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July 31, 2018 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, batavia, education, 2016-2017 annual report.

Press release:

Genesee Community College has published its 2016-2017 Annual Report -- available for the first-time ever completely online!

In addition, the College adopted an agricultural theme for the report highlighting the surrounding community.

GCC's 2016-2017 Annual Report was published on a special website, http://annualreport.genesee.edu/ to support the College's sustainable business practices as well as to maximize accessibility to the information contained within the report. From the welcoming message on the report's homepage to the photos recounting the past year's dynamic stories, GCC demonstrates its commitment to the theme "Plant. Water. Harvest. Repeat."

"At its core, GCC plants seeds of knowledge, waters and cultivates the learning experience, recognizes and celebrates the harvest of contributions, and continuously refines and repeats the process to ensure our future," President James M. Sunser, Ed.D., said in the report's opening message. "We hope we have captured how our efforts echo the hard-work, innovation and dedication of the farming families and agribusinesses that have long made our community a strong and vibrant place to work, live and grow."

A multitude of stories with accompanying photographs are celebrated in the report representing innovative programs that "Plant" seeds for student success. Events such as the Annual Tech Wars hosted by the Accelerated College Enrollment program, lectures by Multicultural Communications Club, volunteers working with Habitat for Humanity and many other stories reflect GCC "We plant" initiatives.

The report's "Water" chapter includes images from a plethora of community events such as Veterans Day, the Harvest Festival and the popular Cougar Crawl weekend. Perhaps, and most appropriately, the "Harvest" chapter of the report is the longest, highlighting all the ways students, faculty and staff contribute to the community through GCC's Center for the Arts productions, the Scholars Symposium, the annual Fashion Show, commencement and so many meaningful efforts.

It is through the annual repetition of GCC's efforts that our communities continue to grow and succeed -- which are highlighted in the report's "Repeat" chapter. Finally, the "Supporters" tab of the report pays tribute by listing those whose donations to the College have helped ensure long-term success.

Everyone is encouraged to view the annual report at http://annualreport.genesee.edu/ and join in the celebration of the accomplishments of the past academic year.

July 6, 2018 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, strategic plan, framing our future.

Photo of Framing Our Future Steering Committee Co-chairs -- Professor and Program Director of Social Sciences, Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb, Ph.D.

Submitted photo and press release:

In May, the Board of Trustees at Genesee Community College approved the new Strategic Plan that will help guide the College through the next five years at all levels.

From academic program developments to the investments in teaching and learning technology, hiring new employees to facility improvements-both large and small decisions are all guided by the Strategic Plan.

The shape of GCC's future at all seven campus locations in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) Counties, as well as GCC's Online Learning, ACE Program and even developments at College Village will all be governed by the Strategic Plan through 2023.

"Framing Our Future" is the theme of the new plan and the comprehensive planning process began in 2017 with the establishment of a 32 member Steering Committee co-chaired by Professor and Program Director of Social Sciences, Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb, Ph.D.

Their combined efforts included a careful examination of the prior plan's priorities and progress, an online open input form, seven forum sessions scheduled across the GLOW region and involving more than 150 participants, 500 surveys, more than 1,000 ideas, suggestions and recommendations from the College and community, and thousands of pieces of data.

"Framing Our Future" now features revised Mission and Vision Statements. In addition, there are five major Priorities reinforced by Core Objectives impacting all departments. These become the new road map by which each unit measures its success in tri-annual reports and also develops annual goals or "Plans of Achievement," as they are commonly known across campus.

To view the Strategic Plan in its entirety, go to the designated Web page at:

https://www.genesee.edu/home/about/administration/strategic-planning-initiative.

"Framing Our Future is an essential management tool that drives our programs, budgets and operations. But simultaneously, it is also an embodiment of the aspirations we hold for our students, fellow colleagues, friends and neighbors," GCC President James Sunser said.

"I invite the entire community to review this important document and our core objectives which we have published online for easy access. We hope the communities that GCC serves will join us in harnessing the power of the future."

July 5, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, news, byron-bergen, bergen.

gccgrad2018-4gcc.jpg

Press release: 

As Genesee Community College's 50th graduating class crammed for finals, one student worked harder, practiced longer, collaborated more, and without realizing it she embodied the College's "Beyond Expectations" brand with quiet dignity and integrity seldom seen.

Lifelong Bergen resident, Lauren E. Stumpf was born in 1994 with cerebral palsy, and has relied on a wheelchair for mobility for most of her life. But this challenge never much slowed Lauren down, nor dampened her spirited disposition.

With hard work and dedication, she has enjoyed great success. She graduated from Byron-Bergen Schools in 2012 and months later enrolled at GCC with plans to earn a degree in Human Services.

Lauren's determination has always been a mark of her character and integrity, first by proving her doctors wrong by far exceeding their projected life expectancy of just five years. Then at GCC she excelled in her coursework and quickly made friends across campus.

Several months before graduation, Lauren decided she wanted to make the ceremony even more special by surprising her family and friends with another significant accomplishment -- walking across the Commencement stage to accept her degree.

To that end, Lauren began doing exercises to strengthen her muscles, and she contacted her friends who were enrolled in GCC's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. Together, with guidance from their professors, they helped Lauren by monitoring her progress, educating her about proper posture and exertion levels to ensure she rested appropriately and did not injure herself.

As Lauren proudly walked across the stage, the crowd cheered, applauded and many people jumped to their feet with enthusiasm and support. She shook hands with keynote speaker Kristina Johnson, Ed.D., the new SUNY Chancellor, whose speech included a message about optimism and rising to her own challenge of being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Lauren's determination inspired the GCC's admissions office to capture her story in a short video that would illustrate her resolve. It also will inspire others to meet their challenges head-on and realize the many resources available to help make their dreams a reality.

