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July 18, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Excelsior Scholarship, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College would like to remind local citizens that the deadline for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program is this Friday, July 21, with all applications for the 2017-2018 academic year due.

Qualified students interested in taking advantage of the program for the upcoming fall semester must:

  • Be residents of New York State;
  • Plan to attend a SUNY (or CUNY) two- or four-year degree program;
  • Maintain good academic standing;
  • Complete 30 credits per year and make timely progress toward graduation;
  • Be on track to graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.

To apply, new or returning college students must have copies of their 2015 New York State income tax return(s), current unofficial academic transcript showing credits earned each year, and the most recent financial aid package and/or 2017-2018 Student Aid Report (SAR) available will aid in the application process.

When fully implemented, the Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, is expected to allow 200,000 students to attend a State University of New York (SUNY) college tuition free. Tuition-free college can begin this fall 2017 semester for students whose families make up to $100,000 annually and extend to those making $125,000 annually by 2019.

To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship or obtain further information, visit www.HESC.ny.gov.

Alternatively, the new Student Success Center at GCC's Batavia Campus is now OPEN! New students can also attend a START (Student Testing Advisement Registration Tuition) Day to take care of all of the necessary steps to gain admittance to GCC. Students can meet with one of the College's new success coaches who offer assistance every step of the way! Anyone in need of assistance filing for FAFSA should bring 2015 tax information.

START Days are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday through July 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at all GCC campus locations. To schedule an appointment, call the Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or the campus location nearest to you.

The fall semester at GCC officially begins on Monday, Aug. 21! The full semester of courses runs for 16 weeks, and classes are available at all of GCC's seven campus locations, as well as online.

With GCC's extensive offering of class times and locations, students of all ages can pick the right time, day or place that meets their needs and suits their schedules.

To apply online for classes at any Genesee Community College campus location, students can go to the College's Admission Web page at http://www.genesee.edu/Admissions or call the Admissions office at 585-345-6800.

July 12, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, notify.

There is a report of smoke in the "switch gear room" at Genesee Community College.

The building is being evacuated.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: No fire, small amount of smoke in the building. Engine 24 can continue response non-emergency.

June 16, 2017 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, GCEDC, business, batavia.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees Monday evening approved its first-ever application for participation in the Start-Up New York program, which permits eligible companies to operate tax-free on or near SUNY campuses for 10 years. Trustees approved Tencar Inc. for participation, a medical equipment manufacturing firm founded in 2011 by Georgann M. Carrubba, of Basom, a 2003 graduate of GCC's Nursing program.

Tencar will operate in the Genesee County Economic Development Center's Med Tech Park, located on the south side of Hawley Drive, across from the Batavia Campus. Genesee Community College designated the Med Tech Park as part of the Start-Up NY zone two years ago.

The Start-Up NY application will now be forwarded to the New York State Empire Development Corporation and State University of New York for review and final approval. Reid J. Smalley, executive director of Workforce Development, said that approval may come within the next 60 days, permitting Carrubba to begin operating in the Med Tech Park.

Carrubba, who serves as CEO of the company, developed and patented an innovative ostomy device that prevents awkward leakage and odor among patients with colostomies and related conditions. The product is expected to go to market later this year. Product components will be 100-percent made in the United States, and Carrubba has concluded an agreement with the 3M Company to use its products in the manufacturing of TenCar devices.

The Start-Up NY program is open to new or expanding businesses that align their operations or products with academic disciplines taught at SUNY campuses and some private college and university campuses. Genesee Community College students in the Nursing, Fashion Design and Business programs will have the opportunity to learn product design, customer service, business operations, and entrepreneurship principles from TenCar. The company hopes to make internships available to GCC students and hire GCC graduates in the future.

Prior to the Board's decision, the College's Start-Up NY Committee scrutinized the company's plans and operations, and determined that the company's presence in the GCC Start-Up NY Zone would benefit the College and its students.

President James M. Sunser said that he and the staff were proud of Carrubba, and believed that TenCar, a graduate-founded company, is an especially appropriate choice for Start-Up NY participation. Several trustees praised Carrubba and said they believe her company's innovative product will make a significant difference in the lives of ostomy patients.

June 14, 2017 - 12:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees set 2017-2018 tuition at $2,025 per semester for full-time students, an increase of $50 over 2016-2017 tuition. Tuition for part-time students will be $165 per credit hour, an increase of $5. Genesee's tuition and fees will remain among the lowest among all State University of New York colleges, President James M. Sunser noted.

Trustees also approved a $40.92 million operating budget for the coming fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018, up less than 1 percent from the current $40.54 million budget. The budget is a maintenance-of-effort budget, said Sunser and Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin P. Hamilton.

The operating budget:

Funds all of the College's academic programs and services at current levels;

Provides for the heating, lighting and maintenance of the new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena;

Seeks an increase of $50,000 in annual support from the Genesee County Legislature, sponsor of the College.

Anticipates New York State aid totaling $10.61 million, significantly less than the one-third funding anticipated as part of the state legislation creating the SUNY system.

Although the College has named seven success coaches as part of its innovative new success coaching program for students, the College has not increased the total number of student services staff members. With careful planning, the College reorganized many of its non-classroom functions, and created new success coach positions by reducing the number of positions in other college departments.

