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Cayuga faculty, staff honored with SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Four Cayuga Community College faculty and staff members, each of whom has worked at least a decade at Cayuga, received the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence this spring for their outstanding contributions to the College and its students. 

The annual Chancellor’s Awards honor faculty and staff for their commitment and accomplishments while also emphasizing SUNY’s dedication to classroom instruction, intellectual drive and support for local communities. Awards are issued in Faculty Service, Librarianship, Teaching, Professional and Classified Service, and Scholarship and Creative Activities.

“This year’s recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence have demonstrated incredible commitment to Cayuga and our students throughout their time with the College,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “Their contributions are an important source of support for our students as they prepare for the next step in their academic or career pathway. On behalf of everyone at Cayuga Community College, I congratulate our recipients for earning this significant award.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Cayuga recipients include:

Excellence in Faculty Service

Eric Zizza — Professor & Division Chair of Behavioral/Social Science, Business, Criminal Justice, Teacher Education and Health and Physical Education 

After joining Cayuga in 2003 as an adjunct counselor, Professor Zizza served 14 years as the College’s transfer counselor, where he guided students in deciding their next academic steps after earning their Cayuga degree. In 2018 he was named chair of the Division of Business, Behavioral/Social Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Health and Physical Education. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University and a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychological Services from SUNY Oswego. At Cayuga he has served on numerous committees dedicated to enrollment, guided pathways, and health and wellness, and also developed the College’s Human Services program.

Excellence in Teaching

Christopher D’Arcy, Ph.D. — Professor of Biology  

Dr. D’Arcy joined Cayuga as an adjunct instructor in 2009, became an associate professor in 2011 and was promoted to professor of biology in 2019. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Oswego, Master of Science in Teaching from Le Moyne College and a Doctorate of Chiropractic Medicine from New York Chiropractic College. In his time at Cayuga, Dr. D’Arcy has taught anatomy and physiology, biology, forensic science, basic nutrition, and zoology. He has devoted extensive time to assisting with orientation, open house events, and advised student clubs including Phi Theta Kappa. In 2012 and 2019 he received the Senate Award for Faculty Excellence.

Excellence in Classified Service

Karen Wheat — Payroll Systems Specialist  

After gaining more than a decade of experience in accounting, Karen joined Cayuga in 2010 as the College’s payroll systems specialist. She previously earned an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting in 1990 from Tompkins Cortland Community College. As the payroll systems specialist, Karen prepares and updates employees’ W-2s, calculates payroll tax amounts, prepares biweekly payroll, prepares and maintains payroll reports as required by state and federal regulations, and answers employee questions concerning payroll and related issues. She is also responsible for handling college employee retirement reports for the New York State Retirement System and tracking retiree health insurance.

Excellence in Professional Service

Lisa Jo Greenfield ’87 — Assistant Director of Financial Aid/Student Employment Coordinator 

A 1987 Cayuga graduate, Lisa returned to her alma mater as an Admissions assistant in 2012 before being named the assistant director of Financial Aid in 2013. After earning her degree from Cayuga, Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from SUNY Albany. In addition to being team lead for Federal Student Aid applications, verifications and data file exchanges, Lisa promotes financial literacy and counsels prospective and current students and families on financial aid in accordance with federal, state and institutional policies. Since 2013 she has served as Cayuga’s student employment coordinator, providing students with valuable opportunities for hands-on work experience through part-time employment.