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Distinguished Alumni Wall

NCCC Distinguished Alumni Award

By News Archive

The 2019 Niagara County Community College Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Deborah Burns ’78, Peter I. Certo ’73 (posthumously), Rebecca Cali Cuddahee ’95, and Richard Frizzell ’67 at the annual NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala on October 19, 2019 at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

Deborah Burns graduated from NCCC in 1978 with her degree in Communications. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Regents College and Master’s Degree in Education from Niagara University. She began working at NCCC in 1988 as an Adjunct Instructor and Academic Advisor for the Social Services Employee Training Program. She continued on her tenure at NCCC when she became a Counselor/Professor for the office of Student Development and the Academic Advisement Center. She has been an asset to the College, helping students achieve their goals as they began their higher education experience and volunteering for NCCC’s Foundation Scholarship Gala for countless years. Never stopping even with her retirement from NCCC, Debbie gives back to the community by volunteering at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Saint John De LaSalle Church, and is a co-founder of Confetti Cottage in Niagara Falls, NY.

Peter I. Certo graduated as a member of the first class from the new NCCC Sanborn Campus in 1973 with his degree in Business Administration. After graduating, Peter joined his family business, Certo Brother Distributing. He served as President and Chairman of the Board of Certo Brothers until his untimely passing in the summer of 2017. In addition, Peter served as a Board Member of the NYS Beer Wholesalers Association for 31 years and was elected Chairman for 2 years. Peter dedicated his time to giving back to NCCC. He was a Foundation Board Member from 1993-2017, Presidential Partner, and served as Honorary Chair during the NCCC Learning Commons Capital Campaign helping to raise $2.5 million. Peter and his father, Hank, started the NCCC memorial golf tournament in honor of his uncle, Albert J. Certo who was an original member of the Board of Trustees. From 1982-2004, the golf tournament raised over $250,000 for NCCC scholarships. He contributed annually to the NCCC Alumni Association 5K Run/Walk and NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala.

Rebecca Cali Cuddahee graduated from NCCC in 1995 with her degree in Criminal Justice. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo. She has had Anthropology teaching positions beginning in 2003 at NCCC, UB, and Duke University until 2012. She served two terms in the Niagara County Legislature from 2003-2006. In the community, Rebecca has been instrumental in saving several Niagara County programs at the Trott Building and continuing the Niagara County Jail Inmates Work Release Program. In addition, she has given back to her alma mater by serving as a guest lecturer and sitting on various NCCC committees.

Finally, Richard Frizzell graduated from NCCC in 1967 with his degree in Humanities and Social Science. He continued on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from SUNY Buffalo State and his Master’s Degree in International Relations from Troy State University of Alabama. Richard has supported his community as a member of the Niagara County Legislature from 1981-1992, a member of the NCCC Board of Trustees from 1984-1992, and served his nation as an officer in the U.S. Army rising to the level of full Colonel. Richard’s civilian career has consisted of serving as President of Sentrex Security Services, Inc. along with working as a Middle School Teacher and College Professor of Political Science and International Relations in Georgia until 2018. In his free time, Richard volunteers with the USO at the Jacksonville Airport every Saturday morning. He also works with Habitat for Humanity, the VFW, and the County Board of Assessors as Chairman. He has been recognized as Adjunct Professor of the Year from Coastal Georgia Community College, received the U.S. Army Logistics Program of Excellence Award, and the Legion of Merit for an exemplary career in the U.S. Army.

The 2019 Gala will take place at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and tickets are $125 per person.  NCCC Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts students will prepare sweet and savory dishes from around the world. To purchase tickets and make reservations, visit the NCCC Foundation website at http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/foundation/gala.php or call the office at 716-614-5911.

NCCC Student Alisha Rivers

NCCC student to receive EOP honor in New York City

By News Archive

On Thursday, October 17, 2019 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Dr. Kristina M. Johnson will be hosting the first Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Honors Awards Ceremony at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan.  This inaugural event will honor students from 41 SUNY campuses across New York State, including Alisha Rivers, a radiologic technology major from Niagara County Community College (NCCC).

Alisha was chosen to receive the 2019 Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for EOP Student Excellence, which celebrates EOP students who have overcome significant obstacles in life to achieve their educational and personal goals.  The award is named after the late Norman McConney, one of the architects of the statewide EOP program and a champion of youth empowerment.

A Lockport native, Alisha is a non-traditional student who works an overnight shift for Kaleida Health as a phlebotomist while attending classes at NCCC during the day in addition to raising a ten year old daughter.  Her goal is to become a radiologic technician after graduation.  In order to get the support she needs in this endeavor, Alisha participates in the Mapping Opportunities for Single Parents program, which is an initiative offering academic and career services to single parents enrolled at NCCC.  This guidance, along with the tutoring services offered at the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) have helped Alisha in the pursuit of her degree.  “ACE has been an amazing resource where I can get help with classes, and the professors at NCCC want to help you succeed,” says Alisha.  When asked what the EOP Student Excellence Award meant to her, Alisha responded, “this allows me to show pride in my hard work and solidifies my commitment to my program.”