"Success coaching is a very efficient and productive way for us to deliver services to students, but more important, it provides students with the very important personal guidance they need to be successful in their academic careers and beyond," Sunser told trustees.

The budget will next be presented to the Genesee County Legislature. After Legislature approval, the budget will be presented to SUNY for final review and approval.

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

Heard Nominating Committee Chair Donna M. Ferry report that the Committee has recommended the re-election of the Board of Trustees' current officers for the 2017-2018 year: Laura J. Bohm, chair; Ms. Ferry, vice chair; and Peter R. Call, secretary. Officers will be elected at the Board's annual meeting July 10.

Heard Finance Committee Chair Peter R. Call report that the Committee had reviewed the College's third quarter financial report. Revenue and expense is meeting budget targets for the first nine months of the fiscal year, which began last Septe. 1,  Call said. Board members approved the third quarter financial report.

Heard William T. Emm report that work on the new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena is nearing completion. Contractors are completing painting, carpeting, cabinetry and installation of various finishes. The College is awaiting delivery of the large stairwell railing in the Success Center. Rubber flooring and wall padding has been installed in the Arena. Furniture has arrived, and staff members are expected to be moving into the two new buildings over the next four to six weeks.

Heard President Sunser report that the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. has issued regulations on the new Excelsior scholarship program. He also reported that students may now apply for the new scholarships through the HESC website. Under the Excelsior program, students from families with adjusted gross income of $100,000 may receive a tuition scholarship provided students meet various academic criteria. The adjusted gross-income eligibility threshold increases to $110,000 next year and $125,000 in 2019.

Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia M. Taylor report that applications for summer 2017 study are up 11 percent. The College offers two summer sessions, the first running from June 5 to July 8, and the second from July 10 to Aug. 12. Taylor also said that the College has received 420 applications from area high school students for the Genesee Promise Plus program, and 260 of these students have already registered for classes. Genesee Promise Plus has been growing steadily, enrolling 185 students in 2013, and increasing each year, to 243 in 2016. Through Genesee Promise Plus, high school juniors and seniors can register for one or two courses, and have costs paid by a Genesee Community College Promise Plus scholarship. Students of any age interested in registering for summer or fall courses can view a listing of available courses on the College's web site www.genesee.edu, or call 585-345-6800 for more information.

Heard President Sunser report that the College has filled four key positions, replacing three staff members who are retiring this spring and one staff member who has moved to a different College department. They are:

  • Levi T. Olsen will join the staff as director of Buildings and Grounds, replacing Timothy M. Landers, who is retiring July 2 after 33 years of service. Olsen comes to Genesee with 15 years' experience in facilities management at the University of Rochester. He currently serves as assistant director of Utilities and Energy Management. Olson, a resident of Basom, is a graduate of Genesee Community College (Class of '98), and holds a B.S. degree from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. degree from the University of Rochester.
  • Laura J. Taylor will join the staff as instructor of Fashion Business Merchandising, replacing M. Richard Dudkowski, who is retiring after 33 years of service. Taylor is a member of the faculty of Villa Maria College in Buffalo. She holds a B.S. degree from SUNY College at Oneonta and a M.F.A. degree from the Academy of Art University in California. She is pursuing a Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. Taylor is a resident of Akron.
  • Jessica R. Olin will join the staff as director of Library Services, replacing Nina T. Warren, who is retiring after 25 years' service. Olin has served as library director at Wesley College in Maryland, and has served as a faculty member at Hiram College (Ohio) and Landmark College (Vermont). She holds a B.A. degree from Hood College (Maryland), a M.A.E. degree from Touro University (California), and a M.L.I.S. degree from Simmons College (Massachusetts). She lives in the Rochester area.
  • Edvardo R. Pabros Jr. will fill a vacancy in the College's Institutional Research Office as Institutional Research associate. He comes to Genesee from Lockheed Martin, where he has been a software engineer and programmer for 15 years. He holds a B.S. degree from California State University and has completed advanced certificates in various information technology fields. He is a resident of Le Roy.

Heard President Sunser thank and congratulate seven members of the faculty and staff who are retiring this spring. In addition to Landers, Dudkowski, and Warren, President Sunser also thanked Margaret E. Heater, Ed.D., associate dean for Student Development, who has served GCC for the last 11 years; Mary Jo Dumuhosky, testing coordinator, who has served GCC for 31 years; Elizabeth Geuss, assistant Learning Lab and tutor coordinator who has served GCC for 30 years; and Cheryl M. Young, who has served GCC for 36 years.

Heard President Sunser report that St. John Fisher College has reserved two annual spots in its highly regarded Wegmans School of Pharmacy for Genesee Community College graduates who meet required academic criteria. Students completing the program receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Approved a policy requiring review and authorization of on-campus fund raising sales and events by student clubs, athletic teams and other internal groups. The policy is important because of the growing volume and complexity of laws and regulations governing fund raising, said Policy Committee Chair Benjamin J. Bonarigo Sr.

Viewed "The Human 50," a video of students, faculty, staff and trustees gathering in the form of a "50," marking the College's 50th anniversary. The video was created on May 4, and may be viewed on the anniversary home page at http://sunygcc50.genesee.edu/.

