Jump to Footer

Alumni Celebrated for Sustained Support of North Country, Residents

bonnie blackjody carpenterceline paquette

Three SUNY Plattsburgh alumnae will be honored with the first-ever North Country Impact Award at a celebration Friday, May 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Warren Ballrooms, Angell College Center.

Recipients Bonnie Black ’72 G’77, Jody Carpenter ’92 and Dr. Celine Paquette ’60, chosen from nominations by faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university for their sustained positive contributions to the vitality of the North Country and its residents, will be feted at the inaugural North Country Celebration.

Nominees for the award were reviewed by the respective academic school’s award selection committee.

Bonnie Black

Black will receive the North Country Impact Award from the School of Arts and Sciences.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1972 followed by her master’s in psychology in 1977. For 28 years, Black served the North Country through her professional commitment to achieving and sustaining mental and behavioral health as the Employee Assistance Program director, Employee Assistance Services, Behavioral Health Services North.

In her retirement, Black has focused on suicide prevention, offering a variety of trainings and coaching related to the cause. her contributions to the arts include a 25-year stint as the associate artistic director of the North Country Ballet Ensemble and 17 years teaching theater and performance at Clinton Community College. She has served on various boards of directors; written for publications such as Strictly Business magazine; and is a Rotarian, having served as the president of the Plattsburgh Rotary Club and district governor of the bilingual/binational District 7040.

Jody Carpenter

Carpenter’s impact award comes from the School of Business and Economics from which she graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting in 1992. She currently serves as vice president of human resources at UFirst Federal Credit Union, where she has worked since 1999.

She and UFirst have been recognized for their efforts to promote financial literacy, including partnering with local schools to offer sessions on budgeting and personal planning. Carpenter has stayed connected with her alma mater, having served on the boards of the Plattsburgh Alumni Association and Plattsburgh College Foundation, and is currently the North Country Scholarship Program Committee chair. She is a member of Plattsburgh Noon Rotary, where she has served in a number of roles.

Carpenter has also volunteered for many area organizations and events, including the American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Ride to Remember, Autism Walk, March of Dimes, Buddy Walk, Christmas Bureau and Salvation Army. In 2016, she was named Business Woman of the Year by Champlain Valley Business and Professional Women.

Dr. Celine Paquette

Paquette will receive the award from the School of Education, Health and Human Services.

She graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in school nurse-teacher education, receiving a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in education administration from SUNY Albany. Paquette spent 24 years as a school nurse-teacher in East Greenbush, N.Y., and later served as Ticonderoga Middle School principal.

Since retiring as president and owner of Paquette’s Insurance Agency in Champlain, N.Y., she has founded and served as president of the Samuel de Champlain History Center. Additionally, Paquette has served as a Clinton County legislator, SUNY trustee, Plattsburgh College Foundation director, CVPH trustee and Town and Village of Champlain historian, among other roles.

Paquette has received several honors, including New York State Senate Woman of Distinction, New York State Nurse-Teacher of the Year, North Country Chamber of Commerce Irishwoman of the Year, SUNY Plattsburgh University Council’s Distinguished Service Award, the Woodman of the World Citizen of the Year and Girl Scouts of the North Country's Women of Distinction Award. Paquette has also established a scholarship at SUNY Plattsburgh for students from Champlain.

‘Significant Contributions’

“This newly established award celebrates graduates who have made significant contributions to the North Country region, while also reaffirming the value of a SUNY Plattsburgh degree,” said SUNY Plattsburgh President Alexander Enyedi. “These recipients are shining examples of the university’s success at achieving its mission to support the social, cultural and economic health of the region.”

During the North Country Celebration, Enyedi will also recognize current North Country Scholarship recipients and their benefactors.

Anne Hansen, executive director of the Plattsburgh College Foundation, said the foundation “has awarded these high-achieving North Country students with a $2,500 merit scholarship to SUNY Plattsburgh, thanks to the generosity of local businesses, individuals and alumni who have shown their commitment to investing in the long-term prosperity of the North Country to ensure the region will continue to be home to well-trained professionals, innovators and problem solvers.”

‘Truly a Privilege’

John Westcott, a member of the Class of 1970, has supported the North Country Scholarship program for a decade.

"Being able to help students attend SUNY Plattsburgh is truly a privilege,” Westcott said. “There is no doubt the North Country benefits from the excellent education of local students who attend college at home.”

The North Country Celebration is free and open to the public by registering at alumni.plattsburgh.edu/northcountry.

Back to top