Lauren's story is proof that good news travels fast and far. After posting Lauren's story on the College's social media channels, there were more than 4,500 views in just one week. This included a message from Buffalo State College who is looking forward to having her on their campus this fall, as she begins her next challenge.

Lauren will be enrolled in Buffalo State's Special Education program, in part, as a tribute to her close friend who also enrolled in the program but sadly passed away before she graduated.

"After Buffalo State, I want to get a job as a special education teacher and possibly go back to GCC as a professor for the Developmental Disabilities class," Lauren said.

And to that GCC remarks, "Bring it on! We can't wait to see you."

Photo by Howard Owens.

June 25, 2018 - 4:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, elba, news, education, SUNY FACT2.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is proud to announce the appointment of Judith M. Littlejohn to the State University of New York (SUNY) Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2). SUNY FACT2 is a collaborative advisory body to the Interim SUNY Provost, Grace Wang, Ph.D.

Littlejohn, GCC's instructional designer, will begin her three-year term on the FACT2 Council next month and will represent the community college perspectives in advising the SUNY Provost office. The purpose of the FACT2 Council is to:

  • Improve the learning environment and expertise of faculty and instructional support staff;
  • Enhance the teaching and learning process through the use of technologies;
  • Increase networking, collaboration and sharing of best practices; and
  • Advocate for appropriately equipped and designed learning spaces.

"The entire leadership team at GCC is very proud to have Judie representing community colleges on the FACT2 Council," said Craig R. Lamb, Ph.D., GCC's dean for distributed learning. "Throughout her service to the College, she has continually shown a deep interest and dedication to staying abreast of new developments within teaching and learning technology.

"She also helps ensure our institution as well as the SUNY system overall maintains the highest quality in the online teaching and learning environment."

Littlejohn's career at GCC began as a testing center associate in 2000. She quickly advanced to the department of online learning where she worked for 10 years developing online curriculum, coordinating online learning functions and acted as an advocate for inclusion of opportunities for diverse student populations. In 2015, Littlejohn became an instructional designer.

Honored for "Outstanding Peer Support" by participants in the Emerging Technologies Massive Open Online Course (#EmTechMOOC) in 2018, Littlejohn has also been the recipient of the SUNY FACT2 Award for Excellence in Instruction at Community Colleges in 2016, and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2014.

She earned two A.A.S. degrees in Instructional Model Making and Commercial Art -- Graphic Design from GCC in 1993, a B.S. in History in 2010, and her M.A. in American History and World History in 2013, both from SUNY College at Brockport. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin Stout, which she earned in 2015.

Littlejohn resides in Elba with her husband, Martin, and daughter, Amanda Littlejohn. Judith Littlejohn, her daughter Amanda, and daughter Laura (Littlejohn) Hare of Lockport are all GCC graduates.

The announcement of Littlejohn's FACT2 appointment kicks off a new series of GCC news and information entitled "Recognition Matters," which will highlight the ongoing accomplishments of the College's faculty, staff and students.

The new program intentionally plays on the dual meaning of the word "matters." College officials are excited to feature the wide body of employees whose daily dedication to their jobs continues to foster the institution's "beyond expectations" brand identity.

June 15, 2018 - 11:47am

Notice of Public Hearing on Genesee Community College Budget

The Genesee County Legislature will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed budget for the Genesee Community College for the fiscal year beginning Sept. 1, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

All interested persons will be heard.

The Budget for Genesee Community College for the year Sept. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2019 is $40,153,000 with Genesee County’s share as sponsor in the amount of $2,586,374.

Pamela LaGrou, Clerk

Genesee County Legislature 

June 14, 2018 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Telly Award, craft virtual reality / 360, news, batavia.

From Forest Productions & Photography Inc., in Buffalo:

A 360-degree virtual reality tour video produced for the Recruitment Publications Department at Genesee Community College in Batavia is a Bronze Winner in the 2018 Telly Awards. 

Forest Productions and Photography in Buffalo, owned and operated by husband and wife team Michael and Christina Mandolfo, won the award in the Online category for "Craft Virtual Reality / 360."

“We are, of course, extremely honored to receive this award,” says photographer/videographer Michael Mandolfo. “We’re grateful for the forward thinking of GCC staff members that continually allow us to explore creative options and new technology to promote this exceptional college.”

Internationally known, the Telly Awards are the premier awards honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, the Telly Awards receive more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Entries are judged by the Telly Awards Judging Council, an industry body of 200+ working industry experts who have previously won the Telly Awards’ highest accolades and, as such, have demonstrable expertise in the categories they review.

Throughout 2017-2018 the Telly Awards refashioned its categories to honor the type of work being made by leading producers, including branded content, social video and animation, as well as working with industry experts to identify important industry categories where technology plays an impactful role in the ways stories are now being told: virtual reality, interactive and 360 video.

“Many colleges have impersonal virtual tours,” says Tanya Lane-Martin, associate dean for Student Support Services at GCC. “I wanted something unique and fun so I called Michael and Christina, as GCC has been overwhelmingly appreciative of Michael and Christina’s artistic and creative ideas for many years. They did not disappoint; the video has been very well received.”

This is the ninth Telly Award Forest Productions and Photography has received. Previously, the company has been awarded Telly Awards for its work for Fisher-Price.

To view the 360 Virtual GCC Tour video, click here.

