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Lake Placid photographer to receive SLU’s North County Citation

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CANTON - Since 1978, Nancie Battaglia has been communicating the Adirondack Mountains and New York’s north country to the world though her photography.

Her pursuits have taken her to nearly a dozen Winter Olympics Games, and her pictures are often featured in national publications.

This year, Battaglia will receive the 2014 St. Lawrence University North Country Citation. The On-Campus Honors Committee selected Battaglia for creating a regional aesthetic for her role in enhancing the sense of community pride in the Adirondacks and for bringing attention to the North Country through her art. The citation will be presented to her at Commencement on Sunday, May 18.

“It’s on beyond zebra for me to receive this award,” Battaglia said. “It was a big surprise to me, and I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this award.”

Her pictures feature a variety of scenes and subjects, including outdoor recreational activities, especially in the Adirondack Mountains, sports, people, places and other subjects that illustrate a north country lifestyle.

Her work can regularly be seen close to home in Adirondack Life, but she also has been widely published in several national periodicals, including Sports Illustrated, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The New York Times and National Geographic.

Battaglia said she enjoys the lifestyle that living in Lake Placid affords her, including spending time outdoors. She said she feels her athletic pursuits complement her work as a photographer and allow her the ability to physically do the things she finds herself doing in order to make a perfect picture.

“I believe it’s important to document any region,” she said. “That said, Upstate New York is a beautiful place, with its varied terrain, small towns, and rural areas. I’m originally from Geneseo, so I’ve always appreciated rural life. But I’ve lived in Lake Placid for 36 years, and I’ve really come to appreciate the north country and the mountainous life.”

Battaglia has had multiple assignments in St. Lawrence County, photographing the colleges and universities in the region and being sent on various assignments from different news agencies, she said.

“The St. Lawrence Valley is a pretty special place, with its agricultural roots, waterways and old factories, which are some of my favorite places to photograph,” she said. “Some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen have been in Canton and Potsdam.”

Battaglia has been photographing the Winter Olympics since 1980, including the most recent Sochi games in Russia.

“I spent three weeks in Sochi, which is my 11th Olympics,” she said. “I think Lake Placid might have been the last small-town Olympics we’ve seen before the games got to be big business. It would be difficult to host the games there again. And if they ever did try to bid again, they’d definitely have to include surrounding bigger cities.”

Overall, Battaglia was grateful to be recognized for her work throughout the region.

“I’m really very honored,” she said. “It’s nice that people have taken notice of my work.”

St. Lawrence University annually awards the North Country Citation to an individual or group from the region who, through professional and volunteer endeavors, has improved the quality of life in the north country.

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