Jefferson Community College (JCC) is pleased to announce that five members of the College’s faculty and staff were named recipients of the prestigious 2020 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The Chancellor’s Awards recognize extraordinary achievement and encourage the continuation of excellence. Bruce F. Alexander, Dexter, Director of Administrative Services, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Venkat Chebolu, Watertown, Professor of Chemistry, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Susan M. Hughes, Watertown, Building Maintenance Mechanic, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service; Ilka Luyt, Battersea, Ontario, Adjunct Instructor of English, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching; and Dawn M. Robinson, Evans Mills, Assistant Professor of Business, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
Bruce Alexander joined Jefferson as the director of administrative services in 2012. Alexander effectively manages projects with environmental and financial sustainability in mind. He was instrumental in successful grant applications to NYSERDA and NYSDEC. Despite campus expansion between 2013 and 2017, energy consumption decreased by nearly 30% through his energy efficiency initiatives, including the installation of the College’s innovative ice chiller system. As co-director of the JCC EverGREEN Committee, Alexander plans the College’s Earth Week activities and collaborates with community partners on events, oversees the College’s community vegetable garden, and developed six pollinator gardens on campus that serve a dual educational purpose. He is a Certified Director of Facilities by the NYS Association of Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds, and a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Certification Institute. He holds an associate degree in mechanical plant technology from Empire State College and a bachelor’s degree in facilities management from Brigham Young University.
Venkat Chebolu joined the faculty at Jefferson in 1993 as a chemistry instructor, earning the rank of full professor in 2007. Chebolu excels as educator, master teacher, knowledgeable and dedicated academic advisor, and enthusiastic advocate for his discipline. He teaches both introductory and upper level chemistry courses, and he was among the first to integrate technology and develop an online laboratory science course at Jefferson. Chebolu serves as an ambassador of science to the local community, especially area K-12 schools, and as a mentor for new instructors at the College. He is a key organizer of Jefferson’s annual Super Science Saturday event and, for more than 20 years, has organized national chemistry week activities that culminate each year with a student chemistry magic show. Dr. Chebolu holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Bombay, a Master of Science degree in analytical and environmental chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology and his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from SUNY Stony Brook.
Susan Hughes first joined the facilities department at Jefferson in 2005 as a cleaner, advancing to the position of building maintenance mechanic in 2017. Hughes’ work ethic is stellar. She is dependable, creative, and flexible while consistently demonstrating willingness to take on new challenges. She embraces new learning opportunities, often developing cost-effective solutions to problems. She serves as the campus locksmith and is only staff member on campus to be certified as a NYS DEC Pesticide Applicator. As a member of the campus community and Educational Support Professionals (ESP), she is actively engaged. She has served on the nominating, grievance and negotiations committees of the ESP, contributing innovative and insightful ideas for collaboration. Recently, Hughes was appointed to a two-year term on the College Recognition Committee.
Dr. Ilka Luyt has served as an adjunct instructor of English at Jefferson since 2005. She has taught a variety of literature and composition courses nearly every semester over the last fifteen years, in both online and in person formats. Luyt uses a varied approach to teaching and consistently updates assignments and in-class activities to reflect current events. She is an expert in online pedagogy and regularly presents at academic conferences and publishes on the subjects of online learning and equity of opportunity. Luyt holds a master of arts from the City University of New York, along with a master of education and doctorate in education from Queen’s University.
Dawn Robinson joined the faculty at Jefferson in 2011. An outstanding instructor and campus leader, Robinson became chair of the Business Department in 2018 and is active in a broad array of activities within the College community and the community-at-large. Her service to the College is exemplary. She chaired the search for the Small Business Development Center Director, serves as an engagement champion for the Center for Professional Excellence and served as faculty advisor to the Business/HAT Club. She was instrumental in the development of two new degree programs and, under her leadership as liaison, enrollment in Jefferson’s joint admission business program with SUNY Potsdam has grown exponentially. Additionally, Robinson has worked alongside SUNY Potsdam colleagues to develop the innovative Portugal Exchange program. She is on the committee to plan the College’s Professional Development Day and the student-focused Business and Leadership Symposium. She holds an Associate of Applied Science degree from Jefferson, Bachelor of Science degree in education from Nazareth College, and Master of Science in education 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 114 Awards for Excellence have been bestowed upon members of the Jefferson Community College faculty and staff.