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December 21, 2017 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, education, ACE program, corfu.

Triton Adamski with his parents, Denise and Dale Adamski, of Corfu.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is excited to announce Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) student, Triton Adamski, of Corfu, has won third place in the New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) Fall 2017-2018 competition!

In addition, Adamski's impressive score was combined with the other top four GCC participants for a fifth-place team win! These performances mark GCC's highest scoring individual and best team placement since 2009.

Other members of the NYSMATYC GCC team, which earned fifth place, included Tim Jackson, Kiara Santiago, Trent Osborne and Dmitri Kapitonov. The hard work of these students will position the GCC team well for the championship competition in the spring.

NYSMATYC formed the Mathematics League for NYS Two-Year Colleges in 1980 to provide a challenge and foster interest in mathematics. The league has also generated a nearly 40-year long friendly competition between two-year colleges across the state. Today, 27 two-year colleges and more than 500 students compete in the Fall and Spring competitions.

Participants take a timed exam consisting of approximately 20 mathematical questions. The top five scores from each college are combined to form the college's team score for each exam. Then, the Fall and Spring exam scores for both individuals and teams are combined to crown the academic year's champion college and individual.

Adamski is a senior at Pembroke High School and has been an ACE program participant since he won Math Science Scholar of the Year in sixth grade. He is also a member of GCC's first Math Science Preparatory Program session.

In addition to holding the highest course average in Calculus II at GCC, Adamski has earned 64 credits through the ACE program and anticipates graduating from GCC this spring with an A.S. degree in Natural Science just before earning his high school diploma!

With his 4.0 grade-point average throughout his time in the ACE program, he is ready for his next academic challenge, which will be at Rochester Institute of Technology where he has already been accepted into its Game Design and Development Program.

"Any student willing to put in the time and effort should definitely consider taking advantage of the ACE program. You can take so many different courses which really helps to figure out what you'd like to study after (high school) graduation," Adamski says. "The program also significantly reduces the number of courses you have to take when you get to college."

Adamski and all of the top performers for the Fall and Spring competitions will be recognized at the NYSMATYC's Annual Conference in April 2018. Prizes include mathematical software generously donated by the math league sponsors and mathematical and scientific journals and magazines.

Genesee Community College offers an associate degree in Mathematics, and the ACE program gives students the opportunity to earn significant college credits while still in high school.

For more information on the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) program, contact GCC at (585) 345-6801, or via email at [email protected].

December 18, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, education, study abroad.

(Photo: Dublin Castle in Ireland.)

Submitted photos and press release:

Genesee Community College is excited to announce the addition of a new study abroad opportunity to the 2018 10-week summer session course list. This program will consist of online course material and lecture and culminates in a 12-day trip to both Iceland and Ireland.

The faculty-led trip will integrate Digital Photography (PHO118) and Sociology (SOC102) into an educational and inspiring exploration to compare European and American cultures and social observations and capturing them through the lens of the camera. Exposure to the daily European life and the images they will document are invaluable learning tools for understanding cultural differences and creating a better future for themselves and others.

GCC faculty members Josephine Kearney, assistant professor of Sociology and Human Services and Heather Jones, associate professor of Fine Arts will guide the students during their excursion from June 19 through June 30 (exact travel dates may change). While traveling, they will visit many historic landmarks including The Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin Castle and Blue Lagoon. They will also get to witness the breathtaking volcanic landscapes and geo-thermal pools of the region.

"We look forward to another excellent summer traveling and exploring the Icelandic and Irish cultures on our journey," Jones said.

The trip costs $4,790 per participant and includes all flights and public transportation, hotel stays, breakfast and dinner each day and scheduled guided events. Tuition for the six college credits is not included and is to be paid separately. Financial Aid is available for eligible students for course tuition.

The trip is limited to 20 participants, so interested students or community members are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Additional information on the study abroad program is available at https://www.genesee.edu/home/academics/study-abroad/icelandireland/

"A study abroad experience transforms the lives of the students forever," Kearney added.

Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2018. To participate in the study abroad program, contact Associate Professor of Fine Arts Heather Jones at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6448, or via email: [email protected] or Assistant Professor of Sociology & Human Services Josephine Kearney at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6344, or via email: [email protected].

(Photo below: Blue Lagoon in Iceland.)

December 16, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, Emory Upton, GCC, hlom, history, civil war.

The Holland Land Office Museum will host a presentation and book signing by David Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., author of "Emory Upton Misunderstood Reformer," at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12. The museum is located at 131 W. Main St., Batavia.

Admission is $5 per person, which helps support the HLOM Speaker Series. RSVP by Jan. 10th due to limited seating.

Fitzpatrick is facility resident and professor of History at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he was also a history instructor.

He has authored several military journal articles and published essays. His current work is one of the definitive texts on the life of Upton and his post-war contributions to reforming the Army.

In addition, a panel discussion with Fitzpatrick and local historians, will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13th, at the new Student Success Center, Room G200, Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia.

Discussion will focus on the various aspects of General Upton’s character and life. Free to the public. Hosted by the Holland Land Office Museum and GGC History Club.

For more information about the programs or purchasing his book contact:

Holland Land Office Museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected]

December 5, 2017 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, GCC.

Press release:

Genesee Community College has begun its 2018 - 2023 Strategic Planning Process and welcomes input from the community!

While GCC is continuously evaluating itself against numerous measures, this planning process is a chance to realign the institutional priorities with the ever-changing environment of higher education and the complex economic demands of the communities it serves.

Written in 2013, the current 2013-2018 Strategic Plan focused on "Success Through Collaboration" and identified six priorities:

  • Student Readiness and Access;
  • Student Success and Completion;
  • Faculty and Staff Success;
  • Economic Development and Impact;
  • College Culture;
  • Sustainability.

This new planning process is not only evaluating the progress made in these key areas, but helping to identity the next phase of GCC's strategic growth.

"We are very proud of the work we've accomplished in the last five years and are energized and excited to launch the strategic planning initiative to prepare for the next five," says College President James Sunser. "Our approach to the planning process is designed not only to allow our community members to evaluate the successes we've had under prior strategic plans, but to voice their hopes and directives for the future.

"Students seeking higher education face an array of challenges and through this collaborative process, we can build a plan to continue to help our students and community partners for years to come."

Professor and Program Director of Social Sciences Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb Ph.D., have been named co-chairs of the strategic planning efforts.

Under their leadership, the steering committee, which includes faculty, administrators, students, staff and community partners, will perform assessments of the progress made under prior plans and using the feedback collected, identify new strategic priorities for the next five years. The assessment process will include a formal S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and several forums for feedback.

