Locals: People and Businesses in the News, May 11, 2023

Locals: People and Businesses in the News, May 11, 2023

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Bassett Healthcare Network has presented two employees with the first Spotlight On Excellence Annual Award. Physician Assistant Chelsea Doig was named Practitioner of the Year on March 17 at the school-based health conference hosted by Bassett. Doig began at Bassett in 2016 as an emergency room technician at O’Connor Hospital while she completed her education to become a physician assistant. In April of 2021, Doig became a PA at the Walton Health Center. She has since transitioned to working at the Delaware Academy School-Based Health Center in Delhi. “She is an incredibly hard worker who helps her patients achieve their best health,” said one nominating colleague. “She has compassion that I have never seen before in a provider,” said another. Dr. Valerie Bush was presented with the Caregiver of the Year award on March 29. Dr. Bush joined Bassett in 2004 as Bassett Medical Center’s Clinical Laboratory Director. Dr. Bush’s role has since expanded, and she now serves as the Lab Director for both O’Connor Hospital in Delhi and A.O. Fox Hospital Tri-Town Emergency Department in Sidney. She received her award at a surprise ceremony in Cooperstown with colleagues joining in virtually from all over the network. Her colleagues praised her leadership as a rare combination of knowledge, enthusiasm, innovation, and responsiveness to others. “She is the yardstick by which we all measure ourselves,” said one nominator. “Dr. Valerie Bush and Chelsea Doig are remarkable caregivers,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Bassett president and chief operating officer. “They stand out as an inspiration and example for us all. Valerie and Chelsea are representative of countless others at Bassett dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others. I am proud they are my coworkers and grateful they are serving our community.” The Caregiver of the Year and Practitioner of the Year awards are part of a network-wide Spotlight on Excellence award program. This program recognizes Bassett employees who embody Bassett’s core values of courage, unity, and excellence. The program also presents quarterly awards throughout the year. Pictured above are Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and CEO, Bassett Healthcare Network; Chelsea Doig, PA, Delaware Academy School-Based Health Center; and Dr. Monica Brané, chief of pediatrics, Bassett Healthcare Network. (Photo provided)

TECH TRIBUTE: On Thursday, April 21, five Schenevus Central School students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society at the ONC BOCES Otsego Area Occupational Center in Milford. Congratulations to Jonathan Deitchman (New Visions engineering), Samantha Osborne (New Visions healthcare), Mehki Regg (welding), Cameron Rogers (building trades) and Ben Schecter, (mechatronics).

MEDICAL MATCH: Charles Leahy of Otego was among the 141 Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine students to learn their medical residency match during a celebration for National Residency Match Day held March 17 in the NEW Center Ballroom. Leahy learned they will be serving an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital. Leahy is currently a fourth-year medicine student at NEOMED, located in Rootstown, Ohio, and will move on to their residency following graduation this spring. A Commencement celebration will be held on Saturday, May 6. The residency match is a culmination of four years of hard work and dedication to train to become a physician and transformative leader in the field of medicine.

HONOR SOCIETY HONORS: Sierra Snell of New Berlin was among top-performing SUNY Delhi students inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma honor society in a recognition ceremony on campus this month. Phi Eta Sigma is the third oldest university honor society in the U.S. Its mission is to award students for achieving high scholastic performance during their first year in the baccalaureate programs. SUNY Delhi students must achieve a cumulative GPA 3.50 and maintain full-time enrollment in a four-year program to be invited into the society. Addressing the inductees during the event, SUNY Delhi Provost Thomas Jordan said, “Ordinary people do ordinary things, and that is fine. However, individuals like you have decided to do a little extra and stand out. That makes you extraordinary! Congratulations to you all!”

DYNAMIC DELHI DUO: Top-performing SUNY Delhi students—including Cael Howland of Oneonta and Caleb Backus of Unadilla—were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society in a recognition ceremony on campus earlier this month. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs. To be eligible for membership, a student must have completed at least 12 hours of associate degree coursework with a cumulative 3.5 GPA.


OH, BABY! Lila Rochelle Meditrina Henrici was born at 12:01 a.m. on May 1—also her mother’s birthday. She is 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 19 inches. She is healthy and happy. Congratulations to parents Danielle and Michael, big brother Dash, and big sister Vivi. Welcome to the world, Baby Lila! (Photo provided)

DEAN’S LIST DIVA: Maya Powers of Worcester was named to the Elmira College Dean’s List for the Winter 2023 Term. Full-time undergraduate students registered for at least 12 computable credit hours and earning a term grade point average of 3.6 or higher at the end of Term I or Term II are placed on the Dean’s List at the college.

