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Milestones

Registered and logged in users can post Milestones for free.

To post, go to Create Content > Blog Entry. Tag your post “milestones.”

Milestones include engagement, wedding and birth announcements as well as job promotions, military service and similar personal accomplishments of you and your family that you wish to share with the community.

September 12, 2017 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in CG legislature, gregg torrey, news, Milestones.

Press release:

Genesee County Legislator Gregg Torrey is being honored by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) for graduating from the NYSAC County Government Institute. The ceremony will be held at the NYSAC Fall Seminar in Syracuse on Wednesday.

The County Government Institute is an educational collaboration between NYSAC and Cornell University to provide training to county leaders. Curriculum includes required courses on building consensus, financial management, ethics, management, and the foundations of county government.

“The NYSAC County Government Institute has been a great platform to meet with County Leaders throughout the State to discuss the issues that we all face,” Torrey said.

William E. Cherry, NYSAC president and Schoharie County treasurer, hopes for experiences such as Torrey’s.

“The County Government Institute equips county officials with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to address the challenges and opportunities of leadership, and to engage in civil dialogue with constituents as well as fellow leaders,” Cherry said.

Torrey is currently serving his second term as a Genesee County legislator. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation, and on the Public Service Committee. In addition to his work with the county, Torrey works as a commercial real estate agent and licensed real estate appraiser across New York State and is the is the managing partner of Springbrooke Properties LLC.

“The Institute’s vigorous curriculum prepares county leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the increasing demands of local government leadership in now and in the future,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

CGI courses are offered at NYSAC’s upcoming Fall Seminar in addition to an annual Legislative Conference in February, and Finance School in May. Courses are also offered regionally throughout the year, and enable county leaders to stay up-to-date on timely issues and opportunities in local government.

“This [Institute] has allowed me to bring new information and ideas back to Genesee County and has made me a more effective legislator,” Torrey said.

For more information about the County Government Institute, visit www.nysac.org/cgi.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for Member Counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

September 7, 2017 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, Oakfield, girl scouts.

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York Troop 42141 from Oakfield made a trip to Cabarete located in the Dominican Republic this past July. 

Girl Scouts Ava Flores, Abby Gardner, Emma Osborn, Regan Burgett, Taylor Wells, along with troop co-leaders Kelly Flores, Stephanie Burgett, and Robin Woodams spent the week-long trip making new friends with some local girls who are now starting their own Girl Scout troop!

They did a beach cleanup and also did volunteer work with a boys group called Inspiredr. The girls also had the opportunity to have fun snorkeling and learning authentic cultural dances. 

The girls also held an exciting bridging ceremony where they moved up from Cadettes to Senior Girl Scouts as they zip lined across the jungle canopy! A bridging ceremony acknowledges accomplishments achieved at a certain age level of Girl Scouts and advances them to the next program level.

The girls added that the trip fulfilled their personal mission statement, commenting, “The purpose of our trip is to expand our limits, have cultural experiences, make new friends, and have fun!”

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit gswny.org.

August 7, 2017 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Mario Rosales Jr., a 10th-grade student at Batavia High School, was selected as the Staff Honor Cadet at the 2017 Buffalo training.

Mario was selected by the Navy Sea Cadet Corps commanding officers for the honor. Cadets from several divisions across various states attended the training. Mario served as the company commander for the Alpha company and is also a petty officer in the Sullivan's Division.

Mario is a member of the varsity cross-country and track teams at Batavia High School and works part-time at Ed Arnold Scrap Processors during the summer. He is the son of Mario and Gretchen Rosales, of Batavia. He is the grandson of Al and Sue Rosemark, from Elba, Vicki Brownell, of Albion, and Antonio and Virginia Rosales, of Mexico.

August 2, 2017 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, darien center, Gary A. Graber.

Gary A. Graber, town justice in Darien and Darien Center, attended the National District Attorneys Association's Commerical Driver License/Commerical Motor Vehicle Conference in Cincinatti, Ohio, this summer.

He spoke, from a judicial perspective, on Commerical Vehicle Law.

In a July 6 letter thanking him for his contribution to the conference, National Traffic Law Center Director Thomas Kimball wrote:

"Dear Judge Graber:

"On behalf of the National Traffic Law Center and all the participants in our class, let me extend out deepest gratitude for your valued contribution to traff safety at NDAA's CDL/CMV Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, was June 15-16, 2017.

