Five Employees Chosen for 2022 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence
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Five Employees Chosen for 2022 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

Published: June 07, 2022

Jefferson Community College (JCC) is pleased to announce that five members of the College’s faculty and staff were honored as recipients of the 2022 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The Chancellor’s Awards recognize extraordinary achievement and encourage the continuation of excellence.

  • Jerilyn E. Fairman, Watertown, Associate Vice President, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service
  • Jessica Leigh Jones, Brownville, Typist, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service
  • Jessica Lydia Jones, Cape Vincent, Adjunct Instructor, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
  • Heather N. O’Brien, Chaumont, Associate Professor, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
  • Irene S. Wilder, Copenhagen, Assistant Professor, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Chancellor’s Award honorees were bestowed their medallions by Jefferson President Ty A. Stone at the College’s Recognition Celebration held on May 6, 2022. 

Jerilyn Fairman joined the JCC full-time faculty in 1989 as a math instructor and over the course of her 33-year career advanced to the position of Associate Vice President that she serves today. Dedicated to giving 100% to fulfill the mission and vision of Jefferson Community College, Fairman epitomizes the “students first” approach and advocates for student success. She is a leader in assessment, Guided Pathways, general education, developmental education and distance learning. She served as the College’s Title IX coordinator for many years and has taken on the role of Accreditation Liaison Officer as the College embarks on the self-study process for its next accreditation visit in 2024. Fairman is a frequent presenter at Jefferson’s Center for Professional Excellence, a mentor to new faculty, a member of the Chaos Crew helping new students move into the residence hall, and participant in Mathematics Awareness Week, just to name a few. Fairman uses her knowledge of the College to keep the institution moving forward, training new administration and implementing changes for the betterment of the College. Fairman is tremendously supportive of faculty who seek to make changes to courses, programs, and other areas that will result in a net gain for students. Fairman holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from SUNY Albany.  

Jessica Leigh Jones, a JCC alumna, joined Jefferson’s classified staff in 2006 as a typist. Jones embraces new tasks enthusiastically, most recently taking on data collection for SUNY General Education assessments and improving the current system to be more efficient. She assists with the annual publication of the College’s Black River Review and helps organize the annual North Country Writer’s Contest. Three years ago, she volunteered to transform all of the Black River Review submissions to be web-ready, a task she recently adapted for the North Country Writer’s Contest when the pandemic forced the event to become virtual. Jones lends her considerable musical talent as a member of the Faculty-Staff Choir and readily stepped up to record the National Anthem and alma mater solo for the College’s virtual commencement ceremonies. She volunteers with the College’s Food Pantry and is a valued contributor on the Recognition Celebration Committee.  

Jessica Lydia Jones began teaching biology as an adjunct instructor at JCC in 2004 and has faithfully taught as many as three courses each semester ever since, oftentimes teaching during summer and winter sessions as well. She holds regular office hours and, during times when the College was fully remote, Jones met with students and provided extra help via Zoom. She is currently developing an Open Educational Resource (freely accessible) textbook for BIO 106 in an effort to help students financially while maintaining her high standards for the course and materials. Through her involvement with Jefferson’s Center for Professional Excellence, Jones shares her expertise and provides professional development opportunities to her peers on campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego and a master’s of science in teaching degree from SUNY Potsdam. 

Heather O’Brien joined the full-time math faculty at JCC in 2004 and during her 18-year tenure has gained the recognition as a master mathematics teacher known for her innovation and commitment to the campus community. In 2014, she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Focused on continuous improvement and student success, O’Brien is a leader on this campus in many areas including professional development, Guided Pathways, advising and technology integration. She is a primary contributor to the College’s Center for Professional Excellence (CPE), serving as committee co-chair and co-facilitator of the Summer Institute. O’Brien collaborated with the early childhood department to embed math concepts into the early childhood curriculum in an effort to improve student success. More recently, she helped develop and delivered pedagogy training to local K-12 teachers through the Jefferson-Lewis Teacher’s Center. She is a member of numerous campus governance committees and volunteers with events such as Super Science Saturday and Mathematics Awareness Week. She holds an associate’s degree from JCC, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia, and a master’s degree from SUNY Potsdam. 

Irene Wilder, a JCC alumna, has been a full-time business instructor at JCC since 2013, but her 32-year career with Jefferson started in 1991 as a member of the support staff for the (then) Liberal Arts Division. As she continued along her educational path, Wilder took on a professional staff position within the instructional technology department and later began teaching at Jefferson and SUNY Potsdam as an adjunct. Wilder creates valuable experiential learning and networking opportunities for students. She is advisor to Sports Management majors, co-advisor to the Business Leadership and Career Skills Club and was instrumental in establishing Jefferson’s chapter of the Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Society, of which she is also advisor. Outside the classroom, she serves on numerous campus committees including the Guided Pathways Steering Committee and Strategic Plan Steering Committee. She holds an associate’s degree in office technology/word processing and an associate’s degree in liberal arts from JCC, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire and a master’s of science in teaching degree from SUNY Potsdam. 

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 119 Awards for Excellence have been bestowed upon members of the Jefferson Community College faculty and staff.  

Image of Chancellor's Award Winners
(l-r) Jerilyn E. Fairman, Associate Vice President, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Heather N. O’Brien, Associate Professor, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Irene S. Wilder, Assistant Professor, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Jessica Leigh Jones, Typist, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Unavailable at time of photo: Jessica Lydia Jones, Adjunct Instructor, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.

Topics:

news

Story by:

Pamela Dixon

Additional Information:

Public Relations Department, Jefferson Community College, (315) 786-2392, Email Public Relations

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