June 5, 2017 - 12:02pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Katherine (Kate) Trombley as the new director of the Adult Education Opportunity Center (AEOC).

Trombley joins GCC with a wealth of experience and is excited to work with and support adults in Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties as they begin, resume or continue their educational objectives, goals and dreams.

"I am extremely passionate about education and learning," Trombley said. "Through this position, I will be able to assist adults who would like to attend college, obtain vocational training or change careers through the support of the services that AEOC offers to the region.

"I am very excited to share the resources and opportunities with potential students from Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Cattaraugus, Allegheny and Livingston counties."

The AEOC at GCC strives to assist adult students in connection with the appropriate resources that will help them to meet their individual goals.

With locations in Batavia, Arcade, Albion, Geneseo, Warsaw, Belmont and Basom, adults receive assistance with the admissions and financial aid forms and processing, as well exploring academic and career options, scholarships, and sorting through different academic scheduling that can include evening, weekend and online learning opportunities.

Trombley's prior position was with Western New York Independent Living in Buffalo where she served as director of outreach and community engagement and as the director of the Medicaid Application Assistance Program since 2012. At Western New York Independent Living, she was responsible for community engagement, education and outreach efforts.

These included community presentations, training about Medicaid, and community events to broaden the general understanding about programs and services which assist individuals with disabilities to achieve goals surrounding education, employment, housing, or other personal and professional growth through the Independent Living Center.

Trombley also taught Business Technology as an adjunct instructor at Bryant and Stratton College from 2012 – 2015, and was an adult educator of Strategic Planning/Business/Marketing at ITT Technical Institute in 2010.

She earned a master's degree in Executive Leadership and Change from Daemen College, a master's degree in Adult and Continuing Education and a bachelor's degree in Public Communications from the University at Buffalo. She is a resident of Lockport.

For further information on the AEOC, including available resources, locations, and contact information, visit the Center's website at http://www.genesee.edu/home/resources/adult-educational-opportunity-center/ or contact Kate Trombley directly by calling 585-345-6836 or emailing [email protected].

May 24, 2017 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, schools, education, business, GCC, news, byron, elba, Pavilion, corfu.

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Press release:

"What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?" is a question often asked by the Agri-Business Academy students during tours of local agriculture businesses. The answer is almost always the same. "Labor."

The challenge of finding dependable, hardworking individuals for stable, well-paying careers in agriculture has been a constant battle for agriculturalists for years. As the instructor of the Agri-Business Academy, I've spoken with local agribusiness people from more than 100 local agribusinesses and the need for good employees is a common thread.

The common misconception is that these are not careers, but physically demanding jobs that do not require a college degree and involve a way of life that many would not willingly choose. Today, agribusinesses are usually seeking applicants with college degrees, technology and management experience, and business and communication skills. What is most important is that the compensation aligns with these requirements. In addition, the benefits and satisfaction that comes from working in the agriculture industry is unlike any other.

Agriculture continues to be the number one industry in Genesee County and the driving force of the local economy. When students of the Agri-Business Academy toured Torrey Farms, among the largest agribusinesses in New York state, they heard Maureen Torrey Marshall explain that Torrey Farms does not simply employ a few people in the surrounding community.

She described the multiplier effect, which means that other businesses, such as trucking companies, mechanic shops, equipment dealerships, transportation hubs, technology, fuel and fertilizer suppliers, and many others are all part of the agribusiness economy. Most people do not recognize the many different aspects of agriculture and the need for individuals with a broad array of interests and expertise. Animal and plant systems, food products and processing, agricultural mechanics, precision agriculture, agribusiness networks, international trade, environmental and conservation systems, and energy use are just a few of the trades under umbrella of agriculture.

To ensure that the agriculture community has the employees they need to thrive, and to continue to be the bedrock of our community the Agri-Business Academy is again seeking high school seniors to learn about careers in all aspects of agriculture. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College.

Through this program, the students earn 15 college credits through the ACE program at Genesee Community College. They spend half the school day in the Agri-Business Academy enrolled in the following five college courses: Western New York Agriculture, Career and Educational Planning, Principles of Business, Principles of Biology and Public Speaking.

Throughout the year students tour area agribusinesses to learn and experience these businesses, job shadow professional producers and at the end of the year each student participates in a two-week internship. This year's Agri-business Academy students are working at their internships experiencing many different aspects of agribusiness -- from robotic and organic dairies to maple syrup and crop management and much more.

The following locations throughout Western New York are currently sponsoring student internships: DeLaval Dairy Services in Corfu, WBB Farm in Alden, Beaver Meadows Audubon Center in North Java, Merle Maple Farm in Attica, Cottonwood Farms in Pavilion, Cornell Cooperative Extension in Wyoming County, Schierberdale Holsteins, Perry and WNY Crop Management in Warsaw.

If you know of a current junior or underclassman who is interested in business or agriculture, or is unsure of a career path, please encourage them to apply for the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. Through the Agri-Business Academy, students explore the plethora of wonderful careers available to them -- locally, internationally or often it is a dynamic blend of both.