"Your judicial perspective on Commercial Motor Vehicle Law was extremely informative and very well received. Many participants commented on how helpful your discussions were, especially as it relates to the topic of Masking.

"We recognize the substantial time and energy you put into your teaching segments and arranging your visit.

"Thank you again for your contribution and your consistent partnership with the National Traffic Law Center."

August 2, 2017 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, elba, Announcements, Milestones, bergen, Stafford, Pavilion.

(Photo above: Dorothy (Stefani) Bater, of Le Roy, and sisters Dolores (Stefani) Lathan, of Le Roy, and Ruth (Stefani) Tracy, of Rochester, were the oldest in attendance at this year's Stefani-Costa family reunion.)

Submitted photos and press release:

The families of the late Baptist and Christina (Costa) Stefani, and Dominic and Johanna (Rigoni) Costa gathered for their 37th consecutive annual family reunion at Le Roy’s Wildwood Park on Sunday, July 30, 2017. Wildwood Park is located on Munson Street Extension near the Le Roy Community Swimming Pool. Both founding families made their homes in Lime Rock (New York).

Linda (Orlando) Totten, of Elba, Carol (Orlando) Panepento, of Pavilion, Gloria (Orlando) Oliver, of Le Roy, and Amy Panepento, of Le Roy, hosted the event.

After a potluck buffet and cookout, followed by selections from a sweets table, the family held a short business meeting.  A review of family news since last year included the following:

  • Dorothy (Stefani) Bater, of Le Roy, was the oldest person in attendance at age 90, followed closely by Dolores (Stefani) Lathan of Le Roy, who is one day younger. 
  • The youngest family member to attend was 14-month-old Ryder Christopher Barclay, of Byron. He is the son of Samantha Blake and Joe Barclay. Ryder’s proud parents are expecting another addition to their family in April.
  • The only new member of the family is Abby Grace Aradine, born on on Oct. 17, 2016. She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Bethany (Pocock) Aradine, of Bergen. Her older sister, Kate, was last year’s youngest reunion participant.
  • Michelle Goldstin and Tim Sisson, of Piffard, have recently become engaged to be married.
  • Rena C. Wagner, 90, of Batavia, passed away on Thursday, July 6, 2017. She was born Dec. 17, 1926 in Asiago, Italy, and was a daughter of the late Peter and Battastina Dalle Ave Costa. She is survived by her brother, Victor (Jean) Costa, of Le Roy, and her sister, Mary Regone, of Virginia.

Next year’s event chairs are Marilyn (Costa) Pocock, of Bergen, Darlyn (Costa) Hawkins, of Le Roy, and Richard Costa, of Stafford.

(Photo below: Jennifer (Slane) Blake, of Elba, enjoyed the reunion's beautiful weather with grandson Ryder Barclay.)

July 31, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Alexander Fire Department, news, Milestones.
 Matthew J. Pietrzykowski, left, in his NYSP uniform, and Bruce Mack, president of WNYVFA.
 
Submitted photo, information, and press release:
 
The Alexander Fire Department is proud to announce that one of its own, Matthew J. Pietrzykowski, was named the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association "Firefighter of the Year Award for Heroism" at the 118th annual convention, hosted by the St. Johnsburg and Frontier fire departments in Niagara County.
 
The convention was held July 27th - 29th. Matt received his award at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 29th at the Annual Awards Ceremony which took place at  St. John's Lutheran Church.
 
According to his nomination letter submitted by the Alexander Fire Department, written by President D.R. Henderschott and Fire Chief Marshall Merle:
 
In the early morning hours of April 30, 2016, the Alexander Fire Department was called to assist Town of Batavia Fire Department as a FAST team while they worked a house fire.
 
A quick response team from Alexander prompted command to upgrade Alexander to interior attack. While looking for extension on the second floor of the structure, the ceiling collapsed on a firefighter, disorienting him and making him unable to get out of the strucutre by himself.
 
Matt was in the same area when the ceiling collapsed. Realizing a firefighter was in need, he radioed a "may day" and went to the down firefighter and assisted him into the bucket of the ladder truck and out of the building.
 
On the night of May 20, 2016, the Alexander Fire Department FAST team was called to assisted the Town of Batavia Fire Department with a working house fire, unknown if occupied.
 
Alexander was again moved up to interior attack. Matt and his partner began a search for victims on the first floor while other crews battled the fire. Matt was able to recover two young victims who unofrtunately had already perished.
 
