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News Archive

NCCC Board of Trustees Secretary Bonnie Sloma and Chairperson Gina Virtuoso

Virtuoso elected as Chairperson of the NCCC Board of Trustees

By News Archive

At the board meeting on June 30th, Gina Virtuoso was elected as the chairperson of the Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Board of Trustees, with William Ross being elected as vice chairperson, Jason Cafarella being elected as financial secretary and Bonnie Sloma retaining her position as secretary for another term.

Gina Virtuoso

Newly elected NCCC Board of Trustees Chairperson Gina Virtuoso

Chairperson Virtuoso will be replacing outgoing chairperson, William Ross who was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2005 by the Niagara County Legislature.  Ross served as chairperson for two consecutive terms, and received statewide recognition in 2019, receiving the Donald M. Mawhinney, Jr. Award for Trustee Leadership given by the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT).   Virtuoso will begin leading the board at a challenging time, with the development of many new policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of the campus community throughout the continually evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  Additionally, student recruitment will become an even greater focus with hopes that more students will choose to stay local during these times of uncertainty.  NCCC has adapted coursework for remote learning, and prepares to launch a hybrid plan of in-person and virtual learning options for students in the fall semester.

Chairperson Virtuoso previously served as vice chairperson, and was appointed to a 7 year term on the board in 2016 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  She led the NCCC Middle States Accreditation Committee, and served as co-chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee.  Virtuoso has been a strong advocate for capital projects at NCCC, including the opening of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute in 2012, and the Learning Commons in 2018. Virtuoso is retired from the Occidental Chemical Corporation, where she worked for 20 years, holding the position of Senior Corporate Accountant, as well as other accounting positions. In 2019 Virtuoso received the Marvin A. Rapp Award for Distinguished Trustee Service by the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT).


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

The patio is open for business outside of Niagara Falls Culinary Institute’s Savor Restaurant.

Savor on the Street Offers Summertime Lunch Specials

By News Archive

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute’s Savor Restaurant has the kitchen stocked and chefs ready to serve you from their patio on historic Old Falls Street. Calling this new way of operating, “Savor on the Street,” Assistant Vice President at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Josh Blumberg, invites you for take-out or patio dining under the Western New York sun. Blumberg welcomes patrons to “Dine on our patio for lunch with a delicious wine or cold beer. You can also take it to go.” With so many of our favorite summertime activities cancelled, one option that remains available is picnicking in our local parks. Blumberg suggests lunch to go and “Watching the roaring falls as you wonder ‘How did they make a sandwich this good?’”

Each week, Savor chefs will feature a staple barbecue item, house-made pickles, side, drink, and mouthwatering dessert from NFCI’s La Patisserie all for $10. A la carte items are also available. Savor on the Street is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11AM-3PM and Thursday through Saturday from 11AM-4PM. For weekly menu updates, please visit our website at http://nfculinary.org/savorstreet/.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

NCCC Graduate, Maritza Rivera poses with her family during diploma pick-up on Thursday, June 25th

Pick-up or delivery? NCCC creates new experience for graduates

By News Archive

While the global pandemic has altered many aspects of the spring semester for students at Niagara County Community College (NCCC), the administration wanted to ensure graduates still received a proper acknowledgment of their accomplishments.  For many students, receiving a diploma is the ultimate symbol of years of hard work and dedication to their studies, and the staff at NCCC wanted to make the process as fun as possible under the circumstances.

NCCC Graduate, Maritza Rivera poses with her family during diploma pick-up on Thursday, June 25th

NCCC Graduate, Maritza Rivera poses with her family during diploma pick-up on Thursday, June 25th

After a bit of brainstorming, members of the commencement committee at the College decided that repurposing the campus shuttle for delivering diplomas was a unique way to bring a special moment to deserving graduates.  The Class of 2020 was excited to share the special moment with their families and some even dressed in their caps and gowns to receive their diplomas at their homes while NCCC staff cheered them on and took photos to commemorate the occasion.

Graduates also had the option to participate in a diploma pick-up on campus at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute or on the Sanborn Campus of NCCC.  At each location, graduates had an opportunity to get pictures with their families and some graduates were even able to pose for photos with NCCC President, William Murabito as they normally would at commencement.  “One of the advantages of being at a community college is that the staff and administration are very invested in the students, and they pushed to create these meaningful experiences for graduates despite the inability to have a traditional commencement ceremony,” said President Murabito.

At NCCC, many students balance their educational pursuits with job and family responsibilities at the same time, so the completion of degree and certificate programs comes with many sacrifices.  Graduates and their families made the most of the diploma delivery and pick-up experience, including the Rivera family.  Maritza Rivera arrived on campus with several members of her family, balloons and noisemakers, proving a formal commencement ceremony is not the only reason to celebrate.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

SBDC logo

Niagara SBDC Hosting “PPP Forgiveness Review” Webinars on July 1st.

By News Archive

On Wednesday July 1st, the Niagara Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and speaker Shieke Sharpe, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), will present two live webinars covering the recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. These webinars will also include an overview of the revised Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness application and the new short form. Ms. Sharpe will review both forms, step by step, and help you determine which form is right for your business. There will be time for Q & A.

Ms. Sharpe has over 12 years of experience in accounting and tax. She is a graduate of Canisius College with a Master’s degree in Forensic Accounting. She worked at Ernst and Young before starting her own business Shieke Sharpe Consulting.

Those interested in learning more may sign up to participate in one of two webinars to be held live via the links below:

9:00 a.m. session: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6873300480694537743

3:00 p.m. session: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/546209197169452559

The webinars are free of charge through a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

 

The Niagara SBDC remains open remotely through the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting clients over the phone, via email and in online meetings.  For more information on the webinars or how the Niagara SBDC can assist you, and to get details on the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund, call 716-210-2515 or visit http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/sbdc/


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Meagan Swartz, 2017 NCCC Physical Therapist Assistant Graduate.

NCCC Physical Therapist Assistant Program Rewarding in Clinics and Community

By News Archive

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) paves the way for a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical Therapist Assistants play a vital role in helping patients who need to improve mobility, decrease pain, and increase their quality of life. NCCC PTA graduates help patients build strength after surgery, recover from injuries, manage chronic pain, and even improve pre-natal and post-partum health.

Meagan Swartz 2017 PTA Grad

Meagan Swartz 2017 PTA Grad

Meagan Swartz, a 2017 graduate of the program explains, “As a PTA, we see people in a vulnerable state following an injury, accident, or surgery. We help them physically by taking them through exercises and stretches or by using manual therapy like massages. We also help mentally, and emotionally by lending a listening ear, explaining things to them regarding their recovery, and helping them to understand the process. It makes a world of difference when you actually listen to someone’s concerns and help to clarify things for them in a way that they understand.” She adds, “Seeing your patients’ happiness and excitement when their pain has decreased or their strength has increased is the most rewarding part of the job.”

The desire to help others is crucial to being a PTA. Outside of the physical therapy world, Meagan is leading the charge in an “Adopt-a-Senior” program in both North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda. Creating an online platform where the community can “adopt” local high school seniors, Meagan has helped to coordinate relationships between local residents who shower seniors with contactless doorstep goodies as the pandemic halted their graduations and end of year celebrations. Meagan’s NCCC professors saw the impact she was making in the community and decided to embrace the same program for NCCC 2020 PTA graduates.

In addition to inspiring alumni, the program boasts experienced faculty with a strong interest in evidence-based practice and instruction. A 2019 American Physical Therapy Association’s Emerging Leader recipient, David Faccini ’94, sits on the NCCC faculty roster. He is one of many experienced instructors who is providing a rewarding academic journey to students. David explains, “NCCC has become one of the premier schools in WNY for Physical Therapy Assistant Education. I contribute this to the dedication, compassion, and professional work ethic of NCCC instructors. I have certainly applied these skills to my every day practice over the years which have helped to shape me into the PTA that I am today.”