Whether they like working inside or outside, with their hands or crunching numbers, handling heavy equipment or studying the nuances of soil (agronomy), tending to livestock or discovering how technology can help feed the world-the "Ag Academy" is a career starter.

Jack Klapper, an Agri-Business Academy graduate and Cornell University assistant men's basketball coach, said, "I would recommend this academy to anyone, whether they are pursuing a career in agriculture or not. The life skills I developed in this program are some of the best skills I have ever learned."

Applications are available at http://www.genesee.edu/home/ace/career-pathways/agri-business-academy/.

The first 20 students to submit their application will receive a free Genesee Community College flash drive wristband.

Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me at 585-344-7783 or [email protected]. Check out the Agri-Business Academy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Agri-Business-Academy-680673051998953/

Top photo: Agri-business Academy student Cherie Glosser of Warsaw High School with calf at Post Dairy Farms.

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Agri-Business Academy students at Torrey Farms, in Elba.

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Agri-Business Academy students at Porter Farms in Elba.

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Agri-Business Academy students at SJ Starowitz Farm, in Byron.

May 23, 2017 - 4:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, online learning.

Press release:

The State University of New York (SUNY) has pioneered the world of online learning, and its success has been made possible in part by a community of researchers, instructional designers and online educators.

To build its foundation and advance its online efforts, SUNY launched the Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) that celebrates, connects and grows effective online learning education practitioners across the SUNY system while also furthering its knowledge of the most effective teaching and learning practices in online education. Two faculty members at Genesee Community College, Gary Glaser and Jennifer Sisbarro will now be on the forefront for this advancement, after being named SUNY COTE Teaching Ambassadors for 2017. Glaser and Sisbarro were nominated by the College and by accepting, became the first COTE Ambassadors from GCC.

Glaser has taught both online and in-class courses at GCC for eight years. He developed Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2 hybrid courses to help students work around their busy schedules, providing a large digital library of materials that students can utilize and reference when not in the actual classroom or lab. He also developed a fully online Human Biology class, which includes an online lab component. Gary currently serves as the chair of the Online Faculty Advisory Committee at the College, which is responsible for improvements to the online learning environment.

Sisbarro is an assistant professor of music at GCC. She serves on the Online Faculty Advisory Committee and she participated in the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) course orientation. Among the online courses that Sisbarro teaches are: History of Rock and Roll (MUS 203), Music Appreciation (MUS101), and Basic Musicianship (MUS102). She also developed the online Hip Hop Culture (MUS107) course. Sisbarro began teaching at GCC in 2014, and she previously taught at Finger Lakes Community College and Hobart and William Smith College. She has been performing in musical theatre productions since the age of 10, and has toured internationally with the Geneseo Chamber Singers and performed with the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble.

"I am passionate about teaching online, and I believe that online learning is a wonderful alternative for non-traditional students who have careers, families, health issues and other life commitments," Sisbarro said. "I feel fortunate to be offering classes for students who otherwise may not be able to attend college."

The SUNY COTE is nationally and internationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence through research-driven, community-supported practices of innovative teaching, learner-centered instruction, and pedagogy-focused approaches. SUNY COTE ambassadors are awarded a certificate of recognition and a digital badge in honor of distinction, and are considered exemplary online SUNY educators who are enthusiastic and effective in online teaching and positive, as well as strong advocates for online teaching and learning within the SUNY community.

Genesee Community College currently offers 16 different online associate degree and certificate programs and was ranked as the number one Best Online College for community colleges in New York State by Affordable Colleges Online (AC) in 2016-2017. The College offers more than 100 online courses each full semester; and tuition and fees are below $5,000 for full-time study for a full academic year.

May 23, 2017 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, GCC, volleyball, soccer.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Athletics Department has announced dates for upcoming soccer and volleyball camps to take place this summer at the College.

The camps will be taught by GCC coaches and players as well as other select coaches and players, and offer young athletes an opportunity to learn the skills and techniques of the game all while having fun.

Boys and girls ages 12-17 that want to work on soccer goalkeeping skills will have the opportunity to do so at the strictly-goalkeeper soccer camp beginning on June 18. The camp will meet on Sunday's (6/18, 6/25, 7/2, 7/9 & 7/16) from 3 – 4:30 p.m and the cost of the camp is $75.

GCC women's soccer Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt will run the camp and focus on all aspects of the game with the keepers, including lots of individual attention. Players will be placed according to age (based on numbers), creating a healthy, challenging, learning environment for each player. The sessions are serious and intense, but will never lose sight of the fact that soccer is a game and player's enjoyment is the number one priority. For more information contact Coach Reyngoudt: [email protected] or by calling (585)330-3593.

The GCC women's soccer program will host a camp for girls ages 12 – 17 and boys ages 12 – 17 from July 24 - 28. Head Coach Reyngoudt will be joined by other area coaches and college players throughout the five-day camp, which will run each day from 9 – 11:30 a.m. for girls and 12:30 – 3 p.m. for boys. The GCC soccer program believes the "game" is the best teacher and that philosophy will be evident at the camp. Cost of the camp is $125. Contact Coach Reyngoudt with any questions or concerns: [email protected] or by calling (585)330-3593.