These two scenarios only begin to shine some light on who Firefighter Matthew Pietrzykowski is, with his steadfast commitment to the Alexander Fire Department.
 
In other coorespondence, Alexander fire officials said "Thank you for your service Matt!"
 
Matt was accompanied to the awards ceremony at the convention by his parents, Patrick and Barbara Pietrzykowski, of Bethany, along with his fiancee Rachel Marchewka and their 4-month-old son, Logan, and many members of the Alexander Fire Department.
 
Matt graduated this spring from the NYSP academy and is assigned to Troop B in Essex County. The NYSP assisted the Alexander Fire Department in arranging for Matt to be at the Awards Ceremony to receive this honor.
July 11, 2017 - 5:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, ellen della penna, scholarships.

Press release and submitted photo:

ALBANY, NY -- The New York State School Facilities Association announced that Allison Della Penna, a junior at Utica College, is a recipient of the Fred Hack Memorial Scholarship.

Della Penna, a graduate of Batavia High School, is studying Child Psychology. She is a member of the Division 3 NCAA Women's Volleyball Team; acts as a resident assistant; and is an honors program member, scholar athlete and recipient of the College's President's Award. She has been on the dean's list four times.

Allison is the daughter of Matthew and Ellen Della Penna, of Batavia. Her father is director of safety, security and operations for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The Fred Hack Memorial Scholarships were established in the mid-1990s in honor of the association's first executive director. six scholarships are awarded each year to children of NYSSFA active and affiliate members who are enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a full-time program of study at an accredited post-secondary school.

The New York State School Facilities Association is a professional organization of more than 600 school facilities directors, facilities managers, head custodians, health and safety coodinators, and other key school facilities personnel. It's headquartered in Albany.

June 17, 2017 - 1:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones, news.

Kathleen Dessert, a senior at Le Roy High School, has received The Sage Colleges' distinguished designation as a "Student Sage Scholar."

Award recipients are nominated by their high school guidance counselors, teachers or administrators.

Each exemplifies the colleges' motto "To Be, To Know, To Do."

Award winners are guaranteed a minimum of $40,000 in scholarship during the four years of study at Russell Sage College or The Sage College of Albany in recognition of their academic achievements and community involvement.

June 12, 2017 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, news, GCASA Foundation, scholarship, Notre Dame, batavia.

From left: Shelby Restivo, Hannah Bowen and Keara Pitts.

Each year, GCASA Foundation awards two $1,000 scholarships; one to a Genesee County student and one to an Orleans County student.

GCASA Foundation Scholarship was established to support the work of GCASA. The foundation board is committed to the scholarship program, created to help students who will study human services, counseling, or health services. This year, the selection committee decided to add a Director’s Choice scholarship award in the amount of $500 due to the exceptional applications received.

The committee selected Hannah Bowen, a senior at Notre Dame High School, as the award recipient for a Genesee County student and Shelby Restivo, a senior at Albion Central School, as the Orleans County recipient. Hannah plans to study Psychology at Clarkson University. Shelby plans to study Psychology at Monroe Community College, with the goal of furthering her education to become a counselor.

The Director’s Choice scholarship was awarded to Medina Central School senior Keara Pitts. Keara plans to study Human Services at Genesee Community College and then further her education to pursue a degree in School Psychology.

June 1, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, pembroke.

Kerri Richardson, Agri-Business Academy Instructor, left, congratulates Melissa Keller, right, Agri-Business Academy student, at a recent Board of Education ceremony.

Submitted photo and press release:

Thirteen Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center students represented the Western Region at the New York State FFA Convention in Leadership Development Events in May at the State University of New York at Morrisville.

Melissa Keller (Pembroke) placed second in the Employment Skills event and will represent New York State at the Big E Fair next fall in Massachusetts. This event is the Eastern States Exposition Fair where students from throughout the Northeastern United States come to compete.

Kerri Richardson is the Agri-Business Academy instructor and FFA co-advisor. She explained how well Melissa fared in this event.

“This is one of the most competitive competitions at the convention. Melissa had to prepare a resume, cover letter and job application along with a phone and in-person interview,” Richardson said.

Melissa earned a $1,500 national FFA scholarship called the America’s Farms Grow Ag Leaders/Monsanto Fund.

The team of Melissa Keller, Cole Hudson (Notre Dame) and Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), placed third in the Marketing Plan event. Four students, Rebecca Semmel (Warsaw), Stella Glosser (Warsaw), Sarah Lippert (Attica), and Elizabeth Jurs (Elba), competed as the Food Science team and placed ninth out of 27 teams.

Allison Pajda (Attica) placed sixth in the People in Agriculture event.

The Batavia CTE Center FFA program focuses on leadership, personal growth and career success. The co-advisors are Richardson and Holly Partridge, Animal Science instructor.

If you know of a current junior or underclassman who is interested in business or agriculture, or is unsure of a career path, applications are now being accepted for the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Partnership and Genesee Community College. This college prep program is geared toward highly motivated high school seniors interested in investigating careers in the agribusiness field.

Through the Agri-Business Academy, students explore the many career opportunities available to them — locally, internationally or often it is a dynamic blend of both. Students can also earn 15 college credits through the ACE program at Genesee Community College.

Applications are available at http://www.genesee.edu/home/ace/career-pathways/agri-business-academy/. Any questions can be directed to Richardson at (585) 344-7783 or [email protected].

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

April 27, 2017 - 4:26pm

Press release:

Last month, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 58 career and technical education students from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at Elba High School.

These students met a rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

The inductees are noted below.

Agri-Business Academy

Elizabeth Jurs -- Elba CS

Emily Mikel -- Pavilion CS

Melissa Keller -- Pembroke CS

Animal Science

Breanne Duzen -- Pembroke CS

Jazmin Mateos Rendon -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Peyton Mackey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Shelby Brandes -- Le Roy CS    

Auto Technology

Jacob Borkholder -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Tyler Weaver -- Pavilion CS    

Building Trades    

Brandon Lewis -- Byron-Bergen CS

Brandon Perry -- Attica CS

Cameron Brumsted -- Byron-Bergen CS

Chandler Bow -- Byron-Bergen CS

Dillon Montgomery -- Byron-Bergen CS

Ethan Conrad -- Notre Dame CS

Gaven Cassidy -- Le Roy CS

Jacob Morgante -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joseph Aguglia -- Attica CS

Kylar Chambry -- Byron-Bergen CS

Computer Information Systems

Daniel Jensen -- Byron-Bergen CS

Cosmetology

Alaila Velez -- Pembroke

Anna Field -- Attica

Rachel Tebor -- Pembroke CS

Tapanga Wheaton -- Batavia CS

Zara Lohman -- Attica CS

Criminal Justice

Brandon Cutter -- Attica CS    

Electronics

Jacob Keiper -- Attica CS

Kyle Evans -- Le Roy CS

Nicholas Zenzen -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Steven Lyness Jr. -- Le Roy CS       

Graphic Arts

Haley Wasikowski -- Alexander CS

Isaiah Ciociola -- Batavia CS

Jenica Hickey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Jenna Scott -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Jeremiah Keaton -- Pavilion CS

Jorgette Mezydlo -- Attica CS

Makayla Carpenter -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Sarah Howden -- Pavilion CS

Sean Vasko -- Oakfield-Alabama CS    

Health Careers Academy

Alyssa Weaver -- Pembroke CS

Amy Chasse -- Pavilion CS

Garrett Downs -- Elba CS

Hailey Stevens -- Elba CS

Mackenzie Good -- Pavilion CS

MiKayla Tillotson -- Pavilion CS

Molly Neidrauer -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Paige Hameister -- Batavia CS

Rebecca Reamer -- Pavilion CS

Health Dimensions

Casey Shaw -- Pembroke CS

Victoria Welka -- Byron-Bergen CS

IT Academy

Sophia Matla -- Le Roy CS

Metal Trades

Aiden Schadt -- Attica CS

Brent Schum -- Alexander CS

David Paddock -- Pavilion CS

Dillon Stein -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Garrett Sando -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joel Jackowski -- Attica CS

Zach DiLiberto -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, and Steuben counties in New York state.

April 27, 2017 - 1:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Cindy Skalny, of Batavia, was named to the Emerson College dean's list for the Fall 2016 semester. Skalny is majoring in Media Studies. The requirement to make Emerson's dean's lst is a grade-point average of 3.7 or higher.

About Emerson College

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city's Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has approximately 3,500 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs at Emerson Los Angeles, located in Hollywood, and at its 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. Additionally, there are opportunities to study in Washington, D.C., London, China, the Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Greece, France, Ireland, Mexico, Cuba, England, and South Africa. The College has an active network of 37,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit emerson.edu.

April 27, 2017 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Jordyn Vanelli, of Batavia, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Vanelli was initiated at Ithaca College.