In an effort to ensure the next Strategic Plan addresses the primary needs of the communities GCC serves, the College has established a new webpage with an online forum to collect comments, suggestions and ideas from the general public.

Citizens, business leaders, alumni, students, supporters, stakeholders and the general public are invited to visit www.genesee.edu/strategicplan to complete the input form, and remain informed about the progress of the College's Strategic Planning process.

These information input forms can remain anonymous, and the data collected will be shared directly with the steering committee. Any questions regarding the Strategic Planning process can be directed to [email protected].

November 22, 2017 - 9:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Forum Players, entertainment, music, news.

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Genesee Community College's Forum Players will perform "Strong Kids" Children's Theatre at 7 p.m., Dec. 1, at the Stuart Steiner Theater. 

The musical celebrates confidence and believing in one's self while simultaneously addressing bullying, peer pressure, and rejection often faced by children today. It is a musical compilation of poems, new and original monologues, and some classic favorites from "Hairspray," "The King and I," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Wicked," and "The Lion King."

The cast of "Strong Kids" are all GCC students and includes singers, dancers and soloists. 

The cast:

  • Abanoor Abdi, Vocal Ensemble, Rochester
  • Celeste Brownell, president of Forum Players 2017-2018, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Bergen
  • Chrisjon Canty, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Rochester
  • Marissa Carbonell, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Batavia
  • Emily Carey, Vocal Ensemble, Medina
  • Joseph Cartwright II, Dance Ensemble, Hunt
  • Jamie Crawford, Dance Ensemble, Mount Morris
  • Jack Diskin, Vocal Soloist, Le Roy
  • Kayla Lander, Dance Ensemble, Dance Soloist, Mayfield
  • Troy McCrorey, Vocal Ensemble, Chester, S.C.
  • Liliam Montilla, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, New York City
  • Rebecca Naber, Dance Ensemble, Hamburg
  • Erin Phillips, Vocal Soloist, Batavia
  • Cameron Sanzo, Dance Ensemble, Batavia
  • Jennifer Schreiber, Dance Ensemble, Rochester
  • Cody Taylor, Vocal Soloist, Dance Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, Medina
  • Taylor Wilson, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Cheektowaga
  • Maki Ishikawa, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Japan
  • Sayaka Miura, Vocal Soloist, Chiryu City, Japan
  • Natsumi Sasabe, Dance Ensemble, Vocal Soloist, Japan
  • Akane Hagiwara, Dance Ensemble, Japan

"Strong Kids" is directed by Maryanne Arena.

Tickets to see "Strong Kids" are available now and are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+) and GCC faculty/staff. Students and children pay $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket. To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814.

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November 22, 2017 - 1:46pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Rudely Stamp'd, news, GCC, history.

If Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were alive today, what would they say to each other?

Genesee Community College associate professors Derek Maxfield (History) and Tracy Ford (English) are teaming up to create an imagined conversation between the two founding fathers in retirement.

The men had been close friends, but their friendship fell apart and they didn’t speak for 10 years," Maxfield said. “When they were both retired from politics, their friendship was renewed through correspondence."

Jefferson was in Monticello, Va., and Adams was in Quincy, Mass., when they began writing to each other.

“This conversation that we’re going to stage, while it physically never happened, we’re using the correspondence, to form what we say to each other,” Maxfield said, adding that the aim is to make Jefferson and Adams more human, to promote a better understanding of them both.

At 7 p.m. on March 7 at GCC, they will have an advance presentation of the program for the public. They will reading from a script at podiums, as a warm-up to work through the script.

Maxfield will be Adams; and Ford will be Jefferson in the program.

When Maxfield first read the correspondence between the historic figures, he wondered what they would say to each other now.

“If they did see each other face to face again, what would that look like?” Maxfield said. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”

The associate professors named the group after a quote from Shakespeare because they were looking for a unique name.

“We wanted it to have some history or literature flavor to it,” Maxfield said. “We came across this and it seemed perfect, because both Tracy and I are 'rudely stamp’d.' ”

"Rudely Stamp’d" has a kickstarter campaign to fund the costumes and props, located here. Maxfield said they want the most authentic-looking costumes for the program.

“We’re hoping to raise $6,000 before Dec. 25,” Maxfield said.

They hope to expand the group eventually, to include other programs, including an Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate.

Maxfield said he hopes to bring other living historians into Rudely Stamp’d.

“The idea is eventually to bring in select others,” Maxfield said.

Rudely Stamp’d is not a business.

“It’s not something we’re going to make money with,” Maxfield said. “It’s something we want to make available for anyone who is interested.”

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Associate Professor Tracy Ford (submitted photo)

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Associate Professor Derek Maxfield (submitted photo)

November 20, 2017 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, education.

Press release:

The 63rd Annual Conference for the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT) was held last month in Syracuse and it provided a unique opportunity for Genesee Community College.

In her dual role as chairman of both GCC and also NYCCT Board of Trustees, Laura J. Bohm welcomed more than 100 participants to the event including sharing tips to get the most out of the three-day conference entitled "Trustees Making an Impact!"

Meanwhile, GCC student trustee Benjamin B. Martis, a native of Curacao in the Caribbean, was immersed in learning all the responsibilities, laws and resources available to enable trustees at every level to do their essential work.

As a voluntary nonprofit association, the NYCCT was established to strengthen the effectiveness of New York's community college trustees and represents the appointed board members who govern the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

The annual conference is an important part of the group's mission, and this year two awards were presented to Genesee County. The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) was presented with the Edward J. Pawenski Business/Industry Partnership Award, the highest recognition that can be bestowed upon a business or individual recognizing partnerships and commitments with a community college. In addition, Craig Yunker, founding partner of CY Farms in Elba, received the Benefactor Vision for Tomorrow Award recognizing his longstanding support of the College and particularly his leadership efforts to help raise funds for development of the GCC's new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena. 

In other business last Monday evening (Nov. 13), the Board of Trustees:

Approved the minor updates and rewording of the following Board policies: Graduation and Release of Official Documents (Policy 3002); Signatory (Policy 5012); Authority for President to Accept Grants and Contracts (Policy 5012.1); Child Care Center Facilities (Policy 6003); and Security and Access to Campus Facilities and Security Consideration in Maintaining Campus Facilities (Policy 6009). 

Heard of the successful reaccreditation of GCC's Veterinary Technology Program with the American Veterinary Medical Association under its Veterinary Technician Education and Activities Committee.

