Jefferson Community College (JCC) observed the retirement of seven faculty and staff, seven newly appointed emeriti, honored those for milestone years of service to the College and bestowed the Spirit of Jefferson Award at its annual Recognition Celebration held on Friday, May 3, 2019. Combined years of service to the College total 580.
The Spirit of Jefferson Award, established in 2011, recognizes a campus team that exemplifies cooperative effort and achieves exemplary results. The 2019 Spirit of Jefferson Award was presented to the JCC National Endowment for the Humanities Grant team who worked diligently to develop the grant application as well as create and teach a course for veteran students titled Dialogues of Honor and Sacrifice: Soldiers’ Experiences in the Civil War and Vietnam War. A print article on the program at JCC was included in the winter 2019 issue of Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The first cohort of veteran students numbered 15. The next cohort will begin the program in Fall 2019. Past recipients of the Spirit of Jefferson Award include the JCC Women’s Organization (2011), Science Division ~ Super Science Saturday (2012), Library Learning Center (2013), JCC Relay for Life (2014), EverGREEN Committee (2015), North Country Community Cup Team (2016), Chaos Patrol (2017) and the JCC Facilities Team (2018).
Michael J. Burns, of Watertown, joined the College in 1996 as assistant director of admissions and
financial aid and retired in February 2019 from the position of director of new student
advising. During his tenure at the College, Burns helped to expand and strengthen
the role of the Academic Advising Center and contributed to the planning and implementation
of the one-stop enrollment services center. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award
for Excellence in Professional Service in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree from
St. Lawrence University and a master’s degree from Syracuse University. He served
the College 23 years.
James A. Buyea, of Dexter, joined Jefferson in 2013 as the College’s chief information officer. He retired in September 2018. During his tenure, Buyea’s technical expertise was instrumental in the launch of Jefferson’s residential life initiative, construction of the state-of-the-art Deans Collaborative Learning Center and launch of the CBORD system, a web-based software program that integrates housing, foodservice and retail into a singular campus card system. He holds an associate degree from SUNY Morrisville, along with a bachelor’s degree and a master of science degree both from the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome. He served the College 5 years.
Eric F. Constance, of Sackets Harbor, joined Jefferson in 1997 as a part-time business advisor in the NYS Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on campus, becoming a full-time certified business advisor in 1999. In 2000, Constance received the Business Advisor of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the NYS Small Business Administration. Just two years later, he was recognized again as second runner-up for Business Advisor of the Year, the same year he was promoted to director of the SBDC at Jefferson. Under his leadership, Jefferson’s SBDC expanded into Oswego and Lewis counties, increased support to Fort Drum retiree/entrepreneurs, and was named the National Excellence Award winner among 100 centers throughout the United States. Jefferson’s was the only SBDC in New York State to receive this honor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Columbus State University. After 20 years of service, Constance retired as director of the SBDC in March 2019.
John F. Penrose, of Watertown, joined the College in 1979 as an assistant professor of chemistry.
During his 40-year tenure, Penrose achieved the rank of professor and it is from this
position he retired in May 2019. A master teacher, faculty mentor and respected leader
both on campus and among his SUNY peers, Penrose is one of only four faculty members
at Jefferson to hold the prestigious honor of SUNY Distinguished Service Professorship,
the highest faculty honor bestowed by SUNY. In addition to SUNY Distinguished Service
Professorship, Penrose received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
in 1995 and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in 2014.
Penrose twice co-chaired a Middle States Accreditation steering committee, co-chaired
a Capital Campaign, served as director of athletics and department chair of lab sciences,
coached the women’s basketball team, and served as assistant coach of the men’s basketball
team. He holds a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College and a master’s degree from
Fresno State College. He served the College 40 years.
Raymond E. Petersen, of Redwood, began employment at Jefferson in 1984 as an instructor of social science. He rose to the ranks of professor of political science and it is from this position he retired in May 2019. During his tenure, Petersen earned the SUNY Distinguished Professorship in 2012, the highest faculty honor bestowed by SUNY, and is one of only four faculty members at Jefferson to hold this prestigious honor. Petersen contributed to the development of the College’s Honors Program and Campus Care. He served as the director of the Center for Community Studies for five years. He is the founding advisor of student clubs POLIS, African-Latin Society, and Outlook. He holds four degrees in political science - a bachelor’s from SUNY Oswego, and two master’s and a doctoral degree from the City University of New York. He served the College 35 years.