Well-trained faculty and dedicated students have created an impressive 100% pass rate for the PTA licensure examination from 2011-2018. In addition, graduate employment rate was 100% of those who sought employment. The U.S. News and World Report states, “Physical Therapist Assistants rank #3 in Best Healthcare Support Jobs and #26 out of 100 Best Jobs” overall. NCCC’s PTA degree can be completed in as little as 20 months and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The NCCC PTA program is part of the State University of New York Higher Education system which helps to keep tuition rates at a lower cost. Enrolled students can take advantage of the NYS Excelsior Scholarship program as well as a myriad of other scholarship opportunities available by the NCCC Foundation. Please visit

for more information.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Gap Year

NCCC Offers Exploratory “Gap Year” Options

By News Archive

While the pressure to attend a four-year college, trade school, or enter the workforce can weigh heavy on high school seniors, the option for a “gap year” may be an option that facilitates career exploration while moving forward with purpose. Bob McKeown, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management at Niagara County Community College is a strong supporter for prospective students who are on the fence between committing to a full course load and cautiously planning their path.

McKeown explains, “Typically a gap year is a semester or year that students use for experiential learning and exploring educational options. It’s typically taken after high school and before post-secondary school. However, it can be taken at any time throughout your college career. Students use this time to deepen their professional and personal awareness.” And, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter plans later into the year, more students are considering a gap year closer to home.

NCCC offers more than 60 programs and many ways to attend class. While NCCC’s Sanborn campus and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute are home to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, athletic facilities, and student spaces during regular daytime hours, the College also offers evening class formats and online learning options. There is truly something for everyone.

Topics span a diverse spectrum of liberal arts courses, hands-on technical training, allied health classes, and specialized hospitality and culinary arts experiences at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Students have the option to sample an array of subjects to find their passion without much of a cost to their time or their wallets. “NCCC is literally the ‘Smart Place to Start’ because students can earn credit online, continue to work their job, and save money simultaneously. This is also a good option for students who may be undecided. They can sign up for classes in several different academic majors, take some of the their core courses like English and Math, and then when they know the exact major they are interested in, they can switch into that specific program, complete the remaining required courses, and earn their degree,” says McKeown.

NCCC’s homegrown podcast, “Morning Thunder” recently discussed the idea of a gap year with Academic Center for Excellence host, Madison Ebsary. The riveting discussion focused on the value of earning credits online while exploring your options, saving money, and then transferring those credits to a four-year institution in the future. If you are interested in learning more about exploratory education and taking a gap year at NCCC, you can tune into Morning Thunder at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/morning-thunder/ to hear the full episode.

For those who are ready to begin their gap year, McKeown encourages future students to, “Apply to NCCC in order to get started. There is no application fee or obligation. Go to the NCCC Admissions page at http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/admissions/ and click on the “Apply Now” tab in the upper right-hand corner.” You are also encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see how much financial aid you would qualify for. NCCC Admissions counselors and Financial Aid representatives are happy to guide you through the application process and talk to you about your options.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Events Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Student Emergency Relief Fund

SUNY IMPACT FOUNDATION TO MATCH DONATIONS IN NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

By News Archive
Relief Fund recipient

Relief Fund recipient

The Niagara County Community College Foundation Office has continued to work tirelessly to raise funds for our students who are struggling with financial hardships caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As of today, the NCCC Foundation has raised $15,000 to support 150 current students. Each student has received a $100 gift card to help purchase groceries, medicine, and other basic necessities.

This offering puts only a small dent in the mounting bills our students are facing due to unemployment and other hardships. Making even a small contribution can ensure that students do not have to choose between buying groceries for their families and maintaining the internet connection necessary to do their studies.

NCCC has now been provided with an incredible opportunity to double our donations and your impact to the Student Emergency Relief Fund! The SUNY Impact Foundation has promised to match dollar for dollar any gift made to the Relief Fund up to a total of $50,000 if made before July 1, 2020. Our goal is to maximize this match opportunity to provide as many students as possible relief from their financial struggles. Your support is crucial in ensuring successful outcomes for our students and they are counting on us!

Donations can be made online by visiting http://niagaracc.suny.edu/coronavirus/giving or checks can be made payable to the NCCC Foundation, 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd, Sanborn, NY 14132. If you have any questions, please email Deb Brewer, NCCC Foundation Director, at found@niagaracc.suny.edu or call 716-438-6388.