Heard Student Trustee Benjamin Martis report that GCC's Student Government Association is actively supporting students and even rebranding the SGA to further its abilities to foster successful projects that could potentially span multiple years. A new Facebook page has also been introduced and a new monthly "mixer event" is being planned to encourage the exchange of ideas and information leading to more collaboration across campus. 

Heard William Emm, executive vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness reported that the "punch list" items for the $25 million construction of the Student Success Center and the Richard C. Call Arena is nearing conclusion, and the new configuration of the parking lot is almost completed.

November 16, 2017 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, Christmas, holiday season, charles dickens.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee Community College History Club is excited to kick off the holiday season as Charles Dickens, played by WKBW-TV's Meteorologist Mike Randall, presents "A Christmas Carol." All are invited to the College's Batavia Campus on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. to enjoy this festive and heart-warming storytelling experience.

A multifaceted actor, Randall studied both theater and meteorology in school and since 1983, Randall has reported the weather on WKBW-TV in Buffalo. An award-winning reporter, his interview repertoire includes such talents as Willie Nelson, Jerry Lewis, John Candy, Steve Allen, Gregory Peck and Robert Goulet. This September, Randall was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Back in 1868, Charles Dickens toured the country bringing his classic novel, "A Christmas Carol" to audiences everywhere. Nearly century and a half ago, Dickens' performances were completely sold out in Buffalo.

For the last decade, with only a replica of Dickens' famous velvet, fringed reading lectern and a copy of "A Christmas Carol," Randall has been transforming himself into Dickens, recreating the original tour atmosphere in stages, halls, classrooms and many other venues.

Randall performs in a period costume with a beard and wavy hair, and through his expert theatrics he brings Charles Dickens to life. He plays each of the novel's characters with distinguishing voices and mannerisms capturing all of the subtle comedic timing of Dickens' original work.

The performance will take place at GCC's Batavia Campus in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building. Tickets for the performances are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly recommended as seating is limited! 

Proceeds from the performance will go to the Genesee Community College History Club.

"Coordinating the event is part of the service learning experiences for GCC students and members of the College's History Club," sais Derek D. Maxfield, GCC's associate history professor.

"This event is great opportunity for students to learn about the value of community engagement as well as history, and it is a terrific opportunity for local families and friends to enjoy a festive holiday event that is fun for all ages." 

For advanced tickets or more information, contact Associate Professor of History Derek D. Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288, or via email: [email protected].

November 16, 2017 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, immigration, news, Announcements, history.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's History Club proudly welcomes the public to the Batavian Campus to hear Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard present, "Fear of the Unknown: Creating the Illegal Immigrant in 19th Century America." 

The theme of immigration to the United States is a relative topic in current events, but the establishment of the "illegal immigrant" only dates back to the turn of the 20th century.

In the earliest years of immigration, Europeans were accepted without restriction, but an influx of new immigrants during the latter half of the 19th century raised concerns about potential impacts on American society. Uncertainty and unfounded fears created excessive restrictions focused on limiting access to specific ethnic/racial groups, religious groups, the disabled, the infirmed, and those likely to become a "public charge." 

This lecture, the fourth one in the fall Historical Horizons Lecture Series, will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus.

The lecture is FREE, open to the public and an RSVP is NOT necessary. The lecture series is sponsored by the GCC History Club and the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore.

November 14, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, batavia, education, news, Announcements, Milestones.

Press release:

Kimberly Curry, an accounting student at Genesee Community College, has been named a 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Curry is one of only 207 nationwide Phi Theta Kappa members who will receive this scholarship. Nearly 1,000 applications were received this year. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for these scholarships with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

Curry proudly served in the Army from 1987-1991 and then was called back up again during Operation Desert Storm.

"This scholarship really means a lot to me, especially considering my time in the armed forces. It is one way to ensure that veterans like me can obtain the college credentials we need to succeed and give back to our communities," Curry said.

This scholarship foundation also encourages recipients to participate in Society programs to develop leadership skills and position themselves to become future leaders in their communities. The scholarship funds help to provide these opportunities as well. Curry certainly took advantage of this chance and joined a new organization in Rochester called the Southside Junior Sting, part of the local Pop Warner organization.

The Southside Junior Sting had one primary responsibility; to ensure that every child or young adult who wanted to participate in organized football had the financial means to do so. The group organized fundraiser events throughout the community to make sure that every person could play. During her time with this group, Curry met some amazing and dedicated leaders and connected to her community and the kids they were helping.

With more than three million members in nearly 1,300 chapters across nine nations, Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing academic achievement of community college students, helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. Visit www.ptka.org to learn more about Phi Theta Kappa.

November 13, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, scholarships, education, discover the stars.

Press release:

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the annual Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception will take place in the Conable Technology Building's south lobby and in room T102 on GCC's Batavia Campus at One College Road in Batavia.

This reception brings together GCC's scholarship recipients, members of the College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors, College administrators and the many donors who made the recipients' academic dreams a reality. The reception will begin at 4 p.m., followed by a special presentation at 4:30 p.m.

Genesee Community College Foundation scholarships recognize academic excellence, make higher education accessible to all students, and promote economic vitality in the GLOW region. There are nearly 200 scholarships available at GCC and applications, which can be completed online, are accepted throughout each year.

For nearly 20 years, the Discover the Stars event has been a special occasion that grants scholarship recipients and their families, Foundation and Board of Trustee members and community leaders the opportunity to meet, chat and celebrate stories of success and career achievement, while inspiring the next generation of students.

The 2017 celebration will feature guest speaker, Kathleen "Kitty" E. Maerten, who graduated from GCC in 1975. She earned a bachelor's degree from The College at Brockport (SUNY), her Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration also from SUNY Brockport.

Maerten spent her long career working with children and their families in a variety of settings including as a marriage and family counselor and a school social worker. She served as the chairperson on the Special Education Committee and as site administrator for the Alternative High School in the Lockport City School District. In 2000, Maerten became the school principal at Alexander Central School District, and from 2008 - 2017 she served as the superintendent.

A 2003 graduate of Leadership Genesee, she also served on the Board of Directors at GCASA and the Board of Directors of the Genesee County Business Education. Currently, Maerten is working with a steering committee to begin a Leadership program in Orleans County. She and her husband, Max, are enjoying retirement and when they aren't out exploring the beautiful countryside, they spend time with their two sons and four grandchildren. 

In addition, the family of the late, Ann Reid will share a special presentation honoring her life, musical legacy, and her philanthropic contributions to GCC's Scholarship Program. Reid, born in Buffalo, graduated from Immaculata Academy in Hamburg and earned her Bachelor of Music from Boston University. Reid appeared in "Funny Girl," starring Carol Lawrence, and played "Sheila" in the Italian production of "HAIR" in Rome, Italy. Reid traveled the world developing her singing and composing career with jobs in Saudi Arabia and Communist Poland.