Vanelli is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Marcus L. Urann who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. Its mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Since its founding, 1.5 million members have been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the organization's notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, $1.4 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives. For more information, visit www.phikappaphi.org.

April 27, 2017 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones, Announcements.

Press release:

When Rochester Institute of Technology's collegiate cyber defense team gets hacked, they call it practice.

Four days a week, the students can be found in the lab learning about the technical aspects of different computer systems and strategizing how to defend against attackers.

April 13-15, the team, including Kyle Carretto, of Corfu, put its skills to the test against the country's top cybersecurity colleges in the 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, held in San Antonio, Texas. The annual championship is part of the nation's largest college-level cyber defense competition, an extracurricular event that helps to train the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

For the competition, students must defend a mock company's network infrastructure from a team of industry professionals who are assigned to break in and exploit the company's information.

To prepare for the event, students spend months getting a baseline of every possible computer system that could be used in the competition, learning about the different networks and protocols. They also practice by simulating the attackers, who are known as the red team. They run scenarios to defend against possible attacks, including an attack on their network and the installation of malware-tools used by the red team to gain unauthorized access to the student's systems.

Throughout the school year, the RIT team developed several plans of action for what to do during the competition. But these plans will often change during the first few hours of competition and the team has to react very quickly to a variety of unpredictable situations.

In addition to fending off attackers, the students need to please the bosses of the mock company. The team must respond to business injects, which represent the typical activities of a system administrator, including running monitoring software and adding and removing services.

For the cybersecurity students, CCDC is a fun space to test the skills they've learned both in and out of the classroom. It also serves as a place to meet employers. Raytheon, Walmart, IBM and the CIA are among the many industry sponsors for the event.

In the past, RIT has been among the top contenders at the national competition in San Antonio, placing third in 2015, second in 2014 and winning the national title in 2013. RIT received an automatic berth to the 2017 nationals after winning the Northeast regional competition in March.

Other regional winners competing for this year's national title include University of South Alabama, Brigham Young University, DePaul University, University of Washington, California State University Northridge, Montana Tech, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Tulsa and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

For news, photos and videos, go to www.rit.edu/news

April 26, 2017 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Milestones.

Aracely Hernandez, of Elba, has received the SUNY Oneonta 2016-2017 Susan Sutton Smith Award for academic excellence. To be eligible for the award, a student must be a freshman, sophomore or junior with a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher.

Hernandez, who is majoring in Spanish, received a certificate, a gift card to the campus bookstore, and an invitation to attend the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture and reception. Florian Reyda, Ph.D., professor of biology, delivered this year's Susan Smith Lecture titled, "Parasites, Evolution and Us," on April 11, in the Otsego Grille of the Morris Conference Center on campus.

Created to recognize faculty achievement outside the classroom, the Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is named in memory of the late SUNY Oneonta professor of English. Reyda is the 23rd recipient of this prize. This event and the student awards are made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta Alumni to the 2016-2017 Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, and in honor of her commitment to academic excellence. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research and service learning, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value. The college has been named to Kiplinger's list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 10 years running and sits at No. 12 on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report list of the best public institutions in the region. SUNY Oneonta enrolls 6,000 students in its 70 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs.

March 1, 2017 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genes County, news, Milestones.

Genesee County Assistant Manager Matthew Landers was honored last month by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) for graduating from the NYSAC County Government Institute. The ceremony was held at the NYSAC Legislative Conference in Albany.

The NYSAC County Government Institute is an educational program established in conjunction with Cornell University. The Institute provides an educational program for county elected and appointed officials, to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of county officials. For more information, visit www.nysac.org.

Landers graduated from SUNY Brockport and is currently working on a master’s in Public Administration. He has been with the county since April 2004, and has served in the roles of Deputy County Treasurer, Real Property Tax Services Director, and for the last two and a half years as Assistant County Manager. Matthew and his wife Melissa reside in Batavia with their children Kaitlyn (10) and Benjamin (6).

“The Institute’s vigorous curriculum prepares county leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the increasing demands of local government leadership in now and in the future,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

William E. Cherry, NYSAC president and Schoharie County treasurer, agrees.

“The County Government Institute equips county officials with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to address the challenges and opportunities of leadership, and to engage in civil dialogue with constituents as well as fellow leaders,” Cherry said.