GCC volleyball and Head Coach Tricia Ziebarth will host a volleyball camp for boys and girls in grades 7-12 on Aug. 7 – 9. The camp will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day and Coach Ziebarth will ensure that each participant learns the proper, fundamental techniques essential for the sport. Participants will learn the skills, drills and thrills of volleyball led by Ziebarth and select assistant coaches. Cost of the camp is $125. Contact Coach Ziebarth with any questions or concerns: [email protected] or by calling (607)765-7627.

For further information and registration, visit www.geneseeathletics.com/camps

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

May 21, 2017 - 8:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news.

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More than 600 students received their diplomas this afternoon from Genesee Community College in a ceremony that also honored a local philanthropic couple, a man long dedicated to the college and featured a keynote address by a nationally recognized local author.

Bill Kauffman, author of "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette," "Ain't My America," and "America First!," as well as the screenplay for "Copperhead," encouraged students to pay attention to small kindnesses, to be good neighbors, to be present, and make a difference in the place where they plant their roots.

"Engage with each other," Kauffman said. "Talk face to face in communion with one another. Live a real life, not a virtual life. The vividness, the color of the world outside is so much more spectacular than anything you can see on a high-definition TV screen."

The college is celebrating its 50th year, Kauffman noted, and that too has a message about place and the connectedness of community.

"It was born in the summer of love through a citizens' initiative, a grassroots movement of the people in Genesee County," Kauffman said. "It was organic, a natural outgrowth, not something imposed upon us by some distant authority."

Kauffman ran down the list of names of local people who have been honored with buildings named after them at GCC, such as Anthony Zambito, William Stuart and Barber Conable.

He remembered Zambito as a man of many talents and great knowledge, a scientist, a broker, and a muck farmer. He was also a trustee of the college and fan of Cougars sports. Kauffman said he knew him only briefly, when he and his wife, Lucine, first moved to Elba. He exemplified the small kindnesses, Kauffman said, of a person who tended to leave people feeling better after meeting him.

“He was a kind old man with wise eyes who would always find times to speak to me when I saw him in the post office,” Kauffman said.

Conable, the namesake of the technology building, served in Congress for 20 years, and later was head of the World Bank, but he always came back to Genesee County.

"He effortlessly moved between worlds," Kauffman said. "One day he would fly to Washington and chair a meeting of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and the next day he would be back in Genesee County having coffee and donuts with his friends at Genesee Hardware."

Kauffman recalled that Conable once told him that eventually all of his accomplishments in Congress would soon be forgotten, but Kauffman said he did make a difference in the lives of people around him.

"The difference these people made were on a more intimate scale, the human scale -- the only scale that measure a person’s worth," Kauffman said.

He also talked about his friend, author, and newspaperman Henry Clune, who lived to 105 and still performed windsprints in his front yard into his late 90s. He also drank a martini every day promptly at 5 p.m. 

But that wasn't what led to a long life, Kauffman said.

"Henry was interested in his neighbors, in his own backyard, in what was going to happen next," Kauffman said. "He participated. He listened. He engaged. He reached out. He found something he loved to do and he did it as well as he could with joy and pride and always with a sense of gratitude. Henry wasn’t jaded. He wasn’t bored. His mind hadn’t been dulled by hundreds of hours of video games."

Clune celebrated Rochester in his writing, the way Kauffman has frequently celebrated Batavia in his, and in the end, Kauffman told the graduates, wherever they wind up, they should find the wonder and mystery of the place they live and love it.

"You're not just graduating today," Kauffman said. "You're graduating from Genesee Community College. The name means something. It's important. The community in Genesee in varying ways and varying degrees shaped you. Now it's your turn to shape it.

"For those living in other counties, in other states, in other countries, it's your turn to shape those places," Kauffman added. "You can enrich your place. You can make it better, kinder, livelier, more inviting, or you can just skate along on the surface, making no difference, leaving no one's life better for having met you. It's your choice."

Honored during the ceremony were Edgar and Mary Louise Hollwedel, who have spent lives dedicated to making life better in Genesee County, especially through education, most recently giving a large gift for a new children's room at the Pavilion Library, as well as being long-term supporters of GCC. They were awarded GCC Foundation's Alpha Medal of Service.

They had their own message about the secret of life: "The harder you work, the luckier you get."

Norbert J. Fuest, an advocate for the college since the 1980s, and credited with encouraging hundreds of people of all ages to start their college careers at GCC, was awarded an honorary degree.

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Bill Kauffman

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Edgar and Mary Louise Hollwedel

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Norbert Fuest

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May 18, 2017 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, batavia, news.

Genesee Community College is ready to welcome students to campus under the state's new free-tuition plan for SUNY schools, known as the Excelsior Scholarship, said College President Jim Sunser, but implementing the program won't be without a few snags.

First, Sunser said, not all the guidelines and rules have been released yet, so school counselors have less information than is ideal for advising students. Second, the program could have a small impact on cash flow for the college.

The way the program works is, students must successfully complete two semesters of 15 credits each. The state will pay the first semester, but no payments will be released to school for both semesters until the student has successfully completed a full 30 credits.

"From a cash-flow perspective, we would have to wait until the student finishes before we’d see the dollars, so there is an eight-month lag," Sunser said.