In the late 1970s, Reid found herself in Los Angeles and earned her Master of Arts in Music with a minor in Conducting from California State University Los Angeles. Reid's love for teaching and her students brought her to GCC in 1996. She received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity in 2004 and retired in 2013.

Composer, musician, and former GCC professor of Music, Reid's contributions to the performing arts and music programs at GCC impacted the entire community. Her original production, "AElinor," premiered in 2011, marking the first time in 62 seasons the Genesee Symphony Orchestra premiered the work of a local composer. In her honor, the Richard and Maribell Scholl Reid Musical Theatre Scholarship, named after Reid's parents, was established and continues to provide financial assistance and encourage Fine and Performing Arts students to pursue their dreams and passions, as Ann Reid did. 

For more information about Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception, or to RSVP, call (585) 345-6809, or email: [email protected].

November 13, 2017 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, sports, soccer.

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Press release:

The Genesee Community College men's soccer team came from behind to win its first-ever National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III men's soccer national title by beating the reigning champion and top-seed Richland College (Tx.) 2-1 at Herkimer County Community College, Sunday.

It was Genesee's third-overall national title and GCC President James M. Sunser made the sojourn to Herkimer and was on hand when GCC Athletic Director Kristen Schuth was presented the championship plaque.

Iyad Lablack scored the game-winner six minutes into the second half off a Joseph Calvert pass and then the team relied on its defense and tournament most valuable player David Ormiston to do the rest, as the Cougar keeper recorded four saves in the win.

"Dave (Ormiston) had a really great game and the defense stuck to their job," Cougars Head Coach Ken Gavin said immediately after the game.

After James Sasay gave the Thunderducks a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the game, Genesee's Charlie Livesey responded 14 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 after Billy Murphy sent Livesey in alone on goal from the left side.

After Lablack gave the Cougars the second-half lead, the strong defensive team sat back and only allowed one shot the rest of the way, and Genesee successfully defended 16 corner kicks during the contest.

Joining Ormiston with national tournament accolades was Glenn Holmes and Philip Melo -- who were both named to the all-tournament team.

After the Cougars started the season with a 1-2 record, Coach Gavin wondered if his team was as good as he originally thought. The team answered that question by going unbeaten the rest of the campaign that culminated with the national championship win. Genesee ended its season unbeaten in its last 20 games with the last 11 being wins.

"When we were 1-2 we lost to a very good Camden team that we beat in this tournament. I think I was proven right that we weren't as good as we could be. But they started playing the system and buying into it. I think that we've scored 380 goals in three years and there's a reason we scored them. The system works if you buy into it; you can get where you need to be."

The team opened national tournament play with a 3-1 win over the Howard Community College Dragons, Nov. 9. Then followed that win with another 3-1 victory over the Camden Community College  Cougars Nov. 10, before besting Richland's Thunderducks, 2-1 this afternoon. All told, Genesee slew the Dragons, caged the Cougars and stole the thunder from the Ducks, respectively.

Asked to pick an unsung hero or two, Gavin responded, "Everybody on the bench is the unsung heroes. They pushed everybody in practice; others didn't see that. They (bench players) pushed the first-string players where they needed to be."

Photos: Mark Jagord/GCC Athletics 

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November 12, 2017 - 5:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, immigration, Announcements.

Press release:

As part of this year's Global Migration theme, which explores human migrations from a macro and micro perspective, Genesee Community College's Global Education Committee and the Student Government Association invite the community to participate in a book discussion featuring Sonia Nazario's novel, "Enrique's Journey."

Start reading now and join us for an enlightening review and discussion on Nov. 30.

Following previous lectures by GCC faculty on "Global Migration -- Terms, Trends and Tensions" and "Ancestry Revealed in our DNA", the review of "Enrique's Journey" is directly aligned with this year's Global Migration theme.

"Enrique's Journey" is the nonfictional account of one boy's terrifying and treacherous journey from Honduras to the United States in an attempt to be reunited with his mother. The book includes details and images of migration journeys and documents Enrique's success and setbacks, including being detained in prison during one attempt.

The journey from Central America, like Enrique's, is among the most difficult journeys in contemporary times.

Here's an excerpt from page 5 of "Enrique's Journey":

"They must make an illegal and dangerous trek up the length of Mexico. Counselors and immigration lawyers say only half of them get help from smugglers. The rest travel alone. They are cold, hungry and helpless. They are hunted like animals by corrupt police, bandits, and gang members deported from the United States. A University of Houston study found that most are robbed, beaten or raped, usually several times. Some are killed."

The discussion, led by Associate Professor of Reading, Julie Jackson-Coe, will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 in room T119 of the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus.The discussion session is free and open to the public. Seating is first come-first served.

The novel is available for purchase at the GCC Campus Bookstore at One College Road in Batavia. The bookstore is open to the public: Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A limited number of copies of the novel will also be available for purchase at the event. A portion of all bookstores sales is donated to the college.

To reach GCC's Campus bookstore, please call 585-345-6878 or email at [email protected].

For more information, contact Academic Support Assistant in Human Communications and Behavior's Academic Support Assistant, Nina Mortellaro at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6228, or via email: [email protected].

November 11, 2017 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, GCC, One World Projects, Adopt-A-Business.

Inside of One World Projects Inc., a unique boutique in Batavia's Harvester Center.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee Community College Business Department and Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization (CEO) Club are excited to announce a new initiative taking the student hands-on learning experience to the next level with the introduction of the "Adopt-A-Business" program.

The first business to be adopted by the college has been selected -- congratulations, One World Projects Inc.!

Founded by computer programmer turned environmental activist, Phil Smith, in 1992, the originating purpose of One World Projects (OWP) was to conserve paper use and preserve rainforests. However, as he worked to preserve the rainforests, Smith realized the most significant impact his project was having on the lives of the artisans he was working with.

Thus, OWP began initiating income-generating projects to benefit the artisans and their communities. Inspired to contribute to the peace-building efforts in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Smith began to seek out income-generating projects focused in areas of conflict.

As a result, OWP now works with artists in Afghanistan, Colombia, Ayacucho, Peru and Burmese refugee camps and other war-torn areas. It is Smith's belief that new economic opportunities and chances for personal development and growth will foster an environment of hope and peace.

Today, OWP is a unique boutique, located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia, carrying an array of goods from apparel to crafting supplies, from garden and home décor to gifts for pets and more. Their focus continues to be establishing and maintaining viable economic support for artisans who create these goods with fair wages and the chance to improve their lives and in turn, their communities.

