© 2019 Niagara County Community College | All rights reserved.

Tag

SUNY Archives - Niagara County Community College

EOP Student

NCCC student honored with statewide award

By News Archive
Elaine Champagne-Lewis

NCCC Student Elaine Champagne-Lewis, recipient of the 2020 Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for EOP Student Excellence

On December 14, 2020, State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras hosted a virtual Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Honors Awards Ceremony recognizing the achievements of 45 students from 49 SUNY campuses statewide. Elaine Champagne-Lewis of Niagara County Community College (NCCC) was chosen to receive the 2020 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.  The EOP program provides academic support services, counseling, advisement and financial assistance to historically under-served students from low-income families in New York.

A mother of two, Elaine is a non-traditional student who was motivated to pursue a degree in human services after working several minimum wage jobs while trying to support her family.  “I struggled so much to get by, and I want to set an example for my kids,” says Elaine.  A friend encouraged her to look into studying at NCCC and Elaine worked with an advisor who helped her through the process of enrolling.  Once on campus, she saw that she met the qualifications for the EOP program and was accepted.  “The EOP workshops helped me to learn balance and self-care, to ask questions when I don’t understand things and connected me to appropriate resources when I needed help.”

Since enrolling at NCCC, Elaine has excelled.  “Elaine has consistently demonstrated the utmost commitment, perseverance, and resiliency in pursuing her academic goals. She has maintained a perfect GPA throughout two semesters of the pandemic while also working as a single mother to not only provide for her children, but help assist in their education as well. Her strength and dedication is an inspiration to me as her advisor and I believe her example can be an inspiration to others,” states Ted Mallwitz, the EOP Academic Support Specialist who nominated Elaine for the EOP Award for Student Excellence.

When asked if she had any advice for other non-traditional students in a similar circumstance, Elaine offered the following: “Ask questions and put in the effort, because it will pay off.  There are so many people ready and willing to help you if you just ask.  Going back to school feels like something you can’t do, but just put one foot in front of the other to make changes in your life.”  Elaine expects to finish her degree at NCCC in the fall of 2021 and plans to continue her education at Buffalo State College studying social work. She currently participates in an internship with a local substance abuse and mental health organization where she hopes to gain full-time employment after graduation.


Media Contact Information

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

Collin Lacki

NCCC student advocates for accessibility at SUNY campuses

By News Archive

Collin Lacki is a sophomore at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) studying music in hopes of pursuing a career in music therapy one day.  He decided to enroll at NCCC because of the quality education he could receive at the College, while still getting a typical on-campus experience away from his home in Brocton, New York.  As a student with a disability, a quality education for Collin also meant receiving support through the Accessibility Services Office on campus.

As a blind student growing up in the small Chautauqua County Village of Brocton, Collin did not always have access to the resources he needed to set him up for academic success in elementary and high school.  “Many younger students with disabilities are not sure if they want to continue on to higher education because of all of the barriers they encounter,” says Collin.  He wants to push those students toward higher education and points to the commitment made by the State University of New York (SUNY) System in providing services and resources needed for students with disabilities to succeed.

Having years of experience advocating for his own needs has given Collin the confidence to take on a new challenge to help other students statewide.  He was recently selected to be a part of the newly formed SUNY Student Voices Action Committee to advise SUNY leadership on emerging, critical issues, and challenges facing students across the SUNY System.  He was chosen after receiving a nomination from Alissa Shugats-Cummings, Director of Career and Transitional Services at NCCC.

“I suggested Collin for a seat on the SUNY Student Voices Action Committee because during his time at NCCC I have seen him develop and demonstrate skills that make him a model not only for students with disabilities but for all SUNY students. He is a hard worker, a diligent student, a friend to all. We are proud to have him represent NCCC SUNY-wide,” says Alissa.  As one of 27 students statewide to participate in the committee, Collin is using his voice to ensure the topic of accessibility remains in the focus of SUNY administration, and he hopes his contributions will promote positive changes that improve the educational experience for all students.

Collin has high praise for Accessibility Services Coordinator Steve Burns and Alissa Shugats-Cummings, two employees who go out of their way to assist students through their roles in the Career and Transitional Services Department at NCCC.  This department is an umbrella for Accessibility Services, Career Services, Transfer Services, and the Student Resource Center.  “The staff makes the office what it is,” says Collin.  He is hopeful that through relationships he has established on campus and his new appointment to the SUNY-wide committee, he can continue to make a positive impact not only for himself but empower others as well.  Collin has advice for others with disabilities: “Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.  The only way you’ll get the help you need is by speaking up!”

The mission of Accessibility Services is to provide academic adjustments and appropriate support to students with disabilities in the most inclusive setting possible and to enhance student independence while promoting self-advocacy.  For more information on Accessibility Services at NCCC, visit: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/accessibility-services/ or call 716-614-6285.


Media Contact Information

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

Career and Transfer Fair

NCCC students receive Pathway Scholars Awards

By News Archive

Fifty students at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) received SUNY Pathways Scholars Awards as part of the State University of New York (SUNY) initiative to assist high-performing students committed to completing their associate’s degree within two years and bachelor’s degree within four years.  These students received a $250 stipend in the fall semester, and will receive another $250 stipend after completion of the spring semester at NCCC.  Pathways Scholars will receive an additional $1,000 stipend upon completion of their associate’s degree and enrollment in a SUNY bachelor’s degree program.

In addition to the financial assistance received, Pathways Scholars receive academic counseling, career guidance, and a network of support services to keep them on track for success.  At NCCC, students have access to the Office of Career and Transitional Services, which helps them to determine transfer paths for programs on the SUNY transfer path list.  NCCC has established transfer articulation agreements with many colleges within SUNY, including Empire State College, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Cobleskill, the University at Buffalo, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.  Students can take advantage of the lowest tuition rates in the region at NCCC and then seamlessly transfer their credits to other local four year institutions.


Media Contact Information

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

Emily Welch Ruth ’19 poses with billboard

NCCC Public Relations Department Wins SUNY Award for Advertising

By News Archive
Emily Welch Ruth ’19 poses with billboard

Emily Welch Ruth ’19 poses with billboard

The Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Office of Public Relations and Event Management received a Judge’s Citation award in the Excellence in Advertising Category for its 2019-2020 billboard campaign. The award was presented at the virtual SUNY CUAD (State University of New York Council for University Advancement) award ceremony held last month. NCCC Graphic designer Marlee McCabe was responsible for the photographs and design and several of the PR staff contributed key words to use on the billboards.

This is the second consecutive year the NCCC Public Relations Department has been recognized for its graphic design and photography by this organization.


Media Contact Information

Barbara M. DeSimone
Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-481-3775
Email: desimone@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

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

NFCI student club

Niagara County Community College Establishes Student Emergency Relief Fund Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

By News Archive

Joining other SUNY campuses across New York State, Niagara County Community College has established a Student Emergency Relief Fund in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This fund is designated to support the highest, short-term financial needs to students currently enrolled at NCCC who are now facing extenuating circumstances related to housing, food, and other vital resources.

Your gift will assist students and provide immediate relief for expenses related to their basic necessities such as food, medicine, toiletries, and more.

Now more than ever, our students are counting on us. You can make an immediate impact today by donating to the Student Emergency Relief Fund. Every dollar does make a difference. Donations can be made online at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/coronavirus/giving/. If you have any questions about donating, please contact Deb Brewer, NCCC Foundation Director, at found@niagaracc.suny.edu.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and continued support of NCCC as we work together to ensure the safety and well-being of our Thunderwolves!


Media Contact Information

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

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.”