Media Contact Information

Allison Korta
Foundation Assistant Director
Phone: 716-614-6231
Email: akorta@niagaracc.suny.edu

Hospitality

NCCC TO OFFER PPE TRAINING FOR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Workforce Development Department will offer online training targeting businesses involved in the reopening of the Hospitality sector. This awareness level training is geared for employees that will be returning to the workplace and may be responsible for the cleaning and disinfection of their work space. The objective of this course is to raise the awareness of COVID-19 with factual information and simple steps that employees can take to avoid spreading the disease within the workplace or at home. This interactive web-based training provides ample opportunity for students to engage in informative Q&A’s. This is an opportunity for a branding advantage as companies resume business back to full operation. “This is a great training for businesses who are unsure of the current standards and who want to be prepared with a plan for how to reopen”, according to Karen Kwandrans, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs.  “The instructors are all safety certified trainers and are up-to-date on regulatory changes issued by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).”

Presentations are industry specific and this set of courses will be focused on the hospitality industry. The online classes for the hospitality industry will be offered:
June 15, 2020 at 8am -10:30am or 1:00pm-3:30pm

The cost of training is $40 per person for a two-hour class. For more information, please call NCCC Workforce Development at (716) 614-6236 or visit the website www.niagaracc.suny.edu/wd/.


Media Contact Information

Barbara DeSimone
Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-5904
Email: desimone@niagaracc.suny.edu

Campus aerial photo

President Murabito Sends Statement to NCCC Community On Death of George Floyd

By News Archive

Niagara County Community College (NCCC) President Dr. William J. Murabito has issued a statement to employees and students about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and protests across the nation. His email letter reads as follows:

“Dear NCCC Community,

This past week, we witnessed another appalling act of violence against a person of color in the police officer’s involvement in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd’s family and to the many others whose lives he touched. This incident has raised profound and troubling questions about violence and social inequity in our society — issues that are critical for us to explore, teach about, research, study, and find a way to comprehend in our individual lives.   Although this senseless act was committed halfway across the country it seems to have affected everyone, including our campus community.  It is a reminder to us all that these unfortunate events can happen in any city and community.  

While we all are experiencing pain, anger and frustration over this terrible incident, we must remember the importance of keeping protests peaceful so that we can communicate our thoughts effectively and gain awareness.  Destructive action only serves to detract from the issues at hand.  In the NCCC mission statement, one of our institutional learning outcomes is that “NCCC graduates should demonstrate global awareness, civic engagement, appreciation of differences and diversity, civility, ethics, and aesthetics.”  I am confident during these dark days, we will show our commitment to this core value, and support healing, meaningful action, and working together for a better tomorrow.”


Media Contact Information

Barbara DeSimone
Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-5904
Email: desimone@niagaracc.suny.edu

SBDC logo

NCCC TO OFFER FREE WEBINAR ON TRAINING FOR RE-OPENING RESTAURANTS

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in conjunction with Workforce Development will hold training for Western New York restaurants to help them prepare for reopening. The SBDC training will focus on restaurant businesses that will be reopening during the New York Phase-in process. Businesses will be responsible for the cleaning and disinfection of their operations as well as providing relevant Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and establishing proper social distancing. The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is sponsoring is webinar – so there is no cost to participate.

The objective of this course is to provide accurate information relating to COVID-19 and simple steps that businesses can take to avoid spreading the disease within the workplace. This interactive web-based training provides opportunities for attendees to engage in informative Q&A’s.  “This is a great training for businesses who are unsure of the current standards and who want to prepare their plan for reopening their business”, states Lynn Oswald, Director of the NCCC SBDC.  The instructor is a safety certified trainer and is up-to-date on regulatory changes issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and New York State.

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 from 9am -11:30am. The presentation will be repeated live later the same day from 1-3:30pm.  To register for the webinar and for more information, please call NCCC SBDC at 716-210-2515 or visit the website: http://www.niagarasbdc.org click on the “Training” tab for more details.


Media Contact Information

Barbara DeSimone
Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-5904
Email: desimone@niagaracc.suny.edu