The County Government Institute's comprehensive curriculum includes extensive course work on government ethics, building consensus in a political environment, principles of county budget and finance, and public sector labor/management relations. The courses are supplemented with electives, training sessions, and continuing education courses designed to support county leaders in serving their constituents.

“The course offerings through the County Government Institute have helped me become a better public administrator by educating me on emerging issues and expanding my knowledge base on important topics,” Landers said of the program.

March 1, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, batavia.

Trevor J. Day has accepted an accounting position with The Bonadio Group in Amherst. Trevor is a 2016 graduate of Geneseo State College and a son of Sharon and Jeffrey Day, of Batavia.

February 21, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, batavia, batavia peace garden, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia resident and International Peace Garden Foundation President Paula Savage, recently returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she participated in the dedication of the 2017 International Peace Garden located at the Vallarta Botanical Garden.

Mexico was nominated for the honor because of its substantial contributions to the UN in areas such as peaceful settlement of disputes, struggle against apartheid, promotion of disarmament and halting of climate change. Puerto Vallarta is known to be a leader in Mexico for respecting diversity of cultures and human rights.

Savage said “It was a unanimous decision to select the Vallarta Botanical Garden to convey the message of world peace believing the Botanical Garden of Vallarta is a place of calm, comfort and healing of body, mind and spirit."

Inclusion and unification was the message of the day. During the dedication ceremonies on Feb. 16th several representatives from the interfaith community addressed the audience with wide praise for the mission of the International Peace Garden Foundation.

The new International Peace Garden adorns the slope that rises toward the entrance of the recently constructed Chapel of multiple doctrines. The Chapel is a replica of the well-known Franciscan mission in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The plants, together with Mexican wildflowers, represent the Mediterranean region of the Holy Land, a geographical region that gave birth to some of the most prolific religions in the world. Bob Price, curator of the Vallarta Botanical Garden “the intention is to cultivate them harmoniously, to create a sanctuary for prayer and meditation without disturbance.”

The International Peace Garden Foundation is a charitable organization established to advance global friendship through the creation of worldwide Peace Gardens. Since 1990 these Peace Gardens span five continents. Residents and visitors to our community have enjoyed the Batavia Peace Garden since it opened in 2011 to celebrate 200 years of friendship with Canada.

The Batavia Peace Garden flies the flags of all the recipient countries and is registered as an Honorary International Peace Garden. There are nine Honorary International Peace Gardens in New York State along the Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail. More information about the Foundation can be obtained by visiting www.ipgf.org.

October 20, 2016 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, bergen.

Sean Donovan, of Bergen, was among more than 500 students who earned endowed scholarships at Baldwin Wallace University this fall. Donovan, a graduate of Byron-Bergen High School majoring in music composition and music education, earned the William F. Grady Scholarship.

BW has a long history of endowed scholarship support from alumni, faculty, trustees and friends. More than 385 named scholarships provide over $3 million to help students attend, persist and graduate from BW. Endowed scholarships vary in their requirements with many specifying financial need, a course of study, involvement on campus or a commitment to excellence in a particular field. BW grants a wide range of scholarships to current students each year. Including endowed, merit and need-based scholarships, BW students received over $41 million in financial support from the University for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Baldwin Wallace University, founded in 1845, was one of the first colleges to admit students without regard to race or gender. An independent, coeducational university of 4,000 students, BW offers coursework in the liberal arts tradition in 75 academic areas. Located in Berea, 12 miles from downtown Cleveland, BW offers students the cultural, educational and business advantages of a major metropolitan area.

October 10, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Oakfield, byron, elba.

On Oct. 1-2, Barry Flansburg, Albion Future Farmers of America Alumni president, joined others throughout the region to help determine how they could better support agricultural education and their local FFA chapters. Flansburg is an assessor for the communities of Oakfield/Byron/Elba.

The National FFA Alumni Organization recently hosted a regional development conference in Rochester, which delivered professional, personal and alumni program development to local and state members. In addition, the conference was a time for alumni members to network and share local visions of innovation with other alumni chapters and state associations.

"As alumni, it is our responsibility to serve as a source of relief for our agriculture educators as well as attract new volunteers and supporters to help our FFA programs," said National FFA Alumni Executive Director Josh Rusk. "Our hope is that the regional development conferences will give alumni the tools and support they need to be successful in that endeavor."

This conference was one of six to be held this year. The other locations for the conferences include Oklahoma City, Okla., Burbank, Wash., Ankeny, Iowa, Oxford, Ohio, and Atlanta.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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