JCC Professors Earn Distinguished Rank from SUNY

Jefferson Community College is pleased to announce that the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees today approved the appointment of two members of Jefferson’s faculty to distinguished ranks. Dr. Raymond E. Petersen, professor of political science, was appointed the Distinguished Service Professorship and Dr. Joanna B. Chrzanowski, professor of English, was bestowed the Distinguished Teaching Professorship.   Dr. Petersen, Redwood, and Dr. Chrzanowski, Watertown, are among only eight faculty appointed to distinguished ranks in 2012.   All distinguished faculty in active service within SUNY also become members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, established in March 2012.

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students, and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth, and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. To be eligible for nomination, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, completed at least three years of full-time teaching on the nominating campus and 10 years of full-time teaching within SUNY, and must have regularly carried a full-time teaching load as defined by the nominating campus.

In her 32-year career at Jefferson Community College, Dr. Chrzanowski’s focus has always been on teaching.  She cares passionately about students and their success as writers, future professionals, and people. Her teaching innovations keep her instruction vibrant and student-centered whether in a traditional classroom, online course or hybrid environment, within learning communities and also in college success classes. Dr. Chrzanowski has been recognized for her excellence in teaching by Phi Theta Kappa students, SUNY and New York State.  She has numerous curricular innovations at the course and program levels to her credit along with founding and restructuring the English Department and creating two English Concentrations in creative writing and literature. Although she has vast stores of energy to give to her students and the College, Dr. Chrzanowski extends the same guidance and enthusiasm in mentoring young colleagues, volunteering in the community, presenting at conferences, and developing instructional materials. 

Dr. Chrzanowski first joined Jefferson in 1980.  She holds both a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in English education from SUNY Albany as well as doctorate of philosophy, Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation,from Syracuse University.  In 2004, she was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Distinguished Service Professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service. Candidates must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and the State University, but also at the community, regional and State levels. Service must exceed the work generally considered to be a part of a candidate’s basic professional work and should include service that exceeds that for which professors are normally compensated. It must also extend over multiple years and, very importantly, must involve the application of intellectual skills drawing from the candidate’s scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern.  Further, to be eligible for nomination, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, completed at least three years of full-time service on the nominating campus, and completed 10 years of full-time service to SUNY.

Encouraging efficacy is at the heart of everything that Dr. Petersen does as a professor of political science at Jefferson and the impact of his service reaches far beyond Jefferson County.  Through his efforts in developing a prospectus for the Center for Community Studies at JCC, coordinating its speaker series, and now as the director, Dr. Petersen helps to empower students, faculty and staff in conducting and providing research and forums on community, regional and international issues. Through the student organization Polis, which Dr. Petersen founded and advises, students have organized and held forums on issues such as a daycare on campus, elections, war, budget crisis, and healthcare reform. Dr. Petersen’s service as delegate to the Faculty Council of Community Colleges includes initiatives to strengthen student transfer, academic standards and integrity, and shared governance at all the community colleges within SUNY. Additionally, he has been instrumental in strategic planning for JCC, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Kinney Drugs Foundation, and many local non-profit organizations.

Dr. Petersen joined Jefferson in 1984.  He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from SUNY Oswego, and both a master of arts and doctorate of philosophy in political science from the City University of New York.

“We are quite simply thrilled at this honor, for Dr. Chrzanowski and for Dr. Petersen,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “Throughout her tenure at Jefferson, Joanna’s focus has always been on teaching and student success.  She is a superb classroom instructor and campus leader.  In addition to his exemplary skill in the classroom, Ray is a campus leader, researcher, presenter and active citizen at the regional and state levels.    To be recognized with SUNY’s highest distinguish ranking for faculty is validation of their accomplishments and contributions to the success of our students, to the quality of a Jefferson education, and to the vibrancy of our community.”

“This is an extraordinary honor for these two deserving individuals and for Jefferson Community College,” said Thomas J. Finch, vice president for academic affairs at Jefferson.  “For two professors from one college to earn distinguished rank in the same year is further testimony to the quality and breadth of the educational experience students receive at Jefferson.  Drs. Petersen and Chrzanowski have dedicated themselves to both our students and to this community.  We are proud of their accomplishments and honored they are members of this College’s faculty.”

“In bestowing its highest faculty honor, SUNY proudly recognizes the extraordinary achievements of these faculty and the positive impacts they have had on our great system of higher education as well as their colleagues and students," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Their achievements are highly commendable and we thank them for their impeccable service to SUNY.”

Since the program’s inception in 1963 and including these most recent appointments, SUNY has appointed 950 faculty to distinguished ranks, as follows: 315 Distinguished Professorships; 287 Distinguished Service Professorships; 343 Distinguished Teaching Professorships; and 5 Distinguished Librarian Professorships. Community college faculty have been eligible for the Distinguished Service and Distinguished Teaching awards since 2005 – 2006 and the Distinguished Professorship award since 2009- 2010.

About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating approximately 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs, and nearly 2 million in workforce and professional development programs, on 64 campuses. There are nearly 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.