TOP TUTOR: Keely Higgins of Otego is one of six peer tutors who earned the National Tutor Association Level 1 Certification this academic year through SUNY Oneonta’s Student Learning Center. Higgins has not declared a major as yet. Tutors have completed the courses for which they are tutoring at SUNY Oneonta and have received a B+ or better in the course. All tutors complete a two-hour training workshop before working with tutees, and they complete additional training throughout the time they work at SLC. Effective fall 2023, all newly-hired tutors are working toward completing National Tutoring Association basic level certification.

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Aliyah Abdelsalam of Oneonta was among 10 students who earned diversity awards as part of the Kente Graduation Recognition Ceremony at SUNY Oneonta. The ceremony took place on campus in the Alumni Field House on April 27. Sponsored by the university’s Department of Africana/Latino Studies and Center for Racial Justice and Inclusive Excellence, the annual ceremony recognizes the achievements of SUNY Onenta’s Diverse student population of African American, Latinx, Asian, and Native American and non-AALANA students and allies. Abdelsalam was awarded the Leadership and Courage Award and is graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. Abdelsalam was also among the group of six SUNY Oneonta students to win the highest possible honor at the 2023 National Model United Nations conference in New York City from April 10-14. SUNY Oneonta students represented Cambodia this year, and they were one of just 24 delegations to receive the Outstanding Delegation Award. “There were a couple of unusual instances at the Model UN where students from other universities became swept up in the bargaining and competitiveness, leading to arguments and highly escalated tempers,” said Matt Murphy, associate professor of international relations and comparative politics and the Model UN course instructor. “Our students were consistently pushing for diplomacy and reasonable discussion. I believe that’s one of the reasons we were recognized for Outstanding Delegation.”


LANG LAUDED: Robert C. “Bobby” Lang of Schoharie is one of three SUNY Oneonta students to receive the prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. According to a press release issued by SUNY Oneonta, Lang—who is majoring in business economics—is a standout student whose academic accomplishments, leadership, campus involvement and community service are impressive. He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Society and was awarded the Susan Sutton Smith Award for Academic Excellence in 2019 and the Richard Siegfried Student Award for Academic Excellence in 2020. He has presented his research at Student Research and Creative Activity Day on campus as well as at the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference. Bobby is an active member of the Marketing Club. As vice president of finance for the SUNY Oneonta Student Association, Lang oversaw a $1.3 million budget allocated over 120 clubs and organizations, served as a Student Association senator, and was part of the SA COVID Task Force, SA Finance Board and the SA Senate Development Committee. He was nominated to join the College Foundation Board as an Honorary Director and, then, as a voting Student Director. Lang serves on the Foundation Board’s Finance Committee and the Board Development and Governance Committee. (Photo provided)


SHINING EXAMPLE: Olivia O’Donnell of Oneonta was recently recognized with a silver-level leadership milestone through SUNY Oneonta’s Leadership Education and Development program. O’Donnell is studying adolescence education: earth science at SUNY Oneonta. Completion of this level requires attending 19 events designated with a learning outcome (three must be diversity events), actively participating in four recognized organizations, completing three online courses (Foundations of Leadership, Personal Development, Organizational Development), and serving as an officer in a club or organization for at least two semesters (average of 219 hours to complete). LEAD@Oneonta is a comprehensive leadership program based on current research and guidelines from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. Students can attain a silver, gold or platinum level. To attain each level, students must meet a mix of programmatic and experiential leadership requirements, including completion of online courses, attendance at educational events, and membership and leadership in one or more of SUNY Oneonta’s 100+ student-run clubs and organizations.

NEW HIRE: Hannah Mitchell has joined Visions Federal Credit Unit as community development manager. In her new role, Mitchell will lead the Visions Cares team, which plans and executes Visions’ philanthropic programs and charitable giving. “I’m honored to be part of the Visions Cares program and foster deeper connections in our communities,” says Mitchell. “We’re poised to make a tremendous impact toward a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future by working with local leaders, businesses, and organizations.” In her free time, Mitchell enjoys spending time with family, diving, hiking, and lending a helping hand. Mitchell also volunteers with autism advocacy groups, Vestal Central School District, Boy Scouts of America and veteran organizations.