Based on the current school population and demographics, GCC expects about 100 students to enroll in the program, and since most would be expected to successfully complete 30 credits, the negative cash flow impact is expected to be something the college can absorb.

Of course, one of the goals of the Excelsior program is to encourage more students to enroll in college, and the college is ready to embrace a higher enrollment if that's the outcome, Sunser said.

"We would very much like to see as many students as possible take advantage of it and take advantage getting an education here in New York, for sure," Sunser said.

The Excelsior program is a "last dollar in" scholarship, meaning if a student has other grants or scholarships, those would be used first to pay for tuition and Excelsior would make up the difference.

Because of the 30-credit requirement, Excelsior may not be the best option for some students who might otherwise qualify, so school counselors will work with students to help them find the best fit.

"When they come in, we’re going to individually advise them through Student Success Center and we’re going to let them know if this is the best possible avenue for them to pursue or even if campus-based scholarships might make more sense," Sunser said. "We’ll work with them one-on-one to make sure they get to where they need to be."

Sunser spoke about the scholarship program after providing the County's Ways and Means Committee with a budget update Wednesday afternoon.

The college trustees have not yet approved the budget, but it's expected that it will call for an increase in spending from $40,537,000 to $40,923,000, which Sunser noted is less than a 1-percent increase in spending. 

"On our budget, we are already cost conscious and make sure we are as responsible as we can be," Sunser said.

The county, as the sponsoring county, is required to make a sponsorship contribution to GCC's budget.

Currently, the county's contribution is about 6 percent of GCC's budget. Sunser said that's the second-lowest sponsoring county's contribution in the state.

In recent years, the amount of the county's contribution has been going up by $50,000 per year. Last year, there was some sentiment on the part of legislators that they didn't get enough time to provide input or deliberate its contribution, so there was no $50,000 increase and Sunser agreed to open up communications with legislators earlier in the process. He said he provided an update in the fall and then yesterday's appearance was made in advance of the final budget being approved.

This year, the college is asking for a $100,000 increase in county share, covering the $50,000 not provided last year and $50,000 for this year.

Sunser said the trustees are looking to approve the budget next week. The committee took no action yesterday on the request.

May 17, 2017 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, softball, sports, batavia.

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Batavia's two girls 12U fast-pitch softball teams got to play for the first time yesterday on the field at Genesee Community College, which Coach Matt Landers said was a real treat for the girls.

Sophia Papponetti got the win on the mound for the Batavia Black squad, with Emma Bigsby taking the loss Batavia Yellow. Landers said it was a close game until the sixth when Batavia Black broke open the game to secure a 19-11 win.

Submitted photos and information.

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May 15, 2017 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, GCC.

Press release:

WHO: College Village Student Residential Community -- graduating & incoming student residents​

WHAT: College Village Swap Shop

WHERE: The Root / Basement of Hemlock Hall, 8170 Batavia-Stafford Townline Road (adjacent to Genesee Community College, Batavia)

WHEN: Ongoing through May 19

HOW: A FREE take-something / leave-something opportunity for student residents

WHY: At the end of every collegiate year, the dumpsters at many college residential communities are overwhelmed as outgoing students attempt to pack up all of their acquired goods from their apartments and dorm rooms and stuff them into suitcases, totes, cars or boxes, and then toss away what they cannot carry home. This annual process can be an environmental tragedy, especially since in two months the next group of incoming residents begins to acquire many of the same items that were just tossed away!

College Village, the residential community adjacent to Genesee Community College, introduced the "Swap Shop" in 2015 to help stem the environmental waste and also help incoming students.

In its third year, Swap Shop encourages residents to donate any unwanted items that are in good condition, including clothing, kitchen utensils, college gear, electronics and even unopened nonperishable foods and sundries. Swap Shop has passed along everything from working microwave ovens, hair dryers, favorite snacks (just in time for final exams or traveling home), clothing and many other valuable, reusable products.

"Last summer, our incoming international students, many who had just traveled 20-plus hours from very faraway places, were excited and very appreciative of the left-behind ethnic foods and kitchen utensils from the recently departed students," Mary-Clare Stokes, assistant director of Residence Life and Learning recalled.

"They do not have cars and having a few basic items in their new apartments during those first few days is a real asset to them. Swap Shop is a win-win-win for all and we are delighted to continue this program this year."

What remains from the Swap Shop later in the summer will be donated to a local charity. Last year, an entire truck load of reusable household items were donated to Clothes Closet of Varysburg.

May 4, 2017 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news, agriculture.

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Ninth-graders from throughout the GLOW region were at GCC today for the 2nd Annual Precision Agriculture Day. The series of lectures and demonstrations were an opportunity for students to learn about career options in agriculture that involve technology. It was a chance for them to see how technology is changing farming to increase yields and reduce costs, whether it be GPS-guided plows and seeders, or drones that use aerial photography to determine the level of nutrients in soil so farmers know better how to manage fertilizing their crops.

The demonstrations included soil fertility, crop management, drones, GPS/GIS mapping, data analysis, animal technologies and auto steering.

