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NCCC Foundation

Dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education.

NCCC Foundation Diamond Scholarship Gala

Thank you for attending the Diamond Scholarship Gala on Saturday, October 22, 2022. Our guests and sponsors helped to raise almost $110,000.

The NCCC 2022-2024 DSS Recipients

2022 Event Details

Here you’ll find everything you need to know on attending the NCCC Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Gala including more information on tickets, hotel accommodations, and parking.

2022 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Lee Wallace

Lee Wallace

Class of 1974

Lee Wallace graduated from Niagara Country Community College in 1974 with his Associates Degree in Physical Education Studies. He continued his education earning his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education in 1978 and a Masters of Education in Foundation & Teaching Administration in 1988 from Niagara University. In addition, in 1984 Lee was granted a duel teaching license by the State of NY for Social Studies and Physical Education.
Upon graduation, Lee served as Acting Athletic Director at the Niagara Wheatfield High School. He then accepted a position at Niagara Catholic as the Director of Athletics and taught Health. Lee received numerous accolades and awards over the years including; Western New York Coach of the Year for Varsity Basketball, Football and Softball, Matt Colpoys Memorial Sportsmanship, St. Stephens Holy Name Society Youth Leader Award, Niagara Wheatfield Coach of the Year, and in 2017 was inducted to the Wall of Fame at Niagara Wheatfield.
In 1997, Lee found his niche at Niagara County Community College. For 13 years, he was a driving force within Athletics and the Health/Physical Education Program. In August 2010, Lee retired from his position as a Professor at NCCC. During his tenure as the Athletic Director, he made his mark by redesigning the NCCC Athletic Wall of Fame and leading the Roy E. Sommer Memorial Golf Tournament raising funds for student scholarships in Wrestling and Basketball. Lee was instrumental in spearheading the rebranding of the NCCC Mascot/logo to the current Thunder Wolves. In 2018, Lee was inducted to the Wall of Fame at NCCC.
Lee was elected as the Supervisor of the Town of Niagara in 2014 where he is a lifetime resident. For over 40 years, he was the town’s director of recreation. Lee’s list accomplishments include town infrastructure improvements, construction of “Remembrance Square”, the Splash Park in the Veterans Memorial Park, the Cayuga Creek Storm Water Project, and the 4th Avenue Pathway Project. He was responsible for Noel at Niagara, Trash to Treasure, and Music Mania Mondays.
Outside of work, Lee and his wife Patricia spend time with their two sons, James and Joseph and their three granddaughters. Lee enjoys music, traveling, and going on cruises.
Lee enthusiastically shares that attending NCCC “changed the course of his life” and the path(s) that he ended up choosing.

2021 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Angelo “Zig” Fracassi

Angelo “Zig” Fracassi

Class of 1985

Angelo “Zig” Fracassi graduated from Niagara County Community College in 1985 with his Associate’s Degree in Communication & Media Art. While attending NCCC, Zig’s passion for radio grew by hosting his own show on WNCB and interning at WJJL.
Upon graduation, Zig moved to Las Vegas where he attended the University of Nevada for just over a year. He then landed his first professional radio job with K-RAM (now KFLV), 1340 AM Class Country as a D.J. and a Producer. During that time, K-RAM began to include professional sports with Zig hosting scoreboard shows after games.
In 1992, Zig landed his first nationally syndicated sports talk show with Sports Entertainment Network. In 1994, he was offered a position with Sports Fan Radio hosting regular call-in shows as well as an NHL program titled “In the Crease”. During this time, he worked with sports icons such as Pete Rose and Dallas Cowboys Executive Gil Brandt. Zig continued in this position until 2001 when he returned to Western New York as a host and sports anchor for WNSA 107.7 announcing pre-game shows for the Buffalo Sabres.
It was then he moved to New Jersey for a position with Sirius Satellite Radio (now XM Satellite Radio) as a part-time NFL Radio anchor. This position evolved into his current role hosting full-time shows on NFL Radio, SiriusXM Channel 88. He is also a regular contributor to SiriusXM NHL Network Radio Channel 91 and is featured hosting college football and hockey shows for SiriusXM College Sports Nation and ESPNU Radio.
Zig’s 35-year radio career has proven he is a leader in the industry and an ambassador for Niagara County. During his radio shows, he often speaks fondly of his time in Western New York and in particular, his time as a student at NCCC. He attributes much of his success to the quality foundation of education he received from NCCC as well as the opportunities the program afforded him.

Elizabeth Corieri

Class of 1983

Elizabeth Corieri graduated from Niagara County Community College in 1983 with her Associate’s Degree in LA&S: Humanities & Social Science. She continued her education at the University at Buffalo earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1985.
Upon graduation, Liz accepted a position with the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District as a long-term substitute. This resulted in a full-time position teaching second grade at Military Road School and was the start of her career path with Niagara Wheatfield.
In 1990, Liz graduated from Niagara University with her Master’s Degree in Education and in 1992 earned her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision. During this time, Military Road School closed its doors and Liz was transferred to Colonial Village Elementary School. She stayed there for 2-years as a Kindergarten teacher before starting at Tuscarora Indian School in 1993.
Five years later in 1998, Liz was promoted to Principal of Tuscarora School and has remained in that position since. For over 20 years, she has been an avid supporter of the Tuscarora Culture and Language program which is a vital part of the cultural revitalization at Tuscarora. In addition, she has promoted the importance of the language and stood behind and encouraged the hiring of native teachers.
Liz is also Co-Chair of the Native American Regional Forum which addresses issues in the Native American educational system. She has helped with utilizing native speakers and includes new methods to reach all students and inform teachers with these innovative techniques. In addition to education, Liz has dedicated herself to the different programming throughout the school. This includes organizing their yearly Elder’s Day, Culture Night, and Graduation Dinner.
Outside of work, Liz is a certified children’s yoga teacher. She volunteers her time to the students at Tuscarora School teaching them positive mental health and proper breathing techniques. She also enjoys spending time with her mother, Betty, her two daughters, Lindsey and Caitlin, and her two grandchildren, Ruby and Trey. Her continued active participation show her true commitment to the next generation of future students and their education in Niagara County.

2020 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Muriel Anderson

Muriel Anderson

Class of 1983

Muriel Anderson graduated from Niagara County Community College in 1983 with her Associate’s Degree in Accounting. She then continued on her education receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in 1987 and Master’s Degree in 2000 in Accounting from the University at Buffalo.
While earning her degrees, Muriel worked as the Vice President and Deputy Auditor for M&T Bank. In 2000, Muriel joined UB as a Faculty member dividing her time between the School of Management Departments of Accounting & Law and Organization & Human Resources. Her teaching experience at UB includes both undergraduate and graduate coursework in the principles of accounting, principles of business, human resource management, career management, and leadership. Muriel has also served as the Faculty Co-Director of UB’s MBA Leader CORE program from 2010-2013 and served as a Coach in the program from 2014-2017.
In 2014, Muriel joined NCCC’s Accounting Program Advisory Committee. Muriel’s experience provided the Committee with important information to help NCCC students transfer and continue their education at UB in Accounting or Finance. She has also served on NCCC’s Program Excellence Evaluation Review (PEER) Committee in 2015 and will be doing so again in 2020.
In addition to her dedication to education, Muriel has written and been published in a number of publications and book reviews. She has also participated in numerous professional development series as well as managing her own business, Muriel T. Anderson, CPA in which she provides tax and account services to approximately 50 clients.
She has been recognized for her excellence in teaching and in her field as the recipient of the Arjang A. Assad Excellence in Teacher Award, the UB School of Management Outstanding Contributions in Teaching Award, the UB School of Management Undergraduate teacher of the Year Award five times, and several student service awards. Beyond the SUNY system, Muriel volunteers her time as the treasurer for Hope for Sisi’s Kids, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and education of children in a rural area of Ghana, Africa.
JoAnn Pellegrino

JoAnn Pellegrino

Class of 1997

JoAnn Pellegrino graduated from Niagara County Community College in 1997 with her Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Upon graduation, JoAnn continued her education at Roberts Wesleyan College receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education.
While earning her degrees, JoAnn worked as an ICU nurse at Medina Hospital and Lakeside Memorial Hospital. She was promoted at Lakeside Memorial Hospital to Director of Nursing Surgical Services in the Maternity and Central Sterile Processing unit. After many years of applying her education in hands-on nursing roles, JoAnn went on to inspire other generations of nurses as an Adjunct Nursing Instructor at Niagara University and Roberts Wesleyan College.
In addition to educating students, JoAnn also makes strong contributions to Niagara County through her role as Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. In this position, JoAnn has led the hospital through rigorous processing to attain the nation’s highest medical accreditations which allows nurses to focus more on improving treatment, helping patients avoid readmission or emergency visits, and look at nurse retention and satisfaction levels.
Throughout this time, JoAnn has never forgotten her connection with NCCC. She continues to remain involved with the College by attending the annual NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala and Leadership Luncheon. She has also served as the keynote speaker for the Nursing and Allied Health graduation ceremony in 2018 and is a current member of the NCCC Nursing Advisory Board.
JoAnn has been recognized for her excellence in nursing and serves on several additional boards including, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, NYS Nurses Association, and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. All of these actions show her true commitment to improving the quality of lives and health in Niagara County all while continuing to give back to NCCC to ensure a bright future for the next generation of students and alumni.

2022-2024
Distinguished Student Scholarship Recipients

Isabel Konopka

High School: Niagara Wheatfield
Major: Environmental Studies

“We only have one environment, so its’s important that all of us make crucial changes in order to keep it safe.” “I aspire to be a leader of such change!”

Abigail Stiokas

High School: North Tonawanda
Major: Animation

“I will benefit the community by helping to create animated films and animated stories to inspire others with animation the same way it inspired my creativity!”

Dillan VanDenBosch

High School: Lewiston-Porter
Major: Computer Science

“There are so many opportunities in computer science. Companies with cutting edge technology make a real difference in the world!”

Evan Bush

High School: Starpoint
Major: Digital Media

“I will become a voice for charitable organizations by creating promotional videos to help them achieve their goals!”

Evan OConnor

High School: North Tonawanda
Major: Engineering

“The Grand Island Bridges, Niagara Power Vista, and Niagara Air Reserve Station are all significant engineering structures. My dream is to collaborate on new and even more impressive projects in Niagara County!”

Evan Vickers

High School: Niagara Wheatfield
Major: Biology

“My goal is to be a part of the research that involves groundbreaking discoveries and making an impact on helping sick people and curing diseases!”

2021-2023
Distinguished Student Scholarship Recipients

Jillian Donovan

Jillian Donovan

High School: Lewiston-Porter
Major: Liberal Arts
Career Goal: Undecided

“I hope one day that I will make enough money to give back not only to local but also national and global charities on a regular basis. It is always better to share your strengths, talents, and passions to leave a positive footprint in this world.”

Bridget Hersee

Bridget Hersee

High School: Starpoint
Major: Criminal Justice
Career Goal: Law Enforcement

“To play a part in protecting the members of our community and those around me would be a dream come true!”

Gina Krolewski

Gina Krolewski

High School: North Tonawanda
Major: Fine Arts
Career Goal: Art Therapist

“My goal is to help young adults find solace in art while working with agencies and schools in Niagara County.”

Mercy Walker

Mercy Walker

High School: Royalton-Hartland
Major: Nursing
Career Goal: Critical Care Nurse

“As a nurse, I will be able to give back to my community by providing competent medical care in a respectful, caring, and informative way to my patients and their families.”

Mackenzie White

Mackenzie White

High School: Royalton-Hartland
Major: Horticulture
Career Goal: Undecided

“Although I don’t know exactly what I want to do in my career, I hope one day to organize my own community volunteer events to clean up garbage and get people in environmental protection and rehabilitation.”

2020-2022
Distinguished Student Scholarship Recipients

Elijah Alker

Elijah Alker

High School: Lewiston-Porter
Major: Engineering
Career Goal: Aerospace Engineer

“Although I'm not originally from Niagara County, it's now the place that I call home. As I continue my education, I look forward to being able to give back through my career and volunteer work to my community.”

Jordyn Bobzien

Jordyn Bobzien

High School: Royalton-Hartland
Major: Massage Therapy
Career Goal: Acupuncturist & Masseuse

“My future goal is to own an acupuncture and massage business to help heal my community so in turn it becomes stronger and healthier.”

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns

High School: North Tonawanda
Major: Computer Science
Career Goal: Undecided

“A degree in Computer Science from NCCC provides me with a multitude of options and opportunities to give back and hopefully inspire younger generations to do the same as well.”

Angelina Emmons

Angelina Emmons

High School: Lockport
Major: Liberal Arts & Sciences
Career Goal: Journalist

“I aim to further dedicate myself to my community and to truth with my reportage. My confidence in the power of writing and enriching the community I live in continues to fuel my aspirations.”

Katelyn Hurst

Katelyn Hurst

High School: Lewiston-Porter
Major: Nursing
Career Goal: Nurse

“The reason I wanted to become a nurse is that my main priority is to help people. Whether I am working at my local hospital or clinic, I have the opportunity to help my community members and make their lives better.”

Ashley Kopacz

Ashley Kopacz

High School: Lockport
Major: LA&S: Humanities & Social Science
Career Goal: Undecided

“Although I am unsure of my career path at this time, I look forward to attending NCCC which will help me get on the right path to achieving my goals.”

Contact

NCCC Foundation, Inc.
Deborah Brewer, Director
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd.
Sanborn, NY 14132
Phone: 716-614-5911
Cell: 716-438-6388
Fax: 716-614-5913
Email: dbrewer@niagaracc.suny.edu