Six at MVCC receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

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UTICA — Several Mohawk Valley Community College faculty and staff members received the prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence, system-wide recognition of their consistently exceptional professional achievement, according to an announcement on Friday by the college.

The award recipients include:

• Aaron Fried, associate professor and coordinator of academic program development, received the Excellence in Faculty Service Award. Fried, who has been with MVCC since 2010, teaches Anatomy and Physiology in the College’s School of STEM, with an unwavering commitment to equity and educational excellence. He has consistently demonstrated innovation and initiative to improve efficiency and productivity in the classroom. He also leads and supports College-wide initiatives that will help to shape the future of MVCC. Through his work with the College-Wide Curriculum Committee and the Guided Pathways initiative, Fried has developed and encouraged stronger connections and partnerships within the College.

• Christine Miller, a professor, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Miller, whose tenure dates back to 1994, teaches photography in MVCC’s School of Art. She is deeply dedicated to her students, her colleagues, and her craft. Miller’s exceptional commitment to equity in the classroom provides her peers with a model for aspirational pedagogical techniques. Serving as the chair of Faculty Caucus, Miller has proven to be an invaluable asset with her energy, inspiration, and a collaborative mindset. She also serves as co-coordinator of the Employee Enrichment Program, designing and implementing New Faculty and Employee Enrichment Institutes.

• Musco Millner, an adjunct instructor, received the Excellence in Adjunct Teaching Award. Millner, who has been with the College since 2011, teaches primarily in the School of STEM, but has also taught courses in the School of Public and Human Services. He is committed to service leadership, collaboration with students and colleagues, and is always willing to lead by example. Millner motivates his students by infusing his own life experiences, including his career with the New York State Troopers, into the classroom with powerful presentations and thought-provoking discussions.

• Deanna Ferro-Aurience, director of development in the Office of Institutional Advancement, received the Excellence in Professional Service Award. Ferro-Aurience, who has been with MVCC since 2011, consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to her colleagues and the greater community. She oversees the everyday operation and long-term strategic planning for development efforts at the College and managing several grants for MVCC’s thINCubator. Ferro-Aurience is a sought-after colleague, recognized by her peers as meticulous and thorough, and one who can be depended on to go above and beyond all expectations.

• James “Jim” Myers, coordinator of research and analysis, also received the Excellence in Professional Service Award. Myers’ 30-year tenure at MVCC began as an employee in the Facilities and Operations Department. He has steadily risen through the ranks, allowing him to build a rich institutional knowledge that has positioned him well for his current role. Known as a reliable, methodical, and driven colleague, Myers is involved with College-wide initiatives that require a deeper look at data that sometimes reveal institutional gaps. He consistently offers appropriate prompts that help navigate challenging conversations, earning him the respect of his peers.

• Sgt. Ryan Barsuch received the Excellence in Classified Service Award. Barsuch, who has been with MVCC’s Department of Public Safety for six years, has become the “go-to” officer within the department and at the College. He works tirelessly for the good of his colleagues and MVCC students. He is respected for his genuine compassion for those he serves, consistently seeking to understand rather than pass judgment. Barsuch has shown great a commitment to service leadership and a history of respect and professionalism when dealing with stressful and sometimes emotionally charged situations.

The SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses.

Mohawk Valley Community College, established in 1946, is New York State’s first community college with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. As the community’s college, MVCC is committed to student success through partnerships, transfer and career pathways, and personal enrichment. With campuses in Utica and Rome, MVCC is the region’s primary provider of college education, offering 90 degree and certificate options for its enrollment of 6,000 full- and part-time students. MVCC also serves an additional 6,000 people through its corporate and community education programs, and its campuses welcome more than 50,000 people annually for community events.

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