"We would really like to see our youth return to the field of agriculture," said Jennifer Wakefield, program coordinator with the BEST Center. "It’s our area. It’s where we live. We need young people to work in these fields."

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May 4, 2017 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, college, education, news.

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Some of the students and staff at Genesee Community College came together today on the lawn outside the north side of the forum for an aerial photo of them forming a human number 50 as part of the college's year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Photos courtesy Genesee Community College.

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Morgan Eastlack, owner of Morgan Joanna Films in Albion, was the drone operator for the event.

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Cindy Hegelberger, assistant professor and reference services librarian, was a participant.

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With the GCC Cougar, Kristen Murk, student activities and organizer of the event, and Cliff Scutella, director of student activities.

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April 28, 2017 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news.

Press release:

Clifford "Cliff" Scutella has spent most of his professional life working with students. From his early beginnings as a program supervisor at Monroe Community College to his current role as director of Student Activities at Genesee Community College, Scutella has had an impact on hundreds of lives. With such an effect on so many people throughout the years, it's no surprise that the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) recently recognized Scutella with a Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring him for great service to the hundreds, if not thousands of students he has worked with and supported through the many years.

"I am very proud and humbled by this recognition," Scutella said. "For as long as I have been fortunate enough to work in the positions I've had, I have never felt as though I've worked a day it my life."

Scutella is no stranger to earning praise from the APCA, having been named the National Advisor of the Year by the Association in 2012 and the Northeast Regional Advisor of the Year in 2011. He also received a State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2003 an award given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and the pursuit of excellence. And, Scutella was also been hailed as Who's Who in American Junior Colleges.

The APCA strives to promote campus engagement through quality educational experiences, affordable entertainment and community service initiatives. The Association hosts many annual leadership development workshops and conferences for regions and teams through the year and throughout the country. Last year, over 600 college or universities and more than 2,000 students and higher education professionals attended in APCA conferences and activities.

From 1969 through 1973, Scutella served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Enterprise. Following his military service, he helped veterans obtain employment and further their education as a counselor for the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester. He then worked as a program supervisor, student activities advisor and assistant director of Student Activities at MCC before moving to The College at Brockport where he held the role of alumni affairs director. Scutella began his time at Genesee in 1990 and has held the role of student activities director ever since. He was named the assistant dean for student life in 2006, a role he held for two years.

Cliff earned an associate degree from MCC before obtaining a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and a Master's Degree in Education from The College at Brockport. He is a member of the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI), the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), College Student Personnel Association of New York (CSPA), Rochester Area Activities Directors (RAAD), and many other student and higher education groups. Cliff has volunteered his time for community service initiatives such as STOP DWI, Smoke Free, Planned Parenthood, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Drug Free Communities. At GCC, his committee work supports student retention, strategic planning, the fine and performing arts, global education and in-service training.

Outside of work, Cliff enjoys spending time with his family, gardening and sporting events and activities which includes chasing around his eight grandchildren. He currently resides in Brockport

April 28, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Roz Steiner Art Gallery, GCC, arts, entertainment, news.

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A new show opened at the Genesee Community College Roz Steiner Art Gallery yesterday featuring the work of students. The show, called Vision, runs through May 21.

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April 26, 2017 - 6:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, annual fashion show, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's 36th Annual Fashion Show scheduled for Saturday, April 29, which means more than 250 designers, seamstresses, coordinators, models, hospitality, security and refreshment experts, MCs, photographers, videographers and product merchants are all working in high gear.

This year's show entitled, "Elysium," is derived from Greek mythology and describes "an often imaginary place or state of utter perfection and happiness" sometimes referred to as paradise or a land where all beauty lies.

Students are now putting the finishing touches on their interpretations of "Elysium," introducing different Greek gods and goddesses into the design concepts making up 14 separate, fast-moving scenes. Each scene has its own coordinator(s), models, music, merchants and of course, a fashion feast of color, fabric, style, accessories, movement, motion and sensation.

The following highlights the scenes with each coordinator and supportive merchant in the upcoming Fashion Show:

TERPISCHORE - Goddess of Dance and Chorus

Scene Coordinator: Kayla Suchanick (Fredonia)

HADES & PERSEPHONE - God of the Underworld & Goddess of Spring/Underworld

Scene Coordinator: Jenna Curcio (Rochester)

Stores/Designers: Windsor, Autumn Fox Creations, My Witchery, Loy Gross, Vivo Masks, Party City (Greece)

TITANS - Second Generation of Divine Beings

Scene Coordinators: Dominique Hughes (Medina) & Bailey Johnson (Hamlin)

Stores/Designers: Kohl's (Batavia), Taylor Wilson

CHLORIS - Goddess of Flowers

Scene Coordinators & Designers: Naoko Hayashi (Ishikawa, Japan) & Momoka Fukatsu (Shizuoka, Japan)

EURYBIA - Goddess of the Sea

Scene Coordinator & Designer: Nadine Jeffery (Batavia)

ZEUS - King of the Gods

Scene Coordinators & Designers: Anthony Walker (Liberia) & Luke Kondrat (Exeter, NH)

HEMERA & NYX - Goddess of Day & Goddess of Night

Scene Coordinator & Designer: Jesse Foster (Oakfield)

ODYSSEUS - Greek Mythological Hero

Scene Coordinator: Mariah Paddock (Clyde)

Stores: Gitman Bros.