About Forest Productions & Photography

With more than 35 years of experience in photography and more than 24 years experience in video production, the unique partnership created between husband and wife team Michael and Christina Mandolfo has consistently produced outstanding visual work that combines the client's conceptual focus with the creative sensibility necessary to create truly custom imagery. Continuing to produce top-quality work and treating each client with the same care and respect they share with their own family remains Michael and Christina's mission.

About Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College (GCC) is a student-centered collegiate community that annually serves more than 6,000 students with 70 academic degrees and certificates, and seven campus locations in Western New York. GCC is proud of its technological prowess that includes 80+ smart classrooms, 37 computer labs, seven distance learning labs and 18 science labs.

In addition to state-of-the-art onsite facilities, GCC also provides a robust online learning community. Both the onsite and online learning modalities boast a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio giving students plenty of hands-on, one-to-one teaching and learning opportunities. Genesee Community College is a committed to providing the educational experiences which promote intellectual and social growth, workforce and economic development and global citizenship. Additional information about Genesee Community College is available at www.genesee.edu.

May 25, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, GCC, education.

Photo of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence winners, from left: Raymond A. Boucher, Raymond Strzelecki, Tara E. Conrad; Joseph L. Ziolkowski, Candice S. Vacin, David W. Johson, Carol E. Geiselmann, and Timothy P. Tomczak. Missing from the photo is Amy Masters.

Submitted photo and press release:

A new formal ceremony -- "SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations"

As Genesee Community College prepared for its 50th Commencement on May 20, a new ceremony was introduced reinforcing the spirit of achievement, hard work and dedication. Instead of GCC graduates walking across the platform stage, College officials recognized members of faculty and staff.

"The new SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations was a formal ceremony, yet a fun and festive way to recognize the quality of service and the hard work of our GCC family," GCC's President James M. Sunser, Ed.D., said.

"It is a new tradition that combines several different award programs, and gives us all a chance to celebrate our hard work and also decompress at the end of the academic year."

The new event collectively recognized:

Longevity Service Awards recognizing 38 employees who reached milestone years between 10 to 30 years of service, collectively serving 630 years!

SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

The new Cougar Awards honorees were awarded as a surprise to the honorees in the following categories: Rookie of the Year; Teamwork Award; Spirit and Community Award; Innovation Award; Cougar Salute; Inclusive Excellence Award, and President's Award.

A special congratulations was also given to nine employees who have or will soon be retiring from GCC.

At this special ceremony, in front of the GCC community, Sunser and GCC's Board of Trustees Chair Laura Bohm awarded nine prestigious 2018 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.

Receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service,which recognizes consistently superior service contributions of teaching faculty over multiple years, was Professor and Director of Social Sciences, Timothy P. Tomczak.

Tomczak joined the faculty at GCC as an Instructor of Psychology in the fall semester of 1987. In that capacity his teaching load consisted primarily of courses in General, Abnormal, and Social Psychology. He expanded the range of his teaching subjects at the College to include Introduction to Logic and Child and Adolescent Development as well as Beginning Karate.

He has been a pioneer of the College's distance learning movement, first teaching "telecourses" and moving on to teaching online sections of psychology. Tomczak was also one of the first full-time faculty members to teach in GCC's ACE program at the program's inception.

In 1994, Tomczak received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Tomczak was promoted to associate professor commencing with the fall 1996 semester, and to the rank of Professor effective fall 2007, the year that he received the Chancellor's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Tomczak holds a B.A. in Psychology from Mercyhurst College and a M.A. in General Experimental Psychology from the State University of New York, College of Geneseo.

Recognizing consistently superior professional achievement, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to assistant registrar, Tara E. Conrad. Conrad came to GCC in 2007 as the records information specialist. She joined the highly productive Records Office which provided a great base of functional user knowledge of Ellucian Banner and that has been a central building block of her career.

Conrad has been a leader in developing technological solutions to complicated processes, creating time and cost efficiencies that support the mission of the college. She is recognized for her work both within the SUNY system and in other organizations and has been sought after to help in system-wide ways. Conrad's enthusiasm and flare for technology and her desire to work with software applications prevailed as her career unfolded at Genesee. She has lead several software implementation and has become an effective and essential functional resource for the college.

Conrad earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Merrimack College and a M.S. in Education from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. In addition, Conrad has received a one-year full-time appointment as a SUNY Provost Fellow, the first-ever at GCC. The focus of this fellowship is to perform research and develop recommendation for the implementation of Enrollment and Completion Infrastructure that would support SUNY's student access, completion and success initiatives with a particular focus on Re-enroll to Complete.

Technical specialist/ financial aid retention, Amy A. Masters, was also awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Masters first joined the joined the College staff in the Business Office in 2008 and transferred to her current position in Financial Aid in 2012.

As she did in the Business Office, she has made significant contributions to the operations and procedures of the Financial Aid Office, particularly in the areas of scholarship awards and tracking and streamlining office processes and forms. She was instrumental in making the scholarship application process a smoother one for students, both for institutional scholarships and emergency scholarships for students in need.

Masters has a B.S in Psychology from Elmira College and she continued her education since she has been at Genesee, receiving her M.S. in Management from Keuka College.

President Sunser and Bohm awarded Assistant Professor of Photography and Art Joseph L. Ziolkowski the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Service for his consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity, conducted in addition to teaching.

Ziolkowski has been a member of GCC's Fine Arts faculty since August of 2012. Upon arriving, he immersed himself completely in the GCC classroom the college community, and in continuing his own professional development. Ziolkowski provides "applied learning" opportunities for his students by frequently organizing field trips to exhibits and museums to expose them to all types of art.

