Combined 2020-2021 Recognition Ceremony Held Remotely
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Combined 2020-2021 Recognition Ceremony Held Remotely

Published: June 02, 2021

A combined 2020-2021 Jefferson Community College Annual Recognition Ceremony was held on Friday, May 7, 2021 virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The College observed the retirement of twenty (20) faculty and staff, three (3) newly appointed emeritus, honored those for milestone years of service to the College, continuing appointments, promotions, sabbaticals and announced Spirit of Jefferson Award winners. 

The Spirit of Jefferson Award, established in 2011, recognizes a campus team that exemplifies cooperative effort and achieves exemplary results. The 2020 Spirit of Jefferson Award was bestowed to the JCC campus community who demonstrated creativity, compassion and dedication to students when instruction was moved quickly in the middle of spring semester 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 Spirit of Jefferson Award was bestowed to the College’s food pantry. The food pantry, primarily intended for JCC students, became an even bigger asset to the community during the coronavirus pandemic. JCC partnered with several community organizations and Governor Cuomo’s Nourish NY initiative to host large community food distributions, each one serving 500 or more families with some having more than 1000 vehicles on campus. Additionally, the food pantry became an affiliate pantry of the Food Bank of Central New York and provided 50 Thanksgiving dinner baskets to students and their families. 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), the JCC Facilities Team (2018), and the JCC National Endowment for the Humanities Grant team (2019). 

Retirees are Bruce F. Alexander, Dexter, director of administrative services; Rosemarie Bowers, Watertown, library automation coordinator;  Melody A. Brenon, Dexter, typist; Joanna B. Chrzanowski, Punta Gorda, Florida, professor of English; Rosemary C. Deusser-Jensen, Watertown, professor of humanities; Linda C. Dittrich, Watertown, associate vice president; Thomas J. Finch, Saranac Lake, vice president of academic affairs; Gwendolyn Francis-Frey, Clinton, associate professor of early childhood; Brenda J. Hatch, Henderson, senior stenographer; Constance A. Holberg, Watertown, librarian; CJ Jackson, Watertown, assistant professor of computer science; Laurie La Mora, Clayton, senior secretary; Monica G. LeClerc, Alexandria Bay, professor of biology; Kathleen A. Morris, Alexandria Bay, director of community services; Rebecca S. Riehm, Sandy Creek, professor of social science; Sarah C. O'Connell, Glen Park, small business advisor; Julie R. Soule, Lacona, associate professor of nursing (retires in July 2021); Allen J. Speno, Chaumont, director of TRiO support services; Sheree A. Trainham, Chaumont, director of learning skills; Alexander "Pope" Vickers, Watertown, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism. 

Retirees receiving Emeritus Designation are:  

Karen A. Carr, Greenville, North Carolina, Assistant to the President Emerita; retired in 2015 after 25 years of service to the College. Carr holds the unique distinction of managing the office for four of the College’s six presidents during her tenure at Jefferson. Her sound guidance, leadership, creativity, and institutional knowledge were exemplary. She served on the President’s Cabinet, Middle States Accreditation workgroups, and a multitude of committees and task forces in almost all facets of the College. Carr played an important role in planning several significant events within the College’s history including three presidential searches and inaugurations, the capital “Campaign for Jefferson”, the College’s 50th anniversary celebration, and the Fort Drum Community Rally held on campus. Additionally, for many years, she expertly coordinated the College’s most important celebration for students and their families – commencement. Carr was recognized by SUNY in 1998 with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and by the College’s Alumni Association in 2011 with the Jeffersonian Award.

Joanna B. Chrzanowski, Punta Gorda, Florida, Professor Emerita; retired in 2019 after 40 years of service to the College. Chrzanowski, distinguished herself as a master teacher, with her student-centered approach, innovative instructional techniques, and use of technology challenged students to excel and provided them with the tools and the inspiration to succeed both academically and personally. She was recognized as Outstanding Faculty Member from JCC’s Tau Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, as Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association of Two-Year Colleges and with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by the State University of New York (SUNY). In 2013, she received the highest faculty honor that can be bestowed by the SUNY Board of Trustees - the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. She is one of only four faculty members at Jefferson to hold this prestigious honor.

Michelle D. Pfaff, Dexter, Trustee Emerita; retired in 2016 after 17 years of service to the College. Pfaff provided leadership during multiple terms as vice chair and chair of the JCC Board of Trustees, and as committee chair for the Budget & Planning, Academic and Educational Services and Personnel committees. She could always be counted on to be a vocal advocate for Jefferson Community College and for higher education overall. Pfaff’s guidance and business expertise were instrumental in advancing the College’s strategic plan, including the development of the Jefferson Higher Education Center, and construction of both the residence hall and the Collaborative Learning Center.  In addition, she was also a member of the JCC Foundation Board for 15 years and volunteered with many Mayor’s Balls, golf tournaments and phone-a-thons that created scholarship opportunities that benefited JCC students.

Jefferson Community College recognized these current employees for combined 2020-2021 years of service:   

Five Years: Betsi L. Bentz, Watertown, Joshua P. Canale, Syracuse, Peter Crump, Carthage, Jessica Emerson, Watertown, Marylou C. Evans, Watertown, Matthew W. Gorman, Watertown, Kady L. Hoistion, Watertown, Terry R. Kinneer, Jr., Cape Vincent, Angel M. Lafountain, Copenhagen, Ellen R. Mathews, Carthage, Kimberly O'Brien, Watertown, Tyler Peterson, Watertown, Edward L. Smalls, Evans Mills, Megan A. Stadler, Watertown, Donna Yang, Cortland

Ten Years: Joshua D. Hammond, Watertown, Joshua J. Hollenbeck, Evans Mills, Stephanie Pierce, Watertown, Cynthia L. Sloan, Watertown

Fifteen Years: Peter Boenning, Watertown, Pamela J. Dixon, Redwood, Karen J. Freeman, Black River, Susan M. Hughes, Watertown, Jessica Jones, Sackets Harbor, Diana M. Marin, Sandy Creek, John A. Scovel, Adams, Lisa A. Shelmidine, Adams, Laura B. Young, Watertown

Twenty Years: David M. Bowhall, Watertown, Dean R. Dyer, Adams, Renee L. Elliott, Lowville, Eleanor J. Minnick, Calcium, Thomas N. Moran, Evans Mills, Heather D. Natali, Evans Mills, Sarah O’Connell, Glen Park, Amy O’Donnell, Watertown, CJ Southworth, Watertown, John A. Trumbell, Watertown, Todd C. Vincent, Adams Center, Terri L. Weller, Watertown

Twenty-Five Years: Lucinda D. Barbour, Adams Center, Tina M. Bartlett-Bearup, Redwood, Timothy F. Grosse, Watertown, Joel J. McCune, Henderson Harbor, Mark C. Streiff, Evans Mills, Randy L. Tripp, Copenhagen

Thirty Years: Ronald Palmer, Black River, Rebecca S. Riehm, Sandy Creek, Kimberly G. Sell, Theresa, Irene S. Wilder, Copenhagen, Kerry A. Young, Watertown, 

Thirty-Five Years: Joel F. LaLone, Watertown

Forty Years: Joanna B. Chrzanowski, Punta Gorda, Florida 



Story by:

Pamela Dixon

Additional Information:

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

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