Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

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.

msoc_champs.jpg

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

October 27, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, news, agriculture, business, agritourism.

dsc_8892.jpg

Agritourism is itself a growing industry in New York and with Genesee County being a major contributor to the state's agriculture industry, Genesee Community College hosted a free agritourism symposium yesterday.

The event was organized by Amy Slusser, professor of GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.

“Our region of New York State offers some of the best agritourism opportunities in the nation,” Slusser said. “From our dairies for cheese and yogurt, while not forgetting milk, butter and of course, ice cream, to the many acres of fruits and vegetables. And, New York wineries are now competing with great success against both European and Californian varietals. Now is the time for agritourism in the Upstate New York.”

Sophie Winter, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker with a theme of “Evolution, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agritourism.” A native of Southern France, Winter earned her master’s degree in Agricultural Business from Illinois State University and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State University. Currently, she teaches agricultural marketing, sales, retail management and entrepreneurship at SUNY Cobleskill.

There was also a panel discussion with:

  • Barbara Dominesey, general manager of Hidden Valley Animal Adventures in Varysburg;
  • Chad Heeb, director of marketing of New York Chips and Marquart Farms in Gainesville; and
  • Betty Burley, owner of East Hill Creamery in Perry.

Photos courtesy GCC.

dsc_8922.jpg

dsc_8931.jpg

dsc_8929.jpg

October 27, 2017 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, fashion program, business.

dsc_8718.jpg

Hélène Biandudi Hofer, journalist, documentary filmmaker and the host and producer of WXXI-TV’s newsmagazine show "Need to Know," spoke at Genesee Community College on Wednesday spoke to fashion students about her new project "The Empty Hanger." 

Hofer kick-started her own career at just 8 years old using a makeshift production studio in her childhood home to produce news stories and fashion shows. From there, Hofer grew her passion into an award-winning career.

"The Empty Hanger" is an original human-interest series revealing the untold and often overlooked stories of the people who design, manufacture, tailor, study, wear, talk about and claim to be forever changed by clothing.

Photos courtesy GCC.

dsc_8741a.jpg

dsc_8749.jpg

September 26, 2017 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, GCC, news, business, Announcements, cyber security.

Press release:

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Genesee Community College (GCC) and Delta College have collaborated to offer a free webinar focusing on the career opportunities in the ever-expanding cyber security industry from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security analysts is projected at 18 percent through 2022 -- which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.

The webinar will feature a three-person panel discussing trends, opportunities and challenges facing those in cyber security careers. Panelist Joshua George is the instructor of Criminal Justice at Delta College. George has more than 12 years in federal law enforcement with focus on computer forensics and digital evidence. Panelist Mike Tarcan, currently serves as the information security manager at Ellucian. Tarcan focuses on security incident and threat management for a global cloud company. Panelist Kristopher Howery is an associate professor of Computer Science and Info Tech at Delta College. Howery founded the Cyber Defense Club that provides students with hands-on network defense experience. Howery also designed a multipurpose lab to teach security and network classes such as Cisco CCNA Security, Check Point, CCSA firewall, incident response and wireless security, to name a few. Additionally, he works in forensics under the networking track. Each panelist will share how they got started in the field, discuss what their security roles entail and answer questions from participants. 

Both GCC students and community members are encouraged to attend the webinar which will be broadcast at the GCC Batavia campus in room T102 on Thursday, Oct. 12 in the Conable Technoloy Building. Delta College students and guests are invited to view the webinar at Delta College's Main Campus in N007, located near the Redbrix Area. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 12:50 p.m. to ensure seating. Remote access to the webinar is available on a limited basis.

September 24, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, college, news, GSO.

cougarcrawl2.jpg

This weekend GCC celebrated its 50th anniversary with the Cougar Crawl (visiting downtown businesses), homecoming activities, including a kids zone, a car cruise, and campus tour, and a Golden Gala capped by a performance of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Photos Courtesy of Genesee Community College.

cougarcrawl5.jpg

cougarcrawl4.jpg

homecom_kidszone.jpg

homecom_turbine.jpg

homecom_carcruise.jpg

gso_concert3.jpg

gso_concert7.jpg

September 23, 2017 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GCC, news, entertainment, music.

gsoatgcc2017.jpg

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs today as part of Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary Fall Gala in the brand new Richard C. Call Arena.