He uses technology and other teaching modalities to engage the students and encourage them in their own creative development. He has a passion for creating and sharing it with the world around him that benefits his students and the internal and external college community.

Ziolkowski received a B.A in Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a M.F.A. in Photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.S.Ed. in Art Education from Nazareth College of Rochester.

The fifth award at the ceremony, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level of the highest quality was received by Associate Professor of Psychology, Candice S. Vacin. Vacin has been teaching psychology for over sixteen years and joined the GCC faculty in 2007.

She is committed to providing a learning environment for her students that helps them to be successful in her class and beyond, and she creates an environment that encourages each student to express their individuality in a safe and respectful way. She brings much energy to the classroom in her teaching, and she not only makes herself available to students via office hours, but she also meets with each student individually at various points in the semester to provide feedback on their progress and assist them as she can.

She uses a great deal of creativity in presenting the subject matter, and does so in a way that students can relate it to "real life." Vacin holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Niagara County Community College, a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Also receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching was David W. Johnson, instructor of Biology at GCC. Johnson joined the GCC faculty in 2014.

He is a strong advocate of the natural science program, bringing tremendous passion and enthusiasm for science, the teaching of science, and he values the role community colleges play in today's educational arena. The enjoyment that students get from his classes is evident by their enthusiasm in and out of class. He can often be found in the lab working with students and perfecting labs the students will be doing.

Johnson has spent a great deal of time reworking the General Biology sequence and bringing it into the new century with a modern focus. He belongs to several professional organizations in his field and has made several presentations both on campus and off.

Johnson received a B.S in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Oswego and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester.

Similarly, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level of the highest quality. Receiving this award was adjunct instructors Carol E. Geiselmann and Raymond A. Boucher.

Geiselmann has been a member of the Genesee adjunct faculty since 2011 teaching several English courses. For 10 years prior to that, Geiselmann was an instructor in the College's Accelerated College Enrollment program. She provides her students with clear syllabi so they understand their responsibilities for the course.

She willingly comes to campus on her days off or stays after class to meet with students and she continually provides feedback and encouragement. Geiselmann is an instructor who meticulously and tenaciously provides students with a solid foundation for life success, and an opportunity for each to develop their own style and voice, simultaneously instilling confidence as students learn and develop writing skills.

Geiselmann earned an A.A. in Arts from SUNY's Orange County Community College, a B.A. in Education/English from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.S. in Education/English from Elmira College.

Boucher joined the adjunct faculty at Genesee in 2003 and has taught a variety of course in Theatre, English and Speech. A 2014 winner of the NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence, Boucher is a master teacher.

While he sets high expectations for his students, he is cognizant of the differences of learning styles and he varies his teaching methods to help students be as successful. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom that students find intriguing, and a disciplined yet fun energy that keeps control of the classroom and invites students to explore. Boucher takes his teaching responsibilities very seriously and is a role model for faculty.

Boucher holds a B.S in Theatre Arts and in Literature from the State University of New York at Brockport, post-graduate classes in English Education from Buffalo State College, and a M.A. in Literature from the State University of New York at Cortland.

The final SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence was presented to Raymond J. Strzelecki, Building Maintenance supervisor, for Excellence in Classified Service. This award is a system-level award established to give recognition for superior performance and extraordinary achievement by employees in the Classified Service.

These awards demonstrate SUNY's commitment to individuals who provide superior service to its students and the community at large.

Strzelecki started his career at GCC as building maintenance mechanic in 1991 and went to building maintenance supervisor in 2002 and has been an outstanding employee ever since. He is a team player and demonstrates excellence by continuously going above and beyond in the scope of his job description.

He provides exemplary customer service to the entire College community and is highly respected by his colleagues. This recognition formally thanks Strzelecki for being a role model to everyone on campus.

For the newly established "Cougar Awards," nominations for each of these categories were collected throughout the last semester, and the selected honorees were a tightly keep secret until the moment the awards were announced catching all recipients as a complete surprise.

Recognizing Cougar Accomplishments

In the Cougar Awards segment, Director of Buildings and Grounds Levi T. Olsen was recognized as the Rookie of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in his first six months on the job.

Fittingly, the entire Buildings and Grounds team, 37 members in all, were called to the stage next to receive the Teamwork Award. The field house audience came to their feet showing appreciation and gratitude for the tireless work of this group especially in light of the two new buildings that were brought online in the past year.

For her exemplary school spirit, secretary in the Financial Aid Office Rebecca S. Patterson received the Spirit and Community Award. Next, ACE Program specialist Karlyn M. Finucane was awarded the Innovation Award for the inception and implementation of the STEM Program that provides young students who are gifted in the math and sciences with the opportunity to pursue college credits while in middle and high school.

The Cougar Salute, which was presented to GCC's Dean for Distributed Learning and Learning Technologies Craig R. Lamb for consistently demonstrating the College's core values.

For embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community, Director of Student Activities Clifford M. Scutella was awarded the Inclusive Excellence Award. The final Cougar Award, the President's Award, went to Director of Athletics Kristen E. Schuth for her distinguished efforts and services in support of the College's mission and strategic priorities.

Milestones of Service

Genesee Community College also used the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony to recognize employees' attainment of milestone service through the Longevity Awards.

