Seven people named 2018-19 SUNY Chancellor's Award winners at GCC
GCC's 2019 SUNY Chancellor's Award winners -- Front row, from left: Derek Maxfield, Kristen Mruk, John Molyneaux, Maureen Goodsell. Back row, from left: JoNelle Toriseva, Lori Kubik, Kathleen Kimber.
Submitted photo and press release:
As Genesee Community College celebrated an all-encompassing and momentous commencement weekend for its students last month, the College administration, staff and faculty took a few hours to acknowledge and celebrate each other's accomplishments and dedication that go "beyond expectations."
"In the spirit of commencement & the hard work of our students, GCC recognizes the dedication of our faculty and staff who go beyond expectations in helping our students succeed," said GCC President James Sunser. "And so, for a few hours, we close non-essential offices and celebrate our successes as a team."
Perhaps the most prestigious honors recognized at this ceremony were the 2019 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence bestowed upon seven of GCC's finest.
- 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 of Spanish, Kathleen A. Kimber. Kimber became a member of GCC's faculty in 1997 and immediately got directly involved with the campus and community. Regularly using her Spanish fluency, Kimber goes above and beyond her duties as a professor to assist in translations, donating countless hours over the years. On multiple occasions, she has served as a medical translator in Honduras -- an experience Kimber shares in the classroom providing real-life learning opportunities to her students. Kimber has chaired and co-chaired many initiatives on campus, collaborated and contributed to grant writing opportunities and campus governance topics, student and faculty mentoring relationships, consistently and clearly demonstrating her commitment to service. Kimber was also the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2011 and for Excellence in Teaching in 2004. Kimber earned her Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Integration from Pennsylvania State University Online, her M.A. from Indiana University, and her B.A. in Spanish from SUNY Potsdam. Kimber resides in Naples.
- Recognizing consistently superior professional achievement, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to Student Activities Specialist, Kristen E. Mruk. Mruk, of Lancaster, joined the GCC professional services team in 2013 and since then has completely transformed GCC's Leadership Certificate Program into an online program making it more accessible and relevant to today's students. Additionally, Mruk revised the Student Orientation process to improve new student experiences, and has supported students transition to college through supplemental online programs and working closely with GCC's six campus centers. All of these efforts and Mruk's countless hours analyzing data, collaborating with colleagues and implementing new tools have allowed her to execute ideas to improve student participation and satisfaction. She is also actively involved with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the College Student Personnel Association of New York State (CSPA-NYS) currently serving as its President Elect, and has been serving as a volunteer with SABAH (Spirited Athletes Bold at Heart) in Buffalo for 20 years. Mruk earned her M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College and her B.A. in Communication from SUNY Buffalo.
- For Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, Director of Humanities JoNelle R. Toriseva received a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence. Toriseva's passion for scholarship and creativity have been evident through all she has accomplished since joining GCC in 2011. The highlight of Toriseva's career so far was her work in spearheading the development of GCC's Scholarship Symposium. Now an annual signature event for the College, it not only presents the accomplishments of our students and employees by demonstrating and celebrating their creative achievements, but it supports and encourages a culture of research, academic excellence, and innovation as well. Toriseva has presented at various national, state, and local conferences and published award-winning writing. She brings to the classroom a lifetime of interesting accomplishments and experiences and continues to research and develop collaborative efforts within the college and local community to enhance scholarship and creativity opportunities for all. Toriseva received her M.F.A. in English, Creative Writing from Mills College, her M.A. in English and her B.S. in Spanish Education from Bemidji State University, and her B.A. in Spanish & Speech Communication from Concordia College. Toriseva resides in Rochester.
- Receiving 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 Associate Professor of History Derek D. Maxfield. Since his hire in 2009, Maxfield has been actively involved in GCC's campus community and dedicated to providing students with an exceptional learning experience. Described by many as a gifted storyteller, Maxfield has a way of reaching students in the classroom that is memorable. He incorporates applied learning, which gets his students beyond the classroom and experiencing the preservation of history on the ground, has created unique and engaging assignments, created new courses, and coordinates the GCC History Club's Historical Horizons Lecture Series. Maxfield's first book, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous POW Camp of the Civil War" is being published this fall. Maxfield holds an M.A. in History from Villanova University and a B.A. in History from SUNY Cortland. He currently resides in Churchville.
- 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 were adjunct instructors Lori E. Kubik and John R. Molyneux.
Kubik, who lives in Attica, has been a member of GCC's adjunct faculty since 2012 teaching several Grammar and English courses. In addition, she has been teaching in GCC's Advanced Learning Program since its inception in 2015. Kubik creates and uses various educational techniques to ensure she reaches all students' learning styles. Kubik is not only known for her unique ways to engage students, but also for her dedication to go above and beyond her duties as an adjunct teacher. Her breadth of knowledge, commitment to intellectual rigor dazzles students and faculty alike. It is very evident by all she does that she is truly invested in our college, community, and most importantly, our students. Kubik earned her M.S. and B.A. in Secondary English Education from the State University College at Buffalo.
Molyneux has been a member of GCC's adjunct faculty since 2002 and has taught a variety of courses in English, Literature and Speech. He is a veteran teacher with almost 50 years of teaching experience and is well known for his ability to connect with students. Molyneux is creative, innovative and passionate about educating. His dedication and motivation is an inspiration for all who cross his path. Molyneux is an exceptional instructor who is dedicated to bringing literacy instruction from the library to the classroom and beyond. As a result, his class offerings are in high demand. Molyneux holds a B.A. in English from St. Francis University. He currently resides in Henrietta.
- The final SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence was presented to Maureen P. Goodsell, Admissions Data Entry Operator 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. Maureen came to GCC in 1999 and has been dedicated to mastering her role and has accomplished a great deal of work beyond the outline of her position description. Goodsell is a wealth of knowledge, a valuable resource for students and staff, and possess extraordinary customer service skills. She is a creative thinker, always flexible with the ever-changing times, and enthusiastic about all she does. Goodsell continually strives to fulfill and exceed all the expectations of her position in an effort to better herself and GCC. She is a role model when it comes to work ethic and a great leader. Goodsell earned her A.A.S in Business Administration from Genesee Community College. She currently resides in Batavia.
The entire employee celebration also included longevity service awards for employees having served GCC for up to 30 years as well as the College's own unique award category, the Cougar Awards, for which recipients are nominated by fellow employees.
"This was our second annual celebration and I'm already hearing reports of some of the amazing work we will be celebrating next year!" President Sunser said, "There is a lot to celebrate here at GCC."