The concert starts at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

gsoatgcc2017-2.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-3.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-4.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-5.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-6.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-7.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-8.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-9.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-10.jpg

gsoatgcc2017-11.jpg

September 22, 2017 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news.

Press release:

What: Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary Fall Fest, Homecoming and Cougar Weekend

WhenFriday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23

  • Cougar Crawl: Tonight from 5 to 10  in Downtown Batavia
  • Multiple Events: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Batavia Campus
  • Where: Downtown Batavia, Genesee Community College, One College Road, Batavia
  • Who: Open to the Public

Background

After Friday night's third annual "Cougar Crawl" in downtown Batavia featuring stops at local establishments for food, drink and special discounts, the public-at-large is cordially invited to Genesee Community College's Homecoming Fall Fest at the Batavia Campus on Saturday, Sept. 23, starting with the Car Cruise, Tours and Craft Market at 10 a.m., and continuing with a variety of events throughout the day and into the evening.

The overall schedule of events follows:

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Craft and Vendor Market -- Inside William W. Stuart Forum

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Car and Bike Cruise -- North Parking Lot

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Public Tours of the new Richard C. Call Arena and Student Success Center

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. -- Family Fun in the Cougar Den -- Cafeteria

1 - 3 p.m. -- *Firefly Power Wind Turbine Demonstration -- Conable Technology Building Hallway

5 - 6:30 p.m. -- Lollapalooza Gold Gala Concert by the Genesee Symphony Orchestra with a post-concert reception -- Richard C. Call Arena

7:30 p.m. -- Alumni Soccer Gamer -- Under the lights on the Turf Field

*Among the newest events to be added to the daylong itinerary is the Firefly Power Wind Turbine Demonstration that will be occurring from 1 - 3 p.m. at the monitoring station located in the east hallway on the first floor of the Conable Technology Building. Genesee Community College is delighted to introduce this newly installed wind energy unit to the community, which comes after a lengthy, five-year review of wind turbine technology.

Originally, GCC had partnered with several area school districts under a special grant, but unfortunately, the first unit met with technical difficulties and was not able to be repaired. Tim Landers, GCC's recently retired director of Buildings and Grounds, persisted in researching new turbine technology that could use much of the existing infrastructure from the old unit, and continue the original mission of providing area students, both at the high school and college level, with a hands-on learning experience about renewable energy resources.

Landers patiently watched as the Firefly Power came on to the market realizing that the vertical axis, carbon-fiber blades that are lightweight and yet nearly indestructible offered many advantages. Engineered in Canada, manufactured in the United States, the patented design of the blade is, in itself, an industry game-changer.

For further information come to the demonstration and meet the founders and patent holders of Firefly Power or go to: http://www.fireflypower.com/.

September 21, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, agriculture, GCC, drones.

Press release:

Are you fascinated with the exploding growth of drones and their applications across many fields, from emergency medical services to agriculture? Genesee Community College will take to the skies this fall with demonstrations and courses in flying drones or sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems).

Whether you are new to drones, planning on starting a business utilizing drones, want to earn your FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Remote Pilot Certification, or just interested in the technology-GCC has a drone program for you!

GCC's BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center will offer a series of noncredit programs starting with two Informational Sessions on drone opportunities. These events will give anyone interested in flying drones, starting a career and/or becoming an FAA-certified remote pilot, an ideal opportunity to talk to a professional drone pilot or with The BEST Center staff. If you are interested in flying drones as a hobby or a career, these open houses are a great start. Reservations are required by calling 585-345-6868.

  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 - 11 a.m. / Room T-119, Batavia Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 6 - 7 p.m. / Room T-119, Batavia Campus

"Introduction to Drones" is a three-day, 18-hour, intensive course covering all of the fundamentals of flying, piloting skills, safety, regulations and preparing one to take the FAA Remote Pilot Certification test. As part of their class materials, each participant will receive a small drone with camera and remote control. The course runs the following three Saturdays:

  • Saturdays: Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and 11, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. / Batavia Campus

Anyone using drones for business or other ventures is required to have a certification or operate under the supervision of a certified pilot. For those with flying experience, the one-day, "Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep" course is offered:

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. / Batavia Campus to help prepare for the FAA certification test.

Lastly, in October, the 10-week "Introduction to Precision Agriculture" course explores the advanced technology of farming today and will include drone applications such as collecting data and other uses. The course is held with the option of attending the program at the Batavia Campus or online through WebEx.

September 12, 2017 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, notify.

gccat50sep122017-2.jpg

Genesee Community College holds a special place in the heart of Charles Zambito, the Genesee County Court judge said today during the 50th-anniversary convocation in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

It's not that Zambito, who also served on the county legislature and as county attorney, graduated from the two-year college. He didn't even attend a class there. It was the role his father, Anthony Zambito, played in the development and success of the campus that makes the place special to him.

Anthony Zambito, a scientist who worked on the Manhatten Project, a farmer, and a community leader, served on the Board of Trustees for nearly 40 years, one of the longest such tenures in the nation. The college's gym is named after him.

"He believed deeply in the value of education and service to others," Charles Zambito said.

Charles Zambito, who was a teenager when his father became involved with the community college effort, witnessed firsthand the college's growth, and said during his keynote address today that the examples set by those early leaders offer lessons to new generations of leaders, which they can learn from, and they demonstrate values which are still deeply embedded in the spirit of GCC.

"Another factor that contributed to the early success of the college was the strong dedicated leadership beginning with the first board of trustees," Zambito said. "They deserve much credit for not only getting the college started on its early and rapid growth, but more importantly, helping instill a philosophy and culture of success and excellence as well as a special sense of loyalty and belonging. It was present on the very first day of classes and has remained a constant part of the college since."

The college almost didn't get off the ground, Zambito recalled. When Mike Ryan and the Batavia Area Jaycees first brought forth the idea of starting a community college in Batavia, the Board of Supervisors (the county's governing body then) rejected the idea. They weren't even willing to support a study of the proposal. Ryan and the other Jaycees had to convince the board that the study would cost them nothing and not commit them to supporting it once the study was completed.

Eventually, Ryan and his team produced a 75-page study recommending the creation of a community college.

By state law, all the board had to do was pass a resolution to create a community college, but a motion to take that step failed on a 9-10 vote. One of the opponents of the college idea then proposed a public referendum on the collage idea. That motion passed 14-6, with all of the opponents of the college voting yes and the six no votes coming from supporters of the college.

"It was everyone's belief that the chances of passage of this referendum were slim," Zambito said. "Defeat at the polls would effectively close the matter for the foreseeable future."

Opponents said there weren't more than 50 people in the whole county who would want to attend college and the county would be better off creating a vocational school, which would help put people to work and keep them off public assistance.

The referendum was scheduled for November 1965 and for more than a year prior to the vote, the college issue became the most widely debated and discussed issue in the history of the county, Zambito said. He said you couldn't walk down the street without somebody stopping you and asking you what you thought of the college proposal.

When the vote came, the referendum passed 7,730 to 6,670.

Two supervisors, the board president, and its treasurer, who opposed the college prior to the vote, made a crucial decision in the fate of the college at that point.

"They publicly announced that if the county was going to sponsor a community college, they wanted it to be the best in the state," Zambito said.

Among the values and principles embodied in GCC that were important to his father, Zambito said, were that the school be a place where concern for the welfare of students goes beyond what happens in the classroom. That tradition continues, he said.

"Going forward, I think if my father were here, he would be comforted by the fact that the GCC Board of Trustees and this administration and faculty and staff continues to be guided by the same principles and ideals to move forward, reaching new heights," Zambito said.

gccat50sep122017.jpg

September 11, 2017 - 4:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, Attica Prison, 50th anniversary convocation.

Press release:

What: Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary Convocation and Special Lecture with Heather Ann Thompson, Ph.D.