For GCC's business students and CEO club members, the adoption of OWP means an opportunity to take an inside look at a real, operating business and working with the owners and management to tackle challenges facing businesses today. Students are examining OWP's store and helping to design window displays to promote holiday shopping, as well as evaluating and recommending updates to exterior signage, and helping boost OWP's social media presence.

OWP's importation of goods frequently involves some assembly and packaging work. In an effort to expose business students to the tasks often associated with running one's own business, students will take part in the assembly of 9,500 necklaces imported from Latin America during a workshop in December. 

"The Adopt-A-Business program is a very real way for our students to draw from concepts introduced in the classroom to solve real business challenges," said Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., director of GCC's Business Programs.

"The program grants students a unique opportunity to see what it is like to own and operate a business. They will be expected to evaluate multiple aspects of operations and to develop recommendations for solutions and examine and project the impact of those recommendations."

OWP is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and also open by special appointment by calling (585) 343-4490 or emailing [email protected]. They will also be visiting the GCC Batavia Campus for holiday shopping opportunities.

November 10, 2017 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, veterans, batavia, news.

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Genesee Community College honored veterans today with a ceremony in the forum.

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Batavia High School Band playing the National Anthem.

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Taps.

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley speaking. Before and during the ceremony a slideshow displayed photos of veterans associated with GCC.

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Jessica Caryl, an aviation mechanist, represented student veterans and read a poem about the flag.

November 10, 2017 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, news, batavia.

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Genesee Community College held an open house for prospective students today. It's the first one since the Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena opened and some 200 potential students, often with their parents, attended the event.

The next one is from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 18, to coincide with SUNY Financial Aid Day.

Top photo: Navaily Petrona, Susan Ryan, and Stephany Mercilia. Ryan is assistant director for admissions and Petrona and Mercilia, both from Curacao, were student guides for tours. 

Below, Zoe Skarzenski, along with her mother, Susan, and father, Terry, from Findley Lake, stopped by the student bookstore to check out some GCC-branded apparel.

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A tour through GCC's TV studio.

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November 9, 2017 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, Announcements, job training, employment, GCC.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is accepting applications for Finger Lakes Hired Employment Program. This initiative includes career guidance and job search support, as well as potential funding for tuition and more for eligible applicants.

Applications for this program are due by Nov. 21.

The Finger Lakes Hired Employment Program (FLH), which established the grant, is part of a four-year, federally funded initiative operated in partnership with RochesterWorks! to place long-term unemployed individuals into local high-demand jobs. The FLH program stipulates that applicants must:

  • Have been out of work for six months (27 weeks) or more, or must be currently under-employed;
  • Be pursuing an academic program in Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, or Information Technology;
  • Be on track to graduate the program by May 2018.

There are strict deadlines for training grant applicants. Individuals seeking assistance with non-credit courses must submit application and necessary documentation between now and Jan. 5.

Through The BEST Center, GCC currently offers several certificate programs in the industries the FLH grant targets. In the healthcare arena, the Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program, Patient Access & Registration Professional Certificate Program and the Phlebotomy Certificate Program are currently available. In addition, on the job training opportunities are also available for newly hired employees in the areas of IT and Advanced Manufacturing.

There are also training grants opportunities for college credit-bearing courses for returning GCC students to complete their degree by May of 2018. There are more than 15 potentially eligible academic degree programs available through GCC.

For assistance with the training grant application process contact: Andrew Gerber, liaison and case manager at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6002, or by email: [email protected](link sends e-mail), or Emily Cooper, education and employment specialist at 585-397-5807, or by email: [email protected](link sends e-mail).

For online details go The Finger Lakes Hired website: http://www.fingerlakeshired.com/(link is external)

November 7, 2017 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, GCC, news, history, education, Confederate monuments, notify.

Turns out history is not what you learned about from your fifth-grade textbook.

Like human beings, it’s complicated, multifaceted and a work in progress.

Historians who gathered at Genesee Community College on Saturday to discuss monuments and statues of the Confederacy made that point clear.

Other issues emanating from that controversial topic were more opaque.

Should Confederate monuments be disassembled and put into a museum? Or stand as they are and “contextualized” by the addition of explanatory signage or a juxtaposing anti-memorial?

By what criteria do we evaluate the people honored? Are they more than their worst traits? Do they contribute to the public discussion beyond their role in the Confederacy?

While more and more Americans wrestle with those kinds of questions, by all accounts, the current debate is fraught with emotion. There’s a quick-tempered divisiveness that too often rapidly devolves into shouting matches or worse, culminating in the nadir at Charlottesville.

Derek Maxfield, Ph.D., GCC associate professor of History, brought together a three-man panel to weigh in on Confederate monuments. It was the last session in a day spent talking about the short shrift that history, especially local history, is getting in New York classrooms, the stifling trend of "teaching to the test," and disaster preparedness as it relates to safeguarding historical artifacts.

Speaking were:

  • (Via Skype) Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., who lives just outside Frederickburg, Va., but teaches online as professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at St. Bonaventure University in Cattaraugus County.
  • Michael Eula, Ph.D., Genesee County historian, who is a retired academic who spent 30 years in the California Community College system.
  • Danny Hamner, GCC adjunct professor of History for the past 15 years in Batavia.

They cited a series of articles which have been published online at a site called "The Emerging Civil War,” which offers fresh and evolving perspectives on America’s deadliest conflict. (To visit, click here.​)

Mackowski provided a launching point for the sake of the discussion at GCC. He penned an article from a free speech perspective for the Emerging Civil War series because it interested him as a journalism professor, and other authors had dibs on other aspects of the controversy.

“As soon as you start saying, ‘Take down that statue because it’s offensive to me,’ to me, that’s a First Amendment issue,“ Mackowski said. "Here you have artistic expression and people saying ‘That art is offensive.’ It’s always been my understanding that one of the purposes of art is to provoke. So, of course, in some ways it’s going to be offensive to some people.”

Eula said “I couldn’t agree more that art as embodied in these statues is by definition provocative. In fact, it should be provocative. First and foremost, we need to remember that when we look at these monuments, and the discussion surrounding them, we are talking about more than monuments.

“We’re talking about how we conceive of American history…of our civil society. I think each side engaging in the conversation needs to take a moment to try and understand the other perspective, the other side."

Hamner said that although he’s disturbed by the emotional response against Confederate artwork, he diverged with Mackowski on two points.

Firstly, the question of public art versus private expression.

He said he associates the First Amendment with personal displays of art: putting a Confederate flag on your porch.