Ronald G. Theobald, of Watertown, first served as an adjunct instructor at Jefferson before being hired as an instructor of human services in 2011. He is retiring in August 2019 from the position of assistant professor. During his time at Jefferson, Theobald was instrumental in the development of the College’s associate of applied science degree and one-year certificate programs in chemical dependency and the development of numerous courses for the human services, chemical dependency, criminal justice and homeland security curriculums. In 2018, he chaired the Criminal Justice Five Year Review. Theobald holds associate degrees from Jefferson Community College and Onondaga Community College, a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from SUNY Oswego and a doctor of psychology degree from Southern California University. He served the College 8 years.
Michael K. White, of Chaumont, joined the College in 1982 as an instructor. During his first year at Jefferson, Michael wrote the College’s computer science degree program with the assistance of their Division Chair Harold Shannon. In January 1989, he became the first coordinator of the math department and served in that role for two and a half years. In September 1991 he became the first chair of the math department serving in that capacity for the next five years. He worked with the Center for Community Studies and was a project director on multiple research studies for which he received an Outstanding Community Service Award in 2013. In 2010, White received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He holds an associate degree from Jamestown Community College, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany, and a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo. He retired in December 2018 after 36 years of service to the College.
Retirees Receiving Emeritus Designation:
Steven H. Brown, of Watertown, Learning Skills Specialist Emeritus; retired in 2011 after 26 years of service to the College. During his tenure, he was a key contributor to the College’s developmental education program and served as the Learning Skills Center supervisor during a time of transition. In addition to his work serving students, Brown was involved in a variety of initiatives across campus, earning him the Thomas W. Myers Award for Co-curricular Service. He served as an unofficial editor for several Middle States reports and the student newspaper, and was the primary editor of the Black River Review from the first edition through his retirement. An avid supporter of Jefferson athletics, he served as academic advisor for the men’s basketball team and was a frequent volunteer at games. He was inducted into the Cannoneer Hall of Fame in 2013. Brown received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2002.
Steven C. Haas, of Watertown, Trustee Emeritus; was appointed to the College Board of Trustees in 1987 and retired in March 2019 after more than three decades of service, making him the longest serving trustee in College history. He was a steadfast advocate for accessible higher education opportunities and a staunch advocate for Jefferson. Support of such initiatives as the College’s first capital campaign, Spirit of Jefferson, residential life, higher education partnerships, and the development of new educational facilities including the Deans Collaborative Learning Center was instrumental to the College’s continued growth. Throughout his tenure, Trustee Haas demonstrated leadership among his peers on the Board of Trustees and served with five of Jefferson’s six presidents.
Donald R. Johnson, of Watertown, Director of Military Programs Emeritus; retired in 2017 after 21 years of service to the College. He began his career as a continuing education coordinator at Fort Drum and served the College in a variety of roles including adjunct instructor, military student advisor, director of the Jefferson Community Orchestra and Wind Ensembles, and sang in the faculty/staff choir. Johnson was instrumental in the implementation of EArmyU and GoArmyEd programs and was a strong advocate for bringing a variety of enrollment services directly to Fort Drum for soldiers and their dependents. In 2014, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
John F. Penrose, of Watertown, Professor Emeritus; retired from Jefferson in May 2019 after 40 years of service to the College. During his tenure, Penrose served as co-chair of two Middle States accreditation steering committees, director of athletics, department chair of lab sciences, coach of the women’s basketball team, and president of both Senate and the Faculty Association. Penrose received SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 1995 and Excellence in Faculty Service in 2014. In 2017, Penrose earned a Distinguished Service Professorship, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Penrose is one of only four faculty members at Jefferson to hold this prestigious honor.
Raymond E. Petersen, of Redwood, Professor Emeritus; retired from Jefferson in May 2019 after 35 years of service to the College. During his 35-year tenure at Jefferson, Petersen played an integral role in campus governance, curriculum development, strategic planning efforts, the creation of the College’s Honors Program and the Center for Community Studies through its inception to time spent as Center director. He was the founding advisor of the several student clubs including POLIS, African-Latin Society and Outlook. For years, he coordinated trips to Washington D.C. so students could witness U.S. Government in action. In 2013, Petersen earned a Distinguished Service Professorship, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He is one of only four faculty members at Jefferson to hold this prestigious honor.