WhenTuesday, Sept. 12

  • Convocation: 1 p.m. (Stuart Steiner Theatre)
  • Lecture: 7 p.m. (T102)

Where: Genesee Community College, One College Road, Batavia

Who: College Community, Special Guests and Visitors

Background:

  • Convocation / 1 p.m., Genesee Center for the Art in the Stuart Steiner Theatre

This formal academic ceremony marks another milestone in the life of Genesee Community College. Afternoon classes will be cancelled allowing more than 100 current or retired GCC faculty and staff members, and many other honored guests and community members to join in the solemn ceremony that recognizes the College's 50th Anniversary and also its promising future.

The keynote address will be given by the Honorable Charles Zambito, Genesee County Court judge, whose father Anthony T. Zambito served as a College Trustee from 1966-2000. A reception with light refreshments and a viewing of the "GCC Timeline: 50 Years" follows the Convocation in the William W. Stuart Forum. GCC's last convocation was in 2006 recognizing the College's 40th Anniversary.

  • Presentation and Lecture by Heather Ann Thompson, Ph.D. / 7 p.m., Conable Technology Building, T102

As part of the Historical Horizons lecture series, Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winning author Heather Ann Thompson, Ph.D., will cap off the College's special Convocation Day, delivering a presentation, "Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy," based on her award-winning book.

Attica State Prison is part of GCC's history with inmate education, a part of its programming in the 1980s. Thompson's book provides a definitive account of the prison uprising in 1971. She used sources available to no other researchers to write a reliable tome that upends the myths and exposes cover-ups of that violent event that captured international attention.

September 8, 2017 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Richard C. Call Arena, batavia, news, notify, schools, education.

gccdedication2017.jpg

Richard C. Call epitomized community, speakers noted yesterday at the dedication of two new facilities at Genesee Community College, and he was an avid supporter of agriculture, so it's only appropriate, they said, that the new athletic and community center on the college campus be named after him.

"This is a great day," said Peter Call, son of Dick Call, a member of the board of trustees for five years (top photo). "It just doesn’t get any better than this and this building exceeds all of our wildest expectations. It seems like two minutes ago we were having the campaign, trying to raise a few bucks and now it’s all done and it’s ready for students."

It was Dick Call, said College President Jim Sunser, who recognized the need for an event center that could serve both community and student athletic needs. When the plan was drafted for the building and the Student Success Center, it was Call who had the vision to turn to the community, especially fellow farmers, to raise $5 million to help fund the project. And it was Call who recognized Craig Yunker was just the person to lead the fundraising campaign.

"I’m grateful to have been mentored by Dick Call," Yunker said. "He convinced me to be involved with this effort and I’m grateful. It’s been a great honor."

From Dick Call's original vision to planning for the facility, the need to recognize agriculture's central role in the community was a big part of the effort, speakers said.

"Early on in the campaign," said Peter Call, "during one of our campaign meetings, Jim Vincent made a very strong, encouraging comment that the college needs to have some kind of permanent agriculture exhibit on display so that all of our students and all of our visitors can understand what the history of agriculture is in Western New York, what agriculture is today and the future of agriculture. I think you can see the message got through and the college put together just an amazing exhibit."

Dick Call didn't live to see his vision become reality. He died in 2014.

"When I think of community life, I’m reminded of Dick Call and the values he lived by each day," Sunser said. "It is most fitting that this structure bears his name."

The central role of agriculture in the region is on display in the front hallway of the new arena.

"Those visitors will immediately grasp the values and traditions that define our community and make it so special," Sunser said. "Our community has thrived in a large part because of the agriculture. We all know that agriculture is the driving economic engine and force in our GLOW county region and agriculture is the driving force behind the values that we cherish in our community."

Peter Call said the dedication was a proud day for his family and the community and he thanked the community members who turned out for the event.

"I’ve traveled around and been to many community colleges and certainly our campus and now, with these two new buildings, we are above everyone, any community college anywhere as far as facilities," Peter Call said. "It’s very easy to say but it’s just a fact. It’s wonderful."

gccdedication2017-2.jpg

gccdedication2017-3.jpg

Laura J. Bohm, chair, board of trustees

gccdedication2017-4.jpg

GCC President Jim Sunser

gccdedication2017-5.jpg

Craig Yunker

gccdedication2017-6.jpg

gccdedication2017-7.jpg

gccdedication2017-8.jpg

gccdedication2017-9.jpg

gccdedication2017-10.jpg

September 5, 2017 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news, notify.

callarena_jul17.jpg

The dedication ceremony and open house for the Richard C. Call Arena and the Student Success Center at GCC will be at Thursday, Sept. 7, at Genesee Community College. Open house begins at 5, with the dedication ceremony commencing at 6, with a reception immediately following.