  • Celebrating 30 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Meredith L. Altman, Math/Science; Wayne R. Gruendike, Buildings and Grounds; Timothy P. Tomczak, Social Science; and Mark E. Yasses, Housekeeping.
  • Marking 25 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Patricia S. Furness, Albion Campus Center; Karin E. Kovach-Allen, Ph.D., Social Science; and Garth P. Swanson, Humanities.
  • With 20 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Ricky D. Bezon, Buildings and Grounds; Jennifer L. Ross, Computer Services; Kathleen A. Kimber, Humanities; Pamela E. Swarts, Art Center; Robert J. Terry, Buildings and Grounds; Diane M. Marchese, Buildings and Grounds; Tanya M. Lane-Martin, Student Services; and Lorraine S. Anderson, College Services.
  • For 15 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Celina M. Bartz, Student Support Services; Christine Belongia, Humanities; Michele L. Terry, Student and Enrollment Services; Patricia E. Chaya, Student Services; Timothy D. Davalos, Buildings and Grounds; Jessica L. Hibbard, Warsaw Campus Center; Michael C. Perry, Media Services; Edward J. Levinstein, ACE Programs; Susane J. Nugent, Records; and Margaret I. Szczesniak, Dansville Campus Center.
  • The newest milestone employees, celebrating 10 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Erik L. Anderson, Campus Safety; Charmayne R. Bloom, Medina Campus Center; Tara E. Conrad, Records; Debra J. Crossett, Math Science and Career Education; Rebecca J. Day, Upward Bound; Michelle A. Peck, Athletics / Health and Physical Education; Ebony N. Ross, Admissions; Charles L. Scruggs, Humanities; Daniel E. Snyder, ACE Programs; Candice S. Vacin, Social Science; John M. McGowan, The BEST Center. This category also included Alicia M. Catlin, Career Pathways and Richard P. Bartl, Alfred C. O'Connell Library for 10 years of part-time service.

Faculty and Staff: Quality & Compassion

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony took a moment to share and admire the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year.

The number and breadth of these achievements exemplify the quality and compassion that seems near endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC.

From professional presentations to serving as a panelist, board member, keynote speaker, juror, volunteer, evaluator, singer, exhibitor and even earning a certified drone piloting license, 44 members of GCC's staff illustrated their dedication and top-notch professionalism, as well as their passion, patriotism and the idea of making the GLOW community a better place to live and work and flourish.

May 20, 2018 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, graduation, news, notify.

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More than 900 Genesee Community College students have completed their degrees in the past 12 months and today about 225 of them accepted their diplomas in a commencement service that also marked the yearlong celebration of GCC's 50th anniversary.

Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., chancellor, State University of New York, gave the commencement address. She focused on a theme of commitments -- commitment to be optimistic and persistent, commitment to being kind, commitment to community and charity, and a commitment to a sustainable environment.

Johnson started off with the story of her mother, whose father died when she was 9. Her mother's mother died in the middle of the Great Depression; Johnson's mother was in high school when this happened, and she was left to raise her two younger brothers alone. Eventually, she married and raised seven children. At age 60, Johnson's mother was finally able to return to school.

"If not for a community college she would have been able to pursue her passion to further her education," Johnson said. "Many of you are like my mom. You had to juggle lives, careers, family and all of the other responsibilities that go along with being contributing members of our very busy society, so today we’re here to celebrate you."

Johnson then told the story of one of her own young-life struggles. At age 22, while training for an attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which in 1979 was rarely curable.

"Imagine at 22 staring down a life of not surviving past 24," Johnson said.

When she started treatment, she went into a clinic for the first time and met two sisters, probably in their 60s. They had survived together in a Japanese internment camp and they were tough.

Johnson sat down and one of them said to her, "Is this your first time?"

Johnson wanted to know how she knew and the woman said, "because you look scared."

"I was crushed because truly I was scared," Johnson said. "I didn't know what to expect. I didn’t know if it would hurt. I didn’t know if I would be able to compete in my sport. I didn’t know if the treatments would work."

Weeks went by with Johnson continuing treatment and by now she was a veteran, having settled into the routine. One afternoon, in the waiting room, again with the two sisters, another woman came in and sat down. Johnson asked her if she was new.

"Yes, how did you know?" the woman replied.

"I looked up at the two sisters and I winked," Johnson said. “'Well,' I said, 'you weren’t here yesterday and we’re all here at the same time every day so it has to be your first time.' I then proceeded to walk her through what was going to happen next.

"I could see the fear I had felt and I said to her, ‘think of something nice.’ She got up, she walked out of the waiting room, and before she walked in (to the next room), she turned around and looked at me and she said -- "

At this point, Johnson stopped. With hundreds and hundreds of people in the Call Arena, there wasn't a whisper, a ruffle of paper, a snap of a shutter or the squeak of a chair. Silence as far as the ear could hear.

Johnson composed herself, "She said, 'I'm going to think of you.'"

Johnson said she can never tell the story without becoming emotional.

That became one of the greatest memories of my life because on that day I chose to be kind," Johnson said. "There didn’t seem to be any other choice but to be kind without expecting anything in return."

From these lessons, Johnson encouraged the students to commit to optimism and to be persistent no matter what they encounter in life.

"I remain a committed, if not obnoxious, optimist," she said.

She also told students to commit to kindness but to also accept themselves without judgment.

"While you’re busy practicing kindness toward others, I want you to do one other thing," she said. "I want you to be kind to yourself."

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Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty Pumps, was honored by the Alumni Association for his charitble support of the college.

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To purchase prints, click here.

May 11, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, commencement, education, batavia.

Press release:

Like a crescendo of a year-long concerto, Genesee Community College is fine-tuning all the logistics of its 50th Commencement Ceremony scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, in the new Richard C. Call Arena (RCCA), one of the last events of its multifaceted 50th Anniversary celebration.

