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Jefferson Community College Website


John F. Penrose, Professor of Chemistry
Chair, Laboratory Sciences Department
B.S., M.S.
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1995)
Chancellor's Award for Faculty Service (2014)
SUNY Distinguished Service Professorship (2017)

Mr. Penrose has dedicated 45 years of his life to the teaching profession. His greatest enjoyment as a professional emanates from seeing his students develop from their freshman semesters to Jefferson graduates. A graduate of LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY and Fresno State College, Fresno, CA, Mr. Penrose became interested in chemistry as a high school student and expanded his interest at the college level. During his tenure at Jefferson he has taught Introductory, General, Organic and Analytical chemistry classes. Mr. Penrose also serves as a consultant to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the American Chemical Society for developing examinations for those groups.

Mr. Penrose’s interests outside the College include working on his camp in Keene Valley, NY, traveling, and enjoying outside recreational activities.


Venkat Chebolu, Professor of Chemistry
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Chebolu grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai) India. His love for chemistry started during his freshman year in chemistry at Parle College, University of Bombay. The lab activities were so interesting to him that after a three hour lab, he could not wait to complete his lab reports. Following the completion of a B.S. degree in chemistry, he pursued a M.S. degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and then completed a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from SUNY at Stony Brook. After three years of postdoctoral research at The Pennsylvania State University, Venkat pursued a full time teaching career and began his tenure at Jefferson in 1993. Venkat enjoys showing the fun in chemistry to everyone interested. He currently teaches Introductory, General and Organic chemistry classes.
Mark IrwinMark Irwin

Mark D. Irwin, Associate Professor of Biology
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities (2012)

Dr. Irwin is a licensed veterinarian with a long-standing interest in zoo animal care and management.  He grew up on a dairy farm near Uxbridge, ON, Canada and began his zoo career began with an animal care student position at The Toronto Zoo. He completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, ON and has traveled within North America and to Africa and Asia in pursuit of his passion for wildlife and zoo animal management.  He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois and UC Davis' Envirovet Summer Institute (2007) and has worked on farms, in several private and AZA accredited zoos, and in private pet/exotic/zoo animal veterinary practice.  He has served as associate veterinarian at North Country Animal Health Center and as Director of Collections & Conservation at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.  Mark currently serves as Zoo Technology Program Director at Jefferson and teaches a variety of zoo related courses.  He maintains active membership in zoo associations (AZA, AAZK, AAZV), the Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Society and is lead volume editor of the textbook Zookeeping: An Introduction to the Science and Technology (2013, University of Chicago Press). 

Bill McMahon, Laboratory Technician
A.S., A.A.S.
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service (2015)

Mr. McMahon oversees the management of the biology and chemistry stockrooms. He is responsible for the preparation of materials and the maintenance of apparatus for all biology and chemistry laboratory offerings. Upon graduation from Carthage Central School, he obtained an A.S. degree from Jefferson and then an A.A.S. degree in forest technology from SUNY ESF Ranger School in Wanakena. He has since furthered his education in the areas of chemistry and microbiology. Mr. McMahon is also a member of the College’s Safety Committee and is a designated safety officer. He has previous work experience as a field technician for the natural resources branch of the environmental division at Fort Drum.  He has also worked in land surveying, timber harvesting and forest management.  Mr. McMahon thoroughly enjoys fishing (catch and release), hunting, camping and woodworking. He is an avid outdoorsman and has developed a true love for nature.

Monica LeClerc, Professor of Biology
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. LeClerc grew up in Connecticut where she developed an early interest in observing birds. She attended the University of Connecticut, earning a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation. She earned an M.S. in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Brigham Young University in Utah. Monica's research was in the area of avian ecology. Some of her recreational activities are birdwatching, hiking, and knitting. Previous employment experience includes field research, farm work, environmental education, and teaching. Monica teaches Principles of Biology I & II, vertebrate biology, ecology and science 199 at JCC.
Dr. Todd VincentDr. Todd Vincent

Todd Vincent, Professor of Biology
B.S., Ph.D.
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017)

Dr. Vincent is from Randolph, New York, and enjoyed a rural upbringing that fostered a love of nature from an early age. After graduating from Randolph Central School he attended Hiram College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Upon graduation he received an invitation to enter the Doctoral Program of the Department of Zoology at the University of Tennessee, where he began conducting research on the behavioral ecology of the green anole, Anolis carolinensis. Ultimately he earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with research emphases on lizard community ecology, invasive species ecology, and lizard reproductive physiology. His main hobbies are gardening, home improvement, and keeping up with his two boys. Todd teaches Anatomy and Physiology I & II, ZooTechnology seminars, general biology, and vertebrate biology at JCC.
Michael GugaMichael Guga

Michael Guga, Instructor of Biology
M.S. Ed

Mr. Guga started teaching at Jefferson part time in 2006. He enjoys teaching and learning. Mike believes that teaching is one of the best careers that a person can have. Mike thrives on preparing students to reach their goals, and enjoys meeting new people in a safe learning environment. “One of the biggest kicks I get out of teaching is hearing from our former students……the feedback that Jefferson prepared them well for their transfer school (or their career) is empowering.  I reinforce to the students that – You are your biggest investment”.  Mr. Guga joined the full-time biology faculty in 2016.  Mike currently teaches Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Survey of Anatomy and Physiology.

Oliver G. Youst, Associate Professor of Physics
B.A., M.S.

Mr. Youst has been a faculty member at JCC since 1999. He teaches courses in the Math/ Science and the Engineering curricula. These courses include general physics, engineering physics, electrical circuits and a design and build class. He is also actively involved in the engineering club where he advises students in building robots for state and national competitions. He received a B.A. and an M.S. in Physics at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.

Michael J. Babcock, Associate Professor of Chemistry
B.S., M.S.

Mr. Babcock is a native of northern New York State. After graduating from South Jefferson Central School he attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Upon graduation he received an invitation to enter the Chemistry Program at Syracuse University, where he earned a Master of Science in Physical Chemistry. His interest in the sciences was fostered by his parents (had his first telescope at age 8 and chemistry set at age 10) and by a wonderful high school chemistry and physics teacher. His graduate research involved kinetic studies in membrane mimetic chemistry using colloidal semiconductors to initiate polymer formation and artificial photosynthesis. His main hobbies are photography, most any technology, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, and traveling. Michael teaches introductory and general chemistry I & II, physical science and physics at JCC.

Kathy Flanders, Laboratory Assistant
B.S., M.S.

Kathy Flanders was born in the great state of Vermont and received a B.S and M.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Vermont. She worked as a research technician for UVM in Food Microbiology until moving to Clayton in 1994. Since moving to NY, Kathy has worked at area hospitals in the laboratory and taught Medical Technology courses at SUNY Canton. Several years ago, she began her relationship with JCC by teaching Microbiology as an adjunct faculty member. She expanded her role at JCC in 2008, by taking a Laboratory Assistant position in the Science Dept.. Kathy currently enjoys the St. Lawrence River with her husband, David, and their two children, Dana and Kellen.

Gerald Zoanetti, Assistant Professor of Biology
A.A.S., B.S., M.S.T.

Mr. Zoanetti started his academic career earning a Laboratory Science Degree at Jefferson Community College.  He later earned a Baccalaureate of Science in Biology at the State University of New York at Oswego.  While there he participated in a small mammals population study focusing on Blarina brevicauda investigating high mortality in Sherman Live Traps subsequently presenting his findings to the University and having his data used in a presentation for the American Society of Mammalogists. Gerry began as an adjunct instructor at Jefferson Community College in 2003.   He currently teaches Human Biology, Introduction to Biology I & II as well as Anatomy & Physiology I & II and has since earned an MST/Biology from the State University at Potsdam. 

Jeffrey S. Kiggins, Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S., M.S.

Mr. Kiggins is a Lewis county native.  He grew up in Harrisville, NY and attended SUNY Brockport. He served a brief time in the Army and Army National Guard as an Infantryman and Combat Air Assault Infantry Officer.  Jeff spent 2004 in Balad and Samarra, Iraq.  Mr. Kiggins has a Master’s in Molecular Biology and certifications in Medical Laboratory Science with a Specialist in Clinical Chemistry.  He maintains his certifications and licensures and occasionally works per diem in the Clinical Laboratory field.  His hobbies are hunting, 4-wheeling and motorcycle riding.  He rides for the American Legion Riders. Jeff is a Life Member of the VFW, American Legion and 1st Infantry Division Society. He is also an annual member of AUSA.  Jeff currently teaches Anatomy and Physiology I & II, microbiology, and genetics.

Christina Ebey, Assistant Professor of Geology
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Chris Ebey grew up in and near Chicago, IL. She received her BS in mathematics and MS in geology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She then went on to complete a PhD in Denmark, staying another two years to complete a research position. She has done research in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and the USA and has given lectures on three continents. She currently teaches geology at JCC. In addition to hiking and running, she still researches invertebrates and trace fossils.
Nichole McDonaldNichole McDonald

Nichole McDonald, Laboratory Assistant
A.S. A.A.S.

Nichole McDonald is a Watertown native and alumni of the JCC Math/Science and Hospitality programs.  In 2012, Nichole worked as a Wildlife Technician for the Fish and Wildlife Program on Fort Drum.  During this time, she was part of a 3-person team who initially documented spotted turtles inhabiting the installation.  Nichole began at JCC in 2015 as an Adjunct Instructor for the Hospitality Program.  In 2017, she expanded her role on campus as a Laboratory Assistant for the Science Department. Nichole is passionate about field biology and hopes to further her skills and education in the years to come.  When not at work, Nichole enjoys camping, fishing, hiking and spending time outside in nature with her husband and children.