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CCC Professor Receives Highest SUNY Award

CCC Professor Eric Zizza (Provided)

A Cayuga Community College professor has received the highest honor available to a SUNY faculty member.

Eric Zizza has been awarded the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.

“Induction into SUNY’s Distinguished Academy is a prestigious honor that’s only awarded to a select few across the State University of New York. Throughout his tenure at Cayuga, Professor Zizza has demonstrated that he deserves such recognition,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “He is a strong leader who is always focused on developing new opportunities for our students and supporting his colleagues. We’ve seen his devotion to our communities time and again through his leadership on committees and boards of education, plus his advocacy on the state level.”

Zizza said he is honored and humbled to be one of only 358 people to receive the prestigious award since its founding in 1963.

“This is extremely humbling. When you look at others who have been inducted into the SUNY Distinguished Academy, you see Nobel Prize nominees and people doing groundbreaking research,” he said. “To be included in that group is a tremendous honor, one that I didn’t anticipate ever receiving.”

Zizza is the second CCC professor to receive this distinction, the first being Humanities/Communications Chair Steve Keeler in 2012. Keeler wrote a letter of support for Zizza’s nomination.

“Eric is a very deserving candidate based on his exemplary and consistent service to our college, and our greater regional community for many years,” said Professor Keeler. “In reviewing his record at Cayuga, one really becomes impressed by the number of important professional contributions he has made in many areas.”

Zizza joined the college in 2003 as an adjunct professor. The next year, he was named CCC’s Transfer Counselor. He then became the Division Chair of the College’s Division of Business, Behavioral/Social Science, Criminal Justice, Teacher Education, and Health and Physical Education in 2018.

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