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

July 2, 2018 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones.

BETHLEHEM, PA (06/29/2018) -- Dean's list status, which is awarded to students who earned a scholastic average of 3.6 or better while carrying at least 12 hours of regularly graded courses, has been granted to Daniel Weaver, of Le Roy, in the Spring 2018 semester at Lehigh University.

For more than 150 years, Lehigh University (lehigh.edu) has combined outstanding academic and learning opportunities with leadership in fostering innovative research. The institution is among the nation's most selective, highly ranked private research universities.

Lehigh's four colleges -- College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Economics, College of Education and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science -- provide opportunities to 7,000 students to discover and grow in a learning community that promotes interdisciplinary programs with real-world experience.

June 30, 2018 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, elba, Le Roy, Oakfield, east bethany.

Daemen College Dean Michael Brogan, Ed.D, announces the following Genesee County students achieved dean's list status at Daemen College in Amherst for the Spring 2018 semester. A matriculated undergraduate student who attains a grade-point average of 3.30 or better in any one semester is eligible for Dean's List status.

* Jeffrey Redband of Batavia (14020)

* Kristyn Mott of Batavia (14020)

* Brandon Habermas of Batavia (14020)

* Katrina Stork of Batavia (14020)

* Jordyn Atkinson of East Bethany (14054)

* Emily Kreutter of Elba (14058)

* Brianna Hill of Le Roy (14482)

* Emily Graham of Le Roy (14482)

* Katherine Patton of Le Roy (14482)

* Holly Grayson of Oakfield (14125)

June 30, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Jake Hunter Nichols, of Batavia, received a Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Geology from Norwich University at the May 12 commencement ceremony held in NU’s Shapiro Field House. 

Norwich University graduated over 500 students from 33 undergraduate academic programs and the Master of Architecture program. The Class of 2018 hailed from 33 states and 10 different countries abroad. The largest numbers of graduates were in the following majors: Criminal Justice, Management, Nursing, Mechanical Engineering, and Biology.

Navy Admiral (Ret.) and Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University James G. Stavridis delivered the university’s 2018 Commencement address to the graduating seniors, which included 312 students in the Corps of Cadets. More than 130 graduates commissioned into the military in a ceremony on Sunday, May 13.

In his address, Stavridis connected the graduates’ educational experiences to their roles in helping to solve the most pressing problems of the day to include: a return of the great power politics; threats to democracy; climate change and pandemic. He noted there are many ways to serve the country in addition to military service and their role in building a strong military. He urged the Class of 2018 to “Listen better – to each other, allies, friends and partners and the ‘other’.”

“Pledge to build intellectual capital now…keep educating yourself…read extensively and learn a language…[and] hold onto our values.”

He further advised the graduates: “You can help security by facilitating the rise of women…and rely upon alliances and partnerships.”

Stavridis retired from the Navy in 2013 after 37 years of service and became dean of The Fletcher School in summer 2013. He is the author of several best-selling books, including: “The Accidental Admiral;” “The Leader’s Bookshelf;” and “Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans.”

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees.

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities.

Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Legacy” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.

June 28, 2018 - 3:11pm

Press release and submitted photo:

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded two scholarships at their annual picnic on June 20 at DeWitt Recreation Area.

The goal of the scholarship is to support students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services. The Council was seeking applications from high school students as well as college students who were pursing their education in a Human Services major.

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Parise Ricks. Ricks is a Batavia High School graduate and will be attending Ithaca College in the fall to study Psychology. Her long term goal is to earn a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Eva Graham. Graham is a wife, a mother of three, and will graduate with a degree in Human Services from Genesee Community College in December with a focus in Gerontology. She plans to continue her education at SUNY Brockport to study Social Work next spring.

Applicants had to be in a good academic standing, majoring in Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, or Psychology. Applicants needed two letters of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher, or other professional person. They also had to describe why they were deserving of this scholarship.

The mission of the Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions. The Council is happy to have been able to award such deserving candidates and wishes them nothing but success for their future!

(Photo: GC Interagency Council scholarship recipients Eva Graham, left, and Parise Ricks.)
June 27, 2018 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy.

Kylynn Arthur, of Le Roy, receives the Margaret M. Brady Award from Alyce Kenney, instructor of Nursing, at the Finger Lakes Community College Nursing Advancement Ceremony in May.

Submitted photo and press release:

Five awards were given at the Finger Lakes Community College Nursing Advancement Ceremony in May. One recipient is from Genesee County.

Nursing graduate Kylynn Arthur, of Le Roy, received the Margaret M. Brady Award for scholarship, leadership and clinical excellence.

A total of 63 students graduated from the FLCC nursing program, which prepares students for the registered nursing licensure exam.

For information about the nursing degree and related two-year programs, such as health care studies, therapeutic massage, and nutrition and dietetics, contact the FLCC One Stop Center at (585) 785-1000.

About FLCC: 
Finger Lakes Community College (www.flcc.edu) is a State University of New York two-year higher education institution. FLCC’s 250-acre park-like campus is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes in Canandaigua.

The College offers 55 degree and certificate programs, including environmental conservation, ornamental horticulture, music recording technology, nursing, communications, graphic design and viticulture and wine technology. FLCC’s current enrollment is 6,356 full- and part-time students.

June 27, 2018 - 4:32pm

Photo: Hannah Pierson (right), Culinary Arts student from Le Roy CS, accepts the Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship and Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award from Chef Tracy Burgio, Culinary Arts instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. 

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia, New York, June 25 – The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center recently celebrated the achievements of 309 seniors at an awards program earlier this month at Le Roy High School. During this ceremony, 25 scholarship awards were presented.

The scholarship winners, their programs and home schools are noted below.

Student of the Year (a.m.): Casey Shaw, Pembroke CSD, Health Dimensions

Student of the Year (p.m.): Zachary Boneberg, Le Roy CSD, Criminal Justice

Blakeslee Award: Christian Bradt, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades

Donald Abramo Jr. Memorial Award: Vanessa Horseman, Batavia CSD, Metal Trades; Garrett Sando, Byron-Bergen CSD, Metal Trades

Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

Master Manufacturing Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

James P. Donnelly Memorial Award: Bradly Arnold, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades; Cameron Brumsted, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Paul Levin’s Memorial Award: Ethan Conrad, Notre Dame -- Batavia, Building Trades

Batavia Rod & Gun Club Memorial Scholarship: Brandon Lewis, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Scholarship Award: Kyler Chambry, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Ignatius J. Radesi Memorial Award: Benjamin Lathan, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Pullinzi Family Scholarship: Christopher Decker, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Building Trades Alumni Award: Joseph Aguglia, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Homeowner Award: Chandler Bow, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Jason H. Rowcliffe Memorial Scholarship: Timothy Herter, Attica CSD, Culinary Arts

Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Josh Mouery Memorial Award: Danny Pernesky, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

B.J. Mancuso Memorial Award: Taylor Almeter, Attica CSD, Cosmetology

Batavia Rotary Club Memorial Fund Scholarship: Rachel Tebor, Pembroke CSD, Cosmetology

Dr. Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship: Kim Davis, Pavilion CSD, Health Careers Academy; Paige Perry, Attica CSD, Health Careers Academy; Ethan Hutchins, Notre Dame Batavia, Health Careers Academy.


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

June 27, 2018 - 3:37pm

ROCHESTER (06/26/2018)-- Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Rochester Institute of Technology's dean's list if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete", "D" or "F"; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Mikayla Johnson of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biology program.

Marissa Scharlau of Alexander (14005), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Matthew Pencille of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Rebekah Allen of Basom (14013), who is in the biomedical sciences program.

Rebecca Schwan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the business administration-marketing program.

Jennifer Crossen of Basom (14013), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Rachel Henrici of Batavia (14020), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Benjamin Ezard of Byron (14422), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Peter Madau of Le Roy (14482), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Kiera Gross of East Bethany (14054), who is in the computational mathematics program.

Steven Cacner of Stafford (14143), who is in the computer engineering program.

Robert Kubiniec of Batavia (14020), who is in the computer science program.

Ryan Missel of Oakfield (14125), who is in the computer science program.

Kyle Carretto of Corfu (14036), who is in the computing security program.

Jessica DeAngelo of Batavia (14020), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Maggie Callan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Montana Vescovi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the dietetics and nutrition program.

Kit Yates of Bergen (14416), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Eliza Harvey of Le Roy (14482), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Michelle Miller of East Bethany (14054), who is in the industrial design program.

Melissa Mountain of Batavia (14020), who is in the interior design program.

Eric Bow of Stafford (14143), who is in the mechanical engineering technology program.

Elisha Muir of Corfu (14036), who is in the museum studies program.

Erica Parker of Le Roy (14482), who is in the networking and systems administration program.

Kathleen Hagelberger of Darien Center (14040), who is in the new media marketing program.

Emma Riggi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the new media marketing program.

Devin Sherman of Le Roy (14482), who is in the packaging science program.

Danielle Del Plato of Batavia (14020), who is in the photographic and imaging arts program.

Celia Mercovich of Bergen (14416), who is in the physics program.

Samantha Porter of Le Roy (14482), who is in the psychology program.

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

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

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

June 21, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in east bethany, Milestones.
Michael John Torcello, grandson of Patricia and the late Michael Torcello, of East Bethany, graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Pennsylvania in May.
He was recognized for his outstanding academic achievement and dedication to scholarship after achieving the distinction of being on the dean's list for every semester of all four academic years he attended.
After fulfilling a dual major which included Political Science and History, and graduating with honors, he has been accepted to Harvard Law School, which he will attend in the Fall.
He is the son of Michael and Deborah Torcello, of Hamburg.
June 14, 2018 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, healthcare, UMMC, Milestones.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® -- Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

UMMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“We are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said UMMC Stroke Director, Dr. Sara Connolly. 

“The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

June 13, 2018 - 5:12pm

Above is Ethan Hutchins, a 2018 Holowach Scholarship winner, with Julie Donlon, GVEP assistant superintendent.

Submitted photo and press release from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership:

Le Roy -- Since 1988, the Gary Hammond Golf Tournament has helped to raise funds for the Holowach Memorial Scholarship Fund. To date, more than $112,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

Holowach Scholarships are given annually to assist outstanding career and technical education students with college expenses. The selection process includes written application, teacher recommendations, and a personal interview with the selection committee. Selection criteria includes citizenship, financial need, dedication to and achievement in his/her chosen field.

The Holowach Memorial Scholarship Fund is named for Charles “Chuck” Holowach, Ed.D., who served as the District Superintendent of Livingston-Steuben Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services from March 1982 until his untimely death in December 1988.

The golf tournament is named in honor of Gary Hammond, a retired assistant superintendent for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who served the district for 16 years.

This year’s Genesee County Holowach Scholarship recipients are noted below.

$2,000 -- Batavia CTE Center

Ethan Hutchins is a Health Careers Academy student from Notre Dame who will attend St. John Fisher’s Nursing program. Ethan is a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), 4H, and prom committee at his school.

Ethan is also a member of the Notre Dame chorus, and is HOSA Vice President for his class, and secretary for his class at school. He has received numerous awards including Breakfast of Champions, Most Improved-Volleyball, and Scholar Athlete.

$1,500 -- Batavia CTE Center

Paige Perry is from Attica Central Schools and a student in the Health Careers Academy Program. In the fall, she is set to attend Niagara University where she will major in Biology. At her home school, Paige is involved in many activities including Student Government, 4-H, Envirothon, Soccer, Track, Ski Club, Pulse Academy, We Care Club, and Spanish Club. She is a member of National Honor Society and President of the Ski Club.

$1,000 -- Batavia CTE Center

Kim Davis is a Health Careers Academy student from Pavilion Central Schools. She plans to attend Nazareth College and major in Physical Therapy. Kim is active in many sports, clubs, and activities at her home school including soccer, basketball, track, and Girls Service League.

She is a member of National Honor Society, serves as Student Government Class Treasurer, and also serves on Youth Court. dKim has earned many awards and much recognition including Honor Roll, Scholar Athlete, Music Award, MVP-Basketball Tournament, Coaches Award, and the Livingston County Athletic Association All-Star Award.


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, based in Le Roy, operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 13, 2018 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, girl scouts, troop 42025, news, Milestones.

Submitted photos and information from Julie Beach, leader of Girl Scout Troop 42025, Corfu, and Lyndsey Schneider:
Corfu Girl Scout Troop 42025 completed its Bronze Award Project, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve. They made fun, colorful "Lily Pads" -- a skateboard-like device -- for use at the base of IV poles at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Pediatric Center in Buffalo.
These are handmade, custom-made bases that fit securely on the bases of the IV pole, to be used by children undergoing treatments and in a weakened condition; they are able to ride on their IV pole accompanied by an adult.
For the "Lily Pad Project," the girls planned, wrote letters, then used multiple power tools to create, design and paint six wooden lily pads and build a rolling cart used to store and transport them.
They got the idea after learning on the Today show about a Seattle-area teenager named Nick Konkler who had battled leukemia since age 4. Nick was the first to design and create IV pole platforms after seeing a little girl in Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital struggling to manuever around with her IV pole.
According to the Today show, his plan was to use time in his shop class at Auburn Riverside High School to build one for every child at the hospital. But he never got the chance; he died in 2015 at age 17.
Once they agreed this was the Bronze Award Project they wanted to pursue, the Girls Scouts of Troop 42025 started the process by writing letters to local lumberyards and home centers, requesting donations to help offset the cost of constructing the lily pads.
A prototype lily pad was created and tested on the IV poles at Roswell Park’s Pediatric Center, and after some modifications to the prototype the troop was finally set to begin creating the lily pads.
Each girl in the troop had a hand in creating the lily pads from start to finish. They used woodworking tools to cut, router, fill and sand each lily pad and the storage box. It was the first time many of them had a chance to use power tools.
With such a large troop it was decided to create a reversible lily pad with a different design on each side, allowing each girl an opportunity to layout the design and paint.
Designs include: Captain America/Buffalo Bills, Emoji/Minion, SpongeBob SquarePants /Snoopy, Cupcake/Girl Scout Cookie, Dalmatian/Ladybug, Basketball/Soccer Ball were picked by the girls and traced onto each lily pad and then handpainted.
While it took much longer than expected to complete this project -- a year and a half -- and the troop far exceeded the requirements for the Bronze Award, the results were far beyond anyone’s expectations. The girls, now mostly fifth and sixth-graders, did an amazing job working together to create beautiful lily pads for the children at the hospital. 
They worked hand-in-hand with Roswell Park staff to ensure all necessary steps were taken to ensure their lily pads would be totally functional and safe for children to ride upon to and from there treatments. 
On one side of the cart it says "Please use a Lily pad to ride in style. Made with Love by Girl Scout Troop 42025." The other side of the cart names the troop responsible for this creative feat intended to brighten the day of a sick child, noting it was their Bronze Award Project.
The lily pads and rolling storage cart were presented at Roswell Park Cancer Institute yesterday (June 12) by the troop and its leader, Julie Beach.
The Girls Scouts from Troop 42025 in Corfu who received the Bronze Award are:
  • Hannah Beach
  • Reagan Schneider
  • Lilly Senko
  • Bryonna Bisig
  • Kylie Monette
  • Paige Bryant
  • Makenzie Rich
  • Elle Peterson
  • Olivia Peterson
  • Ashley Johnson
  • Savannah Meyer
  • Sienna Korytkowski
  • Autumn Korytkowski
  • Dianna Kutter
  • Allie Spaulding
  • Kaydence Butler
  • Madison Chatley

Below is a series of submitted photos showing the progress of their project.

June 11, 2018 - 5:44pm

Washington, D.C. – Genesee County, New York Highway Superintendent Timothy Hens was installed as President-elect of the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) at their recent annual meeting and technical conference. Hens’ term will run through April of 2019.

NACE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association in its 62nd year, representing over 2,400 county road officials and related professionals in the United States and Canada. It's motto is "The Voice of County Road Officials."

In the United States, local roads account for about 75 percent of highways and roads, or 2.93 million miles. Counties manage 1.74 million miles of those roads. Counties also own 231,000 bridges and operate one-third of the nation’s transit systems.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve the nation’s county road professionals,” Hens said. “County infrastructure is the basis for a successful American economy.

"From getting goods to market to ensuring a safe and efficient ride from work for our residents, county-owned transportation infrastructure will lead the way towards economic prosperity for decades to come.”

Hens has been the superintendent of Highways for Genesee County since 1998. In this capacity he functions as the County Engineer and oversees a number of county departments including, highways, airport, water, environmental health, facility maintenance, and parks, recreation and forestry.

Hens and his wife, Eve, have three college-aged children and reside in Le Roy.

June 9, 2018 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in darien center, Milestones.

(WATER, Okla., June 8, 2018) -- A total of 6,020 students were named to the 2018 spring semester honor rolls at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, including 2,488 students named to the President's Honor Roll for earning an “A” grade in all their courses. 

Full-time undergraduate students who completed 12 or more hours with a grade-point average of 4.00 were placed on the President’s Honor Roll.

Andrew T. Bontrager, of Darien Center, was named to the President's Honor Roll this spring. He is a graduate of Alexander High School.

He is studying Animal Science, one of the largest majors on campus and the largest within the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources.

June 5, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Spring 2018 dean's list. The students represent nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and countries.

To be included on the dean's list, full-time students must have completed 12 or more credits for letter grades during a semester and achieved at least a 3.30 quality-point average. Part-time students qualify with the accumulation of 12 or more credits for letter grades earning at least a 3.30 quality-point average.

Emily Fischer, of Batavia, was named to the dean's list.

Note: Students who qualified for the Dean's List, but have restricted access to their information under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines, are not included on this public listing. Students may adjust these restrictions on eCampus.

The University of Rhode Island's pioneering research extends the University's influence well beyond its coastal borders, while its unique interdisciplinary courses provide its 16,637 undergraduate and graduate students with global opportunities in an intimate environment.

In May 2018, more than 3,300 undergraduate and about 700 graduate degrees were awarded. The University now has more than 120,000 alumni worldwide.

June 1, 2018 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones.

Grace Pulcini, of Jerico Road in Bergen, is named to the dean's list with honors at The College at Brockport, SUNY, for the Spring of 2018 semester.

She had a GPA of 3.70 to 3.99.

Pulcini is the daughter of Vincent and Carol Pulcini and a 2017 graduate of Byron-Bergen High School.

She is majoring in History.

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

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

Submitted photo and press release:

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

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

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

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

The new event collectively recognized:

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

SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recognizing Cougar Accomplishments

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

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

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

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

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

Milestones of Service

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

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

Faculty and Staff: Quality & Compassion

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

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

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

May 20, 2018 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, education, Le Roy, batavia, byron, Pavilion, corfu, bergen.

Five Nazareth College undergraduate students who are from Genesee County earned their bachelor's degrees at the 91st Annual Commencement ceremony that took place at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on May 13.

  • Marissa Colantonio, of Batavia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Political Science.
  • Savannah Gill, of Le Roy, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Education.
  • Hannah Green, of Byron, graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology.
  • Siena Pullinzi, of Batavia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Studio Art.
  • Dakota Pursel, of Pavilion, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology.

In addition, three Genesee County students earned graduate degrees and were recognized at the May 13 Commencement. They are:

  • Sarah Gray, of Corfu, earned their Master of Science in Music Therapy.
  • Brittni Loewke, of Bergen, earned their Master of Social Work in Social Work.
  • Andrea Raphael, of Batavia, earned their Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts.

The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in Pittsford, a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.

May 16, 2018 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, veterans day wedding giveback, Milestones.

Submitted photos and press release:

Peconic Landing and historic Brecknock Hall in Greenport, N.Y., are honored to announce the winners of the eighth Annual Veterans Day Wedding Giveback. The willing couple will receive an all-expenses paid wedding at Brecknock Hall thanks to the support of area businesses.

Air Force Technical Sgt. Trenton Todd Zanow, 27, of Batavia, (enlisted 2009) and his fiancée, Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lynn Lenzi, 23, of Ridge, N.Y., (enlisted 2012) have been named this year's winning couple.

Both are active service members who met while serving at the 106th Rescue Wing at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

The couple currently serves full time at the 103rd Airlift Wing, a unit of the Connecticut Air National Guard. The couple was notified they were selected during a surprise reveal Tuesday afternoon. (View the You Tube video of the announcement here.)

Trenton has served for 10 years and is currently an E6 Flight Engineer. He has received a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and National Defense Service Medal, among other medals and ribbons.

Jennifer has served for five years and is currently an E5 Airfield Manager, and was recently named "Airman of the Year" for the Connecticut Air National Guard 103rd Operations Group. She has also received an Air Force Commendation Medal in support of her service during Operation Enduring Freedom, among multiple other medals and ribbons.

The couple intends on making a 30-year career in the military and also spends time volunteering in their local community, including making care packages for members overseas and donating Thanksgiving dinners to wounded veterans, among others. Jennifer has also helped coach a youth cheerleading team.

Trenton and Jennifer were engaged Veterans Day Weekend 2017 while taking a helicopter tour in Rhode Island to celebrate Jennifer's recent promotion to Staff Sergeant. The two landed in a field at sunset where Trenton proposed.

“First and foremost I want to extend my sincerest thank you to all those who contribute to making this military wedding giveaway possible!" Jennifer said. "It's truly amazing to know that so many people in our community support military members and are willing to donate their time and resources to make our dream wedding a reality.

"We are forever grateful and equally as excited! Our military lifestyle can sometimes make seeing family and friends difficult so I am extremely thankful that this special occasion will bring everyone together and Brecknock Hall at Peconic Landing is a breathtakingly beautiful place to do so. We are truly blessed and overwhelmed with joy!"

Trenton added, "we cherish your support for military veterans and are honored to have been chosen as the winning couple. Thank you for helping make Jennifer's dream wedding become a reality. We look forward to working with all the vendors over the next few months and can't wait to see it all come together. Thank you again for your support."

The winning couple was chosen by a panel of Peconic Landing's veteran members who judge the contest based on the number of years served, special military honors, contributions to the community and each couple's personal love story. Their wedding will take place on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in celebration of Veterans Day, and will accommodate up to 80 guests.

"The Veterans Wedding Giveback Committee diligently reviewed 12 applications this year; it is always a tough job to narrow down to one couple from the list." said Ted Webb, a Navy veteran and president of the Brecknock Hall Foundation. We are delighted to congratulate Trenton and Jennifer as this year's winners."

We are indebted to all the sponsors and vendors for their generous support. What a wonderful way to say 'thank you' to those who serve our country in the armed forces."

Those wishing to contribute can contact Valerie Tirelli-Hallock, Brecknock Hall Sales & Events Coordinator at [email protected]

Robert J. Syron, president and CEO of Peconic Landing, delivered the good news during the surprise reveal on May 15.

“It has been some time since we had a couple actively serving at the same time, and it’s also very fitting that they have served in our local community at the 106th in Westhampton Beach," Syron said. "We wish them a future of happiness and success. Thank you, again, to all of the sponsors who make this giveaway possible."

Sponsors of the 2018 Veterans Day Wedding Giveback, so far, include: A Flippin Good Time, Allison G. Pressler at Blue Sage Day Spa, American Tent Company, Beautiful by Dina, Blue Duck Bakery, Christopher Michael Catering, East End Event Catering, Fire Monkey Hair Design, Greenporter Hotel, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Ivy League Flowers, Jillybean Custom Designs, Kim Jon Designs, Lisa Nicolosi Photography, Make Some Noise DJ’s, Massage Me by Sara Leonard LMT, Mattituck Environmental Services, Moments In Time Floral Designs, Moriches Main Street Florist, North Fork Bridal Shoppe, North Fork Brides, Southold Fish Market, The North Fork Box and Southold-Greenport-Mattituck ROTC. Times Review Media Group has signed on as the media sponsor.

# # #

Peconic Landing is an innovative, not-for-profit CCAC-CARF-accredited continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located on the waterfront in Greenport, N.Y., on the North Fork of Long Island. Among its long list of achievements, Peconic Landing is the only equity-based LifeCare community in the State of New York. It is a member of LeadingAge and LeadingAge New York and embraces a healthy, active lifestyle infused with a sense of exploration, creativity, and generosity of spirit.

April 26, 2018 - 3:33pm
Girl Scout Troop 31750 members are, pictured above from left: Maggie Johnson, Susie Aquard, Myah Fisher, Megan Aquard and Kaitlin Pusateri; not pictured is Kieara Waterbury.
Submitted photo and press release:
Girl Scout Troop 31750 is proud to announce the completion of requirements for their Silver Award.
Girl Scout Troop 31750 members are Maggie Johnson, Susie Aquard, Myah Fisher, Megan Aquard, Kaitlin Pusateri and Kieara Waterbury.
Their project was to raise money for the Genesee County Animal Shelter in Batavia, as well as making two dog beds and several cat toys.
They also each acquired certification as shelter volunteers, enabling them to walk the dogs, and play with the cats outside of their cages.
April 19, 2018 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.
Mr. and Mrs. William Anderson, of Batavia, are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Bryan Anderson, of Rochester, to Allison Nickel, of Rochester, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Nickel, of Pittsford.
The engagement took place on Nov. 18th at Tony D’s on the Canal. 
Miss Nickel is a graduate of Fairport High School, University of Connecticut and Nazareth College. Miss Nickel is a RN at Golisano Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric ICU.
Mr. Anderson is a graduate of Batavia High School and attended Roberts Wesleyan College and Medaille College. Mr. Anderson is an electrical apprentice at Dynamark.
An Oct. 20, 2018 wedding is planned.
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