Oil on canvas painting titled, Bridge by Dennis Bertram.

Dennis Bertram art show at NCCC’s Dolce Valvo Art Center

By News Archive

As part of a continuing visiting artist series aiming to bring local and regional artists to Niagara County, Dennis Bertram of the Buffalo Arts Studio will be having a solo show in the Dolce Valvo Art Center within the Learning Commons at Niagara County Community College (NCCC).  The show titled, Complicated begins on Monday, October 21, with an opening reception on Friday, October 25 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public, and provides an opportunity for Niagara County residents and students at NCCC to see this artwork without having to travel to Buffalo.

Dennis Bertram is a Buffalo based artist who began to pursue art seriously in the late 1990’s and full time after retiring from an academic career at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions. His oil paintings are composed with diverse and imaginative forms that reflect his interest in the concept of complexity. He has published a book about his art, “Complicated: A Plain Talking Artist’s Guide to His Art.”

Dennis’ art training includes studio courses at Buffalo State College and workshops at the Steve Carpenter Art Center in Rochester, NY. He maintains a studio at Buffalo Arts Studio and exhibits with the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo Niagara Art Association, Hallwalls and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Florida.

In New York, Dennis has had solo exhibitions at the Carnegie Art Center, Empire State College, Olean Public Library Gallery, Jamestown’s Prendergast Library, Bausch & Lomb Corporate Headquarters in Rochester and at the Community School of Music and Arts in Ithaca. He has also had solo exhibitions at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in Lake Worth, Florida, the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, Florida, University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Minnesota Morris and Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania. His paintings have been exhibited at many galleries across the United States.

To discover more information about this show and other exhibitions at the Dolce Valvo Art Center, visit: http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/dvac/

First Aid

Free NARCAN® Training at NCCC

By News Archive

Niagara County Community College (NCCC) will host two NARCAN® training sessions that are free and open to the public. The first session is on Tuesday, October 22 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in the Arts & Media Theatre and the second session is on Wednesday, October 23 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Student Housing Village. Both sessions will occur on the Sanborn campus of NCCC located at 3111 Saunders Settlement Road.

NARCAN® is a nasal spray that counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. As most accidental overdoses occur in a home setting, the product was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends and caregivers to administer. Participants in the training at NCCC will receive a free NARCAN® kit that could provide lifesaving treatment in an emergency. For more information and to register, contact the NCCC Wellness Center at 716-614-6275.

Entrance to NCCC Learning Commons

2019 Brick by Brick Awards shine spotlight on NCCC Learning Commons

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Interior of the Learning Commons atrium.

Interior of the Learning Commons atrium. (Photo by Gene Avallone)

With the completion of the Learning Commons at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) in the fall of 2018, students gained a bright, open space to congregate and learn, while the 287 acre campus gained an eye-catching signature entrance.  The building project was designed by Foit-Albert Associates, Architecture, Engineering & Surveying, PC, and was recently chosen as a finalist for the Buffalo Business First Brick by Brick Awards.  The exclusive awards honor the best of the best in real estate, construction and development, and NCCC’s Learning Commons was recognized in the collegiate category.

The 97,000 square foot project included renovations to the existing Henrietta G. Lewis Library, as well as a new building housing an open computer lab, IT services, classrooms, an art gallery, meeting spaces, a childcare center and a Tim Horton’s.  The spacious atrium area is full of natural light and is equipped with functional, yet attractive ceiling panels to address acoustic concerns.  The $20 million project was officially unveiled in September of 2018; made possible by the support of Niagara County and the generous contributions of numerous donors.

Marlee McCabe

Picture perfect cuisine at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

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Chocolate mousse tart

Chocolate mousse tart from La Patisserie pastry shop

Marlee McCabe wears many hats as Public Relations Assistant at Niagara County Community College (NCCC), and taking photographs at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) can be one sweet assignment. Marlee is frequently seen behind the lens of her Nikon camera, capturing instructors teaching the next generation of culinary professionals, and showcasing the delicious fruits of their labor. Her stunning images often leave people hungry for more, and NFCI is happy to oblige.

A series of photos Marlee took featuring mouthwatering cuisine at Savor Restaurant and decadent desserts at La Patisserie pastry shop inside NFCI received statewide attention as Marlee placed third in the Excellence in Photography category for the State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) Awards for Excellence. These awards recognize the most talented and creative professionals throughout the SUNY system in a variety of categories related to marketing and design, and Marlee was the first NCCC employee to be recognized for their work by SUNYCUAD. She accepted the award at the annual SUNYCUAD Educational Conference in Saratoga, NY and said, “I’ve always had an interest in art and design. The opportunities I’ve had while working at NCCC and NFCI have helped me find a real passion for photography as well.”

To see more of Marlee’s appetizing images and to find additional information about the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, visit nfculinary.org.

Barbara Rupple

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

By News Archive

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

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 programniagaracc.suny.edu/programs/crim.php