More than 200 students are anticipated to walk across the stage after hearing Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., the new Chancellor of the State University of New York give the keynote address.

In addition to this being the College's 50th Commencement celebrated in a new facility, other unique aspects of this year's event are the 44 international students that will be graduating this year; 11 of those are from the island nation of Curacao.

GCC is also delighted that 10 students from area high schools will be completing their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas. These 10 graduates participated in the inaugural cohort of the College's STEM Program with the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office, which started back in 2012 when the students were in seventh grade.

Several other special opportunities are also going to be part of the event.

"Overall, this is a very exciting Commencement Ceremony for the College," GCC President James M. Sunser said. "So many wonderful opportunities are coming to fruition and all in the name and spirit of student success. This ceremony will be one to remember." 

The Commencement ceremony rehearsal will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, in the RCCA to prepare soon-to-be graduates for the procession.

Prior to the rehearsal, representatives from Carlson's Studio will be set up in Room H103 of the Call Arena to take individual graduation photographs. Graduates should be in cap and gown, and have payment for their photo package.

Graduates are encouraged to contact Carlson's Studio in advance at (585) 786-2871 or via email at [email protected] to inquire about photo packages and pricing. Families can also pre-order flowers and gifts for their graduate through this website https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/Genesee/.

Each GCC graduate received five tickets for guests to attend the ceremony inside the RCCA Fieldhouse as part of their commencement package. There are no additional tickets available.

On Commencement Sunday, guests with tickets can enter the Fieldhouse starting at 12 p.m. for general admission seating. All guests, regardless of age, will require a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.

Additional seating for guests without tickets is available on a first come, first served basis in the Stuart Steiner Theatre where the ceremony will be broadcast on the Theatre screen. The doors of the Theatre will also open at 12 p.m.

For distant family and friends scattered around the world and unable to enjoy the event in Batavia, the entire Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed with easy access from GCC's website or at this Web address: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/.

Accessible seating accommodations are available in both the RCCA Fieldhouse for ticketed guests and non-ticketed guests in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. For details, please contact GCC's Office of Student Activities (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, or via email at [email protected] before Friday, May 18, to make arrangements.

GCC's Child Care Center will be open for all graduates and guests for children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age to allow family and friends to focus on the ceremony. However, guests wishing to bring children to the commencement are required to have a ticket for each child regardless of age.

To sign up for FREE child care services, please contact Student Activities or call (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, before Friday, May 18. The Child Care Center will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

May 10, 2018 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in precision ag day, GCC, education, schools, news.

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Dr. Keith Carlson, with Attica Veterinarian Associates, explains bovine artificial insemination to high school students today at Genesee Community College for Precision Ag Day.

Precision Ag Day provide students with an overview of the science and technology used in modern agriculture, including drones, GPS-guided tractors, and robotics.

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Bradley Hirschman, a student at Pavilion, tries his hand at flying a glider with a camera attached toward a target.

May 9, 2018 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, art, news, batavia, GCC.

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The Batavia Society of Artists opened its annual spring show at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Tessa Lynn, a resident of Batavia, received Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship.

Lynn believes art is the culmination of all of human history and like art of the ancient past, she tries to focus on visual stories that may inspire a more considerate future. After attending Genesee Community College, she plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Eventually, she would like to illustrate books.

"My hope is to always keep creating art," she said. "I don't believe that there is ever a point where a creator should stop learning, even after years of practice and observation. My artist journey has only just begun."

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Brian Kemp won first place in the member's competition.

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Karen Crittenden, second place.

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Third place went to Nicole Tamfer.

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May 8, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, serving beyond expectations.

Press release:

For five decades, Genesee Community College has celebrated its graduating classes at commencement, and the College is excited about the upcoming 50th annual graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 20.

The College, however, is also pleased to be introducing a new tradition this year.

On Wednesday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena, the "SUNY GCC Employees -- Serving Beyond Expectations" ceremony will formerly recognize the many outstanding achievements of GCC's faculty and staff.

Among the highest honors are recognizing the recipients of prestigious 2018 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence, which includes the following:

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

  • Timothy P. Tomczak, professor/director of Social Sciences

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

  • Tara E. Conrad, assistant registrar
  • Amy A. Masters, technical specialist/financial aid retention

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Service

  • Joseph L. Ziolkowski, assistant professor, Photography and Art

Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • Candice S. Vacin, associate professor of Psychology
  • David W. Johnson, instructor of Biology

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

  • Carol E. Geiselmann, adjunct instructor
  • Raymond A. Boucher, adjunct instructor

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

  • Raymond J. Strzelecki, building maintenance supervisor

"Genesee Community College has long had a reputation for being a great place to work," GCC's President James M. Sunser said. "In the spirit of commencement and the hard work and commitment of our students, we have also wanted to recognize the dedication of our faculty and staff who consistently go beyond expectations in helping our students succeed.

"This new event is the opportunity to honor the many GCC employees whose passion and compassion are on the job every day."

It should be noted that some College offices will be closed the afternoon of May 16 to accommodate the new awards ceremony.

In addition to the SUNY Chancellors Awards, the new "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony will also recognize employees with extensive years of service at the Longevity Awards with benchmarks of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service to the College.

And, the College also created a whole new segment of recognition with seven unique categories of service in the newly adopted "Cougar Awards" in the following areas.