“But when it comes to public art, to me it’s not a question of free speech, it’s a question of pure politics,” Hamner said.

Therefore, Hamner advocates having a true political process to work through so that opinions are heard and a “rationale discourse” can take place regarding each monument or statue on a case by case basis.

Secondly, whether there is “instrinsic value” in a work of art strikes him as “moving the goalpost a little bit.”

Hamner said the tougher question that does need addressing is: “Do these people have intrinsic values that we need to respect – outside of their association with the Confederacy?”

Mackowski, acknowledging he purposely wrote from the viewpoint he did because it was not covered by others in the online series, agreed with his colleagues.

As we wrestle with the notion of what makes somebody worth honoring, a fear – particularly in pro-Confederate quarters – is “Who’s next?” Mackowski said, and while some argue this is a slippery slope, he allowed that “we probably need to evaluate some of these other folks.”

What do these guys represent?

It was at this point that host Maxfield brought up the stark argument, in The Emerging Civil War series, proferred by Julie Mujic (pronounced “MEW-hick”), Ph.D., adjunct professor of History at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio.

She argues that Confederate statues commemorate treason and ought to be removed.

“To sustain Confederate monuments sends the message that it’s necessary to celebrate the effort, even when that effort was malicious. The monuments must come down. They represent inequality, oppression…”

Mackowski said Mujic’s stance strikes at the heart of the whole argument: "What do these guys represent?”

“As you know, the history of the war was rewritten as soon as the war was over. And instead of it being about slavery, it starts to be about ‘noble sacrifice’, ‘doing your duty’, and ‘honor’ and ‘states’ rights’.

“So today, a lot of people refuse to look at people who served with the Confederacy as being traitors, but in fact, that’s what they were. … So do you honor that or not? That’s a very important question that we don’t have a common context for.”

Hamner has a problem with both Mujic’s argument AND the defenders of the monuments for essentially the same reason.

He cites a catch phrase, even used by President Trump in a tweet, that “You can’t change history.”

He said people tend to think of the past as objective, factual and unchanging; our historical interpretation of that past as either right or wrong.

The problem is, that “implies that the process was somehow supposed to end.”

The deal is, reinterpretation of the objective truth is going to happen with every generation, as knowledge evolves, more facts come to light, consensus migrates.

As they all conceded, historians and the citizenry can’t change the past, but the interpretations of the past must be constantly requestioned.

"I’m always struck by the curious statement that ‘We’re revising history'," Eula said. "My reaction is that ‘History is always being revised.’ "

Having said that, Eula noted that at the time most, if not all, of the statues and monuments were erected, there was no national debate about it, no consensus.

“We need to keep in mind the question: Is the removal of a monument erasing history or merely calling our attention to what is now a different interpretation of that moment in time?”

Forgotten nearly always in these discussions, Eula pointed out, are the poor whites who had not been supportive of the Confederacy from the get-go.

A whole year before the North passed a draft law forcing mandatory armed service, the Confederacy did so, which tells historians the South was not getting the numbers of volunteers for The Lost Cause that many today would like to imagine.

And the slave-holding elite, later the pardoned ex-slave-holding elite, still got the run of the place after the war.

That meant former slave owners got to become the local bankers, and pass vagrancy laws, which continued the bondage of freed men, Eula explained.

This informs today’s understanding of the time in which the statues came to be.

“My point is that it isn’t simply a straightforward proposition as to whether these statues are works of art protected by the First Amendment; whether or not there are contemporary implications for race relations in our own day.

“These are products of a specific historical moment in a specific part of the country.”

Impact Beyond the Confederacy

Eula also said many of the Confederate generals had no significance beyond their military career. That raises the question, for example, does this form a slippery-slope logic for the removal, say of the Washington Monument? No, Eula argues, because although Washington owned slaves, “his significance lies in his contribution to the construction of a new nation.”

“These (Confederate) monuments are dedicated to the memory of an elite South…seeking to destroy the United States in the name of slavery…that was as busy trampling on the rights of poor whites as it was on the slaves."

And, if the decision is made to get rid of a monument, which whether you like it or not is a “historical document,” then the process to do so must abide by some local, identifiable political construct.

To just tear down a monument, Eula said, is akin to someone walking into the Genesee County archives and saying “Well, I don’t like what’s said on this particular piece of paper, therefore, I’m going the shred it.”

“Just like for any other historical document, we have to find a way to preserve these. Whether or not they should be preserved in a public space, that’s another issue...

“These are the kinds of issues that need to be sorted out before we can make any final decision on whether or not any particular Confederate memorial stays or is replaced,” Eula said.

The operative phrase is “particular piece,” says Mackowski.

“To look at Confederate monuments as a big, monolithic one-size-fits-all sort of issue is absolutely the wrong way to go about it,” Mackowski said. "But because tempers are flaring and emotions are high, that’s sort of how people are approaching it.”

Instead, a lot of questions should be asked to inform a reasoned debate, say historians.

Who was the monument put up to honor? Why was it put up? Who put it up? When? What was the intent?

Moreover, a statue of Stonewall Jackson is a very different thing than a statue in the courthouse square that honors the local county boys who got drafted into a regiment and sent off to war.

Plus, consider that community values change, and over 150 years, they change a lot.

A book by David Lowenthal called “The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited” describes, the panelist said, how today’s values differ vastly from those of yesteryear.

So, it behooves people today not to try and look at history through the lens of “presentism.”

“I think we’re not really talking about history at all when we talk about these monuments, we’re talking about memory,” Mackowski said.

The Sorry State of Historical Literacy

This observation prompted Maxfield to mention a problem he calls “historical literacy,” or more precisely, the lack thereof.

“I don’t want to come off as elitist about this, but the fact of the matter is we are spending less and less time in the public schools teaching history,” Maxfield said.

“We’re shoving it out of the curriculum and, in fact, Confederate history in particular, CANNOT be discussed in some Northern states.”

And vice versa; Texas comes to mind.

“That’s an unhealthy phenomenon, when you can’t look at the other side of an argument,” Maxfield said.

Meanwhile, Hamner is concerned that while people scurry to make sure history’s getting correctly written and that context is being correctly construed, there’s a gaping window open for some people to ram their political agendas through.

“One only has to look at the way Donald Trump defended the artistic value of these monuments, when he has a l-o-n-g history of development in New York City of tearing down artwork after artwork to make room for his projects.”

To wit, the construction of Trump Plaza is said to have resulted in the destruction of an Art Deco-style store that featured windows created by Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali.

