Seven members of the Genesee Community College staff team have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community. The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
The following faculty and staff members earned the 2015 award and were honored at a reception last month on the Batavia Campus.
Award for Excellence in Teaching
Christopher D. Caputi, Ph.D, assistant professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program – Caputi earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Physical Therapy from D'Youville College and a post-professional doctorate of Physical Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University. He spent time at Wyoming County Community Hospital and Kenmore Mercy Hospital as a staff physical therapist and worked as a physical therapist for Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, Pa., and Crystal City Physical Therapy in Corning. He currently provides outpatient physical therapy evaluations and treatment for Sports Plus Physical Therapy in Batavia. Caputi joined the College in 2007 as an adjunct professor and quickly became a full-time faculty member in 2008. He is actively involved with students on campus as the academic coordinator of Clinical Education and advisor of the Physical Therapy Club. Caputi also currently serves as a member of the Academic Innovation Committee, Academic Senate and Global Education Committee at GCC. He is an Equity and Diversity representative and a College Foundation captain. He resides in Tonawanda.
Charles Scruggs, assistant professor of History – Scruggs came to GCC in 2007 after spending time as a tutor and substitute teacher for the Geneseo School District. He also held teaching assistant positions at SUNY Albany and the University of Notre Dame after earning his bachelor's degree in Politics from Princeton University and his master's degree in Political Science from SUNY Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs. Scruggs continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master's of science in Education Degree in History Education in 2003. He has taught a dozen different courses at the College, both traditional and online. Scruggs serves on a number of committees at Genesee, including the Academic Senate, the Innovation Committee, the Global Education Committee, the Sustainability Committee, the Early Intervention Committee and the Online Faculty Advisory Committee. He has participated in professional programs at Cornell University, received a travel grant to participate in a NATO Advanced Studies Institute in Scotland and a PIER Institute at Yale University on the culture and politics of revolution in Latin America. He resides in Rochester.
Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Heather Jones, associate professor of Fine Arts – Jones was appointed to Genesee Community College as a full-time instructor of Fine Arts in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. She participated in the development and programming of the Roz Steiner Art Gallery, working with architects in the gallery design and the Gallery Advisory Board to develop the gallery vision. Heather holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Alfred University and a master's degree in Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She serves on the GCC Sustainability Committee, Fine Arts Committee and acts as the chair for the Curriculum subcommittee. Heather has also developed new course curriculum for the College, including a 2D hybrid art course, an arts topic course and an international study abroad program. She is a working artist creating social commentaries on environmental issues and is the owner of two active small businesses. GlassFeather Studio offers arts workshops to the local community and Good Nature Press offers book packaging, writing, graphic design and illustration services. Prior to GCC, Heather taught as an arts adjunct professor for seven years at a variety of colleges and served as the director of Camp Stella Maris in Livonia until 2002. She resides in Conesus.
Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Rebecca Dziekan, director of Health and Physical Education – Dziekan began her career at GCC as the College's athletic trainer and instructor of Health and Physical Education (HPE) in 1996. She took advantage of many professional development opportunities and became director of Health and Physical Education in 2007 and earned rank of full professor in 2011. Rebecca has created new courses for HPE programs and created two concentrations to the Fitness and Recreation Sport Management Program (Personal Training and Golf Management). Her service to the College is extensive as she is an acting member of the Academic Senate, CAST (Campus Area Safety Team), Assessment Committee, Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee, GCCA Faculty Rep and Secretary, Creativity Committee, General Education Committee and more. Her relationship with the community includes the development of the Genesee Sport and Wellness Camp in an effort to improve student skills in sports and the Play to Get Fit Challenge, which challenges third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in the GLOW area to record the most minutes spent physically active outside regular school hours in an effort to battle childhood obesity. Dziekan is a graduate of The (SUNY) College at Brockport, earning a bachelor's degree in Science, and Indiana State University with a master's degree in Science. She is a member of the Pavilion School Board of Education and head coach for Pavilion youth baseball, basketball and soccer.
Award for Excellence in Professional Service
Lyndsey J. Oliver-Farewell, technical specialist, Records Management – Oliver-Farewell joined the College in 2004 as a peer tutor at the Albion Campus Center. She held the position of technical assistant and associate at Albion and Medina campus centers before being hired as a technical specialist in Records Management in Batavia in 2010. In her current capacity, Oliver-Farewell is regularly relied upon to manage large projects with a high degree of accuracy. Of her many responsibilities, one is the management of the credit course schedule of approximately 1,500 sections each semester. Lyndsey earned an associate degree from GCC before continuing her education at The (SUNY) College at Brockport where she completed her bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She then went on to the University at Buffalo where she earned a master's degree in Education in Higher Education Administration. Lyndsey serves on a number of committees at GCC, including Academic Senate, Genesee Strategic Intelligence Committee, Challenge Scholarship Committee, New Employee Orientation Committee and GCC Strategic Plan Committee. Outside of the College, Oliver-Farewell is the owner of Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Café in Batavia and a Turbo Kick instructor in Albion. She resides in Medina.