Spirit and Community Award -- celebrates exemplary school spirit

Innovation Award -- recognizes one who's implemented idea made a positive impact on GCC

Cougar Salute -- honors a supervisor or manager consistently demonstrating GCC's core values

Teamwork Award -- praises superior performance by a department or cross-functional team

Rookie of the Year Award -- acknowledges the outstanding achievements of a new staff member

Inclusive Excellence Award -- commends a significant role in embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community

President's Award -- distinguishes the efforts and services of an individual in support of the college's mission and strategic priorities

The Cougar Award nominees are secret until the awards ceremony and recipients will be named live during the event.

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony recognizes the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year.

The number and breadth of these achievements exemplifies the quality and compassion that seems near endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC. Forty-four members of GCC's staff, and many of them with multiple honors and recognitions are listed under the general Awards category.

From professional presentations to serving as a panelist, board member, keynote speaker, juror, volunteer, evaluator, singer, exhibitor and even earning a certified drone piloting license -- GCC staff members are an active collection of top-notch professionals motivated by passion, patriotism and the idea of making the community a better place to live and work.

May 7, 2018 - 1:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, education, GCC, news.

Press release:

On Thursday, May 10, starting at 9 a.m., more than 100 high school students from across the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) region will be participating in high-tech, agricultural career experience at Genesee Community College, hosted by The BEST Center.

The third annual Precision Agriculture Day at the College's Batavia Campus features a wide array of presenters from the industry who will share information on the latest technological, science, engineering, and agricultural trends including drones, embryo transfer, precision farming and processing, GPS/GIS, auto steering and robotics.

This emerging technology is anticipated to create new employment opportunities in the future. High schoolers from 13 districts across the four counties have the opportunity to discover more about these potential and exciting career pathways and will be checking out how these technologies are used in their own backyard of Western New York.

The Precision Agriculture Committee, chaired by Nathan L. Rudgers, senior vice president of Business Development at Farm Credit East,was formed in 2015.

The committee, comprised of local precision agriculture consultants, agricultural leaders, as well as high school representatives, has been providing guidance and input on the development of programs to address the educational and awareness needs of this growing field.

Advances in technology have resulted in agricultural systems collecting data and using it in multiple operations all controlled through a computer, tablet or smart phone. This technology has created education and training opportunities, but there is a lack of skilled workers.

Enter The BEST Center, which is working to provide multiple educational opportunities in this growing arena.

The BEST Center provides businesses and organizations with customized training solutions ranging from supervisory skills to technical training. The Center also offers numerous professional and personal development courses for individuals, including classroom and online opportunities.

April 30, 2018 - 5:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in maxine koberg, batavia, elba, news, GCC.

After working for the then-fledgling Genesee Community College District for more than 46 years, Maxine Koberg (nee Palmer) retired in 2016, leaving campus as an employee for the last time on Jan. 29th two years ago.

On Sunday, April 29th, the 72-year-old Batavia native and longtime Elba resident died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

In an article written about her in The Batavian upon her retirement, she said she worked steadily after graduating from high school, later passing a Civil Service exam then landing a clerk's job at the GCC. She planned from the get-go to stick with it; she said felt competant in her duties and liked her work.

By all accounts, Koberg was a true team player and got along well her coworkers.

The kind of dedication she embodied certainly seems increasingly hard to come by; long-term "institutional knowledge" spanning decades in any field, more rare.

For her full obituary, click here.

For the article about her retirement published Jan. 30, 2016, click here.

April 29, 2018 - 6:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Forum Players, GCC, news, arts, entertainment.

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The Forum Players performed selections Saturday night from 50 years of theater productions at Genesee Community College.

The show included selections from:

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Singin’ in the Rain," "Peter Pan," "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," among others.

These photos are from the musical "Chicago."

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April 29, 2018 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, fashion, news.

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To purchase prints, click here.

April 23, 2018 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, nursing program, GCC, Gatsby Gala, news, scholarships.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Nursing Program produces qualified and skilled candidates for positions in the healthcare each year. Under the direction of the Alumni Affairs Office, the Nursing Program Alumni are working hard to help qualified Nursing Program students overcome financial obstacles.

The GCC Nursing Alumni Committee established a new scholarship opportunity for future Nursing Program students to help mitigate financial obstacles to GCC student success. The entire community is invited to kick off National Nurses Week at the Batavia Downs at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4, for the debut of the Gatsby Gala to support the GCC Nursing Alumni Scholarship.

Guest registration at the event begins at 5:30 p.m.. followed by a delicious sit-down dinner with a cash bar at 6 p.m. Emcee Scott Gardner, president of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, will introduce: GCC's Director of the Nursing Program Laurel Sanger; Chase Hughes, of Buffalo, who will testify to the difference qualified and passionate nurses made for him and his family; and Jennifer Sonricker, of Warsaw, who will share her journey battling her daughter's cancer.

At 7:15 p.m. all guests have chances to win big with door prizes and a cash raffle! The evening will conclude with a beautiful dessert and dancing the night away to the DJ talents of students from GCC's radio station 90.7 WGCC.

Tickets to the Gatsby Gala cost $100 per person and all proceeds go directly to the GCC Nursing Alumni Scholarship.

Tickets are on sale now! RSVP online here. You can also contact the Alumni Affairs Office at [email protected]

The Nursing Scholarship is generously sponsored by the following:

Bronze Sponsors:

Summit Family Dental Care

Laurel Sanger

Jerilyn Constantino

Brenda Schiavone

Michelle Grohs

Jeffrey Erickson Law Office

In-Kind Supporters:

Bobette and Dan McCormick

Tops Friendly Markets in Warsaw

Healing Hands Massage & Spa LLC

Steuben Trust Company

Envision Salon & Spa

Michelle Grohs

Jeffrey Erickson Law Office

Additional Donations:

Robert O. Holley

There are still opportunities available to sponsor Nursing Program scholarships at many levels.

