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Three Herkimer College employees honored with 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

SUNY Chancellors Award Winners 2021

Three Herkimer College employees have been honored with SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence for 2021.

According to the State University of New York, the excellence awards are designated for faculty and staff members who personify professional excellence and serve as role models not only for the State University of New York community, but for Herkimer County Community College as well. They publicly acknowledge superior professional achievement while encouraging the pursuit of excellence.

Nicole McDaniels, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. McDaniels, who earned her bachelor’s degree in biological science from SUNY University at Buffalo and her Ph.D. in biology from Syracuse University, joined the Herkimer College faculty in 2011. In addition to teaching a range of courses within her discipline, she also serves as a faculty mentor for students in the Honors Program and the adviser of the Science Club. Outside of the classroom, McDaniels serves on the College’s Academic Assessment Committee and the Academic Senate’s Curriculum Committee, and chairs the Science Advisory Committee. McDaniels served as co-chair of the College’s Self Study Steering Committee, a critical and time-intensive assignment. In this leadership role, she co-authored the Self Study report and helped prepare the campus for the College’s successful reaccreditation review visit by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Robert Paul is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Paul has been employed as a groundskeeper at the College since 2014. During that time, he has earned a reputation for being a willing and positive team player and an enthusiastic supporter of the College. He regularly provides a calming influence and positive, encouraging voice in challenging situations, helping bring co-workers together to complete assigned tasks. Paul has served on the College Advisory Council, a recommendation-making body with cross-campus representation, and volunteers to assist with an annual program to bring local sixth-graders to the campus for tours.

Robin Riecker, Ed.D., associate dean of academic affairs – Humanities/Social Science Division, is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Riecker has served as associate dean for more than eight years, providing vision and leadership for the implementation of a variety of new programs, initiatives, and partnerships, such as the College in Prison program and the Arc Herkimer’s Project Search program, the first in the nation on a community college campus. She played a key leadership role in developing several new academic programs such as the Pre-Employment Police Academy certificate and the new associate in arts degree program in Psychology. She is deeply dedicated to the advancement of the College, serving on several shared governance committees and acting as co-chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

With the addition of these three employees, a total of 78 Herkimer College faculty and staff have been honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. A complete list is available at www.herkimer.edu/chancellor-awards.