GREEN DRAGONS: Ecaterina Pervu of Oneonta and Christopher Ogden of West Oneonta were among 25 SUNY Oneonta students honored for their dedication to sustainability efforts on campus, thanks to the new Green Dragon Recognition Program. The program, organized by the Office of Sustainability, seeks to celebrate and recognize students who have shown a commitment to sustainability during their time at SUNY Oneonta. Honorees were recognized during an invitation-only reception Friday, April 21, on campus. In order to earn an invitation to the 2023 recognition, students had to earn a B or above in a sustainability-focused or two sustainability-related courses, attended six sustainability-themed events and participated in at least one sustainability leadership activity by April 21. The reception was one of the culminating events of SUNY Oneonta’s annual Green Dragon Week, which showcases the campus’s commitment to sustainability through a variety of events and activities and celebrates Earth Day.

DEAN’S LIST DESIGNEE: Autumn Nealis of Oneonta has been named to St. Lawrence University’s Dean’s List for achieving academic excellence during the Fall 2022 semester. Nealis, who attended Oneonta High School, is a member of the Class of 2025. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must have completed at least four courses and have an academic average of 3.6 based on a 4.0 scale for the semester.

TAPPED FOR TAU SIGMA: Thirty-five SUNY Oneonta students were inducted into the Tau Sigma National Honor Society for the 2022-23 academic year on April 14, 2023, including Charles Hobbib, Samantha Lyons and Christopher Solano, all of Oneonta. Tau Sigma is designed exclusively for transfer students. The mission of the organization is to recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students. The minimum academic average required for membership is either a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent thereof) or an academic average that places the prospective candidate in the top 20 percent of all incoming transfer students during their incoming semester.

TRI-ALPHA ACHIEVEMENT: Oneonta residents Felicia Gonzalez, Samantha Lyons, Diana Moller and Christopher Solano were among 69 first-generation SUNY Oneonta students inducted into the Alpha Alpha Alpha national honor society during a ceremony on April 23, 2023 at Morris Hall. Alpha Alpha Alpha, known as Tri-Alpha for short, was founded in 2018 to recognize and celebrate the hard work and academic success of first-generation university students. Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha if they meet the following criteria: The student has earned at least 30 credits/semester hours in the academic year toward an associate degree or baccalaureate degree; the undergraduate student has achieved an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale; and neither of the student’s parents, stepparents, nor legal guardians, completed a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

AIRMAN ACCOLADES: Beau Shively of West Edmeston, assigned to the 224th Support Squadron of the New York Air National Guard’s Eastern Air Defense Sector, received a promotion on February 26 to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Air National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability and development potential. These promotions additionally recognize the best qualified airmen and attract and retain the highest caliber citizen airmen for careers in the New York Air National Guard and the Eastern Air Defense Sector. The Eastern Air Defense Sector is made up of the 224th Air Defense Group, which provides the forces to conduct the mission. Part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S. The 224th Air Defense Group is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and the 224th Support Squadron, located in Rome, and Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 that serve in the Washington, D.C. area.

WETLANDS WORKER: Ethan Chichester of Richmond-ville was one of 12 SUNY Oneonta students who got hands-on experience with wetlands restoration during a service-learning trip in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward in March. Working with a nonprofit organization called Common Ground Relief, the students helped to restore and preserve Louisiana’s disappearing coastal wetlands by planting hardy, fast-growing native plants and removing invasive species in coastal areas imperiled by hurricanes, development and engineering projects that have eroded land and endangered wildlife. Chichester is studying adolescence education: social studies at SUNY Oneonta. Using recycled Christmas trees and tallow trees, the team built berms to help prevent erosion and stabilize newly planted vegetation, worked in a native tree nursery, visited Common Ground’s Outdoor Learning Center, helped out with various projects at Docville Farm and learned about cultural complexities, the role of physical landscapes and environmental issues in the region. The New Orleans trip is a component of Disaster Geographies, a course taught by Associate Professor Wendy Lascell, who accompanied the students, along with Linda Drake, executive director of the college’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community. Lascell has taken several groups of students to New Orleans, including Class of 2020 alumna Amy Shultis, who now works for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Shultis met up with students while they were in town. Service-learning trips such as this one give students an invaluable experience for both academic and personal growth, Lascell said. They are engaged in service, immersed in an unfamiliar culture, and confronted with real-world problems that don’t have easy solutions. “One of my favorite parts of the trip was the human connection and the emotional attachment to the rebuilding of coastlines and rebuilding from previous hurricanes by the community,” Chichester said. “I found this to be the most impactful for me in terms of putting the work we were doing into perspective. The community greatly appreciated it.” Lascell is pictured in below in the forefront, as students take a break in New Orleans. Chichester is in the row behind her, third from the left. (Photo provided)

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