For online details go to: https://www.genesee.edu/home/offices/alumni/alumni-events/gatsbygala/ which offers commitments of $100 - $3,000 and also includes In-kind Support for those wishing to customize their sponsorship. All sponsorship levels include a variety of benefits from free advertising to photos, and GCC Foundation recognition.

For more information, contact Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Jennifer Wakefield at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6265, or via email at [email protected]

April 19, 2018 - 8:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, GCEDC, batavia, business, news.

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Students at Genesee Community College competed today in a business idea pitch competition. with a couple of hundred dollars in prize money at stake from StartUp Genesee Committee of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

In all, 17 individuals and teams competed, including Gino Vos, above, who pitched his idea of a tourism-related T-shirt company in his home of Kurasoleno, in South America. He won second place in the "Most Likely to Succeed" category.

The winner in that category was Glenn Holmes, with Livestock Haulage Company. Holmes is also an international student from Ireland.

The "Most Creative" prize went to Josh Berranco, Nathan Maniscalko, and Richard Estes, with the TV Show, "Spooky Kooky Investigation Inc." (see video below)

Second in "Most Creative," Paige Biggins, hockey for children with special needs.

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Casey Smalls, a GCC fashion student, pitched a new natural eyelashes product.

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Zoe Falsone, Paul Elliott, and Dave Inzinna, a TV show, "Music Then, Now, Forever."

April 19, 2018 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, poetry, news, arts, entertainment.

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Press release:

"Time" magazine recently quoted Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith as she talked about the value of poetry in our world today.

She said, "Poetry requires us to be humble and beholden to something other than our own opinion. That's important. There's too much in our 21st century lives that is telling us we're the most important thing, that our initial gut reaction is incredibly valuable and not vulnerable, and that our opinions as consumers are more important than just about anything else about us.

"A poem says 'No, no. You have feelings. You have fears. You have questions. Let's get back to the voice and the vocabulary of being human.' "

The annual student poetry contest at Genesee Community College is designed to do just that -- to encourage and reward students for their abilities to express their feelings, fears, questions and voices through poetry.

For the 17th year, the poetry contest illuminated the unique and impressive talents of GCC's students. On Tuesday, April 17, the six winning students were honored at an awards and recognition ceremony in the Alfred C. O'Connell Library where they each received a certificate, gift card, and a journal to encourage them to continue their writing.

The 2018 Student Poetry Contest winners, awarded by a panel of six judges, included:

Body of Work: Committee's Choice -- Catherine McCabe-Strong, of Rochester

McCabe-Strong is in her final year of Paralegal Studies at GCC. She is a repeat winner of the Student Poetry Contest.

Body of Work: Director's Choice -- Cameron Kowalczewski, of East Aurora

Kowalczewski began at GCC in 2016 as an Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) student and has since graduated high school and is now pursuing an associate degree in the Social Sciences with a concentration in English at GCC.

1st Place -- Nicole Favata, of Dunkirk

Favata is a Fashion Design student at GCC. Favata submitted a poem in spoken word format and the transcript is available on the Poetry Contest Web page.

2nd Place -- Raxel Piper, of Oakfield

Her second-place winning poem is entitled "The Perfect Woman."

3rd Place -- Mackayla Poorman, of Farmersville Station

Poorman is pursuing an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts at GCC's Arcade Campus Center and plans to transfer to a four-year college for writing and to minor in Theater. Her creative poem format was inspired by several of her favorite authors; Maggie Stiefvater, Jennifer Niven and Jonathan Safran Foer.

Honorable Mention honors -- Gabrielle Rozanski, of Avon, for her piece, "Tomorrow."

The entire works of these students can be found onGCC's Alfred C. O'Connell Library Poetry Contest Web page.

"Our students have many responsibilities between their studies, clubs, sports, jobs and families that demand their time and attention," Assistant Professor and Reference Services Librarian Cynthia Hagelberger said.

"We are thrilled to see so many of them putting in the extra effort it takes to enter the poetry contest each year. The library is proud and honored to offer a program that provides students with a public forum to celebrate their writing skills and creativity."

April 16, 2018 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in golf, sports, news, GCC, Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble.

Press release and photos from Genesee Community College:

While there may still be flurries in the air and icy sidewalks, the Alumni Affairs Office at Genesee Community College is thinking about golf!

Registration is now open for the third annual Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble scheduled for Monday, July 23, at the Stafford Country Club, 8873 Morganville Road (Route 237) in Stafford.

The Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble allows up to 36 foursomes for the 18-hole event at the esteemed Stafford Country Club. Sign-in starts 11:30 a.m. with lunch available, and golfers tee off in "shotgun" style at 12:30 p.m. 

Registration is $125 per golfer and includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, all beer and nonalcoholic beverages during play, lunch and dinner with a cash bar, and much more!

To join the event for dinner only is $25.

Most importantly, all proceeds go directly to GCC Student Scholarship Program, making higher education possible for deserving students in our community.

The registration deadline for golfers is June 15. Contact Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Jennifer Wakefield at 343-0055, ext. 6265, or via email at [email protected].

The golfer registration form is also available online here.

Additional opportunities to sponsor GCC scholarships are available at a number of levels ranging from $100 to $3,000.

Sponsorships for golf games, including a putting contest, longest drive, closest to the pin, and beat the pro and other in-kind support efforts are also being accepted.

A sponsorship sign-up form with all donation details is available here and should be sent to Jennifer Wakefield at [email protected] to reserve a sponsorship level.

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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