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Six Jefferson Community College Faculty/Staff Receive 2017 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

FS Chancellor Awards 2017: FS Chancellor Awards 2017FS Chancellor Awards 2017: FS Chancellor Awards 2017 














Pictured with Board Chair, Terry N. Fralick  (left) and College president Carole A. McCoy (left) are: Todd C. Vincent, Lori A. Tuttle,Christine M. Grimes Topping, Eleanor J. Minnick, Gwendolyn Francis-Frey and Allen J. Speno.


Jefferson Community College is pleased to announce that six members of the College’s faculty and staff were honored as recipients of the 2017 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.  The Chancellor’s Awards recognize extraordinary achievement and encourage the continuation of excellence.  Gwendolyn Francis-Frey of Clinton, associate professor of early childhood, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Christine M. Grimes Topping of Sackets Harbor, assistant professor of English, received the Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Eleanor J. Minnick of Calcium, secretary, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service;  Allen J. Speno of Chaumont, retention specialist, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Lori A. Tuttle of Theresa, adjunct sociology instructor, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching; and Todd C. Vincent of Adams Center, professor of biology, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Chancellor’s Award honorees were bestowed their medallions by Jefferson President Carole A. McCoy at the College’s Recognition Celebration held on May 5, 2017.

Gwendolyn Francis-Frey joined Jefferson’s full-time faculty in 1995 and during her 22-year tenure has proved to be a master teacher and leader on campus. She serves many leadership roles including chair of the early childhood/human services/chemical dependency department, Liberal Arts Division representative on the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors, and chair of the early childhood program review committee. She was integral in developing partnerships with four-year institutions to bring bachelor’s completion programs in early childhood and social work to Jefferson’s campus through the Jefferson Higher Education Center. Francis-Frey frequently shares her expertise with BOCES, local school districts and Head Start programs. For the National Association for the Education of Young Children, she is an accreditation validator and portfolio reviewer for the childhood administrator credential. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education from Elmira College.

Dr. Christine M. Grimes Topping joined the full-time faculty of Jefferson in 2007. Her dedication to enhancing the learning experience for students is evident in her work as coordinator of the Honors Program, organizer of the annual North Country Writers Festival, member of the academic standards committee, and co-advisor of the writing club. She developed and implemented a one-of-a-kind excursion course that took English 102 students on a literary and historical tour of New Orleans. An accomplished writer, Dr. Grimes Topping has garnered much recognition from her peers and Black Lawrence Press has named her as a finalist and semifinalist in the St. Lawrence Book Awards. She often presents creative writing workshops for local community organizations. She holds a bachelor’s in business administration and English from Regis University, a master’s in English from Florida State University, a master’s in fine arts in English from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University.

Eleanor J. Minnick joined Jefferson in 2001 and serves as secretary to the Math, Science, Health, Technology and Business Division. During her 16-year tenure, she continually demonstrates the highest levels of professionalism, skill in dealing with all types of people and situations, and the ability to communicate effectively. Minnick’s knowledge of the institution, various technologies and degree requirements is extensive and as a result, she is the go-to person for faculty and students in the Division. She takes on new tasks enthusiastically, balances competing priorities with ease and always produces the highest quality of work. She frequently volunteers for committee service and has served on the Recognition Celebration Committee, assisted with Commencement and served in a variety of roles with the Educational Support Professionals union. Currently, Minnick is a member of the Faculty-Student Association Board of Directors.

Allen J. Speno is a retention specialist for the College’s Strategies to Achieve Results (STAR)/TRiO program. His friendly, approachable demeanor and students-first focus helps him connect with students in ways that help them overcome obstacles and succeed. Speno has been a member of Jefferson’s Judicial Board of Review since 2007 and has served as a crisis support counselor since 2009. Whether advising students academically or providing an ear and open mind, he always has the best interest of students at heart. Speno is an integral part of Completion Week activities, speaks at New Student Day events, coordinates exam jams, and is a team leader for the Chaos Patrol that welcomes students to East Hall. He was a member of the planning committee that brought the residence life experience to Jefferson. He has served as advisor to Student Government, developed academic intervention workshops, teaches two courses and shares his expertise with colleagues on the Transfer Advisory Council, Campus Life Committee and Senate Nominating Committee. He holds an associate’s degree from Dean College and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland.

Lori A. Tuttle has taught introductory and upper-level social sciences courses for nearly every semester since 2008. In addition to teaching in a traditional brick and mortar environment, Tuttle instructs via interactive television and online utilizing an effective combination of lecture and interactive elements. She embraces technology and incorporates it within her classroom lectures. Tuttle is lauded for her ability to connect with students. She adapts accordingly to the diverse levels of life experiences and academic abilities of her students. Student evaluations steadily rate Lori at the highest levels for her preparedness, quality of instruction, classroom demeanor and receptiveness to questions and ideas. She has published several articles while maintaining her teaching schedule at the College. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology from SUNY Potsdam and a master’s in sociology from the University of Akron.

Dr. Todd C. Vincent joined the full-time science faculty at JCC in 2000 and teaches a broad range of biology coursework and instructs the animal management seminars for zoo technology students. He is an effective teacher to students at all levels of learning abilities and varies his teaching techniques to provide his students with the best learning experience whether in lecture or laboratory setting. He is highly respected as a master teacher by his colleagues and student evaluations consistently note his effective teaching skills, generosity with time and thorough explanation of classroom materials. Dr. Vincent has served as president of the College Senate, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, member of the Judicial Board of Review, and member of both Strategic Planning and Advising Center Advisory committees. Currently, he serves as a CSTEP faculty mentor assisting students preparing for a career in mathematics, science, technology, health-related fields and licensed professions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Hiram College and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Each year, the State University of New York recognizes outstanding members of the faculty and staff across the entire 64-campus university system with prestigious Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.  Over the years, a total of 94 Awards for Excellence have been bestowed upon members of the Jefferson Community College faculty and staff. 

“The many faculty and staff honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best of our best, having ensured student success as they educate and mentor students with innovative approaches to academic instruction, infuse curricula with applied learning opportunities, adapt best practices from throughout SUNY, and much more,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “It is an honor to recognize the excellent work of Jefferson Community College’s faculty and staff and that of their colleagues across SUNY. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients."