The truest measure of the success of Jefferson Community College lies in the many accomplishments of its alumni. Each year the Alumni Association celebrates the achievements of Jefferson alumni by honoring a select number of individuals who excel in their professional fields, exhibit early career successes, are positive role models for current students, demonstrate leadership and service to their communities, and bring honor and distinction to Jefferson through their professional and personal accomplishments.
The 2012 Distinguished Alumni were honored at a ceremony held at the Watertown Elks Lodge on August 9
Nathaniel J. Chapin, Class of `03, Dr. G. Nicholas Verne, Class of `83, and Dr. Marie A. Hess,
Class of `74
Nathaniel J. Chapin, Class of `03, Rising Star Award
Nate came to JCC at the age of 13 and immediately distinguished himself in the academic world. Home-schooled, he not only excelled in the Computer Science program, he also sought out co-curricular opportunities such as Student Government and Phi Theta Kappa, to help him develop a well-balanced education plan. He was awarded the Outstanding Mathematics Student award in 2003. At RPI, Nate earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science and was recruited by Google, joining them in May 2007. He was promoted to Senior Software Engineer this May, his second promotion in five years. In 2011, Nate published an article in the online Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence based on his master’s thesis work. Nate met his wife Karen at RPI and they married in 2009. They recently purchased a home in Mountain View, CA.
Dr. G. Nicholas Verne, Class of `83, Professional Achievement Award
Dr. Verne is currently Professor and Associate Chairman of Medicine and Division Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He holds the Blanton Distinguished Chair of Internal Medicine and has been named one of the Best Doctors in America since 2001. He is an internationally recognized expert in Neurogastroenterology and Motility and has authored or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration for over 16 years. A high honors graduate from JCC’s Math-Science program, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from LeMoyne and received his M.D. with high honors from SUNY Health Science Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Gastrointestinal Association. In 2011, Dr. Verne was one of 6 Gastroenterologists worldwide to receive the American Gastrointestinal Association Masters Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic & Clinical Digestive Sciences.
Dr. Marie A. Hess, Class of `74, Jeffersonian Award
With more than 40 years of service as a health care practitioner and educator, Marie’s leadership in the field is extraordinary. Titles like Senior Faculty Coordinator, Science Division Chair and Associate Dean are only a few of her many JCC roles. Her most recent responsibilities included coordinating the extremely successful Department of Labor Weekend Nursing Program. She has also shared her time and talents with the NYS Zoo at Thompson Park, Hospice, the SPCA, the Girl Scouts, St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Jefferson County Public Health, Samaritan Medical Center, Carthage Area Hospital, and Lewis County General Hospital. She received the 1996 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, is on the SUNY Alumni Honor Roll, was recognized with a NYS Nurse of Distinction Award, and has received other college and community honors. Planning to retire in December 2012, Marie will be sadly missed by the next generation of nursing students.
Alumni honors are determined by a selection committee and are considered in the following categories:
- The Rising Star Award recognizes a graduate of the past ten years who is advancing in his/her career field.
- The Professional Achievement Award recognizes a graduate who demonstrates ten years or more success in professional life and leadership within his/her profession.
- The Jeffersonian Award recognizes a graduate who demonstrates a dedication to service on a local, state, national, or international level.
- The Community Service Award is given to a non-alumna/us for service to Jefferson Community College.
- On occasion, Honorary Alumni status is bestowed to acknowledge extraordinary contributions to Jefferson’s welfare, reputation, prestige, and pursuit of excellence.