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Gansworth to receive NCCC Distinguished Alumnus Award

by jmaloni
Thu, Oct 7th 2010 01:45 pm
Eric L. Gansworth
Eric L. Gansworth
Novelist, playwright, artist and storyteller Eric L. Gansworth, Class of '86, will receive the Niagara County Community College 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from the NCCC Alumni Association on Oct. 16, at the NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala.

The gala, sponsored by Barnes and Noble College Bookstore and First Niagara Bank, begins at 6 p.m. on the Sanborn campus.

Gansworth, a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College and former NCCC faculty member, was born and raised on the Tuscarora Indian Nation and currently resides in Niagara Falls.

Gansworth's educational endeavors began in 1986 when he graduated from NCCC with an associate's degree in applied sciences.  He continued his education at the State University New York College at Buffalo where he received his bachelor's and master's degree in English.  He went on to become a nationally acclaimed writer, artist and playwright publishing nine books, producing four plays and showing his art at numerous schools, libraries and galleries.

Some of his award-winning work includes "Mending Skins" (2005), "A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function" (2008) and "Extra Indians" (2010). He has also been honored with awards and residency at The Seaside Institute, Institute for American Indians Arts Lannan Foundation, SUNY Diversity Grant Residency, College of Menonominee National Endowment for the Humanities all campus reading, Minnesota State Arts Board Author Tour Grant, PEN Oakland Award, and the National Book Critics Circle "Good Reads List" award.  

Gansworth currently serves on the board of directors of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and has served on the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County, New York State Council on the Arts Literature Panel and the Artists Advisory Committee for the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Gansworth continues to shed a light on the lives of Native Americans who live in both the world of the Tuscarora Nation and of America through readings at Canisius College, Talking Leaves Bookstore, Hallwalls and around the country. 

Funds raised at the gala support the NCCC Foundation, which has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to students since its inception in 1987.

Tickets for the gala are $100 per person and include a four-course dinner prepared by NCCC culinary and baking/pastry arts students, complimentary wine donated by Freedom Run Winery and complimentary beer provided by Certo Brothers Distributing. Local pop/rock band Reflector will perform.

Tickets are available by contacting the NCCC Foundation at 614-5910 or online at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/foundation.

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