JCC Professor Earns Distinguished Rank from SUNY

Local News

Jefferson Community College is pleased to announce that the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Jefferson faculty member John F. Penrose, professor of chemistry, to the rank of Distinguished Service Professorship.  Penrose, Watertown, is among 21 faculty and only one of two from two-year colleges appointed to distinguished ranks in 2017. All distinguished faculty in active service within SUNY also become members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, established in March 2012.

Candidates for Distinguished Service Professorship must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and the State University, but extending into the community, regional and State levels as well. 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.

Since joining Jefferson Community College in 1979, Professor Penrose has distinguished himself as a valued and highly respected member of Jefferson’s faculty. John has served the campus community to the fullest extent possible, sitting on nearly every standing committee and being involved in virtually all aspects of campus life and governance.  He has chaired the Lab Sciences Department since 2007, serves as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors, and held officer positions with the Faculty Association and College Senate. John has been selected to serve on major search committees including those for College president and vice president for academic affairs.  He regularly contributes to strategic planning and has volunteered for task forces relating to advising, physical education, library resources, banner implementation and academic reorganization.  John has co-chaired two Middle States Steering Committees, spearheading the development of two comprehensive self-study reports leading to successful reaccreditation on both occasions, most recently in 2015.

“I could not be more thrilled to see Professor Penrose awarded this great honor,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “John’s passion for teaching and his ability to build relationships across campus is simply outstanding. His knowledge and enthusiasm has kept students engaged and his leadership across campus has made him invaluable to the entire campus community. After 38 years, John is still passionate and energetic about the College and student success.”

“SUNY faculty achieving the distinguished ranks provide an additional spark that inspires groundbreaking research, innovation, and discovery while also setting a higher standard for teaching and learning,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of the faculty receiving this honorable distinction.”

John Penrose has committed himself to providing a quality and well-rounded college experience for students. He has served as advisor to Student Government, interim director of athletics and sports information director. For ten years, Penrose coached the Lady Cannoneers basketball team followed by two years as assistant coach of the men’s basketball team. He was awarded the Thomas W. Myers Award for Co-Curricular Service to Students in 2005 and has been inducted into the Cannoneer Hall of Fame.

Outside of Jefferson, Penrose serves as a writer and reviewer of questions for the Praxis series of teacher certification tests for Educational Testing Services and he serves as a member of the Praxis Science Committee. He has represented the College on numerous SUNY-wide initiatives including the Student Completion and Success Task Force, Academic Excellence Committee and the Transfer Pathways for chemistry workgroup.  John was selected by Chancellor Zimpher to serve on the SUNY Group of 200 that developed the Power of SUNY Strategic Plan. 

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