None other than the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City waited in eager anticipation of what was supposed to be the fantabulous donation of massive Art Deco bas-relief murals from that store, only to find they had been knocked down and destroyed by Trump’s crew so as not to prolong the project by a week and a half.

The point?

“We have to be very careful that we are separating people who are using some very valid argument to shield ulterior political agendas,” Hamner said, adding “…I would hate to see a very important, intelligent conversation like this being used in a way as a shield for what I consider very, very base intentions.”

It also is not helpful that the general public does not seem to understand what the discipline of history is all about.

“A lot of what historians do is really philosophy,” Maxfield said. “Until we have the opportunity to teach more critical thinking and encourage more exploration, I’m afraid what we‘re doing, especially in the public schools, is narrow and narrow and narrow.”

Facts and Sensibilities

It’s important to remember, too, Mackowski offered, that in history, a set of facts does not equal a set of facts. Two plus two does not equal four when you are dealing with facts in history, he said.

Fact: The Union Army moved in to occupy Fredericksburg in the spring of 1862.

But that fact is viewed vastly differently by two diarists who wrote about it. One was a member of the social elite who wrote about it being this great calamity; “The Yankee invaders are here; this is awful.”

An emancipated slave saw it differently. He wrote “This is the greatest day of my life. This is the greatest thing to ever happen.”

Thus, adding together different historical perspectives over the span of a century and a half is something that can’t be “summed up” tidily.

“Before this degenerates into mindless philosophy,” Maxfield told Saturday’s attendees, garnering some comic relief, how about considering one solution offered by a historian: Leave all the monuments as they are, but just improve the interpretive signage.

How other nations have addressed the issue of historical monuments was something that Eula explored when asked to participate in the GCC panel.

“The whole issue of holocaust memorials was an obvious one” to look into, he said.

One approach he found was memorials constructed next to other memorials with different interpretations attached to them.

In the United States, for example, you could put up: a monument next to the existing one that denotes the number of slaves murdered during their enslavement; or the number of soldiers who were murdered at the Confederate prison of war camp at Andersonville, Ga.; or “the number of poor whites who couldn’t buy their way out of the draft, who didn’t support the planters’ war, and who paid for that with prison sentences,” Eula said.

Coming up with a county-by-county count of the dead, might be a way of “softening the effects of the monuments with regard to those who find them objectionable,” the official county historian said.

At this juncture, Hamner said he sees agreement about the panel’s strategies and tactics; but it comes down to his original point: the need to separate the historical element from the political one.

“I would hate to take The Lost Cause interpretation monument and then simply encase it in a new interpretation and say ‘That’s the official interpretation. Now it’s done.’ "

There is no "One Conclusive Truth"

Hamner's desire is to protect the PROCESS of public history, not the monuments themselves.

“If the political process in that community says ‘We’re putting it in a museum.’ Ultimately, I’m for that," Hamner said. "What I’m really worried about is understanding the particularities of each monument, maintaining the process of investigation, and the willingness to revise our thinking – every generation, every person.”

Which begs the question, in Eula’s mind, as to WHY we necessarily have to have ‘ONE CONCLUSIVE TRUTH’?, he asked, slapping his hand on the table as he spoke each word.

“The minute you do that it leads you down, historically, a path of dogmatism that tends to shut down democracy, that tends to shut down the expression of free ideas.”

What if we as a society never have agreement?

“So what! … Why can’t we agree to disagree and have a civil discourse?” Eula asked.

The absolute declaration of what the correct interpretation is, was called totalitarianism in the 20th century, Eula reminded the audience.

Remember, there was a time when you were either for or against McCarthyism. You were either for or against the United States entering the purported "war to end all wars,” “The Great War” -- World War I.

“That’s when a lot of innocent people get hurt and killed, for reasons to me that are absolutely senseless,” Eula said.

Mackowski countered with a “get real” argument.

Philosophizing aside, and since the notion of “contextualization” of Confederate monuments is so kosher among historians, Mackowski wanted to play devil’s advocate.

“If you’re driving down Monument Avenue in Richmond (Va.), it’s basically an auto park,” Mackowski said. “Who’s able to stop at one of those traffic islands in the middle of traffic and read context about Stonewall Jackson or Jeb Stewart or Jefferson Davis?”

Context is actually difficult to pull off in some places, he noted, and maybe even if you could pull it off, does it really match up to these giant men on giant pedestals?, he asked.

And let’s say you decide to leave it in place, what about vandalization?

To that, Maxfield chimed in with something that a historian from Texas A&M University had to offer, and that is that location does matter.

Andersonville, for example, is cited as the South’s version of a 19th century concentration camp; a place where 11,000 to 13,000 federal troops meet a grisly end under brutal conditions.

If a monument stands in a place such as this, it should be kept there, the scholar argued, even if publicly funded, because going TO that site or a battlefield is voluntary. The same cannot be said for someone who must drive past a statue that offends you every day to get to work and there’s no other route to go; that’s involuntary.

Plus, on a battlefield, historians and/or Park Service employees are there to help with knotty questions and interpretations, right?

Wrong, says Mackowski, in fact Park Service employees have largely been silent on the issue. Because taxpayers pay their salaries, they can’t really delve into it.

Some of the people best equipped to comment on this discussion have their hands tied because of politics, Mackowski said.

Nor has academia been free from constraints, Maxfield noted.

Removing monuments on a battlefield, which is essentially a giant cemetery, raises “other complexities,” according to Eula, who stressed the need for balance.

“Because we have people there, regardless of our own idealogical beliefs, who ended their life there, most likely involuntarily.”

He went on to recall how memorials to Stalin and Lenin came down in Eastern Europe in the middle of the last century.

Growing Dissent

“My point here is that, as much as it pains me to say this, there could be enough popular dissent out there regarding all these statues that no amount of discussion or legislation could change.

“It could be that our own society has so changed in the span of the last two generations in particular, that there is this huge upsurge demanding a removal of some of these monuments in the way that we saw in the Soviet Union with regard to Stalin.

“And I’m not convinced historians, even the most well intentioned, are really going to have a whole lot to say about this.”

This perspective prompted Mackowski to ask why this moment, why now?

Eula maintains that some of this popular dissent has been growing for a long time, back to the 1960s and the feelings spurred by the morass of the Vietnam War.

“It’s what I started off by saying – this is not simply about Confederate monuments,” Eula responded. “There are deeper currents here at work, and these didn’t begin recently.”

The groundswell of attention paid to the subject these days could, in part, stem from harsh “economic realities” many people face, which historians have largely been insulated from.

This means that “some of our discussions are frankly going to prove irrelevant” because they are not, rightly or wrongly, in alignment with what the populace is feeling, thinking or demanding, Eula said flatly.

