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Alfred State honors leaders, instructors, and standout staff members

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Read who was awarded the Civic Engagement Award and Pioneer Awards

From Alfred State College, pictured is Dr. Mauro with Jon Nickerson

Justin Dix and Jon Nickerson honored with Leadership through Civic Engagement award

Justin Dix, an instructor in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program, and Jon Nickerson, director of facilities, were the recipients of the Leadership through Civic Engagement award.

The award is given annually by the College Council is presented to acknowledge students, faculty, and staff who have led or initiated exemplary academic and/or co-curricular initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to engaging in the community— locally, nationally, or globally—through service, volunteerism, activism, politics, and much more. 

Dix is community minded in and outside the classroom. On campus, he has voluntarily assumed leadership roles within his department and provides guidance and direction to his colleagues. He acts as a liaison and manages supply needs. He is a faculty mentor with Northland’s high school partnerships and is involved in numerous committees.

Dr. Mauro with Justin

This past winter, he led a group of students from the Northland campus on a disaster relief trip to Fort Myers, FL. The group worked on projects in partnership with All Hands & Hearts aiding the recovery from Hurricane Ian.

In the community, Justin has a long history of community involvement through volunteering, creating, and organizing fundraisers. He has been involved in multiple animal rescue organizations, Habitat for Humanity in Silver Creek, and the Hamburg Monarchs Youth Soccer Organization. He has also created and organized a trail run fundraiser for the Forestville Fire Department and has served on the Forestville town board.


Jon Nickerson is a great example of a community man. He grew up in the area, is a father, husband, and a grandfather that is highly engaged in the local community.

On our campus, he has been active and encourages his staff to be active in events like the community Trick or Treat and the holiday family celebration. He and his wife attend numerous events during the holiday season as “special guests” to bring joy and excitement to the younger generation.

He continues his community service in his community. He is a member of the Scio Central School Board, the Scio Lions Club, and works closely with local veterans through the Morrison Hayes Legion Post. He has also held leadership roles within Cub Scouts, serves on the Fairlawn Cemetery Board, is on the town assessment review board, and is an avid supporter of Allegany County Cancer Services.

Nickerson has coached local youth and high school sports for over fifteen years. On top of coaching, he has served in leadership positions within the Scio Youth Athletic Committee.

His secret holiday persona has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children in the local community over the last 20 years. He has appeared in parades, Shop with a Cop events, and even made an appearance on national television.

He was previously recognized for his service by being named the Scio Citizen of the Year in 2017

Dix and Nickerson were honored during the college’s end of year recognition luncheon.

Alfred State awarded the Pioneer Award to Cory Bennett, Lois Curran, Frank Smith, and Joy Williams.

Pioneer Awards given to Bennett, Curran, Smith, and Williams

               ALFRED, NY, June 7, 2024 – Alfred State’s Cory Bennett, Lois Curran, Frank Smith, and Joy Williams were honored with Pioneer Awards at the annual Recognition Celebration.

The Pioneer Award acknowledges those who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to the college’s mission and goals, have made contributions that have had a measurable positive impact on college operations, are seen as positive role models that show creativity and initiative, and have shown a consistent level of exceptional performance throughout their employment.

Cory Bennett, associate director of student accounts, is extremely smart and dedicated to making improvements used to create refunds, process payments, and reconcile both. He has created numerous electronic processes that have streamlined things to make it easier for students and staff.

Bennett is detail oriented and always on top of things. He is also willing to jump in to help when needed and is dedicated and willing to help his office in any way.

He jumps in and helps get the job done and done correctly. It is important to him that his office be efficient and have a good reputation. He is the epitome of what a team member should be.

Lois Curran, administrative assistant to the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, is the go-to person for both faculty and staff and for the students. She helps in a variety of ways from processing critical documentation, to unlocking a door, to reuniting a student with their lost ID card.

Curran is a key resource to new employees and students within the department. She develops relationships with them and makes them feel comfortable coming into the Dean’s office.  

She also sets the bar high and encourages others to strive for more. Her wealth of information and has built collegial relationships to help the office run efficiently.

Frank Smith, cleaner in the Student Development Center, is dedicated to the mission of the college by demonstrating care in helping present his building in the best way possible to our students, faculty and staff, and our visitors every single day.  He truly demonstrates Pioneer care.

He works hard to create a positive work environment and a positive first impression to visitors by continuously providing a comfortable and clean space for the students that use the building.

Smith shows impeccable care and pride in his duties.

Joy Williams, grants coordinator, consistently demonstrates her commitment to the students, faculty, and staff at Alfred State. She is always looking for opportunities to help fulfill open needs and create additional avenues of support.

Her impact on Alfred State is measured in the millions of grant dollars she has been able to secure and her experience with applying for grants of various kinds is invaluable.

Her excitement and happiness when good news comes is amazing to see and share in. She is kind, respectful, and supportive in her interactions with others and her standard of performance is top tier.

The quartet received a gift and a certificate to commemorate the honor.

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