MAAT - Goddess of Truth, Balance & Order

Scene Coordinator & Designer: Alicia Acker (Rochester)

FATES/MOIRAI - Deities of Fate

Scene Coordinators & Designers: Min Muchler (Dansville) & Seonggyung Choe (Busan, South Korea)

NEMESIS - Goddess of Revenge

Scene Coordinators: Lyesha Lantz (Rochester, NY) & Daisha Spence (Raleigh, NC)

Designer: Lyesha Lantz

APOLLO - God of Music

Scene Coordinator & Designer: Masato Tsunekawa (Tokyo, Japan)

GAIA - Goddess of the Earth

Scene Coordinators: Ciera Schwartz (Akron) & Mary Nolan (East Aurora)

Store: Francesca's Collections (Greece)

APHRODITE - Goddess of Love

Scene Coordinator: Kourtney Shearer (Mayville)

Stores/Designers: M.A. Carr Bridal, Dalia's Bridal, Jill Monroe, Megan Hollister, Charles Men's Shop

"Elysium" gives students the opportunity to not only express their creativity and originality, but to tell a story. By tying together elements from Greek mythology and drawing inspiration from the lives and personalities of Greek gods and goddesses, GCC students intend to show how today's fashion is much more than just a materialistic concept. The show will illustrate how GCC fashion students appreciate both art and history, and how aspects from different cultures are presented universally in the fashion world today.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of GCC's annual Fashion Show, the event features two complete shows scheduled on April 29 at 3 and 7 p.m. in the William W. Stuart Forum of GCC's Batavia Campus. Tickets for the show are available for $5 in advance or $7 at the door and can be purchased by calling 585-345-6830. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.

April 26, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, theater, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

Genesee Community College’s Stuart Steiner Theatre will be transformed into the deep jungle, allowing audiences to follow three cheeky monkeys. Seeno, Hearno and Sayno journey toward wisdom as they swing through the trees without a care, learning to survive as humans encroach upon their idyllic world.

Three Wise Monkeys is presented by GCC’s Forum Players Children’s Theatre Ensemble and features one show only at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28. Audiences of all ages will enjoy watching Seeno, Hearno and Sayno in their quest to find their lost baby monkey, Dono, and return him to his rightful place—all while eating bananas, of course!

Tickets are $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors (55+) and students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on adult ticket. To reserve seats contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814.

Cast and crew:

  • Maryanne Arena, artistic supervising director, Le Roy
  • Jessica Skehan, “Dono,” Holley
  • Taylor Renee Wilson, narrator, Cheektowaga
  • Mikayla Godleski, stage manager
  • Benjamin Martis, "Sayno," Curacao
  • Pedro Phellipe, "Seeno," Jundiai, Brazil
  • Valentine Strange, costume designer, Alden 
  • Becka Naber, dancer
  • Xochitl Rosario, dancer
  • Tillison Pease, sound designer, York
  • Emily Carey, narrator
  • Spencer Henley, "Hearno"/Tiger, Akron
  • Kaylee Koch, lighting designer, Alexander
  • Celeste Brownell, "Hearno"/Tiger, Batavia
  • Brie Cummings, backstage/projections, Bath
  • Gabriel Grey, backstage, Batavia
  • Robert Reiss, director, Batavia
  • Ed Hallborg, technical director
  • Tara Pocock, choreographer
  • Clare Francis, narrator, Alexander
  • Kandice Green, backstage

Photos by Maureen Spindler.

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April 20, 2017 - 7:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, writing, authors, Announcements, GCC.

Press release:

Noted author Stephen Schottenfeld will present a reading on Wednesday, May 3, at 12:30 p.m. in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery at the Batavia Campus of Genesee Community College.

"Bluff City Pawn" is Schottenfeld's most recent work, published in 2014 by Bloomsbury USA. The story follows a Memphis, Tenn., pawnshop owner as he enlists his brother's help in a scheme to acquire a valuable gun collection. Through the lives of three brothers, the book explores themes of class, family, race, ownership and loyalty during tough economic times where desperation and the drive to get ahead dominate.

He also completed a story collection, "Miss Ellen Jameson Is Not Deceased," and he is currently at work on his next novel. His stories have been published in various publications, including The Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and New England Review.

His work has garnered a grant from the Michener/Copernicus Society of America, a Halls Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Shane Stevens Fellowship in the Novel from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and special mentions in both the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Schottenfeld holds a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University and earned an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, where he is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He currently is the James P. Wilmot assistant professor of English at the University of Rochester.

JoNelle Toriseva, Creative Writing Club co-advisor and director of English, Communications & Media Arts, invited Schottenfeld to campus to share his work and creative process with students and the local community.

April 18, 2017 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, creativity, schools, education, news.

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Ladi Terry leads an exercise using photos to help foster creative engagement during one of the seminar classes at today's creative conference at Genesee Community College.

The half-day event included an opening speaker and several seminar sessions on a variety of topics.

Below, Shawn Adamson talks about storytelling frame and form using examples from Pulp Fiction. Bottom photo, a marketing session.

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