Press release:

The Dedication Ceremony of the Richard C. Call Arena is a special event to officially open the new 54,000 square foot facility that now houses many of Genesee Community College's physical education classrooms and coaches offices, a new Fitness Center, meeting rooms, a press box overlooking the Turf Field, and the 20,400-square-foot field house that can accommodate many different types of events-from sporting competitions to trade shows and community gatherings.

The Dedication Ceremony also honors and recognizes the many donors who contributed to the "Creating Our Future Together" capital campaign. (The event is by invitation only.) The Ceremony commences at 6 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena with a reception immediately following. GCC's new facilities, including the Student Success Center which was occupied in July, will be open for visitors to see before and after the ceremony.

In January 2015, Genesee Community College kicked off its "Creating Our Future Together" fundraising campaign with the goal to raise $5 million to support the construction of two new facilities at the College's Batavia Campus, and also to support student scholarships emphasizing outreach to students living near GCC's campus centers in Albion, Medina, Arcade, Warsaw, Dansville and Lima. By the end of 2016, "Creating Our Future Together" exceeded its goal and a total of $5.5 million was raised.

In May 2016, Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees formally dedicated the College's new event center in honor of longtime College supporter Richard C. Call, who was a member of the GCC Foundation Board from 2001 until his death in 2014. Mr. Call was a strong proponent of volunteerism and philanthropy, and also an advocate of a new event center at GCC. He recognized its potential economic impact on the overall region as well as its intrinsic value to the teaching and learning experience for students of all ages.

Over many decades, Mr. Call and his brother, Robert, built Call Farms into a highly innovative and nationally-known agricultural enterprise. Mr. Call's brother and their children continue to operate the farm. Not surprisingly, Mr. Call encouraged other agricultural leaders across the region to get behind the "Creating Our Future Together" campaign and collectively, they were instrumental in making the new Arena possible. Mr. Call was also a strong supporter of many community causes, and had a special interest in youth. In addition to his local volunteer commitments, he was well-known across the United States for his leadership in agricultural organizations and he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University.

August 17, 2017 - 8:57am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, Richard C. Call Center, GCC, schools, education.

4.jpg

Genesee Community College’s new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena are finished with construction just in time for the start of the academic year and the 50th anniversary.

The dual construction project of the new facilities began last spring, costing $25 million. Donna Rae Sutherland, the associate director of Marketing Communications, said more than $5 million was raised by the community.

“We’re very proud, grateful and pleased to have this new space available for community use, as well as student use,” Sutherland said.

The 18,478-square-foot Student Success Center is an addition of the Technology building, becoming the new “front door” of the campus.

Sutherland said the plan was to take all of the student services and bring them in a more cohesive place. The new building is home to GCC’s success coaches, staff members who are specifically trained and assigned to designated students to assist them throughout their entire academic career. These coaches assist students from the first phase of admissions, financial aid and academic advisement, through the process of earning their degrees, graduation, or helping them transfer or secure career placement.

“A few months ago, Financial Aid was in one part of the building, Admissions is across the hallway and down a little bit, the Career Services is on another floor,” Sutherland said. “We had all these student services in one building, which is great, but then you have to climb the stairs and find them. People weren’t sure where to start.”

Having offices in different parts of buildings was hampering student success, Sutherland said.

“The Student Success Center is a model that we think is going to become something other colleges may be interested in,” Sutherland said. “Maybe it will become a model for the nation.”

Now that the old space is vacated, the next step is to repurpose that space for student success and need, Sutherland said.

Shelitha Williams, the associate vice president of Student Services, said students are excited about the new center because of “the idea that their experience is now streamlined. They don’t have to go to five offices, they have seven departments now under one roof.”

The coaches will proactively introduce themselves and identify themselves as a resource to the students of GCC.

“What sets us aside is the intentional engagement, instead of reacting to students' concerns,” Williams said.

The new Richard C. Call Arena is located on the west side of the Batavia Campus and is not connected to the main building. Sutherland said the new facility is the largest, open, flexible floor space in the GLOW region. The 45,000-square-foot arena will be open to the community to rent for events, but the student need will come first.

“We talked to the people in the community and it was recognized that there’s not really a big events center,” Sutherland said.

Some of the athletics were moved into the new building, while some are in the main building. They are currently working out the logistics of being able to rent out the facility in order to make the public space available.

“We are just getting ready to open up the facilities towards other types of events,” Sutherland said. “Anything from a home show, to a tractor show, to a coin show, to all kinds of public events. Whatever a convention center might offer in Buffalo or Rochester, we will be looking for the same.”

There may be some limitations due to it being a college campus, but they are open to different events.

The first big public event in the new Richard C. Call Arena will be on Sept. 23. The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will put on a special concert with new music. The concert is free and will be open to the public. 

3.jpg

2.jpg

Photos above taken by Maria Pericozzi.

dji_0020c.jpg

Photo above provided by Donna Rae Sutherland.

July 31, 2017 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, batavia, education, at-risk students, announcementsikjji.

Press release:

The New York State Education Department announced today (July 31) that 44 colleges and universities in New York will receive Liberty Partnerships Program grants totaling more than $17 million. Genesee Community College in Batavia will receive $450,000 in grant money from this program.

The Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) is New York State’s only state-funded dropout prevention program directly connected to higher education which prepares students for post-secondary education and careers. Recipients of these higher education initiative grants will provide comprehensive programming for at-risk students to successfully graduate and transition into postsecondary education or a career path.

“It’s critically important that we develop new strategies to influence students as active participants in their own learning,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “LPP grants make it possible for colleges to create strong school and community partnerships to help keep New York’s children in school and continue into higher education and careers; it’s a priority for the Board of Regents and State Education Department.”

“So many of the at-risk students we’re trying to encourage to stay in school don’t have access to support,” Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these grants, students will have access to skills assessment, tutoring, personal and family counseling, as well as mentoring programs to help ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to further their education and achieve success in life.”

To be eligible, the Institution of Higher Education must have two partnerships:

1) A local education agency (LEA) that falls within the one of the categories below:

  • school eligible for schoolwide programs under Title 1, Section 1114 of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the families of these students; 
  • school with at least 40 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch;
  • school identified as a focus, struggling, persistently struggling and/or persistently dangerous schools; or
  • rural school with students at risk.

2) A Community Based Organization (CBO)

LPP was established by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1988 to address the significantly elevated high school dropout rate among New York’s youth. The drop-out prevention initiative serves approximately 13,000 students in grades 5-12. The program is designed to support the successful transition of middle and high school students at-risk of dropping out of school into graduates, fully prepared for the rigors of higher education and the competitive demands of a fluid workplace in a global economy.

There are currently 41 LPP programs at higher education institutions, working in collaboration with school districts and community-based organizations, across New York State. LPP provides students with one year of continuous services which include skills assessment, tutoring, academic and personal counseling, family counseling and home visits, and mentoring programs.

2015-16 Highlights

Statewide, the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) served 13,461 students. The average number of students per site was 328. A total of 443 partner schools participated in Liberty Partnerships programing during the 2015-2016 program year. 

Ninety-five percent of Liberty Partnership participants were promoted to the next level of education. A total of 2,110 seniors participating in the Liberty Partnerships graduated high school resulting in a 92-percent program-wide graduation rate. The majority of seniors plan to attend college or work full-time, with 92 percent graduating seniors planning to attend college. Sixteen percent of LPP graduating seniors planned to enter the workforce.

New Funding Cycle

Funding for LPP grants is from 2017 to 2022 and the project period is Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. Funding in years two through five is dependent on satisfactory performance, legislative appropriation, and the submission of an updated proposed project budget approved by SED.

For more information, please see the NYSED LPP website.

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The building is being evacuated.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press release:

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

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

The operating budget:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button