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Alumni Archives - Niagara County Community College

Niagara County Community College Alumni Association Selects 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College Alumni Association has selected two recipients for their 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s recipients are Muriel Anderson ’83 and JoAnn Pellegrino ’97. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the 2020 award recipients will be honored during the rescheduled NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala. There is currently no new date at this time.

Muriel Anderson graduated from NCCC in 1983 with her Associate’s Degree in Accounting. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree 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. In 2014, Muriel joined NCCC’s Accounting Program Advisory Committee. Her experience provided NCCC with important information to help students transfer and continue their education at UB. She has also served on NCCC’s Program Excellence Evaluation Review (PEER) Committee in 2015 and 2020. In addition to her dedication to education, Muriel manages her own business where she provides tax and account services to approximately 50 clients. She also 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 graduated from NCCC in 1997 with her Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Roberts Wesleyan College 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 the next generation of nurses as an Adjunct Instructor at Niagara University and Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2017, JoAnn was named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Throughout her time, JoAnn has never forgotten her start at NCCC. She continues to remain involved by attending the annual NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala and Leadership Luncheon, serving as the keynote speaker for the NCCC Nursing and Allied Health graduation ceremony in 2018 and is a current member of the NCCC Nursing Advisory Board.

To read NCCC’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient’s full biographies and for updates on the Foundation Scholarship Gala, please visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/foundation/gala/.


Media Contact Information

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

Meat Raffle

Niagara County Community College Alumni Association to Host Virtual Meat Raffle

By News Archive

The NCCC Alumni Association is hosting a Virtual Meat Raffle on Friday, November 6, 2020, at 7:00PM on Facebook Live with ArtyParty716. The virtual event is open to all NCCC alumni, employees, students, and friends of the College. Proceeds will support the NCCC Alumni Association.

Watch us spin the wheel for a chance to stock up on all of your favorites for the holiday season from the comfort of your own home. Meats are provided by Pellicano’s Market Place. Ticket packages are $35, $50, or $70. Additional tickets to enter the 50/50 and grand prize raffle are also available for purchase. Tickets are pre-sale only. Registration ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Attendees do not need to have Facebook in order to participate in this event. Facebook Live videos are accessible to anyone with or without an account. Any attendees who do not live locally are still invited to participate. We will work with any out-of-town winners to find a store in your area and purchase a gift card for the value of the item you won.

For more information on the meat raffle, to purchase tickets, or to sponsor the event please visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/alumni/meatraffle/. You can also call the Alumni Office at 716-614-5910 or email alumni@niagaracc.suny.edu with any questions.


Media Contact Information

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

JCPenney Virtual Suit-Up Event

Dress for Success With Niagara County Community College and JCPenney

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College Alumni Association, the NCCC Career & Transitional Services Office, and Student Life are teaming up with JCPenney to help you find everything you need for your next job interview or current position during their virtual Suit-Up event. During the virtual shopping event, attendees will receive a 30% discount on all career apparel items including suits, dresses, sport coats, dress pants, shoes, and more! Discounts will also be included on Sephora and Salon products.

Attendees can shop the sale between September 18, 2020 – September 20, 2020. NCCC alumni, students, employees, friends of the College, and guests are invited to attend this virtual event. For more information on how to receive your 30% discount code, visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/alumni/jcp/.

For any NCCC students with questions on this event, please contact Casey Button from the Career & Transitional Services Office. Her phone number is 716-614-5957 and her email is cbutton@niagaracc.suny.edu. For all other questions from alumni and friends of NCCC, please contact the Alumni Office at 716-614-5910 or alumni@niagaracc.suny.edu.


Media Contact Information

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

Distinguished Alumni Wall

NCCC Alumni Seeking Nominations for Annual Award

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College Alumni Association is seeking nominations for its Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is bestowed to deserving alumni who exemplify educational achievements, career success, community involvement, and support to NCCC. The award will be presented at the NCCC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Gala to be held on October 17, 2020 at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

The nominated individual must have completed 50 or more credit hours at NCCC; yet it is strongly recommended that she/he is a graduate. Nomination applications are available to submit online or download and mail in at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/alumni/awards/. Please mail applications to the following address, NCCC Alumni Association, 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd., Sanborn, NY 14132. All materials are due to the Alumni Office by May 6, 2020 to be eligible for consideration for the award.  If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Office at (716) 614-5910 or alumni@niagaracc.suny.edu.


Media Contact Information

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

Alexander Dispence

NCCC Alumnus to Compete in WNY’s Taste of Education Iron Chef Champions Competition

By News Archive

Niagara County Community College Alumnus Alexander Dispence will compete in this year’s WNY Taste of Education Iron Chef Champions Competition on Tuesday, March 10th at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. Three previous winners of the Iron Chef Competition will compete to be named the best-of-the-best!

Growing up, Alex said that food has always been a big part of his life. “I loved watching Food Network and especially Iron Chef America,” he said. “It was so amazing to see what every day food items can be transformed into!” From there, Alex began working in the food industry in 2009. “I knew that this was my passion,” he said, “and that I was willing to work hard to be successful in it.”

In order to achieve his goals, Alex recognized that he needed to receive an education. “I toured NCCC and NFCI and was so impressed with all that they had to offer their students! I was excited to be a part of it.” Alex graduated from the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute with his degree in Culinary Arts in 2013 and to this day continues to thank his instructors for the impact they had on him. “There were so many instructors from NFCI who became mentors to me that I can’t name them all; I am so thankful for all the positive influence they had on me. While I’m cooking, I think about how I want to make them proud so I try to prepare the best dish possible every time.”

Upon graduation, Alex has worked in some of America’s most prestigious clubs and resorts such as the Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, WV as well as The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, CA and Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. He even worked as a live-in private chef in the Hamptons and Manhattan. Currently, Alex is the Executive Chef at Byrncliff Golf Resort & Banquets. When asked how it feels to have achieved so much success already, Alex continues to stay humble. “I am honored to have been selected to compete in this year’s competition and to make it to this point in my career. It’s important to me that I always keep growing so that I can continue to make my family, friends, peers, and mentors proud of me.”

To watch Alex compete in this year’s competition or for more information on the event, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-education-tickets-91254323137.


Media Contact Information

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

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.