Ted Skotnicki, teaching at NCCC for 30 years, collectively represent more than 100 years of teaching experience in the criminal justice field. Between the three of them, they have developed and taught almost every class offered in the program, including Deviant Behavior, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice.

Mezhir, a former Niagara County Sheriff’s deputy, currently serves as the division chair of the NCCC Humanities and Social Sciences Division.  Veiders is the Coordinator of Field Services for the program and Skotnicki is the Coordinator of the Criminal Justice program.

“We have great memories of all of the students who have graduated from the Criminal Justice program at NCCC — they are an amazing group,” Skotnicki said, “Among our graduates are judges, lawyers, parole officers, police officers, and probation officers.”

“I’m happy to have been at NCCC so many years,” Mezhir commented. “I’ve had interesting experiences at NCCC, great friendships, and teaching has allowed me to become part of my students’ lives.  I’ve been an usher at a student’s wedding, the best man for a student, a godfather for a student’s baby and I have even had the unfortunate task of being a pallbearer for a student.”

In addition to prepping their course work for the upcoming fall semester, the three professors are also making plans for reviving the NCCC Criminal Justice Association, a student club whose purpose is to provide networking and educational opportunities for students.  According to Professor Veiders, previous club activities included visiting the New York State Police Academy, the U.S. Supreme Court and the FBI Academy in Washington, D.C., and the Orange County, FL Sheriff’s Dept. “We have great expectations this year and are hoping that the new Criminal Justice students want to get involved with the club”, Veiders said.


About NCCC

NCCC is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York, the largest public university system in the country. The College provides more than 60 certificate and degree programs to over 5,000 students and is funded by the Niagara County Legislature, the State University of New York, and student tuition.


About the NCCC Criminal Justice Program

The Criminal Justice program at NCCC has been rated one of the top 50 Associate Degree Programs in the United States. In addition, one of the unique features of the program is an internship experience in the criminal justice system. Students get to acquire first-hand experience with an agency of the criminal justice system.  For more information on the NCCC Criminal Justice program

ACF Judges from 2018 competition at NFCI

NFCI to host culinary competition

By News Archive

April 24, 2019

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) will host an American Culinary Federation (ACF) competition on Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days. This annual competition is geared towards promoting student and professional cooking excellence and is open to the public for anyone interested in viewing the action. There is no charge to attend.

NFCI offers a class specifically designed to train students to become culinary competitors. “Competition creates an atmosphere of learning and striving to take your abilities to the next level. Competitors involved improve their skills, and spectators build confidence by watching and prepare to take on the challenge of competing in the future,” says Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Culinary Arts, Chef Scott Steiner.

Some highlights of the 2-day competition include live ice carving along with pastry and culinary display work on Saturday. Sunday will feature a live cooking competition with professionals plating four entrees and student competitors plating two.

For more information on offerings at NFCI, visit

NFCI’s Scott Steiner honored as Chef Educator of the Year

By News Archive
Dorothy Morton, ACF of Greater Buffalo Chapter President, Chef Scott Steiner, Mark Wright, American Academy of Chefs National Chair

Dorothy Morton, ACF of Greater Buffalo Chapter President, Chef Scott Steiner, Mark Wright, American Academy of Chefs National Chair

March 28, 2019

Chef Scott Steiner, Assistant Professor and Culinary Arts Program Coordinator at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) was awarded the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef Educator of the Year Award for the Northeast Region. The American Culinary Federation is the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America, with the Northeast Region covering 14 states.

Chef Steiner has been a faculty member at NFCI since it opened in August of 2012, and was instrumental in getting the program accredited by the ACF.  He has continually moved up and looked for opportunities to expand his role, including organizing an annual gingerbread competition in December as part of the Gingerbread Wonderland activities and running an ACF sanctioned competition and food salon at the end of each school year.  Chef Steiner has mentored many students during his career, helping them to receive substantial scholarships, ultimately putting them on a successful path to become professional chefs themselves.

Chef Steiner began his culinary journey as a student at Emerson Vocational High School in Buffalo and moved on to receive a B.S. in Career and Technical Education and an M.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies from SUNY College at Buffalo.  As an educator, he is always looking for ways to update the curriculum and keep courses relevant and current.  Most recently, Chef Steiner is assisting in the transition of Savor Restaurant, the fine dining establishment at NFCI to a fully academic operation for the fall of 2019.  In addition to his numerous duties at NFCI, Chef Steiner will be competing against 3 other chefs from different ACF regions across the country for the national title of ACF Chef Educator of the Year this August.