Kathy L. Palumbo, director of Nursing – Palumbo has been the director of Genesee's Nursing Program since January of 2009 and prior to that, she taught in the program for 18 years. She is the only director of a program which prepares students for professional licensure. The Nursing Program admits and regularly graduates students twice a year, making it the second largest program of study at GCC. Palumbo supervises and evaluates 13 full-time faculty and staff, and depending on the semester, 25-30 part-time faculty, more than all other healthcare programs combined. A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Palumbo earned both her bachelor's and master's degree of Science in Nursing. Recognizing the importance of communication and connection to the surrounding community, she actively participates in a number of community organizations and activities. Most recently, she was invited to become a member of the Genesee County Health Department Quality Assurance Committee. She is also on several nursing advisory committees, including the University of Rochester, The (SUNY) College at Brockport, Daemen College and Roberts Wesleyan University. In collaboration with the Genesee County Health Department, Palumbo was responsible for organizing flu clinics and supervising student administration of the H1N1 vaccine to the community, including children, when there was an urgent need to immunize against the flu strain. She is also on the board of the Genesee Valley Nurses Association, which has been the recipient of grant funds to assist nursing students in the Rochester area with emergency funding, allowing them to continue their education. Palumbo resides in Darien.
Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
Joyce A. Chizick, adjunct instructor of Art and Business – Since she began teaching at GCC in the fall of 2000, Chizick has taught a total of 12 different courses in a variety of disciplines including Art, Business Administration, Fashion Merchandising Management and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Her classes are dynamic and lively, using humor, singing, dancing, acting out different works of art, in addition to traditional group work, discussions and presentations. Chizick serves as a member of the Global Education Committee at the College where she has presented several programs and assisted in more than 20 others. She is also a member of the Fine Arts Committee, an advisor for the Western Art History Club, and has served as a mentor in the Honors Program. Numerous GCC campus events benefitted from Chizick's creative touch as she dedicates her time to activities such as the annual fashion show and Encore and other scholarship fundraising events. Chizick earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Education from The State University of New York at Buffalo and also obtained a bachelor's degree in International Business from SUNY Empire State College. She resides in Lyndonville.
Timothy M. Palmer, adjunct instructor of History – Palmer has taught as an adjunct instructor for the College since 1992. He has held classes in traditional classroom settings, developed and taught online classes, traveled extensively to satellite facilities to teach, and has taken his enthusiasm and dedication into the New York State Corrections System, most notably Attica Correctional Facility. Palmer earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in History from The (SUNY) College at Brockport and taught as an adjunct professor at his alma mater from 1999 to 2011. A voracious reader, Palmer keeps up with current developments in his discipline spending three to four hours a day reading monographs and journals. He has authored several published articles that reflect his research interests and desire to keep in tune with the latest scholarship, which he brings to the classroom to the benefit of his students. His passion for teaching is obvious to the most casual of observers and in 1996, he was awarded the Genesee Community College Phi Theta Kappa Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition, Palmer earned the Art Lee History Award and Robert Griswold History Award at The (SUNY) College at Brockport and the Teaching Excellence Award, presented by the GCC Student Government. He resides in Greece.
Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Patricia Hume, executive secretary, Development and External Affairs – Hume, who joined the Genesee Community College staff in 2006, serves as the secretary to the College Foundation Board. She oversees the records and work flow of the office, and schedules all meetings and activities for the Board, which has nine committees and 31 members. Among its many functions, the Foundation Board organizes "Encore," an annual holiday tradition which is the major fundraising event for student scholarships and involves many of the College's departments as well as an extraordinary number of citizens from the region. Hume serves as the central liaison for "Encore" and is crucial to its long-running success. Hume is also responsible for the important and voluminous digital records held in the office's custody, which includes data entries on some 35,000 constituents, often appended with tightly secured personal information. She maintains an active presence at virtually all major College events and is willing to go beyond the scope of her position to help her colleagues. As an alumnus of Genesee Community College herself, Hume, class of 1988, is a strong supporter and booster of all things GCC. She resides in Pavilion with her husband, Ted, and son, Aiden.