Hamner said, on one hand, there’s this sort of academic/historical question of how best to contextualize Confederate artwork. Then on the other hand, there’s a deeper human question of WHY historians do what they do.

The thing that matters most of all, he said, is that – regardless of whether a decision is made to keep or do away with a monument – that a process is followed to get to the decision.

Hamner contends that the camp that says "Leave it alone. Don’t touch them" is made up of people who want to freeze time and not confront the complexity of heritage.

They are reducing human beings to their best qualities – like bravery – “a disembodied sort of character trait.”

But the opposite camp is also reductionist – making complex humans villains and the epitome of their worst characteristics.

For an example of the former, Mackowski showed a picture of the statue of Stonewall Jackson at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Prince William County, Va. (See inset photo above.)

He said Jackson is made to look like “Arnold Schwarzenegger on a Budweiser Clydesdale" … like this God of War – a horseman of the Apocalypse. In reality, Jackson was slight, modest and “would have been appalled to be portrayed this way.”

In other words, monuments are less about facts and more about “how people want to remember the Stonewalls.”

What About Bias?

A student asked the panel, “So if interpretation is the key solution, how do we select the accurate interpretation for each monument without being biased?”

The panel's collective wisdom: Finding “the objective truth” and “the right interpretation” is doomed.

Rather it is consensus itself, by interpreting and reinterpreting, that will painstakingly get you “closer and closer” to what the pluralistic outcome ought to be.

Yet Maxfield said even that is elusive because “there are progressive historians that believe progress in humankind is possible – you get closer and improve – but other historians disagree with that." That dichotomy also shapes interpretation.

Eula said he thinks it’s not possible for a historian not to be biased. So you be as objective as you can be by acknowledging your bias, “your theory.”

Since “just the facts” are not the whole story, “you look at evidence based upon your starting point. But the responsibility of the scholar is to let the audience know: This is my starting point.”

Before you can get to an interpretation of a monument, for example, you have to get people to “understand that history is relevant,” Mackowski replied.

“Unless you can get people to understand that history is not what happened in the past, but rather why the past is influencing what is going on RIGHT NOW, people aren’t going to get to that (new and improved) interpretation.”

It’s that whole issue of general historical illiteracy that Maxfield had lamented earlier.

To make meaningful headway, people have to have discussions, the historians said, not ongoing yelling matches.

“Or 140 characters of saying ‘You’re wrong!’ " Mackowski concluded.

November 3, 2017 - 10:34am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in GCC, news, history, batavia.

Those who authored common core requirements for schools, de-emphasizing local history, stressing standardized tests and rote memorization, serve to preclude the joy of discovery and independent thinking, said Genesee County Historian Michael Eula, Ph.D.

Visiting museums or archives nurtures the joy of discovering and independent thinking, Eula said.

A local history conference at Genesee Community College on Saturday in Batavia, will explore disaster planning, the state of history in Genesee County, teaching history in classrooms, and Confederate monuments.

Eula will be doing a presentation at 9:15 a.m. on the state of history in Genesee County. Presentations run throughout the day until 2:30 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building, at GCC’s Batavia Campus.

Eula said after three decades of historical practice, he has been continuously awestruck by the levels of commitment, talent and devotion that those in the county display in their quest to discover the history of Genesee County.

A topic in Eula’s presentation is about the practice of history in the classroom.

“[It] is not always connected to the purity of purpose and the energy articulated by our County’s public historians,” Eula said.

History teachers have the task of synthesizing the local history of the county, Eula said.

“Young people – our future – need to be brought more fully into our historical conversations,” Eula said.

Eula said he believes local schools are under pressure from state and federal officials to teach materials that are consistently national and international.

“The tone that is set is that somehow local history has a small part to play in an understanding of how contemporary society came into being,” Eula said.

One consequence of the common core is an erosion of a history, tending to build pride in one’s past, Eula said.

“[It’s] the kind of self-esteem that makes one proud of their community,” Eula said. “This consequence may in fact tell us much about the ideological motivation of those on the state and federal level who seem to view local history with suspicion,” Eula said.

Public and private historians are welcome to attend the conference, as well as history buffs of all ages. The conference is being sponsored by the Genesee Community College History Club and the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies.

A presentation called “Tracing Lineal Heritage/Daughters of the Revolution,” will be at 10:15 a.m., a panel discussion for disaster planning for historical organizations and museums will be at 11 a.m., and a discussion considering Confederate statues, memorials and symbols will be at 1:15 p.m.

Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history, History Club advisor and president of the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies, said in a press release, that they put together a day of interesting programs that should appeal to a wide variety of history-minded folk.

“I am especially interested in the session on disaster planning and the panel discussion about the Confederate monument controversy,” Maxfield said.

Historical agencies and museums are invited to set up displays for visitors to browse.

Registration for the event is $25 and includes a boxed lunch. If you wish to attend sessions without lunch, registration is $12. Those wishing not to have lunch may register the day of the event and pay at the door.

October 30, 2017 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, soccer, sports.

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Press release:

The No. 3 Genesee Community College men's soccer team is heading back again to the National Junior Athletic Association D-III National Tournament after blanking Cayuga Community College 3-0 Oct. 29 in the Region III District A Championship game.

The region's top-seeded Cougars have now outscored their opponents 53-1 during their current eight-game winning streak. The win also extended the team's unbeaten streak to 17 games.

Current NJCAA D-III Goalie of the Week David Ormiston recorded five saves in the win and was named the tournament's most valuable player in leading the team to its seventh-consecutive shutout and 12th of the season.

Ross White got the game winner almost 30 minutes into the contest and Ben Wattis extended the Cougars' lead to 2-0 about 10 minutes later to round out the first-half scoring.

Charlie Livesey had the lone goal of the second half about 25 minutes into the session to add some insurance to the Cougars' lead.

Cayuga outshot Genesee 11-8 in total shots and shots on net 5-3. Each team had a half dozen corner kicks and the physical game produced eight yellow cards collectively.

Also selected to the all-tournament team from Genesee were Livesey, Wattis, and Glenn Holmes, with the latter assisting on Wattis' goal. Cayuga's Mikel Abando and Santiago Ortega were also selected.

Genesee heads to the NJCAA National Tournament as one of eight teams Nov. 9-12 at Wehrum Stadium. The men's soccer D-III nationals are hosted by Herkimer College, who will join the Cougars from Region III after defeating Onondaga Community College 4-0 in the last regional title game of the night that followed the Cougars' win.

Photo: Curtis Kreutter / GCC Athletics

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