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Cayuga CC to host alumni panel on community service and leadership

DATE: 02-22-2012

Three successful alumni will return to Cayuga Community College to share their experience in community service and leadership during Alumni Voices on Wednesday, February 29. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theatre on the Auburn Campus, 197 Franklin St., Auburn. The event is free and open to the public.

The featured speakers are:

  • Gerard Guiney '82, retired deputy superintendent of security for the New York Department of Correctional Facilities
  • Marilyn Higgins '73, vice president of community education and economic development at Syracuse University
  • Terry Wilbur '08, the youngest elected legislator in Oswego County

The event is co-sponsored by the CCC Alumni Association and the Office of Academic Partnerships.

"We decided to do the series because we wanted to engage alumni and provide more opportunities for students to hear from community leaders about their life course and how the College influenced them," said organizer and Assistant Professor Sheila Myers, coordinator of experiential learning initiatives. "We hope that students and others in attendance will be inspired to take on leadership roles in the communities where they live and work."

Louise Wilson, director of alumni affairs, said the event aligns with the ACC/CCC Alumni Association's goal of connecting alumni and students.

"The ACC/CCC Alumni Association is dedicated to getting to know and interact with our current students before they graduate and leave campus," Wilson said. "Our involvement with Alumni Voices is a great way to connect students with alumni to share their experiences together. We are pleased to be involved and look forward to bringing more alum to campus in the future."

Guiney served in Vietnam while in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. After earning an associate's degree in criminal justice/corrections at Cayuga, he went on to earn bachelor's in 1981 from SUNY College of Technology at Utica. Guiney retired from the NYS Department of Correctional Services after 38 years at the rank of Deputy Superintendent. He was a certified Criminal Justice Training Instructor and Criminal Justice Consultant. He has been an active member of many organizations over the years, including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Catholic Youth Organization Basketball, Auburn Boys and Girls Baseball League, and Auburn Indians Football and Cheerleading.

Higgins, who earned an associate in liberal arts (humanities and social science), is responsible for the Connective Corridor and Near West Side Initiative, $2 million urban redevelopment projects that serve as a platform for SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor's vision of Scholarship in Action. She is president of the Near West Side Initiative Inc. Board, a diverse non-profit development corporation seeking to revitalize the 9th poorest census tract in the United States and leads a collaborative effort with the City of Syracuse to create the Connective Corridor as a signature strip of innovative urban design linking University Hill with the arts and cultural venues of downtown Syracuse. She has served on more than 20 non-profit and economic development boards, and has been recognized with numerous awards for service, including the Achievement Award for Civic Leadership from the Syracuse Post-Standard and Alumni of Distinction Award from the State University of New York.

Wilbur is the youngest-ever elected legislator in the history of Oswego County and was recently elected to a second term. He is a member of the Oswego County Republican Committee and serves as its vice chair of campaigns. He completed his degree in criminal justice at Cayuga and earned a bachelor's in political science at SUNY Oswego in May 2011. He is also a member of the ACC/CCC Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The College hopes to present one alumni panel each semester that focus on a specific topic such as entrepreneurship, crooked career paths, and transferring to four-year colleges, among others.

For more information, contact Sheila Myers at or 315-255-1743 x 2122.