Suzanne W. Wadhams, of Penfield, College Service Emerita; retired in 2015 after 20 years of service to the College. As a systems analyst within the institutional technology department, her work remains part of the College in that she authored over 500 reports and interfaces, most of which are still utilized on campus today. Wadhams was integral to the success of the campus-wide Banner migration and implementation. She was an active member of the JCC Women’s Organization, Educational Support Professionals Association, and served on multiple search committees. In 2011, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.
Jefferson Community College recognized these current employees for years of service:
Five Years: Robin R. Booth of Cape Vincent, Shayne M. Edmonds of Copenhagen, Terrence H. Harris of Watertown, Kevin E. Hughes of Brownville, Shawn M. Maloney of Belleville, Chelsea R. Monroe of Watertown, Edie A. Roggie of Castorland, Kiah N. Sugrue of Chaumont
Ten Years: Andrew R. Burgess of Watertown, Racheal N. Chubb of Felts Mills, Wesley L. Hissong of Canton, Cynthia E. Lonsbary of Carthage, John S. Northrop of Watertown, Gina L. Reid of Adams Center, Brian S. Topping of Sackets Harbor, Brandi J. Williams of Adams
Fifteen Years: Mariya Clemons of Copenhagen, Kimberlee M. Mattraw of Chaumont, William L. McMahon of Carthage, Heather N. O’Brien of Chaumont, April L. Parris of Gouverneur, John J. Thomas of Dexter
Twenty Years: Joshua A. Dickinson of Harrisville, Linda C. Dittrich of Watertown, Constance A. Holberg of Watertown, Robyn M. Rhyner of Sackets Harbor, Oliver Youst of Watertown
Twenty-Five Years: Monica G. LeClerc of Alexandria Bay, Donna M. Stevenson of Chaumont, Suzanne M. VanEpps of Dexter
Thirty Years: Jack N. Donato of Watertown, Jerilyn E. Fairman of Watertown, Michele D. Gefell of Watertown, Donald J. Horton of Dexter
Thirty-Five Years: Raymond E. Petersen of Redwood
Forty Years: John F. Penrose of Watertown
(l-r) President Ty A. Stone, Trustee Vice Chair Judith L. Gentner, retiree Eric F. Constance of Sackets Harbor, retiree Michael K. White of Chaumont, retiree John F. Penrose of Watertown, and Trustee Chair Nathan P. Hunter. Retirees unavailable for photo: Michael J. Burns of Watertown, James A. Buyea of Dexter, Raymond E. Petersen of Redwood, and Ronald G. Theobald of Watertown.
(l-r) are President Ty A. Stone, Trustee Vice Chair Judith L. Gentner, Steven C. Haas of Watertown, Trustee Emeritus; Donald R. Johnson of Watertown, Director of Military Programs Emeritus; Suzanne W. Wadhams of Penfield, College Service Emerita; John F. Penrose of Watertown, Professor Emeritus; Steven H. Brown of Watertown, Learning Skills Specialist Emeritus and Trustee Chair Nathan P. Hunter. Unavailable for photo: Raymond E. Petersen of Redwood.
Monica G. LeClerc (left) of Alexandria Bay and Donna M. Stevenson of Chaumont. Unavailable for photo: Suzanne M. VanEpps of Dexter.
(l-r) Donald J. Horton of Dexter, Jack N. Donato of Watertown, Jerilyn E. Fairman of Watertown, and Michele D. Gefell of Watertown.
Pictured with President Ty A. Stone (first row, second from left) are first row (l-r) Constance A. Holberg of Watertown, Librarian, Lisa M. Scrivani-Tidd, of Alexandria Bay, Professor of Music, Joshua P. Canale of Syracuse, Instructor of History, Christine M. Grimes-Topping of Sackets Harbor, Associate Professor of English, Lucinda D. Barbour of Adams Center, Professor of Art, and Margot C. Jacoby of Copenhagen, Adjunct Instructor; back row (l-r) Ronald R. Palmer of Black River, Professor of History, Raymond E. Petersen of Redwood, Professor of Political Science, and Joshua A. Dickinson of Harrisville, Associate Professor of English. Unavailable for photo: Craig A. McNamara of Watertown, Coordinator of Veterans Services and Megan A. Stadler of Watertown, Director of Grants, Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness.